22 Sep 2017

Bedell Cristin wins US$200m trust dispute for plaintiffs in long-running Crociani case

The plaintiffs in a long-running trust dispute have been successful, resulting in the reconstitution of a trust fund worth $200 million.

Jersey legal system under attack for difficulties in challenging bills. Laurent Renault

After years of litigation and a trial that lasted almost three months, the Royal Court of Jersey handed down its judgment this week in Crociani & O'rs vs Crociani & O'rs [2017]  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 Grand Trust

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 US$200m.

Multiple jurisdictions

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. 


Commenting on the significance of the judgment, Anthony Robinson said:'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. He added that the outcome 'underlines that Jersey is a robust and effective jurisdiction with excellent case management.'