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Jessica Franses

Jessica Franses is a commercial lawyer who spends most of her art law practice advising and facilitating in high-value art sales transactions.

Jessica in particular, deals with private collections in the UK and internationally and has helped facilitate multi-million dollar deals involving substantial art collections and also major museum acquisitions.

She advises and assists art collectors, museums, art galleries, dealers, agents, collectors, art buyers, art sellers, international lawyers, professional advisers and artists, photographers, designers and filmmakers.


Jessica Franses-1

From handling possibly one of the most complex discovery pieces in modern times that was being offered to major museums, to presenting a substantial antiquities collection worth in excess of 500 million dollars to a museum, to being led in one of the few high profile art law cases involving an alleged fake Old master painting that came to trial, Jessica has since 2010 developed an expertise in the field of art law through her experience and involvement in substantial art law matters that have crossed all aspects of this specialist area.

In 2018 Jessica was led by Richard Wilson KC in the case of Sotheby’s v Weiss Ltd and Fairlight Art Ventures LLP that concerned a private treaty sale through Sotheby’s to a US billionaire collector of a Dutch Master painting by Frans Hals for $10.75 million dollars that was subsequently alleged to be a forged painting. The case turned on the private treaty contractual terms and the generally accepted view of experts and scholars on the authenticity and attribution of the artwork at the time of the sale.

Since 2020, most of the time Jessica is involved in handling high value art transactions, usually acting as an art broker through her own Fine Art Brokerage business. Jessica also comes from a fourth generation art dealing family. However when she is not an art broker and is hired by her clients to act as an art lawyer she helps clients on all aspects of a deal from pre-acquisition due diligence reports, to managing each step of a deal, to drafting contracts, to negotiation and to helping a client see a deal through to a successful conclusion.

High value art deals require a knowledge and sensitivity to all the complexities involved from potential title claims, cultural heritage claims or applicable National Treasure laws, provenance, authenticity and attribution, disputed expert opinion, condition and value.

Jessica has expertise in dealing with discovery pieces, that often involve disputed opinion on authenticity and attribution and can involve fakes and forgeries. Such is her unique experience in the complexities of this field in particular, the arena of disputed attribution on major artworks, she set up the Art Due Diligence Group in 2017 to help the art market with all issues that concern due diligence on high value art prior to sale ( in order to help avoid potential litigation risk) but also to deal with the problems that may arise after a sale that may lead to mediation or litigation.

Jessica frequently advises clients on pre-acquisition risk issues, she has advised collectors on further due diligence investigations and has also red flagged several deals on the basis of the artworks failing to meet due diligence steps.

Her specialist team were involved in the high profile recovery case against socialite art dealer Angela Gulbenkian who participated in a fraud, denuding a buyer of a Kusama sculpture worth in excess of 1 million dollars.

Jessica's Experience

 Called in 2000


Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Art Law

Jessica's work involves:

  • All specialist art law contract drafting (from sales contracts, agent agreements, artist–agent agreements to exhibition loan agreements);
  • Advising, negotiating and facilitating all stages of art transactions;
  • Advice on all aspects of due diligence from title, provenance, authenticity and attribution, condition and value
  • Litigation advice.

As a sector-based lawyer, Jessica has had wide exposure and experience with the main issues that arise in art sales: from problems with provenance and due diligence, problems at auction, title issues, cultural heritage issues, restitution issues, national treasure laws, export and import licence issues, negligence, misrepresentation or negligent misstatement by experts, dealers and auctioneers, fraud and fakes, wills, trusts and tax issues.

On the Contemporary Art side, she reviews and drafts artist–agent agreements, artist commission agreements, exhibition loan agreements, assists artists and galleries with IP & copyright issues, Artist Resale Rights, publishing and licensing agreements for artwork prints, reproductions and showcasing art on websites. She also advises on issues concerning the specifications of the artworks, such as longevity and durability of the art and also issues concerning insurance claims for loaned or transported artworks that may be lost or damaged in transit, storage or through display in inappropriate climatic conditions.

She has an external expert team that she works with bringing in relevant experts or professional advisers, such as tax law specialists, accountants, valuers, appraisers, art dealers, art historians, forensic scientists and shippers to 

Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Jessica Franses, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:



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