Weil Gotshal takes starring role in Trafalgar Square public art project

Weil Gotshal & Manges has advised the artist Antony Gormley on the groundbreaking Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square.

The live installation, which will allow 2,400 members of the public to have their hour of fame on the vacant fourth plinth over a period of 100 days, kicks off today.

Private equity partner Marco Compagnoni and associate James Harvey advised long-standing client Gormley on all contractual aspects of the project.

This involved liaising with government bodies including Westminster Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) as well as the charity Artichoke, the event producer.

“You’re used to dealing with the business world, then you deal with the government or quangos or the arty world and they all work in different ways,” said Compagnoni.

Health and safety issues figured prominently in the preparations and participants, who are selected at random, are permitted to do whatever they want on the plinth provided it is legal. But as the column is 8m high the live artist must not be scared of heights.

Compagnoni said he thought that the project was part of a growing interest in public art in the UK.

“The concept of public art has taken hold up and down the country – it’s become part of the Archers, for example – and part of the public consciousness in a way it has never been before,” he said.