I’m a Partner of Mourant Ozannes (Guernsey) LLP in our Guernsey Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. I specialise in complex commercial and trust litigation, and provide advice to a range of financial institutions and fiduciaries, particularly in multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Having obtained diplomas in compliance and anti-money laundering, my focus is often on regulatory and compliance matters. I regularly advise on routine and non-routine matters, including liaising with the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the police and the Financial Investigation Unit.
I also have expertise in relation to cross-border assistance in tax and money-laundering issues.
I joined Mourant Ozannes in January 2002 and was called to the Guernsey Bar in 2005.
- Solicitor, Western Australia, 1997 (currently non-practising)
- Solicitor, England, 2003 (currently non-practising)
- Advocate, Guernsey, 2005
- Acting for HSBC in relation to a complex, multi-jurisdictional trust dispute alleging tax and exchange control fraud. This included co-ordinating: proceedings in South Africa appealing a very significant tax assessment, and resisting attempts to reverse a transfer of assets; applications in the UK in relation to a restraint order, including a decision of the House of Lords which provided guidance on the operation of restraint orders in support of foreign proceedings and successfully obtaining a subsequent discharge of the restraint order; and various applications before the Royal Court of Guernsey to seek Beddoes relief, approval of settlement agreements, and the scope of indemnities to be afforded to the trustee.
- Acting for Garnet Investments and Tommy Suharto in relation to attempts by the Government of Indonesia to pursue civil and criminal claims against substantial funds held in Guernsey, and in respect of a claim against a Guernsey bank for mis-selling and negligence.
- Acting for a local trust company in relation to a substantial trust where the human beneficiaries were all deceased. Following mediation, competing claims to the trust fund were settled and the settlement was approved by the Royal Court of Guernsey. Now assisting the trustee in responding to claims made by HMRC.
- Working on House of Lords and Royal Court of Guernsey decisions on the extraterritorial application of criminal restraint orders.
- Achieving decisions in England and Guernsey setting out the test to be applied in considering whether to discharge criminal restraint orders.
- Achieving a decision of the English Court of Appeal in relation to Article 27 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and assistance in relation to recovery of tax claims.
- Placing the Propinvest Group into administration and acting for the administrators in pursuing civil claims against former directors.
- Acting for a bank/custodian in interpleader proceedings following an alleged Ponzi scheme, including decisions as to recognition of foreign receivers and intervention by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Securing approval of a scheme of arrangement in respect of the business of the Channel Island Stock Exchange.
- Acting for several leading banks, insurers and fiduciaries in relation to regulatory investigations and enforcement action undertaken by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
- Assisting in responding to Tax Information Exchange Agreement requests emanating from the likes of India, Australia, Switzerland and the USA.
What the directories say
Chambers and Partners 2021 states, "He is very good and has very good technical knowledge." and, "He is reassuring, with an excellent bedside manner."
Christopher is named in the prestigious Legal Week Private Client Global Elite directory, 2019.
Chambers UK, 2019 reports that Christopher Edwards has "keen practical knowledge and strong approach."
Christopher Edwards "is very robust, has a great courtroom presence and is somebody who is good to have on your side. He's very much one of the leading lights in Guernsey", Chambers UK, 2017.
Christopher is described as "extremely approachable", Legal 500 UK, 2016.
'Christopher Edwards "talks plain English and gives sound, succinct advice", according to a client referee, while a peer states: "I think he is very straightforward and easy to deal with. It is a good clean, fair fight",' Chambers UK, 2015. Christopher is ranked in Dispute Resolution.
Recommended in Dispute Resolution & Private Client, Trusts and Tax, Legal 500 UK, 2015, and described as "especially well versed in the trust aspects of international tax investigations and enforcement actions."