Drawing on a global network of offices that spans from the Channel Islands to Hong Kong, Appleby regularly works with a litany of high-net-worth clients on multi-jurisdictional trust disputes, including trials taken before the Grand Court. On the non-contentious side, the team is also well-versed in cross-border trust formations, structurings, and general administration matters. Global group head Carlos De Serpa Pimentel is a veteran trust litigator with considerable experience in hostile beneficiary and trustee disputes, restructuring proceedings, and contentious estate and probate matters. Sebastian Said is regarded for the depth of his contentious trusts practice, with recent highlights including big-ticket proceedings brought in the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court. Counsel Esmond Brown focuses on the establishment and administration of Cayman Islands trusts and foundation companies.
Trusts/private client in Cayman Islands
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely knowledgeable and practical.’
‘Carlos de Serpa Pimentel is very experienced and able to work on the most complex matters.’
‘Esmond Brown is incredibly practical in his advice, which he shares in a simple and concise manner.’
‘Great people who know their stuff and are very well-connected in Cayman.’
Cayman National Trust Co Ltd
Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce Pension Plan Trustees
Maples Trustee Services
- Acted for Cayman National as the Former Trustee of the Poulton Family Trust in respect of hostile proceedings brought in the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court by the adult children of the settlor and beneficiaries who were excluded from the Trust by the Settlor and Protector of the Trust in 2016.
- Advising the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce as trustee of the Chamber’s Pension Plan for all employees resident in the Cayman Islands.
- Advised Maples Trustee Services (Cayman) Limited on the establishment of a new Cayman Islands trust of which it was appointed trustee.
Regarded by some as the ‘go-to firm for private client and trust matters in the Cayman Islands‘, Harneys handles a stellar array of work for an ample roster of international clients. Led by the ‘exceptional’ Henry Mander, the team is noted for its proficiency in high-value succession planning and trust restructuring, as well as applications and cross-border disputes taken before the various Cayman courts. Praised by clients for his availability and knowledge, Charles Moore is equally adept in both contentious and non-contentious matters, ranging from international trust formations to probate disputes. Jessica Williams is a seasoned litigator whose recent engagements include trustee applications and hearings at the Court of Appeal. Associate Majdi Beji, who works with high-net-worth clients on non-contentious international trust matters, is noted for his Middle Eastern focus.
Other key lawyers:
Charles Moore; Majdi Beij; Jessica Williams
‘The Harneys team led by Henry Mander is my go-to firm for private client and trust matters in the Cayman Islands. Their ability to dissect complex legal issues and provide clear practical advice sets them apart from their competitors.’
‘Henry Mander and Charlie Moore are an exceptional team. They are very good with clients, knowledgeable, and highly responsive.’
‘The Private Client team is a pleasure to work with, particularly Charles Moore, who is always available and very approachable. The advice given is always practical and proactive and the team is extremely knowledgeable. They are fantastic business partners.’
Dubbed by clients as ‘the private client office to beat in Cayman’, Ogier‘s sizeable team is regularly sought out for its capabilities in high-value, cross-jurisdictional contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice is jointly led by global trusts disputes head Rachael Reynolds KC – regarded as ‘one of the brightest fiduciary litigators in the offshore world’ – and the ‘fantastic’ Anthony Partridge, who spearheads the private wealth team. William Jones is an experienced trust litigator whose wide-ranging capabilities encompass contentious insolvencies, contractual disputes and insurance claims. Counsel Deborah Barker-Roye possesses decades of experience in contentious trust and estate matters, including international arbitral proceedings and applications before the Grand Court. Associates Samantha Conolly and Jordan Constable – who joined from Bedell Cristin in August 2021 – are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Jennifer Fox; Deborah Barker-Roye; William Jones; Samantha Conolly; Jordan Constable
‘The team led by Anthony Partridge are highly competent, focused and responsive.’
‘Extremely client focused, very practical, creative thinkers. Ogier has one of the top private client practices in Cayman. Combined with the strength of their other offshore offices, the Ogier practice is a true powerhouse.’
‘Anthony Partridge is very smart, practical, and works well with clients. Extremely responsive.’
‘Rachael Reynolds KC is a superstar – one of the brightest fiduciary litigators in the offshore world.’
