In 2006, after 25 years in practice, Andrew Rogerson founded the Rogerson Law Group. The firm is flourishing and now has ten lawyers. The firm is the only Canadian member of the International Practice Group (IPG).
Andrew has been advising clients on Wills, Estates, Probate and Administration for many years, and has built a successful and busy practice. In addition, he has earned a formidable reputation as a successful litigator particularly in Trust and Estate Litigation including Contested Wills.
Andrew represents clients as far afield as Dubai and London, where he visits regularly.
Andrew spent his earlier years in practice working in insolvency and bankruptcy litigation. This work increasingly grew to include asset protection with an international focus. With the global nature of life in the 21st century and relationships and wealth that often transcend geographical boundaries – clients frequently need expert advice from lawyers with international experience. This is why Rogerson Law Group advises and represents so many clients with interests and family abroad.
Estate planning is a major focus of the offshore, asset protection work Andrew undertakes, with a lot of work in the Middle East assisting clients experiencing difficulties with Sharia law to arrange their estates using offshore trusts companies foundations and other entities.
Andrew was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1981 by Middle Temple and served his Pupillage in the Insolvency Chambers of Michael Crystal QC, at 3-4 South Square, Gray’s Inn. Since then, his extensive international legal experience includes practicing in South Africa, Australia, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey (Channel Islands), Ontario, Alberta, and as a barrister in London. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Successful claim against intestate estate
Andrew Rogerson represented a teenage female client in her successful claim against the estate of her paternal grandmother who died intestate – despite the fact she had never met her, nor had she ever been acknowledged by her father. We were required to prove the paternity to the satisfaction of the Ontario courts to establish her claim. Our client lived with her two sons in the United States in a poor financial situation. Her mother had a brief relationship with her German-born father who never accepted paternity until a DNA test proved positive. He neither acknowledged her existence nor provided her with maintenance, despite his personal wealth. Our client’s father was later killed in a mob hit and shortly afterward his own mother also died. She had moved to Ontario and lived a life of affluence, having married a wealthy man, but she outlived her husband and never knew our client. We obtained an order of the Ontario Superior Court waiving the requirements of an insurance bond for our client to act as executrix. We wound up the estate, established a trust for her and her young children and were able to set them up in a large house in the south of the United States with horses and stables. We also provided funding to set up a small business to provide employment for our client, and were able to pay the legal fees required to secure our client’s sole custody of her two boys given that their respective fathers refused to cooperate.
- Public Guardian and Trustee
Andrew Rogerson acted for the Ontario Government Public Guardian and Trustee (OPG T) in respect of an extremely wealthy, but mentally ill person who refused to accept a large inheritance. The court had appointed the OPG T as litigation guardian, because of the man’s bizarre behaviour in the case. The OPG T then appointed Andrew to act on its behalf. The gentleman in question, despite his wealth, lived in a homeless shelter in Glasgow, Scotland. From afar, he made numerous challenges to the conduct of his sister in her role as executrix of their parent’s estate. The proceedings continued for many years and, midway through the proceedings, the sister died. The case was therefore complicated by the fact that her estate then intertwined with that of the parents’ estate she had been administering. In spite of the mentally ill man’s objections to everything that every lawyer and judge involved in the case did – the matter was eventually resolved: all of his assets were ordered to be transferred to a trust company.
- Stafford & Holland v Baxter
Andrew Rogerson acted in complex, cross border administration involving the jurisdictions of England and Ontario, Canada, and potential beneficiaries across the world. The defendant (our client) had been administering the estate of one Raymond Wright with the agreement of his sisters (the applicants in the case). Substantial work was required in locating beneficiaries in various jurisdictions; and proceedings alleging breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty were launched by one his sisters on the false pretext that her lawyer could not establish contact with this firm. Our client is English and took on the administration of the estate of the deceased who was his cousin as he felt it was his duty. He sought to distribute the estate according to the law of England and Wales, a matter the respondents were not happy about. He received no fee for his work as administrator of the estate and believed it his legal and moral duty to ensure the estate was properly settled. When our client first took on this task, he instructed a local solicitor in England to help with the estate and the relevant court order was obtained to enable the administration of the estate. This included searching for beneficiaries. In due course, it was found necessary for a lawyer in Canada with cross border experience to be instructed. At this point, Andrew Rogerson was appointed as his lawyer. Andrew was able to advise on the correct forum for proceedings going forward, and what action needed to be taken to stay the proceedings against our client. We also needed, as a matter of urgency, to obtain the services of a genealogist, to definitively ascertain who the beneficiaries were, together with expert evidence as to the intestacy law of England and Wales. This required communication with his previous lawyers and a barrister in London. It took several months for an initial draft genealogical report to be completed because of the complexity of the estate. At this point the sisters brought an application for an order that the estate be administered according the laws of Ontario. Andrew Rogerson resisted this and an order was made that the proceedings continue in England and the estate therefore was successfully wound up over there by our client.
- Mental Capacity of Deceased to get Married?
Andrew acted in a highly unusual case in which the court had to decide whether the deceased – who married just 29 days before taking his own life – had legal capacity to marry. The court also had to decide if his daughter and granddaughter, who until shortly before his death had lived with him their entire lives, were dependants of the deceased for the purposes of the law so that they were entitled to financial support out of the estate. The deceased had executed a Will which became void on his marriage. This meant he died intestate and the applicants, who were beneficiaries under that Will, would receive nothing. The deceased had been clinically depressed following a major bereavement. He attempted suicide and was admitted to hospital for observation followed by a brief period in a psychiatric ward. The following year, the deceased married our client and none of his children attended, not having been told of the impending marriage. The applicants in this case argued that given his depression and downward spiral, he lacked the capacity to marry; nor did he understand that marriage would revoke his existing will leaving the applicants with nothing. A psychiatrist’s report concluded on the facts that the deceased did not have capacity to marry. The applicants argued that the marriage should be set aside and the Estate administered pursuant to the Will or, alternatively, that financial provision should be provided for them as dependants of the deceased. The proceedings were lengthy and complicated, but eventually resolved.