Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
You might wonder how Baker McKenzie’s head of wealth management in London finds time for his expansive role: Ashley Crossley also leads its European and Middle East Wealth Management practice groups and its Russia/CIS practice, as well as coordinating the firm’s global banking relationships.
A solicitor and barrister, he advises UHNWs on cross-border tax and trust structuring, asset protection and multi-jurisdictional investment, and is a regular speaker at industry conferences all over Europe.
He’s noticed an interesting dynamic among his wealthy Chinese clients: ‘It’s quite a shock to them, to come to the UK and realise that not only do they need to be ready for revenue questions, but that they have to respond to them – and that they have to provide evidence,’ he says. ‘One of the biggest shocks is the burden of proof – their view is that it’s for the state, and they don’t realise that with a self-assessment, all the burden is on them. It’s a big culture clash.
‘You would think a one-party state would have a more pervasive type of bureaucracy – but it turns out that’s not the case at all. Actually in China, very few people know what’s going on,’ he laughs.
A keen jazz pianist and LGBT rights advocate who ran for the Tories in the 2005 election, Crossley has no shortage of fans. Clients describe him as ‘excellent’ and ‘exceedingly concise’.