He specialises in the resolution of disputes relating to the formation or administration of trusts and estates in a UK and international context. Recent cases have included disputes relating to trusts and estates in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Switzerland, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Bermuda. He also advises on charity law matters, including dispute resolution where UK charities are involved.
Steven has been described by Chambers Global as ‘a ‘leading figure’ and ‘esteemed litigator’. In 2017 and 2018 Steven was nominated in Legal Weeks Private Client Global Elite of international advisers. In 2011, Steven was included in The Lawyer magazine’s annual ‘Hot 100’ list of lawyers ‘who have consistently demonstrated nimbleness and innovation over the last 12 months’.
Panellist - ‘Wealthy families in dispute’, Private client dining club, London - May 2018
STEP, Hong Kong branch, lecture on ‘Trust and divorce’ - February 2018
‘Trust planning in divorce’, Isle of man conference - September 2017
Annual STEP Conference Series - April and May 2016
Challenging the Exercise of Fiduciary Powers, IBC Conference - March 2016
We advised a beneficiary of a trust who was in dispute with another beneficiary and the trustee who was holding shares in a luxury fashion brand worth over 30 million. Court proceedings were ongoing in England and Italy, involving our London and Milan offices, before the trustee was successfully replaced and the other issues between the parties compromised in 2017 to avoid publicity over the businesses involved.
Advising a blue-chip offshore trust company on its involvement in English divorce proceedings concerning attacks on trusts worth over 25 million. We handled the disclosure issues for the trustee and eventually the case was concluded without the trustee being formally joined to the English proceedings.
Our lawyers brought the highest value Inheritance Act claim to date in Wooldridge v Wooldridge (2016). We were acting for a widow who sought to increase provision under her husband’s will after his death in a helicopter accident. The will had been ‘homemade’, written without legal advice, and our client felt that her husband had intended to leave her a greater share of his assets.
We acted for a beneficiary in proceedings concerning trustee negligence in relation to investment losses. It is believed to be the first case in the Channel Islands courts to consider the question of what degree of knowledge will prevent a beneficiary bringing a breach of trust claim beyond the time period required by statute.
Advising in the Matter of the F Settlement and the A Trust (2015) a decision of the Bermuda court setting aside trustee decisions.
The case of BQ v DQ (2010) a decision of the Bermuda Court concerning the validity of two high value trusts.
Advised on the case of Re A Trust (2012), a decision on successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction against a beneficiary of a trust to protect the beneficiary suing the trustee in an inappropriate jurisdiction.
Advised in the case of Re Shuldham (2012), the judgment on confidentiality of rectification applications concerning trusts with interests of minor children.
Advised in the matter of Slutsker v Haron (2013) where the Court of Appeal made a decision on the application of the Russian Family Code to a property and trust structure.
Wealth Management Spotlight on Contentious Trusts, Spears Magazine, September 2017
Editor and contributing author to Oxford University Press’ International Trust Disputes
Contributing author to International Trust Precedents published by Longmans
‘Protecting Private Wealth from Europe to the Far East and beyond’, Global Business Magazine, World Trustee Report
Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
Charity Law Association
Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners
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