Angela  Calnan

Angela Calnan (TEP)

Partner | Guernsey

Private Client and Trusts

  • Best of Breed.
    Spear's 500 Private Client Guide
  • Angela is my first choice in non-contentious trust matters. She is responsive, client focussed and always looking for practical solutions.
    Client testimonial
  • Very proactive in forging a relationship with our business and getting to know our people.
    Client feedback
  • Angela is readily understands case needs and delivers promptly – great trust knowledge.
    Legal 500 (UK) 2023
  • Very practical and approachable.
    Chambers & Partners
  • Angela has proven to be excellent in matching the work requested with the outcome provided.
    Legal 500 2022
  • Angela provides clear advice in an open and friendly manner that reassures the client that she is abreast of both the current legal position and the management of the client’s requirements.
    Legal 500 2024 (UK)
  • Angela doesn’t just think outside the box, she simply refuses to believe there is a box. She’s a genuine pleasure to work with.
    Client testimonial
  • Angela Calnan has a great way of putting people at their ease while also filling you with confidence that she knows exactly what she is doing.
    Legal 500
  • Angela Calnan leads from the front with her team. She has a great sense of humour and can lighten even the toughest of situations. She also is incredibly hard working and knowledgeable and someone you can always rely on.
    Legal 500
  • Angela Calnan remains a star and stand-out performer in the non-contentious trust field. She not only has a good knowledge of the relevant law, she also appreciates the practical and commercial considerations.
    Legal 500
  • Angela has great personality and presence – she’s dynamic, engaging, and highly commercial.
    Client testimonial
  • Stays calm under pressure.
    Chambers and Partners
  • Angela has a good understanding of private wealth issues. She is practical and provides good advice.
    Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2021
  • Angela is a first-rate trust lawyer. She has a pragmatic approach and looks for solutions rather than problems.
    Legal 500 2024 (UK)
  • Every time I contact her on a matter she responds immediately. Advice is concise and timely.
    Client feedback


Angela has been a Partner in our multi-award winning Private Client and Trusts team in Guernsey since 2012 – now one of the largest teams of its type in Guernsey and ranked Tier 1 by eprivateclient.

Angela's core strengths are in establishing, reorganising and winding up Guernsey trust and foundation structures (including pension and gratuity schemes) and also assisting trustees in navigating the administration of those structures in accordance with their fiduciary duties.

As a former litigator prior to moving to Guernsey, Angela is great at spotting thorny issues early and assisting trustees and beneficiaries to resolve conflict before things escalate into litigation.

"I am a modern, dynamic lawyer who takes her clients by the hand and guides them through often very complex matters on time, on budget and with a smile."


Angela has been a Solicitor of England & Wales since 2003 and an Advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey since 2020.

Day to day, Angela's caseload is very varied. Recently she has established private trust companies and private trustee foundations with multiple underlying trusts and companies for both domestic and international families in conjunction with some of the UK's leading City firms. She has established multi-million dollar pensions and end of service gratuity schemes for multiple UAE companies and she has also assisted trustees in deliberating "momentous decisions" and mediating the interests of warring beneficiaries.


With a family background in the military, Angela is no stranger to moving around. Prior to settling down in Guernsey in 2012 she practiced law in the UK, Singapore and Dubai and this has enabled her to not only build a wide and diverse professional network but also to have a cultural appreciation of many of the clients and intermediaries that she works with which gives her a real edge in terms of building rapport.

Angela is listed as a 'Leading Individual' in Legal 500.


  • Private Client Global Elite 2024 - peer nominated
  • Lawyer of the Year – Gold, Partner – Citywealth
  • STEP Legal Team of the Year – Midsize
  • Wealth Briefing Woman of the Year – runner up
  • Powerwoman – Citywealth


• Law Society of England & Wales
• Guernsey Bar
• STEP – Full Member

*Business Assistant
Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor

My services
International pensions and EBTs

We advise internationally based companies and trustees on the establishment and operation of employee incentive schemes, addressing issues such as the funding and structuring of awards as between sponsoring employer and trustee, treatment of dividend entitlements for share awards and the formulation of the beneficial class of employee benefit trusts having regard to international legal and taxation requirements.

