If my gallery is based abroad who will decide in case of a dispute?
In the case of two parties located in different countries – say the artist in England and a gallery in the USA – a vital term and condition to include in contracts is: which law/courts of which country the parties agree will be used if there is a legal dispute between them in future. This facet of a business contract is usually called the choice of governing law.
Given that there is always a risk of not being paid (properly or at all) and/or the physical work not being sold or being lost/stolen/damaged, artists should consider whether it would be sensible to choose the law/courts of the country where the gallery is based – because the gallery’s assets, including the consigned works, will be located there. Such a choice has the disadvantage of requiring an artist based in England to pay lawyers in a different country to make their claim there. On the other hand, if English law/courts were chosen, a claim would first have to be made in England and, if it succeeded, then make a further claim/application to that English court to transfer the judgement/award to the USA courts for enforcement against the gallery, whose assets were located there.