Hands holding jigsaw pieces
Overview

From founding and growing a business to governance and succession planning, we work with families at all stages of building businesses and holding wealth. 

Over time, as a business becomes one of many assets held by a wealthy family, we can advise clients on structuring their wealth through a family office. Family offices offer a co-ordinated and cost-efficient way for families to manage their entire wealth.

Our lawyers work with family offices, or as part of them, to manage family assets and investment portfolios both in the UK and internationally. Drawing on expertise from across the firm, we can advise single family offices and multi-family offices on a wide range of legal services including tax planning, estate planning, wealth structuring, asset protection and disputes.

We pride ourselves on being able to offer a flexible service to meet the needs of any family office model. Our clients range from first generation UK entrepreneurs to established family offices and businesses holding £billions of assets for multi-generational and often international families.

Areas of focus

Our family offices and business expertise includes the following:

  • Tax planning and wealth structuring – advising wealthy families in the UK and worldwide on structures for holding their assets.
  • Succession – advising families on handing on family businesses and control in family structures to the next generation.
  • Growing the business and the family office – employment contracts, share incentives and shareholder and governance arrangements.
  • Asset protection – family law advice on divorce, pre and post-nuptial agreements and the effectiveness of asset holding structures.
  • Governance – family charters, shareholders agreements and governance structures for wealthy families and multi-generational family businesses.
  • Transactional – sales, acquisitions and restructurings of business and personal assets.
  • Disputes – resolving corporate and private disputes in an appropriate and proportionate manner.
  • Real estate – commercial transactions and high end residential conveyancing and structuring.
Experience

Advising family offices on structuring their private equity investments (including £150 million+ acquisitions).

Working with single and multi-family offices for international families and advising on strategies for holding their wealth and businesses and passing them on to the next generation.

Acting as the family office for a number of wealthy families, co-ordinating advisers and services.

Advising on dynastic trust arrangements to hold and secure significant UK family businesses for future generations.

Drafting family charters to set out the principles on which family businesses will be run and how ownership and control will pass.

Assisting long established family businesses with the development and implementation of family council structures and advising those councils on their role and ongoing governance issues.

Advising family businesses on restructuring due to rapid expansion or sudden change as a result of unexpected succession.

Advising family businesses on issues of remuneration and incentives for family and non-family members, including Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI), Employee Shareholder Schemes (ESS), phantom share schemes and growth shares.

Establishing family investment companies for a number of clients to assist with preserving wealth for the next generation.

Acting on behalf of various families making investments into early stage businesses including using EIS and SEIS tax reliefs.

Advising various family business owners on preparing for and selling their businesses.

Advising the founders of a high profile international group of companies on various aspects of the business including structuring, investments and commercial advice.

Meet the team
Jim Aveline

Jim Aveline Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • Family Offices and Family Businesses
  • Food and Farming
Dominic Davis

Dominic Davis Partner

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Joint Ventures
Nigel Popplewell

Nigel Popplewell Partner

  • Corporate Tax
  • Tax
  • Real Estate Tax
John Barnett

John Barnett Partner

  • Head of Private Client Services
  • Head of Partnerships
  • Tax
Suzanna Harvey

Suzanna Harvey Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax
  • International Trusts
Beatrice Puoti

Beatrice Puoti Partner

  • Head of Private Wealth
  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax and Trust
Douglas James-Streatfield

Douglas Streatfeild-James Senior Associate

  • Corporate
  • Family Business
  • Private Wealth
Alan Barr

Alan Barr Partner

  • Corporate
  • Food and Farming
  • Transport

Key contact

Jim Aveline

Jim Aveline Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • Family Offices and Family Businesses
  • Food and Farming
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