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Leading auction house Christie’s has overhauled its panel of legal advisers to focus on working with a smaller group of firms across a number of jurisdictions.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and DLA Piper have been appointed as lead global counsel following an invitation to tender sent out to firms late last year.

The company did not previously operate an official panel, instead using a large number of advisers around the world as and when the need arose. The review has rationalised that list of firms in an effort to improve efficiency and cut costs.

Christie’s has in addition set up a specialist art law panel headed up by City firm Stephenson Harwood, alongside Andrews Kurth in North America. Other law firms in France, Switzerland, Italy, Dubai, Russia, Holland, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong have all been invited to sit on the panel.

Christie’s global general counsel and company secretary Nick Deeming has also asked the auction house’s advisers to consider fixed cost arrangements as an alternative to hourly billing.

Deeming commented: “Our new art law panel will provide us with global access to consistent art law advice and more importantly best practice through the sharing of information and ideas under the guiding influence of Stephenson Harwood, ensuring that we continue to operate as best in class in the art market.”

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