Paola Fudakowska

Special Counsel

  • Education: University of Birmingham, LLB with German Law
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 2005
  • Languages spoken: Polish • French • German
  • Year joined: 2003

Overview

Paola is a Special Counsel in the Contentious Trusts and Succession team.

She specialises in all types of trust and succession disputes, including claims about the validity, construction and rectification of wills and trusts, Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims, removal of executors and trustees, setting aside trusts for mistake and contentious estate and trust administrations.

Paola advises trustees and beneficiaries caught up in divorce proceedings and in professional negligence claims in the context of estate planning, trust and succession issues.

Paola uses her experience as a litigator to advise trustees on risk management and settlors on creating robust structures. Once a problem has arisen she advises on methods to diffuse contention, risk mitigation and alternative dispute resolution as well as on proceedings if necessary.

Paola is a member of the firm's Arts & Cultural Assets Group.

Paola spent seven months on secondment with Carey Olsen in Jersey, where she worked on contentious trust and commercial litigation matters including claims relating to the Madoff fraud, breach of trust claims and setting aside trusts for mistake.

Paola is recognised as a 'Rising Star' by Thomson Reuters in its 2015, 2014 and 2013 London Super Lawyers List. 

Highlights

Paola, with Paul Hewitt, represents Prince Mukkaram Jah, His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, in a dispute over funds held at Natwest Bank for over 50 years (the subject of the House of Lords decision Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad [1958] AC 379). The High Court decided in Pakistan v Natwest and Ors [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch) confirming that the Nizam's claim to the funds may now proceed. Click here to see the decision.

Paola, with Stephen Cooke, advised the successful Plaintiffs In the matter of a Settlement known as the Hexagon Settlement dated 18 October 2004 and a Settlement known as the Hope Trust dated 10 July 2009 who obtained a declaration from the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands about the ownership of assets which mitigated a potentially significant UK tax liability. Click here to see the decision.

Paola, with Professor Paul Matthews, advised the Settlor bringing the application in the matter of the Representation of R [2011] JRC 117 in which the Royal Court in Jersey confirmed that the test for mistake is different from that established by the English Court of Appeal in Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter [2011] EWCA Civ 197. The test formulated by the Jersey Royal Court was subsequently adopted on appeal by the English Supreme Court Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26.

In Spurling & another v Broadhurst & others, reported at [2012] WTLR 1813, Paola, with Paul Hewitt, represented the executors who sought a declaration to determine which of four possible constructions was the correct interpretation of the will.

Publications and speaking engagements

Publications

  • Co-author of 'International Trust & Divorce Litigation' - Jordans, Second Edition
  • Contributor to 'Probate Disputes and Remedies' - Jordans, Third Edition
  • No Beneficiaries, no Trust?, Jersey and Guernsey Law Review (October 2010)
  • Contributor to the Wills and Probate update in the New Law Journal

Speaking Engagements

Paola is regularly invited to speak at international conferences in London and abroad on trust and succession issues, trusts and divorce and trusts in common law and civil law jurisdictions. Recent and forthcoming speaking engagements include:

  • The 2015 Annual STEP Bermuda Conference 'To Disclose or Not to Disclose?' Trustees' duties of disclosure and beneficiaries' rights to information
  • Businesslife Jersey Trusts Conference 2015 'Regulation, consolidation, taxation – is the traditional trust model at risk?'
  • IBC conference 'Settlor Control and Influence'
  • IBC conference 'Stress Testing Trust Structures'
  • IBC conference 'Cross Border Wealth Planning for Divorce'
  • A series of breakfast briefings in Geneva and Zurich 'Trusts – who holds the Power?'

Paola is a regular speaker at the Legacy Labyrinth conference for charities in London. 

Memberships

  • Paola is co-chair of the Membership Forum, part of the Extended Bureau of the Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA) (International Association of Young Lawyers)
  • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)

On a personal note

Paola participated in The Everest Test, a British led expedition to Everest Base Camp which raised £100,000 for The Lord's Taverners and The Himalayan Trust and holds a world record for the highest altitude recorded for an official match of sport (Twenty20 cricket) at 5,165m. 

 

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