Peter R. Stern


Peter R. Stern maintains a general practice and has been involved with legal matters in many areas, including corporate, estate, trust and foundation matters. In particular, he specializes in litigation, especially commercial and contractual disputes.

Mr. Stern is equally active in representing plaintiffs and defendants in both federal and state courts. He has represented a number of nationally-known entities and persons.

Mr. Stern’s general practice concentrates on art-related matters and clients who are part of the art world. He has provided general counseling to and representation of in excess of 100 galleries/dealers, 100 artists and artists’ estates, many collectors, as well as a number of auction houses and insurance companies. These activities relate to a wide variety of commercial or transactional matters, such as the formation of art-related businesses or ventures and sale, consignment, loan or representation agreements.

Mr. Stern is highly experienced in art-related litigation. He has handled countless disputes relating to art, including numerous cases as to the authenticity and ownership of artworks. For nearly 25 years he was an outside counsel to a major auction house, handling in excess of 150 matters.

Mr. Stern has been active with a number of not-for-profit institutions. In particular, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (1995 to date), Chairman of the Board (1999-2009) and Chairman Emeritus (2009 to date). He is also on the Art Advisory Board of the Internal Foundation for Art Research.

A number of published articles have written about Mr. Stern and have regularly described him as one of the leading art lawyers in the country. These include: Art & Auction, December 2009 (“The Art World’s Most Influential People”); Art & Auction, August 2006; Art & Auction, December 1998 (“Power Bar”); Arts Magazine, January 1991 (“Should I Become an Art Lawyer?”) and Art & Auction, October 1987 (“America’s Hottest Art Lawyers”).

Prior to joining McLaughlin & Stern as Counsel, Mr. Stern was a partner in the firm of Berger Stern & Webb and its predecessor firms (1980-2003). Prior to that, Mr. Stern was associated with Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts (1974-1980).

Mr. Stern obtained his B.A. (1969) and J.D. (1972) from Columbia University, where he was writing and research editor for the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Mr. Stern clerked for Judge Edward R. Neaher of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1972-1974).

Mr. Stern is admitted to the New York State bar (1973) and is admitted to practice in the bars of the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (1973); the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1975); the U.S. Supreme Court (1979); the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1984); the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1995); and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit 2001).

Mr. Stern speaks fluent French and understands Spanish.

Mr. Stern is listed in New York Superlawyers; Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law. He is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.