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Fionnuala is a consultant lawyer in the art and cultural property group with 7 years’ experience exclusively working in international Art and Cultural Property Law, with a particular interest in cultural property and extensive experience in the Middle East where she regularly works.
Fionnuala advises on all aspects of art law including cultural property and the repatriation, seizure and export of antiquities; worldwide touring exhibitions, art and technology, auction guarantees, cross border transactions, art funds and alternative investments.
Fionnuala is regularly consulted on policy, legislation and international reports in relation to cultural property and the art world, most notably: the UK Government’s Ivory Act 2018, the 2019 DCMS consultation on measures to strengthen the retention of National Treasures, the UN Special Rapporteur’s report to the UN Assembly regarding destruction of cultural property during conflict; the UN Abu Dhabi Declaration regarding safeguarding of cultural property; the Council of Europe Convention on the Deliberate Destruction and Illegal Trafficking of Cultural Property (Nicosia Convention), the EU Cultural Property Import Regulations. Fionnuala has also been invited to present on upcoming legislation at the European Parliament and represented the UK at the EU and UNESCO summit Fighting Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property in November 2018.
Prior to joining Constantine Cannon, Fionnuala co-founded the Pinsent Masons International Art Group in 2012 where she continues to advise their middle eastern clients as a consultant.
Fionnuala received a first class honours degree in Philosophy and Social Anthropology from Queen’s University Belfast and has a first class honours in Law from the University of Law. Fionnuala qualified in England and Wales in 2012.
Fionnuala regularly publishes articles on www.artatlaw.com.
Rupert Wace Ancient Art v Republic of Iran: Fionnuala was the lead Associate on the high-profile Cultural Property dispute concerning the Persepolis Relief which was publicly seized at the TEFAF art fair in October 2017 having been on public display for more than 50 years. This case involved four jurisdictions and has set a precedent for cultural property seizures in New York.
Fionnuala is the lead art law associate advising a group of collectors and dealers on the legal challenge to the UK Government’s Ivory Ban.
Fionnuala has advised on numerous worldwide exhibitions (including international touring exhibitions) with more than 25 world renowned museums around including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Musée Quai Branly, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Hermitage St Petersburg, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Kunsthistorisches Vienna, Palace Museum Beijing, the British Museum and the V&A London. Fionnuala recently advised on a high-profile loan of an artwork valued at over £150m.
Fionnuala has been consistently ranked as a leader in her field since 2015 in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. In those rankings, Fionnuala is described as “meticulous and detailed…. having an absolutely huge amount of in-depth knowledge… a first port of call for advice on cultural heritage issues…. And having a very, very good knowledge of the law and the market”. Clients describe Fionnuala as being “knowledgeable and passionate about art, and this shines through in the quality of the advice that she gives.”