The Inaugural Mourant Ozannes International Trusts Conference

The internationally renowned Trusts Group at law firm Mourant Ozannes takes the lead in showcasing the jurisdiction and sharing the legal, commercial and practical expertise it has across all of its offices, in its upcoming inaugural International Trusts Conference on Friday 14 October 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The conference will follow a potentially disastrous “day in the life” of a trustee and is to bring together notable guest speakers and Mourant Ozannes’ own expert trusts lawyers. Topics will include, amongst others, confidentiality, the death of the so-called ‘rule in Hastings-Bass’ and the ability of the onshore courts to reach offshore trustees and the assets under their control.

Protectors, the significance for offshore trustees of the concept of “judicial encouragement” in an onshore divorce and the implications for trust professionals of insolvency in the trust structure will also feature on the agenda.

Mourant Ozannes’ speakers will include Rob Shepherd, the firm’s Guernsey managing partner, Peter Hayden, head of Litigation in the Cayman Islands and Jonathan Speck head of Litigation in Jersey, all of whom speak regularly at trusts and litigation conferences all over the world.

Other key speakers will include Shân Warnock-Smith QC of 5 Stone Buildings in London and ICT Chambers in Cayman. Warnock-Smith QC will be chairing what promises to be one of the liveliest debates of the day and is one of the top international trusts and private client specialists in the world, a fact reflected in her being short-listed for an award as the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners’ “Trusted Adviser of the Year” at this year’s STEP Private Client Awards.

They will be joined by Andrew De La Rosa, ICT Chambers Cayman and London, another highly regarded international trusts and private client specialist and a well-known speaker on the international circuit, Alison Meek of Harcus Sinclair in London, Chicago-based Read Moore of McDermott Will & Emery, Anthony Poulton of Baker & McKenzie in London, Steven Kempster of Taylor Wessing in London and Ziva Robertson of Withers in London. 

The conference is designed not only as a forum for learning and an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new business contacts, but also to allow for delegate participation in the sessions.

After the keynote speech, there is to be a panel discussion followed by break-out sessions immediately before and after lunch, designed to encourage delegates to share anecdotes and experiences in a less formal setting.

The speakers in the break-out sessions are in fact referred to in the programme as facilitators reflecting the fact that they are expected to utilize a less traditional approach to the sessions they are leading, without a lectern or slides, adding to the informality of the forum.

The session will close with two rather light-hearted sessions before the whole conference – a case study on the very serious topic of the ‘long arm’ of the US courts and what it means for offshore trustees and last but by no means least, a role play, in which the subject matter and the players are being kept strictly under wraps until the very last minute!

The conference is being hosted in collaboration with Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited and Rawlinson & Hunter.

Trusts are an integral part of wealth management at Butterfield. As a pioneer in the field of international fiduciary services, with experience that goes back to the advent of offshore trust legislation over 70 years ago, fiduciary work is a core Butterfield business. 

Sheree Ebanks, director and head of Fiduciary Services says Butterfield is elated to come on board as a partner of the event. “As a leader in financial services, Butterfield’s partnership confirms our commitment to supporting structures and services that meet clients’ individual objectives.”

Julien Martel managing director of Butterfield Bank (Bahamas) Limited will be one of the guest speakers at the conference, taking part in the panel discussion. 

Rawlinson & Hunter Partner Alan Milgate, who will also be a speaker at the event, emphasized the strong relationship that his firm has with Mourant Ozannes.

“So when they approached us to be a sponsor we were more than happy to join forces with them, and support their goal of bringing greater attention to the Cayman trust industry through this conference.” 

The conference will showcase the significant contribution that Cayman trusts have made to the global financial industry, he noted. 

“This conference creates an excellent forum in which we can showcase our Cayman product and to hear opinions from both attendees and the presenters on the state of the industry today and the challenges that we all have to face,” Milgate added.

The trust and corporate services with Rawlinson & Hunter are provided through The R&H Trust Co. Ltd., which is owned and operated by the Cayman Islands office. The company is uniquely placed in the trust industry as an independent trust company with unprecedented private client experience and the support of a strong international network. 

Robert Hunter shall deliver the keynote address, thanks to the support of RBC Wealth Management Ltd., which has a reputation for excellence in the provision of trust and fiduciary services across the world’s major trust jurisdictions.

Robert is head of Herbert Smith’s trusts litigation practice and co-head of the firm’s civil fraud, asset tracing, corporate crime and investigations practice. He is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s most highly respected lawyers in fraud and trusts litigation.

He has conducted some of the largest fraud cases to come before the English courts and is the only civil fraud lawyer listed as a starred individual in the Chambers UK Guide 2010. His experience ranges from claims involving bribery and secret commissions to commodities fraud and advance fee frauds and he has acted in proceedings in all major offshore centres. He is a founder member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists and has served as Secretary since its formation.

Morven McMillan, who will chair the conference with Shân Warnock-Smith QC, and is head of Trusts at the Cayman office of Mourant Ozannes, noted:

“The Cayman Islands and its courts have been at the cutting edge of developments in international trust law for at least fifteen years and this event will aim to build on the well-earned reputation of the jurisdiction and the people who practice in this field of expertise. We hope that our delegates will be challenged by what is under discussion at the conference, that they will contribute their own thoughts and views and that they will enjoy themselves in the process.” 

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