Private client, trusts and tax in Guernsey

Carey Olsen

Natasha Kapp (who is described as 'a great client handler with tremendous expertise in complex trusts') and practice head Russell Clark ('an outstanding technical lawyer') in Carey Olsen’s trusts and private wealth practice frequently assist with the establishment of foundations and philanthropic structures for clients originating from the Middle East, China and South East Asia. Konrad Friedlaender is a go-to Guernsey lawyer for prolific high-net-worth individuals and family offices, including those from South Africa, while also working closely with dedicated pensions senior associate Julie Currie on international pensions structures. The team also acts on trust restructurings through the courts. Counsels Patricia Montgomery and Laila Arstall are key names at the below partner level, acting for trustees and beneficiaries across a range of instructions.

Practice head(s):

Russell Clark

Other key lawyers:

Natasha Kapp; Konrad Friedlaender; Julie Currie; Patricia Montgomery; Laila Arstall

Testimonials

‘A full-service offering with key members of the team that gives you confidence you are being advised by the best.’

‘Natasha Kapp continues to provide pragmatic advice to both protectors and trustees with the ability to deal with unique situations.’

‘The private client, trusts and tax practice at Carey Olsen is a leader in the field with a team of the very highest quality out there, especially at partner and more senior associate level. The team combines technical excellence in their respective jurisdictions with a fantastic level of client service and practical nous. They are engaging, highly collaborative and client-centric. We enjoy working with them as it is a rewarding experience as they share our values, are efficient and helpful.’

‘Russell Clark is a stand-out partner and leader at the firm – can’t sing his praises highly enough – he is an outstanding technical lawyer, deeply experienced not just in leading advice or on big restructuring projects but also in navigating all the nuances of working with families, family offices and trustees. He wears his excellence lightly and is highly respected yet also fun.’

‘Natasha Kapp is a great client-handler with tremendous expertise in complex trusts and advising dynastic families. She very much deserves her excellent reputation as an efficient, collegiate and talented practitioner.’

‘Leading practitioner in terms of brand. Strength in depth. Industry awareness. good interaction with industry re flyers and seminars. Have practitioners with multiple specialisation who can be drawn upon.’

‘Konrad Friedlander is a pensions law expert.’

‘They are extremely knowledgeable, reliable and always respect deadlines, even if they have to work overtime every day! They will do their level best to assist the trustees. They are so good at what they do and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else apart from Carey Olsen.’

Ogier

In an expansion of Ogier’s ‘highly specialised and client-focused‘ private client, trusts and tax department, practice head Gavin Ferguson (‘a highly experienced practitioner who understands the industry extremely well‘) was joined by Matthew Guthrie and Catherine Moore from Mourant to flesh out the non-contentious offering. Alongside advising on foundation structures, probate matters and trust administrations, the team excels in representing trustees and beneficiaries in contentious work, advising on legacy disputes and matters pertaining to child beneficiaries. Managing associate Chris Hards is a go-to lawyer for international pensions matters.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Ferguson

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Guthrie; Catherine Moore; Chris Hards

Testimonials

‘Although practicing in a fairly large firm they offer a boutique feel in that there is always the right level of partner involvement.’

‘Gavin Ferguson is my go to-person in Guernsey-related matters. Gavin and his team offer to-the-point and hands-on advice, and they do it fast.’

‘They just do what they do incredibly well.’

‘The Ogier team is highly specialised and client focused. It has a large network of offices, which allows it to consider many different jurisdictions when considering solutions to client situations. The Ogier team is always highly responsive and provides first-rate work.’

‘Gavin Ferguson is a highly experienced practitioner who understands the industry extremely well. Gavin is very driven to find practical solutions for clients. The recent appointment of Matt Guthrie should also be a major coup of the team.’

‘Ability to provide creative and practical solutions to complex matters which achieves all the objectives.’

‘Very personable and going the extra mile.’

‘Gavin Ferguson – he provided innovative advice.’

