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‘The distinctive thing about Macfarlanes is that we have a reputation as the only firm that has a leading reputation for both private client and corporate work,’ says Charles Gothard, the razor-sharp co-head of the firm’s family office group. As a result it has a ‘disproportionate number’ of entrepreneurs as clients, who are attracted by a firm that can advise on personal planning while having a full understanding of their business should the need for a company restructuring arise, for example.
‘A curious theme’ in recent months has been the amount of international probate work landing on his desk, which demonstrates above all else ‘the importance of organising one’s affairs in one’s lifetime so you don’t leave a mess’. Appointing a trusted adviser (or two) with a full picture of your affairs is the single most important thing you can do before you die to avoid any guesswork and problems later, he adds.
Gothard has ‘a massive range of clients from different countries and cultures’. ‘One day I could be acting for a Latin American family, the next for a sheikh from the Gulf, and then the next for a wealthy businessman from the Far East. That variety is constantly fascinating,’ he says.