The week on eprivateclient: McDermott Will & Emery, Ocorian, Payne Hicks Beach and more...

News Team, 02/06/2023

A look back at the most popular stories on eprivateclient this week...


International law firm McDermott Will & Emery named Simon Gibb as the new head of its London private client practice. This news followed the departure of former co-head of the practice Ziva Robertson to Charles Russell Speechlys. Mr Gibb has worked at the firm since 2013 and was promoted to partner in 2018. Before he joined the firm, he was an associate at Withersworldwide, where he also trained. 

An increasing number of family offices are beginning to include crypto and digital assets into their investment strategies, global research from fiduciary and family office services provider Ocorian has revealed. In its international study with more than 130 family office professionals, 90 percent said they are seeing their clients looking to include crypto and digital assets within their investment strategies. There are a number of challenges for family offices looking to invest in crypto, Ocorian noted. As well as being a high-risk asset, family offices can be faced with regulatory and practical challenges as well as inconsistencies between global tax regimes.


Following on from the promotion of family law specialist and 2022 eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 Joshua Moger, London law firm Payne Hicks Beach promoted Melissa Solly and Benedict Jennings to partners in its private client team. Both Mr Jennings and Ms Solly are Chartered accountants and Chartered tax advisers, and between them provide accounting and tax advisory services to clients including high net worth individuals as well as onshore and offshore trustees.

Inheritance tax (IHT) is a complicated subject as we have already seen in previous articles, but one of the more complex areas can be the interaction with business assets, particularly when considering the family business. Broadly speaking the value of a qualifying business asset such as shares in a family business will be exempt from inheritance tax. Therefore, business Relief (BR) is a very important part of tax planning for families and their advisers. Rebecca Durrant, national head of private clients at Crowe, writes. 


New research from a group of current and former private wealth practitioners revealed major challenges in how the private wealth industry approaches tax, saying it “is politically biased, ethically compromising and failing clients”. The group – The Progressive Advisors’ Movement – says it is “committed to transforming the industry to become an enabler – rather than a hindrance - to a more equitable and regenerative society.” [Read more]

UK law firm Michelmores appointed Iwan Williams as a partner in its Cheltenham-based tax, trusts and succession team within the firm’s private wealth group. Mr Williams has experience of dealing with all aspects of succession and tax planning for high and ultra net worth individuals and business owning families and has joined the firm from Shakespeare Martineau where he was a partner and had worked for the past two years.  Prior to that, Mr Williams – who was named as an eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 in 2020 – worked at Charles Russell Speechlys for seven years.


UK law firm Russell-Cooke made ten senior associate promotions with effect from 1 July 2023. The promotions take place in teams across the full range of services offered by the firm, including one in its private client team, two in its family team and one each from its immigration and dispute resolution departments.

The Belgian Data protection authority has declared unlawful, and decided to prohibit, the transfers of personal data of Belgian “Accidental Americans” by the Belgian Federal Public Service Finance (FPS Finance) to the US tax authorities under the intergovernmental FATCA agreement. According to the Belgian DPA, the data processing carried out under this agreement does not comply with all the principles of the GDPR, including the rules on data transfers outside the EU. It has also asked the Belgian tax authority (FPS Finance) to alert the competent legislator of the shortcomings identified by the DPA. [Read more]

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