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Family Offices

The structure and function of family offices varies enormously.

Whether the purpose is to optimise family investment holding structures and governance, monitor property and investment portfolios or actively manage operating businesses in one or more countries, it is critical that a family office is established and governed properly, run efficiently and effectively and that the principal family stakeholders are getting the very best legal advice in relation to their often complex and varied affairs.

The Charles Russell Speechlys Family Office group caters specifically for the needs of wealthy families and family offices with national and cross-border interests.

We have helped to establish a number of family offices using our considerable international tax, regulatory, asset protection, succession planning and corporate transactional expertise to successfully implement such a project from infancy to a fully functioning modern multi-jurisdictional family office.

We advise on the most appropriate structure for a family office, utilising the experience we have in our London, Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Bahrain and Qatar offices or working with lawyers and other advisers in other jurisdictions - through our two non-exclusive networks (ALFA International and The Association of European Lawyers) - as appropriate to provide a structure that is tailored to the family office's multi-jurisdictional needs.

We have extensive experience in navigating through the complexities and multi-jurisdictional challenges faced by family offices and the families they represent. These include inter-generational succession planning, tax efficient holding structuring and wealth protection through the use of international corporate, partnership, fund and trust structures.

Depending on the activities of the family office, we can advise on the sale and acquisition of personal and commercial assets, regulatory issues, the operation of asset holding and investment structures, including those involving real estate or private equity investments, co-investment agreements and all employment and immigration issues relating to both the family and the family office. We also have a large and fully integrated litigation team able to advise on any dispute issues that may arise in relation to any aspect of a family office’s activities as well as a reputation management team that can assist with PR issues.

The tax status of family members may change over time, as may tax rules. This reinforces the need for an integrated international approach. We provide the comprehensive and integrated cross-border legal services that sophisticated international family offices increasingly need.


Multi-jurisdictional family office

Advised on the establishment of a multi-jurisdictional family office operating in a number of countries. This included advice on tax structuring, investment management policies and the governance procedures to be adopted in the management of the family's wealth, as well as the establishment of a number of collective investment schemes.

Onshoring of assets

Advised a Swiss family office on the tax efficient migration of its Western European corporate investee holdings to Luxembourg. This included implementing the restructuring of the corporate, intellectual property and financial holdings.


Advised a family office on all regulatory issues arising from its restructuring as a multi-family office.

Multi-jurisdictional wealth protection

Advised on the restructuring of a family office in relation to family wealth held in offshore trusts to protect the assets of individual family members based in the UK, France and Luxembourg.

Third party co-investment

Advised a UK family office with extensive agricultural property holdings on the introduction of third party investors, including detailed tax structuring, share structuring, rights allocations and wealth protection, as well as related corporate and regulatory issues.

Established funds

Structured and set-up a BVI based private equity mezzanine property debt fund on behalf of a Greek family office. This included international and UK tax structuring, financial services and corporate advice.

Custody of assets

Acted for an international family office in the transfer of the custodianship of a securities portfolio, providing all the necessary contractual documentation and negotiating appropriate service level agreements to ensure the family retained the desired rights over the assets.

Philanthropic interests

Acted for an Eastern European entrepreneur and family office principal to establish a UK charitable foundation through which to fund a number of philanthropic projects and make tax-efficient cross-border charitable donations.