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Harneys is ‘responsive, has a good team approach and knows its way around local practices and the law’. The team advises on some of the largest trusts and private client matters in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), including the establishment and restructuring of BVI trusts, including Virgin Islands Special Trusts, private trust companies, purpose trusts, unit trusts, and employee benefit trusts. The practice recently experienced high levels of instructions from South America and the Far East for new trusts and the restructuring of existing structures. Contentious highlights include acting for the former Premier of the Republic of Georgia and his immediate family, who are beneficiaries of the Mandalay Trust (the Trust), in an action against Credit Suisse Bank, Credit Suisse Trust and Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda), regarding the Trust’s multimillion-dollar losses. Private client department head Sheila George advises high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and families in all aspects of multigenerational planning, charitable giving, and issues involving redomiciling to the BVI, as well as setting up bespoke multi-tier corporate and trusts structures for investment into private islands, businesses, luxury yachts and residences in the BVI. Group head Henry Mander divides his time between the Cayman Islands (Cayman) and the BVI. Other key lawyers include Johann Henry and the ‘very responsive’ counsels Jonathan Addo and Hazelann Hannaway, who specialise in contentious issues involving complex tax and trusts structuring, cross-border probate, succession planning, and international trusts disputes.

Appleby’s practice covers international cross-border trust and estates advice and structuring for HNW and ultra-HNW (UHNW) clients and global institutions. Andrew Willins undertakes a significant amount of trust dispute resolution work; Willins led advice to globally active fiduciary company Attendus Trust Company in claims for breach of trust, which involved a discretionary settlement. Cayman-based Carlos de Serpa Pimentel is private client and trusts head.

O'Neal Webster is recommended for its advice to trustees (individuals and corporations) and beneficiaries on issues regarding wealth preservation, probate planning, and the creation, administration, and termination of trusts. Vanessa King and Paul Dennis QC, who acts in contentious probate matters, are the key contacts.

Walkers BVI has substantial experience in acting for UHNW individuals and their advisers, as well as several international trustees and other financial institutions, on the establishment, administration and termination of trusts. Cayman-based global wealth structuring group head Andrew Miller specialises in non-contentious BVI and Cayman trust matters; and Oliver Clifton and Rosalind Nicholson are key litigators. Nicholson acted for a trustee in bankruptcy in successfully seeking recognition of the BVI Court and associated orders, regarding the tracing and recovery of assets held through BVI companies.

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