Every family is unique. We recognise there is "no one size fits all" as families are dynamic and constantly evolving to meet their own needs and the needs of those surrounding them. 

Our approach is to make sure that we understand what is important to a family by asking those probing questions and drawing on the substantial experience of our team to suggest options that fit the particular family. 

Our clients include both onshore and offshore, single and multi-Family Offices, all having a common need for specialist legal advice to mitigate tax, preserve their assets and pass it on to the next generation. By being able to offer this full service, we have the capability to work with a Family Office through all stages of its life cycle from initial structuring advice, governance and regulatory advice and estate planning through to advice on investments, asset protection and succession planning.

Areas of focus

  • Creating a Family Office - advising on the structuring of the Family Office, including the appropriate jurisdiction for the purposes of cross border estate planning and asset protection, and tax matters for individuals and corporates.
  • Governance arrangements – advising on creating a workable charter which reflects the family’s views and reviewing and updating family charters and governance arrangements.
  • Establishing an investment platform – establishing and structuring a full range of investments funds and associated structures, products and services including funds formation, funds investor and fund manager establishment expertise and hosted fund model advice.
  • Making investments – advising on acquisitions and investments, sales and restructurings of business assets (including real estate and fintech investments) and joint ventures and providing banking support on debt finance.
  • Charity and philanthropy - advising on international charity and philanthropy matters, including the establishment of charitable and philanthropic vehicles.
  • ESG and sustainable investments – providing a legal risk review for portfolio managers that addresses the wider ESG factors that are critical to a business.
  • Ongoing support and growing a Family Office – providing immigration advice for high net worth individuals and business immigration advice for employers; advising Family Offices on employment contracts, shareholder and governance arrangements, and issues of remuneration and incentives for family and non-family members.
  • Protecting a Family Office’s assets - advising on tax matters and inheritance tax reliefs, the use of trusts for tax planning and asset protection purposes and how to deal with succession issues; and providing family law advice on pre and post-nuptial agreements and the effectiveness of asset holding structures.
  • Data protection and privacy – advising on all aspects of data protection and cyber security regulation and compliance.

Advising the Family Office of a Latin American family on the restructuring of trust assets worth circa $275 million, involving moving assets from non-US structures into US structures.

Advising an Asian Family Office on the UK tax efficiency of various trust structures and on its UK tax compliance obligations.

Advising many clients on the launch of funds or products with an ESG or sustainability focus, including advising St. James’s Place on its Sustainable and Responsible Equity Fund and FundRock on Brunel ESG focused funds and ESG policies and communications.

Advising a British ultra-high net worth individual with the establishment of a £100 million charitable foundation, providing guidance on which vehicle to use and how to structure and time donations in the most tax efficient way to maximise relief.

Assisting a Single Family Office with all aspects of the relocation of its patriarch and his wife from the UK to Italy, including co-ordinating an application for the flat tax regime in Italy, assisting with restructuring the client’s worldwide assets and co-ordinating a high value rental property and high value property purchase.

Advising a UK-based Family Office in connection with a number of start-up investments and implementation of a growth share scheme for senior management.

Assisting a Single Family Office in relation to various issues arising out of the nine-figure sale of the founder’s business, including successfully concluding an HMRC enquiry into the founder’s domicile; advice in relation to various protected trusts and issues arising out of the 2017 domicile changes.

Amending the memorandum and articles of a Family Office and the share structuring to help ensure that the family agreement is legally implemented within the companies in the Family Office group.

Meet the team
Richard Spink

Richard Spink Partner

  • Head of Corporate and Financial Institutions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
Julie Book

Julie Book Director

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Joint Ventures
Headshot of Edward Hayes

Edward Hayes Director

  • Private Client Services
  • Private Wealth
  • Tax

Suzanna Harvey Partner

  • Head of Private Wealth
  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax
Emma Heelis-Adams

Emma Heelis-Adams Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax
  • HNW and UHNW Individuals

Hilary Barclay Partner

  • Tax
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Tax
  • Tax Advice for Companies and Shareholders 
Matthew Sims

Matthew Sims Partner

  • Real Estate Services
  • Retail
  • Real Estate
Headshot John Barnett

John Barnett Partner

  • Head of Partnerships
  • Private Client Services
  • Tax
Richard Handel website

Richard Handel Partner

  • Family Law and Divorce
  • Private Client Services 
  • Private Wealth
James Sutherland

James Sutherland Partner

  • Head of Real Estate Disputes
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence
Nigel Watson

Nigel Watson Partner

  • Share Plans and Incentives
  • Corporate
  • Employment Tax
Racheal Ruane

Rachael Ruane Partner

  • Corporate Banking
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending
Zoe Longman

Zoë Longman Director

  • Head of Residential Real Estate
  • Real Estate
  • Bona Vacantia and Escheat
Headshot of Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin Partner

  • Head of Employment
  • TUPE: Business Transfers and Outsourcing
  • Restructuring and Redundancy

Catherine de Maid Partner

  • International tax and trusts
  • Head of Philanthropy
  • Succession Planning and Wills

What others say...

The level of technical competence of the team is outstanding. Coupled with its practical application makes it a formidable team. It is our “go to” firm of solicitors.

Legal 500 2022

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more