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Meet Our Team

Robert James, MRICS, FRSA

Managing Director and Senior Valuer

Robert has a degree in Fine Art Valuation from Southampton Solent University and trained at Christie’s auctioneers in London. He has a broad knowledge of the Fine and Decorative Arts and is regularly instructed as an art and antique expert witness in civil, criminal and family court cases. Robert is a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Arts & Antiques Faculty) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Isabel Grimshaw, MA, FRSA

Senior Valuer

Isabel is a graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art (MA Early Modern) and has extensive experience in the art world, including several years with the British Pictures Department at Christie’s. She joined Coram James having worked for a leading Mayfair gallery dealing in Modern and Contemporary Art. Isabel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Cécilia Battin, MA

Senior Valuer and Researcher

Cécilia is a graduate of the University of Lyon and holds a Masters degree in Business Law and Art History. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English and holds a further post-graduate qualification in Art Law and Taxation. Cécilia started her career in France with a firm of Parisian auctioneers and later joined Christie’s in London.

Richard Lester

Valuer and Researcher

Richard studied and trained with Sotheby’s Auctioneers in London and has been an art valuer for over twenty years. He is a specialist in fashion and vintage clothing and writes for the Antique Collectors Club and other art and antique publishers.

Justin Roberts, FGA, DGA

Senior Jewellery Specialist and Historian

Justin Roberts has spent 25 years as a senior jewellery specialist and historian working in several international auction houses. Starting his career at Phillips auctioneers working in both London and Geneva as a jewellery expert, he was later appointed a deputy director of Sotheby’s.

Julia Melnikova, MA

Valuer and Researcher

Julia graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art (MA Art Business) and has worked in the Victorian and British paintings Department and the Modern Design Department at Sotheby’s. She has a particular interest in Russian Decorative Arts and Modern Design and is fluent in Russian, Greek and English.


Neil Grenyer, MRICS

Senior Valuer

Neil is a senior general valuer and Chartered Arts & Antiques Surveyor. He has a degree in Fine Art Valuation and spent five years as a ceramic specialist with Bonham’s in London.  He is based in Somerset where he carries out valuations for probate and insurance purposes.

Andrew Middleton

Valuer and Researcher

Andrew is a general valuer with specialist knowledge of carpets, rugs and tapestries. Following an eighteen year career with international auctioneers Bonham’s and Phillips, Andrew moved to Yorkshire where he carries out valuations for probate and insurance purposes.

Sonia Butler, FGA, DGA

Senior Jewellery Specialist

Sonia Butler, is an FGA, DGA qualified gemmologist who has worked in the antiques and jewellery trade for over 20 years. Covering the groundwork at Phillips, Bonhams and with an independent valuer, she has since honed her specialist knowledge working for a renowned dealer of antique jewellery, silver and gold snuff boxes.

Geoff Cox

Geoff is our modern and antiquarian book consultant and handles all book valuations for both probate and insurance purposes. He can advise on disposal and acquisition of everything from single books to entire libraries.

Francois Le Brun

Francois is our European furniture consultant and is a former director of Christie’s and Bonham’s. After learning the business in the auctioneering world, learning from the bottom up, from the beginning as a porter to a specialist and auctioneer, Francois now joins the long family tradition of Antique dealing (4th generation) and has set up his company Le Brun, Antiques & Works of Art Ltd.

Claire Grindey, MRICS

Claire is an independent fine art consultant based in London. She is a former silver and objects of vertu specialist at Sotheby’s London and Amsterdam. She has also lectured for Sotheby’s Institute on the MA Contemporary Design course and worked for Christoph Behling Design for LVMH. In addition, Claire serves on the board for RICS Art and Antiques, advising on art market issues, and as a trustee for The Commonwealth Conservatory Foundation.

Alexander Clements

Alexander is an Asian art and European ceramics and former director of Bonham’s. Alexander values and catalogues a range of Chinese, Japanese, Islamic and other Eastern works of art including ceramics, bronzes, ivories, prints and pictures for auction sale, insurance and probate purposes.