Roland Foord studied law at Kings College London and has practised as a lawyer at Stephenson Harwood in the City of London throughout his career. He joined Stephenson Harwood in 1983 and became a partner in 1989.
As well as being the firm’s senior partner and a full time commercial disputes expert, Roland has deep experience in the fine art field where he has been advising for over 30 years. He has accumulated significant experience in that time, acting for major auction houses as well as a whole range of other clients in the sector such as dealers, brokers, collectors, artists and institutions. He acts for major players in the art world on some of the most high profile art law disputes with his cases often appearing in the press and he is as apt at managing the PR aspects of his cases as he is handling the underlying legal issues.
His experience is very broad as well as having a notable international dimension and includes regularly advising on matters ranging from the sale and purchase of fine art (most recently acting in relation to the sale of a painting attributed to Frans Hals which is now alleged to be a forgery), advising on the standard terms of business of major market players to export, looted art and related issues. He has extensive experience in auction law and advises leading auction houses on a range of matters, from the enforceability of their conditions of sale to bidding disputes and claims under warranties of authenticity. Roland is presently the relationship partner at Stephenson Harwood for international auction house Christie’s, a long-standing client of the firm’s London and Hong Kong offices.
Roland is a member of the Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee of the IBA and recognised by Chambers for his “very detailed knowledge of the art industry”. He also often speaks and writes on various legal issues affecting the global art community including a recent piece on ‘Relief for art experts as French court finds author of catalogue raisonée not liable for opinion expressed outside of a transaction.’ Many of these pieces form the basis of Roland and his team’s popular quarterly art newsletter which is enjoyed by a base of international followers.