Private client, trusts and tax in Jersey

Bedell Cristin

Bedell Cristin’s international private client practice is a go-to choice for high-wealth clients in the Middle East and China; Nancy Chien's fluency in Mandarin assists with the latter. In addition, Chien leads the charge on pensions and employee incentive structures, including ESOPs and hybrid pension plans. Practice head Edward Bennett is an expert in trusts, foundations and international estate planning, and assists next-generation beneficiaries with the gamut of structuring and administration issues. Leading the probate and wills offering, Donna Withers provides specialist knowledge of vulnerable persons’ law. Zillah Howard retired from the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Edward Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Nancy Chien; Donna Withers

Testimonials

‘Bedell Cristin is my go-to legal firm in Jersey.’

‘The key partner I work with is the superlative Nancy Chien: a super-intelligent, talented lawyer qualified in Jersey, the UK and the BVI, so a fantastic local resource.’

‘Innovative, pragmatic, solution-oriented, reliable.’

‘Edward Bennett uses his vast array of experience and knowledge to provide pragmatic, first-rate advice. Always there when you need him. Edward Bennett is always my first port of call when I have a pressing or challenging situation which requires first-rate advice. Edward is also a true gentleman and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Working with a partner who had helped draft the underlying legislation that provided the solution was a huge advantage to us. An innovative, dynamic and pragmatic approach. Detailed technical knowledge and collaborative way of working.’

‘Nancy Chien is responsive and regularly available. She is commercial and proactive, and seeks to build long-term relationships with me and my clients.

‘The team is very strong from top to bottom. The partners and associates are hard working, responsive, and creative. They are also very good with international clients and solving multijurisdictional tax and legal issues. The overall brand of the firm is strong- I always feel confident referring clients to work with this team.’

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen’s 'cutting-edge' trusts and private wealth practice is stacked with seasoned professionals fielding expertise across the entire breadth of non-contentious matters. The practice is led by the 'responsive, solutions-driven and commercial' Siobhan Riley, who regularly advises on the structuring of private and commercial trust structures for clients across the globe. Keith Dixon and the 'highly intelligent and knowledgeableAlexa Saunders have robust knowledge of foundation and charities law respectively, while counsels Stephen Fitzgerald and Victoria Connolly advise on structures holding pensions and employee incentives. Andreas Kistler takes on mandates with semi-contentious elements, including relief applications before the Royal Court.

Practice head(s):

Siobhan Riley

Other key lawyers:

Keith Dixon; Alexa Saunders; Stephen Fitzgerald; Victoria Connolly; Andreas Kistler

Testimonials

‘I find the Carey Olsen team to be very expert and responsive, they are willing to work outside normal hours and always seem keen to help.’

‘Alexa Saunders is highly intelligent and knowledgeable, and someone who applies that knowledge and experience practically and commercially.’

‘Siobhan Riley – responsive, solutions driven and commercial.’

‘They are always available for whatever we need. They take the time to understand the brief and work is completed in good time and at a reasonable fee. The team are friendly, and the best I have worked with in Jersey.’

‘We work primarily with Keith Dixon and he is extremely helpful, considered and always available. We really value his expertise and assistance.’

‘The Carey Olsen team provides cutting-edge legal advice and is always available at the shortest of notice to assist on the most complicated of matters. A pleasure to work with and they have the ability to handle any issue.’

‘I work with Alexa Saunders and Victoria Connolly, both of whom are excellent and who have provided robust and commercial advice on difficult trust issues. Their drive, enthusiasm and speed of response certainly put them amongst the very best advisers in Jersey.’

Mourant

As the head of Mourant’s international trusts and private client practice, Edward Devenport advises a global client roster on all aspects of wealth planning, estate planning and family office structuring, while also working closely with litigation partners on challenging rectification and mistake applications. Senior associate Carly McIver advises on large pensions and final salary schemes for Jersey businesses, financial institutions and utilities companies. BVI trust law expert William Burnell is also recommended, as is associate Chiara Mundy, who handles succession, wills and probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Edward Devenport

Other key lawyers:

Carly McIver; William Burnell; Chiara Mundy

Testimonials

‘Capable, competent, knowledgeable and experienced.’

‘Several of their lawyers play leading roles in the development of Jersey law and hence, both know the law as it is and where it’s going.’

‘Edward Devenport and William Burnell are responsive, creative, technically skilled and business-minded.’

‘Great technical level of expertise, but also pragmatic and commercial.’

‘Carly McIver has great pensions experience and is thoughtful and commercial about the advice she gives.’

‘They are strong technically, responsive and creative to find solutions to client problems.’

