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. Two partners in our team, Steven Kempster and Dawn Goodman, are co-authors of the leading textbook on international trust disputes.
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.
‘Very often people come to us initially because they’re being stonewalled,’ says Jeremy Mellitz, a partner in our US office in New Haven, ‘If you think you’re entitled to something, but the trust administrators aren’t replying to your calls or letters, that’s really frustrating.’
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.
Experience few can match
We have acted in a number of very high-profile court proceedings; however, the majority of our cases settle privately. In one case, we acted for a successful entrepreneur who consulted us because he had put property and savings into a trust structure he had originally acquired as part of an employee benefits scheme. When a director of the offshore trust company was convicted of fraud, our client became concerned. With our help, he retrieved most of his assets and settled a claim against the trust company for loss of value.
We represent HEH VIII Nizam of Hyderabad in an ongoing dispute over £35 million held in a London bank. The dispute originated in 1948, when a sum of money was given by the finance minister of Hyderabad (at the time an independent state) to the High Commissioner of Pakistan in London for safekeeping. A legal technicality recently brought the sum into the jurisdiction of English courts and we are working to retrieve it for our client and his family. However, the governments of India and Pakistan also claim it, in a dispute riven with history.
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