Paul Whitehead

“Sometimes a family business is passed to some, but not all, family members. The friction that this can cause is better dealt with during life, than on death.” Paul Whitehead, Partner BLP – Private Client

Wealth Structuring

Wealth structuring is critical to the long-term management, control and succession of wealth – and therefore its preservation. Without proper planning, waste, misuse and conflicts will arise.

Over the last five years we have helped wealth owners and their families put in place wealth structures for the long-term control and succession of over £50bn worth of assets.

Specifically, we have helped those clients in areas such as:

  • International asset holding structures to govern the control and succession of business and personal assets for high-net-worth families;
  • Private trust companies and private foundations;
  • Family trusts, succession of value and control;
  • Family constitutions/family governance;
  • Asset protection – including trust planning and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements;
  • Shari’a advice: Shari’a wealth structuring, including creation of Shari’a compliant trusts and foundations; Shari’a compliant family investment structures/funds.

Case studies

  • Family image

    Succession and investment plans that comply with Shari’a law

    Our Muslim client wanted to establish a Shari’a compliant governance and succession structure for his family’s trading group.

    We worked closely with Shari’a scholars and the family to create a structure that reflected the family’s wishes and complied with Shari’a law – both in terms of succession and investment.

  • Succession planning image

    Careful governance allows children to take more control as they mature

    Our client was worried about how her children will behave when they receive their inheritance. We helped her create a governance structure that will manage the family wealth, deal with succession, and give the children increasing control.

    The structure allows for separation of control, and ownership. The children are able to have an increasing say in investment decisions, and receive more assets, subject to a number of checks and balances. The children will take full control of the trust when they have proved they are capable.

  • Family business image

    A plan to pass on a business but involve the family in key decisions

    Our client wanted to pass control of the family business to two of her children – but make sure the wider family benefited from the profits and were involved in key decisions, such as a sale of the business or major new investments.

    We worked with her to amend the articles and share classes, to adapt the control of the company.  We also advised on the creation of a family constitution. This document set out who would run the business, when and how they would canvass the family’s opinion on business decisions, and how family members – those working in the business and those not - would benefit from the profits.

  • Succession planning image

    A way to involve the family in the business and allow them to exit it

    Our client wanted to pass some control of her business to her family during her lifetime. We helped her set up a shareholding structure – with ‘golden shares’ that carried significant voting rights – and a shareholders’ agreement.

    This agreement included a way to allow family members to sell their shares but keep them in the family – pre-emption rights gave family shareholders first refusal on shares – and buy-out clauses that determined the price of the shares.

"They are very dynamic and, frankly, nothing is too much trouble. They are really open and honest about situations."

Chambers UK 2016 – Private Client

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