Shelley White

Shelley White


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Shelley White joined Walkers' Cayman Islands office in 2010 and is a partner in the Insolvency & Dispute Resolution and Trust Disputes groups. She specialises in trusts litigation, insolvency litigation and also works on general commercial litigation. Having practised at the Chancery Commercial Bar in London from 2003 until 2010, Shelley is a specialist advocate and regularly represents clients in court.

Shelley’s trusts litigation practice has involved acting for trustees, enforcers and beneficiaries in contentious trusts matters involving Japanese, Jersey, BVI and New York elements. Her cases have included Unit Trust disputes; litigation with enforcers; contested applications for Beddoe relief; the disputed removal of a beneficiary on divorce from settlor; contentious probate matters (challenges to wills, testamentary capacity and proceedings against executors); a challenge to a deed of variation for failure to comply with formal requirements; and advising on rectification, challenges to trustee decision making, applications for documents from trustees, enforcement against assets in a trust and drafting of indemnity clauses.

Shelley has advised and represented a variety of clients in numerous insolvency litigation matters, including large scale liquidations with significant cross border issues, particularly in respect of the UK, the USA and the Middle East. She has contested applications for recognition of foreign representatives, permission to issue proceedings against insolvent companies and Berkeley Applegate relief as well as Scheme hearings and liquidation reserve matters. Shelley has particular experience in applications under sections 101 and 103 of the Companies Law and representing Hedge Funds and Limited Partnerships in contested winding up proceedings.

Shelley's commercial litigation experience has involved all types of clients including high street banks, corporate service providers, companies, directors, exempted limited partnerships, investment banks and individuals. Her matters have included substantial trials in the Grand Court as well as appeals in the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands and have covered commercial fraud litigation, tracing and proprietary claims, breach of contract, economic torts, enforcement of judgments, confidentiality, negligent investment advice, guarantees and breach of fiduciary duties.

Shelley practiced as a Chancery Commercial Barrister at New Square Chambers in London from 2003 until July 2010. Her practice at the Bar in London also focused on insolvency, commercial chancery, trusts and property litigation.

Her insolvency cases in England and Wales included a wide variety of insolvency work including examinations of bankrupts, regular appearances in the winding-up court, disputed debts, administration applications, applications to set aside statutory demands and applications for the administration of insolvent estates.

She appeared for Kingston Council in the highly publicised case of Kingston-Upon-Thames v. Phoenix and Others, successfully obtaining possession of Raven's Ait Island in the River Thames. She appeared for the Royal Bank of Scotland in L.Morgan v. Jenkins, O'Dowd & Barth and also advised Barclays Bank in the case of Angel Solicitors v. Jenkins, O'Dowd & Barth in which the L.Morgan case was considered (see [2009] 1 WLR 1220, [2009] PNLR 19, (2009) NPC 9).

Shelley also has particular experience in litigation involving constructive trusts, having been Junior Counsel in Cox v. Jones [2004] All ER(D) 281 (Jun) and also in Kilcarne Holdings v. Targetfollow (Birmingham) Limited) in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal (see [2004] All ER(D) 132 (Nov) and [2005] EWCA Civ 1355). She also appeared with Stephen Smith QC and Leigh Sagar in the Court of Appeal in Duggan v. Governor of Full Sutton Prison and another [2004] 2 All ER 966 in a matter regarding whether the Prison Rules 1999 imposed a trust upon monies held for prisoners.

Admitted In:
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
England and Wales (not practising)

BA & MA (Oxon) in Jurisprudence & Distinction on BCL, St. Peter's College, Oxford, UK

2023 Chambers Global - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "Shelley is extremely responsive and is closely involved in all aspects."

2023 Legal 500 - Leading Individual - Dispute Resolution - "Shelley White is experienced in a variety of matters including discovery, insolvency and trust litigation. Responsive, user friendly and persuasive." and "Shelley White is outstanding. Her critical thinking, deep knowledge of her markets and delivery of strategic yet commercial advice is second to none across the Cayman and wider offshore firms. A go-to practitioner for complex disputes, she never lets a client down."

2022 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Asset Recovery

2022 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Restructuring & Insolvency - "Shelley White draws praise as “a top-tier lawyer” with a diverse practice covering an array of insolvency matters and related dispute resolution."

2022 Chambers HNW Guide - Offshore Trusts - "She's outstanding as a litigator and trusts litigator - she is as good as they get. She is as bright as they come, and she's hard-working and personable." Another interviewee states that "she is very clever and an excellent practitioner."

2022 Who's Who Legal - Thought Leader - Commercial Litigation 

2022 Chambers Global - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "She is a terrific operator. She is very switched-on, very smart and plays with a straight bat."

2022 Legal 500 - Leading Individual - Dispute Resolution - 'Shelley White is not only extremely bright, but a real client person. No one will fight your corner harder.'

2022 Legal 500 - Recommended - Trusts & Private Client - 'Lucy Diggle and Shelley White have been particularly helpful on a recent contentious matter getting to the heart of the matter very quickly.' and ‘Shelley White is a stand-out in the team. She is thorough, responsive, unafraid to challenge others to think harder, and supportive of her clients and her team.’

2021 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Asset Recovery - 'Shelley Whited draws widespread plaudits from market sources thanks to her excellence in insolvency and trust-related disputes.'

