James Austen, Senior Associate
James advises trustees and high net worth UK and international clients on a broad range of tax, trust and estate planning matters.
SummaryJames 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 specialisms in advising on the UK’s General Anti-Abuse Rule and aspects of UK and EU charity and related tax law. He is regularly invited to speak at legal and tax conferences and publishes articles on areas of interest in legal journals. James has been named as “One to watch” in Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite 2018.
James is admitted to practice in England and Wales. He also sits on a part-time basis as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, assigned to the Tax Chamber, hearing and determining appeals against decisions by HMRC in respect of both direct and indirect taxes.
- 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
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