Following its recent success at the 2022 British Legal Awards, Baker McKenzie's London Contentious Trusts team has secured another victory, this time picking up the Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year (Large Firm) Award at the 2022 STEP Private Client Awards.

The STEP Private Client Awards are seen as the hallmark of quality within the private client industry. Open globally to both STEP members and non-members, these prestigious Awards recognise and celebrate excellence among private client solicitors, lawyers, accountants, barristers, bankers, trust managers and financial advisors.

Praising the team, the judges commented: "Baker McKenzie’s cases have been ground-breaking both legally and logistically, and it has not missed any opportunity to innovate."

This year, the team acted for the claimant/plaintiff in the Wong v Grandview (and others) litigation concerning assets worth over USD 20 billion held by trustees, individuals and companies in multiple jurisdictions around the world. In 2021, the long-running dispute went to an 80-day trial in the Supreme Court of Bermuda, which due to a spike in Covid cases in Bermuda was conducted entirely via Zoom. The case is the largest in value ever to come before the Bermudian courts and is believed to have been one of the most valuable cases being tried in the world at that time. 

The team has also been involved in Re XYZ Trusts in which it acted for the trustees in obtaining court approval in Bermuda to implement a substantial restructuring of 23 trusts that hold UK and Irish corporate assets worth over £500 million.  This follows almost 15 years of litigation amongst the family branches and has resulted in the resolution of all family disputes and provided a framework for a more harmonious future.

Commenting on the win, Partner, Gemma Willingham, said: "I am delighted that our team was recognised at this year's STEP Private Client Awards. It has been a busy year for the team with some great successes for our clients. We look forward to building on these achievements as we move into 2023."

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