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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Jersey > Private client, trusts and tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Private client, trusts and tax
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Carey Olsen fields a ‘strong team with a tight grip on the issues involved and always provides forward-thinking, practical solutions’; ‘the attitudes held by the firm and its practitioners are a comfort that any expectations of a high-quality service will be met’. The ‘professional’ Andreas Kistler ‘goes the extra mile’ and represented the minor and unborn beneficiaries of two trusts in an application to the Royal Court for the widening of the class of beneficiaries to include same-sex marriages and adopted children; practice head Siobhan Riley is known for her ‘technical expertise and commerciality’ and oversaw the establishment of a private trust company for a high-net-worth individual wishing to maintain a high level of oversight. Also notable is ‘highly responsive and pragmatic’ counsel Victoria Connolly, who advised an asset management company on UK inheritance tax issues after the trustee followed incorrect counsel from their UK advisers. Also notable are Keith Dixon, Alexa Saunders and counsel Stephen Fitzgerald, who ‘is an excellent example of the quality of lawyers within the firm’.

Edward Devenport spearheads the private client offering at Mourant Ozannes, which brings together contentious and advisory work for an enviable client base of high-net-worth individuals, family offices and international trust structures. The team was appointed by the qualified member of two Jersey trusts to oversee the merger of the two structures, and Devenport led the advice to a utilities provider with regard to the review of its pension scheme, namely regarding its obligations under Jersey’s pension law reform. In other highlights, the team guided the principal beneficiary of a Jersey trust through the risks and benefits of restructuring the structure into two new US trusts. Counsel Fred Milner ‘always goes beyond the call of duty’ and was part of the team which designed a structure for ring-fenced family governance on behalf of a family business in Latin America. Giles Corbin is also a name to note on the non-contentious side, while ‘charming, urbane and exceptionally clever stand-out star’ Jonathan Speck and ‘superb trust litigator’ Bruce Lincoln are key on the contentious front.

The ‘advice is thorough and pertinent as well as practical and commercial’ at Ogier, where attorneys such as counsel and ‘expert trust lawyer’ Katherine Neal ‘always inspire confidence by always delivering concise and quality advice’. Steven Meiklejohn led the advice to a Europe-based family which owns a significant business through two Jersey trusts on the modernisation of the structure as the next generation of the family nears adulthood, while global practice head and ‘great stalwart of the Jersey private client scene’ Sally Edwards acted for a Jersey trust company in the restructuring and transfer of a private structure to Monaco and Hong Kong. James Campbell – described by one client as ‘the best private client lawyer on the island’ – recently joined the firm from Bedell Cristin, alongside counsel Victoria Grogan from Carey Olsen, and guided institutional trustees through the operation of emergency provisions in certain trust instruments following significant events in the Middle East. Also noteworthy are managing associate Josephine Howe and senior associate Richard Laignel.

The private client lawyers at Appleby ‘are all particularly timely in the delivery of their services and all have a keen technical and business acumen, ensuring their advice is appropriate and cost-effective’. Practice head David Dorgan is praised for his ‘sound knowledge of the law, availability, great communication skills and willingness to go the extra mile’; he recently handled the trust documentation for the establishment of a new charitable structure to hold shares in multiple SPVs on behalf of a commodities company. In other highlights, the group is advising the settlor of a new life income trust established through the relocation of an existing unregulated fund from the Cayman Islands to Jersey on discretionary capital and protector provisions. For contentious work, clients can rely on Michael Cushing, who acts as managing partner of the Jersey office, and dispute resolution practice head Fraser Robertson.

Bedell Cristin’s private client offering operates as part of the wider corporate and finance department and can be ‘summed up as efficiency with a personal touch’. The ‘highly intelligent’ Nancy Chien ‘is at the top of her game’ and led the advice to the trustee of a Jersey structure with regard to a reorganisation for tax purposes in light of the recent changes in the UK’s non-domiciled tax regime. A group of trustees appointed a team led by practice head Edward Bennett to oversee the transfer of a managed trust company business, and Zillah Howard advised trustees on their retirement from a structure established to benefit an ultra-high-net-worth family with interests in the UK and US. Associates Lydia Carter and Kirsten Brass joined the firm from Collas Crill and Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP’s Glasgow office, respectively.

