The Private Wealth and Private Client Review

  • Author : John Riches
  • Author : Edward Buckland
  • Date : April 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edward Buckland TEP is Managing Director and Global Head of Fiduciary in the Wealth Advisory division at Barclays, and is a Member of the STEP Board and Council

Books that provide an overview of the laws of various jurisdictions are not that uncommon. However, books that have at their heart a desire to help the private client practitioner understand a little more of the ever-changing international landscape are rarer, and the Private Wealth and Private Client Review definitely fits into the latter category.

This work, which is edited by John Riches, contains, in addition to 26 overviews of relevant laws in various jurisdictions, two more general chapters. The first deals with EU developments and is written by Richard Frimston (perhaps the leading light on these issues), and the second covers the cross-border considerations for matrimonial property, a subject close to any private client practitioner’s heart.

The meat of the book, however, consists of those jurisdictional chapters, each of which follows roughly the same format. After an introduction, there is a useful section on the local tax system as it applies to residents of that jurisdiction, followed by the principles of succession, issues of wealth structuring and regulation, and some conclusions as to the future.

Thus if the reader were dealing with a resident of Belgium, the Belgian chapter would at least give you some helpful pointers on the framework of the rules in that person’s home jurisdiction, although, as the book is quick to point out, these can only be pointers and not a substitute for individual advice.

It is particularly good to see that the jurisdictional chapters do not cover solely the usual suspects. Thus there are chapters on India and Brazil, to name but two that are becoming increasingly important.

It is also perhaps surprising that, while the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands all have chapters devoted to them, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man do not. However, in my view, this book is at its most valuable where it is helping the private client practitioner gain an understanding of the laws of, say, Argentina or Germany, and not of an offshore island.

So perhaps in the next version we may see more of the emerging market economies and less of the offshore islands. In addition to Russia and China, what about Indonesia or Malaysia, for example?

As is inevitable in books of this type, not all of the jurisdictional chapters cover exactly the same ground, in certain chapters perhaps dwelling too much on local regulation and not so much on other elements.

One example that could have been followed in other chapters is shown by the New Zealand chapter, which has details of the various double-taxation treaties. This is valuable: planning using double taxation treaties is an increasingly important area for international private client practitioners.

Each of the jurisdictional sections could benefit from a discussion of the double-taxation treaty framework and its details (along the line of the excellent New Zealand contribution from Geoffrey Cone). If, for some jurisdictions, the table would be too long, concentrating on the double-taxation treaties most likely to be of interest to the international practitioner could be a solution.

That being said, this book is an extremely welcome addition to the shelf of any international practitioner. It provides, in one handy volume, a useful introduction to the laws of many jurisdictions that are of increasing importance.

In addition, parts of the text, in particular the thoughts of the editor in his preface, are essential reading for anyone involved in international planning.

The Private Wealth and Private Client Review
John Riches

STEP member price: GBP157.50 (go to and log in to receive your discount)
Publisher: Law Business Research


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