On February 26, BASF’s Art Law section, along with the Criminal Justice section, hosted its first panel. The evening was sponsored by Ropes & Gray.
Attendees engaged with a panel of skilled attorneys on U.S. sanctions and new anti-money laundering legislation and what it means for the art market. The panelists included Georges Lederman, Withersworldwide; Brendan Hanifin, Ropes & Gray; and Patricia Pernes, Bonhams. The panel was moderated by Christopher Kaltsas, Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.
Mr. Lederman began the panel with a discussion on past events in the art market that led to the proposal of the new legislation, providing some insight as to why and how the art industry is an attractive marketplace for money laundering. He then provided some background and history on anti-money laundering sanctions and related legislation.
Mr. Hanifin continued the evening by highlighting some current issues facing members of the art community in light of the recent developments. One such occurrence was this past December when the Office of Foreign Assets Control placed sanctions on a Lebanese art collector who was said to have laundered money for Hezbollah, a political movement based in Lebanon that is considered a terrorist group by the United States.
The CLE program ended with some practical guidance provided by Ms. Pernes on the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new legislation, as well as to protect against potential violations.
Following the panel, there was a lively Q&A and reception where the audience had the opportunity to speak directly with the panelists for further insight and opinions.
The Art Law section explores and discusses legal issues and developments related to fine arts and antiquities. The section draws on the perspectives of lawyers focused on or interested in the arts, as well as collectors, artists, galleries, museums, auction houses, art advisors and appraisers in understanding and analyzing art-related legal issues. The section also offers members informal networking opportunities, law practice support, and mentorship. Please consider joining the Art Law section for similar networking opportunities and events.
About the Author:
Justine Levy is a 3L at the University of San Francisco School of Law and will graduate in May 2020. She will also earn a certificate in Intellectual Property and Technology Law.