Contentious trusts

Trust disputes have become a fact of offshore life. They need to be handled sensitively by suitable experts. Farrer & Co have the depth and range of expertise, especially in international work. They are adept at finding practical common-sense and cost-effective solutions.

Royal Bank of Canada

The risk of trustees becoming involved in court proceedings is on the increase.  Such cases are increasingly hostile and hard fought.  Each dispute is of course different but our Contentious Trusts and Estates Team has considerable experience across the full gamut of trust-related proceedings ranging from “friendly” through to hostile claims.  We have handled both “internal” claims and “external” claims impugning the validity of the trust. We have helped trustees to recover loss caused by negligent advice.   These cases are frequently ultra high-value and highly complex.  

We also have considerable experience of resolving disputes at an early stage through the use of mediation.  In addition, we are involved in planning to mitigate the risk of disputes arising in the first place, by suitable drafting, and by careful and practical advice tailored to meet the attendant risks.  We are experienced in acting for corporate and individual trustees, beneficiaries, protectors and other parties involved in trust disputes.

The majority of our work concerns trustees in other jurisdictions and trusts which are not governed by English law.  At the moment we are involved in trust cases before the courts in the Bahamas, BVI, Cayman, Cyprus, Geneva, Gibraltar Guernsey and Jersey.

Key cases:

  • Alhamrani -v- Russa Management Limited and others (Re Intertraders)
  • Gomez -v- Gomez-Monche Vives: High Court of Justice, Chancery Division ([2008] EWHC 259 (Ch)) and on appeal before the Court of Appeal (Lawrence Collins L.J., Jacob L.J. and Lewison J. reported at [2008] EWCA Civ 1065)
  • Close Trustees (Switzerland) -v- Vildosola [2008] EWHC 1267. Directions application.
  • Wingate -v- Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Ltd [2008] WTLR 357. Disclosure to beneficiaries.
  • Brown -v- Executors of Estate of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother [2008] EWCA Civ 56

Download our Contentious Trusts & Estates brochure here


22 October 2014 Mediation: after Jackson Adam Carvalho
08 September 2014 Questions of Capacity Adam Carvalho
11 February 2014 Contested Wills: Knowledge and Approval in Brennan – v – Prior Adam Carvalho
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More information

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