Some of the main names to note in Collas Crill’s ‘very approachable, knowledgeable, professional and commercial’ private client team are ‘widely experienced’ senior associate Nick Marshall and practice head Kellyann Ozouf, who is known to clients as a ‘solid, practical lawyer’. Dispute resolution practice leader Dionne Gilbert is acting for a high-net-worth individual in divorce and ancillary proceedings against his wife, a beneficiary of a discretionary trust containing substantial liquid assets; Damian James, who spearheads the trust litigation sub-team, is currently representing the trustee of a Jersey structure before the Royal Court following a beneficiary’s application for access to trust and accounting documents in the context of deteriorating family relations. On the advisory side, the group oversaw the launch of several new foundations, and Ozouf handled the migration of several trusts and loans from Guernsey to Jersey and guided clients through corporate governance matters such as the removal of co-trustees. Other noteworthy names include of counsel Dan Boxall.

Dickinson Gleeson’s private client offering is ‘excellent, personal, quick and most importantly to the point’; the team’s ‘excellent response times allow for the building of an effective working relationship’. Especially strong in the contentious trust space, practice head Craig Swart also demonstrates proficiency on the advisory side, where his ‘calm and unflustered’ approach impresses clients. The group continues to represent the incoming trustee in the longstanding Z Trust dispute, which involves questions regarding the duties of trustees overseeing insolvent trusts and the competing rights of beneficiaries and creditors, among others. The family of a substantial trust appointed the group to handle the exit of a trustee after the latter imposed a freeze on the assets in the context of disputed foreign tax claims, and Swart is assisting a Jersey trustee with the recovery of loans from the deceased settlor’s children. Managing partner James Dickinson and James Gleeson sit in the contentious department and are also key names to note.

WALKERS senior counsel Robert Dobbyn is described as ‘a definite rising star in Jersey’; ‘his advice is always appropriate and exactly what clients are looking for’. Damian Evans spearheads the firm’s trust disputes team and recently represented the interests of the minor and unborn beneficiaries of a number of trusts with regard to the transfer of assets to a foreign government. Other notable contentious highlights include Marc Seddon’s ongoing advice to the trustee of five charitable sub-trusts with regard to longstanding litigation involving questions about the recoverability of legal costs in administrative and hostile proceedings and the rights of charitable trust beneficiaries to obtain disclosure from a trustee to instigate collateral proceedings. On the advisory side, Nigel Weston assisted an ultra-high-net-worth family with setting up a new trust to hold real estate and listed investments with significant reserved powers provisions and other oversight mechanisms.

Ward Yates ‘provides a comprehensive and proactive service’. Victoria Yates has the ‘ability to explain complex legal matters in a straightforward manner’ and draws much praise from clients, who also recommend the ‘positive and enthusiastic’ Elaine Kelly. A global private markets investment manager engaged the team to oversee the establishment of two Jersey unit trusts to invest in an Asian structure holding commercial property, and senior associate Corinne Barnes collaborated with Yates to guide a Russian private client through the setting up of a discretionary family trust. The ‘commercial and pragmatic’ Nick Ward led the advice to a licensed trust company acting as the trustee of two discretionary trusts on its ability to fund a bonus scheme to reward certain key individuals in a business which it has agreed to sell in a staged process. Other work highlights include advising on the restructuring and winding-up of structures, reviewing trust documents and wills and probate issues, and assisting clients with corporate governance matters.