Collas Crill

Collas Crill’s international private client offering benefits from practice head Angela Calnan’s Middle East expertise when assisting with Guernsey-based foundation structurings for high-wealth individuals from that region. Having recently joined the practice, Adrian Brown and the 'very tactically astuteElizabeth Couch expanded the firm’s family law capabilities regarding matrimonial and divorce matters relating to Guernsey trust structures. David Cooney, who is 'an exceptional talent in the industry', provides international clients with niche knowledge of complex fiduciary structures holding cryptocurrency and digital assets. Associate Gregory Haddow is highly rated; recent instructions pertained to trust transfers from Guernsey to The Cayman Islands.

Practice head(s):

Angela Calnan

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Brown; Elizabeth Couch; David Cooney; Gregory Haddow; Joanne Seal

Testimonials

‘Elizabeth Couch cares deeply for her clients, has a huge work ethic and thinks creatively about solutions for her cases. She is very tactically astute and a fine technical lawyer.’

‘David Cooney is one of very few lawyers in the private client sector who combines a considerate yet pragmatic approach with outstanding technical knowledge in the full range of structures used by international families for estate planning and investment. He is an exceptional talent in the industry.’

‘The approach received was a team approach, with all relevant members of the team involved to deliver a solution. The business was potentially contentious and the extra attention to detail was very much appreciated. Greg Haddow in particular took the effort to ensure that a solution was delivered that was acceptable to the client, after office hours. This resulted in the capturing of a significant relationship for us.’

‘The team are very responsive and not only technically good, they also understand the commercial and family aspects that underlie many family wealth structures.’

‘I work mostly with David Cooney who has turned out to be capable of adapting documentation to clients’ needs and trying to understand what truly moves the client.’

‘Angela Calnan has proven to be excellent in matching the work requested with the outcome provided.’

‘Joanne Seal is hardworking and diligent. She is an excellent listener and the type of solicitor whom you don’t have to tell something to twice.’

‘My main contact at Collas Crill Guernsey is David Cooney. I must say that he always provided a great service and support. His advice is always very comprehensive, clear and solution oriented.’

Key clients

Cannon Asset Management Limited

Intertrust Trustees Limited

RBC cees Trustee Guernsey Limited

Sequent (C.I.) Limited

Fides Trust Limited

WinTrust Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

Quayport Trustees Limited

Beauvoir Trustees Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Guernsey) Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Limited

NWH (Guernsey) Limited

New Street Management Limited

Lancaster Trustees Limited

IQEQ (Jersey) Limited

Blevins Franks Trustees Limited

HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited

Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Limited

Louvre Trust (Guernsey) Limited

Forsters LLP

Nerine

Collas Crill Trust Limited

Wedlake Bell LLP

Artemis Trustees Limited

Farrer & Co LLP

Saffery Champness LLP

Albany Trust Co Ltd

Aquitaine Group Limited

Trident Trust Company (Guernsey) Limited

Work highlights

  • Drafted a significant Guernsey philanthropic foundation for an Emirati national to further the causes of women in the Middle East.
  • Launched an Alternative Qualifying Scheme to the DIFC’s DEWS regime for a global management consultancy firm.

Mourant

Mourant’s international trust and private client practice sources clients from a vast array of jurisdictions, including South Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, India and Australia. Team head Abel Lyall, associate Alexander Hawkins (a 'stand-out talent' who recently joined from an Australian firm) and new partner recruit Gillian Kennedy-Smith (who joined from Mills & Reeve LLP) assist institutional trustees and high-net-worth individuals with all structuring matters, including innovative hybrid corporate and foundation structures. Associate Diana Rodriguez handles pensions instructions. Previous practice head Matthew Guthrie departed to Ogier.

Practice head(s):

Abel Lyall

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Hawkins; Gillian Kennedy-Smith; Diana Rodriguez

Testimonials

‘I consider them a forward-thinking firm.’

‘Professional, transparent and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Alexander Hawkins – in terms of associates, a stand-out talent and up there with one of the most gifted associates I’ve worked with.’

