0370 1500 100

International Trust & Succession Dispute Resolution

The complex nature of modern wealth management means that conflicts and disputes over wills, trusts and lifetime gifts very often involve multijurisdictional issues. We explore a variety of solutions to resolve disputes – including negotiation, mediation and litigation - while keeping costs and tax exposure as low as possible.

Combining expertise from our market-leading Private Wealth, Tax, Contentious Probate and Non-Contentious Probate solicitors and a network of legal experts around the world, we can assess those issues and work with you to find a solution.

We have experience of disputes in jurisdictions and territories including the BVI, Channel Islands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Middle East, India, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Our specialist understanding in private international laws and the team’s language skills allow us to interact with a wide range of jurisdictions.

We act for claimants and defendants from a range of backgrounds. Our key instructions may be from individuals or corporate entities acting in their personal or fiduciary capacities. Our clients often include personal representatives, trustees, disappointed beneficiaries, private trust corporations, international private client attorneys and UK and international charities.

International disputes often involve conflicts of laws between the UK and foreign jurisdictions. Overseas jurisdictions are involved if the parties are resident and domiciled there or if the disputed assets are situated there. Conflicts of laws tend to arise in relation to succession, administration and taxation of an estate or trust and lifetime giving.

Court will always be seen as the last resort; however, we have extensive experience of handling international Court cases which require attendance in the UK and international Courts.

UK top five Private Wealth law firm
National coverage throughout the UK
Wide offering of languages including German, French & Greek
Network of legal experts in key jurisdictions around the world


0370 1500 100
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Paula James +44 (0)1243 813 147

One of the UK's leading teams at your service

Our cross-disciplinary team of legal experts are skilled negotiators, mediators and litigators with extensive experience with both domestic and international disputes. Meet The Team

For more information, don't hesitate to contact Paula or the team directly. You can also contact our expert advisors on:
0800 456 1912
Or enquire in writing Write to us

Cross-border and offshore probate disputes

Examples of cases we handle include:

  • Conflicts over the validity of testamentary documents and legacies
  • Requests for the removal of, or the lack of recognition of the appointment of personal representatives
  • Claims of entitlement to assets located abroad or the enforcement of a foreign order against English assets
  • The application of international community of property principles
  • Disputes over the taxation of estates between jurisdictions and who should be liable.

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

A claim for financial dependency can be brought against the estate of a UK domiciled deceased person’s estate. The act allows the Court to make orders over foreign assets forming part of the deceased’s estate. We can assist in the bringing and defending of, and enforcement of orders over those assets.

Domicile Challenges

The domicile of a person at the time they made the lifetime gift or made their Will may affect its validity. We can analyse that person’s domicile and residency status with a view to assessing the succession of a person’s estate, the validity of wills and lifetime gifts and the availability of claims in the relevant jurisdictions.


Our team consists of lawyers that have vast experience advising Trustees in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean and the offshore financial centres generally in their fiduciary duties and powers.

Aspects of our work include:

  • Acting in relation to trusts created with foreign resident Trustees, but with governance and jurisdiction in the UK
  • Advising foreign Trustees of trusts in relation to issues of accountability and disclosure
  • Advising trustees of offshore trusts on the structuring and ownership of UK situs assets and in disputes over such assets
  • Defending or attacking sham trusts and trust structures, which may be created in breach of forced heirship laws or to avoid claims from disappointed beneficiaries
  • Negotiating the terms and chains of indemnity in relation to the appointment and retirement of trustees and between trustees and beneficiaries in relation to the distribution of trust assets
  • Advising on trust compliance issues, including the ratification of Trustees’ actions

Asset Protection

We attempt to resolve issues before they arise. Our lawyers work to protect clients, in lifetime and succession planning, from claims for breaches of forced international succession laws and claims against their estates or structures.


Tax is often a major consideration in any action or settlement. Our tax experts can assess the potential tax exposure of any proposal so that our clients can make an informed decision on all the relevant issues when agreeing a settlement or making representations to the Court.

Contact Our Private Wealth Specialists

Our Private Wealth team is based in London and across the country, and can be reached on 0370 1500 100. Our experts will be happy to discuss your situation at your discretion and advise on how we can best support you.

For more information on issues of probate, you can also visit our page on Wills Trusts and Estates Disputes.

Awards & Accreditations

Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018 eprivateclient Top Law Firms 2017 chambers-high-net-worth-firm-2018-logo The Times Best Law Firms 2019 legal-500-2019

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