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.
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 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)
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
“They have great lawyers on both private client and the contentious work”
Chambers HNW 2022
“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 6 min read 29 Nov 2021 Dynasties & Drama: Family Business In Focus
In WealthBriefing, Private Wealth Associate, James Woods-Davison outlines how family business feuds can be mitigated by having strong corporate and family governance structures which engender confidence in the way in which the business is run and promotes a healthy level of transparency.Read more 6 min read 03 Oct 2022 When love gets in the way of business: how to advise family businesses in protecting themselves from divorce
Divorce is renowned for being one of the most stressful life events that an individual can face. When a divorce involves a family business, this stress is often magnified given that it can result in other family members becoming embroiled in proceedings. Family Partner, Katie O’Callaghan explains how family businesses can protect themselves in IFA Magazine.
Read more 3 min read 29 Sep 2022 Boodle Hatfield’s Private Wealth team uplifted to tier one in Legal 500 UK 2023
Boodle Hatfield’s ‘highly respected’ ‘standout’ Private Wealth team have been elevated to tier one in the ‘Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate’ category of the 2023 guide. The firm is also delighted to report that as well as being uplifted, it has retained its top tier status in six other categories, affirming its position as one of London’s leading law firms.Read more