Professor Norman Palmer QC CBE was the founder of Art Resolve and a great advocate of alternative dispute resolution and the benefits it offers, particularly in the field of art and cultural property disputes.
He was a leading expert in the law concerning art and cultural property and was the academic principal of the Institute of Art and Law over the last 20 years. He advised on a wide range of matters, including contract and title disputes relating to fine and decorative art, antiques, archaeological items, human remains, books and manuscripts. His seminal book on bailment “Palmer on Bailment” was regarded by many as the work of peerless scholarship and remains the leading authority on the subject.
As well as lecturing and maintaining a busy practise as a leading barrister, he also served on many notable Government committees including the Illicit Trade Advisory Panel, Spoliation Advisory Panel and Human Remains Advisory Panel. A committed believer in resolving disputes outside the legal process, he often quoted a line from a 17th Century Peace Treaty: “one peace is worth countless victories”, a sentiment that was reflected in his approach to all disputes. He was a qualified mediator and believed firmly that a negotiated solution was always possible and would lead to a more successful settlement than one imposed upon the parties by the Court.
His insight and wisdom, as well as humanity and friendship will be greatly missed by all who knew him.