2018 Private Client Forum Americas

February 7- 9, 2018

Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
(40 minutes from Cancun International Airport)

Private Client Forum Americas 2018:
The Ultra High Net Worth Client: From Cradle To Grave

Day 1: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Conference Program

The building of wealth: From creation to expansion

12.30 Welcome Lunch 

13.50 This Is Your Life: Opening remarks from the Chairman
Joshua Rubenstein, Katten Muchin Rosenman, NY, USA

14.10 Opening Keynote: All Come To Look For America


15.00 Opening Address: Baby You're A Rich Man: The global ultra-wealthy population and its total wealth

After a year of political shocks and economic uncertainty, Wealth X deep dives into trailblazing statistics from the world’s ultrahigh net worth (UHNW) individuals with a net worth in excess of $30m. As expected, North America and Asia are the growth front-runners, with North America (+5.1%) and Asia (+3.5%) recording the only significant rises in wealth in 2016. Surprisingly however, this session offers insight into why Latin America and The Caribbean faltered, registering a 3.4% fall in its ultra- wealthy population and a 10.2% slump in combined wealth. Ultimately, what does 2021 hold for the UHNW elite and where in the world will growth primarily be seen?

15.20 Money For Nothing: The creation of wealth

In 2018, there are several questions we need to ask ourselves about our clients, as purchasing patterns for legal services dramatically change. Do we truly know what our clients want from their lawyers, in particular, what new wealth want? Why would a client want to come to the Americas for wealth planning? And most importantly, do we know where to target for wealth creation in the Americas?

Ultimately, the paradigm we are faced with is this: As law firms are seen to be trailing other professional services firms in their ability to offer integrated multi-disciplinary services, are clients, and in particular, the new generation of wealth, looking for more than just a family lawyer?
Armando Lara Yaffar, Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa, Mexico
Tina Albright, Day Pitney, USA
Martin Litwak, Litwak & Partners, Uruguay

16.10 Old And New: Breaching the void

As an advisor to both old and new wealth, you are well versed in the inherent challenges faced by both distinct groupings. This session seeks to compare and contrast the root differences, practical methods and ongoing implementations in creating, aiding and maintaining both old and new. Focus will also shine a light on the external impact of differences in governance, legal and planning for both groupings.
Wenceslao Renovales VallinaPatrimonium Proteccion Legal, Mexico 
Shân Warnock-Smith QC, 5 Stone Buildings and ICT Chambers, UK and Cayman Islands

16.40 Coffee Break and Networking 

17.00 Interactive Boardroom Discussions

Making Plans: Planning issues internationally 

Following on from our plenary sessions, the interactive boardroom sessions will focus on in-depth planning issues from across the globe in 2018:

A. Latin America 

According to Wealth-X, Brazil is home to the majority of ultra-high net worth individuals, holding $770 billion of wealth – the highest in Latin America. However, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia and Peru also have unique characteristics that create interesting dynamics, challenges and opportunities to capitalise on. This panel of experts will debate the key opportunities and challenges in Latin America across tax amnesty, tax reforms, enforceability of trusts and most importantly, transparency.


Canada is renowned for its alternative approach to tax. This interactive discussion focuses on the bizarre trust taxes you need to be aware of and why so many clients who live in client choose to invest in the USA.
John O’Sullivan, John O’Sullivan, Canada

C. United States

The USA is in the midst of huge tax reform, with the threat of the first rewrite of the US tax code in three decades. This discussion will focus on the latest and greatest news at the time of the conference, including what the Republicans have managed to push through, what the practical implementation of tax reform looks like and most importantly, what will Trump continue to do in power?
Milan Patel, Anaford, USA 
Kathryn von Matthiessen, Katten Muchin Rosenman, USA 


Planning is particularly difficult across Asia, varying widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This session focuses on the key tax amnesties, reforms and enforceability of tax collection throughout Asia, with time allocated to the greatest changes in Switzerland and the UK (post Brexit) too.
Daniel Bader, Baer & Karrer, Switzerland

18.00 End of day one

20.00 Welcome dinner


Day 2: Thursday, February 8, 2018

The preservation of wealth: Safety, security, asset protection and protecting your family