Pensions specifically for Dubai companies

Dubai has no specific pensions law as such but Dubai-based companies do need to plan for and fund end of service gratuity payments. Instead of a pension, local laws require companies to make a severance payment when employees leave the business This can be a significant liability to fund and can often come at the most unwelcome of times such as during an economic downturn. Companies who have failed to set money aside to meet these payments have historically been unable to afford to reduce headcount as they have not planned or budgeted for severance payments. Although it is difficult for some smaller firms to set money aside to fund their entire historic liability, it is never too late to start setting aside at least some provision for this potentially large liability. If done well, these end of service schemes can be self-funding and can also achieve a company's ESG aims by investing in very worthy causes both within the region and more widely.

Private wealth structures

For wealthy individuals, family-controlled businesses and entrepreneurs managing wealth across generations, succession planning and transferring control of assets has never been more challenging. That's why it's important to work with lawyers who not only have the highest standards of legal knowledge and expertise, but also the ability to find unique solutions tailored to your unique circumstances.

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Reporting obligations for trustees

In a climate of increased transparency for structures, it is important for trustees to ensure that they have sufficient policies, procedures and processes in place in order to report the correct data to the correct authority at the correct time. This has been particularly challenging for some of our smaller independent trustee clients who do not have a dedicated compliance team.

Third sector - charities and NPOs

The third sector is an umbrella term that covers a variety of different organisations with different legal structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector (the state) nor to the private sector (profit-making private enterprise).

As a business, we are heavily focused on supporting third sector organisations both in our local communities on local issues and also internationally.

Charities, non-profit organisations (NPOs) and voluntary organisations are increasingly required to plug the gap and perform the social and cultural functions formerly carried out by the public sector.

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Third sector - Guernsey

In April 2022 the legal landscape for charities and NPOs in Guernsey changed with the introduction of The Charities etc. (Guernsey and Alderney) Ordinance 2021 (Ordinance) and The Charities etc. (Amendments, Exemptions, Governance and Specified Amount) Regulations, 2022 (Regulations).

This brought welcome clarity to the definition of charitable purposes into Guernsey law and also introduced various formalities for the setting up and running of charities and non-profit organisations (NPOs) in Guernsey.

If you are looking to establish a charity/NPO in Guernsey, the process is very straightforward.  We can advise you on which structures are available (trust/foundation/LBG) and the merits of each. We can also assist you in establishing your new charity/NPO either using our standard documentation or we can prepare something more bespoke for you.

Our Guernsey charities team is led by Angela Calnan. Please don't hesitate to contact Angela at any time.

For further information on the law please read this article.

Family limited partnerships

Many individuals think of the traditional trust as being the best way to manage their estate planning needs and are unfamiliar with the alternatives that are available. These include foundations, private family funds, and increasingly, the family limited partnership (FLP). While initially developed offshore, the FLP was harnessed and developed offshore in the Channel Islands as a flexible investment structure and a viable alternative to the traditional trust due to its ability to transmit wealth to younger generations while allowing family heads to retain a sensible level of control. This is particularly important for clients using the FLP to transfer the family business or 'golden egg', where a loss of control is undesirable. An FLP is flexible enough to allow a very bespoke agreement to be out in place to meet the often very detailed and personalised demands of clients.

Trustee risk and regulatory management

Developments, consolidations and regulation mean that effective risk management and mitigation has never been more important. Our advice is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but rather based on an individual company’s specific business model. By building a partnership with you we can provide trustees with a range of regulatory advice, administration support, products and services within a dedicated team approach, precedent development and on-going education and industry updates.

