Articles & Video
Complex offshore structures – traps and pitfalls: a practical guide
There has been a growing trend over recent years for the development of bespoke and complex holding structures to accommodate the needs and sensitivities of ultra-high net worth individuals. Often, the clients originate from civil law jurisdictions and as a consequence are unfamiliar with trusts and the fiduciary relationship created. There is (understandably) suspicion.
Hastings Bass in the Channel Islands
The rule (or principle, as it is often referred to) is taken from the decision in Re Hastings Bass in the English Court of Appeal in 1975.
I can see clearly now…
In recent years, there has been a positive deluge of reporting initiatives affecting UK individuals, entities and structures with a UK connection. Some of these have come from the USA (so-called “FATCA”), some from the OECD (the Common Reporting Standard), others from the EU (as a result of the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive) and others are simply ground-breaking initiatives by the UK government.
The Order of The Hammer
Baron Trevor at the age of 64 delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords. He had waited 43 years to do so on the principle of speaking only when he had something to say. Though with less compulsion than Baron Trevor, I did feel the urge to write this reflective article as I enjoyed the wonderful view of the Bay of Panama with pelicans gliding across the skies as a radiant sunset was giving way to dusk. Many thoughts came to mind.
Setting aside subsequent transfers to trusts - Jersey's statutory law of mistake in operation
The enactment of the Trust (Amendment No 6) (Jersey) Law 2013 (Amendment 6), saw Jersey introduce a statutory basis for relief to be granted for mistake in the form of Article 47E of the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 (the Law). There have been a number of decisions of the Royal Court in this area since then, although until the decision in In the Matter of the D, E and F Trusts those cases were decided on the basis of the pre-existing law.
The Guernsey Register of Beneficial Ownership - what you need to know
The Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons (Guernsey) Law, 2017 (the Law) finally received Royal Assent on 25 July 2017 and is scheduled to come into force on 15 August 2017.
Anyone following the progress of the Law will be aware that it was originally expected to take effect from 30 June 2017. Whilst commencement has been delayed it is important to note that the original timeline for compliance with the Law remains unchanged.
Variations of Jersey trusts: relevance of settlors’ views and public policy
The Royal Court of Jersey has recently approved (on behalf of minor, unborn and unascertained beneficiaries) variations of two trusts established by a late Settlor whereby the beneficial class of each trust was to be widened beyond the parameters that the Settlor had set out during his lifetime.
In considering the application, the Court made observations about the relevance of the Settlor’s firmly held views to the Court’s discretion to approve the variation, and also addressed potential issues of public policy.
Beddoe relief where a third party claim may exhaust Trust assets
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has granted Beddoe relief to a trustee, in circumstances where a successful third party claim would have exhausted the trust assets.
Probate in international litigation
Several recent decisions have highlighted some of the issues that can arise where those claiming through a deceased person are parties to proceedings in a place other than the place where the deceased was domiciled.
Hot off the Press: On SRIP trusts, Singapore blinks… Or, is that a wink?
On 18 July, Singapore published adjustments to its OECD CRS FAQs (available here), featuring modification of the guidance on settlor reserved investment power (SRIP) trusts. In the prior version of the FAQ (as analysed in my blog of 25 April), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) stated in FAQ B.5 that a SRIP trust would not qualify as an FI because the manager of the assets held by the trust (i.e., the settlor) would not itself be an FI. The revised version is no longer so certain.
New Act targets facilitation of tax evasion
On 27 April 2017, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (UK) received Royal Assent. It is expected to come into effect in September 2017, and will introduce the new corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. The Act will have extraterritorial effect and potentially render financial services businesses in the Channel Islands, and more broadly, criminally liable for the acts of their employees in connection with tax evasion.
Time to Renew the FFI Agreements
Upon registration for a GIIN via the IRS FATCA Registration Portal, certain FIs (i) subject to a Model 2 IGA, or (ii) not subject to any IGA automatically entered into a contract with the IRS known as the FFI Agreement. The FFI Agreement sets forth the FI’s rights and responsibilities (with responsibilities outnumbering rights heavily).
Future statutory changes to the law of trusts in Jersey
The Chief Minister’s Department in Jersey has very recently published a Consultation Response and Policy Paper on proposed amendments to the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 (the TJL 1984). The contents are highly significant for anyone involved with the trusts industry in Jersey. This briefing note therefore sets out what we can expect in terms of amendments in the near future as well as highlighting other potential future areas of change.
Onshore Vs Offshore Jurisdictions – Is There Really A Battle?
Over the past few months the issue of offshore jurisdictions and the role they play in the global economy has come under extreme scrutiny, especially from onshore governments seeking to increase tax revenues. The recent Panama Papers Leak has only served to fuel the flame and has resulted in more people who know very little or nothing at all about offshore jurisdictions calling for their demise.
Worldwide Disclosure Facility: Offshore Assets Last Chance New Disclosure Facility Offers ‘Last Chance’ For Those With Undeclared Offshore Interests
Last week HMRC launched the new Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) – a new online facility which provides a ‘last chance’ to those who want to disclose a UK tax liability that relates wholly or partly to offshore interests. Unlike previous facilities, the WDF offers very little in the way of carrot, and rather more in the way of stick given the new sanctions that are set to be introduced in 2018.
EU List Of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions- Commission Launches Work To Create First Common EU List Of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions
The European Commission is forging ahead with work to draw up a first common EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by presenting a pre-assessment ('scoreboard of indicators') of all third countries according to key indicators.
The Stiglitz Factor
Now we have the unfortunate resignation in August of Messrs. Stiglitz and Pieth from the Panama Papers committee, an embarrassment to the Panamanian government and which has been widely covered by television, blogs and newspapers.
CRS & Investment Entities: Guernsey issues guidance on classification of investment entities for the Common Reporting Standard
On 29 July 2016, the States of Guernsey Income Tax ("ITO") published their latest bulletin on guidance in relation to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") in Guernsey. Bulletin 2016/6 repeats the text of the definition of Investment Entity, as set out in Section VIII A(6) of the CRS and affirms the Supplementary Guidance Notes published in draft on 24 December 2015 in relation to the CRS.
Brexit - What The Rich Could Expect?
What does Brexit mean for UHNWIs in Britain? Who knows – it very much depends on what Theresa May’s vision of Britain outside the EU will be. There is a global need for what we can offer, but we need someone to have the guts to grasp it.