Dawn Goodman


  • Education: College of Law,
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 1980 • British Virgin Islands, 2008
  • Languages spoken: French
  • Year joined: 1987
  • Year became partner: 1989


Dawn is the Head of International Trust Litigation and a partner in the Contentious Trust & Succession Group awarded the Contentious Trusts & Estates Team of the Year and consistently top rated in directories. She was awarded STEP Trusted Advisor of the Year in 2013, for the first time voted on by STEP members worldwide. 

Dawn features in Who's Who Legal's list of International Private Client Lawyers as one of the 'most highly regarded practitioners in the world', described as 'phenomenal' according to their sources who praise her 'responsiveness'.

She is top ranked in Chambers Global, Chambers and Legal 500 2014 and listed in Citywealth Leader list as a ‘Top 10 Leading Lawyer’ for Contentious Trusts and a ‘Power Woman’; “Dawn's technical ability is of the highest order and so too is her skills in thinking of different options when faced with difficult scenarios. Dawn is also a pleasure to work with”. Dawn 'has unrivalled knowledge of the law and offers highly strategic advice.' (Legal 500, 2014). In Chambers 2015, she is described as 'a very shrewd, robust litigator and very astute.'

Having a wealth of experience of litigation in most offshore jurisdictions as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Dawn advises asset holders, trustees, protectors, personal representatives and other fiduciaries, civilian and Shari’a law heirs, charities and beneficiaries generally as well as creditors or other adverse claimants who are involved in a dispute or potential dispute.  Previously a divorce lawyer, she also specialises in advising trustees and beneficiaries caught up in divorce proceedings.

Dawn uses her experience as a litigator in these fields to advise trustees on risk management and settlors on creating robust structures.  Once a problem has arisen she advises on methods to defuse contention, risk mitigation and alternative dispute resolution as well as on proceedings if necessary.  She is experienced in constructive or consensual proceedings as well as the most hostile and complex litigation involving trusts, foundations, succession, divorce, professional negligence and fraud.


Dawn has acted and advised in a wide range of international trust and succession litigation including

  • Hambro v Duke of Marlborough [1994] 3 WLR 341
  • Wahr-Hansen v Bridge Trust Co [1994-95] CILR 435; [1997] CILR 527
  • Lemos v Coutts [2003] CILR 381
  • Charman v Charman (No 4) [2007] EWCA Civ 503
  • A Trustees Limited v W, X, Y and Z [2008] JRC 097
  • C Trust Co v Temple [2009] JRC 048
  • The Matter of the A and B Trusts [2012] JRC 169A
  • The Matter of R and RA Trusts (Gsy C.A.) [470/2014]
  • Durham v Lambton & Others [2013] EWHC 3566 (Ch)
  • In the matter of the K Trust, Guernsey Judgment 31/2015

Her broad experience includes trust, succession and fraud litigation in most of the leading offshore jurisdictions, Europe, and the Middle and Far East.  She has considerable experience handling multi-jurisdictional disputes involving conflicts between common law, civil code and Sharia law principles.

In the matter of the K Trust, Guernsey Judgment 31/2015, Dawn and Emma McCall worked alongside Guernsey advocates and Counsel to advise 11 of 14 adult beneficiaries on an application – the first in Guernsey - seeking removal of a protector whose approach was no longer considered to be in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The Royal Court established the test in Guernsey for removal of protectors and dealt with incidental issues, such as specific indemnities, to which it considered the protector was not entitled in the absence of indemnity provisions in the trust deed. Please click here to see Dawn and Emma's briefing note for WealthBriefing.

In Durham v Lambton & Others [2013] EWHC 3566 (Ch), Dawn was involved, with Paul Matthews and Emma McCall, in a case which considered whether English proceedings in a succession dispute focussing on the friction between English testamentary freedom and forced heirship (including claw back) rules should be stayed on the basis of forum non conveniens in favour of the Italian Courts.      

Together with Sarah Aughwane, Dawn acted for the successful beneficiaries in The Matter of the A and B Trusts [2012] JRC 169A, where the Royal Court of Jersey made new law on the scope of the duties of trust protectors and the grounds on which they may be removed from office.  The Royal Court found that, as with trustees, the correct test for removal of a protector arises from Letterstedt v Broers.  Due not only to the protector’s misunderstanding his duties to his beneficiaries but also his failure to keep a watchful eye on the trustee’s management of the trusts, the Royal Court suspended his powers and removed him from office.  Click here to read our briefing note on this case.         

Publications and speaking engagements


  • Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners
  • Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists

On a personal note

Dawn is a Trustee of Community Sponsors.

She enjoys being with her family, listening to opera, creative writing and is currently restoring a medieval French property.


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