Calling all art lawyers

Are you a lawyer, judge or law professor with art law experience? If so, the newly created Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA) wants to hear from you.

In May this year, we covered the much-anticipated launch of the CAfA, which was founded to resolve specialist art law disputes. A joint initiative of the Netherlands Arbitration Institution (NAI) and the non-profit group Authentication in Art (AiA), the CAfA is to use mediation and arbitration to respond to difficult claims such as those relating to authenticity, chain of title and copyright. Cases are to administered by the NAI and heard by arbitrators and mediators who combine legal acumen with practical experience of art industry issues.

With the CAfA in place, the Court is now inviting applications from candidates who would like to be considered for placement in its pool of expert arbitrators and mediators. Concerned to attract applicants with the desired level of art law experience, it has even established a set of criteria for both arbitrators and mediators. The CAfA is searching for arbitrators who:

  • Are formerly admitted private practice lawyers, judges or law professors; and
  • Can boast at least 5 years of ‘significant experience’ in at least one relevant field including among others:
    • authenticity;
    • chain of title of art or cultural property; and
    • the purchase and sale of works of art through private sale and/or auction.

The same criteria apply to prospective CAfA mediators in addition to:

  • 5 years of significant experience as a mediator; and
  • Advanced mediation training or certification from a mediation organization and/or membership of a recognized alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider or Court ADR Program.

The selection committee tasked with reviewing all CAfA applications is to be comprised of academics and former judges experienced in art law. The Court hopes that by selecting leading industry arbitrators and mediators, it will increase the quality of decision-making, decrease costs, maximise efficiency and earn the endorsement of art market professionals. Up til now, the market has negotiated an uneasy relationship with judges and juries entrusted with the outcome of complex art law cases.

Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?

Coming soon, the CAfA plans to publish its new Arbitration Rules comprised of the NAI Arbitration Rules and the AiA/NAI Court of Arbitration for Art Adjunct Arbitration Rules on the NAI and AiA websites. We will be watching closely.

One thought on “Calling all art lawyers

  1. Juan Javier Negri says:

    Thank you very much for the good news. I am a lawyer in private practice in Argentina, heavily involved in art-related matters, member of the National Arts Fund (a publicly owned financial institution that finances artists and art projects) and a registered mediator and arbitrator with the Argentine Chamber of Commerce Mediation and Arbitration Center. In 2016 I won the Uria Meruendano Art Law Award granted by the Fundación Uria (Madrid). Please let me know where the application for arbitrator and mediator should be sent.


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