Cerisse  Fisher

Cerisse Fisher 

Group Partner *† | Guernsey

Private Client and Trusts

  • Cerisse readily understands case needs and delivers promptly – great trust knowledge.
    Legal 500 (UK) 2023
  • Cerisse's amiable approach and clear communication style provides the client with confidence that she is on top of technical matters and developments in the trust and fiduciary field and that their affairs are in safe hands.
    Legal 500 2024 (UK)

Overview

Cerisse is a Group Partner in our Private Client and Trusts team, joining in September 2018.

She specialises in all aspects of Guernsey trust and private client law and regularly advises trustees, family offices, high net worth individuals and intermediaries on the creation, restructuring and winding up of trusts and a wide scope of cross-jurisdictional fiduciary transactions.

"Years of working within a licensed fiduciary has given me invaluable knowledge, perspective and understanding of the challenges my clients face and the type of advice and guidance that would be most helpful to them. The breadth of experience I have across all types of private client structure, multiple jurisdictions, asset classes and regulation mean I am able to provide sound, well rounded legal advice with a firmly rooted sense of practicality."

Experience

Cerisse has invaluable experience working within a trust company on both legal and direct client matters. She has a broad knowledge of the challenges and pitfalls for trustees plus the practical aspects of trusteeship and requirements of corporate service providers and their clients.

Background

Cerisse qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales in 2009. She previously worked at another leading offshore law firm and subsequently within an award-winning trust company, carrying out both client-facing trusteeship and internal legal work for 12 years prior to joining Collas Crill. She was promoted to Group Partner in January 2023.

Awards

Recognised on Citywealth Leaders List.

Memberships

Law Society
GILA

*admitted in England and Wales

†not a member of Collas Crill LLP in Guernsey

*Business Assistant
Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor

 
My services
Private wealth structures
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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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Housing and immigration
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If you are looking to expand of move your business offshore we can assist your company with all forms of immigration visas and permits.

International pensions and EBTs
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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.

Changes of trustee/DORAs
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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.

Trustee risk and regulatory management
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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.

Reporting obligations for trustees
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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.

Family limited partnerships
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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.

Pensions specifically for Dubai companies
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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
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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
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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.

22 Feb 2024

60 seconds with Cerisse Fisher

This article was first published in issue 16 of TL4 HNW Divorce Magazine.  Get to know Private Client and Trusts Group Partner Cerisse Fisher in 60 seconds... Q: Why did you choose a career path in the legal industry? CF: Whilst I'd have loved to ha...

5 Jan 2023

Promotions at Collas Crill

Collas Crill has made a number of promotions across its Channel Island and Caribbean offices. In the Channel Islands, Guernsey-based Cerisse Fisher and Nin Ritchie have been promoted to Group Partner and James Tee to Partner. Cerisse joined the firm's ...

8 Aug 2022

Collas Crill hosts STEP event

Collas Crill is delighted to sponsor and host the third event in the STEP Guernsey's Student Introductory Series. Angela Calnan and Cerisse Fisher will be speaking on the topic of 'An introduction to Guernsey charities'.In April 2022, Guernsey re-vamped...

20 Jan 2022

Collas Crill explains... Termination of a trust

This is part of a series of guides in which we examine areas of law that frequently arise in practice. Further guides will be released weekly; click here to subscribe to receive Collas Crill news and insights by email. How does a trust come to an end? ...

3 Nov 2021

Collas Crill explains... Trustee liens

This is part of a series of guides in which we examine areas of law that frequently arise in practice. Further guides will be released weekly; click here to subscribe to receive Collas Crill news and insights by email. What is a lien? In general terms,...

23 Sep 2021

Collas Crill explains… Changing the proper law of a Guernsey trust

This is part of a series of guides in which we examine areas of law that frequently arise in practice. Further guides will be released weekly; click here to subscribe to receive Collas Crill news and insights by email. This week's guide covers the prope...

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