Private Wealth Disputes
“Brings heavyweight lawyers to any case & has huge experience in dealing with the biggest trust and estate disputes”
Legal 500 2021
We are a market leading Private Wealth Disputes team ranked in the top tier by both Chambers HNW and Legal 500.
We provide bespoke strategic advice alongside a comprehensive dispute resolution and litigation practice. Our expertise is trusted consistently by high net worth individuals, professional trustees and other fiduciaries as well as private banks to take robust steps to protect their legal rights and deliver practical solutions.
What we do:
International trust disputes
- Acting for professional trustees, protectors, beneficiaries, legal guardians in offshore litigation;
- Experience with key international trust jurisdictions including: Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Liechtenstein.
- Advice to offshore trustees in connection with UK matrimonial proceedings.
International estate disputes
- Coordinating strategy across multiple jurisdictions and advising on succession and conflicts of laws.
- Sharia law succession disputes arising from the firm’s extensive Middle East practice.
Bespoke strategic advice
- Corporate governance for businesses held in trust.
- Decision making by trustees under pressure from hostile beneficiaries.
- Lobbying trustees on behalf of beneficiaries.
- Litigation risk and asset protection advice for ownership structures and transactions.
- Crisis management and special situations.
Domestic litigation and dispute resolution
- Challenges to English wills.
- Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependants) Act 1975.
- Court of Protection applications.
- Unfair prejudice claims.
- Professional negligence claims.
Where we work
From our base in London we work with best in class overseas counsel to deliver seamless international legal advice to our clients. Our team meet with clients and conduct negotiations with counterparties on their behalves both domestically and internationally. The team speak at leading international private wealth conferences around the world, including STEP, Legal Week, the Cambridge Forum, the Contentious Trusts Association and Fresh Perspectives.
Public Trustee v Cooper applications: Applications to offshore courts concerning the restructuring of trusts holding significant trading businesses (+$1bn)
Unfair prejudice proceedings: Acting in High Court proceedings in relation to a UK business held by family trusts (settled confidentially)
Middle Eastern estate dispute: Acting for a high profile family concerning assets in multiple jurisdictions, the application of Sharia law and issues of mental capacity
African business dispute: A trust dispute concerning trading businesses in Africa working closely with the commercial management team and financiers (+$1.5bn)
Privy Council: Acting as Privy Council agent in a high profile trust dispute on appeal from the Jersey Court of Appeal
Matrimonial dispute: Advice to an offshore trustee in relation to disclosure in high profile financial remedy proceedings in the high court
(PQ and anor v RS and ors  EWHC 1643 (Ch): Acting as litigation friend for two minor beneficiaries in connection with the blessing of the trustees’ decision to include their sibling as a beneficiary of substantial trusts
Cowan v Foreman & Ors  EWHC 349 (Fam): Advising in a number of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
“A class act”
Chambers HNW 2020
“Real depth of expertise and experience in dealing with high profile and high value disputes. The team is involved in many of the biggest trusts and estates cases”
Legal 500 2020
In the Trust and Estates Law & Tax Journal, Associates, Jessica Woollard and Alexandra Hirst revisit 1975 Act claims and financial remedies on divorce.Read more 8 min read 23 Sep 2020 Remote witnessing of Wills—pros and cons from a disputes’ perspective
Private Client analysis: Mark Lindley, partner at Boodle Hatfield, discusses the new rules in the Wills Act 1837Read more 5 min read 17 Jul 2020 Inheritance disputes rise as families go to war over estates
Number of contested wills at an all-time high as rising house prices and complex family structures drive competing claims.Read more 4 min read 04 May 2021 Value of private equity deals by HNWs jumps six-fold, from £132m to £958m during the pandemic
Private Wealth Partner, Kyra Motely reflects on how depressed valuations at the start of the COVID crisis have proved to be a once in decade opportunity for HNW investors.Read more