James is a Partner and Head of Private Client for Edinburgh. He joined the Firm in 2018 after spending thirteen years with a leading Private Client firm in Edinburgh.
James provides clients with tax efficient solutions in passing wealth on to future generations, both in lifetime and on death. He specialises in all aspects of the formation, administration and termination of trusts, including providing expert advice on the legal and tax implications of the use of trusts in succession planning and asset protection. James also deals with the administration of estates and has a particular interest in finding solutions for clients where matters are complex or contentious - and also advises on care fees planning for elderly and vulnerable clients.
James’ guidance on the implications of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on trustees was adopted by the Law Society of Scotland and he continues to provide guidance to trustees, including charitable trustees, of their reporting obligations under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). He also provides training for businesses and practitioners on the impact of FATCA and CRS.
He is a member of STEP and serves as secretary on their Scottish Branch Committee. James has also tutored on the Private Client Course of the Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh.
Advising on and drafting the legal documentation for the tax efficient appointment of assets (including business assets) in a £10m+ trust.
Advising on the inheritance tax and capital gains tax treatment of heritage property and conditionally exempt assets held in trust.
Advising on the trust and tax consequences of a negotiated agreement to provide a beneficiary with a guaranteed minimum income in a £10m+ trust.
Advising a client on the reclassification of shares in a family company and the creation of a discretionary trust to hold the shares, which were then used to pay for their grandchildren’s education.
Advising the executors on the division of three farms among the beneficiaries of a contentious executry.
Advising on complex estates with commercial properties, landed/sporting estates and claims for Agricultural and Business Property Relief.
University of Edinburgh (LLB Hons)
University of Edinburgh (Dip LP)
STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
Law Society of Scotland
Areas of expertise
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