‘It is now the private client office to beat in Cayman in 2022. Having an in-house private client KC in Rachael Reynolds, who sits on the advisory board of the trusts and estates litigation forum, also sets the team apart from the crowd.’
‘Rachael Reynolds KC is the best trust litigator in Cayman, and I would always want her on my team.’
‘Anthony Partridge is a fantastic lawyer. Approachable and always available to help.’
‘Jordan Constable hasn’t been in Cayman for long, but is already making a mark. He will have a highly successful career. I have been thoroughly impressed with him.’
- Acted for an institutional trustee, and working alongside the family office, in one of the largest known trust restructurings in the Cayman Islands.
- Advising and representing CIMA in relation to various administrative appeals brought by a leading global corporate services provider against enforcement decisions made by CIMA for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and Banks and Trust Companies Act.
Walkers possesses a deep bench of specialist private capital and private client lawyers, whose capabilities encompass Cayman relocations, family office formations, and cross-border trust litigation. The practice is jointly headed up by several lawyers: the dual-qualified (Cayman and BVI) David Pytches; the ‘exceptionally bright and unflappable‘ Philip Paschalides; the ‘fantastic‘ Monique Bhullar; and Shelley White, who runs the trusts disputes team. Senior counsel Lucy Diggle variously handles international trusts and private client work across the contentious and non-contentious arenas, with recent engagements including multi-billion-dollar estate structurings. Associate Daisy Boulter is recommended for contentious trusts work. Clive Thomas has left the practice.
David Pytches; Philip Paschalides; Monique Bhullar; Shelley White
Other key lawyers:
Lucy Diggle; Daisy Boulter
‘The Walkers private client team are fantastic to deal with and are the only cohesive team in the sector with the technical bandwidth to cover the full spectrum of private client disciplines – they are one of the few firms that recognise that this includes classic intergenerational planning as well as transactional solutions for liquidity events and a superb digital assets team based in Cayman.’
‘They continue to make superb senior hires and still promote talent from within, combining to create a great balance between long-term lawyer retention and the best industry practice.’
‘I don’t know any other firm that genuinely work together this way across disciplines and jurisdictions.’
‘Walkers is well regarded for being a long-established firm in the Cayman Islands and enjoying the benefit of its international reach. The Walkers team is known for its subject matter expertise and best in class lawyers.’
‘Perhaps the strongest trusts team in Cayman – particularly stand out on commercial trusts. Also leaders in private clients.’
‘Philip Paschalides is exceptionally bright and unflappable. Very creative too.’
‘David Pytches is an excellent lawyer. Excellent at working and collaborating with teams comprised of other global advisers.’
‘Monique Bhullar is a fantastic lawyer. Clients love her. Extremely hard worker and very responsive.’
Rawlinson & Hunter
Grant Thornton, Saad Investments Company Limited (In Official Liquidation)
Bessemer Trust Company (Cayman) Limited
- Acting for the Plaintiffs in major cross-border trusts litigation against a Liechtenstein trustee seeking to set aside or amend a settlement, both on grounds of mistake and under Israeli matrimonial law.
Bedell Cristin‘s ‘serious bench of legal talent‘ is regularly engaged on a mix of high-value matters, ranging from new formations to multi-office relocations and international estate probates. Regarded by some as the ‘dean of the Cayman private client community‘, practice chair Andrew Miller is a highly experienced global wealth structuring adviser, working with a number of clients in both Cayman and the BVI. ‘Remarkable‘ managing associate Daniel Altneu is especially highly regarded for his expertise in residency and high-net-worth immigration law. Fellow managing associate Fraser Allister is recommended for his knowledge of intergenerational wealth transfer issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Miller and Fraser Allister combine to provide a well-thought-out and practical solution to what has been presented.’
‘A serious bench of legal talent. They are building a private client powerhouse.’
‘Andrew Miller is the dean of the Cayman private client community. A true superstar. Clients love him. Very good at focusing clients on the true issues.’
‘Fraser Allister is going to be a force to reckon with for years to come. Great lawyer. Extremely practical and business savvy.’
‘The private client team are a class act – knowledgeable, user-friendly, responsive and adept at coordinating input from other parts of the firm when it’s needed.’
