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Channel Islands Trust Firm Buys Swiss Law Firm

Max Skjönsberg

3 August 2011

Hawksford International, the Channel Islands-based independent trust company, has bought Swiss private wealth law firm L-S&S GmbH and its New Zealand trust business for an undisclosed sum.

L-S&S GmbH, which was set up in Zurich in 2008 by British lawyers Geoffrey Shindler, Roger Lane-Smith and Tim Urquhart, will continue trading in Switzerland under its existing name, Hawksford said in a statement.

The purchase of the firm, which specialises in capital tax and estate planning, private and estate administration services, trusts, wills and probate, is described by the buyer as being part of a wider global expansion plan.

The trust firm has had a busy year so far, with a move into the Middle East where it opened a Dubai office in May and the appointment of a new chairman in shape of Philip Taylor, former senior partner of PwC Channel Islands.

Hawksford was officially established in 2008 after a management buyout of Rathbones’ trust company in Jersey, backed by Dunedin, the UK private equity company. Its roots go back to the late 19th century, when lawyer Cyril Hawksford started out in the UK Crown Dependency.