Interview with Clive Robertson - Head of Healys Classic & Collector Cars

min read


Share this post
Share this event

In partnership with

Can you tell us about your professional journey, from your early career at Brecher and Co. to your role as the Head of Classic & Collector Car Group at Healys?

My journey in the legal field has been both diverse and rewarding. I started my career at Brecher and Co., where I received comprehensive training in various aspects of law. Over the years, I've had the privilege of holding multiple positions in different law firms, including serving as a managing partner on separate occasions.

In 2010, I transitioned into a consultant role while continuing to work with my portfolio of long-term clients. This move allowed me to explore different facets of the legal profession and take up several posts as General Counsel.

Ultimately, I found my niche in the classic car industry when I joined Healys in 2016. Drawing on my experience, I assumed the role of Head of the Classic & Collector Car Group. This position has allowed me to merge my passion for classic cars with my legal expertise, offering specialised legal services to classic car enthusiasts and collectors.

With over 30 years of experience and a background in commercial property, education law, and company and commercial matters, what inspired you to specialise in classic and collector cars?

My journey into the world of classic and collector cars was somewhat serendipitous. While I had built a solid foundation in several areas of law, my lifelong passion for classic cars eventually led me down this unique path.

My legal background provided me with a robust skill set that I realised could be applied to the legal complexities of the classic car market. As I delved deeper into this niche area, I discovered the unique blend of history, emotion, and financial value associated with classic cars. It became clear to me that there was a significant need for specialised legal services in this sector, and I was eager to fill that gap.

Today, I find immense satisfaction in helping classic car enthusiasts preserve their treasured possessions while navigating the legal intricacies of this remarkable industry.

As the Head of Healys Classic & Collector Car Group, what services and support do you provide to classic car enthusiasts and collectors?

As the Head of Healys Classic & Collector Cars, our primary goal is to provide comprehensive legal support and services to classic car enthusiasts and collectors. We understand that classic cars are not just possessions; they are cherished pieces of history with profound emotional significance.

Our services include assisting clients with the purchase and sale of classic cars, addressing legal complexities related to ownership and registration, and providing guidance on preserving and maintaining their collections. We also offer expertise in contractual matters, ensuring that agreements related to classic cars are legally sound and protect our clients' interests.

Beyond transactional support, we specialise in resolving disputes and litigation involving classic cars, safeguarding the value and integrity of these treasured possessions.

In essence, our Classic & Collector Car Group takes our clients' passion for their cars to heart, offering a wide range of services to ensure that their investments are not only preserved but also enhanced.

You're recognised as a Top Recommended Classic Car Lawyer by the Spears 500 guide. What does this recognition mean to you, and how does it benefit your clients?

Being accredited by the Spears 500 guide is a tremendous honour and a testament to the dedication of our entire team at Healys. This recognition signifies that our commitment to excellence in the field of classic cars has been acknowledged by industry experts and peers.

For our clients, this recognition serves as a mark of our credibility and expertise. It provides them with the assurance that they are receiving top-tier legal counsel from professionals who are well-versed in the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the classic car market.

Ultimately, this recognition benefits our clients by instilling confidence that they are in capable hands, whether they are buying, selling, or preserving their classic car collections.

Can you describe the importance of preserving classic and collector cars, not just as assets but as pieces of history with emotional significance?

Preserving classic and collector cars goes far beyond the realm of financial investments. These vehicles are tangible pieces of history, each with a unique story to tell. They often represent significant milestones in automotive design, engineering, and cultural significance.

Moreover, classic cars hold immense emotional value for their owners. They are often passed down through generations, symbolising family traditions and cherished memories. Owning a classic car is an experience that transcends mere ownership; it's a connection to the past and a source of pride.

Preservation is about safeguarding these pieces of history for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. It's a responsibility that we take seriously at Healys, as we understand the deep emotional significance that classic cars hold for their owners.

What sets Healys apart in terms of legal services for classic cars, and how does your team's lifelong enthusiasm for classic cars contribute to the firm's success in this area?

What sets Healys apart in the world of classic cars is our unwavering commitment to combining legal excellence with genuine enthusiasm for these vehicles. Our team of solicitors not only possess the legal expertise required for the complex world of classic cars but also share a lifelong passion for them.

Our success in this area is a result of our ability to connect with our clients on a personal level, to speak their language, and to approach their legal concerns with the same passion they have for their vehicles. This synergy of legal expertise and genuine enthusiasm is what truly sets Healys apart and contributes to our continued success in the classic car market.

You clearly have a deep personal passion for classic & collector cars. Are you involved in any other areas of the industry?

In addition to my work at Healys, I am the Honorary Solicitor to the Guild of Motoring

Writers, and write as The Lawyer for Magneto, the award winning quarterly publication catering to the collector car community in the UK and the USA. I also regularly speak on classic car related issues at classic car events, including, The London Motor Show, Bicester Heritage, the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall and the Royal Academy in Piccadilly.

Along with classic and collector cars, I also share a passion for racing; and in 2022 I competed in the Mille Miglia 1000 mile endurance race in Italy, driving a 1955 AC Aceca-Bristol Coupe; one of only 169 models built!

In addition to classic cars, Healys offers services in commercial law and private wealth work. How does your expertise in these areas complement your work with classic car enthusiasts?

My background in commercial law and private wealth plays a crucial role in complementing our work with classic car enthusiasts. Classic car ownership often intersects with broader legal and financial considerations, and our ability to provide holistic support is a significant advantage.

In the realm of classic cars, we often deal with contractual matters, sales, and purchases. Our knowledge of commercial law ensures that our clients' transactions are legally sound, protecting their interests in any classic car-related agreements.

Additionally, classic cars are often valuable assets and estate planning is essential for enthusiasts looking to pass down their collections to future generations. Our private wealth expertise allows us to assist clients in structuring their estate plans to include their classic cars, ensuring a seamless transition.

In essence we ensure that our clients receive comprehensive and tailored legal services that address all aspects of their classic car ownership journey.

Finally, what advice would you offer to individuals looking to enter the classic car market, whether as collectors or sellers, from a legal perspective?

Entering the classic car market is an exciting venture, but it's essential to navigate it with careful consideration from a legal perspective. Here are some key pieces of advice:

  • Consult Legal Experts: Seek legal counsel with expertise in classic cars. The nuances of classic car transactions, restoration, and ownership can be complex, and professional guidance is invaluable.
  • Document Agreements: Whether you're buying, selling, or restoring a classic car, ensure that all agreements are well-documented and legally sound. This protects your interests and minimises disputes.
  • Understand Ownership Laws: Be aware of the legal requirements for classic car ownership in your region. This may include registration, insurance, and emissions regulations.
  • Preservation Matters: If you're a collector, consider estate planning to preserve your classic car collection's value and legacy for future generations.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarise yourself with your legal rights and responsibilities as a classic car owner, especially regarding maintenance, restoration, and authenticity.
  • Build a Network: Connect with fellow enthusiasts, clubs, and professionals in the classic car community. Networking can provide valuable insights and resources.
  • Stay Informed: Stay updated on legal changes and developments within the classic car market. Knowledge is your best defence against legal challenges.

By following these legal guidelines and seeking professional advice when needed, you can embark on your journey into the classic car market with confidence and peace of mind.

Share this post
Share this event