Chadwick and others v Lypiatt Studio Ltd and others [2018] EWHC 1986 (Ch)

A dispute over the ownership of the “prodigious artistic legacy” of the famous sculptor Lynn Chadwick who died in 2003. The main issue related to ownership of the copyright in the artist’s works, and whether the artist’s estate or a company through which he had traded for many years before his death was the legal or equitable owner of the copyright. Despite the lack of a formal assignment, the Court found that Mr Chadwick had transferred title to the property in his stock from his sole trader business, which included all of his unsold works, and had agreed to assign the copyright in his pre-existing works so vesting the beneficial interest in them  in the Company. The judge also found that Mr Chadwick had been an employee of the Company, such that copyright in later works vested in it automatically.