Paola Fudakowska

Special counsel | Geneva, London

Paola is special counsel in the trust and succession disputes team.

Paola specialises in all types of trust and succession disputes, primarily with an international focus. She has experience as a litigator, advising 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 advises trustees and beneficiaries caught up in divorce proceedings and in professional negligence claims in the context of estate planning, trust and succession issues.

Her work includes 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 has a special interest in art-related claims and is a member of the firm’s art and cultural assets team.

She spent seven months on secondment with a leading firm 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 President of the Private Clients Commission of the Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA) which consists of some 4,000 lawyers from over 90 countries.

She is co-author of Jordans’ ‘International Trust and Divorce Litigation’ (the leading textbook in this area) and has been recognised as ‘one to watch’ in Global Private Client Elite 2017.

Secretary Melanie Balcan

‘‘

We have been particularly impressed with the responsiveness of the team, including Paola Fudakowska, sometimes required to advise on matters across languages and borders whilst acting seamlessly as correspondent to our own retained local advisers.

Phillip Ainslie, Technical and Compliance Director - Dominion (Geneva)
‘‘

Paola has excellently balanced compassion on a delicate case of a disputed Will, with a very clear and concise explanation of options. She cut through all the ‘noise’ to the crux of the matter on first inspection. Additionally, and very refreshingly, I have never needed to chase her up, she is always a step ahead, and an excellent communicator.

Jodi Riches
‘‘

Her approach is professional and humane, utilising her specialist knowledge to ensure a successful outcome.

Claire Bingham

Track record

Admissions

Publications

Memberships

Talks

Advising Prince Mukarram Jah, His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, in a dispute over funds held at Natwest for over 50 years (originally the subject of the House of Lords decision Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad [1958] AC 379). The other parties to the dispute include the Governments of India and Pakistan. In Pakistan v Natwest and Ors [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch) the High Court confirmed that Nizam’s claim to the funds may now proceed. Click here to see the decision.

Advising the former partner of Boris Berezovsky in respect of her various claims against his estate. Our client is awaiting permission to appeal Mr Justice Arnold ‘s decision in Gorbunova v The Estate of Boris Berezovsky deceased & others [2016] EWHC 1829 (Ch) Click here to see the decision.

Advising the successful Plaintiffs 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.

England and Wales, 2005

‘International Trust and Divorce Litigation’, Jordans, Second Edition, co-author

‘Probate Disputes and Remedies’, Jordans, Third Edition

‘No Beneficiaries, no Trust?’, Jersey and Guernsey Law Review - October 2010

Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)

Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)

‘Location, Location, Location - legal and tax aspects for choosing the right place to live for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals’, AIJA conference, Chicago

‘To Disclose or Not to Disclose? Trustees’ duties of disclosure and beneficiaries’ rights to information’, Annual STEP Bermuda Conference

‘Regulation, consolidation, taxation – is the traditional trust model at risk?’, Businesslife Jersey Trusts Conference

Me in a minute

I enjoy the challenge of my work

I specialise in disputes about trusts, wills and estates, predominantly with an international focus. I enjoy the challenge of my work which requires detailed knowledge of the law and the inter-play between different jurisdictions, combined with strategic planning, management of family dynamics and commercial sense.

My highest profile case is acting for His Exalted Highness the VIII Nizam of Hyderabad. The dispute is about the ownership of £35 million which the Nizam’s grandfather deposited with NatWest in London in 1948 and which is also claimed by the governments of India and Pakistan.

I am a Trustee of the Order of Malta Volunteers (OMV), part of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The OMV runs holidays and religious pilgrimages for sick or disabled adults and children and I have been an active volunteer since university.

Education


Languages


  • English
  • Polish

Dates


Joined

2017

Recognition


Geneva

63 rue du Rhône,

1204 Genève

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London

16 Old Bailey,

EC4M 7EG

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