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British Virgin Islands > Trusts/private client > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Trusts/private client
  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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    • Laura Hair - Harneys

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Harneys' 'level of service is extremely high; its lawyers turn around work very promptly and provide practical, sensible advice'. Typically advising both commercial (including trust companies and banks) and individual high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and their families, the practice specialises in the creation, administration and termination of trusts, international wills and estates, and in contentious trusts matters; the firm also has a related corporate and fiduciary services business with a trusts administration team. Private client head Sheila George advises HNW individuals and families on multi-generational planning, charitable giving, and issues relating to redomiciling to the BVI; she also assists with the setting up of bespoke, multi-tier trust structures for investment into private islands, businesses, luxury yachts and BVI residences. Johann Henry is also a key contact. Henry Mander is in the Cayman Islands but also highly rated for BVI trusts work; senior associate Laura Hair, who joined from Turcan Connell, is 'helpful, extremely efficient, clear on costs and very easy to deal with, despite testing situations such as the hurricane'. Matthew Howson is a notable associate.

Frequently instructed by blue-chip trust institutions, Appleby's BVI private client and trusts practice advises on all aspects of trust law, including the establishment, administration, restructuring and termination of private, charitable, purpose and commercial trusts. The team worked alongside London solicitors and counsel in a complex piece of trusts litigation; this involved securing the dismissal of claims that a deed of appointment by which trust assets appointed to the firm's client should be set aside. The practice's contentious trusts work is headed by Andrew Willins, while non-contentious trusts advice is provided by BVI-admitted trusts practitioners, who practice from Cayman and are led by global practice group head Carlos de Serpa Pimentel.

O'Neal Webster advises trustees (as individuals and corporations) and beneficiaries on wealth protection, probate planning, trust creation, administration and termination. The team represented a well-known international bank trustee in the first Hastings-Bass application ever to be heard before BVI courts. Managing partner Vanessa King is 'an excellent trusts lawyer' and serves as the current BVI chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Paul Dennis QC and Nadine White are highly regarded litigators, and senior associate Jenelle Archer advises on an extensive range of estate succession matters, particularly probate issues.

Walkers BVI's global wealth structuring group has substantial experience in acting for ultra-HNW (UHNW) individuals and their advisers, as well as leading international trustees and other financial institutions. Typical work includes assisting with the establishment, administration and termination of trusts, both private and commercial, and the associated regulatory requirements. The practice also regularly teams up with the firm's trust disputes group, which frequently acts in substantial and complex international trust claims. It recently advised an UHNW client in relation to succession law issues and structuring options that concerned BVI shareholdings. Oliver Clifton is 'very experienced and not afraid to argue difficult points in court'; the 'incredibly efficient' Rosalind Nicholson is 'very forceful in court'. Global wealth structuring group head Andrew Miller is based in the Cayman Islands.

Conyers Dill & Pearman's private client team advises on family trust structures and ongoing administration matters, as well as on significant contentious trusts disputes. Typical work includes inheritance structuring, private investment structures, inter-generational asset transfers and regulatory laws affecting cross-border transactions. The team acted for Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda), as trustee of a large structure of BVI family trusts, on the complex restructuring and decanting of trust assets, which involved BVI corporate issues and novel classes of trust assets. Associate Matthew Brown regularly advises trustees, beneficiaries, protectors and other office holders on contentious trust and private client-related matters. In the Cayman Islands, counsel Robert Lindley heads up the Cayman and BVI private client and trust group.

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