Private client, trusts and tax in Isle Of Man


According to one client, the strength of DQ is its ‘diversity in knowledge and experience’. Practice head Annemarie Hughes is an expert in trust and private client work, and is also highly skilled in handling international tax investigations. Donna Matthews has a similarly broad skillset with expertise in advising on wills, powers of attorney, general administration issues and trust restructurings. The team also benefits from the experience of tax consultant Greg Jones, who is notably adept in capital tax planning work, offshore trusts, and tax domicile issues. Mark Emery is a key contact for trust litigation.

Practice head(s):

Annemarie Hughes; Donna Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Greg Jones; Mark Emery


‘The strength of the team is its diversity in knowledge and experience. In addition its ability to act cohesively and support each other for the benefit of the firm as a whole.’

‘I work closely with Annemarie Hughes on various matters. She is very responsive and pragmatic in her advice and approach to dealing with matters.’

‘Annemarie Hughes is excellent. Her knowledge of her subject matter is second to none and she always delivers her services efficiently and cost effectively.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable. Their approach to solutions are practical and commentarial. The team is very helpful in their guidance about solutions and are not afraid to say if a proposed solution is not the best option. The wide exposure to team had to issues and problems means they are able to advise on a very wide rage of topics.’

‘Annemarie Hughes: An exemplary individual in terms of her knowledge, insight and ability to interpret cases and apply the circumstance to the issue/solution/question at hand. Her wide experience of private client issues means that her advice is well rounded. Annemarie’s solutions will take into account not only the set of circumstances she was presented with but also the wider knowledge she has of the client/situation.’

‘The firm’s diversity in terms of service offering is notable. Key hires in the tax and compliance sectors set them aside from local competitors.’

Work highlights

  • Representing clients in providing depositions in various international criminal and civil tax investigations.
  • Obtaining an urgent freezing injunction in respect of an Isle of Man trust.
  • Advising Isle of Man trustees on applications for directions to the Court and applications to set aside transactions on the basis of mistakes.


Private client work is a foundational practice area for Simcocks, with the firm’s chief executive Phil Games overseeing the team. Games is a qualified Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public, with expertise spanning across estate planning issues, trusts, probate and pension matters. Louise Byrne is a key name for contentious work, particularly in relation to divorce cases involving high-net-worth individuals. Another key name for litigation is associate Kevin O’Loughlin, who is highly skilled in trust disputes. Associate Caroline Jennings, who focuses on family law, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Phil Games

Other key lawyers:

Louise Byrne; Kevin O’Loughlin; Caroline Jennings


‘The Team at Simcocks has a diverse range of expertise. They are friendly, approachable and down to earth and we enjoy working with them.’

‘We have tremendous respect of the the advocates at Simcocks and in particular deal with Phil Games on a regular basis. We find Phil to be extremely knowledgeable and experienced in his field and able to give pragmatic, innovative and cost effective advice whilst meeting deadlines which can sometimes be quite challenging.’

‘All in all a very user friendly team with excellent knowledge and response times.’

‘Kevin O’Loughlin is very knowledgeable, user friendly and always available.’

‘Simcocks are one of the leading law firms on the IOM – they provide both business and private clients with a full offering of legal services.’

‘They have an excellent team of lawyers who provide specialist advice and advocacy services and are collaborative, user-friendly and approachable as well as being creative and cost-effective in providing clients with solutions to legal problems.’

‘Kevin is extremely knowledgeable and has extensive experience of the corporate and private client fields; as well as providing professional trustee clients with specialist advice with the administration of trusts. His expertise is well honed having previously worked in-house at a fiduciary company and made very good connections from working in that industry. He is also involved with the committee structure of STEP Isle of Man.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the UK trustees of a trust on an application to court to rectify the trust to include a missing settlor exclusion clause, making application including hearing.
  • Advising the trustee in relation to an application to court by the settlors of two EBTs to set aside the contributions to the trusts on the basis of equitable mistake.

Advocate John Rimmer Limited

Clients praise Advocate John Rimmer Limited as ‘unparalleled in the Isle of Man for his trust knowledge’ and ‘very much the "go to" advocate for tricky trust issues’. Alongside trust work, John Rimmer is an expert in advising on foundations, estate planning issues, wills, probate, charity matters and tax mandates, with a client roster including family offices, private individuals, trustees, charities and government bodies. His workload has also involved working on multijurisdictional matters involving issues in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Associate Hollie Ranscombe is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Rimmer

Other key lawyers:

Hollie Ranscombe


‘I have worked with John Rimmer on various occasions over the years and it is clear that he is highly knowledgeable and experienced on IoM trust law matters and he is always a pleasure to work with.’

