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Christian  Hay

Christian Hay (TEP)

Managing Partner | Head of Dispute Resolution

Guernsey

  • Hard working, tactically shrewd and good on his feet in Court
    Chambers & Partners
  • Christian Hay is an extremely accomplished advocate who puts forward in the very strongest terms the best position for his clients.
    Legal 500
  • Christian Hay is good with clients and ensures consistency of service quality.
    Legal 500
  • When the going gets tough his resolute expertise is there for all to see
    Chambers & Partners

Overview

Christian leads a team of talented litigators with strong expertise in financial services related disputes.

Christian is among the leading litigators at the Guernsey Bar. 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.

Experience

Christian joined Collas Crill in 2003. In 2006, Christian qualified as a Guernsey Advocate, and became a partner of the firm and head of dispute resolution 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).

"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."

Background

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 2020 - Leading Individual (Hall of Fame) - "an extremely accomplished advocate"

Chambers & Partners 2020 - Leading Individual - "very sensible, capable and efficient", "a class act who has terrific judgment"

Memberships

STEP (full member)

ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)

CEDR accredited mediator

IBA (International Bar Association)

Member of the Guernsey Bar Council

     

 

My 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.

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Competition
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We are able to assist local businesses on locally applicable competition laws, including mergers and acquisitions processes and approvals and exemptions, as well as advising on the increasingly complex legislation related to anti-competitive behaviours and agreements between businesses and the abuse of a dominant position in a market.

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Contentious Risk & 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, better and more efficient outcomes are obtained. As Risk and Regulatory experts, our Dispute Resolution team frequently act on contentious matters, able to leverage their experience to help clients achieve the highest regulatory standards and avoid common pitfalls.

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Contentious Trusts
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We represent trust corporations, HNWIs, individual trustees and beneficiaries, often dealing with novel points of law and creating new and innovative solutions to fit the needs of our clients. Given the international scope of settlors, investments and assets, we often co-ordinate advice from our multi-jurisdictional teams, meaning that our clients benefit from the knowledge and depth of experience of our people around the globe.

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Contentious Wills, Estates & Probate
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We provide fast, cost-effective and sensitive advice on all manner 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.

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Contentious Wills, Estates & Probate
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We provide fast, cost-effective and sensitive advice on all manner 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.

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Debt Restructuring & Enforcement
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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.

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Director & Shareholder Disputes
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Thanks to the depth of our experience and the resources of our team, we've acted on some of the largest pieces of litigation brought against directors offshore. We're well placed to deal with the 'bet the farm' proceedings that can occur in these type of disputes and have represented parties involved in intra-company disputes, including executive, non-executive and independent directors, majority and minority shareholders, companies and liquidators. We understand that shareholder disputes are often not simply 'black and white' and our team finds innovative and commercial alternatives to those which the Court may offer – taking a collaborative approach with our clients to ensure that the right result is achieved.

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Dispute Resolution
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When your business is involved in any kind of legal dispute it's crucial to work with lawyers who are hands-on, cost-effective and flexible enough to respond quickly and intuitively to your unique situation and needs. We know that there are many different ways a dispute can be resolved and work closely with our clients to understand every aspect of their business, priorities and goals. This allows us to find the best way forward for our clients and to advise on the commercial implications of a dispute, ensuring the process remains as stress-free as possible. Our approach is practical, responsive and tailored to the client's interests. Our expertise and reputation means we're first choice for a range of clients, including banks, trust companies, high net worth individuals and top law firms.

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Fraud, Asset Tracing & Freezing Injunctions
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At Collas Crill, 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 the Channel Islands 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.

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Insolvency & Restructuring
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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, Collas Crill’s insolvency and restructuring team 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 United States, the United Kingdom 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; the United States and Russia. 

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 to effectively manage deteriorating relationships with creditors, financiers, investors or other interested parties.

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Trustee Duties
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The duties of a trustee plays in managing the trust assets and dealing with beneficiaries not only vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but are dictated by trust agreement and its nuances, the type of trust and its specific purpose. Advising on trustee duties is a rapidly growing area given the increasingly complex legal and regulatory framework to which trustees must adhere. Importantly, trustees are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of acting early and seeking advice on their duties – particularly in situations of potential conflict or stress. Trustees are also making more use of the courts in asking for directions or in having "momentous decisions" blessed.

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Trustee Risk & Regulatory Management
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Developments, consolidations and regulation have means that effective risk management and mitigation has never been more important. Our advice is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but rather is based on an individual company’s specific business model. By building a partnership with you we add value by providing to 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.

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Trusts & Fiduciary
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We work closely with trust and fiduciary businesses and their clients to build strong relationships based on trust, confidence and a deep understanding of their priorities and needs. We have an extensive range of experience in terms of particular products or service lines, including pensions and Shariah, and many of the team have worked in the other international off and onshore jurisdictions prominent in the world of wealth management. We have associated skills in dispute resolution, risk and regulatory, and image protection. We ensure that thought has been given to the composition of the team on every piece of work we do, and use our mix of skill and experience effectively.

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My news and insights
Insight 12 Apr 2021

Arbitration of trust disputes

This article – written by Collas Crill Head of Dispute Resolution Christian Hay, Collas Crill Group Partner Sam Williams and Partner of Grosvenor Law, Mayfair, Richard...

News 29 Jan 2021

Private Client Global Elite

Five private client specialists from Collas Crill have been included in the Private Client Global Elite Directory 2020/21. Compiled in conjunction with Legal Week, the...

News 21 Oct 2020

Further promotion

Quentin Bregg, lawyer in Collas Crill's dispute resolution team in Guernsey, has been promoted to Senior Associate in the latest in a string of promotions across the...

News 1 Oct 2020

Legal 500 UK rankings

Collas Crill has been recommended as a top tier firm in four practice areas in Guernsey and Jersey in the Legal 500 United Kingdom 2021 rankings, reflecting the quality of...

News 27 Mar 2020

Disputes Yearbook 2020

Guernsey Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Christian Hay has featured in Legal Business's Disputes Yearbook 2020, the publication which 'charts the mega cases...

News 26 May 2020

Top 100 Trust Litigators List

Three litigators from Collas Crill’s Guernsey and Jersey Dispute Resolution teams have been recognised in the inaugural Citywealth Top 100 Trust Litigators List. In...

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