Marco is an Associate in the International Private Client and Trust team. He provides advisory services on a wide range of private client matters including estates, guardianships, powers of attorney, property, and trusts.
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.
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.
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.
Many individuals think of the traditional trust as being the best way to manage their estate planning needs. However, there is a growing client base from civil law jurisdictions unfamiliar with the trust concept launching alternative structures. Recent examples include foundations, private family funds and, increasingly, the Family Limited Partnership (FLP). While initially developed onshore, the concept of FLPs was also 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 patriarchs 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 so unpalatable. As the name implies, an FLP would be ideally suited to the wealthy family, as it is flexible enough to allow a very bespoke agreement to be put in place to cater for the often very detailed and prescriptive demands of clients who can afford and are used to having something tailor made.
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-dom 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.
As global legislation, regulation and taxation constantly change and become more complex, it has never been more important to make long-term plans to secure your future, the future of your family or your business. We cut through the legal jargon to provide clear, practical advice when you most need it and anticipate the challenges you are likely to face so that you can rest assured you and your family are in safe hands at every step of the way.
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.
Property law can be a complex, daunting and emotional experience for many individual buyers and sellers. Feeling an emotional tie to your new or prospective property, your 'home', is inevitable. When buying or selling property you need a strong, dependable team that knows the market inside and out. We offer top quality advice and successfully anticipate the unique challenges and opportunities you are likely to face. We believe that communication and responsiveness is the key to a stress-free experience which is why we're always on hand to listen, offer assistance and pick up the phone to keep you informed at every stage of a transaction.
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.
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.