At Mondex, we advocate successfully for our clients when we achieve a restitution agreement. In some cases, restitution occurs once we communicate with the possessor of a misappropriated artifact, a possessor who may be unaware that the artifact was stolen. Alternatively, we identify fair and practical solutions through negotiation, mediation and arbitration, or the filing of a legal claim; the latter being a last resort. These approaches require meticulous research, which is conducted by our research and legal team. And, since each strategy we develop is bespoke, each requires us to be scientific in our analysis of the challenges we face, and creative in our means of overcoming them. In so doing, we have also developed relationships over the years with professors of law who have particular expertise in important, related fields, as well as with professors and notable scholars of Jewish studies, finance, political science and government relations.
To help address any questions or challenges of a legal nature, our in-house legal counsels conduct legal research and to enhance the chances of a successful restitution claim, they work closely with our international legal counsels to develop the best international legal strategy available. Throughout, they also collaborate with our historians and provenance researchers to obtain and organize various exhibits required to prove our clients’ entitlement to despoiled art and other property.
By working closely together, our research and legal teams bring extensive experience in their respective fields, as well as in fine art, and deliver unparalleled service and value to our clients.
Filing a legal claim is a last resort, but it can be a necessary step in a successful restitution. Most thefts or forced sales involved victims, perpetrators possessors and events, which took place in different countries, and at different periods, all of which add to the complexity of our work.
With every increase in the complexity of legal challenges comes a corresponding increase in opportunity—our ability to identify opportunities at Mondex is critical to our success.
Mondex engages in mediation and negotiation involving artworks it has located only after preparing in advance the evidence necessary to make a compelling and successful claim. In these cases, we contact the possessor and begin negotiations to recover the identified work of art. If appropriate, and working on behalf of our clients, we then begin a process of formal mediation with the possessor.
In many instances, an art collection was looted from one country and then transported to a second country, all before winding up in the hands of private individuals or organizations in numerous other countries. The laws and circumstances of each of these countries may therefore be relevant. Should litigation occur, each set of laws and circumstances presents a challenge that needs to be managed. With its global reach and collaborative mandate, the legal team at Mondex has distinguished itself as uniquely able to overcome these challenges, obtaining justice for families, as well as closure.