‘The team has a good reputation in Jersey and has knowledgeable lawyers who partner well with larger firms from the UK. They are strong when it comes to litigation matters and protecting the trustee.’

Ogier

Ogier’s private wealth department assists with highly complex, bespoke work for a diverse client base. Of note is the team’s advice to ultra-high-net-worth individuals regarding private funds as investment vehicles. A high volume of clients are brought in from China and Southeast Asia, while Jersey-domiciled charities and philanthropic organisations also retain the team full-scope legal advice. The key contacts in the team are co-heads James Campbell and Sally Edwards ('pragmatic, approachable, hugely knowledgeable'), as well as Josephine Howe. The firm houses a dedicated pension and incentives practice, encompassing trust structuring through to the winding up stage, under counsel Katherine Neal, whose client roster includes leading Jersey-based financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

James Campbell; Sally Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Josephine Howe; Katherine Neal

Testimonials

‘Accessible, approachable and pragmatic with a key understanding of the challenges in today’s world.’

‘Sally Edwards is a partner in the trusts discipline and is pragmatic, approachable, hugely knowledgeable and knows the subject matter inside out.’

‘I mainly use Josephine Howe and her team for any trust legal work required, if I have any work that requires undertaking, they are always reachable, always revert back, arrange for any issues to be discussed, always available for a call to discuss and run through any larger transactions and draft documentation requirements.’

‘Everyone in the team with whom I have worked has, without exception, not only been incredibly responsive and friendly but also technically sound and pragmatic in their advice.’

‘Katherine Neal is the-stand out lawyer for me in Ogier’s Jersey team. She has a great deal of experience as both a Jersey and an English private client lawyer. Katherine is very astute and has the ability to see the big picture and then very quickly delve into very technical issues to deliver very practical solutions.’

‘Ogier are genuine market leaders when it comes to Jersey legal advice and the team is second to none in the product that it delivers.’

‘James Campbell – a pure joy to work with. He is one of the stand-out private client lawyers on the island. He is very approachable, collaborative and commercial. He provides well-balanced advice and guides clients seamlessly through tricky situations.’

Collas Crill

The international private client and trusts team at Collas Crill works closely with the firm’s litigation partners on highly complex, cross-jurisdictional matters. 'Top-notch' practice head Kellyann Ozouf acts for clients in trustee tax liability disputes and mistake applications in relation to Jersey foundations. Elsewhere, the team is increasingly sought after to advise on wills and probate matters for high-net-worth individuals; Laura Perkins is a go-to name. Advice is provided on high-value trust restructuring projects.

Practice head(s):

Kellyann Ozouf

Other key lawyers:

Laura Perkins

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive, covers all bases and clear on pricing and timelines.’

‘Very dynamic team, always responsive and on top of the cases. The team has a strong ratio of female representatives, which can be acknowledged in a time where this still remains a challenge in many firms.’

‘Kellyann Ozouf is a top-notch practitioner. Fully dedicated and committed to her clients with great strategic views. She never fails to think out of the box and come up with creative and innovative approach.’

‘The team throughout the Channel Islands worked seamlessly to ensure we connected with the right person. They were all very approachable and knowledgeable.’

‘Kellyann Ozouf was very professional and yet friendly, she provided us with the guidance and assistance we required. Her patience in helping and guiding us through the client communications in order to achieve the desired outcome was greatly appreciated.’

‘Kellyann Ozouf is fantastic. She has both a commercial and technical ability that allows her to navigate workable solutions for clients.’

‘Collas Crill are my go-to firm – not only do they make doing business together easier but they have the diversity of legal practice in house to provide the holistic services our private client structures need. It really is such a pleasure to work with Collas Crill.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Nedbank on the first mistake application in relation to a Jersey foundation, in which the Jersey court agreed to set aside the endowments made by the founders into the foundation and for the foundation to be subsequently wound up.
  • Advising a trustee of a Jersey trust in relation to a significant German tax liability which could see a German resident beneficiary potentially imprisoned if the matter is not handled strictly in accordance with advice received from leading German lawyers.
  • Advising an ultra-high-net-worth client and her son as beneficiaries of a Jersey trust on the restructuring of a trust prior to the sale by the trustees of the family-built business for approximately £100m.

