Vanessa is a partner and Group Head of the Private Client and Trusts department in Bermuda. Vanessa has extensive experience on a wide range of trust and estate planning matters. She regularly advises on the use of Bermuda private and commercial trust structures (including purpose trusts and unit trusts), pension trusts, trust restructuring often with a multi-jurisdictional element, the administration of complex and large estates and all areas of probate and equity matters in Bermuda, including applications to the Supreme Court of Bermuda. She drafts and reviews all forms of trusts and ancillary documentation, wills, enduring powers of attorney, health care directives and other estate planning documents and is responsible for general practice within the Private Client & Trusts team.
Vanessa frequently contributes to the Legally Speaking column in The Royal Gazette, and often writes and lectures on trust and estate planning topics, both in Bermuda and internationally. Her published works are numerous and include:
- Filing deadline looms for Bermuda Private Trust Companies (PTC) – Royal Gazette – March 2020
- Bermuda Private Trust Companies- Recent Developments – Managers of Wealth – September 2018
- The Trust that Owns the Cup – Royal Gazette – June 2017
- UK Tax Reforms Make Bermuda Trust Appealing – Royal Gazette – February 2017
- Get Your Affairs in Order – Review Your Will – Royal Gazette – March 2016
- Trustee Liability Issues – offshore discussion paper March 2015
- The 2011 European Lawyer Private Client Tax
- Cross-Border Private Client Guides, PLC
- International Succession Laws, Tolley
- Planning and Administration of Offshore and Onshore Trusts, Tolley
- Foreign Tax and Trade Brief, LexisNexis
- International Comparative Legal Guide to Private Client, Global Legal Group
- OFC Reports and STEP Directories
Vanessa has been awarded professional accolades throughout her career. She is recognised in the Chambers Global 2019 High Net Worth guide as a Notable Practitioner and is in “the top rank of Bermuda trust lawyers.” She is “experienced and a safe pair of hands,” who is “very helpful, responsive” and is held in “high regard for her technical skills. Clients really enjoy having her on the team. She is very knowledgeable. She’s got very broad legal knowledge and is able to pick up on issues outside her sphere of expertise, which for offshore lawyers is very important.” She is also listed as a Citywealth Leader since 2016 in the ‘lawyer’ and ‘powerwomen’ category, being described as “professional, prompt, understanding, courteous and a pleasure to work with.” She was named ‘Woman of the Year’ for the Leadership, Professional Services category at the 2017 Citywealth Power Women Awards. She was also featured in the ‘Women in Business Law’ 2017 guide as one of the leading Trusts and Estates practitioners in the world.
She is consistently recognised by Legal 500 Caribbean as a ‘Leading Individual’ in the Trusts/Private Client category where she is described as “extremely responsive, knowledgable, practical and pleasant to deal with.” Vanessa is also recognised in Citywealth’s International Powerwomen top 100 list for 2019. She is also named in The International Who’s Who of Private Client Lawyers 2018. In 2019, Vanessa was recognised in Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite Directory as ‘Global Elite’. Vanessa was also recently invited to join the Editorial Board of The International Family Offices Journal.
Queen’s University, Kingston (Ontario)
University of Wolverhampton (England)
“An excellent trusts and estates lawyer upon whom clients can rely completely.”