Simon Frankel is a partner in the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling LLP. His civil litigation focuses on copyright and trademark litigation, technology and Internet privacy disputes, and legal issues related to visual art. In the area of art law, Mr. Frankel has handled disputes involving cultural property claims, title disputes, moral rights claims, and resale royalties and speaks frequently on art and law.
On behalf of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), he won summary judgment in a dispute over ownership of a valuable Austrian Expressionist painting. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston v. Seger-Thomschitz (1st Cir. 2010). He currently represents the MFA in the Rubin litigation concerning attempts by parties that hold judgments against Iran to attach antiquities that have long been held by the MFA and that originated in the area of modern day Iran. The trial court ruled for the MFA, and the case is currently on appeal. Rubin v. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (D. Mass. 2011). Mr. Frankel also represented one of the claimants in the dispute over ownership of the Friede collection, portions of which have been on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. City & County of San Francisco v. Jaffe (SF Superior Court).
Mr. Frankel is currently a lecturer at Stanford Law School, where he is teaching art law. He has previously taught art law at Berkeley School of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, the University of San Francisco Law School, and Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Yale Law School.