AI, NFTs, Stradivarius violins and a fashion revolution at Wimbledon: more key takeaways from Luxury Law Summit London

Maura O’Malley reports from London’s premier luxury law conference, which explored how the sector is innovating

A violin archivist playing a Stradivarius dating from 1722

Are AI and luxury products natural bedfellows? How are NFTs coming to the aid of 300-year old violins? Why is the luxury sector taking sport so seriously? These were some of the questions posed at Luxury Law Summit London, which took place at the British Museum on 11 June, with the theme Reimagining Luxury: Disruption, Design and Distinction. 

In part one of GLP’s coverage of the summit, I highlighted key themes relating to the challenges and opportunities for lawyers operating in the sector. These included the need to safeguard luxury brands’ core proposition, built around transparency and sustainability, and advice on how in-house teams can work effectively within their organisations.

Here are three key takeaways from the many sessions that explored how the law is keeping pace with new trends within the fast-changing sector.


Unsurprisingly, the explosion in generative AI tools like ChatGPT over the past year-and-a-half was a recurring subject at the summit, particularly the legal questions it presents along with the creative opportunities.

Exploring what in-house luxury teams have learned in this rapidly evolving area, speakers emphasised the need for close engagement with technical experts and flexible company policies and guidelines. They also cautioned against overreliance on certain AI tools because it might be necessary to pivot away from them in the future due to regulatory changes or court judgments.

Attendees were reminded that the technology is still in its early stages of development. And while many luxury brands have embraced it, automation does not always go hand in hand with aspects synonymous with luxury like authenticity, creativity and craftsmanship. “Yes, prepare yourselves and have the right conversations, but sit back and see what’s out there and assess if it is right for you,” speakers advised.

General elections are looming in several key jurisdictions and delegates discussed what this means for regulation and legislation in this space. The UK and EU have diverged in their approach, with the UK content that existing regulation is best placed to oversee it, while the EU has gone in the other direction and produced one of the world’s first AI acts. Speakers zoned in on Article 50 of the EU AI Act, which requires companies to inform users when interacting with an AI system unless it’s obvious or the AI is used for legal purposes like crime detection.

AI’s impact on relationships with suppliers in terms of pricing, indemnities and warranties was also highlighted. Would there be a two-tier system, with non-AI products offering the full complement of IP warranties and indemnities and a second tier of AI products coming with less protection at a lower price? 

But in reality, the summit heard, it is extremely difficult to separate AI and non-AI services. It is very much a case of wait and see how this area develops. Brands were, however, encouraged to have internal conversations ahead of any negotiations with suppliers.

Delegates were also warned to watch out for diversity and inclusion (D&I) bias when building and using AI tools. AI-generated content like images can amplify bias, particularly around gender and race. There are many examples of this on social media. For example, if an AI system is asked to generate a picture of a company board, it might well just include middle-aged, white men, thereby undoing good work taking place in the D&I space.

Amaryllis Seabrooks, SVP and Associate General Counsel, WME Sports


The session on sport, From Catwalks to Tunnel Walk: the Winning Combination of Luxury and Sports, felt particularly timely on the eve of Wimbledon, the Paris Olympics and the UEFA European Football Championships. Panellists said luxury brands had long appreciated the value of aligning themselves with sports clubs and athletes, tapping into some of the fervent loyalty sport can generate.

But the competing needs of luxury brands and the pre-existing sports brands needs to be navigated. Last year, Jannik Sinner walked out onto a Wimbledon court with a Gucci bag, heralding what one newspaper described as a fashion revolution at the conservative All England Lawn Tennis Club.

What luxury and sports brands want from an athlete can also differ. Luxury brands can make significant demands on an athlete’s time, expecting them to attend fashion shoots and make TV appearances potentially conflicting with their day jobs. 

The partnership between a luxury brand and an athlete also needs to make sense to consumers and viewers. The luxury brand should conduct thorough due diligence to ensure a proposed sponsorship’s success, for example by inviting the sportsperson to its design studios to meet people within the company to ensure values align. Stella McCartney is renowned for never using animal products and would not wish to partner with an athlete subsequently photographed wearing a fur coat, one speaker observed.

Women’s sports were having a “big moment”, delegates were told. Just over a decade ago Chelsea’s women’s football team was in serious trouble due to funding cuts with members of the men’s team including John Terry taking steps to provide financial support. Now brands are queuing up to support English women’s football.

Non fungible tokens (NFTs)

One session began with a violin archivist playing a Stradivarius dating from 1722. The connection between a 300-year old violin and NFTs was then explained as they can be used to create unique digital artefacts – in this instance, 300-year-old Stradivarius violins. Time stamping the collection helps protect these real-world objects for the next 300 years.

The session asked how the luxury sector can use this modern technology. The panellists said there was an incorrect assumption that NFTs operate in a unified space. At one end of the market, digital fine art is sold by the likes of Sotheby’s, at the other end you have NFTs that more closely equate to brands making stickers handed out at trade shows.

The ultimate aim, the panel agreed, is to create transferable IP licensing agreements that allow for the creation of NFTs for book or film characters that can be used in other derivative works. This could transform the film and publishing industries. 

Indeed, the British Museum has been leading the way in this field, having forged a partnership in 2022 with the platform LaCollection to sell digital twins of masterpieces in its collection, including works by William Turner and Katsushika Hokusai.

And on 10 June 2025 delegates will have the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with this historic museum when the summit returns to continue its exploration of how the luxury sector is responding to a fast-changing world.


The summit featured the launch of three Law Over Borders comparative law guides, including Fashion Law's second edition, which is edited by Julia Holden, a senior partner at Milan firm Trevisan & Cuonzo

The Luxury Law Summit and Awards were sponsored by White & Case, Trevisan & Cuonzo, Taylor Root, Taylor Wessing, Perkins Coie, Oracle Solicitors, Morrison Cohen, Mishcon de Reya, McCarthy Tétrault, Loeb & Loeb, K&L Gates, Hogan Lovells, Graff Search, Foley & Lardner, Dentons, Davis Wright Tremaine, Cervieri Monsuárez, Browne Jacobson, Bird & Bird, Baker McKenzie and Authentix. 

Next year’s summit will take place at the British Museum on 10 June. To register your interest in attending, email [email protected]. For sponsorship enquiries, email [email protected].

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