09.00 Opening remarks from the Chairman
Joshua Rubenstein, Katten Muchin Rosenman, NY, USA

09.10 Opening Keynote: Eye In The Sky: Is cyber security the biggest single threat?

As incidents of major breaches are steadily increasing, and clients are worryingly suggesting that the weakest part of their own security is their law firm, cyber security is progressively becoming a major concern within the legal arena. Keeping up with cyber and information threats is a tireless job and independent law firms are increasingly experiencing a mounting pressure to prove and improve their security. How do you reassure your client? And what if it all goes wrong? Hear from the world’s leading experts, including the FBI, who can offer crucial advice on how to keep your clients safe.
Carlos Cases, FBI, USA

10.00 Cat’s in the Cradle:  Theories of introducing children to wealth

There’s a myriad of questions poised when introducing children to wealth. From millennials using the latest technology and being at risk of kidnapping, to exerting the right amount of pressure to sign marital agreements, how do we raise/ advise children to be responsible and become good stewards of wealth? Should “secret trusts” exist? This session seeks to analyse the pros and cons behind allowing children to make their own decisions, versus applying pressure when necessary. After all, it is not only wealth that gets transferred from parent to child – it is also the lawyer.
Pedro Ramirez, Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi, Mexico 

10.40 Coffee break and networking

11.00 Interactive boardroom discussions

Oh No, What Have I Done?

Following on from our plenary sessions, the interactive boardroom sessions will focus on discussing planning methods for a fictitious case study:

Case Study: Robert Jnr is 23 years old and comes from a UHNW family. Robert recently got engaged to Marilyn, 19 years old, a server at his favourite local restaurant. Robert and Marilyn have known each other for 8 weeks. They insist they are in love and plan to stay together ‘forever.’ Marilyn does not have any savings and is not aware of any wealth planning set up in her name. Robert Snr and Catherine, parents to Robert and long- term clients of yours, have asked for your advice on:

A. Protection: Pre-nups, post-nups and cohabitation agreements

This interactive discussion looks into the success, failure and intricacies of nuptial agreements, including pre- nuptial and post- nuptial agreements. Debate centers around methods to encourage children to sign on the dotted line and enforceability across different jurisdictions, in particular Asia, where the distinction between pre and post – nup is blurred.
Megan R. Worrell, Duane Morris, USA

B. Property: Comparative analysis of property regimes across the globe
Andrew De La Rosa, ICT Chambers, Cayman Islands

Lat Am, Muslim (Sharia) and Civil Law

C. Divorce: Planning opportunities

If you were asked to draw up a life-long financial plan that attempted to cater for all unknown eventualities, it would be an overwhelming task. With rates at a record high, how do you turn divorce into an opportunity? This discussion seeks to assess immediate and future financial needs in the minefield of divorce and methods to protect your clients from the fear of the unknown.  

12.00 September Song: End of life planning

There’s no easy way to start discussing end of life issues, particularly with clients of diminishing capacity. Whilst it helps to be prepared, what happens if clients seek to make last minute changes to their financial planning, whilst the ‘vultures’ are swarming? This discussion seeks to understand best practices behind discovering what your client really wants versus the difficulties of implementing such, against the family’s will.
Aureliano Gonzalez Baz, Bryan, González Vargas & González Baz, Mexico

12.45 Lunch

14.00 Leisure activities


Day 3: Friday February 9, 2018

The transfer of wealth: Death and what lies ahead 

10.00 Welcome comments from the Chairman
Joshua Rubenstein
, Katten Muchin Rosenman, NY, USA

10.10   And When I Die: The fight that follows death

The management of a loved one’s estate after their passing can be a highly complicated process and can unfortunately present a number of heavily contentious disputes. This panel discusses the grounds for contesting a decedent’s plan, including disputes arising between children of the decedent, differing interpretations of the terms of a document, challenges to validity and distrust or suspicion of a trustee’s intentions or actions. In 2018, what are the typical fights that follow death and how do you protect against them?
Gilead Cooper QC, Wilberforce, UK
Jonathan Speck, Mourant Ozannes, Jersey

11.00 The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’:  The future of the Private Client Lawyer

Have you ever asked yourself: “Why are we still doing wills in the same way that we did hundreds of years ago?” Daniel Katz, associate professor, Chicago Kent College of Law, our honorary keynote, looks at how basic legal functions, such as making wills, holds answers to transforming the legal industry into a data driven machine in 2018. Where does artificial intelligence sit with the private client lawyer of the future? 
Daniel Katz, associate professor, Chicago Kent College of Law

12.00 Closing comments followed by lunch