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Bedell Cristin wins USD200m trust dispute for plaintiffs in long-running Crociani case

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Bedell Cristin has successfully acted for the plaintiffs in a long-running trust dispute which has resulted in the reconstitution of a trust fund worth USD200 million.

After years of litigation and a trial that lasted almost three months, the Royal Court of Jersey handed down its judgment on Monday 11 September 2017 in Crociani & O’rs vs Crociani & O’rs [2017] JRC146, finding in favour of the Plaintiffs, Cristiana Crociani and her two daughters, Delia and Livia Delrieu, who have been advised by Bedell Cristin’s litigation team since 2012.
 
The case concerns a Bahamian trust, known as the Grand Trust, which was originally settled in 1987 by Edoarda Vesel Crociani, for the benefit of Cristiana and her sister, Camilla and their children. The Grand Trust comprised a valuable portfolio of investments, various receivables and works of art. As a result of the Plaintiffs’ claims, the Royal Court has ordered that the Grand Trust be reconstituted by the former trustees comprising Edoarda Vesel Crociani, BNP Paribas Jersey Trust Corporation Limited and Appleby Trust (Mauritius) Limited. Once it has been reconstituted, it is expected that the trust fund will be worth USD200m.
 
This decision is the result of five years of hard-fought litigation which ran from the Jersey Royal Court up to the Privy Council and back at various stages and involved numerous advisors, intermediaries, structures, family members and assets in multiple jurisdictions spanning Italy, Holland, the Bahamas, Mauritius, the US and Jersey.
 
The Plaintiffs’ litigation team at Bedell Cristin was led by Advocate Anthony Robinson and also included Advocate Edward Drummond and Sonia Shah.
 
Robinson, says: “The decision from the Royal Court after years of litigation is a significant one. Not only did the case involve claims of high value, it was also hugely complex, involving difficult family dynamics and issues in a number of different jurisdictions.
 
The outcome reflects the dedication, expertise and high standards of professionalism of our litigation team, and underlines that Jersey is a robust and effective jurisdiction with excellent case management. Of course, we are pleased we were able to obtain this result for our client.”
 
Cristiana Crociani, one of the successful plaintiffs, adds: “Throughout the five years I have worked with Bedell Cristin’s litigation team they have been thorough, proactive and relentless in their pursuit to achieve results. They communicated well, keeping me updated and guiding me through the complex process. I would not hesitate to recommend them.”

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