17 September 2021 - Article
Steven acts in many of the largest and most complex international trust and succession disputes, the majority of which are resolved successfully without a public court decision. Recent cases that have been reported include:
Acting for high-net worth international businessman on successfully setting aside transfers into various offshore trusts that had triggered unnecessary tax on £10m+ (heard in English court in August 2019)
Acting for beneficiaries of an estate in proceedings that went to the Court of Appeal in England on the issue of removing executors of a Will and on the costs of the dispute; reported as Griffin v Higgs 
Acting for trustees of substantial family trusts seeking order from the Court for additional powers under Section 57 Trustee Act 1925; reported as Gelber v The Sunderland Foundation 
Advising a blue-chip offshore trust company on its involvement in English divorce proceedings concerning attacks on trusts worth over £25 million. We handled the disclosure issues for the trustee and eventually the case was concluded without the trustee being formally joined to the English proceedings.
Our lawyers brought the highest value Inheritance Act claim to date in Wooldridge v Wooldridge (2016). We were acting for a widow who sought to increase provision under her husband’s will after his death in a tragic helicopter accident.
Advising in the Matter of the F Settlement and the A Trust (2015) a landmark decision of the Bermuda court setting aside trustee decisions.
The case of BQ v DQ (2010) a decision of the Bermuda Court concerning a successful challenge to the validity of two high value trusts over 30 years after they had been purportedly established.
Advised on the case of Re A Trust (2012), a decision on successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction against a beneficiary of a trust to prevent the beneficiary suing the trustee in an inappropriate jurisdiction.
Advised in the case of Re Shuldham (2012), the judgment on confidentiality of rectification applications concerning trusts with interests of minor children.
Advised in the matter of Slutsker v Haron (2013) where the Court of Appeal made a decision on the application of the Russian Family Code to a property and trust structure.
England and Wales, 2000
Editor and contributing author to Oxford University Press’ International Trust Disputes, first edition 2012, second edition 2020
STEP Journal article on Arbitration of Trust Disputes, March 2019
Wealth Management Spotlight on Contentious Trusts, Spears Magazine, September 2017
"Stress Testing Trusts in an Unstable World", Wealth Briefly, August 2016
‘Protecting Private Wealth from Europe to the Far East and beyond’, Global Business Magazine, World Trustee Report
Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
Charity Law Association
Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners
International Chamber of Commerce event in London, launching the ICC’s draft clause for the arbitration of trust disputes, November 2018
Panellist - ‘Wealthy families in dispute’, Private client dining club, London - May 2018
STEP, Hong Kong branch, lecture on ‘Trust and divorce’ - February 2018
‘Trust planning in divorce’, Isle of man conference - September 2017
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