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Conyers Hosts First Offshore Trusts & Trust Litigation Forum in London

March 2009

Cayman Islands law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman (“Conyers”) hosted its inaugural Trusts and Trust Litigation Forum late last month at London’s Coq d’Argent addressing the issues offshore trustees face when embroiled in foreign court proceedings.

A mixture of contentious and non-contentious trust lawyers attended the forum and were treated to a panel formed by leading litigation lawyers representing several of the jurisdictions on which Conyers advises.

Chaired by Alec Anderson, Global Head of Trust & Private Client, and Edward Stone, Head of UK Trust & Private Client, the forum featured leading litigation lawyers Paul Smith and Nigel Meeson QC, who are based in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands (“Cayman”) respectively.

The panel answered questions on various topics including how trustees should react to the service of English proceedings in connection with offshore trusts; the enforcement offshore of English judgments and injunctions; comparisons between offshore protective legislation in Bermuda, Cayman and the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”); and trustee actions pre and post divorce proceedings.

Paul Smith addressed the possibility and extent of English divorce judgments being enforced in the offshore world, in light of recent big money divorce cases in England where matrimonial assets are held in offshore trusts and in particular the decision of the Bermuda court in the Charman case not to accede to the letters of request issued by the English court.

Nigel Meeson QC addressed the approach Cayman would take in such cases and discussed recent decisions of the Cayman Islands court affecting trusts generally as well as developments regarding the enforcement in Cayman of non-monetary judgments of foreign courts.

Edward Stone, Head of UK Trust & Private Client, commented: “The event provided a forum for us to bring together and share some of the experience of Conyers’ litigation team in the trust arena, which continues to develop as trusts and trustees face additional scrutiny of their actions in the light of the current economic climate, particularly disputes related to trust investments. We were able to share insights on the laws of Bermuda, Cayman and BVI in relation to these issues. We were very pleased by the turnout of the forum, which we hosted in London in order to reach those most frequently dealing with these issues. The audience’s response was very positive and we look forward to the next forum.”

Paul Smith and Nigel Meeson also spoke at the Legal Week Trust & Estates Forum on February 26th – 28th, which saw leading experts gather in Provence to discuss and offer advice on managing disputes amid market turbulence to an audience of lawyers, banks and other financial companies.

The Conyers Trusts & Trust Litigation Forum follows the success of the Conyers Annual Offshore Seminar in New York, which has seen continued success since its establishment 8 years ago. The 2009 seminar will be held in New York in October and those interested in attending should contact melody.linberg@conyersdillandpearman.com.

 

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