Christopher Edwards > Mourant > St Peter Port, Guernsey > Lawyer Profile

Mourant
ROYAL CHAMBERS
ST JULIAN'S AVENUE
ST PETER PORT
GY1 4HP
Guernsey

Work Department

Litigation, financial services and regulatory, insolvency and restructuring, international trusts and private client.

Position

Christopher joined the firm in January 2002 from Australia and was called to the Guernsey Bar in 2005. He specialises in complex commercial and trust litigation and provides advice to a range of financial institutions and fiduciaries, with particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional disputes. In addition he has a particular interest in regulatory and compliance matters, having obtained Diplomas in Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering, and regularly advises on a number of routine and non-routine matters including liaising with the GFSC, police and the FIU.  He also has expertise in relation to cross border assistance in tax and money laundering issues. 

Recent leading matters he has been involved in include:

  • House of Lords and Royal Court of Guernsey decisions on the extraterritorial application of criminal restraint orders.
  • Decisions in England and Guernsey setting out the test to be applied in considering whether to discharge criminal restraint orders.
  • Decision of the English Court of Appeal in relation to Article 27 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and assistance in relation to recovery of tax claims.
  • Placing the Propinvest Group into administration and acting for the administrators in pursuing civil claims against former directors.
  • Acting for a bank/custodian in interpleader proceedings following an alleged ponzi scheme, including decisions as to recognition of foreign receivers and intervention by the SEC.
  • Approval of a scheme of arrangement in respect of the business of the Channel Island Stock Exchange.
  • Acting for  several leading banks, insurers and fiduciaries in relation to regulatory investigations and enforcement action undertaken by the GFSC.
  • Assisting in responding to TIEA requests emanating from the likes of India, Australia, Switzerland, and the USA.

Highlight deals:

Acting for HSBC in relation to a complex, multi-jurisdictional trust dispute alleging tax and exchange control fraud, which included co-ordinating:

  • proceedings in South Africa appealing a very significant tax assessment, and resisting attempts to reverse a transfer of assets.
  • applications in the UK in relation to a restraint order, including a decision of the House of Lords which provided guidance on the operation of restraint orders in support of foreign proceedings and successfully obtaining a subsequent discharge of the restraint order; and
  • various applications before the Royal Court of Guernsey to seek Beddoes relief, approval of settlement agreements, and the scope of indemnities to be afforded to the trustee.

Acting for Garnet Investments and Tommy Suharto in relation to attempts by the Government of Indonesia to pursue civil and criminal claims against substantial funds held in Guernsey, and in respect of a claim against a Guernsey bank for mis-selling and negligence.

Acted for a local trust company in relation to a substantial trust where the human beneficiaries were all deceased. Following a mediation, competing claims to the trust fund were settled and the settlement was approved by the Royal Court of Guernsey. Now assisting the trustee in responding to claims made by HMRC.

What the drectories say:

“Christopher Edwards ‘is very robust, has a great courtroom presence and is somebody who it’s good to have on your side. He’s very much one of the leading lights in Guernsey’,” (Chambers UK, 2016). “Christopher Edwards ‘talks plain English and gives sound, succinct advice,’ according to a client referee, while a peer states: ‘I think he is very straightforward and easy to deal with. It is a good clean, fair fight’, (Chambers UK, 2015). Christopher is ranked in Dispute Resolution. Christopher is recommended in Dispute Resolution & Private client, trusts and tax, (Legal 500 UK, 2015) and described as, “especially well versed in the trust aspects of international tax investigations and enforcement actions”. Christopher Edwards is “remarkably personable,” (Legal 500 UK, 2014). “Christopher Edwards is held in high regard by market sources. One describes him as ‘a strong partner with a fantastic practice’, (Chambers UK, 2014). “Christopher Edwards is ‘user friendly’,” (Legal 500, 2013). “Peers highlight Christopher Edwards’ ‘strong tactical sense’ and ‘exceptional portfolio of clients’,” (Chambers UK, 2013)Christopher Edwards is listed as a Prominent Figure for Contentious Trusts in the Citywealth Leading Lawyers List, 2013. 

 

Career

Qualified as a solicitor (Western Australia) (currently non-practising) 1997; joined Mourant Ozannes 2002; solicitor (England) (currently non-practising) 2003; advocate (Guernsey) 2005.