Passing the torch: Is now the time to gift the family farm?
Christopher is a Partner at the firm and head of the Private Client team. He advises a diverse range of clients including business owners and those with landed estates on succession planning, the preparation of wills, estate and tax planning, trust creation, powers of attorney and the administration of trusts and estates.
Christopher is also a director of Brachers Trust Corporation Ltd, which provides the firm’s professional executor/trustee/attorney and deputy service.
Many of Christopher’s clients are business owners looking to succession plan and a significant proportion of which are from the farming and agricultural community.
Christopher qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and specialises in capital taxes planning. He helps clients to minimise inheritance tax and capital gains tax exposure whether through will or trust planning or otherwise as part of the administration of an estate or trust.
Christopher has particular expertise in inheritance tax planning for clients with businesses and/or agricultural assets. He is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners as well as Solicitors for the Elderly and lectures for CILEX Law School on various Private Client topics.
Christopher lays claim to having drafted the world’s highest Will at a height of 5,364 metres on a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp!
Christopher specialises in:
- Estate / tax planning
- Powers of Attorney
- Administration of estates and trusts
- Agricultural law
- Business succession planning
- Deeds of variation
Ranked in Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2019:
He listens carefully and asks questions to understand the clients' wishes, in order to establish the best course of action to help achieve them. He uses his experience and knowledge to benefit his clients.
Recognised Lawyer in Legal 500 2019:
Very client focused and easy to work with and is alive to the issues that matter most.
Qualifications and Memberships
- Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Full Professional Member of Solicitors of the Elderly
- Member of the Law Society Private Client Section
- Agricultural Law Association
- Country Landowners Association
- Charity Trustee for West Kent Mind
- RNLI Committee Member
Some of Christopher's recent cases include:
- Estate planning work for a wealthy couple which included the creation of Revocable Life Interest Trust Wills for maximum flexibility and asset protection purposes, Lasting Powers of Attorney for property and finance and health & welfare, numerous declarations of trust to transfer equity in investment properties in order to reduce exposure to income and capital gains tax and the setup of inheritance tax efficient lifetime trusts.
- Acting for wealthy husband and wife clients with a multi-million pound pension, which involved the creation of an inheritance tax efficient Spousal By-Pass Trust to reduce inheritance tax exposure on second death. This achieved a potential inheritance tax saving of circa. £70,000.
- Acting in the administration of a substantial estate which included business and agricultural assets and devising a planning strategy to make full use of all inheritance tax reliefs available to the estate.
- Acting in the administration of an estate in excess of £1m which involved an application to the Court for the appointment of an independent administrator to deal with the estate whereby creditors of the estate were conflicted from acting themselves.
- Achieving a considerable capital gains tax saving for beneficiaries of a Will trust being wound up by fragmenting the beneficial ownership of trust property through the use of a Memorandum of Appropriation and a declaration of trust.
- Advising the trustees of a number of related trusts on the overall tax planning strategy of the continuation of the trusts. This involved the winding up of one of the trusts and providing assistance with the administration of the trusts including the trustees about their ongoing duties and responsibilities.
- Advising clients on the negotiation process of settling an overdue inheritance tax liability.
Articles by Christopher