60-second interview with…

François Collon, Attorney at Hirsch & Vanhaelst, Brussels, and Secretary General of the Belgian branch of the International Fiscal Association


What does your firm do?

Tax consultancy and tax litigation.

What is your perception of STEP and what does it mean to your business?

STEP is a link between private client practitioners, a unique opportunity to meet people and share ideas and thoughts.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners in and around Switzerland at the moment?

The biggest challenges are tax transparency and exchange of information between tax authorities.

How will you deal with these challenges?

By regularising the situation of our clients when needed and reshaping the way they own their assets.

You will be speaking at the STEP Geneva Conferencein April. What have you chosen as a topic and what are the key issues in this area?

I will be speaking about residence for ultra-high-net-worth families in Europe and the specific position of Belgium in this matter.

What jurisdictions/regions are currently important to your work and why?

Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France because that is where my clients have their interests and needs.

What do you do in your spare time?

Enjoying family time with my spouse and our three children and also running… I try to run at least two marathons a year.

What’s your favourite quote?

‘Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing,’ Muhammad Ali.


François Collon is an Attorney at Hirsch & Vanhaelst, Brussels, Belgium. He holds a Law Degree (ULB, Brussels), a Master in Tax Law (ICHEC, Brussels) and a Master in Company Law (KUL, Keuven). He advises private clients on every aspect of their personal tax position, from dealing with their annual self-assessment tax return to advising on capital gains tax, wills and inheritance tax planning. He is also Secretary General of the Belgian branch of the International Fiscal Association.


The 2013 STEP Geneva Conference ‘Opportunities for the Wealth Management Industry in Switzerland: How trustees can assist wealth managers in Switzerland in addressing the needs of families’ will be held on 29 April 2013 in Geneva. For more information on the event, please visit www.step-geneva-conference.ch/


Would you like to be interviewed? Email [email protected]


Article posted on 21 March 2013


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