The Firm offers to families and to international private clients unique, pragmatic and global advice in a legal, tax and multi-jurisdictional environment which is becoming ever more complex.
For more than 20 years we have assisted clients to organise their wealth, to sustain it and plan its succession from generation to generation in an efficient and flexible manner. We strive to protect our clients’ personal interests and wealth, to anticipate and avoid future family conflicts and to help them be tax efficient and compliant.
Clients and their families live today in an ever-increasing international environment: nationalities, residence, investments and projects which go beyond the borders of their country of origin. Most law firms offer only advice limited to their own country’s law and fiscal regime but we can offer multi-jurisdictional advice adapted to the specific international questions which arise. This means our clients do not need to instruct a lawyer for each jurisdiction nor pay legal fees to several different law firms. Instead of receiving different, and sometimes contradictory, advice prepared without co-ordination, our clients benefit from a concerted and coherent counsel and guidance.
Our private client services group comprises lawyers, jurists, tax specialists, trust officers and accountants trained in many jurisdictions, including Switzerland, France, England and Wales, USA, Italy, the UAE (Dubai), China and Hong Kong and the Netherlands. This allows us to provide our clients with truly international advice taking into account the local laws applicable in these jurisdictions. Clients requiring advice in countries in which we are not qualified benefit from our important network of professional colleagues with whom we work regularly. However, these clients retain one point of reference within our group, which our private clients cherish dearly.
The team’s partners and one of-counsel, an English chancery and commercial barrister, are all members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and two of them have presided over their local STEP branch and one is currently vice-chairman of the Swiss and Liechtenstein STEP Federation.
Our team advises not only families and entrepreneurs, but also art collectors, artists and international sports men and women. Clients often approach us about their wealth and its succession. We advise and execute wills and testamentary dispositions, establish and administer companies, draft and settle trusts, family foundations and life insurance policies as tools to preserve and protect client wealth.
As matters progress, we assist our clients with the management of all the important steps of their lives: the holding of their heritage, notably overseeing the management of their accounts and portfolios, their relationship with their financial institutions; matrimonial matters including pre-nuptual contracts; the preparation of their protection in case of eventual loss of mental capabilities, including enduring powers of attorney and appointments of deputies to manage the affairs of those who lack sufficient mental capacity.
Based on the trust which evolves over time, our clients regularly seek our services to act as trustee or protector of their trusts, and to serve on the board of their family or charitable foundations.
We also advise clients on their choice of domicile and residence, the acquisition or abandonment of a nationality. We counsel entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to transmit their business to others and establish a management system within their family. We also assist our clients in their charitable and cultural projects, by establishing and managing trusts and family foundations for a civil or public function, including festivals. We have significant experience in obtaining favourable tax treatment for these entities in the jurisdiction concerned. We also assist our clients to become tax compliant, particularly in relation to Switzerland, France and the USA.
Our team has the necessary technical expertise in legal and tax matters covering the most complex of issues that exist in international wealth management, including automatic exchange of information, disclosure and registration provisions for owners, anti-money laundering laws, data protection, etc.
Our partners preside or sit on the boards of charitable institutions both in Switzerland and abroad, often tax exempt and notably within the fields of the furtherance of education, youth support, scientific and medical research, art and entrepreneurial promotion.
Finally, our team is regularly instructed by other law firms on very specific and specialised issues, as well as by trustees, wealth advisors and family offices where both local and global expertise is required.