‘John’s trust knowledge is extensive. He is always happy to talk through any issues and point you in the right direction. If I had clients looking for a personal Trustee I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.’

‘John Rimmer is a well respected Advocate in his field. He is very responsive and pragmatic in his approach to trust related matters, and gives you the comfort level that no stone is left unturned.’

‘John Rimmer – Understanding of the wider issues impacting Family Offices.’

‘Advocate John Rimmer Ltd are excellent at helping to obtain Isle of Man Grants of Probate when required.’

‘Hollie Ranscombe is responsive and knowledgeable about all things probate.’

‘John is unparalleled in the Isle of Man for his trust knowledge. Very much the “go to” advocate for tricky trust issues.’


Appleby draws on its highly experienced corporate and dispute resolution teams to advise on trusts, estate planning work, foundation matters and pension-related issues. Managing partner Faye Moffett is a key name on the non-contentious side with a particular interest in handling estate planning work for high-net-worth individuals. For contentious work, litigator and former London barrister Charles Davies is highly skilled in trust-related disputes. Senior associate Melissa Wong is also 'a very good trusts lawyer with good experience'.

Practice head(s):

Faye Moffett; Charles Davies

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Wong


‘A team that not only works on its own when doing transactions and advisory work, but works closely with the dispute resolution department when matters become contentious. There is a willingness to involve others with specialist litigation skills which is not always apparent with other firms. This means that the client gets a better service with appropriate expertise used when necessary.’

‘Melissa Wong – very easy to get on with and friendly. She is also a very good trusts lawyer with good experience.’

‘A deep and diverse talent pool of professionals in this highly specialist area. They have some excellent client relationships and are at the cutting edge of the market in terms of what is going on. A go-to firm.’

‘I’ve dealt this year a lot with Melissa Wong. Excellent trust adviser.’

‘The team has unmatched knowledge and experience in trust law. The people in the team are nice and it is very easy to work with them. The have a fresh and modern approach to legal profession.’

‘During the past year the Appleby Isle of Man private client practice has been responsive, knowledgeable and able to provide guidance and solutions to complex queries within an often tight timeframe. During what has been a difficult year for all, Appleby has provided a seamless service, despite the pandemic, proving they are a modern dynamic practice.’

‘Melissa Wong has been particularly helpful providing solutions to often complex queries within tight deadlines.’

‘Flexible working arrangements and accessibility for clients.’

Key clients

Ocorian Trust (Isle of Man) Limited

Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited

LJ Skye Trustees Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised a high-net-worth individual on establishing a new Isle of Man Trust Discretionary valued at £10m.
  • Advised an executor on an Isle of Man estate valued at £1.5m.
  • Advised a beneficiary of distribution from trustees of an Isle of Man Trust valued at $162m.

Humphrey & Helfrich

With a ‘well-rounded traditional private client practice’, Humphrey & Helfrich's team is led by solicitor Catherine Gilmartin, who is an expert in private client, probate and trust matters, and is qualified in both England and Wales as well as the Republic of Ireland. She is supported by advocate Rachel Jepson Bennett, who focuses on estate planning and succession issues.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Gilmartin

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Jepson Bennett


‘We were very impressed with their overall approach to our needs. They took time to assess and to ensure what we were asking actually met our needs. This was particularly relevant as following initial consultation we changed the way we moved forward with an EPOA.’

‘I was very impressed with the manner in which Catherine Gilmartin put my wife at ease as she ensured (as she was required to do) that my wife had the capability and capacity to agree to the arrangements.’

‘I found that the they listened carefully to what I required and added value by raising matters that may not have been considered.’

‘I found them really easy to deal with and was not baffled by legalese.’

‘We have always found the team to be extremely approachable, helpful and accommodating whenever we have had the need for legal advice. Despite only being individuals with relatively straightforward matters we still feel valued as a private client and would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’

‘We recently needed our wills re-drafting with amendments. Rachel Jepson Bennett was extremely attentive and efficient. Despite the lockdown restrictions she undertook our instructions quickly and efficiently and also advised us on the best way to get the wills legally witnessed given the restrictions imposed by Covid. Throughout the process she was approachable and we always felt valued as clients.’

‘This is what I would describe as a family friendly company, they deal with you as an individual catering for your needs.’

‘The major strengths are the qualified lawyers who are either partners, associates or other employed lawyers in this practice. There is certainly diversity in the people involved and each of them are trained to not only provide first class legal advice but also to build a good and lasting relationship with the clients.’