Image of Simon Phelps

“You need to instil your values in the next generation during your lifetime if you want those values to be preserved following your death.” Simon Phelps, Partner - Private Client

Family businesses & family office

Running a family business means you will inevitably encounter complexities and challenges. Ensuring your values, wishes, wealth and - ultimately - your legacy, are preserved for future generations requires careful planning and rigorous execution.

Wealth owners, their families and family offices appoint Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to help - ensuring issues are anticipated and dealt with. We act for more than 150 high-value family businesses, including some of the most valuable privately held companies in the world. They and their shareholders have appointed us to help with:

  • Tax efficient structuring for investment and trading activities
  • Family constitutions/family governance agreements
  • Family office establishment and operation
  • Family office investment and joint venture agreements
  • Business succession planning
  • Sales of family businesses
  • Private equity transactions and capital raising
  • Shareholders’ agreements and shareholder disputes
  • Regulatory and compliance issues for family offices
  • Preventing and resolving family disputes
  • Confidentiality and privacy issues, including online risks
  • Service and administration agreements
  • Employment and remuneration agreements
  • Personal, trust and corporate tax advice
  • Philanthropy and charitable giving
  • Privacy and reputational protection for family members

Case studies

  • Family business image

    Investing for others

    A substantial family office wanted to allow third party investors to invest in their portfolio. We advised on restructuring the portfolio to create an open-ended investment company (OEIC) which could accept non-family investors' funds. The OEIC had a more formalised investment management process and more research resources - and the buying power to access institutional-investment assets. The end result was a better managed, more tax efficient portfolio with lower overall costs.

  • Family office

    A widely discussed constitution is less likely to be challenged

    Our client, the head of a substantial family business, wanted to make sure that his family used his wealth according to his wishes. We arranged a series of family meetings to hear the family’s views on several points, including how to manage the succession of the family business.

    The end result was a series of practical steps to take, and a family constitution that the family understood, and – given their involvement in it – was less likely to be challenged.

  • Family business

    A family office can mean better service, lower risk and lower costs

    We advised a wealthy family with substantial property and investment portfolios on setting up a family office. First, we carefully defined the services that would be required immediately and in the longer term.

    Then we created a company which retained some advisers in-house (investment, real estate, accounting, administration) and outsourced other advice and services (including tax, specialist investment and concierge). We drafted the relevant contracts, with a focus on confidentiality and service levels, and made sure the family office complied with its regulatory obligations.

"They are very commercially minded, cut through the legal jargon and get straight to the point."

Chambers UK 2015 – Private Client

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