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Mark Bridges

Senior Counsel  |  Farrer & Co
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal estate planning
Succession planning
Dispute resolution

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

I have been heavily involved in the affairs of prominent citizens of Saudi Arabia following the Ritz Carlton Hotel affair. This has raised so many questions relating not only to Middle Eastern business practices, but also sophisticated questions of asset protection, interpretation of trusts and human rights. Never have I had so many complex, challenging and novel issues to consider all at once in what are real emergencies for clients.

At the same time I have been involved in a complex trust dispute in a leading offshore jurisdiction involving a very sophisticated series of trusts with very substantial assets. Apart from the questions of law involved, the matter has been sensitive both in terms of the individuals concerned and of the assets owned. It is one of the biggest cases involving trusts to come before the Courts anywhere in the world.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Always look for the long term solution, which may not always be the one which commends itself at this particular moment to your client. The art of a successful lawyer is to encourage the client to look beyond the tensions of the moment and to find the lasting, and one hopes fair, answer. Litigation and point-scoring, while profitable in the short term for lawyers, is not normally in the client’s interests.

What is your favourite quote?

“Anything can happen at backgammon,” (the late) The Right Honourable Alan Clark, MP.