Christian  Hay

Christian Hay (TEP, FCIArb)

Partner | Guernsey

Private Client and Trusts

  • Christian very quickly understood the issues that I had been dealing with in Switzerland, the UK and elsewhere, including West Africa. He has been incredibly supportive and a pleasure to deal with on all fronts.
    Legal 500 2024 (UK)
  • Hard working, tactically shrewd and good on his feet in Court.
    Chambers & Partners
  • Christian is a tireless advocate for the interests of Collas Crill and Guernsey dispute resolution in general.
    Legal 500 2022
  • Christian ensures effective delivery of the firm's services.
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Christian is an extremely accomplished advocate who puts forward in the very strongest terms the best position for his clients.
    Legal 500
  • When the going gets tough his resolute expertise is there for all to see.
    Chambers & Partners
  • Christian is good with clients and ensures consistency of service quality.
    Legal 500
  • A smooth operator and an excellent advocate.
  • A pleasure to work with because he is an expert in his field, dedicated to his clients but prepared to work as part of a wider team.

Overview

Christian is global head of the Private Client and Trusts team. He leads a team of talented lawyers with strong expertise in contentious, semi-contentious and non-contentious matters.

"I pride myself on giving my clients sound, commercial and, above all, practical advice. When it comes to the crunch I put my client's best foot forward and get the job done."

Experience

Christian is among the leading commercial litigators at the Guernsey Bar with a particular expertise in contentious trust related matters and corporate disputes.

If there is a high-value dispute between trustees and beneficiaries; between bank and customer/ investor; between commercial entities; between majority/ minority shareholders; against directors; or within a contentious liquidation, Christian is likely to be acting for one of the parties.

Christian is a CEDR-accredited mediator and qualified arbitrator. He regularly acts as mediator or arbitrator in financial services and commercial disputes in Guernsey and Jersey.

Christian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which is the the world’s leading qualifications and professional body for dispute avoidance and dispute management. This is the highest membership level and requires a minimum of ten years’ experience in arbitration, and first-hand involvement in settlement agreements, the management of proceedings and attending hearings that have resulted in the publication of a reasoned award or decision.

Background

Christian joined Collas Crill in 2003. In 2006, Christian qualified as a Guernsey Advocate, and became a Partner of the firm and head of the firm's then dispute resolution team in 2007.

Prior to joining Collas Crill, Christian was an Associate within the disputes team at White & Case (London) working on international arbitrations concerning projects and contracts in far-flung places such as Lesotho, Kuwait, and Peru; and before that he trained and qualified at Masons (now Pinsent Masons).

Christian is a member of the Guernsey Yacht Club, and the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club. He enjoys boating, skiing and walking (the dog).

Awards/ Directories

  • STEP Worldwide Excellence Award - 2018 and 2019
  • Citywealth - Leaders List
  • Legal 500 2023 - Hall of Fame - "an extremely accomplished advocate"
  • Chambers & Partners 2020 - Leading Individual - "very sensible, capable and efficient", "a class act who has terrific judgment"
  • Chambers & Partners UK 2024 - Band 3
  • Private Client Global Elite 2024 - peer nominated

Memberships

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • STEP (full member)
  • ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)
  • CEDR accredited mediator
  • IBA (International Bar Association)
  • ICC United Kingdom

private client global elite 2024

 

*Business Assistant
Caroline West

Caroline West

 
My services
International arbitration and mediation
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With offices in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and London, we can advise you on every aspect of international arbitration. Our dedicated arbitration specialists will work alongside you to quickly determine the best approach for a successful conclusion.

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Trust disputes
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We represent beneficiaries, high-net-worth individuals, trustees, protectors and other power holders in a range of contentious and semi-contentious situations. Our lawyers have been at the forefront of the most complex, high-value private wealth litigation offshore. 

We often deal with novel points of law, creating new and innovative solutions to meet the needs of our clients.

Given the international nature of private wealth, with clients and their assets spread across the world, we work as a joined-up global team so that our clients can benefit from the knowledge and experience wherever they may need it.

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Fraud, asset tracing, freezing, recovery and enforcement
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We're used to working as part of a multi-jurisdictional team, capable of reacting and responding quickly to urgent requests for assistance with locating and freezing assets. As sophisticated defendants become more adept at dissipating assets, we've been involved in cases that created new law in relation to a party's ability to trace assets and recover their losses. With their ability to deal with complex issues the team deliver clear, commercial advice on the availability and likely success of recovery methods.

