Robert specialises in all aspects of private client work, in particular lifetime tax and estate planning, issues relating to offshore assets, trusts, UK landed estates and heritage property.
Clients include individuals, both UK domiciled and many non-UK domiciled, their trusts and companies. Robert acts for many highly influential and international families advising on the structuring of assets in many parts of the world. He also acts for many UK entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as art collectors and estate owners.
Robert has a large Middle East practice and a particular expertise in structuring trusts so that they comply with the Islamic Shariah rules on the devolution of family assets. He has also carried out a great deal of UK heritage tax work, in particular in relation to conditional exemption and offers in lieu of tax. Robert regularly advises trustees (including charitable trustees) on their duties and responsibilities and also brings Court applications on behalf of trustees.
Robert is an active member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP). He is a regular speaker on Private Client matters and writes for legal journals on Private Client and heritage issues.
Robert is admitted to practise in England and Wales.
- Acted in a difficult Variation of Trusts Act application to Court by which the life of a valuable settlement was extended and the Trustees’ powers were significantly widened; in particular, a power was introduced allowing the Trustees to accumulate income to meet Inheritance Tax 10 year charges which otherwise could only have been funded by selling capital assets
- Provided advice to Trustees on the sale of their majority shareholding in an important family trading company, which was the principal asset of the Settlement; this included advice to the Trustees on their powers under the Settlement and on the warranties and indemnities requested of them by the purchaser of the company
- Acted for a prominent non UK family in the structuring of their property assets both in the UK and in seven other jurisdictions; this included the creation of a Family Protocol, signed up to by all the adults in both the main branches of the family, which should ensure a stable environment for family governance in the future
- Advised an art owner on a complex series of Acceptance in Lieu and Inheritance Tax Conditional Exemption Applications by which an historic collection of paintings was preserved and is now on display to the public, partly in national institutions and partly in the owner’s home; the Conditional Exemption also extended to an area of land of outstanding natural beauty