Bedell Cristin assists HNWIs seeking to set up or restructure trusts and foundations based in Jersey, in addition to advising on regulatory matters, employee incentive arrangements, and wills and probate issues. Practice head Nancy Chien is noted for her expertise in structuring offshore trusts and foundations, with a strong client base in the UAE and Far East, which she also advises on matters concerning succession planning. Edward Bennett‘s practice encompasses trust and foundation structures, international estate planning, and relateed corporate and commercial issues. Bennett frequently works alongside Kirsten Brass, who was promoted to senior associate in September 2022. Donna Withers heads the firm’s wills and probate team, as well as providing support to vulnerable clients. Sevyn Kalsi joined from Walkers in April 2023, and focuses on advising HNWIs on the establishment of family offices and trust companies.
Private client, trusts and tax in Jersey
Other key lawyers:
Edward Bennett; Sevyn Kalsi; Donna Withers; Kirsten Brass
‘Bedell Cristin has been our firm’s first choice for private client and trust advice for more than 15 years. The fact that we have worked with them consistently for such a long period speaks volumes about the excellence of the service we receive from them. The unique nature of Bedell Cristin is that it retains the personal touch while having the full substance and expertise of a major law firm of distinction.’
‘We would like to commend Nancy Chien – her calm and pragmatic advice is highly valued by our firm. The depth of knowledge that Nancy clearly has shines through in the advice that she gives. We would also like to highly commend Kirsten Brass, who always responds in a timely manner. The advice she has given is thoughtful, practical and delivered with clarity.’
‘Nancy Chien – the ability to help resolve legal queries by applying commercial sense is rare and Nancy has this ability.’
Carey Olsen strengthened its private client and trust offering with a number of recent arrivals, acquiring partner Robert Dobbyn, who specialises in complex Jersey trust and foundation structures, and senior associate Carla Plater, who handles trust and probate matters, from Walkers in January 2023 and December 2022, respectively. Additionally, Pierre Ali-Noor joined the firm in October 2022 from Dickinson Gleeson, and represents clients engaged in contentious trust matters. Non-contentious and semi-contentious trusts specialist Alexa Saunders assumed leadership of the practice in January 2023. Andreas Kistler handles court proceedings, including breach of trust and professional negligence cases, in addition to accusations of fraud. Keith Dixon‘s practice spans commercial and private trusts, foundations, charitable and non-profit organisations. Stephen Fitzgerald focuses on employee incentive arrangements.
Other key lawyers:
Andreas Kistler; Keith Dixon; Victoria Connolly; Stephen Fitzgerald; Robert Dobbyn; Carla Plater; Pierre Ali-Noor
‘The team has a very good command of Jersey trust law and is able to handle any case, no matter how complex. Their organisation allows them to deal with emergencies.’
‘I deal with Keith Dixon and he is unique in the market in that he is commercially astute and pragmatic in the way in which he gives advice. Advice is delivered in plain English in a way which you can understand. He is an excellent lawyer and very pragmatic in the way in which he works.’
‘They have a strong team who are extremely knowledgeable across all areas of Jersey trust law, and importantly can apply and advise this knowledge in an international context.’
‘Keith Dixon stands out as always responsive, always knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with.’
‘The team at Carey Olsen are knowledgeable and very practical in their approach. They are incredibly responsive and are always available out of hours.’
‘Keith Dixon is incredibly responsive and proactive. Alexa Saunders is technically excellent and very responsive.’
‘The practitioner I would like to single out is Alexa Saunders. She is a market leader in trusts. Highly knowledgeable, personable and commercial.’
‘We have in particular worked with Stephen Fitzgerald. Having worked with Carey Olsen for so many years, the “added value” is that he understands our goals. So, instead of just providing legal advice, he is able to do so whilst acting as a trusted advisor.’
HNWIs instruct Mourant to advise on the establishment and restructuring of trusts, as well as relying on the firm for its dispute resolution and litigation expertise in the trusts space. The practice also assists clients with succession planning, and advises on family office investments, philanthropy and privacy matters. Practice head Edward Devenport specialises in handling trusts holding private wealth, but also has experience assisting with commercial trust structures, including pensions and employee benefit trusts. Family office and trust matters are the area of focus for Fred Milner, who also advises clients on succession planning and governance issues. William Burnell advises clients on the establishment, structuring and termination of a variety of wealth management vehicles, while Luke Gingell focuses on multi-jurisdictional trust issues. Chiara Mundy is noted for her work on behalf of trust companies, intermediaries and HNWIs.
Other key lawyers:
Fred Milner; William Burnell; Luke Gingell; Chiara Mundy
‘Very strong technically, thorough and good attention to detail.’
‘William Burnell – personable, responsive and thorough.’
‘Chiara Mundy – very strong technical ability. Approachable and great attention to detail.’
