Sports Arbitration: Update on the Wilhelmshaven Case

SV WilhelmshavenIn February 2015, I wrote about the Wilhelmshaven case: The Bremen Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) had found in favour of SV Wilhelmshaven, a northern German amateur football club, in its dispute with FIFA and the German Football Association, DFB. I looked at the case primarily from an arbitration perspective – I viewed it as a variation of the theme in the Pechstein case: Yet another matter where the state courts criticize the system of, or rather, the design of sports arbitration. In his blog, Jan F. Orth has published a preview of a forthcoming case* note that defends sports arbitration as we know it, and predicts that the Bremen judgment will not stand the scrutiny of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). Continue reading

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Current Issues in International Art Law, ABA Europe Forum, Berlin, March 27, 2015

ABA LogoOn March 27, 2015, I have the privilege to moderate a panel on current issues in international art law. Here is from the conference programme:

“The art world used to be relatively small: The main players – i.e., collectors, art dealers and auction houses – knew and trusted each other and often closed deals with a handshake. That has certainly changed in the last 20 or 30 years, and now, art is everywhere and seemingly for everybody. While this development is generally welcome, it also leads to serious risks. Recent art scandals show that there is a real potential for legal problems and significant losses – both financial and reputational. Whether you acquire art worth millions of dollars for a world class collection, or you simply want to buy a painting for your home or office, you need to know the basics of art law. The panel of experienced international art lawyers will discuss a number of recent art law cases, explain the legal principles implicated in those cases and give tips on how to avoid (or at least minimize) problems.” Continue reading

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Art Law: Limbach Commission Advises against Restitution of Adolf von Menzel’s “Pariser Wochentag”

On February 3, 2015, the Advisory Commission on the Return of Cultural Property (Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogener Kulturgüter) or Limbach Commission for short, published its recommendation regarding a claim for restitution of the Behrens family. The Behrens family requested that a painting by Adolph von Menzel, “Pariser Wochentag”, which is now owned by the Düsseldorf Museum Kunstpalast, should be returned to them. The Limbach Commission finds that the sale of the painting in 1935 to the Düsseldorf municipal museum (Städtische Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf) for 33,000 Reichsmark was not a forced sale or a sale at an undervalue which resulted from Nazi persecution of the Behrens family. Continue reading

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Art Law: Federal Administrative Court Rules on Deletion of Entries in the Lost Art Database

In May 2014, I had reported the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal (Oberverwaltungsgericht) Magdeburg in a dispute about the deletion of a painting in the Lost Art database, once the painting had been found. The Administrative Court of Appeal at the time had held that, once a painting has been found, it must be deleted from the Lost Art database, as otherwise, the continued registration of the artwork would “taint” it and make it unmarketable. In a judgment issued on February 19, 2015, this decision has now been overruled by the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht). Continue reading

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