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 competition.
"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 tonight's presentation."
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 organisations."
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 Hong Kong.
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."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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