NEW YORK, NY.- Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP announced that Jo Backer Laird has become Of Counsel to the firm effective today. Ms. Laird brings over 25 years of experience to the firm, including 10 years as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Christie’s Inc., one of the world’s leading auction houses, where she was responsible for all legal issues relating to the company’s business in North and South America. She will concentrate her practice on all aspects of art law, working with clients including museums and cultural institutions; private collectors; galleries, dealers and advisors; financial institutions; artists; and arts organizations and foundations.
Prior to joining Christie’s, Ms. Laird spent 10 years at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, where she was involved in both advisory and litigation work, including employment-related, securities and commercial matters. She began her career at Davis Polk & Wardwell where she spent seven years in its litigation group. Ms. Laird received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. She received her M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and her A.B. from Princeton University.
Ms. Laird joins the firm’s highly respected Art and Museum Law Practice Team, led by partners Hugh Freund and John Sare. The Team provides specialized advice to clients that include major museums, artists, dealers and collectors at all levels. Areas in which the Team practices include exempt organizations, commercial transactions, governance, intellectual property, litigation (including resolving authenticity and ownership disputes), trusts and estates, and tax. This comprehensive approach has given firm attorneys a unique perspective on the legal and business issues that regularly arise in the art world, whether in the for-profit or not-for-profit sectors.