Joby Davies

“When it comes to disputes, good judgement is everything.” - Joby Davies, Partner - Private Client

Dispute Resolution

Wealth attracts disputes. Co-investors, beneficiaries, creditors, debtors, regulatory and revenue authorities and others make claims. When that happens, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner will help you anticipate problems, recommend the appropriate response and defend your rights. We have advised private clients on over 200 such disputes in the last three years. Our firm has over 100 specialist lawyers that focus on contentious, personal, business and fiduciary matters.

“BCLP demonstrated a joined-up approach to the work that it undertakes, seamlessly linking competencies to give clients confidence that their matters are fully understood.” (STEP Award Winner of Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year (Large Firm) 2018).

Specifically, high-net-worth individuals, fiduciaries and wealth management institutions rely on Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s lawyers to help them in a range of contentious areas, including:

  • Trust disputes: challenges to trusts from third parties, beneficiaries and tax authorities; trustee applications to court; confidentiality and the disclosure of trust documents;
  • Succession disputes: challenges to the validity of Wills; claims against estates and against executors;
  • Family disputes;
  • Disputes involving family businesses;
  • Shareholder disputes;
  • Resolving disputes without going to court - including mediation, expert determination, adjudication and bespoke processes;
  • Claims against wealth managers; and
  • Claims including regulatory breaches

Case Studies

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    Revised trust powers can help both sides work together

    A family business was held and run by non-UK trustees. The trustees worked hard to balance commercial risk against the long-term interests of the beneficiaries. Yet the beneficiaries felt the trustees’ decision-making process on key commercial matters was slow and expensive, and that this was affecting the business.

    Our solution was to create a family advisory board and amend the trust to give the advisory board powers over key business decisions. This helped the beneficiaries and trustees to work together and preserve the business for the family.

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    HMRC investigation ends with tax liability far below the original demand

    HMRC opened an enquiry into the tax affairs of our client, a UK resident non-UK domiciled entrepreneur who was the beneficiary of a high value non-UK trust. The enquiry swiftly expanded to cover a number of related trust and corporate structures that held both UK and non-UK assets.

    We stopped the enquiry from spreading further – and minimised disclosure – by keeping it focused on HMRC’s technical arguments. At the end of the investigation our client paid tax that was significantly lower than the original demand.

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    Disagreements over funding can be costly

    Our client accepted crucial funding from a business contact when her company was starting out. When she tried to repay the debt the lender claimed he was owed a large shareholding in what was now a successful business. There were no formal loan documents and the lender would not budge.

    We advised on the lengthy negotiations – and a formal mediation process – that reached a settlement before court proceedings were issued.

"They approach cases with great thoroughness, and have always covered all the angles."

Chambers UK 2016 – Tax: Contentious

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