Fairlight Art Ventures LLP –v- Sotheby’s (Claimant) & others
10th – 11th November 2020
By Appellants Notice filed on 29 January 2020, within the extended period set by the lower court, the Second Defendant/Part 20 Claimant (Fairlight) seeks to appeal the order of Robin Knowles J dated 11 December 2019, sitting in the Commercial Court.
Claim relates to a Painting titled “Portrait of a Gentleman” possibly the work of Frans Hals. All the parties are involved in the fine art world. The Painting was purchased in 2010 by the First and Second Defendants (Mark Weiss Limited and Fairlight). The Claimant (Sotheby’s) were involved in the sale of the Painting in 2011. The sale contract (in the sum of US $10,750.000) was subject to provisions allowing rescission of the sale and return of the purchase price and painting. The purchaser exercised or purportedly exercised these provisions in 2016 following expert opinions on the Painting’s authenticity. Sotheby’s returned the purchase price. Sotheby’s and Fairlight disagree on the question of whether Fairlight is obliged to reimburse Sotheby’s for half of the returned purchase price. Mark Weiss Limited and its owner (the Third Defendant) also disputed this but have since reached a compromise with Sotheby’s.