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Rachael Reynolds

Partner, Global Head of Dispute Resolution  |  Ogier
JURISDICTION

Cayman Islands
England and Wales (non-practising)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Administration of estates and trusts
Dispute resolution

Enhanced Q&A

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

Acting as a trusted adviser to a prominent HNW and finding a solution to an issue which had been unresolved for a decade.

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

Lean in and offer your view - you have something valuable to offer.

What is your favourite quote?

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do," Steve Jobs.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

We have had an exceptionally busy year in trusts and estates disputes, with a number of cases coming before the Cayman courts which have involved the courts considering for the first time particular legislative provisions, and giving important and precedent-setting guidance to trustees facing attack from third parties, other jurisdictions or their own beneficiaries (including cases concerning the court's jurisdiction to reform STAR trusts, the test for the removal of executors, consideration of when the Cayman court has exclusive jurisdiction over Cayman trusts, and the public policy considerations in the context of enforcement of foreign decisions concerning Cayman trusts).

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

● The constantly changing regulatory landscape and compliance fatigue is a significant challenge for our clients. The need to keep abreast of all relevant directives and obligations is leading to a large amount of innocent non-compliance with serious consequences.
● The universal level of uncertainty and the dramatic economic effects of the pandemic is leading to the need for clients to rethink well established business models and strategies, and is leading to increased litigation as our clients are facing increasing scrutiny of their management of assets. Whilst that is good for the litigators amongst us, it is a continuing stress point for our clients who are facing unprecedented pressure and levels of uncertainty.
● Virtual meetings work very well for the most part, and Cayman practitioners are well used to working on a day to day basis with clients in all parts of the world and with all time zones - but there are certain circumstances where there is no substitute for face to face meetings, particularly where contentious and sensitive issues need to be discussed and resolved, or where capacity is an issue. The inability to meet is a challenge we are all resigned to dealing with for months to come but we very much look forward to the time we can see our clients in person again.

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1. Where possible, make time for a video conference rather than just relying on a call or an email. I have found many clients appreciate, and are more comfortable with, a face to face discussion. Speaking by video goes some small way to compensate for being unable to meet in person.
2. Make the most of the technology that is available – whether that is secure document sharing on data rooms, utilising electronic signatures or having virtual meetings on screen.
3. Unmute!