Robert specialises in UK tax, estate planning and succession matters. He regularly advises trustees, settlors and beneficiaries of trust structures. The affairs of his clients often involve international elements, and he is well-versed in coordinating international estate planning matters.
Robert has particular expertise in advising on trust and other asset-holding entities, including those holding real estate, business assets and other non-portfolio assets. He often works with trustees who need advice on trust law, tax, decision-making and compliance issues. He helps them to manage their risks and organise trust assets appropriately. Having worked in-house for a trust company, he has a keen understanding of the issues facing professional trustees.
His experience includes advising clients on UK residence and domicile matters, including those arriving in the UK, those leaving the UK and those becoming deemed domiciled in the UK.
Robert also advises on family governance issues and helps clients to structure their assets for future generations.
Professional Associations & memberships
- Member of The Association of Taxation Technicians
What you may not know about Robert
Robert studied history prior to taking his law qualifications and retains a keen interest in the subject. He lived in Switzerland for several years and enjoys visiting there. He enjoys travel and hopes to visit Japan in the near future.
My matter highlights
- Advising a client on the establishment of several trust structures to hold UK residential and commercial properties, as well as business assets. This involved winding up several existing structures, and advising on the UK tax implications of settling the new structures. This included advising on the establishment of several private trust companies and preparing trust deeds and related documents to provide detailed succession arrangements to power holder roles within the structure. This subsequently involved advising at meetings of the trustees, on the restructuring of trust assets from time to time (including co-ordinating the input of banking, corporate and property advice) and co-ordinating a wide ranging family governance project;
- Advising a client, who had established several trusts for family members, on issues arising on the trusts from time to time (including changes to the classes of beneficiaries, to the power holder roles under the trust deeds, to the terms of the trusts and to the governing law of the trusts, and changes of trustee), his family governance planning and the steps required so that his assets will pass as he wishes after his lifetime. This involved the regular updating and amending of these arrangements as his circumstances changed and his family grew. This included working closely with the trustees and educating family members about trust and estate planning matters;
- Advising on the establishment and on-going administration of trust structures intended for long term estate and succession planning and to ultimately benefit people in the UK and in several other jurisdictions. This involved co-ordinating and implementing advice obtained in those other jurisdictions, so that the trusts would be tax efficient according to where the beneficiaries were resident;
- Advising on the winding up of trusts owning UK real estate (including directly owned real estate and real estate owned by underlying companies), including advice on the UK tax and reporting issues involved and preparing the documentation to effect the transactions;
- Acting for a trustee in implementing the restructuring of trust assets for separate branches of a family who no longer wished for their interests to be administered together, so that their affairs would be entirely separate going forward, including advice on the UK trust law and tax issues arising and preparing the documents to effect the separation;
- Advising trustees on tax charges applying to trust structures with UK connections, including periodic inheritance charges, inheritance tax entry and exit charges, and income tax and capital gains tax charges arising on trust distributions;
- Advising a client anticipating UK residence on how this would impact on his personal tax position and several trust structures that he had settled, and making arrangements for his affairs to be organised more tax efficiently;
- Advising non-UK resident clients purchasing UK real estate, and those making gifts of an interest in UK real estate, on the UK tax and estate planning issues arising from the transaction and the ways in which these may be mitigated; and
- Advising on the UK tax issues arising from the sale of an interest in a business, including advice on the UK residence status of the client and the application of the UK temporary non residence rules.
My recent publications
News / HMRC in ‘pole position’ following Bernie Ecclestone charge – a new ‘direction’ for fraud cases?
Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive of Formula 1, is set to face trial before Southwark Crown Court in October 2023 on a charge of fraud by false representation. The charge followed a “complex and worldwide” investigation by HMRC and relates to a Singapore Trust, which Ecclestone allegedly failed to declare for tax purposes, holding assets of an estimated £400m+. This is understood to be a substantial proportion of his net wealth, which is said to include real estate in various jurisdictions, a yacht and private planes.
News / FAQs: Register of Overseas Entities – what do you need to know?
17-10-2022 / Private Wealth
The Register of Overseas Entities (ROE), operated by Companies House, came into force in the UK on 1 August 2022, and forms Part 1 of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the Act). It requires overseas incorporated legal entities that own, or seek to acquire, land or property in the UK, to register and provide information on their beneficial owners and/or managing officers. Once registered, they must also keep the register up to date on an annual basis. There are significant financial and criminal penalties for not complying with either the initial registration or subsequent annual update.
News / New sweeping blanket requirement to register nearly all UK connected trusts under Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive
Whilst the Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) came into force on 6 October 2020 with little fanfare, the impact it will have on trusts with a UK connection could well be dramatic. In essence, the 5MLD implements a number of strict anti-money laundering requirements; a number of which have now been extended to nearly all trusts including non-taxpaying trusts, which to date were exempted from such reporting.