The ‘excellent’ lawyers at private client and corporate boutique firm Hatstone Lawyers ‘are great to work with as they understand the pressures of putting a transaction together and avoid over-lawyering; their response times are fast and their approach is highly solutions-oriented’. Simon Vivian recently advised a trustee on the potential restructuring of their trust and the interest of its beneficiaries so as to equalise them across a number of structures, and assisted a trustee wishing to write off a loan made by its underlying company to a beneficiary and for it to be treated as a capital waiver instead of a dividend. Also noteworthy is senior associate Michael Shenkin, who collaborated with Vivian to represent the Jersey-based beneficiaries of a trust in rectifying the trustee’s failure to report loan transactions, namely with regard to the trust’s tax position. The ‘highly commercial’ Mark Rawlins ‘is a real pleasure to deal with’ and recently joined the firm from Collas Crill.

Voisin Law ‘is a high-quality firm that punches above its weight’. The private client offering is led by ‘class act’ Nigel Pearmain, who ‘is extremely knowledgeable in many areas of Jersey law’, and consists of ‘good, thorough trust lawyers’ such as Jeffrey Giovanni, who ‘has a great tactical brain’. A high-profile Middle Eastern family appointed the group to advise on the reorganisation of its business arrangements in the context of succession planning and wealth protection, and Pearmain continues to represent a trustee in a significant UK dispute involving a Jersey trust and a Beddoe application to the Royal Court. ‘Very professional and prompt’ advocate Chris Le Quesne is also a key contact, alongside the ‘friendly and approachable’ Clare Nicholle, who is praised for her ‘speed and accuracy’.

As a litigation boutique, Baker & Partners’ ‘particular strength lies in trusts and regulatory disputes, but they are developing a skill in counsel work as well’, according to one client. The lawyers within the team ‘are all extremely professional in their approach and the way they deal with clients’. The ‘bright, effective and persuasive’ Adv Simon Thomas and ‘especially impressive’ senior associate Adv James Sheedy are acting for a group of African companies in claims against a former director accused of diverting funds into offshore accounts and against RBC on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence for its alleged assistance in the scheme. Adv William Redgrave is ‘extremely eloquent and clever’; he continues to act for BNP as one of the many defendants in a breach of trust action arising from the longstanding Crociani v Crociani dispute. Also notable are ‘powerful advocate’ Steven Baker and senior associates Charlie Sorensen and the ‘very hardworking, conscientious and responsive’ Lynne Gregory.

Lexstone Lawyers’ Lucy Egerton-Vernon recently oversaw a restructuring transaction on behalf of a family office, including the establishment of a private trust, and Marcus Stone drafted an application for a change of members of a Panamanian foundation for an ultra-high-net-worth family based in Dubai. Associate Claudia Martens plays a key supportive role and is also a name to note.

Oben Law specialises in financial service regulations, dispute resolution and trust law, and continues to represent the minor and unborn beneficiaries of a trust in a dispute arising from competing claims to local trust assets involving allegations of lack of capacity, lack of due process and undue influence. In recent highlights, the group was instructed to challenge a decision by the Royal Court to bless a momentous decision by a trustee involving ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and the team continues to act for Dubai Investment Bank in its appeal against an action seeking to set aside a Jersey trust on the grounds that it comprises the proceeds of fraud. Founding partners Advocate Simon Franckel  and Advocate David Wilson  head the team alongside regulatory experts Jamie Biddle and Nicola Ingram. Senior associate Louise Godley recently joined the team from an in-house role with a fund administrator.

The 'highly regarded' Advocate Mason Birbeck heads the trusts and private wealth department at Parslows, which is valued for being 'highly responsive in all areas' and, according to one client, 'more attentive than its competitors'. The group recently facilitated the transfer of trusteeship of five Jersey law trusts, and is currently representing a foreign settlor of a discretionary trust in disputes arising from the breakdown of family relations. Birbeck also oversaw the establishment of a family office and guided a financial services company through its application for trust and funds service licenses with the appropriate government bodies.

Pinel Advocates' Andrew Pinel assists trust companies with existing structures as well as with the setting up of new ones, advises high-net-worth individuals and their families on succession planning and estate administration, and handles probate matters with the help of probate associate Michele Laurent. Also notable is the firm's work in the charity sector.

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