Carlos de Serpa Pimentel is a partner and Global Head of the Private Client and Trusts department of the Appleby Group.
Carlos specialises in all aspects of Cayman Islands trust law advice and trust litigation. He regularly advises trustees and ultra-high net worth individuals on the establishment, restructuring and administration of trusts, and the use of private trust companies as well as providing advice to Protectors and beneficiaries on a variety of trust related matters. He also advises on estate planning and administration of estate issues for high net worth individuals. Carlos has substantial experience in relation to Cayman Islands and BVI trust litigation matters, acting on behalf of trustees, beneficiaries and Protectors in Court proceedings. He regularly appears in Court on their behalf as counsel.
Carlos continues to be lauded for his strengths in trusts litigation. He was named Private Client Lawyer of the Year at the 2020 Who’s Who Legal Awards. He is recognised by Chambers Global High Net Worth Guide 2021 as a top trusts lawyer and described as ‘extremely highly regarded by the international private client community and by the Cayman courts; he is a first-class lawyer.’ Clients said ‘I have never heard him be even mildly ruffled by being asked super-urgent and thorny questions.’ In the 2020 edition, he is described as ‘brilliant, thoughtful, decisive and collaborative’ with another client adding ‘He knows his stuff, he is very personable and always incredibly measured and reasoned in what he says.’
Carlos is also ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Legal 500 2021 and is described by clients as ‘one of the most knowledgeable lawyers on the circuit with impressive experience and knowledge.’ Another client said ‘He is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, but combines that with a real empathy for the client and a real commitment to delivering the right result.’ In the 2020 edition Carlos was described as a ‘Very experienced lawyer who consistently provides strong technical advice.’
He has presented at numerous international trust conferences and is a regular contributor to trust law journals including Trusts & Trustees, Trusts & Estates and the STEP Journal. In March 2020 Carlos was elected as an Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers (IAETL). He is a member of STEP and served as Chairman of STEP Cayman Islands from 2009 to 2012 and prior to that as Secretary from 2006 to 2009. He is also a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists, the ITPA, and the Cayman Islands Law Society. He has been a panel member of experts judging the prestigious STEP Private Client Awards since 2007.
Carlos was called to the Bar of England and Wales (now non-practising) in 1990, and practised at the Chancery Bar in London for approximately ten years in the Chambers of G.C. Vos QC, 3 Stone Buildings, Lincoln´s Inn. He was called to the Cayman Islands Bar in 2001. Carlos worked for two years at Maples and Calder in the Cayman Islands, and then joined Appleby in 2003. He was called to the British Virgin Islands Bar in 2004 and became a partner of Appleby in 2006.
Carlos speaks French and Portuguese and is currently a member of the International Bar Association.
Recent cases include:
- Even Wahr-Hansen et al v Compass Trust Co Limited et al; acting for thirteen defendants to a substantial breach of trust/ constructive trust claim brought by the estate of one of the wealthiest Norwegian ship owners.
- Grupo Torras S.A. v Bank of Butterfield International (Cayman) Limited; the Cayman Islands proceedings related to the lengthy Esteem Settlement litigation brought by Grupo Torras S.A. in Jersey (the Esteem Settlement decision, Jersey Royal Court, 13 June 2003).
- Acted on behalf of numerous trustees, beneficiaries and guardians ad litem before the Grand Court, most recently in several notable applications for Court approved variations.
- Acted on behalf of one of the beneficiaries at various stages in the Circle Trust litigation.
- Currently acting on behalf of the Guardian ad Litem of the minor beneficiaries in a substantial restructuring of a Cayman Islands trust pursuant to Section 63 of the Trusts Law.
University of Exeter (England)
Kingston University London (England)
“It is hard to find an offshore litigator with the type of trust experience that [Carlos] has.”