Trust Estate

Withers Examines Impact Of Hong Kong's Changing Trust Law

Withers , 22 July 2013

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Withers, the global law firm, examines new trust legislation enacted in Hong Kong, with potential major implications for the sector.

In a potentially highly significant move, Hong
Kong’s Legislative Council last week passed the Trust Law
(Amendment) Bill 2013. According to Withers, the international law firm, the
trust industry in Hong Kong held assets of an
estimated HK$2,600 billion as at the end of 2011. Withers says the amendments
will further improve Hong Kong’s standing as an international trust planning
jurisdiction and it has set out a summary of key points below.

This [Bill] amends the Trustee Ordinance (Cap.29) and the
Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance (Cap.257) which date back respectively
to 1934 and 1970. Other common law jurisdictions such as the UK and Singapore
have already significantly modernised their trust law during this period,
leaving Hong Kong at a competitive
disadvantage.

Hong Kong amendments usher in much needed improvements to
the legal infrastructure for trusts subject to Hong Kong law and will further
improve Hong Kong’s standing as an
international trust planning jurisdiction. Following those changes, families
should consider reviewing their succession planning, both wills and trusts.

This is also an opportunity for international trust
companies to consider setting up a Hong Kong
operation.

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