Our Trusts group specialises in creating bespoke trust structures, designed to meet the needs of our corporate and private clients.

We advise in connection with all aspects of trusts established under British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands law.

Forbes Hare has particular expertise in the following areas:

Commercial Trusts

We advise financial institutions and corporations on the benefits and flexibility of British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands trust law. In particular, we advise on the following areas:

  • Commercial and Securitisation Vehicles
  • Unit Trusts
  • Private Trust Companies
  • Purpose trusts for off-balance sheet purposes
  • General administration and termination of a trust
  • Escrow arrangements
  • Trust establishment and maintenance
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Ongoing compliance obligations (KYC and anti-money laundering)
  • Trust-related disputes of every hue

Private Trusts

The use of trusts in private wealth management can offer a wide range of benefits to the parties involved. Whether in conjunction with underlying companies or as stand-alone arrangements, trusts can provide flexible and effective mechanisms for achieving a variety of personal or business objectives.

The reasons for formation often include one or more of the following:

  • Finance planning and commercial uses
  • Tax efficiency and planning
  • Asset protection
  • Provision for spouses and dependants
  • Protection against forced heirship laws
  • Charitable purposes and philanthropy

We are able to advise private clients on the following areas of British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands law:

  • VISTA Trusts and STAR Trusts

In contrast to the position in some other offshore jurisdictions, the VISTA trustee (and similarly a STAR trustee) is under no duty to monitor, intervene or diversify the underlying investment (in accordance with the “prudent man of business rule”), but is rather under a duty to retain the shares in a holding company. In other words, the ownership and management of the assets of the trust are “de-coupled”. This trust structure is particularly attractive to settlors who own closely held (or family run) businesses, or who might otherwise wish to retain a significant influence on the management of trust assets while at the same time relinquishing ownership.

  • Private Trust Companies

The British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands both offer a quick and efficient application procedure to those seeking a reputable jurisdiction in which to establish a private trust company.

  • Forced Heirship

British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands trust laws offer a number of advantages to individuals domiciled in countries subject to forced heirship laws.