High net worth individuals
The total number of high net worth individuals continues to grow at the significant rate of around 5% per year, with 15.4 million HNWIs around the world (based on Capgemini's definition of an HNWI as an individual with US$1 million in wealth to invest).Features of this HNWI population are shifting too, as Asia overtakes North America as the location of the largest amount of HNWI wealth.
Worldwide advisor to wealth
360 degree solutionsThe ongoing interconnection of the world economy means that HNWIs affairs are more complex than ever and require a truly international perspective from advisors. We are structured to provide just that, with offices across the US, Asia, Caribbean and Europe, and lawyers that advise on everything from wealth structuring and succession down the generations to philanthropic giving, family law, commercial disputes and private capital investments. Our focus is on ensuring that our advice to you is tailored to your exact needs and takes full account of all of the competing factors in your aims and ambitions.
Security and reputationThe public debate on wealth has become increasingly polarized and, in some parts of the world, being a HNWI can expose you to a great deal of risk. We can help you to manage this in a number of ways. Full compliance with complex international tax laws is more important than ever before, and this can be ensured whilst simultaneously maximizing the efficiency of your estate. We can also advise you on the philanthropic use of your wealth to make the maximum impact on important causes around the world. And we can guide you on the most effective ways to maintain your privacy to ensure the safety of you and your family.
How we can help
We represent many of the world’s top art collectors, museums and institutions. Our long history enables us to offer advice on everything from structuring transactions to challenging fraud.Aviation and marine
Buying a yacht or private jet should be a pleasure, not a headache. Our global team can cover all the technical aspects of each transaction, as well as the tax treatment of luxury assets.Commercial litigation
Our highly skilled commercial litigators assist with complex, multi-jurisdictional cases of all kinds. Whether acting for an investor, business or brand, our creative approach gets results.Divorce and family
At difficult moments in life, you need the best advice available. As one of the largest and most experienced teams of family and divorce lawyers in the world, we’re here to help you through.
Whether you wish to protect family assets, navigate cross-border tax issues or benefit a good cause, our private client lawyers will discuss your priorities, advise on options and put a plan in place.Families and family offices
Families call on us when they want a firm that understands their needs – whether they are looking to pass down wealth, set up and run a family office, or make their mark through philanthropy.Immigration
Whether you are an individual, a family or an employer, our lawyers know each country’s systems and speak the local language, helping you to navigate through what can be opaque processes.Media and reputation
The publication of private or inaccurate information can seriously damage reputations. Should the worst happen, our media law team will quickly advise on how to mitigate any potential impact.
There is no single approach to philanthropy; what’s key is that your giving has the biggest impact possible. Whichever way you choose to donate, our team can advise on what is most effective.Private client
As a firm built around the needs of individuals and families, we offer an exceptional service to private clients. Wherever you are, and whatever you need, our lawyers are here to help.Real estate
Our lawyers have experience with all kinds of property transactions. Whether you’re a business building a global presence, or an individual looking to acquire a new home, we’re here to help.Tax
With a team of more than 150 specialist tax lawyers, who are qualified in jurisdictions around the world, we are perfectly placed to handle even the most complex, cross-border tax issues.
Evolving families around the worldEnsuring family is protected and provided for motivates us all to prepare for the future. Each family has its own needs and in a fast-changing world, with many families based across several locations, it can be challenging to address all of the risks and complexities.
With the right guidance, planning for tomorrow can deliver long term protection.
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Purchase of property and private aircraft in Thailand
We acted for high net worth individuals in the purchase of private aircraft, a used Bombardier Global 5000 and of a new Gulfstream G550. We also advised in the acquisition of a villa in Thailand by share purchase and the sale of a villa in Thailand by share sale.
Settlement agreement between heirs
Negotiating and implementing a settlement agreement between heirs, based both in the UK and in Italy, for a high net worth individual in the context of a succession whereby Italian forced heirship rules applied.
