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Private Wealth Disputes

We have a wealth of experience and expertise in high-value, complex and multi-jurisdictional trust disputes, and manage trust related litigation on a global scale. The breadth of our litigation practice enables us to advise on some of the most complex and demanding disputes.

We act for a range of clients, including trust companies, family businesses, high net worth individuals, private banks, and other financial institutions. We handle domestic and cross-border trust related disputes and coordinate claims in overseas jurisdictions including the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, BVI, St Kitts & Nevis, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jersey, and Guernsey.

Our extensive litigation experience enables us to advise on a wide spectrum of issues that directly or indirectly involve trusts. This includes obtaining injunctive relief where necessary in order to secure control over assets forming part of a dispute.

We also work closely with our tax disputes team to ensure that any tax issues are considered as part of the overall strategy in resolving a dispute. Our tax disputes team specialises in investigations and disputes across all areas of tax.

  • Removal of trustees and transfer of trusteeship
  • Breach of trust claims
  • Professional negligence claims concerning the administration of trusts
  • Blessing, variation, rectification, construction, and mistake applications
  • Making or dealing with requests for information and disclosure of trust documents
  • Fraud and asset tracing
  • Injunctions and worldwide freezing orders
  • Claims brought by creditors or other third parties against a trust
  • Tax-related disputes

Representative cases:
  • Representing two high net worth individuals from the former Soviet Union in relation to an English High Court claim for possession/damages in relation to a valuable collection of oriental art and antiques as well as a collection of jewellery.
  • Representing a western European high net worth family holding structure in relation to a dispute concerning a valuable collection of wines held in the UK.
  • Acting for an art investor as the victim of the art fraud perpetuated by Inigo Philbrick, known as the “Madoff of the art world”.
  • Acting for a high net worth individual in relation to an ongoing dispute in relation to the estate of his deceased father.
  • Representing a highly successful fashion entrepreneur in relation to a board room dispute with venture capitalists.
  • Representing a film director in relation to investments in Hollywood films.
  • Representing high net worth Nigerian family members in dispute over the Will of the patriarch of the family.
  • Acting for a beneficiary of a discretionary trust into which substantial assets had been settled on various contentious issues, including on an application to the BVI court to the hold the Trustee to account, and ultimately on the restructuring and division of the trust and its assets.
  • Acting for corporate trustees defending non-party disclosure proceedings in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, initiated by a discretionary beneficiary relating to the administration and management of Cypriot trusts settled by a high net worth individual. Gorbachev -v- Guriev & Ors [2022] EWHC 1907 (Comm); [2022] EWCA Civ 1270; [2023] EWCA Civ 327
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