Massimo Sterpi


+39 06 47 87 51

Gianni & Origoni

Via delle Quattro Fontane, 20
00184 Roma


Massimo Sterpi is partner, co-chair of the IP department and head of art law at Gianni & Origoni, one of the leading Italian firms, with over 450 lawyers.

He has substantial experience in both transactions and litigations, including many cases before the Italian Court of Cassation and the European Court of Justice.

A passionate contemporary art collector, since twenty years he has developed a unique and internationally well-known practice in art law, representing world famous artists, institutions and collectors. In this field, he has dealt with a very wide range of matters, including authenticity issues, recovery of stolen or looted works, commissions of artworks, management of artist estates, licensing and merchandising, unauthorized reproductions, sales and exports of artworks, declaration of artworks as national treasures, just to name a few. Over the last few years, he has been very active in advising on the relationship between the latest disruptive technologies (AI, blockchain, smart contracts) and art creation, distribution and authentication, as well as on the creation and management of investment funds specializing in art.

Massimo graduated in law “maxima cum laude” from the University of Turin in 1989 and obtained a postgraduate diploma in UK and EC Law of Copyright and Related Rights from King’s College, London, in 2000. He has been a visiting lawyer at leading international law firms in London and Munich.

In 2011 he was voted “Italian Lawyer of the Year for IP” by the leading publication Top Legal. He has edited or contributed to a number of publications on IP and art law topics, including The Art Collecting Legal Handbook, 3rd edition, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023 (editor of the book and contributor of the Italian chapter).  He is a frequent speaker in national and international conferences.

Massimo is included in WIPO’s IP Arbitration and Mediation Center’s List of Neutrals, as well as in WIPO’s List of Art and Cultural Heritage Neutrals. He is a former chair of the IBA’s Committee on Art, Heritage Law and Cultural Institutions and is the current President of the UIA‘s (Union Internationale des Avocats) Art Law Committee.

He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and sits on the Board of Directors of both Fondazione Prada’s Board of Directors and the US Friends of MAXXI Foundation.

He speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese.