Trusts permeate almost all facets of Chambers’ work, whether it be traditional trust instructions involving the establishment and administration of trusts (usually offshore), or the application of the general principles of trusts and equity in other insolvency, company or commercial contexts.
A great deal of chambers’ work, throughout all of its fields of expertise, involve the application of trust principles. A case concerning the breach of a director’s fiduciary duties is likely to give rise to issues of tracing and constructive trust. A liquidation might well involve arguments over whether an equitable charge exists as security or would otherwise be provable as an unsecured debt. A case of civil fraud – particularly in respect of the enforcement of a judgment – is likely to involve the intricate dismantling or defence of complex offshore discretionary or (where the jurisdiction permits) purpose trust structures.
Members are also frequently involved in traditional trust litigation in all of the established offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Asia. Examples of such work include the application by a trustee for directions in respect of its obligations to intervene in the management of a $2 billion company in which the trustee held a controlling interest; the amendment of investment powers of a trust in control of assets in excess of $150 million; and advice in respect of a “forfeiture clause” contained in a will in circumstances where substantial disputes had arisen between the beneficiaries.
It is this breadth of experience that makes 4 Stone Buildings so effective in dealing with trust matters. Members not only have the experience of acting for large institutional trustees and high-net worth beneficiaries in litigation concerning the administration of trusts, but also have the experience to apply trust principles to more novel situations.