With multiple lawsuits against him currently pending, in both America and Europe, dealer Inigo Philbrick could own as much as $70 million in assets, according to a new court filing—and that’s not even counting the $150 million his businesses allegedly own.
In a complaint filed in the High Court of London in October, the Singapore-based LLG PTE Ltd. alleges that Philbrick will not give the company a Donald Judd work that it claims it bought in 2015. First reported by Bloomberg, the suit accuses Philbrick of having possibly given the work to a third party and having not responded to inquiries about where the work may now reside. A judge in the court granted a $1 million freeze on the dealer’s assets earlier this week.
In another legal filing against Philbrick, who ran a gallery with spaces in Miami and London, both now closed, Satfinance Investment Ltd. has accused the dealer of inflating the price of a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Humidity, allegedly charging the company about $6 million over the agreed-upon price of $12.2 million.
“We have only seen the tip of the iceberg; there’s no question that this has impacted far more people than simply those who already have filed suit,” Judd Grossman, a lawyer representing Satfinance, said in an email to ARTnews.
A representative for Philbrick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Satfinance and LLG actions follow a court-ordered freeze on Philbrick’s assets in England and Wales. The German art firm Fine Art Partners (FAP) had lobbied the court to bring that freeze order, which applies to $13.7 million in assets belonging to Philbrick, including works by Judd, Yayoi Kusama, and Christopher Wool.
A suit brought by FAP against Philbrick in Miami is also currently pending. The firm has accused the dealer of withholding $14 million in art, alleging that Philbrick has “refused” to return works that FAP claims it owns, among them Kusama’s 2016 installation All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. That work is on view in Miami, in an exhibition staged by the Institute of Contemporary Art, and, according to a prior Bloomberg report, is owned by the Collection of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia.
The art-collecting company Guzzini has also filed suit against Philbrick, alleging in a complaint filed in New York that it owned a Rudolf Stingel painting that sold at Christie’s New York for $6.52 million this past May. In its own lawsuit, FAP claimed that it agreed to purchase the painting from Philbrick in 2016, and that, without the firm’s knowledge, Philbrick consigned it to auction at Christie’s in 2017. Guzzini claims that it, not FAP, consigned the work to Christie’s.