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Trust and Estate Disputes

DQ’s expertise in respect of private client, trusts and estates from a contentious and non-contentious perspective is unrivalled. In this regard, our team works closely with Annemarie Hughes (head of DQ’s Private Client, Trusts & Pensions team), regarded by clients and peers alike as one of the Island’s leading trust and pensions lawyers and ranked Band 1 in Chambers & Partners Offshore Trusts category. Our team is renowned for its contentious trusts and estate work, advising clients including individuals and families, lawyers, fiduciaries, trustees, protectors, beneficiaries, executors and other leading institutions both on and off Island.

We are widely recognised for providing a full service to private clients and our market-leading status in this area means that we are perfectly placed to handle even the most complex and/or cross-jurisdictional trust or estate disputes. We understand that disputes of this nature require sensitive handling, and whilst our team is more than adept at protecting our client’s interests in the Isle of Man High Court, commonly alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation can be helpful in ensuring that confidentiality and costs are kept under control.

Some recent examples of our work in this area include:

  • Acting for the beneficiaries of a trust against a local fiduciary and successfully obtaining injunctive relief preventing the assets of the settlement being dissipated pending the outcome of that claim.
  • Acting for a bank (which was in the process of being wound-up) in applying for guidance from the Isle of Man High Court in respect of what it should do regarding its dealings with the trust, certain non-responsive beneficiaries and the administration of the trust in light of the winding-up of the bank.
  • Successfully making an application seeking a declaration from the Court that a trust (valued in the region of $230 million) was a charitable trust governed by the Isle of Man, and varying and replacing the terms of the trust in its entirety.
  • Acting in a multi-million pound estate dispute, which included complex considerations in respect of a family business.
  • Making various applications to Court seeking directions in respect of the administration of trusts.

Trust and Estate Disputes Contacts

Leanne McKeown


Mark Emery


Annemarie Hughes