Firm Profile > Ward Yates > St Helier, Jersey
Ward Yates Offices
6 Britannia Place
Ward Yates > The Legal 500 Rankings
Corporate and commercial Tier 2
Deals concerning the elite of London real estate sit at the core of Ward Yates' corporate practice. Victoria Yates, Elaine Kelly and practice head Nick Ward (who is also BVI qualified) are the key names in the team, which also handles technical restructuring matters, many of which are cross-border.
‘Ward Yates provides a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual needs of a diverse range of clients. It is flexible and adaptable, and provides a consistency of service irrespective of whether the client is a multinational group or a standalone property company.’
‘It is always a joy to work with the team because of their friendly and approachable manner and incisive legal minds.‘
‘The firm is run by committed senior people who provide excellent service and high-quality advice: the sort of people you need on a big value deal where the advice has to be just right.‘
‘Nick Ward is highly knowledgeable, extremely commercial, and always happy to put forward a view rather than simply sit on the fence. His advice is always clear and to the point, and the quality of the documents he prepares is excellent.‘
‘Victoria Yates combines experience in the Jersey market with a genuine desire to get the deal done – and done efficiently.‘
First Names Group
Boutique firm Ward Yates is routinely praised for its personable approach to wealth structuring mandates such as the establishment, administration, restructuring and termination of trusts, foundations and family offices. Owing to the firm’s expanded dispute resolution offering, highly sought-after trust law expert Victoria Yates is increasingly involved in the semi-contentious field, with recent matters involving the removal and replacement of incumbent trustees and set-aside applications arising from negative tax consequences. Commercial lawyer Nick Ward is well placed to advise on transactional work relating to investment holding and commercial wealth structures.
‘The service levels and expertise within the firm are exemplary and its turnaround time is second to none’
‘The level of knowledge for a small team is second to none and it provides an expert service at a most reasonable cost in a very timely manner’
‘This is a firm that has the weight of intellect associated with highly regarded partners of international law firms, but without the weight of institutionalism’
‘Ward Yates provides excellent customer service. The work carried out is always of a high standard, the response times are exceptional and fees are clear and very competitive’
‘The team at Ward Yates is approachable, super responsive and able to take complex matters and provide simple solutions’
‘Victoria Yates’ knowledge and expertise combined with her pragmatic approach and responsiveness is unrivalled’
‘Victoria Yates and Nick Ward are excellent in their respective fields, with many years of experience in navigating through complex issues in a pragmatic and commercial manner’
‘Nick Ward is a first-rate, highly respected lawyer who gives sound advice’
‘Corinne Barnes is extremely diligent in her work and provides the highest quality of legal advice available’
‘Victoria Yates is always willing to go the extra mile for clients. She is pragmatic and offers good advice, tailored to what the client needs’
First Names Group
Ince Gordon Dadds
Banking and finance Tier 3
A key area of work for Ward Yates is real estate finance, in which the 'high-performing' Nick Ward, who is also qualified in the BVI, demonstrates Islamic finance expertise on a range of deals. The 'calm and unflappable' Elaine Kelly handles many key deals concerning London real estate.
‘The firm’s strength lies in their ability to be nimble and quick, and work in a collaborative manner with the client when deadlines are approaching, giving guidance which is in plain English.‘
‘Ward Yates is an excellent firm with real focus on customer service and deal execution. They have great technical expertise but are also extremely user-friendly.‘
‘Nick Ward and Elaine Kelly are high-performing individuals: responsive, always owning their part of the transaction.‘
‘Nick Ward is an excellent lawyer, very competent technically and very commercially oriented. He shows great commitment to his clients.‘
‘Elaine Kelly is a huge asset to the firm – she always finds a solution in the event of any problems.’
Moobility Telecom International Holding Ltd
Dispute resolution Tier 4
Boutique firm Ward Yates, previously known exclusively for its corporate, finance and trusts work, recently recruited the 'formidable' Elena Moran from Collas Crill to lead its dispute resolution practice. The firm now offers its roster of clients in the corporate and commercial, banking and finance and private client spheres contentious expertise covering matters including breach of fiduciary duty claims, Hastings-Bass applications and commercial litigation. Defamation is another area of expertise; Moran spent eight years in-house at the BBC.
