Trusts and Trust Enterprises

The Liechtenstein trust is a legal relationship which, from a continental perspective, is unique in character and attractions. The main aim of Liechtenstein’s legislators was to provide clients from common law countries with an asset-holding structure whose function they are familiar with. The unique feature of the Liechtenstein trust resides in the fact that there is a statutory basis for a separate fund which is administered by a trustee but is not part of the trustee’s personal estate. In many respects, this resembles the common law trust. In contrast with the Liechtenstein trust, the trust enterprise (trust reg.) has a general capacity to be a party to legal proceedings and can be created with legal personality under its articles of association.

Unfortunately, much of what is stated about the Liechtenstein trust in second-rate literature or on websites does not stand up to critical scrutiny. With his doctoral thesis published in 1995, however, attorney-at-law Harald Bösch brought about a reassessment of the Liechtenstein trust, which subsequently led to a fundamental change in the judicial practice of Liechtenstein’s Supreme Court.

Anyone wishing to understand the Liechtenstein trust and its specific characteristics in substance, and not just superficially, will inevitably have to conduct a comparative legal analysis between the continental Liechtenstein trust and the common law trust. This perspective will then clarify where commonalities and differences lie between the two, and provide the solid basis for an in-depth exploration of the opportunities and possibilities afforded by Liechtenstein’s trust law.

Our law office is well qualified to address these requirements. As well as writing authoritative publications on Liechtenstein trust law, Harald Bösch has extensive judicial experience with trust disputes in Liechtenstein’s courts.

Our Liechtenstein office specialises in helping clients with the following trust matters:
  • Legal opinions
  • Expert assistance with the drafting or amendment of bespoke trust deeds and by-laws
  • Legal representation of trust beneficiaries in asserting their claims
  • Conducting court proceedings to remove trustees who fail to fulfil their fiduciary duties
  • Representation of trustees or trust beneficiaries in courts of arbitration
  • Serving as arbitrator in trust disputes which are heard by a court of arbitration

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