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Vanessa is Senior Counsel in Appleby’s 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 serves as a director of private and licensed trust companies and acts as a protector.


Vanessa has been awarded professional accolades throughout her career. She is recognised in the Chambers Global 2022 High Net Worth guide in Band 1 and is in “the top rank of Bermuda trust lawyers.” She is “a thoroughly sound practitioner” who “will always have a loyal client following.” One source commented: “She is responsive, helpful, authoritative and very effective. She always goes the extra mile for clients,” adding that “her turnaround time is excellent.” She is 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. Vanessa is also recognised in Citywealth’s International Powerwomen top 100 list for 2019. Vanessa has won the Gold award for ‘Woman of the Year – Bermuda’ in the 2023 Citywealth Powerwomen Awards.

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, knowledgeable, practical and pleasant to deal with.”  One client explained: “Vanessa – always able to respond, help and deliver with even the tightest of deadlines. A leading authority in Bermuda on all things trust and private client related. An excellent practitioner – such a delight to work with and really drives matters forward.” She was also featured in the Expert Guide’s Women in Business Law as one of the leading Trusts and Estates practitioners in the world.  She is named in The International Who’s Who of Private Client Lawyers 2018. In 2024, Vanessa was recognised in the Private Client Global Elite Directory as ‘Global Elite’.

Coverage & Insights

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:



Qualifications & Education

  • Queen’s University, Kingston (Ontario)
  • University of Wolverhampton (England)

Memberships & Associations

She is a member of STEP, ITPA and the Bermuda Trusts Law Reform Committee. She is also on the Editorial Board of The International Family Offices Journal.

“An excellent trusts and estates lawyer upon whom clients can rely completely.”

The Legal 500

Related People

Tim Faries

Partner: Bermuda

T +1 441 298 3216
E Email Tim

Neil Molyneux

Senior Associate: Bermuda

T +441 298 3558
E Email Neil

Caljonah Smith

Counsel: Bermuda

T +1 441 298 0995
E Email Caljonah

Nicola Bruce

Partner: Bermuda

T +1 441 298 3274
E Email Nicola

Eduardo Fox

Consultant - Private Client & Trusts and Latin America, Corporate: Bermuda

T +1 441 505 2125
E Email Eduardo

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