A look at the most read stories on eprivateclient this week…
Monday saw the publication of the 2020 eprivateclient Top Family Law Firms - the third in eprivateclient’s series of rankings of private client advisory firms in 2020 - following on from the Top Offshore Law Firms and Top Residential Property Buyers published last month. Now in its fifth year, the 2020 eprivateclient Top Family Law Firms features 57 firms this year, divided in to four tiers with 14 firms in Tier I, 15 in Tier II, 15 more in Tier III and a further 13 featuring in Tier IV.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved the long-awaited merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson, after the firms restructured the deal following initial regulator concern. In a statement last week (31 July 2020), a major Smith & Williamson (S&W) shareholder, Canadian asset manager AGF Management, said the deal had been signed off by the FCA.
A firm specialising in the provision of life assurance to families and landed estates was acquired by investment advisory specialists John Lamb. Founded in 1992, Hill Oldridge advises more than 150 landed estates in the UK, counting among its clients the likes of the Astors of Cliveden.
Despite a limited easing of lockdown, many businesses have ongoing concerns regarding their lack of trade, cashflow issues and concern for their employee workforce. Frank Hirth’s Leigh Collins, an associate director at the UK/US tax advisory firm, told eprivateclient how the UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has seen many employers take advantage of the generous furlough grant available but that some clients are encountering problem with furlough arrangements, especially directors of SMEs.
UK private client law firm Wrigleys added Orlando Bridgeman to its Newcastle office. Mr Bridgeman – who trained with London-based Hunters - is an experienced private client solicitor, who has developed a predominantly rural practice, focusing on advising farmers, the owners of landed estates and rural businesses.
Six out of 10 higher earners in the UK are concerned about the adverse impact on their wealth of the November Budget, a new survey revealed. The poll, carried out by deVere Group found that when asked if they had worries that Chancellor Rishi Sunak would be forced to raise taxes to help plug the government’s funding gap, 62 percent said ‘yes’. 17 percent responded ‘no’ and 21 percent didn’t know.
The Russian Ministry of Finance signalled that it is ready to terminate the double taxation treaty it has with Cyprus. The announcement from Russia came after attempts by the jurisdiction to convince Cyprus to raise dividend and interest withholding tax rates, something on which the two countries have not reached a mutually acceptable agreement yet. If the next round of negotiations, scheduled for August 10-11, fails to produce results, the Treaty could be terminated as early as January 1, 2021.
TMF Group appointed James Coughlan as head of funds, Jersey. Mr Coughlan will be responsible for delivering TMF Group’s funds strategy on the island, as well as focusing on performance, service delivery and growth. In his new role, Mr Coughlan will work closely with his counterpart in Guernsey, Damien Fitzgerald, and other TMF Group fund locations and teams around the world.
HMRC is targeting individuals who have offshore assets and asking them to sign documents which they do not have to, tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg warned. Fiona Fernie, a tax resolution and dispute partner at the firm, said that HMRC's latest targeted campaign was aimed at individuals who have offshore assets even though there may be "honest legitimate reasons" for them to have one. Ms Fernie said that letters have been sent out to hundreds of recipients asking them to sign a certificate if they believe their affairs to be up-to-date.
Two members of Ogier's private wealth team in Guernsey, Alice Bricogne and Chris Hards, have been promoted to counsel and managing associate respectively. Ms Bricogne, who was named as an eprivateclient Channel Islands’ Top 35 Under 35 in 2018, 2019 and 2020, specialises in advising family offices, trust companies and high net worth individuals on the creation, administration, and restructuring of all types of trusts and foundations. Mr Hards - a Channel Islands Top 35 Under 35 in 2018 and 2019 - worked at Stephenson Harwood before moving to Guernsey in 2016.
Finally, today is the last chance to make a nomination for the 2020 eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35. To make sure you have your say please click here