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James Ayliffe QC

Call: 1987    QC: 2008

+44 (0)20 7306

Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates

Although not a ‘private client’ practitioner, James has extensive experience of complex, high-value contentious trusts and estates disputes, where his wide commercial experience is often invaluable.

Some representative matters include:

  • acting for action group of investors on claim against Channel Islands trustee company for recovery of £45 million invested in failed beachfront development in St Lucia;
  • acting for trustees of substantial Channel Islands trust in defence of multi-million pound claim for alleged breach of trust in relation to management of investment portfolio;
  • representing an international bank trustee company in contested application by beneficiary for appointment of judicial trustee in respect of UK and offshore trusts;
  • acting for principal beneficiary of trust of large landed estate in wide-ranging dispute with trustees and others regarding validity of trust and her rights as a beneficiary;
  • advising trustees of Isle of Man trust regarding potential claim against investment advisers in respect of losses suffered on investments in a failed Lehmans fund;
  • advising trustee in bankruptcy of well-known UK property tycoon in proceedings to recover hundreds of millions of pounds owing to creditors from assets held in Channel Islands trusts;
  • acting for well-known trust/tax consultant on application for removal and replacement of Belizean trustee of multi-million pound trust;
  • acting for South African judgment creditor seeking to ‘break open’ a trust structure established across a number of offshore jurisdictions in order to enforce against hundreds of millions of pounds of assets transferred into trust by the judgment debtor;
  • acting for trustees of a Jersey property unit trust in dispute as to priority of their rights of indemnity and associated lien against trust property;
  • acting for trustee facing a multi-million pound claim alleging breach of trust in relation to his dealings with trust property comprising shares in a real estate company;
  • advising well-known firm of solicitors facing a multi-million pound claim arising out of a disastrous Beddoe application;
  • acting for a high-net worth individual seeking to set aside trusts set up for the purpose of mitigating tax and to claim damages and an account of ‘secret profits’ from the advisers involved in setting up the trusts;
  • advising a settlor regarding avoidance of a multi-million pound Bermudan trust on the grounds of mistake;
  • acting for a firm of solicitors in successful defence of wide-ranging claims by beneficiary in relation to conduct of earlier trust litigation;
  • acting for Hong Kong bank in proceedings to set aside a multi-million pound ‘sham’ trust established with a view to defrauding creditors; and
  • advising on issues arising out of dispute between Russian oligarchs involving challenges to the validity of trust and nominee arrangements.