Photo of Hilary McDonnell

Hilary McDonnell is an associate in Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s litigation department. Hilary has provided counsel on art law and copyright matters, and also has experience in complex commercial litigation, and anti-corruption and internal investigations.

As previously reported on this blog, non-fungible tokens (or “NFTs”) recently emerged as one of the hottest new items on the art market—artists, auction houses, museums, sports organizations and others have jumped at the chance to create and sell their own versions of these unique tokens.  But even as
Continue Reading NFT Update:  5 Recent Lawsuits Show a Glimpse into Future Legal Battles Involving NFTs 

On June 8, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in Beierwaltes v. Federal Office of Culture of the Swiss Confederation that the temporary seizure in Geneva of antiquities belonging to Colorado-based art collectors conducted by Swiss authorities, as part of a Swiss police investigation,
Continue Reading Swiss Miss: The Second Circuit Rejects Application of Expropriation Exception to Seizure of Antiquities by Swiss Law Enforcement Officers

On February 3, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Germany in a dispute over whether American courts may preside over a lawsuit brought by the heirs of German Jewish art dealers who alleged that the Nazi regime coerced the 1935 sale of certain artworks.

Background

As
Continue Reading The U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds in Favor of Germany and Against Heirs of German Jewish Art Dealers in Case Involving Nazi-Era Sale of Guelph Treasure

After nationwide government shutdown orders forced museums, galleries, theaters and other performance venues—as well as restaurants and other places of public accommodation—to close their doors, many organizations turned to business interruption insurance policies to try to recover some of their devastating financial losses.  As previously covered on this blog in
Continue Reading Art Institutions Will Not Find Financial Relief Under Business Interruption Insurance Policies In U.S. Courts—Where Will They Find It?

Just as Marcel Duchamp shocked the art world in 1917 with his absurdist creation of Fountain—a “readymade” sculpture consisting solely of an upside-down urinal with a signature on it—creators of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) are now pushing the boundaries of the conventional art world by creating works that exist only
Continue Reading The Unknown Legal Future of the Art Market’s New Favorite Medium: Non-Fungible Tokens (“NFTs”)

On December 15, 2020, Judge Lorna Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a Manhattan art gallery’s claims for insurance coverage for losses suffered as a result of the gallery’s suspension of business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]  The decision—one of
Continue Reading UPDATE: Southern District of New York Dismisses Art Gallery’s Insurance Claims for COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

For nearly 80 years, Berlin’s Kunstgewerbemuseum, or the Museum of Decorative Arts (formerly the Schlossmuseum), has displayed a collection of medieval religious artwork known as the “Guelph Treasure.”[1]  The museum describes the art, estimated to be worth over $250 million, as “the highlight, the center, the heart of
Continue Reading An Uncertain Fate for the Guelph Treasure

Art institutions across the globe have been particularly hard-hit by governmental shutdowns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the United States, not only have shutdowns deprived numerous for-profit and not-for-profit art institutions of their primary source of revenue, but in many cases these institutions’ classification as “non-essential” have
Continue Reading Pardon the Interruption: Potential Paths Forward for Art Institutions Seeking COVID-Related “Business Interruption” Insurance Coverage