Nicholas (Nick) Holland focuses his practice on international contentious trusts and estates and acts primarily for wealthy families, individuals, institutional trustees, protectors and enforcers in disputes involving offshore trusts. Nick is also often involved in non-contentious international private wealth matters where he brings his extensive knowledge of offshore trusts and jurisdictions as well as potentially litigious outcomes to bear on the difficulties faced by international wealthy families.
Nick is qualified as a lawyer in England and Wales, the Cayman Islands, British Columbia and Ontario; and has played a key role in litigation in the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. A Canadian expatriate in London, Nick often advises Canadian individuals and institutions on matters of UK law either himself or where appropriate in conjunction with other members of McDermott’s prestigious private wealth or tax teams.
Nick is co-Chair of the annual highly respected ALM/LegalWeek Global Elite International Trusts and Estates Forum. He chaired the International Trust & Private Client: Isle of Man conferences in 2017 and 2018. He was chair of the Private Client Summer School program held at Cambridge University in 2018 and 2019. He is often asked to speak on International trusts disputes and has done so in amongst other places New York, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Jersey, Guernsey, Provence, the Isle of Man, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. He sits on the Consulting Editorial Board for LexisPrivateClient PSL. He is a co-author of “Contentious Trust Matters in the United Kingdom and Offshore Jurisdictions” in International Estate Planning. (New York: LexisNexis, 2019)
Nick is recognised as leading lawyer in the world’s most eminent legal guides and directories including Chambers High Net Worth, Chambers UK, and Legal 500. CityWealth ranked him as one of the top 100 trust litigators internationally in 2020.
- Advised trustees and beneficiaries in various proceedings in connection with applications in various offshore jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Channel Islands for the blessing of momentous decisions by the trustees.
- Advising corporate and individual trustees and beneficiaries in respect of various hostile breach of trust proceedings in England and in various offshore jurisdictions.
- Advised trustees in connection with applications to set aside appointments of new trustees and appointments out to amended trusts on the basis of mistake.
- Advised trustees in various proceedings in connection with allegations that the trust funds were held to bribe foreign officials and directors of sovereign wealth funds.
- Advised executors and beneficiaries in connection with hostile estate proceedings.
- The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom, Trusts and Personal Tax Law, 2023
- Who’s Who Legal, Thought Leaders, Private Client 2022
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year 2012 to 2013
- Private Client Global Elite 2017 – 2022, Legal Week
- Chambers High Net Worth 2016 to 2022, Band 1 in London Firms: Private Wealth Disputes and ranked in London Firms: Foreign Expert for Canada. “His practice encompasses acting for institutional trustees, private clients and other market advisers. A source regards him as “great to deal with, he is practical and a solutions guy.” He is well versed in cases involving conflicts between national laws.” [Nick] is a well-recognized lawyer with plenty of cross-border experience. Sources note that “he is a real expert in offshore work” and say that “he knows international matters inside out.” He has been involved in many high-profile cases and is considered “a stellar name in the area with a huge amount of respect and clout in the market.” “He is incredibly commercially and pragmatically minded, without losing sight of the legal position,” reports an interviewee, who also says: “He is absolutely fantastic with clients – they really love him.”
- Chambers Global, 2012 – 2017. “Nick is especially highly regarded for his contentious trusts practice.” According to a source,”He has very good skills with clients – he is very practical and likeable, and has a sharp brain on him”
- Chambers UK, 2012-2020. “He understands what motivates people in litigation and how to deal with competing priorities,” sources say, adding: “He manages to sift through reams of correspondence and witness statements, can explain what each one is saying in a nutshell and then cut to the chase. He can see the real picture and work out a way forward”; Another Chambers UK edition states “[Nick] advises individuals and professional trustees on complex cases. Sources single him out for “his efficiency and his knowledge,” adding “He is relaxed; he is a litigator, but he’s extremely easy to work with. He is also practical in not trying to force things down the court route.” Nick is described as “the most engaging person and a charming man, but can back that up with the necessary technical expertise”. “Chambers noted that Nick was a lawyer whose considerable strength in trust disputes is noted through the market. Sources comment: “He is bright, affable and very good with clients, making them feel at ease”
- The Legal 500 UK, 2012-2023. “Nick is one of the standout leaders in this field, both in London and internationally. He has immense knowledge and experience of trusts litigation in England, Canada and the main Caribbean and Channel Islands jurisdictions. This enables Nick to find creative solutions. He is committed and enthusiastic and his clients find themselves well cared for.” “[Nick] is very thorough, bright, capable and always sees the bigger picture”. “One of the very best contentious trusts lawyers in London”. Noted as “a good litigator with superb instincts, and an excellent team manager in heavy litigation’. Nick is “…praised for his experience offshore in Cayman.”
- Citywealth, “He would be one of the first lawyers I would contact in respect of trust dispute related matters…” and is “…a force to be reckoned with”
- Who’s Who Legal
- Citywealth Leaders List, 2018 – 2020
- Citywealth, Top 100 Trust Litigators internationally
- Chair, University College London, Denys Holland Scholarship Committee
- Director, LexisPSL Private Client Consulting Editorial Board
- Co-Chair, ALM/LegalWeek Global Elite International Trusts and Estates Litigation Forum
University of Toronto, BA, (Hons), 1993
University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Laws, 1996
England and Wales