Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
‘The clients fall into two categories: those who are concerned about the uncertainty that pervades everything, and others who are quite relaxed about it,’ says Ceris Gardner, a long-standing Spear’s contributor (see page 38). ‘That second group thinks, “If it gets too bad, I’m internationally mobile enough to leave these shores.”’
Gardner has done just that, after a fashion – she speaks to Spear’s from the south of France during a holiday. ‘The real concern is the perception that the government has got it in for non-doms, and there’s a fear that if things get much worse they will have no option but to leave. And the transparency initiative is fine so far as it goes, but it’s striking fear into people’s hearts that the UK government is in the vanguard,’ she explains.
Another major theme which Gardner identifies is immigration – many of her clients are looking outside the UK for a post-Brexit safe haven or an EU passport. Malta and Cyprus come up frequently, she says. But it’s a two-way street: ‘Despite the tax changes, the UK is still seen as a tax haven in some respects. But my partners have one or two clients who are thinking of leaving – and one or two have left.’
She is critical of imbalances in the Requirement to Correct legislation – ‘All the dice are loaded in the Revenue’s favour’ – but Gardner has seen it all and will steer clients through whatever complexities await.