Family offices come in all shapes and sizes. Domestic, international; single family, multi-family; first generation private office, multi-generation. Their role depends on the family's needs. We are involved at the outset in establishing family offices, advising on the most suitable structure and jurisdiction - along with local advisers if necessary. As the family grows, we advise existing arrangements as they evolve into a fully fledged family office.
Once established, we can provide comprehensive advice to the family office on sales and acquisitions of business and property interests; advice on cross border tax and succession for individual family members (in conjunction with local advisers); family governance structures and trust planning to deal with the interaction between different branches of the family. Our tax and trust administration department can provide administrative and compliance support to the family office. For international families we can advise on citizenship and immigration both for family members and domestic staff and employees. And in the event of a problem we can advise on dispute resolution and reputation management, and our family department can put in place pre-nuptial agreements or advise on divorce.
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Residence & Domicile
If you are coming to the UK for the first time, or you are already resident here but are domiciled abroad, you will be aware that the law on residence and domicile in the UK is extremely complicated. Although there is now a Statutory Residence Test to help you to determine whether or not you are UK resident, unless you are treated as 'automatically UK resident' or 'automatically non-UK resident' you will almost certainly need professional advice on whether or not you are likely to be treated as UK resident in a particular tax year.
For non-domiciliaries, if you are UK resident you have the option of being taxed on the 'Remittance Basis' which may involve paying the Remittance Basis Charge. The Remittance Basis can make the UK a very attractive place to live but you will need to take proper advice, ideally before you become UK resident, in order to avoid problems. In particular you will need to consider how best to fund your UK expenditure and how to fund clean capital accounts so that you can protect your overseas income and gains from tax in the UK.
For longer-term UK resident non-doms you will now be faced with the loss of your non-dom status after 15 years. You may need to consider establishing a trust before you lose your non-dom status to protect your non-UK assets from Inheritance Tax and/or Income and Capital Gains Tax once you have lost your non-dom status.
If you are coming to the UK for the first time, or you want to leave the UK and become non-UK resident we can advise you. Similarly if you live abroad but you have property in the UK you will need advice about UK tax and succession law. There have been a number of recent changes to the taxation of UK residential property and we can advise on whether this now needs to be restructured to take into account changes to the Inheritance Tax rules.
We act for clients from all over the world, including US/UK clients, often working alongside their local advisers and their accountants. Recent examples of our work include:-
- Advising a Middle Eastern client in anticipation of him becoming UK resident
- Advising a UK based US family on the impact of losing their non-dom status
- Advice on the creation of clean capital accounts to fund UK living expenses
- De-enveloping advice in relation to UK residential property structures
- Advising a client on becoming non-UK resident for tax purposes
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FINALIST: Private Client Legal Team of the Year (midsize firm)