Sarah Barker

Partner | London

Sarah is a partner in the art law team.

Sarah is deeply immersed in the art and luxury goods industries, working with artists, galleries, collectors, agents, and other industry players, as well as luxury brands.

Sarah advises on various aspects of the complex relationships in the sector. She also advises on art transactions, including the sale and purchase, consignment, and loan of artworks.

Additionally, Sarah acts for entrepreneurs more broadly, and a range of corporates from SMEs to PLCs.

Sarah is a regular contributor to Apollo – the International Art Magazine, and she has lectured at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She is a frequent panel speaker, and her views on art law and business matters have been sought by think tanks and various publications including the Financial Times and Bloomberg Law.

She is a member of Professional Advisors to the International Art Market, the Association of Women in the Arts and the Institute of Art & Law.

Track record




Negotiating a settlement agreement in relation to a title dispute over an important artwork on behalf of an artist.

Renegotiating the terms of a well-known artist’s relationship with their agent-dealer.

Advising on the deal structuring and the transaction documents for a fintech business related to fine art.

England & Wales 2001

‘The Art Basel & UBS Global Art Market Report 2022’, co-contributor

Regular contributor to “Apollo – the International Art Magazine.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Arts Club

Art Campus Conference

Me in a minute

I’ve always enjoyed getting to know people, and the human element plays a big part in taking instructions and understanding objectives.

I feel very lucky to be able to spend my days at the intersection of law, business and the creative industries. My practice is the result of a career as a City corporate lawyer, an art dealer and an entrepreneur who built a boutique law firm specialising in the arts. When I started selling my own artworks in the playground at the age of six (using a written receipt), I suppose the early signs were there.

I love the challenge of my specialist area. The diverse nature of the art sector – with all its historically embedded customs but also rapid innovation – means that the potential legal issues are multifarious and complex.

I’ve always enjoyed getting to know people, and the human element plays a big part in taking instructions and understanding objectives. The need to understand the emotions and drivers of discord or choices is particularly critical to advising in this sector. Good commercial common sense, administered with a sound understanding of industry practises, also needs to be applied liberally.

Where there is a dispute, I am proud of my record in achieving the results my clients desire without the need for them to go through the risk, stress and expense of going to court. Where there is business and innovation, I am proud of the additional value I can bring to my clients’ businesses.



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