Why did you become a lawyer?
I was on the accounting route (studied economics for 4 years and then worked at PWC) but changed tack at the last minute to study law which I thought would be far more sexy. I fell in love with private wealth work after 6 months articling with a strong private client team in London and in particular the variety of work the discipline offered. From will drafting, estate planning and administration for private clients, to advising corporate trustees on complex trust structures – no two days are ever the same.
What do you think will be the most significant trend in your firm’s practice areas over the next 12 months?
Greater regulation, compliance and transparency issues are here to stay so we will need to accommodate them. On the private wealth side I suspect we will continue to see consolidation of structures, diversification of underlying assets, jurisdiction and service provider shopping, perhaps an increase in non-contentious trust restructuring applications.
As a firm, ESG and environmental sustainability will also play a key role in how we do business. We are thrilled to announce that Appleby has recently received a Planet Mark Business Certification demonstrating our commitment to measuring and reducing our groupwide carbon emissions by at least 2.5% each year. In addition to paper free and streamlined services, several of our offices have moved to open plan flexible working. I see this trend continuing.
What are some of the recent happenings in Bermuda?
Bermuda remains a popular jurisdiction for private trust companies due in part to their ease of formation, operation and the absence of licensing which removes the regulatory burden seen in some other jurisdictions. Consequently we are seeing an increase in family office work and the formation of perpetual trusts. Bermuda is also a flexible jurisdiction for trust restructuring and section 47 of our Trustee Act 1975 has been applied in several recent trust cases providing the Court with power to authorize transactions relating to trust property where it is expedient to do so. The Bermuda Court is willing to grant confidentiality orders and anonymise private trust cases. In addition King’s Counsel readily appear in Bermuda Courts, all of which is of comfort to our HNW clients.
What are your proudest professional moments?
Being promoted to partner and thereafter Head of the Bermuda Private Client & Trusts practice group at Appleby demonstrated that the Firm had faith in me. Other proud moments include winning a Gold Citywealth Powerwomen award – twice, receiving Band 1 Chambers recognition, Global Elite status and various accolades for our global PC&T team including 3 STEP award wins during my tenure. Our team has just been shortlisted for a STEP private client award 2023/24: “International legal team of the year – midsize firm” which we are super chuffed about.
What was your worst day at work?
The day our managing partner announced that we would be moving to an open plan work environment. I had to clear out my office with 25 years of ‘stuff’ and part with beloved texts and accumulated ‘things’. Fortunately I’ve warmed up to it and now actually quite like the new work environment. It’s fresh and new. Our carbon footprint is reduced. I can certainly see the efficiencies and the benefit of open plan collaboration.
Did you have a mentor who supported you in your early career? What was the most valuable thing they taught you?
I have had some very strong female mentors over the years including Lesley Lintott (head of Private Client when I articled at Penningtons, London) and Monica Jones (head of Private Client & Trusts when I joined Appleby, Bermuda). I learned a lot from these mentors including to always listen, have compassion, document everything and enter your time!
What advice would you give a junior just starting out?
Similar advice as above. Plus, get involved in industry focus groups and network, network, network. Never ‘burn bridges’. Use your contacts and connections. Read.
What is the most unusual or shocking request you’ve ever had from a client?
Perhaps we can just ‘back-date’ that? Surprisingly I hear this quite frequently. Of course, we can’t do that.
What is your top box-set?
Succession. It’s a hoot and I can definitely see some similarities with a few of our UHNW clients.
What do you do when you’re not working?
This is scholarship season and I have the immense pleasure of interviewing and handing out money to deserving young adults heading off to universities around the globe. We have some fabulous, talented youth – the future is bright!
Otherwise it’s pretty much the usual: Family life (3 kids), social activities, travel, pickleball.
What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
Own a guest house in Bermuda. Play pickleball.
Where can you see yourself in fifteen years?
Owning a guest house in Bermuda. Playing pickleball.