Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
Bart Peerless is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. ‘We’ve just emerged from the big non-dom tax changes: unless there’s a fundamental change of approach, we’re probably at the end of a journey that began back in 1998 – and began in earnest in 2008. The pace of change has been so quick,’ he tells Spear’s.
From Gordon Brown’s first budget, through the Osborne years and beyond, lawyers like Peerless have had to contend not just with mistakes in legislative drafting (‘This is fiendishly difficult stuff, but the technical problems tend to get smoothed’) but also with the sheer deluge of new law. This, he argues, is what makes large firms like Charles Russell Speechlys a suitable choice: ‘The pace of change, and transparency, drives you towards bigger firms. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?’
Although the gradual chipping away at the non-dom rules has caused headaches for Peerless’s client base, he also believes it reflects a genuine shift in views in society. ‘In a mobile world, how do you tax people who are mobile? Tax operates by national boundaries, yet more and more wealth is international.’ That, of course, accounts for the global push towards transparency, which Peerless broadly supports, though he admits ‘clients aren’t thrilled about spending more money to produce the same information to lots of different people.’ All in all, this is an erudite and immensely impressive solicitor.