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Offshore Trusts and Divorce

Offshore trusts are designed to be hard to examine. That does not stop English Courts doing so.

The typical offshore arrangement nominates a trustee, often managed by a corporate trustee based say in the Channel Islands, or Isle of Man, or Gibraltar. Because the concept of a trust is unique to English and Scottish law and countries that derive their law from England and Scotland, they are not usually based in countries such as Liechtenstein or Andorra. However there other entities may be used e.g. an Anstalt.

Then assets are put into the trust to shelter the income and capital gain from domestic taxes, and potentially, from claims by disaffected spouses. Often the trust can serve a dual purpose.

Often, the true beneficial owner of the assets is hidden by this device. In fact for taxation reasons often the point of the trust is to separate control of the assets from the people who are ultimately meant to benefit.

English law has long experience of examining the reality behind the trust and corporate veil. This does not mean that it rides roughshod over genuine arrangements. It does however often arrive at a pragmatic assessment of an individual’s wealth even when it is offshore.

Henry Brookman has extensive experience in this field, on both sides of the argument. His experience in complex estate planning means he has up to date knowledge of the variety of such situations.

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Wim Jansen 24/06/2020

I contacted Brookman to ask for information regarding the validity of an international divorce court ruling. They were very quick in providing me with the right information. When I had another question a few months later around children matters I phoned them again and after taking some background information and contact details they booked me in for a free telephone consultation with 1 of their partners Talitha Brookman. She spent half an hour of her time explaining to me what I could expect and provided legal advice. All was free of charge. I would not hesitate to contact them again should any matter become more formal and have to go through court. The service has been quick, professional and very friendly.

Rebecca Brown 01/06/2020

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Nik Carter 10/05/2020

I recently had a free initial consultation with Henry Brookman via video conference. He was considered and meticulous in his approach and gave me well thought through advice. He followed this up with a letter in writing summarising the advice he gave me. I would thoroughly recommend his services to anyone looking for legal representation in a divorce.

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