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Cross-border estate and offshore trust disputes

The world is getting smaller, with more people owning foreign assets and looking to protect them for their loved ones.  Issues can arise and cross-border estate and offshore trust disputes are becomingly increasingly common.

As leaders in the field and with a proven track record of achieving excellent results we advise clients across the globe on the whole range of cross-border estate and offshore trust disputes, including:

Our team of experts hold numerous professional qualifications including:

  • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists Diploma;
  • STEP diploma;
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates; and
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes.

We know that legal costs can be a concern which is why we offer free, no-obligation consultations and flexible pricing options, tailored to your needs.

We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation as well as flexible pricing options, tailored to your needs. Contact us for further information.

Our experience in cross-border estate and offshore trust disputes

We have significant experience in advising on and acting in claims to contest a will involving cross-border issues and foreign jurisdictions.

In a recent case, we acted for a widower in relation to claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and to set aside a will on the grounds of lack of capacity and lack of knowledge and approval.

The case involved dealing with assets in Switzerland, France, Austria, Jersey and England as well as issues of forced heirship, matrimonial property regimes and relevant tax treaties.

The grant of probate was originally extracted on the basis that the deceased had died domiciled in Switzerland, potentially excluding the husband from bringing a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. 

We were able to argue that the deceased died domiciled in England and Wales, therefore enabling our client to pursue his claims, achieve a successful outcome and gain control of the family assets.

Roman Kubiak as advised the beneficiaries of a discretionary trust based in Jersey, the assets of which included commercial property and family businesses, estimated to be worth £120m. The dispute involved:

  • a claim for an inventory and account;
  • undue influence in relation to letters of wishes prepared by the settlor;
  • challenging the actions of various parties to the trust, including the protector and co-directors; and
  • advising in relation to the validity of various transfer made into trust.

Following mediation and a number of board meetings, we were able to resolve the trust dispute.

Roman Kubiak acted for the beneficiaries of a discretionary trust which had, at various times, altered its proper law between England and Wales and Jersey in relation to claims:

  • to remove the trustees;
  • for breach of trust; and
  • pursuing a complaint to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman.

The main asset of the trust was a property in the heart of London valued at £10m.

We were able to conclude matters on terms which ensured the effective running of the trust.

Roman Kubiak has been advising the executor of an estate in relation to a dispute of a trust based in Gibraltar.

Key contact

Roman Kubiak TEP


Roman Kubiak is a Partner and Head of the market leading Private Wealth Disputes team.

He advises across the whole spectrum of private wealth disputes, with a particular focus on high value, complex and cross-border disputes including: trust disputes, breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees; will disputes, particularly those with an international element; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and claims for equitable relief under proprietary estoppel, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.

Your questions answered

Yes. We offer a free 20 minute telephone consultation.

In many cases we’re able to offer a range of flexible pricing options including “no win, no fee” agreements, fixed fees and deferred payment arrangements depending on each case.

Some cases may also be suitable for “After the Event” insurance funding which provide cover for the cost of disbursements such as court and expert fees as well as protecting you from any potential adverse costs order.

Each case is unique and so how quickly your case might be resolved depends on the particular circumstances. However, with one of the largest specialist teams in the UK with over significant experience in cross-border estate and offshore trust disputes, and with recognised leaders in the field, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands and that we’ll work with you to resolve your claim as quickly as possible.

Time limits vary depending on the specific type of case and the key is generally to act fast particularly if you need to safeguard assets.

If you are facing a potential cross-border estate or offshore trust dispute then contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Our size and experience means that we’re able to act quickly and effectively.

Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

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