Trusts and Pensions

At Babbé LLP we have one of the strongest trusts, fiduciary and pensions practices in Guernsey.

Our trusts lawyers advise on the full range of private and commercial trusts, philanthropic, charitable and purpose trusts, pensions and foundations. They work closely with Babbé LLP’s corporate and commercial lawyers to provide a fully integrated fiduciary offering that extends to corporate and partnership law, and work collaboratively with on-shore lawyers, accountants and tax advisers to ensure that a bespoke tailored service is provided to each client. 

Our pension practice, which grew to meet the domestic Guernsey needs of our clients, is now international.  In addition to advising in relation to domestic and domestic focused pension structures, our lawyers services are in demand outside Guernsey, drawing on their international experience to advise and draft pension arrangements internationally. 


Key Trust Services

Our lawyers are adaptable and responsive to our clients’ needs. However, our core services include, typically:

  • establishing private, commercial, charitable and purpose trusts
  • preparing on-going administrative documentation relating to e.g. appointment of benefits and beneficiaries, variations, the exclusion or removal of beneficiaries, change in trustees
  • contentious and non-contentious applications to the Court
  • migrating and terminating trusts
  • establishing foundations and advising in connection with their on-going administration
  • advising on assets held in trusts, including asset protection
  • advising on administrative issues e.g. rights of beneficiaries to information
  • advising on all aspects of fiduciary law and regulation.

In relation to pensions:

  • Establishing Guernsey and international occupational and personal pensions including RATS
  • Establishing hybrid occupational and personal pensions, e.g. QROPS and QNUPS
  • Collaborating with advisers in other jurisdictions in connection with the administration of Guernsey international pension schemes
  • Merging and de-merging pension schemes
  • Advising on funding (including alternative and contingent funding) arrangements for final salary pension schemes
  • Bulk transfers
  • Advising on on-going administrative and regulatory issues
  • Advising on complex governance matters.

Our clients include local and international professional trust companies and other corporate and fiduciary service providers.  They also include on-shore law firms and other professional advisers, HNWI’s, banks and charities.

Our lawyers principally bring their expertise and judgment to bear in providing traditional legal advice concerning the establishment and on-going administration of structures, and their re-structuring as required.  However, our lawyers act also as guardians and protectors, give expert advice to Courts in contentious matters and work with clients developing innovative structures.  We are the only major law firm in Guernsey which does not operate or own a trust company and our independence is highly valued by clients in this respect.

Examples of our bespoke work include:

  • transfer of trusteeship of nearly 1,000 trusts to a client and utilising the work carried out in the trust due diligence exercise to provide a bespoke on-going administrative framework for the new trustee
  • design international retail personal pension scheme
  • design fiduciary governance framework to assist trustee of commercial trust structure with several international aspects and multiple service providers administer the arrangement in a manner consistent with international best practice
  • advising a client removed as a trustee in connection with the retention of the trust assets and obtaining security against potential extra-jurisdictional tax liability
  • providing expert evidence to the High Court in England and Wales in connection with the ‘sharing’ of pension benefits on divorce under a Guernsey international occupational pension scheme. 

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