What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?
Helping to settle several large, complex international family trust restructurings and disputes. Bermuda has seen a host of such complex matters and I have had the opportunity to be involved in many of the disputes involving high net worth individuals in matters covering important and ground breaking points of law.
Published highlights have included the 2017 Supreme Court of Bermuda case, Meritus Trust Company Limited v Butterfield (Bermuda) Limited which confirmed that outgoing trustees do not have the right to retain assets in respect of known actual or contingent liabilities or to require a contractual indemnity unless expressly provided for. I have also recently represented a trustee in the first significant matter in Bermuda addressing the issue of ante and post nuptial settlements in divorce proceedings involving trust assets. Other highlights have included In the Matter of an Application for Information About a Trust in the Supreme Court of Bermuda which dealt with the restrictive veto power to withhold information from beneficiaries as well as In the Matter of the Estate of PQR which addressed the validity of a forfeiture clause in a will consisting of assets worth multi million dollars. It is always a highlight, as in the latter case, to be able to provide clients with the support they need to face difficult emotional as well as complex legal hurdles.
What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?
Know your industry inside out. Network with attorneys from all the main jurisdictions. Keep up to speed with developments (both case law and legislative development) and take the time to understand the psychology of generational family wealth.
What is your favourite quote?
“Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend,” Hypatia.
Fozeia Rana-Fahy is a Director at a leading Bermuda-based law firm MJM Limited and has extensive experience acting for both international and offshore clients in a wide range of complex disputes including high value trust and estate litigation as well as commercial, banking and employment litigation. Fozeia is regularly instructed by trustees, principal beneficiaries and court representatives of minor and unborn beneficiaries in litigious trust cases and has been instructed in many prominent international family trust restructurings in the last several years. Fozeia is an accredited mediator and routinely advises and gives presentations on topical issues for the private client, banking, and insurance sectors in Bermuda and overseas.