2021 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Commercial Litigation - Shelley White is "completely dedicated to a result, exceptionally bright and no-nonsense" remark market commentators.

2021 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Private Client 

2021 Chambers HNW Guide - Offshore Trusts - 'A barrister says: "Shelley is a star in the litigation firmament. She was a barrister in London and continues to have a very successful litigation practice in Cayman." Another source says White is "incredibly sharp" and adds: "She is quite good at sensing what the client needs at various points, whether it is the big picture or a deep dive into the detail."

2021 Chambers and Partners - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "She is dynamic, forceful, focused and very available."

2021 Private Client Global Elite - Ones to Watch

2021 Who's Who Legal - Recommended - Restructuring & Insolvency - Shelley White is “an immensely hard-working and knowledgeable practitioner” with deep expertise in insolvency litigation proceedings.

2021 Legal 500 - Next Generation Partner - Dispute Resolution - ‘The stand out partners are Shelley White and Colette Wilkins, with whom I have toiled in the trenches for ten years on one enormous multi-faceted manner. They are both highly intellectual, highly practical and highly commercial, which is a winning, but rare, combination. The commitment to client objectives is unwavering and the level of partner involvement is excellent (and necessary on complex and high value disputes).’

2021 Legal 500 - Recommended - Trusts & Private Client - ‘The Cayman contentious trust team is led by Shelley White, who is incredibly sharp, responsive, and an excellent communicator, able to translate highly technical matters into clear and effective client friendly advice.’

2020 Who's Who Legal - Private Client

2020 Chambers HNW Guide - Offshore Trusts - Cayman Islands - 'Shelley White is "a brilliant lawyer" who is "an excellent litigator" according to sources. One market insider notes: "She is incredibly bright and has real intellectual rigour. She can cut through legal issues very incisively and she also brings good commercial acumen," adding that "she brings both sides of the coin to the table." Another source remarks that "she fights your corner until the bitter end."'

2020 Citywealth Top 100 Trust Litigators

2020 Who's Who Legal - Global Leader - Restructuring & Insolvency

2020 Who's Who Legal - Global Leader - Private Client

2020 Chambers and Partners - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "incredibly bright"

2020 Legal 500 - Next Generation Partner - Dispute Resolution

2020 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Trusts & Private Client

2019 Who's Who Legal - Thought Leader - GIR

2019 Who's Who Legal - Global Leader - Asset Recovery

2019 Chambers HNW Guide - Ranked Lawyer - "She is strong on private client litigation, she is an excellent advocate. She is one of the best advocates. She does a really great job in court, she is tenacious and prodigiously hard-working." A market insider says: "Her performance is excellent. She is very responsive, she really follows through with the advice she gives and makes sure the client is satisfied"."

2019 Chambers Global Guide - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - Sources consider her to be "among the top names in trusts litigation." One client said: "She is outstanding from a litigation and restructuring perspective."

2019 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Dispute Resolution - "Shelley White is 'astonishingly bright and across every detail and nuance as well as the commercial endgame'"

2018 Chambers Global Guide - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "She is a really good lawyer. She has great attention to detail and a very analytical mind."

2018 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Dispute Resolution - "The 'resilient and absolutely delightful to work with' Shelley White is ‘an excellent operator, who is fantastically bright and gives lightning-fast responses, and has an unfailing work ethic’."

2017 Who's Who Legal: Private Client - Recommended Lawyer

2017 International Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery Lawyers

2017 Chambers Global Guide - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "Shelley White is especially noted for her expertise in contentious trusts matters. Sources describe her as 'a bubbly, lively person who is very easy to work with', highlighting her 'very confident and impressive' advocacy style as one of her greatest strengths."

2017 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Dispute Resolution

2016 International Who's Who of Asset Recovery Lawyers

2016 Chambers Global Guide - Notable Practitioner - Dispute Resolution - "She's technically very, very good and her client service is very good too".

2015 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Dispute Resolution - "White ‘really impresses with her hands-on approach – she gets to the nub of issues extremely quickly and is committed to her client’s cause’."

2014 Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer - Dispute Resolution - "White ‘gives very high-quality advice and is very responsive’."

2010 Chambers UK Guide - "...'a very bright spark' and 'a good fighter in court'. She 'will always go the extra mile for her clients'."

2010 Future Leaders Award - Women in the City Finalist (sponsored by Barclays Wealth)

2009 Chambers UK Guide - "...she 'wins plaudits for being modern in her approach and in tune with what her clients want', has 'excellent communication skills' and is 'a hit with clients for going into cases on short notice and seeing the matter through to the end'."

2008-2009 The Times and Management Today - '35 under 35' - 'the definitive list of Britain's Female Business Talent' which recognises young women who are 'tipped as ones to watch for the future'.

2008 Legal 500 - Leading Junior in Insolvency - "...she 'has demonstrated commitment energy and perseverance' and has 'excellent analytical skills in obtaining equally excellent results in court'."

Shelley was also Scholar of St Peter's College, Oxford and is a Queen Mother Scholar and Harmsworth Entrance Exhibitioner of the Middle Temple.

Shelley is a honourary international member of the Chancery Bar Association, a Full Member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) and a member of IWIRC. She was a member of the ABI and the Chancery Bar Association in London from 2003 until 2010. Shelley was an elected member of the Bar Council from 2007 until 2010.