Monthly Archives: August 2019

From Russia (to the English Family Court) with Love – the Vladimir Potanin divorce proceedings

Vladimir and Natalia Potanin were a very wealthy Russian couple. Vladimir founded Norilsk Nickel and is reputed to be the second richest man in Russia. In 2013 he announced to Natalia, apparently out of the blue, that their thirty year …

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How to limit reputational damage after a data breach

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been with us for over a year. It was greeted with a tremendous fuss, with the threat of fines running into the millions. Organisations ran around like headless chickens while their lawyers drafted …

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Why apathy isn’t good enough when it comes to Wills

This research chimes with Collyer Bristow’s own findings announced in our Age of Apathy report. Many parents operate under the belief that a Will is not necessary. This may be due to a perception that they do not have substantial assets, or that a Will would only codify what would happen anyway in law in the absence of a Will.There are a number of misconceptions in the public at large about what happens on death if the deceased did not leave a Will. Our Age of Apathy report founds that 23% of respondents presumed their assets would be inherited automatically by their surviving spouse. This reason was second only to the belief amongst respondents that they do not have the time to create one.On death the entitlement of your loved ones is determined by a rigid set of rules known as the ‘intestacy rules’. If you are survived by a spouse and at least one child then the assets of the deceased are divided between the spouse and children according to a predetermined formula. This can result in young children receiving assets outright at a young age. In addition, inheritance tax may be due at 40% over a the first £325,000 as only those assets passing to a spouse benefit from the 100% spouse exemption from inheritance tax. This position is potentially made worse if a couple is in fact not married; in such circumstances the surviving partner is entitled to nothing and the entire estate passes to the child. This has potentially even greater inheritance tax consequences and is rarely the intention of the parent.There is never a bad time to make a Will. Whenever someone experiences a significant life event, for example getting married, buying a property or starting a business,  they should consider what plans they currently have in place should they die unexpectedly. These are prime opportunities to write a Will.

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Should landlords take equity in their retail tenants?

The tension on the high street has been well documented. The existing model under which landlords, rating authorities and tenants operate needs to adapt to avoid catastrophes for all parties. Landlords and rating agencies taking equity in retailers might be …

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Mental wellbeing: An ethical responsibility, as well as a legal one

Reports of a mental health crisis at Britain’s largest construction project, Hinckley Point, have once again highlighted the challenges the construction sector faces with mental wellbeing. This struggle to manage and improve mental wellbeing leaves companies open to legal challenges, …

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PRESS RELEASE: Addressing the broken business rates system

CEOs of more than 50 high street retailers have today written to the Chancellor calling for reform on the ‘broken business rates system’.  Business rates have, they say, increased by over 50% since the 1990s and are in part responsible …

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Are non-doms really leaving the UK?

The new figures released by HMRC are not surprising given the tax legislation that has been introduced steadily over the last 10 or so years, which has been designed to attack the tax regime available to non-domiciliaries resident in the UK. That said, the “non-dom” regime is still a very effective planning tool for non-domiciliaries and HNW individuals should strongly consider taking advantage of the regime while they still can.One part of this article in particular should be clarified:HMRC said the number of non-doms had also fallen because some had chosen to change their status to be UK-domiciled after the government introduced an annual “non-dom levy” of between £30,000 and £60,000. The levy, as of April 2017, allows non-doms to continue to pay no tax on offshore income and capital gains, unless they bring the money to the UK. The levy raised just £315m last year.It is correct that non-domiciled individuals who have been resident in the UK for over a certain amount of time must pay an annual charge in order to access the more-favourable remittance basis of taxation. This was the case before April 2017 and has continued to be the case in the period since.One of the key changes in April 2017 was that non-domiciliaries can no longer reside in the UK indefinitely whilst continuing to shield their non-UK income and gains from UK tax. Once an individual has been UK resident for 15 out of the previous 20 tax years, they are automatically UK deemed domiciled and will be taxed on their worldwide income and gains as they arise.It is not correct that this change means individuals are ‘changing’ their status to be UK-domiciled. It is true that non-domiciliaries can elect on a year-by-year basis whether to be charged on the remittance basis or the arising basis, the former of which is not available to UK domiciled individuals. It is also true that non-domiciliaries can elect to be treated as UK deemed domiciled for inheritance tax purposes. It may be that the author is conflating these concepts.So the reason why HMRC’s revenue from the remittance basis charge has fallen could be attributable to more factors than the article suggests:More individuals may indeed be leaving the UK.As remittance basis users can elect whether to be taxed on the remittance basis in any given year, non-domiciliaries may be getting wiser as to when to pay (or not to pay) the annual charge. The charge is only worth paying if the income and gains being shielded amount to more than the corresponding charge.Since April 2017 there are many UK resident non-domiciliaries who now fall foul of the ’15 out of 20′ rule above. These individuals have all become UK deemed domiciled and the remittance basis of taxation is no longer been available to them. Before April 2017 these individuals could have happily continued to pay the remittance basis charge and so, necessarily, the revenue from the charge will have decreased.If anything, therefore, the fact that there are HNW individuals who were previously non-domiciled and who have decided to stay in the UK shows that the UK continues to be a jurisdiction where wealthy individuals want to stay. It also shows that these HNW individuals are driven by many more concerns than simply their tax liabilities.

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Brexit boom in currency hedges sparks fears of mis-selling

The tumbling pound is encouraging nervous UK importers to enter into complex currency transactions as they scramble to avoid higher costs. But some consultants warn those deals could expose them to significant losses. Collyer Bristow’s Head of Dispute Resolution, Robin …

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