News release: Citywealth’s Top 100 trust litigators and polymaths

Date: 21 May 2020


Trust Litigators and Polymaths Top 100

News release 22/05/2020:

“Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate…”

Citywealth has a 15 year history of analysing the offshore market with strong relationships with trust companies in jurisdictions like Cayman, Bermuda, Zurich, Geneva, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. Through its independent editorial and decade long awards programmes (IFC Awards), our knowledge of the sector is second to none. As the world reels from Covid-19 and a world of litigation awaits us, the global sector has also experienced significant upheaval. Consolidation, private equity investment, changing business models and investment performance pressure from clients. The trust industry has also seen government and OECD oversight and asset tracing from professional parties like ‘family’ lawyers.

So who do trustees turn to when litigation arrives on their doorstep or on the other side of the coin when families or entrepreneurs are no longer happy with their advice or service? Citywealth conducted a research programme over several months to create a Top trust litigator list fit for purpose. One of the key questions asked was: who has impressed you most during current or past litigations? Their answers have revealed a list of peer recommended litigators who have negotiated with the toughest opponents, through the hardest circumstances and with very little on their side but brains, lateral thinking and a will to win.

Trust Litigation

Time to litigate?

What must be pointed out to the casual observer here though is that litigations, despite sometimes, requiring a formidable approach, can take years to resolve and as one wise New York lawyer once said “running out of money is sometimes the best way to bring a long running dispute to an end”. The research on this list and their cases will reveal just such a situation with one case taking 40 years and counting (20 years to reach the first conclusion and 20 more years to re-fight it), however as even the best arbitrators and mediators in the world have also said “sometimes everyone needs litigation.” This may mean that a case is 90% agreed, but one point cannot be agreed upon. Litigation is a tried and trusted method that has its place in the world even with the most agreeable and mild-mannered lawyer or client.

We hope you find this curation, as exciting as we do. It is a well-considered one, the list is dealing with top of the world cases including Royal families, government bodies and persons of interest accused of fraud. Everyone appearing here is a Citywealth ‘Magic Circle’ selection.

As well as surveying this list, we ask you, if you use or know these lawyers or barristers to let us learn more by leaving a review on their page to tell us about your experiences and rate them on fees; technical expertise; interpersonal and communication skills. But, if choosing a lawyer from this selection, keep in mind, as one of our respondents said “I don’t think there is any lawyer or barrister who is the right choice for every type of case” which underlines the need to be realistic in your expectations:, realise it is risk taking, needs financing, but also that sometimes in life and business there is little choice but to protect your position, even if the cookie, in the end, doesn’t crumble your way.

See the introduction, lead litigators and full Top 100 list by clicking here

Rate these lawyers by searching their name on our users ratings site, developed by Citywealth, for the wealth management and private client industry.

By region and jurisdiction

(alphabetic by surname)


Jonathan Arr, Partner, Macfarlanes

Nathaniel Barber, Lawyer, Kobre & Kim LLP

Helena Berman, Partner, Stephenson Harwood

Justin Briggs, Partner, Burges Salmon

Michael Cash, Penningtons Manches

Claire-Marie Cornford, Partner, Irwin Mitchell

Ron Downhill, Consultant, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Duncan Elson, Partner, Charles Russell Speechleys

Jeremy Gordon, Partner, Farrer & Co

Toby Graham, Partner, Farrer & Co

Nicholas Holland, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

Emma Jordan, Partner, Wessing LLP

Steven Kempster, Partner, Withers LLP

Graeme Kleiner, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys

Mark Lindley, Partner, Boodle Hatfield

Charles Lloyd, Head Trust, Probate Litigation, Macfarlanes

Neil Long, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

Richard Manyon, Partner, Payne Hicks Beach

Myles McIntosh, Partner, Head Private Client, Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Jenny McKeown, Partner, Stephenson Harwood

Paula Myers, Partner, Head Trust, Estate Disputes, Irwin Mitchell LLP

Catherine Naylor, Partner, Gowling WLG

Richard Norridge, Partner, Head of Private Wealth, Charities, Herbert Smith Freehills

Joanna Poole, Partner, Farrer & Co

James Price, Head of Trust and Probate Litigation, Stewarts

Robin Rathmell, Barrister, US lawyer, Kobre & Kim

Stephen Richards, Partner, Withers

Virginia Rylatt, Partner, Rylatt Chubb

Keith Schilling, Chairman and Senior Partner, Schillings

Jeremy Scott, Principal, Lipman Karas

Suzi Sendama, Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP

James Sidwell, Partner, Head of Commercial Litigation, Gowling WLG

Peter Steen, Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Rupert Ticehurst, Partner, Head Dispute Resolution, Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