Corporate disputes
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Our dispute resolution specialists collaborate seamlessly with our corporate advisory and banking teams across jurisdictions to advise multinational corporations, trust companies, banks, funds, insurers, governments and directors. We provide a global perspective, working closely with our clients to ensure that they are best placed to respond to customer issues, fraud risks, rapidly changing market conditions and regulatory demands.

Insolvency
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For financially distressed companies in need of restructuring and reorganisation, or for those where the opportunity to do so has passed or failed, we work to achieve the most beneficial outcome in these difficult situations. 

Our team brings a wealth of experience from a range of diverse backgrounds to give quick, accurate, commercial advice, primarily across the financial services sector. 

Currently working on some of the largest and most complex cross-border insolvencies in the jurisdiction, we frequently advise top law firms from the People’s Republic of China, the US, the UK and other jurisdictions. We are regularly briefed by Sovereign Wealth Funds and Fortune 500 Companies to advise on particular restructurings, as well as investment managers from Europe and the US.

At whatever stage we are engaged, our involvement will assist in identifying the on-going risks facing a client and to enable that client to continue to identify and effectively manage deteriorating relationships with creditors, financiers, investors or other interested parties.

Debt collection
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Knowing what to do and when to act when things go wrong is a key part of our service to our clients on both lender and borrower side. Our clients include banks, funds, directors, shareholders and insolvency practitioners. We undertake security reviews and advise on pre-emptive measures. We appreciate the need to act promptly and decisively, and at the same time are sensitive to potential negative publicity for our clients.

Competition and regulatory pricing
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It is important for businesses to understand what constitutes a dominant market position in order to avoid becoming involved in anti-competitive practices, especially during mergers and acquisitions. Penalties can be significant and directors may be disqualified, or worse. In addition to regularly gaining merger approvals, our commercial team also advises a number of major businesses on the practical effect of the competition regimes on their businesses.

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.

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.

Wills and estate disputes
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We provide fast, cost-effective and sensitive advice on all types of will-related disputes during what is often an extremely upsetting and distressing time for those concerned. We regularly act on multi-party actions for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Contentious risk and regulatory
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In regulatory disputes there are often fine lines between the usual wrangling with the regulator and something more serious – by matching our mix of experienced contentious and non-contentious lawyers to the particular problem at hand, we achieve better and more efficient outcomes. As regulatory experts, we frequently act on contentious matters and can leverage our experience to help clients achieve the highest regulatory standards and avoid common pitfalls.

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.

11 Jan 2024

Collas Crill restructures to harness global expertise

Collas Crill has restructured its legal services into four global practices to provide clients with even greater access to the breadth and depth of its expertise across the world. This has led to a number of new leadership roles within the firm: Michael...

5 Jan 2024

Collas Crill appoints Gareth Bell as Guernsey Managing Partner

Collas Crill has appointed Gareth Bell as Managing Partner of its Guernsey office. Gareth joined Collas Crill in 2005 and became a partner at the firm five years later. He is a litigation lawyer, specialising in trust, company, insolvency, professional n...

6 Dec 2023

The Ladies' College retain title in Collas Crill Guernsey Moot

The Ladies' College has won this year's Collas Crill Guernsey Moot – holding onto the trophy for another year. Mathilda Litten and Evie Patterson from the Ladies' College and Josh Fallaize and Zaheer Anees from Elizabeth College went head to head in a fi...

13 Nov 2023

Advocates called to Guernsey Bar

Collas Crill Associates Amy Davies and Jazzmin Le Prevost have been admitted to the Guernsey Bar. Amy joined Collas Crill in 2022 and is an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team. Her practice encompasses a range of work, including regulatory, financia...

20 Oct 2023

Collas Crill - Chambers UK 2024

Collas Crill's Guernsey and Jersey teams have maintained their strong position in the 2024 Chambers UK Guide, upholding the firm's rankings across all practice areas, with the movement of a number of individuals up to higher bands. The directory demonst...

5 Oct 2023

Legal 500 UK rankings

Collas Crill's Guernsey and Jersey teams have received another strong set of rankings in this year's Legal 500 UK directory. The firm is consistently listed in Tier 1 or 2 across its key practice areas and has received a plethora of industry endorsement...

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Event 6 Nov 2023

Collas Crill in New York

Event 13 Jan 2021

Mistake seminar

Event 19 Feb 2021

Private Client In Review

Event 14 Mar 2022

Trust & Litigation Forum

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