Bernadette Carey > Carey Olsen > Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands > Lawyer Profile

Carey Olsen
Cayman Islands

Work Department

Trusts and Private Wealth; Dispute Resolution and Litigation; Family Office; Private Client; Regulatory; Relocation Services


Bernadette is the head of our Cayman Islands trusts and private wealth team and has a broad private client practice advising on wealth structuring and estate planning matters, including the administration, restructuring, and termination of trusts, as well as probate and testamentary issues. She also has significant experience in trust litigation, regularly appearing before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on multi-party non-contentious applications and contentious trust disputes, as well as in respect of estate litigation and other cross-border private client disputes.

Bernadette regularly advises high net worth individuals, trustees, beneficiaries, family offices, executors, wealth managers, institutional clients, and onshore legal teams on all aspects of trusts and estates law in the Cayman Islands. She is an elected member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law (TIAETL), where membership to the global body is by invitation only and is highly selective. All members must have practiced law in the Academy’s areas of interest for at least ten years and must have distinguished themselves through lecturing, writing or participation in professional organizations. They must also have demonstrated a significant interest in the continuing development of the law of their own countries.

She is also an International Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, and a long-standing Council Member of the Cayman Islands branch of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners. Bernadette is the author of the Cayman Islands chapters of numerous private client texts, including “International Estate Planning: A Reference Guide” and “Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions”.

Bernadette is recognised for her trusts and private client work by Chambers, Who’s Who Legal, and Legal 500 with market sources describing her as ‘incredibly hard-working’ and ‘really first class’. She has also been described as ‘an exceptional talent and a pleasure to work with’; as someone who ‘stands out as being especially intelligent, considered and commercial’. Bernadette’s ‘perspective on both contentious and non-contentious matters is very beneficial’ and ‘her background in litigation means she knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to trust structuring’ (Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners HNW).


Bernadette is admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand (2002) and Australia (2005), and as an attorney-at-law in the Cayman Islands (2008).

She was formerly with Buddle Findlay (New Zealand), Henry Davis York and Colin Biggers & Paisley (both Australia) and Conyers Dill & Pearman (Cayman Islands).

Lawyer Rankings

Cayman Islands > Dispute resolution

Leveraging its close-knit collaborative ties with its wider global network, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore, Carey Olsen handles a considerable volume of multi-jurisdictional disputes, including big-ticket liquidations, fraud claims, and dissenter-side merger disputes. The practice is chaired by Sam Dawson, a highly regarded cross-border litigator with a keen focus on the financial services sector. Bernadette Carey is a highly active trust litigator who routinely appears before the Grand Court on multi-party disputes and cross-border private client matters. Peter Sherwood is noted for his experience in acting for liquidators in high-profile insolvency and restructuring proceedings, most recently for clients with significant operations in China and the Middle East. Denis Olarou, who was promoted to partner in July 2021, is praised for his ‘impressive expertise‘ in insolvencies, fraud litigation, and international arbitrations.

Cayman Islands > Trusts/private client

(Next Generation Partners)

Bernadette CareyCarey Olsen

A diverse roster of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, wealth management companies and financial services providers turn to the team at Carey Olsen for assistance with big-ticket mandates, including trusteeship transfers, family office formations, and wealth structuring issues. ‘Superb‘ practice head Bernadette Carey is well-versed in both contentious and non-contentious matters, appearing before the Grand Court in respect of private client disputes, and advising on succession planning and wealth structuring. Counsel Graham Stoute is noted for his capabilities in estate administration and advisory work, while fellow counsel Chris Duncan regularly handles restructuring projects for the firm’s trustee client base.

Comparative Guides

Cayman Islands: Private Client January 2022 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Private Client laws and regulations that may occur in Cayman Islands.
British Virgin Islands: Private Client January 2022 This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Private Client laws and regulations that may occur in British Virgin Islands.