Ogier‘s private wealth team works alongside the firm’s corporate, funds and private equity practices to support HNW families seeking to set up trusts in Jersey, advising on the establishment and management of complex trust structures and private investment funds, with an increased focus on ESG investments. Beyond trusts, the practice has assisted with setting up Jersey-registered charities and other philanthropic vehicles, as well as building up its ties to clients in the Middle and Far East. James Campbell and Josephine Howe jointly lead the practice, advising professional trustees and family offices on all aspects of Jersey trusts, with the latter also providing support in regard to charitable structures. Katherine Neal is the group’s employee incentives specialist, advising on employee reward schemes, pension plans and JPUTs, while Henry Wickham handles matters relating to estate planning and issues concerning wills. Steve Meiklejohn is noted for his work advising HNWIs on estate planning, trust and fiduciary structures.
Other key lawyers:
Katherine Neal; Henry Wickham; Richard Laignel; Steve Meiklejohn; Katie Baxter
‘Very approachable and helpful team. Willing to commit their opinions to paper.’
‘Katherine Neal is one of the most practical lawyers I have ever come across, going the extra mile to assist with finding a solution to any issues.’
‘The team is very commercial, approachable and knowledgeable in their area.’
‘Excellent team who turn around work in a timely manner and think through relevant matters carefully and with a useful pragmatism. Have the scale to cope with a large number of matters when needed and have some very good associates.’
‘Katherine Neale – always approachable and helpful. James Campbell – good technical knowledge and leads a strong team who understand the way in which Jersey trusts and company businesses work. Katie Baxter – excellent senior associate who is highly competent and responsive.’
‘I would describe them in 3 words: friendly, approachable and proactive.’
‘Steve Meiklejohn is calm, knowledgeable and extremely approachable. Steve provides excellent client service that brings to bear a vast level of experience and expertise.’
- Advised in relation to the formation of a large PTC structure for an UHNW family.
- Advised a HNWI settlor on estate and succession planning matters, including the establishment of a new Jersey trust and family governance.
- Advised a large multinational bank on its pension scheme, which was established by way of a Jersey law trust.
Collas Crill handles a broad spectrum of matters, including trust restructurings, estate planning, and succession and trust disputes, as well as divorce proceedings, on behalf of HNWIs and professional trustees. Kellyann Ozouf leads the practice, assisting with matters concerning trusts, foundations, wills and succession planning, while Craig Dinnett handles a range of contentious and non-contentious issues relating to trusts. The firm augmented its wills, probate and estate planning capacity with the September 2022 arrival of Victoria Grogan from Ogier.
Other key lawyers:
Craig Dinnett; Victoria Grogan
‘They combine brilliant technical knowledge about Jersey trust law with a good instinct about potential comsequences in other jurisdictions.’
‘Serious in-depth knowledge, clear thinking, innovative.’
‘Kellyann Ozouf is in my view one of the finest non-contentious trusts lawyers in Jersey and indeed anywhere. Brilliantly clever, real understanding of trusts, and focused on what matters.’
‘I have found the team superb, having worked with Kellyann Ozouf for some 15 years. They are my go-to firm in the Channel Islands but have an international reach also i.e. Cayman and BVI. They have a very broad and high level skill set and they also have strength in depth, with quality through the Jersey and Guernsey teams from top to bottom. This is a big hitter offshore law firm with some real names in the international private wealth world within it!’
‘My main contact is Kellyann Ozouf – she is a class act and a top lawyer in every sense. She is technically on the ball, tactically astute and is one of the go-to names in international private wealth – she also does it all with a smile! She has built her team in Jersey to a substantial offering of real quality in the last few years and that can be seen from her recent hiring – the excellent Victoria Grogan, who is in her own right a heavyweight on the island and in the private wealth world.’
‘The team is excellent, offering very responsive, commercial and accurate advice with great client skills and attention. Well integrated into the firm’s litigation offering and so giving a seamless, comprehensive service.’
‘Kellyann Ozouf is a legal dynamo, very conscientious, dedicated to her clients and an incredibly hard worker. She is supported by great team members.’
‘Collas Crill make lives easier by being easy to work with. Their process is thorough yet not painful. The partners on the team are knowledgeable, engaging and always willing to take a call to explain something in practical terms and provide support. A professional outfit who are a pleasure to work with.’
Charles Russell Speechlys
- Represented a beneficiary of a Jersey trust in an appeal before the Privy Council, clarifying the priority of successive trustees in the event of an insolvent trust.
- Advised two of the beneficiaries of a series of trusts holding nearly $1bn of assets in restructuring the trusts following litigation to remove the fiduciaries and protector.
- Advised the surviving settlor of a Jersey trust on shares in a family company held in the trust prior to a liquidity event.
Viberts advises HNWIs, law firms and financial institutions on the drafting of wills and estate planning, in addition to trusts matters. The practice is led jointly by international succession planning and asset protection specialist Christopher Scholefield; Zoe Blomfield, who handles complex matters relating to estate planning; and Charles Thacker, who supports clients seeking grants of probate and assists with other matters concerning the administration of estates. Eleanor Colley handles matters concerning trusts, with a focus on contentious issues.