Viberts

Viberts’ non-contentious trusts offering is led by Christopher Scholefield, who handles matters pertaining to estate and foundation planning, succession planning and asset protection. The client roster comprises high-net-worth individuals, trust companies, company directors and charitable organisations. Zoe Blomfield and Charles Thacker head up the wills and probate side of the practice, incorporating capacity and delegation matters. Karla Summers-Shaw is a highly regarded associate.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Scholefield; Zoe Blomfield; Charles Thacker

Other key lawyers:

Karla Summers-Shaw

Testimonials

‘Viberts carries out a wide range of private client matters and has strength throughout its team in all key areas. The teams are led by partners whose client care is excellent and who are supported by dedicated and diligent associates and assistants. The team’s breadth of local knowledge is unsurpassed.’

‘Zoe and her team have a keen and in-depth insight into each individual needs and go the extra mile to ensure that they are met. They take their responsibilities very seriously indeed.’

‘My main contact is Christopher Scholefield who is extremely helpful and a real safe pair of hands. Very responsive.’

‘The managing partner, Zoe Bloomfield, leads an competent, friendly team that does provide me with the service that I want.’

‘The team are approachable and always available. The fact they are local is a huge benefit, they are also well set up to help with my international clients and have used technology well during the pandemic, offering clients a contact channel that is suitable for the individual.’

‘The speed of response is first class with a firm knowledge of the practice area. We have referred clients with complex needs and on every occasion Karla Summers-Shaw and the team have answered all questions and provided high levels of service.’

Key clients

Financial Consultants (Jersey) Limited (FCM)

Chamberlains UK LLP

Oak Trustees (Jersey) Limited

IQ EQ (Jersey) Limited

Oak Services Limited

CTJ Housing Trust

Victoria College Foundation Limited

Baccata Trustees Limited

Butterfield Trust (Guernsey) Limited

RBC Trustees (Jersey) Limited

GlenQ Trustees Limited

Dentons UK and Middle East LLP

Forward Group Limited

Saltgate Limited

Amity Partners

Zedra Trust Company Limited

Brightly

Lloyds Bank International Limited

Barclays Bank PLC

Cannacord

Blake Morgan LLP

DQ Advocates

AFR Advocates

Work highlights

  • Advised Glen Q Trustees on the purchase of an English holding company for the sum of £62m.
  • Advised Victoria College Foundation on all aspects of the transition from a trust to a limited company, including the charities application, drafting the documents, and assisting at meetings.
  • Provided an ultra-high-net-worth individual with complicated will drafting and estate planning advice, involving multiple beneficiaries, companies, foundations, life enjoyment provisions and complex will drafting provisions in respect of both movable and immovable Jersey property.

WALKERS

WALKERS’ private capital and trusts practice is highly active in the foundations space. Team head Robert Dobbyn and senior counsel Sevyn Kalsi advise ultra-high-net-worth clients from South Africa on trust transfers and bespoke philanthropic structures, while a high proportion of clients are sourced from the local fiduciary market, the Middle East, LATAM and the non-resident Indian community. Marc Seddon is experienced in handling trustee removal applications and trust break-ups.

Practice head(s):

Robert Dobbyn

Other key lawyers:

Sevyn Kalsi; Marc Seddon

Testimonials

‘The Walkers team have an incredibly professional approach to private client work, which is not surprising given the number of industry-leading experts they have in the field. Walkers are excellent at working a one-firm approach meaning that cross-border matters are handled efficiently and in a client-friendly manner.’

‘Always accessible, provide high-quality advice and have good turnaround times. They are available to discuss matters before beginning the engagement so scope can be agreed.’

‘Easy to deal with, articulate, technically strong and provide high-quality advice. Rob Dobbyn is our go-to person on the private client side.’

‘A deep practical understanding of Jersey trust and foundation law, which gives me a great deal of confidence when dealing with them. Their wider international presence is also valuable for ever growing cross-jurisdictional matters that arise in the normal course of business.’

‘Rob Dobbyn is my principal senior contact and it is always a delight to work with him. His knowledgeable and calm approach to all matters, irrespective of size or complexity, is very reassuring. Rob is very quick to respond and will always have time to discuss the matters at hand.’

‘The Walkers team are approachable, leaders in their field and offer practical, commercial solutions. They are a go-to firm for trust solutions.’

‘Robert Dobbyn and Sevyn Kalsi are both approachable, helpful, technically adept and keen to work on interesting and complex cases. Both are essential support to my clients needs and are outstanding.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an individual and his family office on the creation of a dual Singapore and Jersey law private foundation/trust company structure to hold approximately $1bn in cash and Eurobonds.
  • Establishing a new Jersey foundation for a member of a Middle East royal family and her adviser.

