Expertise

Geoff’s experience consists entirely of dealing with complex litigation relating to trusts and estates, often with an offshore element. He has experience with cases involving the UK, US, Channel Islands, Cayman Islands, BVI and Hong Kong, among other jurisdictions. Geoff is equally at ease dealing with purely domestic matters. Unusually for a litigator, Geoff acts as a trustee, which gives him a first-hand view of the issues facing trusts and trustees.

Recognition

“Excellent – proactive, practical, and he keeps me informed” – Chambers HNW 2020

“Often comes up with new ways to approach apparently intractable problems” – Legal 500 UK 2020

“Technically he is a fantastic lawyer, he understands the sector and the law brilliantly” – Chambers HNW 2019

Experience

Geoff’s experience includes:

  • Acting in a proprietary estoppel claim relating to one of a handful of privately-owned villages in England
  • Advising the successful beneficiaries in a Jersey case that made new law on the scope of duties of trust protectors and the grounds on which they may be removed from office
  • Acting for the successful beneficiaries in an unusual case where trustees surrendered their discretion to an English court
  • In the Cayman Islands, defending trustees against claims of breach of trust through material non-disclosure and successfully arguing that a beneficiary had forfeited her interest in the trust

Career

Geoff joined Stewarts in 2020. He originally qualified in San Francisco and cross-qualified as an English solicitor in 2008. On moving to London, he was at Withers and then at Bircham Dyson Bell, where he headed up the will and trust disputes team.

Accreditations and memberships

  • The Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)
  • The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Trusts and Estates Section of the State Bar of California

Publications and media

  • Serle Court International Trusts and Commercial Litigation Conference New York 2019: Confidentiality and open justice in trust and commercial cases
  • Transcontinental Trusts Forum Bermuda 2019: What to do when you are asked for trust documents
  • Contra Trusts in Litigation Conference Athens 2019: Capacity in the trusts context

Personal

Geoff enjoys the occasional run at a medium pace. When he lived in California, he was a passionate deep sea, big game fisherman. He is now learning how to pursue rather smaller fish while standing in the English rain.