The week on eprivateclient: Birketts, BDO, Charles Russell Speechlys and more...

News Team, 04/09/2020

A look at the most read stories on eprivateclient this week…


The global super-rich avoided paying up to £1 billion in VAT on the purchase of private jets, according to a report by lobby group, Global Witness. This figure comes from the number of full VAT refunds on aircraft imports granted by Isle of Man Customs & Excise between October 2011 and December 2019, totalling £992 million.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) cautiously welcomed a government proposal for a legal requirement for anyone who wants to provide tax advice on a commercial basis to belong to a recognised professional body. However, the CIOT said an alternative proposal for a new government regulator of tax advisers would be costly and ineffective.


Windsor has the highest concentration of people admitting tax avoidance in the UK, accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young claimed. The town saw 23 disclosures to HMRC of unpaid tax per 100,000 population in the year ended 31 March 2020. Affluent towns in the Home Counties and the ‘stockbroker belt’, dominate the top 20 areas with the most tax disclosures.

UK law firm BDB Pitmans appointed Tim Middleton as a partner in its private real estate team, effective immediately. He joined the firm from Hewitsons, where he led the residential property for 12 years. He has experience in the full range of residential property services and has worked with a range of high net worth individuals.


International law firm Charles Russell Speechlys hired David Lingham as a legal director. Mr Lingham joined from Taylor Wessing where he was senior counsel. Mr Lingham advises individuals, trustees, private banks and other entities on the establishment and reorganisation of efficient legal structures for the protection of, and succession to, private wealth.

HMRC implemented over 60 provisional policy changes or easements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Describing itself as being “at the forefront of the government’s response to COVID-19 and the extraordinary challenges being faced by millions of individuals and businesses,” HMRC explained in a Q1 performance update that this has affected its core compliance activity and tax collection.


Former eprivateclient 50 Most Influential – Catherine Grum – joined BDO as a partner and head of family office services. Ms Grum – who was named as a 50 Most Influential in 2015 and was previously an eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 – has joined from KPMG where she worked as head of family office since 2015. Ms Grum joined KPMG from Salamanca Group where she headed its private office.

UK law firm Birketts appointed industry veteran Penny Wotton to its private client advisory team. Before joining Birketts, Ms Wotton led the private client team at international City law firm Fieldfisher where she worked for more than 30 years, advising charities and private clients from a range of backgrounds, including royalty, ultra-high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs from around the world.

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