A case involving New York art financier Asher Edelman, whom the firm is defending in a lawsuit brought by art dealer Anatole Shagalov, was covered in the March issue of The Art Newspaper, the journal of record for the visual arts world.
The story, "Murky side of buying art with loans exposed," reported that Shagalov is embroiled in several legal cases in New York that focus on the issue of buyers defaulting on art purchases. Shagalov and his company, Nature Morte, are being sued by Sotheby's and Phillips auction houses for defaulting on the purchases of two paintings, each worth more than $6 million.
Another lawsuit involves Edelman, the inspiration for fictional corporate raider Gordon Gekko, an iconic character played by Michael Douglas in the popular 1987 Oliver Stone film "Wall Street." Edelman's company, Artemus, operates a model in which it buys an art work for about half of its retail value and leases it back to the owner.
Shagalov sued Edelman after Edelman sold some of the works he purchased from Shagalov to recoup unpaid lease fees. Shagalov, challenging the basis of the parties' sale/leaseback arrangement, claims that Edelman did not have a right to sell the works because they were collateral for a loan. Edelman then filed counterclaims, noting that he agreed to sell the works only after he discovered that Shagalov had sold him a Frank Stella painting that Shagalov did not fully own.
Dan Weiner leads the team representing Edelman, which includes Webster McBride, Katherine Haydock, Mel Pudig, Richard Bosch and Natalie McCrea.