David Wedgwood, Partner, Anthony Gold

Andrew Wilkinson, Partner, Shakespeare Martineau

Gemma Willingham, Partner, Baker McKenzie

Andrew Witts, Partner, Gowling WLG

Andrea Zavos, Partner, Head of Private Client & Tax, Boodle Hatfield

Channel Islands


Alasdair Davidson, Partner, Bedell Cristin

Gordon Dawes, Partner, Mourant

Christian Hay, Managing Partner Guernsey, Collas Crill LLP

Alison Ozanne, Partner, Head Guersnsey Dispute Resolution, Walkers Global

Ian Swan, Partner, Head of Dispute Resolutions, Babbe


Stephen Alexander, Partner, Mourant

Damian Evans, Partner, Ogier

James Gleeson, Founding Partner, Dickinson Gleeson

Justin Harvey-Hills, Partner, Mourant

Richard Holden, Counsel, Carey Olsen

Damian James, Partner, Head of Jersey Dispute Resolution, Collas Crill

John Kelleher, Partner, Carey Olsen

Andreas Kistler, Partner, Carey Olsen

Bruce Lincoln, Partner, Mourant

Mike Preston, Advocate, Founder, Preston Legal

Luke Olivier, Counsel, Mourant

William Redgrave, Partner, Baker & Partners

Philip Sinel, Senior Partner, Sinels

Jonathan Speck, Senior Partner, Mourant

Sam Williams, Of Counsel, Ogier

David Wilson, Partner, Oben Law

Isle of Man

Peter Maughan, Head Litigation, Simcocks Advocates


Elliott Phillips, Partner, Head Gibraltar, Signature Litigation



Aurélie Conrad Hari, Partner, Head Civil Litigation, Baer & Karrer, Geneva

Christian Girod, Partner, Schellenberg Wittmer

Yves Klein, Partner, Monfrini Bitton Klein

Daniel Tunik, Partner, Head of Litigation, Lenz & Staehlin


Dr Manuel Liatowitsch, Partner, Schellenberg Wittmer

Tina Wuestemann, Head of Private Client, Baer & Karrer



Matthew R. Clark, Special Counsel, Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Christopher P. Simon, Partner, Cross and Simon LLC

W. Donald Sparks, Director, II, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.

Scott E. Swenson, Connolly Gallagher LLP

Gregory J. Weinig, Partner, Connolly Gallagher LLP


Sandra Sigler, Partner, Sigler Law Offices LLC


Harry Susman, Partner, Susman Godfrey LLP

New York

Bonnie Lynn Chmil, Partner, Katten

Ronni G. Davidowitz, Partner, Private Wealth, Katten

Gary B. Freidman, Partner, Greenfield Stein & Senior, LLP

Joshua Rubenstein, National Chair, Private Wealth, Katten

Gonzallo S Zeballos, Partner, Baker Hostetler

San Francisco

Adam Streisand, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Caribbean, Central and South America


Marco Turnquest, Partner, Lennox Paton

Brian Simms QC, Senior Partner, Lennox Paton


Grant Carroll, Partner, Ogier

Eleanor Morgan, Partner, Head Litigation, BVI, Mourant

Cayman Islands

Bernadette Carey, Partner, Carey Olsen

Carlos de Serpa Pimentel, Partner, Group Head Private Client, Trusts, Appleby Group

Lucy Diggle, Senior Counsel, Walkers

William Jones, Partner, Ogier

Robert Lindley, Partner, Head Cayman and BVI Private Client and Trust, Conyers

Neil McLarnon, Partner, Travers Thorp Alberga

Andrew Miller, Partner, Bedell Cristin

Rachael Reynolds, Global Head Dispute Resolution, Ogier

Hector Robinson QC, Partner, Head Litigation and Insolvency, Cayman islands, Mourant

Shelley White, Partner, Walkers


Hong Kong

Joanna Caen, Partner, Head Private Wealth, Herbert Smith Freehills

Elaine Chen, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Brian Gilchrist, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Ian Mann, Asia Managing Partner, Harneys

Kevin So, Partner, Howse Williams

Methodology: A survey was sent to 18,000 wealth managers and private client advisors to ask for submissions and also recommendations of litigators who had impressed them. Respondents were asked to answer a set of questions which included key cases they had worked on; cases that had impressed them and biographies to examine. The result is a consideration of the names submitted and their recommendations. It also involved editorial research to review key information and compare to produce the final list.

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