Together with our multi-disciplinary risk and regulatory team, we advise on anti-money laundering laws and the regulation of trust companies and can assist in the creation and improvement of straightforward operating procedures, including checklists, designed in conjunction with the needs of a trustee to ensure that all members of staff, no matter what their experience, can provide consistent and accurate back office services.

Changes of trustee/DORAs

Changes of trustee documents (DORA or IORAs) usually contain indemnities from the incoming trustee to the outgoing trustee which are often hotly negotiated and can be complex. A change of trustee also presents a good opportunity for the incoming trustee to undertake a due diligence exercise by reviewing the trust documents, ensuring that the previous chain of trusteeship is intact and ensuring that the outgoing trustee ratifies or rectifies any flaws in the trust or the trust documents before the trusteeship is handed over. We have considerable experience in narrowing the issues in these negotiations. We are also well versed in assisting our trustee clients in mitigating risk by spotting (sometimes very significant flaws) in trusts before they are taken on and by ratifying previous discrepancies in a commercial manner – commonly without necessitating the involvement of the court.

Private wealth

Alongside companies and wills, family trusts are still a very popular tool for estate planning and asset protection – perhaps even more so in the light of the envisaged changes to the UK non-domiciled regime. Family foundations are proving to be a popular new tool for families looking to ensure their wealth and assets are protected for future generations. We establish trusts and foundations for local and international families to preserve family businesses and ensure appropriate succession planning. We work closely with tax advisers in order to ensure that any new family trust or foundation fits with a family's overall tax position and will be a workable long term, cost efficient structure. Discretionary trusts are still the most popular but we can also advise on fixed trusts, will trusts and pension trusts.

Trust advisory

The role of a modern trustee has never been more complex. Trustees must satisfy the needs and desires of their beneficiaries, manage complex assets and navigate an ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape.

We know that trustees can need assistance and advice on how best to satisfy their duties and to meet their legal and regulatory obligations. We understand and have a great deal of experience in working with trustees to get ahead of any potentially difficult situation and resolve it in a way that minimises risk and conflict.

Islamic finance and structuring

Demand continues to rise for legal professionals with a strong knowledge and understanding of Shariah law concepts continues, a reflection of the growth in Islamic finance products and services for institutions and private clients. Our team of experienced finance lawyers regularly works with onshore law firms, banks, managers and service providers to assist clients in the UK, the Middle East and Asia, as well as trust and corporate service providers servicing clients in this area.

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8 Dec 2023

In conversation: Angela Calnan on Collas Crill's trip to the Middle East

In November a team from Collas Crill travelled to the Middle East to meet with clients and intermediaries, taking in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and culminating in Riyadh. Collas Crill has a long history of serving clients in the MENA region with a region-s...

11 Sep 2023

UAE New Family Business Law

Family businesses hold a prominent and important role in the UAE economy and, prior to this year, have done so without a flexible and robust legal framework within which to govern them. That has now changed. As of this year, UAE Federal Decree Law No.37 ...

21 Jul 2023

Chambers HNW Guide 2023

Collas Crill's Private Client teams in the Channel Islands have once again featured in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide, the guide for go-to individuals and firms in the private wealth sector. The Jersey team has moved up to band 2, with the Guernsey t...

18 Jul 2023

Middle Eastern succession planning

This article first appeared in issue 11 of Thought Leaders 4 Private Client Magazine. In this article Angela reflects on what is a significant period of accelerated growth for Middle Eastern private clients and how business-critical it is for us, as advi...

16 Dec 2022

Deadline for Guernsey charities

Since the new charities regime was introduced into Guernsey law in April 2022 we have helped a number of charities and non profit organisations (NPOs) understand the new landscape, update their constitutions and formally set up. The latest step in that j...

27 Oct 2022

Epc Top Offshore Law Firms 2022

Collas Crill has once again been named in tier 1 of the 2022 eprivateclient Top Offshore Law Firms. The firm's International Private Client and Trusts team features in the multi-jurisdictional firms section of the ranking, with lawyers based in Cayman, ...

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