Guernsey's new Trust Law is "well-crafted"
and stands up well against international competition according
to a leading academic.
Speaking at a masterclass in central London last night
Professor Paul Matthews, visiting professor at King's
College London and consultant to Withers, said: "It stands
up pretty well internationally and we'll see just how
much better the new Guernsey Trust Law is than most of the
"This law strikes me as one of the most well-crafted
trust laws that I have come across – and I have seen
quite a few. There's an element of something for
everyone and Guernsey has learned from mistakes learned
elsewhere and has been rather cautious before making its mark.
The wait has been worthwhile."
The masterclass, entitled 'Guernsey –
Highlights of the New Trust Law', was held at the
Institute of Directors (IoD) in Pall Mall and was attended by
120 delegates, including senior figures from some of the
leading law firms in London.
Caroline Kirby, a private client Partner from Farrer &
Co., said: "It has been very helpful that Guernsey, which
is a nice jurisdiction to work with, in terms of where it is
and the professional people there, is now adding to its armoury
of what it can offer; also that the new law is coming in after
such serious consideration. There was a lot of meat in
Professor Matthews was the keynote speaker and also chaired
the main session which was led by Russell Clark, Partner at
Carey Olsen and included an expert panel comprising Alison
MacKrill, Chairman of the Guernsey branch of the Society of
Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); Jon Heaume, Chairman, of
the Guernsey Association of Trustees (GAT); and Michael Betley,
Deputy Chairman of GAT.
After the event Mr Clark said: "I am very pleased with
the turnout. Tonight we attracted exactly the right sort of
people in the UK trust industry. Many of them will have already
had some knowledge or experience of Guernsey and they are
influential decision-makers, gatekeepers in their
Despite Guernsey's new Trust Law only becoming
effective in March, the Island has this year also introduced
fiduciary development forums. The Island has now held two of
what will be a series of discussion sessions with leading
London fiduciary professionals so that it can explore at first
hand exactly what introducers of business want from
international fiduciary centres. The findings will form the
basis of proposals for the further development of
Guernsey's fiduciary environment as the Island looks to
enhance business flows from the City and beyond.
At the same time, the Island also continues to promote its
fiduciary sector and in particular the new Trust Law. Earlier
in the year Paul Richardson, Partner at law firm Atkinson
Ferbrache Richardson (AFR), spoke on the new Trust Law at the
STEP conference in Geneva; later this month Michael Betley,
Managing Director of Trust Corporation of the Channel Islands
(TCCI) and Paul Christopher, Partner at Ozannes, will showcase
the Guernsey offering at the Transcontinental Trust conference
in Geneva; Guernsey is sponsoring an award at the STEP Private
Client Awards in London; and is a lead exhibitor and will have
practitioners speaking at October's STEP conference in
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of GuernseyFinance –
the promotional agency for the Island's finance
industry added: "This masterclass in London on the
introduction of the new Guernsey Trust Law has been a
tremendous success but it just one part of our many activities
to promote the buoyant Fiduciary sector in its key markets of
London and also those further afield such as Geneva.
"In addition, while the new Trust Law has also provided
practitioners with extra flexibility in providing solutions to
meet the ever-evolving needs of their international
client-base, we are not resting on laurels. We are looking at
the further development of the framework for fiduciaries
– for example work continues on the introduction of
Foundations – so that local trust practitioners can
offer the very widest range of products and services."
Probably the most significant change from previous practice in Guernsey law under the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, which came into effect on the 1 July 2008, was the consignment to history of the concept of capital maintenance, which was discarded in favour of a solvency model as the basis of a company’s ability to pay distributions and dividends.
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