Art, Culture & Intellectual Property

Boughton Law's team has decades of experience working with Indigenous communities and institutions around the world.

As Indigenous peoples negotiate treaties and self-government agreements and engage in economic development, and as many jurisdictions and institutions work with Indigenous peoples on reconciliation initiatives, an issue that frequently arises is the protection of Indigenous heritage and repatriation of illicitly acquired cultural material. Our practice includes work with both Indigenous communities and institutions to understand the various obligations and opportunities during these processes.

Our team helps Indigenous communities with analyzing, researching, financing and negotiating repatriation claims involving museums and individuals in Canada and globally.  We also assist collectors, museums, universities and other institutions with identifying legal, ethical, cultural, public relations and other issues associated with their Indigenous collections and with appropriately responding to requests for return of material.  Our goal through all of this is to help clients fashion processes and outcomes that promote relationship building and healing.

We also assist clients with addressing protection and/or repatriation of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage (including traditional knowledge, songs, languages etc.) in commercial agreements, treaty negotiations, and community laws and policies. Our intellectual property lawyers assist our Indigenous clients with registering their government logos as official marks.

We provide online and in-person courses and lectures to organizations on issues surrounding illicit trade, protection and return of art and cultural heritage, and can tailor course length and content to client needs.

Boughton Law is a part of Meritas®, a global alliance of independent, full service law firms. With access to firms operating in over 230 markets worldwide, we can draw upon the expertise of trusted foreign legal advisors and even provide referrals if needed. As part of our global services, Practice Lead, Stacey Jessiman, is a member of the Arbitrator and Mediator pools for the Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA) in the Hague.

Our People

Associate Counsel