Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
John Riches has a unique place in the private client world, as both a superb practitioner and as an adviser to STEP on complex matters of transparency – there is probably no one alive who knows more about the CRS. It was no surprise, then, that he picked up his second Spear’s Wealth Management Award last November, winning the 2017 Tax & Trust Lawyer of the Year prize.
He has also been charged with looking into the domestic trusts register. ‘It’s so messy,’ he says. ‘It takes things to a whole new level, and is now casting the net more wildly. An ever-increasing circle of people are sucked in. It’s already unfair and complex: we’re trying to rough off some of the edges.’
Alongside this, Riches advises family offices, usually on a cross-border basis, and also
has a strong client base of entrepreneurs. How does he fit it all in? ‘It’s a doubling-up,’ he says. ‘It’s good for the industry, and it’s helping me with clients. I’m up to date on the thinking and with policy-makers.’
But although Riches is in the thick of complex and controversial changes to the tax code, he has gentle words about chancellor Philip Hammond. ‘I actually think he’s inherited a difficult brief and hasn’t equipped himself too badly,’ he says. ‘He is talking realistically to business and the City, in a way that others aren’t.’