Partner | London
As one of the few global law firms with a team dedicated solely to trust and estate disputes, our standing in this area is unrivalled.We are renowned as tactical thinkers who see several steps ahead, even in the most complex cases. Our combined experience acting for trustees, beneficiaries, settlors, heirs, creditors, divorcing spouses and others, means that we understand the whole range of issues you may be facing.
From conflicts between trustees and beneficiaries or other power holders in a structure, for example protectors or protector committees, to attacks from third parties looking to have the trust declared invalid we have seen it all.
Our lawyers are highly experienced in attacking and defending high-value trust structures and foundations, whether onshore or offshore. We handle both ‘internal’ and ‘external’ claims challenging the validity of a trust and have helped trustees to recover losses caused by negligent advice they received.
Concerns for family privacy and commercial confidentiality will often be paramount in the context of family wealth disputes. We are familiar with the strategies that can be employed in a number of jurisdictions to restrict publicity over the dispute.
We advised a beneficiary of a trust who was in dispute with another beneficiary and the trustee who was holding shares in a luxury fashion brand worth over Euro30m. Court proceedings were ongoing in England and Italy, involving our London and Milan offices, before the trustee was successfully replaced and the other issues between the parties compromised to avoid publicity over the businesses involved.
Advising a blue-chip offshore trust company on its involvement in English divorce proceedings concerning attacks on trusts worth over £25m. We handled the disclosure issues for the trustee and eventually the case was concluded without the trustee being formally joined to the English proceedings.
Acting for Michael and Robert Peluso, the two adult sons of the late Lynda Bellingham. The dispute over her estate received extensive coverage. In May 2017, we reached an agreement with her widower, Michael Pattemore.
Acting for three of the six children of the late Walter Henchley in proceedings concerning two trusts settled in September 1960, our clients sought an order that the sole surviving trustee (or de facto trustee) of both trusts provide an account in common form of his dealings with the trust assets during the period of his trustee.
We acted for the beneficiaries of two trusts in this ground-breaking application under newly-enacted Bermuda law provisions dealing with mistakes by trustees and other power-holders in relation to trusts. Despite the application being contested by the UK tax authority it was successful and the adverse consequences that the trusts had suffered were unwound.
Advising the Trustees in the recently reported Jersey case of the Truro Trust and the PF Life Interest Trust as to whether or not they should submit to the jurisdiction of the English Court in divorce proceedings between a husband and wife. The Royal Court of Jersey endorsed the decision of the Trustees not to submit to the jurisdiction and approved their stance in relation to the provision of information.
In collaboration with our family law experts, we advised in this high profile and complex divorce case which may be seen as the apogee of the English divorce jurisdiction's robust attitude towards offshore trusts. It marked the widening gap between the trust industry on the one hand and the family division on the other as to the respect to be accorded to trusts, and it remains a seminal case in this field today.
Acting for the adult beneficiaries in the matter of the K Trust with local advocates. The Guernsey Royal Court sanctioned removing a protector for the first time (following similar principles established in Jersey, where we acted, in the matter of the A Trust and the B Trust).
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