Bernadette is the head of our Cayman Islands trusts and private wealth team and has a broad private client practice advising on wealth structuring and estate planning matters, including the administration, restructuring, and termination of trusts, as well as probate and testamentary issues. She also has significant experience in trust litigation, regularly appearing before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on multi-party non-contentious applications and contentious trust disputes, as well as in respect of estate litigation and other cross-border private client disputes.
Bernadette regularly advises high net worth individuals, trustees, beneficiaries, family offices, executors, wealth managers, institutional clients, and onshore legal teams on all aspects of trusts and estates law in the Cayman Islands. She is a director of the Cayman Islands Family Office Association, launched in 2022.
Bernadette is an elected member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law (TIAETL), where membership to the global body is by invitation only. She is also an International Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, and a long-standing Council Member of the Cayman Islands branch of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners. Bernadette is the author of the Cayman Islands chapters of numerous private client texts, including "International Estate Planning: A Reference Guide" and "Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions".
Bernadette is recognised for her trusts and private client work by Chambers, Who’s Who Legal, and Legal 500 with market sources describing her as 'incredibly hard-working' and 'really first class'. She has also been described as 'an exceptional talent and a pleasure to work with'; as someone who 'stands out as being especially intelligent, considered and commercial'. Bernadette's 'perspective on both contentious and non-contentious matters is very beneficial' and 'her background in litigation means she knows what works and what doesn't when it comes to trust structuring' (Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners HNW).
Bernadette is admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand (2002) and Australia (2005), and as an attorney-at-law in the Cayman Islands (2008).
She was formerly with Buddle Findlay (New Zealand), Henry Davis York and Colin Biggers & Paisley (both Australia) and Conyers Dill & Pearman (Cayman Islands).