Legal documents from Seller for foreign acquisitions

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    • #5094

      Dear colleagues,

      I am working on a new museum project in Hong Kong and we are starting everything from scratch, from the building to all the internal policies and procedures.

      We are also building a collection through acquisitions (both by purchases and donations). Although we acquire a big percentage of the works from the Asia region, any country except from China is considered a foreign country (I come originally from Europe so my perception is slightly different).

      Our Legal department requires that, whenever we deal with a foreign company (gallery or others) we obtain a legal opinion from a lawyer that practices the law of the country where the company is established to confirm that it is good standing, does not have an winding-up petitions, is not banckrupt and that the people signing on behalf of the company/gallery are legally capable of doing so.

      This requirement applies to any acquisition (donations too) regardless of their value or price.

      We are having many problems with Galleries in certain countries, like the US and some European ones, which do not understand why a Business Registration certificate is not enough…. and are reluctant to expend the time (and money) to get their lawyers to issue that particular legal opinion (it means that the lawyer needs to go through all the company paperwork in order to certify what is required.

      We are now trying to do some research and get some opinions from colleagues in other countries to see what public institutions do at this regard. The aim is to have some information to benchmark against so we can discuss on a potential modification of this requirement with our Legal Department.

      I would appreciate enormously if you could share your experiences on the legal requirements that your institutions have when buying from a different country.

      Thank you very much!.


      Veronica Castillo

      Senior Registrar

      M+ museum for visual culture, hong kong





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