Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Matt Guthrie, Ogier
Citywealth speaks to Matt Guthrie, Global Head for the Private Wealth Practice at Ogier, who also co-leads their private wealth team in Guernsey.
Citywealth speaks to Matt Guthrie, Global Head for the Private Wealth Practice at Ogier, who also co-leads their private wealth team in Guernsey. Matt has been shortlisted for the “Lawyer of the Year – Channel Islands & Isle of Man” category at the IFC Awards 2023.
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
- I am the global head for the private wealth practice at Ogier, advising on the laws of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Ireland and Luxembourg.
- I also lead our private wealth team in Guernsey in conjunction with my fellow partner, Catherine Moore. Our team in Guernsey is the largest private wealth team on the Island.
- I spend my time managing the global team, managing the Guernsey team and working with clients day to day.
- I specialise in advising international families on their estate and wealth planning, including structuring their wealth through trusts, foundations and other vehicles.
- Clients recognise me as one of the leading trust lawyers in Guernsey and my work spans both the contentious and non-contentious fields.
What are the most pressing issues you are dealing with in your role at the moment?
We are spending a significant amount of time helping clients deal with historic issues with their structures – be that mistakes made previously or issues created by the increasing compliance burden to which businesses are now subject.
We also deal with family disputes in relation to trust structures where the patriarch or matriarch has now died and the next generation is becoming more involved in the management of the family wealth.
If you could change an existing piece of legislation, what would it be?
The existing international anti-money laundering framework encourages people to focus on ticking boxes rather than adopting a genuine risk-based approach to identifying and verifying clients. This dramatically increases the cost of doing business for all parties and gets in the way of the genuine fight against money laundering.
How would your clients describe you?
Pragmatic, responsive and capable of finding solutions to their legal problems.
What does it mean to you to be a member of Citywealth’s Leaders List?
It is a real privilege to be a member of the Leaders List and I find it gives reassurance to clients who I have not worked with before that I (probably) know my stuff!
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
I remember my father quoting Aldo Leopold to me – ethics are what you do when no-one else is watching – and I find this a helpful attitude to adopt when dealing with both clients and other professional advisers.