On 29 March 2017, the UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to initiate the Brexit process. The 26 June of the same year also saw the introduction of the Trust Register to maintain information about a taxable relevant trust, its assets, its beneficiaries and all individuals with control over the trust.  Somewhat over a year on, we look at how these two developments have played out: in the case of Brexit, with regard to arts and cultural sector and their future prospects and, in the case of the Trust Register, what has happened to the huge effort required by professional advisers to supply the required to supply information within the required time frame. Alan Eccles of Brodies surveys the impact of Brexit, and Laura Dadswell of Penningtons Manches, looks at the impact of the Trust Register.

Both areas could be said to share a degree of unpreparedness, uncertainty and confusion, although, perhaps in the case of Brexit we have come to accept a certain neuralgic inevitability, while trying hard to avoid parallels with Book 6 of Plato’s Republic.  Less comprehensible is the position of the Trust Register where a year on, it is still not possible for lead trustees or their agents to review or amend their registered information or to declare that no changes have been made, and that at a time when HMRC moves to implement MLD5 which expands the obligation to register express trusts, regardless of their tax status.  

Both areas also are of interest from the point of view of valuation.  The movement of cultural  objects, for example, raise significant issues of import duties and VAT and where accurate values will be of critical importance. In the case of the Trust Register it would be interesting to know whether the quality of information ofchattels valuations, where Trustees are invited  to “self assess” the value of what they hold in trust, is fit for purpose, bearing in mind that while some trustees may have expert knowledge of some of the items of works of art for which they are responsible, the skill of valuation is an altogether different matter.

The matters covered by our main articles seem pregnant with time bombs waiting to go off.  These urgently need defusing.  Let us hope that Mr Banksy’s recent time bomb planted in his ‘Girl with Balloon’ (afterwards ‘Love is in the bin’) was intended neither as a comment on nor a metaphor for the times in which we live, but rather, as has been suggested, as a matter of demonstrating control!


A. Eccles“Art knows no boundaries”?
The impact of Brexit on the arts and culture sector
By Alan Eccles, Brodies LLP

As the deadline for the implementation of Brexit draws ever closer, Alan Eccles of Brodies’ Arts & Culture team looks at some of the potential impacts of Brexit on art and the creative industries. Read more ⇒



Laura DadswellOrganised Chaos | The Trust Register, One Year On 
By Laura Dadswell, Penningtons Manches LLP

A year on after its introduction, Laura Dadswell of Penningtons Manches LLP looks at the impact the Trust Register has had in practice and examines the intended expansion of the Register and the consequential erosion of financial privacy. Read more ⇒



Is it art ? - Art by AIIs it a Picture?

The first picture created using artificial intelligence has just sold at auction for $432,500 on estimate of $10,000 estimate. But is it a picture? Read more ⇒



The Global Chinese Art Auction ReportChinese Art Auction Market Report

The Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report by artnet and the China Association of Auctioneers (CAA) offers an in-depth look at the 2017 market for Chinese art and antiques in 2017.  Read more ⇒



Art Business Conference 2018Art Business Conference 2018

We attended the Conference on 04 September. Key topics were The Valuation of Contemporary Art: Provenance and Blockchain; the 5th AMLD; Why Brown is the New Black; The entrepreneurial Museum; Arbitrate, mediate or litigate?; The evolving art fair. Read more ⇒



IHT Advice Set to Rise

HMRC has reported a record £5.19 billion delivered by Inheritance Tax for the year 2107-18. This represents an 8 per cent, or £388 million increase on 2016-17. Treasury figures show they are expected to hit £6.5bn in 2022. Read more ⇒



Worked Ivory Update Dürer | Rhinoceros

The Ivory Bill received its reading in the House of Lords at the Report Stage on 24 October.  Meanwhile it has emerged that each key in a piano is counted as a separate item resulting in hugely distorted export figures. Read more ⇒