Appleby

Appleby’s private client, trusts and tax practice handles a wide range of structuring and administration work; ongoing matters include high-value pensions schemes for international banks, as well as hybrid charitable trust structures. The department also handles complex trust transfers, particularly those with a nexus to the Cayman Islands. Practice head David Dorgan has 'excellent technical knowledge' of Islamic finance, which is applied to the establishment of shari'ah-compliant trusts.

Practice head(s):

David Dorgan

Testimonials

‘David Dorgan is an excellent draftsman. David’s excellent technical knowledge, attention to detail and considered nature make him a pleasure to work with.’

‘Pragmatic and consistently good advice and willing to go the extra mile – billing online.’

‘Very professional yet approachable. In-depth knowledge and excellent service.’

‘David Dorgan – leads from the front, very knowledgeable and personable.’

Dickinson Gleeson

Dickinson Gleeson is primarily known for its contentious work, but it also assists clients with the implementation and administration of trusts, family offices and foundations. South Africa-qualified practice head Craig Swart (who is 'personable, honest, approachable, commercial') handles transfers of wealth (and associated property law requirements) in and out of Jersey for high-wealth families.

Practice head(s):

Craig Swart

Testimonials

‘Craig has a natural empathy with my family. It has assisted us that he is of South African heritage. He has always been very understanding and sympathetic to each of my family’s concerns. At all times Craig has provided sage and considered advice.’

‘This firm is a solutions-driven firm. They are extremely approachable and their clients benefit from direct and ongoing engagement of the most senior members of the firm.’

‘Craig Swart – his advice is pragmatic and based on a real depth of knowledge and experience. His calmness and reasoned approach is highly appreciated and valued by his clients.’

‘I enjoy working with Craig Swart, who is very reliable and approachable. He has an excellent grasp of technical issues and provides clear well thought-out advice.’

‘Craig Swart for me is top of the list for legal work requests to support my trust client book. He always prices competitively, he always delivers quickly and efficiently, and is easily contactable through out the process to ensure all queries are considered and dealt with before matters are concluded. A very nice work relationship that is valued by me, my team and the client.’

‘Partner led, commercial thinking, swift delivery, approachable service with accountability by the partners.’

‘Craig Swart – personable, honest, approachable, commercial. Gets into client mindset and understands any issues arising perhaps over fees for example.’

Voisin Law

At Voisin Law, Clare Nicolle is principally involved in wills and probate matters, while Nigel Pearmain undertakes cross-border work for commercial and private trusts, which ranges from drafting trust documentation to handling set-aside applications through the courts.

Lexstone Lawyers

Lexstone Lawyers' private wealth practice, which is led by Lucy Egerton-Vernon, is increasingly active in the establishment and maintenance of family offices and private trust companies in Jersey. In addition, other areas of strength include the formation of family limited partnerships, as well as the drafting and settling of charitable trusts, foundations and non-charitable purpose trusts. Marcus Stone and legal consultant Thomas Morgan are other key individuals.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Egerton-Vernon

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Stone; Thomas Morgan

Testimonials

Lexstone (Lucy and Marcus) go to great lengths to make sure the services they provide are consistent and timely.’

Lucy devotes an overwhelming majority of her time to management and client development and is always helpful and responsive. This goes a long way when you are dealing with very litigious matters.’

Marcus Stone is extremely knowledgeable, with his finger on the pulse of current legal and commercial trends in Jersey. Lucy Egerton-Vernon takes a step back to assess the situation before providing advice that is, easy to follow.’

I deal with the founding partner Marcus Stone who is very personable and knowledgeable.’

Lexstone are very open about their billing and offer competitive quotes compared to their peers and are always willing to have a discussion to try and accommodate client needs.’

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to the trustees of a significant Jersey charitable trust. The firm provides advice and assistance in respect of routine and more complicated trust matters as they arise.
  • Ongoing advice to a Jersey family office in respect of its trust structure and throughout the year has assisted on a number of trust matters of significance.
  • Acting on behalf of a settlor of a Jersey trust who wishes to terminate or dissolve the trust as may be advisable by the various involved entities and is advising in respect of a related dispute with a Jersey corporate service provider.

Pinel Advocates

Pinel Advocates deals with wills and probate instructions via the expertise of Andrew Pinel, senior associate Janina Porter and Michele Laurent.

Testimonials

‘Pinel’s are accessible and efficient, making themselves available, by email and telephone to assist with client matters at all times, even on short notice.’

‘All individuals have fantastic people skills and they are always willing to engage.’

‘I have worked with Pinel Advocates for a number of years and have always found them knowledgeable helpful and friendly.’

‘I have worked with Janina Porter for over 10 years and have followed her through her changes in law firms. I find her personable, helpful and willing to go the extra mile to assist.’