Trusts and foundations

Trusts and foundations are useful ways to hold and protect your wealth, especially when you have family members and assets located in different countries.

We establish trusts and family foundations in more than 100 jurisdictions around the world. We also have expertise in using trusts in relation to Sharia law and other legal regimes that restrict the manner in which assets can be disposed.

If this is something that you would like to consider, our lawyers will listen carefully to your needs and help identify different alternatives for you. A trust or foundation might be most suitable if you wish to ensure that while your children can enjoy their inheritance, the assets are not split between the different family branches.

We frequently consult with our award-winning trust disputes team, who can help to protect you at an early stage against future problems and ‘stress-test’ the proposed new structure so that it is as robust as possible from the outset. We can also stay on top of developments regarding your family situation and the law, ensuring that your trust is still a suitable vehicle for investment.

One international family for whom we act set up a trust some years ago in the Channel Islands to manage their assets. A young family member attended an American university and decided to stay in the US, where he was subject to US income tax. This made the offshore tax structure inefficient from a tax standpoint, however fortunately the family, with whom we have a long working relationship, came to us at an early stage and we were able to restructure their investments in a more efficient manner.

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Recognition

Ranked in Band 1 for private client for the last 16 years

Leading firm for private wealth

Ranked in top tier for personal tax, trust and probate

UK top 25 private client law firm 2017

Wealth Management - Law Firm of the Year 2017

Leading firm - Band 1 for private client law in Singapore

Leading firm - Tier 2 for tax and trust in Singapore

Leading firm - Band 1 for private client in Hong Kong

How the team can help

Meet the team

Track record

A wealthy European family

A European family asked us to create an overarching trust structure to hold their commercial interests in the UK, Greece, Cyprus, Singapore and elsewhere. Resident in Monaco and London, the family needed the structure to operate as an estate plan, enabling wealth to be passed between generations. This was all done in conjunction with a family constitution governing the management of their wealth.

Greater China client

We assisted our client, based in China, to set up a private trust company structure to hold the shares in a company that was set to be listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. A complex structure was required, to take into consideration various issues including asset protection, tax, disclosure, governance and succession planning.

Reorganization of trust structures

We advised a long term UK resident European family on the reorganization of their trust structures in light of potentially penal changes to their home tax code. Private trust companies and trusts were converted into limited liability partnerships with the general partner mimicking the control and governance mechanisms previously used in the private trust company.

Monaco based family

Our London based private client team work with clients located across Europe, including those jurisdictions where we don't have an office, but a presence and history in advising. We were able to advise this Monaco based family on their global affairs, including their trusts and other asset holding vehicles. The objective was to ensure UK tax efficiency and seamless family succession of core assets and investments.

Structuring trusts for wealthy Argentine family

Represented a wealthy Argentine family to structure trusts for both their personal and business interests. Our planning allowed this family to minimize domestic wealth tax, ensure compliance with US tax regulations, form a voting trust for the family business and facilitate commercial lending transactions.

Italian forced heirship rules

Advising a UK high net worth individual who inherited an estate with worldwide assets settled in trusts and corporate structures in relation to a claim put forward by his siblings on the basis of the Italian forced heirship rules.

Multi generational South East Asia family

We were instructed by this family, consisting of several members spanning two generations, in relation to setting up a private trust company structure (PTC). The PTC acts as a trustee of a master trust to hold the family office, family business and family investment entity. The beneficiaries of the master trust were a series of "feeder" trusts established for the benefit of each of the family members and their respective families together with a number of charitable entities. In addition, we advised the family on establishing a sophisticated governance structure, including a family council and family constitution.

The estate of a leading British retailer

We assisted in the probate and estate administration of a member of the family behind a successful British retail business. The deceased was UK resident ‘non dom’, but with arguable common law domicile, and survived by a spouse, children and grandchildren. He held assets globally, some within a complex web of lifetime trusts, and had made wills in different jurisdictions. We managed the difficult domicile claim, co-ordinated probate applications globally and balanced the dynastic plan for the business.

European family with US connections

We advised our client, a non-domiciled UK resident and his family on a new structure that was required to be efficient from a US and UK perspective and with trusts designed to optimize tax efficiency for his children on the event of his death. Our family team also advised on a multi-jurisdictional post nuptial agreement.

Venezuelan family's assets

Acted for a Venezuelan family concerned about security and control of the family's assets now and for future generations. This resulted in a comprehensive restructuring of their worldwide assets, including the reorganization of existing trusts and creation of a flexible set of arrangements for the migration of trusts to separate jurisdictions for different beneficiaries.

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