Matthew Howson

Counsel  |  Harneys


Estates: Planning


Trusts & Trusteeship

Office Location

United Kingdom

Short Biography

I specialise in BVI and Cayman trust law, general private client and estate planning matters. My clients include individuals and families, trust companies and family offices, as well as institutional clients such as banks. My current practice includes creating, administering and advising on often complex trust structures. I also draft wills covering BVI assets, and administers BVI estates. My work invariably has an international and multi-jurisdictional dimension. I am a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP). I regularly speak to small and large audiences worldwide about succession planning, and also assists in developing new BVI legislation. I have contributed to publications such as the STEP Journal, Trusts & Estates Law & Tax Journal, Private Client Adviser, and LexisNexis Seminars. Prior to joining Harneys in 2016, I worked at leading London private client firm Penningtons Manches LLP.

What is your favorite restaurant to take a client or colleague to?

When based in the BVI I had a couple of favourite jerk chicken stands that my UK visitors enjoyed very much! These days, probably Hazev Canary Wharf.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

To juniors, don't feel you have to spend your whole career in an onshore law firm if you don't want to. You can practise your private client law by Caribbean beaches or Asian skyscrapers. My offshore career has given me lifetime friends and many memories.

What was your first job?

Cinema popcorn selling which taught me a few skills transferrable into law.

What is the book you recommend to everyone?

What changes do you expect to see in your practice over the next year?

One interesting aspect of offshore Private Wealth is that we follow events round the world. Every year we see different jurisdictions and different client bases finding new uses for offshore structures.