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Pace Gallery Hires General Counsel as it Explores Digital Assets

Sept. 13, 2021, 9:31 AM

The Pace Gallery LLC, a large contemporary and modern art gallery with outposts around the world, recently hired Halie Klein to be its general counsel.

Klein, who spent the past seven years as a corporate associate at the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York, disclosed her new in-house role at Pace on her LinkedIn profile and with state bar registries in New York and Florida.

Her move comes amid Pace’s plans to expand into the realm of digital art and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, with several projects in that space underway.

Marc Glimcher, a veteran art dealer who serves as CEO of Pace, told Bloomberg News in July that digital art NFTs can be a “transformative change” for the art business. Pace accepts cryptocurrencies for all digital and physical artworks.

“I’m a crypto person,” Glimcher said at the time. “I’ve had crypto for a while.”

Klein referred a request for comment about her legal position at Pace to Adriana Elgarresta, a spokeswoman for the New York-based gallery. Elgarresta declined to discuss Pace’s decision to hire Klein.

During Klein’s time at Willkie, she was part of a team from the firm that advised Pace on an agreement with two other galleries last year to sell the art collection of late financier Donald Marron. The former PaineWebber & Co. chairman and CEO’s art holdings have been valued at more than $300 million, according to Bloomberg News.

Pace, aside from its base in New York, has permanent locations in Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, and Palo Alto, Calif., as well as outposts in East Hampton, N.Y., and Palm Beach, Fla.

The company, founded by the current CEO’s father, Arne Glimcher, has employed an in-house lawyer before in William Lawrence, who is now CFO for the art gallery Lehmann Maupin LLC.

As for the ever-expanding world of NFTs, the surging prices for the digital assets, which can be used to buy and sell stakes in all kinds of collectibles, is leading some large companies like Facebook Inc. to consider such products for its platform.

As with any growing business, lawyers are in demand.

Bloomberg Law reported last week on a former Sullivan & Cromwell associate being hired by Injective Labs Inc., a Mark Cuban-backed decentralized trading platform that markets in NFTs. Autograph, an NFT company co-founded by National Football League star Tom Brady, also hired a new general counsel this summer.

Facebook itself saw Gina Moon, a director and associate general counsel for regulatory at the social media company, leave its ranks last month to become general counsel for Ozone Networks Inc. The latter operates OpenSea, a leading NFT peer-to-peer marketplace.

OpenSea closed a $100 million fundraising round in July, valuing the company at roughly $1.5 billion. Moon, who has written a testimonial on the careers page of OpenSea’s website, has also via LinkedIn touted job openings at the NFT outfit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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