Is Hong Kong Asia's Next Trust Centre?


Originally published in ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS - February 2012.

Historically, setting up private trusts offshore has been a preferred vehicle for Asia’s wealthy families and individuals to manage their assets as they crave the discreetness and protection that offshore trust laws offer in times of war or major life-changing events.

In recent times, several offshore jurisdictions have updated their respective trust laws to allow greater flexibility, and enhance the user-friendliness of their trust structures. Ian Mann, a partner at Harney Westwood & Riegels, says he has witnessed pronounced growth of both private trust advisory and contentious trust work in Hong Kong, which prompted his relocation from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to the firm’s Hong Kong branch.

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