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Withers has hired the former co-head of legal at Sotheby's to launch a new service for public and private art collectors
Pierre Valentin was at Sotheby's until February 2000, two months before it emerged that the European Commission had brought an anti-competition case against the UK auction house, and its US counterpart Christie's, for price-fixing.
Valentin told The Lawyer that he did not do any legal work on the case, which attracted the attention of the authorities in the US the month he left, but was heavily involved in the launch of Sothebys.com.
Valentin co-headed the Sotheby's legal department with Tom Christopherson, who still works at the auction house.
After Sotheby's, Valentin moved to internet service provider Yahoo!, and from there was general counsel at technology company Vox Communication.
At Withers, he will work closely with litigation head Jeremy Scott. His practice involves giving advice on the legal aspects of the acquisition, maintenance, protection and devolution of cultural assets and intellectual property rights in visual and decorative arts.