Wealth creates great opportunity, but can also attract complexities and risks. Moving countries, making international investments, people laying claim to your business or your assets, disputes between your heirs or with your business partners, and many more issues can threaten your wealth or your plans for it, if not anticipated and managed effectively.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Private Wealth has helped over 5,000 wealth owners around the world, their families and their other advisers, to protect, grow and pass on their personal and business wealth.
We have a number of dedicated services for high-net-worth individuals, their families and advisors - plus a range of helpful articles and publications.
The private wealth division of a major bank wanted to make sure its bankers were selecting and managing investments that were appropriate for their clients’ tax position.
We developed a tax-risk toolkit for their senior bankers – a set of checklists and flowcharts that flagged up when investment or structuring decisions would create tax-risk. Staff would then refer flagged issues to the in-house tax team. The toolkit reduced tax-risk without causing delays.
We helped a family tidy up a number of offshore trusts that had been operated over many years. We analysed the tax aspects of the trusts, their powers, and their investments. We then merged or wound up three trusts and recommended different distribution policies for different beneficiaries.
The end result was a single substantial trust for each branch of the family: the trusts met beneficiaries’ long-term needs and were more tax-efficient, cheaper to run and better diversified.
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.
Our clients, partners in a UK private equity fund, planned a new fund that would be established with a substantial investment from a sovereign wealth fund. The partners would operate the new fund and would receive a percentage interest in it.
We advised on the tax implications – particularly in light of the risk that part, or all, of their holding could be treated as employment income.
Confidential information was taken from our client as she was going through a divorce, and was going to be used against her in the divorce proceedings.
We made an urgent – and successful – application to the court: the materials were returned to our client and the information was kept out of the divorce proceedings.
Our non-UK client decided to buy a £40m property. It was undergoing extensive redevelopment – including an underground car park, a swimming pool, and complex IT systems – but the work would not be finished when the deal was signed.
We made sure our client would not get caught in expensive construction wrangles. The contract stipulated a significant retention from the purchase price, that would only be paid out as works were completed, and included warranties for construction work. We advised on holding-structures that would mitigate tax and avoid succession issues.
We helped a Muslim family set up a charitable foundation in conjunction with their family business governance structure. This enabled each family member to comply with Shari’a rules.
We worked with the family to put in place arrangements that work within Shari’a, rather than around it.
A substantial family office wanted to allow third party investors to invest in their portfolio. We advised on restructuring the portfolio to create an open-ended investment company (OEIC) which could accept non-family investors' funds. The OEIC had a more formalised investment management process and more research resources - and the buying power to access institutional-investment assets. The end result was a better managed, more tax efficient portfolio with lower overall costs.
A family business was held and run by non-UK trustees. The trustees worked hard to balance commercial risk against the long-term interests of the beneficiaries. Yet the beneficiaries felt the trustees’ decision-making process on key commercial matters was slow and expensive, and that this was affecting the business.
Our solution was to create a family advisory board and amend the trust to give the advisory board powers over key business decisions. This helped the beneficiaries and trustees to work together and preserve the business for the family.
Our client wanted to offer shares in his company to external investors for the first time. We restructured the company to create a new class of shares which would give investors a secure income-return but ensure control remained with our client. We then drew up a shareholders’ agreement which included pre-emption rights in favour of our client, and set out different shareholders’ rights on a sale of the company. These steps allowed him to find the investment he wanted, on terms he was comfortable with.