Background - News & Events (Landing) 2016

Search NewsRoom

Advanced Search >

Firm News & Announcements

Crowell & Moring Participates in Initiative to Combat Art Industry Fraud

Washington, D.C. – October 15, 2015: Crowell & Moring LLP is proud to collaborate with firm client and global art industry insurer ARIS Title Insurance Corporation in support of the i2M Standards, an initiative that revolutionizes the global arts and collectibles industry by developing identification and authenticity standards as well as independent technologies to protect the legitimate ownership of artwork worldwide. As part of this relationship, Crowell & Moring is counseling ARIS in several practice areas, including anti-money laundering, sanctions compliance, data privacy, government affairs, government contracts, insurance/reinsurance, intellectual property, regulatory, and white collar defense.

Launched this week by the University at Albany, State University of New York and the University at Albany Foundation, the i2M Standards is a core infrastructure of standards to support the object-marking technologies, high security informatics and data management approaches required to solve the problem of faked and forged art. The first i2M-standards-compliant system permanently embeds a unique form of bio-engineered DNA into the surface of art objects through a specially-created label which attaches to the object. Crowell & Moring is one of the first law firms to pilot this technology and the marking initially will be applied to a group of artwork in the firm's U.S. offices.

"In the art industry today there is no universal standard that governs how a work should be identified, no solution that can authenticate a previously unidentified work with any degree of certainty and no mechanism to prevent the reintroduction of faked and forged objects back into the market. Authenticity in art and the challenges it creates can only be effectively addressed through standardized technology alongside the mitigation of legal title risk which can only be effectively addressed through insurance," commented Lawrence M. Shindell, chairman of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation. "The i2M Standards represent an international, cross-industry solution designed for and by different art industry stakeholders to solve art's great challenges caused by fakery and fraud. We are pleased to have Crowell & Moring, a leading firm in government and regulatory spaces, join this systemic effort to restore confidence in the art industry."

The initiative follows a two-year global collaboration among artists, academics, scientists, and curatorial institutions across the world, led from the University at Albany's Center of Innovation (now renamed the Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards, and sponsored by ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, a member of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.). In addition to its applications in the art world, developers expect that the scientific and legal standards-based solutions from this initiative can also help to solve the problems of hacking and the unlawful use and distribution of works in both the music and film industries, among others.

The Crowell & Moring team on this initiative includes partners Cari Stinebower (Washington, D.C.), Scott Winkelman (Washington, D.C.), Flip Petillion (Brussels), and Lora Moffat (New York); counsel Michael Gill (Washington, D.C.); visiting international scholar, Mariana Pendás Fernández (Washington, D.C.); and associates David (Dj) Wolff (Washington, D.C.), Jan Janssen (Brussels), and Diégo Noesen (Brussels).

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Anchorage, London, and Brussels.


An Pham
Senior Communications Manager