Simon Phelps
Personal & Family Wealth

Tax is increasingly complex, reputationally sensitive and potentially costly. We will help you plan and manage your tax affairs efficiently, and ensure you are compliant.

I need tax advice

Below are some examples of the opportunities and challenges we respond to on behalf of wealth owners, their families and their other advisers.

I am concerned that I may not have declared all my tax liabilities.

Unpaid tax can create financial, professional and legal difficulties

We helped our client – an FCA regulated individual – settle outstanding tax on inherited funds in a Swiss account.

We used a disclosure scheme that offered reduced penalties and guaranteed immunity from prosecution. He is still an FCA-regulated individual.

Undisclosed funds don’t always mean more tax

Our European client had not declared UK accounts and assets in his home country. We proved that, due to withholding tax and double tax treaty provisions, he had no more tax to pay.

He made a full disclosure and his tax affairs are now up to date.

I am planning to sell an asset that will trigger a large gain. How can I mitigate the tax?

If you can’t mitigate, defer

Our UK client sold his interest in a trading company for a mix of cash, loan notes and shares.

We helped him reduce his tax bill on the cash proceeds to 10% by using entrepreneur’s relief and deferred the remaining capital gains tax by rolling it over into other investments.

Proceeds of an art sale can be gifted tax-efficiently

Our non-UK domiciled client wanted to sell valuable works of art and use the proceeds to make gifts to her adult children.

We advised on the most tax-efficient route, saving her both capital-gains and inheritance tax: export it, sell it in Geneva, and complete the gifts offshore.

I want my non-UK family trusts to be tax efficient.

Large one-off payments can be more tax-efficient than many small ones

A substantial family trust with beneficiaries in several jurisdictions wanted to find the most tax-efficient way to provide for the beneficiaries.

We showed them that larger one-off payments to certain family members could be both tax-efficient and simplify the structure, leaving the trustees to invest for the long-term benefit of the family.

Trusts should be both tax-efficient and cost-effective

We helped a family tidy up a number of offshore trusts that had been operated over many years. We analysed the tax aspects of the trusts, their powers, and their investments.  We then merged or wound up three trusts and recommended different distribution policies for different beneficiaries.

The end result was a single substantial trust for each branch of the family: the trusts met beneficiaries’ long-term needs and were more tax-efficient, cheaper to run and better diversified.

How do I minimise the tax on my death?

Find the right reliefs – and use them carefully

We helped our UK domiciled client plan how assets, that included a trading company and a property portfolio, should be distributed after her death. First we drafted a Will that would pass her business to her children and give her husband a trust interest in the rest of her estate; all tax-free.

Then we did two things to make sure the trust assets would be used to meet her aims. We gave the trustees power to redirect assets – to save tax or take account of a change in her family’s circumstances – and prepared a letter of wishes that set out how she wanted her family to benefit.

Trusts can protect the assets of a non-UK domiciled individual from UK inheritance tax

Once a non-UK domiciled person has lived in the UK for sufficient years, their worldwide assets will be subject to UK inheritance tax.

We helped our client put assets in trust – before he passed the threshold – to protect them from UK inheritance tax, even if he remained in the UK.  He also gifted some UK assets to his adult children and put life insurance in place to cover any inheritance tax on those gifts.


  • One of the key aims for inheritance tax planning for married couples is to defer any liability at least until the death of the survivor. Where multiple jurisdictions are involved, it is also one of the key challenges.

    Damian Bloom, Partner - Head of Private Client
  • Well advised non-UK domiciled individuals can mitigate their exposure to inheritance tax with simple planning, provided it is done in time.

    Simon Phelps, Partner - Private Client

I want to invest tax efficiently.

Proceeds of sale of a business – invested flexibly and efficiently

Our UK client sold a business he’d taken 20 years to build up. He wanted to invest part of the proceeds and make some gifts to his family – in a tax-efficient way.

We helped him set up a UK personal investment company which would be able to reinvest profits tax-efficiently. We advised him to capitalise the company with debt and equity, and gift shares to family members.  This gave his family income-producing assets and reduced the likely inheritance tax bill that would arise on his death. He was also able to stay in control of the investments and use loan repayments to extract value tax-efficiently.

Manage a non-UK company without it becoming liable for UK corporation tax

If a UK resident exercises “central management and control” of a non-UK company it may have to pay UK corporation tax.

We helped a non-UK domiciled client who lives in the UK and owns a non-UK company work within these rules. The company had non-UK directors and we put in place protocols and procedures for how the company should make decisions outside the UK. As a result, the company was able to remain securely outside the UK.

Access to a non-UK pension without UK tax penalties

Getting tax-free access to a non-UK pension before retirement age can be problematic.

We were able to restructure one client’s pensions so that he could draw his non-UK pension without a significant charge to UK tax.

I am investing in UK real estate. What are the tax implications?

Careful answers to a £70m property question

We helped a wealthy Middle Eastern client structure a £70m portfolio of UK residential property.

The solution included personal ownership for properties which the family would use, with a mix of debt and life insurance to minimise inheritance tax, and offshore structures for the rental properties. We keep a close eye on changes to residential property tax rules - so we can keep the structure up to date.

A limited company has advantages over personal ownership

Our UK client came to us with plans to grow a rented property portfolio. We showed her how a simple UK company structure would mean a lower tax bill, allowing more of the profits to be re-invested. Money she lent to the company could also be repaid to her tax-free.

Transferring existing properties into the company would not have been tax-effective, so most of the original portfolio properties remain in her name.

I am a private equity manager.

A trust can indefinitely defer tax on carried interest

Our client, a non-UK domiciled UK resident, was a private equity manager.

We created a non-UK trust structure that would hold his carried interest investment in the partnership and indefinitely defer tax on gains. The trust could be used to provide for his family in the long term.

A fund investment could be taxed as income

Our clients, partners in a UK private equity fund, planned a new fund that would be established with a substantial investment from a sovereign wealth fund. The partners would operate the new fund and would receive a percentage interest in it.

We advised on the tax implications – particularly in light of the risk that part, or all, of their holding could be treated as employment income.

“Protecting clean capital is a key part of any tax planning. Clients always need more of it than they expected.”

Damian Bloom, Partner - Head of Private Client

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