Diana Wierbicki, global head of art law, and Anna Farmer, a member of the commercial, intellectual property and technology team at global law firm Withersworldwide, discuss how technology has impacted provenance and authenticating art with representatives from two art technology companies, Steve Cooke of Tagsmart and James Garfinkel of Intaglio Blockchain.
DIANA WIERBICKI leads Withersworldwide's global art practice and is a partner of the private client and tax team. As the head of Withers' global art practice, Diana works with Withers’ attorneys with expertise in various legal areas and located across the US, Europe and Asia to ensure that we have a comprehensive approach to addressing all of Withers clients’ art needs. She works on a wide range of domestic and cross-border art law matters involving antiquities to contemporary collections. Her practice is focused on transactional art law dealing with all aspects of purchases, sales, loans, consignments and charitable giving of works of art, including tax planning and art finance analysis. She reviews millions of dollars in art transactions and assists clients in navigating the web of legal issues that affect art transactions, such as sales tax, income and wealth transfer taxes, money laundering issues, cultural property concerns, contracted private and auction sale issues, tax audits and charitable planning.
STEVE COOKE is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Tagsmart, pioneers of DNA tagging and trusted provenance solutions for the art market. Before Tagsmart, he was involved in the design of electronic tagging systems to combat retail fraud and the development of location-based marketing channels in over 70 cities around the world. In earlier roles, he was the co-creator of the first 'app store' for smartphones, a producer of top-selling video games and a regular digital consultant to entertainment technology companies in the US, UK and Japan. His interest in art crime began when he paid more than he could afford for 'an original Beatrix Potter' watercolour.
ANNA FARMER is a lawyer in Withersworldwide's commercial, intellectual property and technology team. Anna focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP and commercial matters including trademark matters as well as data protection, cyber-squatting, software licensing, copyright, database and design rights, general commercial agreements, and corporate transactional support. Anna is a volunteer for the International Justice Mission UK Charity and the South Westminster Legal Advice Centre, giving free legal advice on a range of issues.
JAMES GARFINKEL co-founder of Intaglio Blockchain LLC, is a seasoned business entrepreneur with 40 years of experience in finance, art and photography. Mr. Garfinkel began his Wall Street career as a derivatives trading desk manager. He went on to successfully build companies based on new technologies, including cofounding internet data pioneer monsterdata.com which he took public in 1999. An expert collector of fine art & historic photographic images since 1978, he has helped build museum and private collections. He has long relationships with top auction houses, dealers and collectors. He holds multiple financial licenses. He began collecting as a child at a local auction house in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and has not stopped.