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Specialism: Lawyers Contentious Trusts, Corporate and Regulatory
Location: St Helier, Jersey
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What do clients and peers say of Bruce Lincoln: "Expertly taking the heat out of disputes to find the substance and resolution."
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Average client size: Over £25 million
Fixed fee offering: No
Number of offices globally: More than 5
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Recent work includes a contentious application for directions regarding a change of trustee and protector, involving a related foreign tax investigation and potential validity issues; and acting for trustees of multiple family trusts in relation to divorce proceedings between beneficiary spouses. I have also acted for the trustees on some of the largest breach of trust claims heard in Jersey in recent years (including the Alhamrani and Walker Trust litigation).
I have been acting for a Middle Eastern oil company in proceedings against a Kuwaiti national. The claims against this person relate to the beneficial ownership of a Jersey company (holding assets in excess of £3 million) and whether they held the shares in that company on trust for the late former chairman and managing partner of the company who, while still alive, in December 1998, was ordered by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales to pay a sum exceeding US$135 million to my client for fraud and dishonest breaches of duty. This case involved matters of Jersey, English, Kuwaiti and Lebanese law. As this case has also been based largely on inference, it has been challenging to deal with.
High value trust matter involving Jersey law governed trusts
Bruce Lincoln, supported by a team of Mourant Ozanne litigation and non-contentious trust lawyers, has lead the representation of adult beneficiaries of two Jersey law governed trusts in connection with two applications issued before the Royal Court by a Swiss trustee. The first application seeks the court's directions as to the identity of the trustee; the identity of the protector; the validity of certain steps taken by the protector to remove the trustee and to effect a change of proper law of the trust, and the future administration of the trust. The second application seeks the court's directions as to the validity of the Trust, whether certain disclosures should be made to the revenue authorities of the beneficiaries' home jurisdiction, and the future administration of the trust generally. The Mourant Ozannes legal team also represent, in connection with the first application, one of the potential protectors and the purportedly appointed new trustees. In connection with the second application, we also act for one of the potential protectors and the settlor. Serious allegations of misconduct have been levelled by the adult beneficiaries against the trustee bringing both applications.
This is an extremely complex and high value cross-border matter. The combined asset value of the both trusts are in the region of €100 million. The Mourant Ozannes legal team represent the majority of convened parties before the court. Unusually for administrative proceedings, because of the allegations of serious misconduct on the part of a trustee, this matter involves extensive live evidence and cross-examination. The evidence, given over the course of nine days in the Royal Court, has recently concluded, with written closing submissions due to be filed shortly. Bruce Lincoln was the Advocate throughout the hearings.
In addition to having conduct of the proceedings generally, the Mourant Ozannes legal team has, since the issue of both applications, provided advice on the complex issues of Jersey trust law arising, as well as dealing with the interrelationship of the relevant issues with matters and proceedings conducted in and under the laws of two other jurisdictions.