City Professionals & Their Spouses

The City of London and London generally is home to some of the most profitable businesses on earth. These businesses employ a significant number of the most talented and best paid people. However, considering the pressures on such professionals these days, it is not surprising to learn that these pressures often place a great strain on their personal lives, and indeed on their spouses’ lives.

We have a great deal of experience in dealing with financial settlements upon the breakdown of marriage for City Professionals, acting for both them and their spouses.

Remuneration Packages

Many City Professionals have much more complex remuneration packages than simple salaries. Remuneration packages can include share options which vest over a period of time, cash retention awards, sign-on bonuses, partner drawings/distributions, dividends, employee benefit trusts and offshore pension plans.

The founders and key players of start-up firms often take relatively low starting remuneration. Instead they anticipate an advantageous sale once the firm is a fully running concern. Such sales may involve significant tax issues.

Sometimes spouses believe that a sale is being negotiated but the city spouse denies it, which of course means a large discrepancy in valuations of assets.

When acting for the spouse of the City Professional, we make careful enquiries about the precise package that the City Professional is employed on, together with their expectations.

When acting for a City Professional, particularly bankers, we carefully consider that our client is not boxed into a position where they are paying such a high proportion of their assets or income that there is no allowance for the risks that they carry at the same time. This is particularly important when the market is volatile.

We have extensive experience dealing with many varied city occupations and businesses, ranging from banking, hedge funds and publishing to real estate and professional practices.

We use a full range of experts, including expert Counsel, forensic accountants, pension actuaries and other advisers to ensure that our clients receive the best possible advice in order to project their case in its best possible light.

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A selection of the areas in which our clients live and work, in and around London:

Kensington & Chelsea City of Westminster
Holborn Hampstead & Highgate
Camden Wandsworth
Hammersmith & Fulham Islington
Finsbury Battersea
Marylebone Harpenden

City Professionals & Their Spouses

City Professionals & Their Spouses - Scenario Analysis Example #1

Mr A and Mrs B were married for 20 years.  Mr A was German, but residing in England.  Mr A had been working as a successful trader in the City.  Unfortunately, the marriage came to an end.  At that point, Mr A claimed that all funds that he had previously accrued in an offshore employee benefit trust were subject to UK income tax at 50%.  Further, Mr A claimed that his bonuses were paid in shares, which would vest over a period of three years and he did not know how much those bonuses would be worth because they would be related to stock market performance.

Our solution
We advised Mrs B that structures could be put in place in relation to the employee benefit trust whereby Mr A could be lent money from the trustees of the employee benefit trust, ie 50% of the value.  These funds could then be remitted to Mrs B.  Mr A would not have to pay any tax if he moved out of the United Kingdom and the funds from the employee benefit trust never came “on shore”.  In relation to the bonuses, we advised Mrs B that there was a simple solution in that she could simply take 50% of the bonuses when the shares are delivered to Mr A.  On that basis, she would equally share the risk with Mr A, but she would equally share the gain.

What our clients are saying:

‘TS’ London (November 2015)

“Many thanks for all your help and support over the last few years, it has been so invaluable and much appreciated.”