Case studies – how our five law offering adds value to private clients


Our expert Private Capital & Trusts team in Jersey and Guernsey advises on five laws from two offices – our fluency in the laws of Bermuda, BVI, Cayman, Guernsey and Jersey enables us to guide clients on the right jurisdiction choice for their unique needs.

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With partners admitted in all five jurisdictions, our team of 11 specialists – who have a blend of offshore, onshore and in-house experience – combine deep expertise with a determination to give our clients the best.

And with experience of practising in all of these jurisdictions as well as London, Switzerland, Asia and the Middle East, we understand the issues and priorities of onshore counsel, trustees and other advisers, offering a big picture perspective with insight into local market dynamics and regulation.

Case studies – how our five law offering adds value to private clients

Jersey law

Our client was a Middle Eastern UHNWI seeking to establish a private wealth structure for asset protection and succession planning purposes. The client was neutral on which jurisdiction would be right for their personal needs, and we prepared a full comparison of the options using Jersey, Guernsey and Cayman Islands trusts. The client opted for a Jersey structure, and we are advising them on the structuring, and in the appointment of trustees.

Bermuda & Guernsey law

Our client was a Guernsey trustee, who was seeking to transfer a Bermudian structure – including a Private Trust Company family office - to the US. The work required detailed understanding of the Guernsey and Bermuda trust regimes, and working closely with onshore counsel and tax advisers.

Cayman Islands & Guernsey law

Our client, a Cayman Foundation, wanted to establish a vehicle to provide funding for legal costs and ancillary expenses for potential disputes relating to a digital asset ecosystem comprised of a well-known decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO). Working closely with onshore counsel in the US to understand the client's goals and requirements, our experience and knowledge in Guernsey structures allowed us to quickly identify that the best solution would be the creation of Guernsey risk purpose trust with our client as the scheme sponsor. The client was keen to ensure that funding would only be considered for specific disputes and that the trustee would have discretion on approving the funding and to whom funding would be provided. We drafted the trust instrument to include bespoke rules and purposes to meet these objectives.

Case studies – how our five law offering adds value to private clients

Jersey law

Our client, one of the world's wealthiest individuals with a net worth of close to $100 billion, required advice relating to an existing Jersey structure, and a new share subscription and accompanying documentation. We had previously advised on the creation of the mixed Jersey trust / foundation structure, which holds Eurobonds and cash of significant value, and have advised on changes and restructuring. This work required close collaboration with the trustee, the onshore tax counsel, and the family office.

BVI & Cayman law

We had advised our client - a UK-based, non-domiciled individual – on the establishment of a Guernsey law governed trust. Following this, the client contacted us due to BVI and Cayman Islands expertise, as he had assets in both jurisdictions and required advice about a Will to deal with those assets. We advised on BVI legislation which makes the resealing of foreign Grants easier. As part of our instruction, we were also required to consider the client's domicile of origin in the context of testamentary freedom, and were able to offer bespoke advice on making gifts during lifetime, or by Will, and the application of any forced heirship rules.

BVI & Guernsey law

Our client was a Swiss-based Trustee, newly appointed to a Guernsey trust following acrimonious proceedings spanning many years between a large, fractious family following the Patriarch settlor's death.  We assisted the new trustee in resolving lingering areas of dispute in Guernsey and the BVI, drawing on the expertise of our colleagues in those jurisdictions to resolve technical and strategic issues relating to the corporate Protector and BVI company law and their translation into Guernsey trust law principles. We also assisted the trustee in sensitively responding to matters that touch upon the settlor's estate, the application of Sharia principles, and their relevance to the trust property.  The culmination of this process will be an application before the Guernsey Royal Court so the parties are heard, key decisions are blessed with the aim of resetting the trust and allowing the trustee to move forwards into an era of typical administration.

Guernsey law

Our client, a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), is in the process of building a community-driven intellectual property platform using blockchain technology. Since the DAO sits outside a traditional legal and regulated structure, we have advised on a Guernsey Purpose Trust to bridge the gap between the digital and traditional economies. The Purpose Trust has community control mechanisms embedded into its terms, and mechanisms the DAO and sub-DAOs (pursuant to their unique governance protocols) have the ability to direct the Trustee and Enforcer in relation to the management and administration of their own IP. The Settlor is based in the US, the Trustee is a Swiss based professional trustee and the Enforcer is a regulated financial services provider based in the Caribbean.

Cayman & Guernsey law

Our client, a Guernsey-based limited company, sought advice regarding their forthcoming appointment as new trustee of a Guernsey-based Unit Trust as part of a commercial transaction. The underlying assets of the trust included UK real estate and so we worked closely with onshore advisers, providing our expertise and knowledge to ensure that the proposed transaction was executed in accordance with the relevant powers and terms of the trust. In addition, the Manager of the trust was also retiring and the incoming Manager was represented by colleagues in our Banking & Finance and Investment Funds & Corporate teams in Guernsey (made possible by implementing an information barrier or 'ethical wall'). The Units of the trust were also being transferred and the incoming holders were Cayman entities registered at our offices there, and advised by our Finance and Corporate Group in Dubai in respect of funding arrangements, which involved a Sharia-compliant Murabaha Agreement. 

Rupert MorrisPartnerT +44 (0) 1481 748
Rajah AbusrewilGroup Partner*T +44 (0) 1481 748
David CooneyGroup Partner*T +44 (0) 1481 758
Kathryn MackenSenior AssociateT +44 (0) 1481 748
Aaron SandersSenior AssociateT +44 (0) 1481 758
Marcel Treurnicht Senior AssociateT +44 (0) 1481 758
Shumona NeswarAssociateT +44 (0) 1481 758

Richard HoldenPartnerT 44 (0) 1534 700 823
Rajah AbusrewilGroup Partner*T +44 (0) 1481 748
Anouksha PatelSenior AssociateT +44 1534 700
Adam FellowsAssociateT +44 (0) 1534 700

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