Interview with IAL Alumnus Rudy Capildeo, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys

Posted on: August 13, 2019 by

Rudy Capildeo, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, participated in our Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics. Read about his first large transaction with a $20m Old Master picture and experience studying on the Diploma course at the Institute of Art and Law.

Rudy Capildeo, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys

Rudy Capildeo, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys

Can you tell us a little bit about your career and background?

I trained at Goodman Derrick LLP and it was at this firm that I first became exposed to art law. My first large transaction as a trainee concerned the purchase and sale of an Old Master picture worth c.$20m. There were issues of title, restitution and import/export laws of different jurisdictions not to mention the cut and thrust of the contractual negotiations. I was hooked. I sought out as many other art and classic car cases (the firm also had a classic car practice!) as possible. I qualified as a corporate/commercial lawyer and have continued to build an art and luxury asset practice. I am now at Charles Russell Speechlys where I head up their international art law practice with my colleague Tim Maxwell.

What aspects of studying with the Institute of Art and Law did you enjoy most?

As is often repeated, there is no such thing as art law but, like sports law, there is sector specific knowledge that helps enormously when cutting through the various legal issues that arise. Studying at the Institute of Art and Law brought together the various legal strands of art law (e.g. copyright, bailment, choses in action) with fascinating case law examples peculiar and particular to the market. It helped build a foundation of material that proved very valuable and which would have been very difficult and time consuming to have collated oneself. I count myself incredibly fortunate that I was taught by Norman Palmer QC who emitted such a passion for and knowledge of the subject.

How has the IAL course enhanced your career?

The IAL gave me a bedrock of learning material that I still rely upon today and instilled my passion for the subject. It is also an excellent forum to meet other like-minded students from a variety of backgrounds. I still bump into my fellow alumni from time to time at art fairs and other IAL events and it is always great to catch up.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying with the IAL?

I would thoroughly encourage them to do so. It is pre-eminent in its focus on the detail of relevant cases and is of incredible value to anyone participating in the space – not just lawyers. Museum professionals, insurers, art advisors etc. can all be found on IAL courses and I am yet to find someone who hasn’t found it a thoroughly worthwhile pursuit!

The Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics is offered once a year in London and is open to both lawyers and non-lawyers. Learn more about the structure of the course and how to apply.