Next Generation Partners

Trusts/private client in Bermuda


Fielding a team that ‘consistently provides excellent, high-quality and timely legal advice,’ Appleby‘s cross-practice trusts and dispute resolution team is adept at advising on the entire spectrum of trust law and is frequently retained by blue-chip trust institutions. Practice co-head Vanessa Schrum is a key contact for non-contentious matters and has extensive experience in acting for ultra-high-net-worth clients across the globe. Fellow co-head Hannah Tildesley specialises in commercial litigation, with a particular focus on trust disputes. Other notable figures include senior associates Caljonah Smith, who concentrates on non-contentious estate matters and routinely handling probate and seal applications to the Supreme Court; and Sam Riihiluoma, who acts for liquidators in winding up proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Vanessa Schrum; Hannah Tildesley

Other key lawyers:

Caljonah Smith; Sam Riihiluoma


‘Brilliant client service. They always take a commercial approach and are always willing to help and go the extra mile to get deals over the line within tight deadlines.’

‘Vanessa Schrum – an excellent practitioner – such a delight to work with and really drives matters forward.’

‘Appleby’s team in Bermuda consistently provides excellent, high-quality and timely legal advice for all of our Trust and Private Client needs.’

‘Appleby in Bermuda represents an excellence benchmark against which other firms are competing to be viewed and judged against.’

‘The Appleby team are fully prepared to go the proverbial extra mile with all aspects of the delivery of their services.’

‘Vanessa Schrum – always able to respond, help and deliver with even the tightest of deadlines. A leading authority in Bermuda on all things trust and private client related.’

‘Caljonah Smith – metronomic in her ability to deliver and ability to assist. A rising force and authority on her subject matter.’

‘Appleby Bermuda have a very aligned team for seamless delivery of their services. Their team is well resourced, always ready and able to help, even with very tight deadlines and unexpected or emerging matters requiring immediate assistance. Appleby are my, like many other professionals, primary “go to” team in Bermuda for trust and private client matters.’

Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited

The trusts and private wealth practice at Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited advises on a wide spectrum of trust matters, encompassing both contentious and non-contentious issues, including high-profile proceedings. Leading the practice and recognised as ‘a powerhouse of unquestionable ability,’ Keith Robinson has extensive experience in major trust cases, while Ashley Fife specialises in advising on trust restructurings, trust disputes and trust documentation. Claire van Overdijk KC, who took silk in 2023, is an expert in cross-border trust and estate disputes; and Stephanie Bernard has extensive experience in international and local estate planning arrangements, wealth management structures, and international and local pensions issues. Key senior associates include Laura Kearns, who has experience in lifetime and succession planning work, and Oliver MacKay, who excels in contentious trust matters.

Practice head(s):

Keith Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Fife; Claire van Overdijk KC; Stephanie Bernard; Laura Kearns; Oliver MacKay


‘Carey Olsen Bermuda is now the leading private client/trust services law firm in Bermuda.’

‘Keith Robinson continues to impress with his vast breadth of knowledge and experience. He provides decisive, clear and concise advice without ever being condescending when explaining a particularly complex legal problem. Oliver MacKay has proved to be hard working, diligent and approachable with a positive attitude. Claire van Overdijk KC is insightful, friendly and very knowledgeable.’

‘The trusts and private client team that has been created is extremely strong at all levels. This allows for certain matters not to have to be dealt with at partner level therefore provides a cost efficient service for the client. CO Bermuda is truly a full service practice which is helpful as many of our matters touch numerous other service departments. The team at CO are always open to having a general discussion on any current hot topics and provide wonderful insight.’

‘Keith Robinson – Keith has a wealth of experience on a wide range of topics. Keith is always quick to get to the nub of a matter and always develops a pragmatic and sensible solution.’

‘The best trust litigation team I have worked with in any jurisdiction.’

‘Keith Robinson, Claire van Overdijk KC and Oliver MacKay are very thorough, knowledgeable and detailed. Very proactive in their case management and highly competent in court.’

‘Carey Olsen Bermuda is very responsive and is very good for quality of service, attention to detail, partner inclusion.’

‘The Carey Olsen team’s strengths include their outstanding experience and breadth of knowledge in the industry. I am always impressed by the team’s dedication to excellence and quality of service as their availability and response times go above and beyond.’

Key clients

BCT Limited


Conyers‘ private client and trust team has extensive experience in advising ultra-high-net-worth individuals, including local and multinational clients and is praised by clients as 'the best team in Bermuda'. It's expertise spans matters involving private trust companies, including trust establishments, trust restructurings and the strategic use of trusts in commercial applications. Co-leading the team, Craig MacIntyre specialises in non-contentious matters, while Helen Cooper is an expert in trust company structures, and Ben Adamson is a key name for litigation. Karen Corless is recognised as ‘knowledgeable, dedicated, and hardworking’  with a focus on international and local estate planning arrangements. Directors Scott Pearman and Anna Bruce-Smith are both key contacts alongside senior associate Davina Hargun; between them, they cover the full spectrum of private client and trust issues concerning legal and administrative trust matters.

Practice head(s):

Craig MacIntyre; Helen Cooper; Ben Adamson

Other key lawyers:

Scott Pearman; Karen Corless; Anna Bruce-Smith; Davina Hargun


‘They have strength in depth in private client law and a strong trust administration and contentious offering too. They are the best team in Bermuda.’

‘Conyers is an international legal firm of distinction with a depth of expertise spanning private and commercial wealth.’

‘Helen Cooper is practical and personable and has provided excellent advice.’

‘They know what they are doing; practical and responsive.’

‘Strongest private client practice in Bermuda. Very strong client base.’

‘Helen Cooper and Anna Bruce-Smith are stand our partners for being both personable, efficient and technically able.’

‘I have worked the most with, and think extremely highly of, Helen Cooper, Craig MacIntyre and Karen Corless. Each is extremely knowledgeable, dedicated and hard-working, sophisticated in his or her practice and displays valuable judgement.’

‘The senior partners of Conyers, who deservedly attract accolades for their legal acumen and the depth of their professional skill, are Helen Cooper and Craig MacIntyre, who work in the private wealth and trust area. They have the ability to handle the most complex legal issues and are complemented by younger partners, notably Karen Corless and Anna Bruce-Smith who advise some of Conyers most prestigious clients.’