“Abundance” of Caution: UK Court Action over Beeple Artwork

Russells is acting for Mr Amir Soleymani in English court proceedings against the digital art auction platform for non-fungible token (“NFT”) art, Nifty Gateway.

Mr Soleymani’s action relates to an online auction earlier this year concerning the digital artwork “Abundance” by the artist Beeple. Mr Soleymani was outbid at the auction but Nifty Gateway has demanded payment from him, claiming the auction was a “ranked auction” which required the top 100 bidders to pay for a numbered edition of “Abundance”. Mr Soleymani has refused to pay and the matter is now being litigated.

In his action, Mr Soleymani asks the English court to declare that:

  • Certain of Nifty Gateway’s Terms of Use are unfair pursuant to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and therefore not binding on him; and
  • Any contract between Nifty Gateway and Mr Soleymani is illegal under the Gambling Act 2005 and therefore void.

We believe this to be the first UK claim issued involving an auction for digital art traded as an NFT. The case has been widely reported:

The UK litigation is run by Steven Tregear, assisted by Safiya Ahmed and Alice Rudge.