Paul leads the private capital team in the Manchester office of Clarke Willmott. He has been assisting wealthy individuals, trustees, and executors, with all manner of legal and tax issues for 20 years. Although he deals with all aspects of private client work, he has particular specialisms in estate planning, inheritance tax mitigation, and the use of onshore and offshore trusts, and other asset holding vehicles. He is regularly appointed as an independent professional executor and trustee by his clients.
As well as being a solicitor he is a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), a chartered tax adviser, and a chartered accountant (albeit no longer practising as such). He is currently the chairman of the Manchester district branch of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Paul is a joint author of one of the foremost books on Inheritance Tax – Ray & McLaughlin’s Practical Inheritance Tax Planning. He is a contributor to the Tolley Guidance Service, published by LexisNexis, and is on the ‘LexisAsk’ panel of experts. He also tutors a paralegal training course in wills and estate administration, run by Central Law Training.
According to the Chambers and Partners High Net Worth guide Paul is considered “technically excellent and incredibly knowledgeable.” Another interviewee reveals: “He is our first choice for our private clients in Manchester, because he handles complex issues expertly, cuts to the chase and is never afraid of expressing his opinion honestly. He has a great demeanour as well.”
In his spare time Paul acts as the treasurer of his local scout group.
In the light of changing tax rules and changing circumstances Paul was instructed to review an offshore asset holding structure created some years previously by a well known London private client firm for a UK resident non-domiciled individual, and to advise on how funds could be made available to the individual and his ex-wife in the UK in the most tax efficient way. Paul was then called on to defend a challenge by HMRC to the individual’s non-domiciled status which he did successfully. Paul was subsequently instructed to update the client’s UK will in the light of his divorce, liaising as necessary with lawyers in the country of the individual’s domicile.
Paul was instrumental in the implementation of a high-value gifting plan, in conjunction with the tax-efficient restructuring of two family trusts established some years ago by a high-net worth individual, with a view to mitigating inheritance tax. The plan involved working alongside a ‘Big 4’ accountancy practice and tax counsel, and instructing lawyers in Spain, USA and Scotland. Paul was appointed as a trustee of the family trusts, as a joint executor of the wills of the individual and his wife, and as a joint attorney for the financial affairs of the individual and his wife.
Paul was instrumental in the tax-efficient extraction of funds from an offshore trust established by a UK resident individual, together with the simultaneous creation of a number of family investment companies as asset holding vehicles for the children of the individual concerned. The role involved working alongside tax counsel, a ‘Big 4’ firm of accountants, offshore lawyers, and offshore professional trustees.
Paul was instructed by the trustees of a high-value foreign settlement which had ended on the death of its life interest beneficiary. The role required counsel to be instructed to advise concerning an ambiguity about how the burden of inheritance tax payable by the trust would be suffered by the different beneficiaries, and for Paul to liaise with the beneficiaries about their net entitlement. Paul also had to liaise with the solicitor acting for the executors of the deceased life tenant, prepare the appropriate IHT account for the trustees, and advise concerning the correct amount of IHT to be paid by the trust.