Areas of Expertise

Wealth structuring

We advise individuals, trusts, partnerships and companies on how to carry out UK or offshore transactions in the most tax-efficient way. These transactions often involve the sale and purchase of companies, property and other assets, the tax efficient extraction of profits and gains, and the establishment of tax efficient asset holding or ownership structures. We also regularly advise on tax efficient succession planning, taking into account IHT and other capital taxes. We are also happy to give a post-transaction opinion or advice, whether for additional comfort, or because HMRC has shown some interest in the transaction.

Property trading & development

We have considerable expertise and experience in taking landlords and developers through the minefield of UK property taxation, into the safety of low risk tax efficient holding structures.

Crypto currencies

We have recently advised a number of clients in relation to very large crypto positions. We advise issuers in relation to security and utility token issues, the taxation of consideration coins and on tax issues relating to the establishment of crypto exchanges.

Residence & domicile planning

We have considerable expertise in all matters relating to residence and domicile of individuals, trusts and companies, including with regard to the common law, HMRC6 guidance, the UK statutory residence test and international double tax treaties.

Tax crisis management

We have experience in advising and assisting with regard to all forms of HMRC enquiries, and investigations under the civil (COPs 8, 9, CDF, SCP and CIF) and criminal regimes, and can also give post transaction, pre-enquiry advice. In our experience, having a barrister assisting with an enquiry or investigation significantly improves the speed and quality of outcome and significantly reduces client inconvenience. It also provides the invaluable benefit of making communications legally privileged so HMRC cannot demand disclosure. We can also assist with information notices and all tax procedural issues, such as whether an enquiry can be opened or discovery assessment made, or whether a closure notice can be obtained from HMRC or the Tribunal.

US-UK transactions

We work closely with select US lawyers and advisors to provide a unique “joined up” transatlantic tax advisory and defence service. We have recently dealt with cross border issues relating to hedge funds, major Hollywood movie production structures, and attempts by HMRC to use the double tax treaty to oppress UK tax payers who had moved to the US.

Trusts & structured ownership

We advise and litigate in relation to all aspects of trust law and practice. These matters frequently have both a UK and offshore element. We are familiar with the usual international jurisdictions in which offshore trusts operate and can advise and assist offshore trustees to achieve tax efficient outcomes for settlors and beneficiaries.

Corporate & structured finance

We have expertise in the structuring of corporate finance, securitisation, asset finance and leasing (including finance leasing), debt and equity instruments of all kinds, repos, derivatives and FX transactions. We are happy to advise and assist in the structuring of bespoke arrangements, or in the development structures for wider application. We advise lenders of all sizes, including banks, bridging finance houses and P2P lenders.

General law

In addition to a detailed knowledge of tax law and practice, we have a broad and detailed understanding of the general law (and in particular the law of trusts, contracts, restitution, companies, partnerships and insolvency) on which many of the important tax questions turn. We have considerable commercial experience and knowledge which our clients find invaluable when formulating innovative strategies and solutions for dealing with complex tax problems.

Tax appeals

We frequently appear in the tax courts and can offer advocacy from the First-tier Tribunal through to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. Appearing regularly in the Tribunals and higher courts, gives us the advantage of having an intimate knowledge of court and tax Tribunal practice and procedure. We also have considerable experience in tax-related judicial review. Depending on the weight of the matter and the needs of the client, we can provide a single barrister, a leader and a junior, or in the most demanding cases a team, as the client requires.
We have instructed Joseph Howard on a number of occasions in relation to complex high value matters. His advice is always clear and comprehensive and he cuts quickly to the essence of any matter. Not only does he identify issues but is always on hand with practical workable solutions.
James Ward
Partner and Head of Private Client, Kingsley Napley