Home Arts The Simon Lee Gallery enters into conservatorship following a tax dispute

The Simon Lee Gallery enters into conservatorship following a tax dispute

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Simon Lee Gallery is now under joint administration with business consultancy BDO LLP, according to a notice placed in the window of the gallery’s London space yesterday. A limited liability company goes into administration when it is in debt and cannot pay the money it owes, ceding control to an insolvency practitioner. The court-ordered administration came after a petition from Barclays Bank; three BDO partners have been appointed joint directors of Simon Lee Gallery Limited.

This decision comes after The arts journal reported last month that the gallery had gone through a prolonged period of financial difficulty, including a notice of dissolution from Companies House, due to a tax dispute. Gallery founder Simon Lee said at the time that the dispute “has now been resolved” and that he expected an insolvency hearing – originally scheduled for today – to be dismissed.

Matthew Tait, one of three BDO directors to be appointed as joint directors, said in a statement to The arts journal“The co-administrators work quickly to examine the options available to the company with a view to obtaining the best result for all creditors, in accordance with their missions. Our immediate concern is to safeguard company assets, including work held on consignment. We understand that represented artists, and creditors more generally, will have concerns and we are in the process of gathering and confirming relevant information.

It is not yet known whether the gallery will remain open to the public during the administration process; under UK law, companies can continue to operate while in administration.

Simon Lee was founded in 2002 in London. The gallery opened a second location in Hong Kong in 2012 and a third in New York in 2017. The New York space ceased operations in 2020.

The gallery has some 40 artists on its roster, including market heavyweights George Condo and Christopher Wool. Recently, Simon Lee saw the departure of one of his most prominent artists, Sonia Boyce, just two years after signing.

A representative for Simon Lee could not be reached at the time of publication.

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