‘Incredible care and attention to clients. Daniel Altneu is possibly the most professional Residency Attorney in the Cayman Islands. I recommend him to all of my high-net-worth clients due to the fact his approach is first class, and he goes above and beyond the call of duty. He cares deeply about each individual. His expertise is phenomenal but it’s his willingness to ensure every aspect of their relocation is worked through. Daniel is truly a remarkable attorney.’
‘Pure heart coupled with first-class service and professionalism.’
A diverse roster of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, wealth management companies and financial services providers turn to the team at Carey Olsen for assistance with big-ticket mandates, including trusteeship transfers, family office formations, and wealth structuring issues. ‘Superb‘ practice head Bernadette Carey is well-versed in both contentious and non-contentious matters, appearing before the Grand Court in respect of private client disputes, and advising on succession planning and wealth structuring. Counsel Graham Stoute is noted for his capabilities in estate administration and advisory work, while fellow counsel Chris Duncan regularly handles restructuring projects for the firm’s trustee client base.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong on trusts, trust law and trust structures and at the cutting edge of structuring.’
‘Chris Duncan is very responsive and excellent with clients and advising on complex structures and assets, with hands-on experience of crypto.’
‘They are professional, high energy, pleasant, approachable and overall excellent to deal with. It is really the people at Carey Olsen that distinguish the firm. Their client service culture is superior.’
‘Bernadette Carey is very responsive. Time is money and her response time makes a big difference. She spends time up front to understand the client needs, which reduces non-productive time later in the process. Able to ask tough questions in a very nice way. Intellectually curious and cares about the client experience as much as the quality of work being provided.’
‘Carey Olsen are a breath of fresh air. Innovative and highly commercial. Their team comprises like-minded individuals that implement a client driven approach.’
‘Bernadette Carey is superb to work with.’
Helmed by the ‘highly experienced and very responsive‘ Robert Lindley, Conyers works with a strong mix of high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and corporates on the full scope of non-contentious and trusts disputes work. The team’s cross-border capabilities are notably concentrated in the Latin American markets, advising a number of Brazilian and Argentine entities on high-value matters. Associate Wesley O’Brien advises widely on trusts and succession planning matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Great team. High quality of service and pragmatic, solution-oriented, client-friendly approach. They are on top of things and my number one in Cayman to go to.’
‘Robert Lindley is highly experienced and very responsive. Analytical, solution oriented, and a pleasure to deal with.’
‘The team is very client focused and approachable. It is easy to make introductions to clients and be able to trust the team’s way of speaking to clients at a level that is suitable to each client. Their knowledge is very up-to-date and relevant.’
‘A helpful and very responsive private client trust team whom provide practical solutions to challenging trustee issues. A good team to work with, and I would happily recommend them to clients and other trustees looking for Cayman counsel.’
- Advised beneficiaries in respect of applications before the Cayman Courts and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council concerning the trustee’s funding arrangements.
- Advised the trustee of a significantly valued philanthropic trust structure in relation to structuring, regulatory and governance issues.
- Advised and represented Colours Caribbean in the context of a constitutional challenge to the legal validity of the Cayman Islands Civil Partnership Act.
A number of corporate clients, law firms and trusts turn to Collas Crill for its balanced capabilities in contentious private client matters and trust formation work. Practice chair Andrew Peedom is a seasoned offshore adviser whose expertise spans commercial advisory work and litigation before the Privy Council. Senior associate Sally Peedom is a key port of call for a number of institutional trustees and high-net-worth individuals on both sides of the Atlantic. David Cooney has left the practice.
Other key lawyers:
- Advising a Russian billionaire and family members in respect of a $572m claim asserted against Cayman trust assets of which they are the settlor and beneficiaries, allegations of fraud and joinder of the trustee to English High Court proceedings brought by two Russian banks.
- Advising the trustee of a Cayman STAR trust settled by the late founder of a major resort group with regard to attempts to remove a private trust company in the structure as trustee of underlying Bahamian trusts on grounds of conflict of interest.
- Advising on the restructuring of a $50m Cayman trust with US-domiciled beneficiaries, including constituting a Family Committee and underlying corporate entities for the two branches of the family.