Herbert Smith has recently launched a private-client practice in Hong Kong to advise on complex tax, trust, charities and succession-planning issues. The law firm's London partner Rupert Ticehurst heads the team.

The team, which includes London litigation partner Robert Hunter and Hong Kong litigation partner Mark Johnson, also advises on all aspects of dispute resolution involving individuals, trusts and estates. In London, the private-client practice attracts very high-net-worth private clients and families, trust companies, private banks and charities.  

Ticehurst joined Herbert Smith as a partner in 2005 and became head of the private wealth and charities practice in 2007. His practice includes tax, trusts and succession planning, litigation and charities.

Hunter is a disputes partner and co-head of Herbert Smith's civil fraud and asset tracing, corporate crime and investigations practice. He has conducted large fraud cases and his experience ranges from claims involving bribery and secret commissions to commodities fraud and advance fee frauds, and he has acted in proceedings in all major offshore centres. Hunter is also a founding member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists and has served as secretary since its formation.  

Last month, Ticehurst and Hunter gave a presentation on "Wealth and succession planning: mitigating risks" at the launch of the private client practice in Hong Kong. They presented on estate planning and estate cases and opportunities. More than 100 clients attended, including senior executives and legal counsels from private banks such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, RBS, UBS, Citic Ka Wah Bank, National Australia Bank and RBC, as well as investment firms.

"During the past few years Herbert Smith Hong Kong has developed significant expertise in advising on a number of complex contentious trust and estate cases," said Ticehurst. "It has become apparent that many of the problems that arose in these matters could have been avoided by the parties taking steps to properly manage their affairs."

"There is a gap in the market, in particular in Hong Kong, to provide these services," he added. "The launch of the private-client practice is timely, and I am delighted our Hong Kong clients are extremely positive about our new practice."