18 April 2011
A reorganization of the estate of a US citizen with a valuable Cayman shareholding resulted in an immediate saving for his family of over £100m tax. Involving private client as well as the family teams in the US and UK.
Piloting an estate through the various tax and succession processes, and analysing the interaction of different countries’ laws.
England and Wales, 1977
‘Practical Will Precedents’, Sweet and Maxwell’s
‘Administration of Estates’, Business Property, Agricultural Property and International Estates in Tolley’s
‘Laws and ‘Locations’; a look at forced heirship regimes and estate planning for investments in Europe. Article, Singapore Business Times - April 2016
‘A new tool in Cross-Atlantic estate planning - implementing EU Regulation 650/2012’ - April 2014
‘Probate Section Conference 2010 round-up and workshops’, PS 2010, 89(Sep), 9-12
‘Handling the challenges of cross-border estates’, E.C.A. 2008, 13(4), 19-22
‘Joint property - some valuation issues’, P.C.B. 2008, 6, 364-371
‘Tax treatment of estates with a Continental European element: Part 2: traps and planning opportunities’, P.C.B. 2006, 5, 283-291 & P.C.B. 2006, 4, 227-234
The Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners (STEP)
Me in a minute
I began to realise that here was a team where I could actually make a difference
After law school in the early 1970s I had imagined myself becoming a red-braced corporate lawyer, but the workings of fate were such that I was asked to help out in the probate department for a week or so. The smoke filled room in the basement, occupied by three managing clerks of uncertain vintages and cabinets overflowing with musty files, exerted a peculiar attraction and I began to realise that here was a team in which (perhaps rather sadly) I felt at home and where I could actually make a difference.
My first move was to revolutionise the layout of estate accounts from the traditional horizontal format to the vertical format that had just become the layout du jour. Having gained a reputation as a radical moderniser I became more ambitious and by the mid 1980s I was in charge of Withers’ thriving trust and probate department, computerising the trust and probate accounting and devising all sorts of systems and checklists.
Since then, tax rules and succession law have become exponentially more complex (particularly where international matters are concerned) and it has become crucially important to have the experience to be able to take a bird’s eye view, to distinguish the wood from the trees, and to analyse the issues in terms that are comprehensible to the client. That is what I enjoy, along with the sheer variety of the work and the clients.