Key clients

PraxisIFM Group including Nerine Trust Company Limited

Butterfield Trust

Julius Baer Group & Trust Company Limited

Intertrust

Albany Trust Company Limited

Trust Corporation International

Albecq Trust Company Limited

Trident Trust

Northern Trust

Sequent Guernsey Limited

Deutche Bank

Royal Bank of Canada

Saffery Champness

Credit Suisse Trust Limited

St Peters Trust

IQ-EQ

Walkers

Walkers receives private capital and trusts engagements pertaining to the establishment, operation and succession of family offices, employee benefit trusts and foundations from a diverse client portfolio. Co-head Rajah Abusrewil (who is singled out as 'an excellent trust lawyer, giving timely and commercial advice') sources a high volume of clients from the Middle East; Sharia-compliant investment work is among her areas of expertise. Co-head Rupert Morris maintains a roster of high-wealth clients from the wider APAC region, while associate Nitrisha Doorasamy is a fiduciary specialist with a focus on South Africa.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Morris; Rajah Abusrewil

Other key lawyers:

Nitrisha Doorasamy

Testimonials

‘The team at Walkers in Guernsey are one of our go-to on-island legal teams. They have a wide diversity of partners and associates dealing with corporate, trust and litigation for us. Their advice is always commercial, to the point, and the team are responsive and have been flexible on fees. Overall we have given Walkers a lot of business recently over other on-island firms as the service we have received was excellent.’

‘Rajah Abusrewil is an excellent trust lawyer, giving timely and commercial advice- always with a smile!’

‘Collaborative approach, swift turnaround of documents, always willing to jump on a call at short notice. Good international contacts.’

‘I have been working with Walkers for the past year on a number of different instructions, and what has struck me most is their pragmatism. They always try to find the simplest solutions to difficult problems.’

‘Everyone I have worked with at Walkers has been extremely personable and helpful. I have had the pleasure of dealing mostly with Rajah Abusrewil, who is an excellent private client lawyer, helping us to navigate an array of complex trust matters of the past 12 months. She is very well respected in Guernsey and clearly has has a growing reputation in the Middle East.’

‘The team at Walkers has a strong offering, delivering partner-led service with able supporting associates, who in turn help keep costs under control. It is a real advantage to be able to instruct a firm with such a strong private client offering in Guernsey itself and to be able to draw on Walkers’ other offshore offices, coordinating advice for clients and enabling us to have a single point of instruction for complex matters.’

‘This year, I have been particularly impressed with Rupert Morris and his associate Nitrisha Doorasamy, who supported our work on a Guernsey trust dispute to a highly favourable outcome for the client.’

‘Rupert Morris remains the outstanding individual partner for private client work at Walkers Guernsey. His expertise in the contentious/non-contentious crossover space is a huge asset and enables him to give incisive and commercially sensible advice, leading to excellent outcomes for clients. Rupert is ably supported by Nitrisha Doorasamy, whose technical expertise is also excellent.’

Key clients

Rusnano Capital AG

Artemis Trustees Limited

Ocorian (Guernsey) Limited

Confiance Limited / Praxis IFM

Work highlights

  • Advising the Rusnano Group on the recovery of nanotech investments held within a Guernsey trust and limited partnership structure.
  • Advising Zedra’s Hong Kong office on the setup of Guernsey law employee benefit trusts used to hold pre- and post-IPO structures.
  • Advising the Artemis Trustees, trustee of a family trust structure, on divorce proceedings in the UK involving trust beneficiaries.

Babbé LLP

Babbé LLP provides a combined contentious and non-contentious trust offering, led by Andrew Laws, who is highly experienced in fiduciary rules obligations and documentation, family office structurings and foundation establishments. Leading the pensions practice, Nicholas Donnithorne is primarily engaged by pension trust providers and other trustees.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Laws; Nicholas Donnithorne

Testimonials

‘The Team at Babbe are one of our go-to trust and private client firms. They are commercial, responsive, available and efficient.’

‘Nicholas Donnithorne is my first choice in Guernsey to instruct on pensions matters. Nick’s advice is always top notch, combining in-depth knowledge of his subject with real practical experience. He has a deep knowledge of the industry and makes sure he understands his clients and their needs well, and his insights and advice are always first class.’

‘Babbe are experienced practitioners who have a deep understanding of trust disputes.’

‘The all round customer service is excellent – nothing is too much trouble.’

‘Nick Donnithorne is so responsive and helpful – no legal jargon, and always careful to manage expectations as to time frames on advice.’

‘Very hands on and communicative throughout engagements which helps with managing clients’ expectations and delivering what is required.’

‘Andrew Laws – a talented lawyer with exceptional client management skills. Very calm, measured and a pleasure to work with.’