The week on eprivateclient: Mossack Fonseca, Royds Withy King, Walkers and more...

News Team, 30/10/2020

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


Prosecutors in Germany issued arrest warrants for the former owners of a Panama-based law firm behind the offshore tax scam which was exposed by the so-called Panama Papers. According to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, German authorities issued arrest warrants for the co-founders of Mossack Fonseca, four and a half years after the Panama Papers were published.

A Court of Appeal clarification confirmed family law arbitral awards can be challenged in the same way as court decisions - opening the doors for greater use of arbitration for family law cases. Judges clarified that matrimonial finance arbitration awards should be subject to the same rights of appeal, using the same test, as first instance judicial decisions.


HMRC’s total tax take hit £47 billion in September 2020, £4 billion more than in September 2019, when £43 billion in tax was taken. This was the first time since February that HMRC’s total tax receipts for a single month were higher than for the corresponding month last year.

Figures from the Valuation Office Agency show there are now nearly 39,000 granny annexes in England and Wales alone – an increase of 16 percent in recent years. With this in mind, one lesser known benefit of owning a property with a self-contained annex is that property owner could be eligible for Multiple Dwellings Relief, meaning they could pay a reduced stamp duty fee.


Matt Sanders was appointed managing partner of international law firm Walkers' rapidly expanding office in Guernsey. Mr Sanders has practised in Guernsey for more than 13 years and takes over the role from partner Louise Hall who is retiring from the firm at the end of the year.


HMRC is sending out 14,000 “nudge” letters to people who have sold a residential property during the 2018/19 tax year asking them to check whether they owe Capital Gains Tax (CGT), tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg warned.

Finance Isle of Man - an executive agency within the Crown Dependency’s Department for Enterprise - appointed a new non-executive chair to its board. Sue Preskey will take up the role from Aidan Doherty who is stepping down after holding the position for the last two years. Mr Doherty will continue to act as non-executive chair of the board until December 2020.


New figures from HMRC showed a decline in the number of trusts making Self Assessment returns but an increase in the total tax paid by these trusts and total income by type of trust. According to HMRC’s data, in 2018 to 2019, trust and estates had a total income of £2.95 billion, an increase of six percent on the previous year. The total amount of chargeable gains was £3.49 billion, a yearly increase of seven percent.

UK law firm Royds Withy King announced 33 promotions, including four new partners with two from its growing private client team. Senior associates Jennifer Seavor, Chris Wilson, Mandy Casavant and Priya Pandya have all been made partners. Mr Wilson joined the firm’s private client team in 2016 and acts on domestic and international tax planning, the establishment and administration of trusts, wills and lasting powers of attorney.

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