The Queen has a Gibraltar Trust

By Nathan Perez, Abacus Financial Services Ltd

Yes, only it’s not that queen that you’re thinking about. But still, if royalty thinks a Trust in Gibraltar is worth having, then that’s got to be a good start.

This article needs to be short so here’s the “elevator test” on Gibraltar Trusts. We have had trust law as long as the UK has because Gibraltar became British in 1704 and has been applying UK jurisprudence ever since, amending it where necessary for local practice.

All trust case law therefore applies, and Gibraltar has its share of some interesting and important decided cases.

So, wherever in the Anglo-Saxon world you may be thinking of advising clients to domicile their trust, Gibraltar is up there with all of the others. Unlike some of its more far-flung competitors, it’s in the European timezone, and operates to EU/UK levels of regulation and professional standards. Like all the other “offshore” centres in the European sphere, Gibraltar also has purpose trusts, private trust companies, and foundations. Asset protection trusts have been tried and tested in court here.

Gibraltar will soon be outside of the EU, together with the UK and all its crown dependencies, perhaps as soon as the end of this year. Some of us actually think that, all told, that’s a good thing. Trusts will long outlive all the regulations and constraints of current practice because they are necessary creatures of law, solving otherwise intractable problems, presenting settlors with an alternative vision for family and business succession.

The offshore trust world is a crowded space and it’s often diffcult for clients to make a decision as to which location is best. Gibraltar is easy to get to, via its land border with Spain and its international airport.

There is a panoply of excellent professionals in the fiduciary-services industry who tend to combine Mediterranean charm with British standards of transparency, integrity, and robustness of expertise.

Being truly independent and fairminded is part of that expertise, but the most successful trustees are the ones who know that it’s all about excellence at relationships. At the end of the day, even royalty has to trust its trustees.

Nathan Perez

Nathan Perez

GGI member firm
Abacus Financial Services Ltd
Auditing and Accounting, Fiduciary and Estate Planning, Tax
T: +350 200 78777
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Abacus provides a broad range of financial services and products in Gibraltar for private and corporate clients. They serve a sophisticated global client base, ranging from individual private clients to large multinational corporations. Their success is embedded in their client-centric approach and their commitment to build longterm relationships with clients and intermediaries in order to create innovative and compliant solutions.

Nathan Perez read law at Nottingham Trent University. He then completed the Bar Vocational Course at Cardiff University, becoming a qualified barrister. Nathan further developed his career by completing his STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualification and has been a member of the same since 2013.

Published: Trust & Estate Planning Newsletter, No. 06, Autumn 2020 l Photo: David -

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