Partner fulfils auction addiction at Sotheby's

JAMES Jowitt has ended nearly 30 years' service at Frere Cholmeley Bischoff to become the tax and heritage adviser at Sotheby's.

The former company commercial and private client partner moved in-house at the beginning of the month to become head of tax and heritage at the well-known auction house. His role is to advise Sotheby's clients and lawyers on the tax and legal problems of buying and selling works of art.

He will also be advising the Government on heritage issues which include sales to the nation, tax exemption claims and export licences.

Jowitt articled at Bischoff & Co, qualified in 1968 and made partner in 1971.

Tax and estate planning and heritage property were among his specialist fields and brought him into contact with Sotheby's, which offered him the job.

“I see myself as having a specialist input into taxation issues in general, exemption claims, sales to the nation, export licences, and insurance,” he says. “I am also something of an auction groupie. I am addicted to the excitement of the salesroom and enjoy collecting English porcelain, among other things.”

Announcing his appointment, Sotheby's chair Henry Wyndham described Jowitt as “one of the best known and most experienced trusts and estates lawyers in London”.

Jowitt replaces Timothy Sammons who has set up as an independent art agent.