Brazilian family offshore structuring
We worked alongside Brazilian counsel to advise a client on the FATCA and CRS reporting requirements applicable to their complex succession structure for his offshore assets. These included a private trust company, trusts, companies and other entities, a private investment fund and multiple investment accounts, and involved the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and the US. The advice also needed to take into account the client's plans to relocate his family from Brazil to London, and possibly thereafter to New York City.
First Italian non-dom
A team in Milan and London delivered the first successful application for non-dom status in Italy to a client and his family.
Billionaire Mexican family
Creating multiple trusts, and private trust company arrangements to govern them, for a billionaire Mexican family to ensure compliance, confidentiality and efficiency in the management of their non-Mexican assets.
Major art forgery
Represented an art collector who purchased what was represented to be a painting by a well-known American painter, but which was revealed to be one of many forged paintings in a major art forgery scandal. In a similar case, Withers London acted for a collector against an auction house when he discovered that they had been selling numerous paintings by the same forger.
A wealthy Kazakh family
We advised a wealthy a Kazakh family and set up a wealth planning structure designed to tax efficiently fund family members residing in the UK.
High-net-worth individual relocating to Italy
We advised our client, who was formerly living in the UK, in his relocation to Italy under the new Italian resident non-domiciled regime, which he has been authorized status of. This was the first green light issued from the Italian tax authorities on the newly-introduced regime, made possible by our cross border team in Milan and London.
International football manager
We advised the manager of an international football club to negotiate a very complex scenario around the taxation of image rights, where the negotiating parties had very different backgrounds and interests and rules between the UK and their European country of residence varied greatly. Our multilingual team in the UK were able to liaise with the team in his home country to provide a seamless solution. Image rights are a classic area where one needs to understand both sides of the common law/civil law equation, which few firms could have provided.
North Asian high-net-worth individual
Our client based in North Asia, and with assets over US$1b across Asia and the UK, was concerned about his succession planning, particularly in regards to the impact of this on a child of the family with a disability. We worked with him to navigate the legal issues involved across those multiple jurisdictions and to create a plan that always had the needs of the family at the forefront.
USD$150 million line of credit for a high net worth individual
We advised a high net worth individual in connection with obtaining a USD$150 million line of credit from a major US bank, secured by museum quality works of art.
An ultra high-net-worth Asian family
Our Singapore office helped a wealthy Asian family to design and implement a wealth-holding structure that would segregate assets of different classes. Our clients hoped to rationalise a disparate set of holding structures, protect their assets and implement some effective family governance, and we were able to meet all their objectives.
Managing unexpected wealth
A married couple who held shares in a US company came to us after coming into considerable wealth when it was sold. We helped them to handle the complex tax obligation arising from the windfall and advised on how to protect their privacy. We also discussed routes to philanthropic giving, an area that they were keen to explore and one in which Withers has considerable experience.
Successful financial services senior executive
Withers was called on to act for a well-known managing partner of an international investment firm when his reputation was under threat. Our robust approach to reputation management prevented the filing of false statements in a form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) that would have had a detrimental effect on his future career and earnings.
Two US senior executives moving to Europe
As a firm, we are best known for helping globally successful individuals to protect their interests internationally - in this recent matter we helped secure water-tight contracts for two C-suite directors as they relocated from the United States to the United Kingdom, while our transatlantic team reviewed their changed tax circumstances.
7 September 2023 | Article
David Guin featured in ALM | ThinkAdvisor's "The 3 Types of UHNW Clients and How to Serve Them"
20 July 2023 | Firm news
Withers recognized as a leading firm globally in latest Chambers High-Net-Worth guide
26 April 2023 | Article
New reporting obligations for estate planning clients under the Corporate Transparency Act
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Typical clients and industries include
Families and family officesFamilies call on us when they want a firm that understands their needs – whether they are looking to pass down wealth, set up and run a family office, or make their mark through philanthropy. Find Out More
FoundersHelping company founders to realise their vision is a hugely rewarding aspect of our work. From advising on tax or global expansion, to introducing you to investors, we’ll add value from the outset. Find Out More
Leaders and senior executivesWe help business leaders to manage their responsibilities at work and home – from advising on employment contracts and regulatory matters, to dealing with tax, wills and prenuptial agreements. Find Out More
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