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James Austen

Senior Associate


Private Wealth


Private Client

James advises trustees and high net worth UK and international clients on a broad range of tax, trust and estate planning matters. He has particular experience in advising business owners and the owners of rural estates about succession planning and the applicable IHT and CGT reliefs. Much of his time is spent advising in the context of contentious and semi-contentious situations, including tax enquiries.

Among other areas of interest, he has developed a specialism in advising on the UK’s General Anti-Abuse Rule.

James is admitted to practise in England and Wales.


  • Restructuring a valuable family business to maximise CGT Entrepreneurs’ Relief in advance of a proposed sale, including modifying trustees’ and individuals’ shareholdings and advising on UK/Ireland double tax issues
  • Advising the trustees of a landed estate involved in long-running litigation with a view to settling the issues in contention. The work included developing a complex, multi-party, strategic approach, advising on numerous technical points of trust law and civil procedure and dealing with substantial costs previously incurred. It also involved devising and advising on a tax-efficient means to restructure the trusts and the estate and agreeing this with the beneficiaries’ solicitors
  • Advising the owners of a large farming business about ensuring the immediate availability of IHT Business Property Relief on the doubling of their landholding
  • Advising on the estate of a wealthy Saudi Arabian who died with a valuable London house with a complex beneficial history registered in his own name and advising on the administration of his complex worldwide estate and Channel Islands trust