For the next instalment of our interview series, Trunk Talks, we sat down with Dr Andreas Ritter, founder and partner of the legal firm Ritter & Partner Rechtsanwälte. The firm deals specifically with the art market but also covers a range of other creative industries and, due to Andreas’ broad expertise in these areas, has become unique in its tailored approach toward each client. A long-time friend of Trunk, we asked Andreas about his background in art law, what he loves about Zurich and, most importantly, what good style means to him.
Images by James Holborow
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you arrived at the intersection between art and law?
I have always been passionate about art, which was also true during my law studies. And so it was an obvious move for me to combine art and law. These two disciplines probably couldn't have been farther apart at the time. In fact, it was precisely this tension that fascinated me and continues to fascinate me to this day. I am privileged to work in a field that is constantly evolving. For instance, when it comes to new digital models like NFTs, there are many layers to cover, provenance issues, copyright questions and much more.
You founded your own firm, Ritter & Partner in 2000. What was it that motivated you to start your own practice?
Back in the early 00s, my former practice was much broader; I had built a boutique law firm with colleagues, one of whom specialized in sports and the other in media. In combination with my specialities (stage, music, film, design, art, fashion), we were covering the whole range of "entertainment law." In 2012, I wanted to take another crack at it and dive deeper into the field of art law. Fortune was with me and I can now devote myself to those mandates in my mini-structure that are almost exclusively related to the art market.
Can you tell us what you love about Zurich and some of your favourite spots in the city?
As a self-confessed art addict, Zurich for me is an art mecca with its many important collections, museums, galleries, artist-run spaces and with its proximity to the world's best art fair in Basel. I work and live with my family in the Seefeld district. In summer we are out on our bikes and literally, just across the street, you find Utoquai, the most beautiful bathing facility on the whole lake - I can practically jump into the lake from our window. I also love the alternative neighbourhoods of Kreis 3, 4 and 5, where there is an ever-changing variety of new places, restaurants and stores. As I enumerate this, I realize how spoiled we are. Very spoiled!
We were lucky enough to photograph you in the Kronenhalle bar, what makes it a must-visit when in the city?
Everybody loves Kronenhalle, be it actors, artists, writers, poets, the rich, famous and fashionable or just you and me. This is the very magic about Kronenhalle, everyone blends in as if king or queen, each wearing their own crown. It has always been there and hopefully always will be. Even a few years ago, when Kronenhalle was refurbished, it was feared that most of the magic and charm of this old and very important lady of Zurich would be lost, but fortunately, the owner was able to preserve her myth.
You are a regular visitor at our Trunk store on Dufourstrasse, what are some of your go-to brands?
I love to discover small and local brands that are off the beaten path. A few years ago I bought my first jacket from “Barena Venezia”, now I am a loyal customer and this year I discovered the small Danish label "Palmes" which is influenced heavily by old-school tennis style and even made me pick up my dusty racquet again.
Style is obviously very important to you, do you follow a particular formula when it comes to what you wear?
Buy little but buy well! Quality is crucial for me and also important is where the goods were made. Plus: Stay true to yourself and once you find your style, your framework so to speak, don't deviate from it too much. Expand your collection with a couple of new additions. That's all. If you feel boring, it will not be because of your forever-blue summer suit with a white shirt.
Lastly, where in the world will you be spending your summer?
Like every year, "Mare e Monti." We'll have a vacation at the seaside on a small island near Sicily and a hiking vacation in late summer in our old farmhouse in the Engadine.