‘Elena Moran is an able and independent-minded lawyer who is able to take on complicated, bespoke tasks‘
‘Elena is exceptionally clever. She gets to grip with complex disputes rapidly‘
‘Elena is a tenacious advocate. She is energetic and shows great commitment to her clients‘
‘Elena Moran is a fiercely bright and energetic lawyer, dogged in pursuit of her client’s interests, with a shrewd tactical brain and a good sense of how to persuade a court‘
‘Elena Moran always looks to provide the best service for her clients‘
Tepe Inșaat Sanayi AS
Sanne Fiduciary Services Limited
Ocorian Services Limited
RBC Trustees Limited
Ward Yates > Firm Profile
Ward Yates is a leading Jersey law firm specialising in corporate, finance and trust law. The firm has established a reputation for punching above its weight and being instructed regularly by leading onshore intermediaries and local trust companies on high-profile and high-value matters. Its clients range from regulated trust companies to listed funds, and the largest single corporate deal by value this year was £740m.
The firm: The firm was founded by Nick Ward and Victoria Yates, both former partners of one of the largest international law firms based in Jersey, each of them having over 15 years’ legal experience, including ten years as advocates of the Royal Court of Jersey. Elaine Kelly, a senior banking and corporate lawyer, became a partner on 1 August 2016 and Elena Moran joined as a partner to head the firm’s dispute resolution practice on 1 October 2018.
Ward Yates is perceived by clients as a genuine alternative to larger Tier 1 firms and is known for having excellent partner-led client service, responsiveness and commerciality. The firm is also valued for its competitive pricing and ability to work on a fixed-fee basis, even on transactional matters.
Ward Yates’ key objective is to provide a partner-led, yet cost-sensitive solution to fiduciary businesses, international companies and private clients and their onshore advisers. Its ethos is to provide the technical quality and level of service expected from larger firms, but with the personal delivery, responsiveness and focus on the overall client relationship that drives a small practice.
It is particularly well-known for its work advising international clients, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, listed companies and property developers, on high-profile and significant UK real estate investments which are structured through Jersey vehicles. It also has a strong reputation advising on all aspects of trust and corporate structures for international private clients and entrepreneurs.
In addition to advising on Jersey law, Ward Yates provides BVI corporate and finance advice. It regularly advises a significant number of leading trust companies on matters relating to client entities that they administer. It has developed a strong practice advising trust companies on their own account in relation to their own internal equity agreements, precedents and commercial contracts.
Types of work undertaken:
Corporate: Ward Yates advises on all aspects of corporate structuring and transactional work, including due diligence, acquisitions and disposals, mergers, shareholder agreements and joint venture arrangements, as well as insolvency and restructuring. It provides constitutional documents, corporate authorisations and regulatory advice in connection with the establishment of Jersey structures. It also provides legal opinions and corporate advice, including advice where companies are entering into transactions, borrowing, granting security over their assets, making distributions, migrating, merging or winding up. In addition to advising on Jersey law, Ward Yates is also able to provide BVI legal opinions and advise on general BVI corporate matters.
Finance: Ward Yates advises banks and other financial institutions on all aspects of lending and security packages involving Jersey and BVI entities and assets. The largest single development financing this year being for over £500m.
Trusts: Ward Yates advises on all aspects of trust law. It provides constitutional documents and supplemental deeds for the establishment, operation and termination of both traditional private client vehicles (discretionary trusts, purpose trusts and foundations), as well as alternative private wealth structures such as family unit trusts and limited partnerships. It also advises in relation to the transactional work that often takes place at or below the main trust structure level, where Jersey entities are entering into transactions, borrowing, granting security over their assets or being restructured. Ward Yates also advise in relation to commercial trusts, including in the context of employee benefit structures.
Dispute Resolution: Ward Yates advises beneficiaries and trustees on all aspects of contentious trusts law including breach of trust claims, requests for information, applications to set aside for mistake and enforcement of foreign judgments. It also advises on complex commercial litigation and company law disputes, including minority shareholder actions and claims of breach of fiduciary duty against directors. Other areas of expertise include employment law, enforcement of restrictive covenants and regulatory work including investigations by the JFSC.
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