David Cooney > Collas Crill > St Peter Port, Guernsey > Lawyer Profile

Collas Crill

Work Department

International Private Client & Trust


Group Partner, International Private Client and Trust 


David joined the firm’s Guernsey office in March 2020, having moved from the Zurich office of an international private client law firm (2017-2020).  Prior to that he was the Head of the Caribbean Private Wealth Team of another large international law firm, based in the Cayman Islands (2014-2017).

David works primarily with trustees and individuals in the establishment of trusts and other wealth planning structures.  He advises on all aspects of the set up and maintenance of those structures and has particular expertise in the establishment of complicated structures with connections to multiple jurisdictions.

Recent experience includes advising an ultra-high net worth client on his use of a Cayman Islands STAR Trust for philanthropic purposes, assisting a Swiss-based trustee with an exit from two difficult trusteeships, and the establishment of a large new structure for a UK resident settlor, which involved dealing with the termination of four existing structures in order to fund the new structure.

David has also developed a significant amount of expertise in the economic substance laws of a number of offshore jurisdictions, which were introduced at the start of 2019.  He regularly advises entities on their classification under these laws and compliance with their obligations.  He has also provided advice to trust companies on the bulk classification of their entities as well as jurisdictional comparisons of these new rules.


Member of the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
member of the STEP Zurich Council

Lawyer Rankings

Guernsey > Private client, trusts and tax

Collas Crill’s international private client offering benefits from practice head Angela Calnan’s Middle East expertise when assisting with Guernsey-based foundation structurings for high-wealth individuals from that region. Having recently joined the practice, Adrian Brown and the ‘very tactically astute‘ Elizabeth Couch expanded the firm’s family law capabilities regarding matrimonial and divorce matters relating to Guernsey trust structures. David Cooney, who is ‘an exceptional talent in the industry‘, provides international clients with niche knowledge of complex fiduciary structures holding cryptocurrency and digital assets. Associate Gregory Haddow is highly rated; recent instructions pertained to trust transfers from Guernsey to The Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands > Trusts/private client

Headed up by the Guernsey-based David Cooney  since the November 2020 departure of Tom Mylott, Collas Crill’s international trust and private client department has a proven track record in handling the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters. Instructed by a wide range of institutional trustees, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, trustees, settlors, beneficiaries and protectors, the department excels in the foundation of STAR Trust and foundation companies, cross-border wealth structuring matters, and complex trust litigation. Locally in Cayman, counsel Andrew Peedom and senior associate Sally Peedom play key supporting roles.