Christopher Scholefield; Zoe Blomfield; Charles Thacker
Other key lawyers:
Eleanor Colley; Karla Summer-Shaw; Ashley Bidmead
‘Takes time to understand what is required and finds ways to deal with it.’
‘Good, comprehensive experience and wise advice for private clients, on all aspects.’
‘The person who stands out is Christopher Scholefield, whose breadth of knowledge and experience is outstanding.’
‘A good selection of lawyers available to deal with our requests – very insightful practice and they try to get behind the client – it’s not all about fees!’
‘Willingness to help, provide guidance and reassurance to clients. They involve all parties in the workstream – clients and advisers.’
‘The team has supported us with various transactions over the past 10 years. They have been consistent and accommodating.’
‘The individuals are diligent, approachable and competent.’
Zedra Trust Company Limited
- Advised on and arranged for renunciation from a will, leading to a transfer of £30m worth of property from an estate.
Appleby‘s team advises clients on complex trust matters, working alongside the firm’s dispute resolution practice where issues become contentious and utilising the firm’s presence across the UK’s offshore jurisdictions to assist with cross-border matters. Following the June 2022 departure of former practice head David Dorgan to JTC Law, non-contentious trusts and foundations specialist Nichola Aldridge took over leadership of the practice, having joined from Carey Olsen in September 2022. In further team news, non-contentious trusts expert Giles Corbin joined from Mourant as a consultant in November 2022.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at Appleby have been very proactive, for example offering training sessions to our staff and arranging introductions to their wider team and, where applicable, third parties. They are excellent at building, and maintaining, relationships.’
‘Nichola Aldridge has been an excellent hire for Appleby. She has great attention to detail and is able to simplify the complicated. Her fee quotes are always competitive and her response time is excellent. Even where there is scope to do otherwise, she endeavours to stick within budgets and agreed timeframes.’
Dickinson Gleeson‘s private clients practice specialises in supporting owner-managed businesses, and is well placed to handle both contentious and non-contentious trusts issues. Leading the team is Craig Swart, who advises on a range of trusts matters, and also has experience in matters of insolvency and asset tracing. James Dickinson and James Gleeson are litigation specialists who act for HNWIs and their families, trustees, law firms and financial institutions.
Other key lawyers:
James Dickinson; James Gleeson; Guillaume Staal
‘Dickinson Gleeson is a very responsive firm. They are accessible and reliable and provide advice consistently within deadlines. They are also helpful with exchanging thoughts and examining alternative solutions. Advice provided is clear and concise.’
‘Craig Swart is approachable and knowledgeable. He is responsive and consistently professional.’
‘They are hard-working, experienced, and are able to turn a client’s commercial objectives into legal reality. They are experienced in trusts-related litigation involving Jersey trusts which get embroiled in multi-jurisdictional disputes, including freezing orders in Jersey and disclosure orders.’
‘James Dickinson is a hard worker, an exceptionally experienced lawyer, and I would have no hesitation in instructing him in any private client dispute in Jersey.’
‘DG are very much partner-led in their interactions, with excellent knowledge and capabilities in both contentious and non-contentious offshore matters. This is a differentiator to other firms that we work with.’
‘Craig Swart is commercial in his approach and has a strong understanding of our client needs. Craig regularly has tight deadlines and timelines put on him by us/our clients and always delivers.’
‘Craig Swart brings real experience and savvy to his matters, as well as a very approachable and engaging manner.’
‘James Dickinson is incredibly able and available and works all hours for his clients. Excellent strategically. A real wordsmith when it comes to his drafting, which is superb. From what I have seen of his associates, they are cut from the same cloth.’
Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA-Z Trusts
Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA – Tchenguiz
Walkers offers its HNW clients advice on matters across the UK’s offshore jurisdictions, including the structuring of trusts and charitable vehicles, wills and succession planning. Rajah Abusrewil leads the non-contentious aspect of the practice, assisting with the establishment, management and termination of trust structures, while Nigel Sanders leads on the firm’s contentious matters, representing clients in a range of trust-related disputes. Richard Holden joined the team from Carey Olsen in September 2022, focusing on commercial and trust disputes, including fraud matters. Former practice head Robert Dobbyn departed in September 2022 to join Carey Olsen.
Rajah Abusrewil; Nigel Sanders
Other key lawyers:
Richard Holden; Charlotte Yates
‘The private client team comprises lawyers who are bright (that is a given) but also keen to recommend practical solutions to difficult problems. All in all, they are easy to deal with.’
‘The partners I have encountered have been approachable and constructive, and consequently I have no hesitation in instructing them when the occasion arises.’
‘Nigel Sanders is the partner I know here, having worked with him on a very complex international trust matter over the past few years. Exceptional legal and commercial mind combined with minute attention to detail. Also an exceptional advocate with a great sense of the mind of the court. After the last occasion we were in court in Jersey, the opposition told me that they thought Nigel the most impressive of the advocates. Also extremely good with the lay clients in a very difficult, stressful and worrying matter.’