Ryan Su

Counsel
Head of Art & Cultural Property Law Practice
LLB (Hons.)
LLM (Lond.) in International Dispute Resolution & Economic Law
PhD candidate, Dispute Resolution and Art Law
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore

ryan.su@wmhlaw.com.sg

DID: 6514 6354

Primary Focus

Dispute Resolution, Maritime & Admiralty Law and Art & Cultural Property Law

Ryan heads the Art & Cultural Property Law department, a pioneering practice in Asia. Ryan represents museums, galleries, artists, HNW individuals and art collectors.

He also advises on industry-specific contracts, including institutional loans, artist representation and storage agreements. His Singapore-based practice has a cosmopolitan client base and he is frequently instructed in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

His training in both art and the law makes him particularly sensitive to the art business landscape. Ryan had the privilege of gaining experience at a prominent Art & Cultural Property Law practice in London where he worked on copyright infringements, Nazi-looted artworks, illegally exported paintings and looted cultural property. Ryan is an accredited mediator at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, specialising in deal-making and dispute resolution mediations in the arts industry.

In 2017, Ryan was awarded the prestigious Patron of the Arts Award by the National Arts Council. Most recently, he was invited by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to join its committee on Asian Art.

His views are regularly sought and Ryan has been interviewed by CNBC, Channel News Asia, The Business Times, The Peak, High Net Worth, The Straits Times and other international media on his work in the arts and the law. He is also Contributing Editor at leading industry periodical, ArtAsiaPacific, and works on its legal column, Fine Print.

Our Service

  1. Art crime – e.g. theft, forgery, fraud and scams
  2. Art import and export
  3. Artist representation agreements
  4. Art loans
  5. Arts logistics and storage
  6. Bequests and wills
  7. Commissioning, collaboration and partnership agreements
  8. Contracts of sale
  9. Contractual and tortious disputes, e.g. breach of contract, misrepresentation, negligence
  10. Copyright infringements and merchandising
  11. Emergency applications, e.g. release of artworks wrongfully detained
  12. Defamation and freedom of expression
  13. Legal and reputational risk advisory
  14. Media releases and filming rights
  15. Art litigation

Dispute Resolution

Ryan started his career as a litigator and is extremely passionate about all types of dispute resolution. His background as a litigation lawyer provides him with the “teeth” and strategic thinking that is required to vindicate his clients’ interests.

Prior to joining the firm, Ryan’s practice included both wet and dry shipping at a well-known shipping law firm. In addition, he was involved in aspects of international commercial arbitrations including the removal of arbitrators under Article 13 of the UNCITRAL Model Law for the arbitrators’ lack of impartiality and independence. Ryan has handled complex claims that go to litigation, arbitration and even mediation.

Ryan’s goal in any type of dispute resolution is to resolve matters amicably and to preserve business and personal relationships where possible. Afterall, the greatest victory is that which requires no battle (Sun Tzu).

Publications and Conferences

Su, Ryan. “A Framework for Connectors in the Art World.” ArtAsiaPacific (March/April 2017): 183. (Accessible on-line: http://www.artasiapacific.com/Magazine/102/AFrameworkForConnectorsInTheArtWorld)

Su, Ryan. “Do Collectivism and Confucian Values Still Feature in Post-Millennial Asian Negotiations?” Master’s diss., Queen Mary University of London, 2014.

Su, Ryan. “Intellectual Property as Driver for Economic & Social Development: How Can the Law Help or Stay Out of the Way?” Presentation at Cultural Industries & Intellectual Property in Southeast Asia conference, National Gallery Singapore & Singapore Management University, Singapore, February 2, 2018.

Su, Ryan. “The Artist Pension Trust and the Price of Trusting Others.” ArtAsiaPacific (Mar/Apr 2018) (Accessible on-line: Link)

Su, Ryan. “Flesh and Spirit and Advanced Lessons for Buying at Auction.” ArtAsiaPacific (Sept/Oct 2018) (Accessible on-line: Link)

Su, Ryan. “What to Do Now: The Cancellation of Art Stage Singapore.” ArtAsiaPacific online (Feb 2019) (Accessible on-line: Link)

Memberships

  1. Member, Law Society of Singapore
  2. Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  3. Accredited Mediator, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  4. Member, Young Patrons Committee, National Gallery Singapore (2017)
  5. Member, Small Law Firms Committee, Law Society of Singapore (2019)

Languages

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. French (conversational)