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

We have always focused our work on advising successful people on every aspect of their lives and interests. Starting at the turn of the 20th Century with a practice that principally represented the wealth of British families with landed estates, we have seen sources of wealth make a huge transformation, and our clients now generate their wealth in a countless number of ways and come from every part of the world. As a measure of this, we have acted for 51% of the top 100 in The Sunday Times Rich List, 20% of the top 100 in the Forbes Rich List and 30% of the Top 20 Hong Kong billionaires in the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

360 degree solutions

The 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 16 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 reputation

The 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.

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Italy attracts HNWs with new investment visa and non-dom scheme


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Recognition

3 time winner of 'best private client law firm'

Leading firm - Private wealth law in the USA

Leading firm - Band 1 for private wealth law in London

Leading firm - Private wealth law in Switzerland

Leading firm - Band 1 for private wealth law in Singapore

Leading firm - Band 1 for private wealth law in China

Leading firm for private wealth

Top ranked firm for family/matrimonial

Top ranked firm for private wealth disputes

Finalist for STEP 2017/2018 Awards for International Legal team of the Year

How to protect your financial assets, and your relationship


More and more couples are having the conversation about getting a prenuptial agreement. With the unfortunate reality of over 40% of marriages in developed countries ending in divorce, these agreements can save a lot of stress, heartache, and legal fees if the worst should happen.

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Meet the team

Track record

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.

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.

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.

HEH Nizam VIII of Hyderabad

Acting for Prince Mukkaram Jah, His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, in a dispute with India and Pakistan over funds held at Natwest Bank for over 50 years. The High Court decided in Pakistan v Natwest and Ors [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch) that the Nizam's claim to the funds may now proceed. The High Court recently gave Judgment on various strike out applications and the case is now proceeding to trial.

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.

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.

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.

Simon Henry

Withers advised Simon Henry, the former CFO from Royal Dutch Shell PLC, on the English law aspects of his departure.

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.

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.

Prominent Russian Family

We advised a prominent Russian family on establishing international private wealth holding structures in Switzerland, US, UK, Italy and Cyprus.

A prominent Russian businessman

Successful representation of a prominent Russian businessman and officials in highly complex and interrelated committal, bankruptcy and Commercial Court proceedings.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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