Inaugural trusts conference will promote Cayman Islands

The forthcoming inaugural Mourant Ozannes International Trusts Conference on Friday, 14 October, will not only focus on the latest legal developments in the trusts and private wealth space, but it will also promote Cayman as one of the jurisdictions that has been at the cutting edge of international trusts law for a great number of years, according to Morven McMillan, head of Trusts at Mourant Ozannes in Cayman.

Ms McMillan, who will co-chair the conference with Shân Warnock-Smith QC, said one of the reasons for hosting the conference is to raise the profile of the Cayman Islands internationally as a centre of excellence in the wealth management industry.

“The financial services industry has suffered a number of severe setbacks over the last few years and the outlook at least in the shorter term, remains uncertain,” she said.

“We need to focus on working together, working hard, to ensure that the Cayman Islands remain at the forefront of that industry.”

As part of this it is important to continue to invest in the industry and infrastructure, to develop new products, to drive innovative legislative developments and to attract the best and brightest new recruits, she said.

Ms McMillan, who has just returned to the Cayman Islands after five years living and working in London, said one thing that struck her during that time was that no one was hosting an international trusts and private client conference in Cayman, in contrast to other financial centres like London, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York which used these opportunities to cross-promote other aspects of their financial services industries.

“I believe a sophisticated private wealth management industry is integral to the success of the offering which this jurisdiction can make and particularly now that the financial landscape is changing, we must remember where our strengths lie and do what we can to promote them to the rest of the world,” she said.

She hopes the conference will attract local and international delegates and said every trusts and private client practitioner who has an interest in the Cayman Islands and international trusts law should attend this conference.


Topics will include confidentiality and the ability of the onshore courts to reach offshore trustees and the assets under their control.

Protectors, the significance for offshore trustees of the concept of “judicial encouragement” in an onshore divorce and the implications for trust professionals of insolvency in the trust structure will also feature on the agenda.

The keynote speech on mental capacity and undue influence will be delivered by Robert Hunter 
of Herbert Smith.

Ms McMillan will personally speak on recent developments in Hastings-Bass which will have practical implications for everyone working in the international trusts industry.

“The panel discussion on the highly topical question of international financial centres and confidentiality has attracted a lot of attention from delegates and should provoke a lively debate,” said Ms McMillan.

“This session will be chaired by Shân Warnock-Smith QC, who is co-chairing the conference with me and will feature representatives of our two collaborating sponsors, Rawlinson & Hunter and Butterfield on a panel of four participants.”

Rawlinson & Hunter Partner Alan Milgate noted the conference will showcase the significant contribution that Cayman trusts have made to the global financial industry.

“When Mourant Ozannes approached us to be a sponsor we were more than happy to join forces with them, and support their goal of bringing greater attention to the Cayman trust industry through this conference,” he said.

The trust industry is one of the main pillars of the Cayman Islands financial services sector, Mr. Milgate explained, and the increasing complexity of the global financial marketplace has made trusts particularly important as a means by which individuals and corporations can achieve their goals.

Cayman’s advanced trust legislation and established infrastructure have attracted an ever growing amount of trust business to the Cayman Islands, he said.

“This conference allows us to showcase the significant contribution that Cayman trusts have made to the global financial industry,” Mr. Milgate added.

More than 100 attendees have signed up for the event so far.

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