Private wealth

Stephenson Harwood has been looking after the legal needs of wealthy individuals and their families for nearly 200 years. We have always understood that our private clients require a wide range of services, beyond that which is offered by the traditional ‘private client’ firms. This is because our clients are typically entrepreneurial, international and with complex, frequently international, interests.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

As a truly international firm, with a wide range of legal capabilities, our award winning private wealth team is ideally positioned to service all the needs of high net worth individuals. We can help you with:

  • advice on residency and domicile
  • UK and international personal tax planning, including planning for UK resident and non-domiciled individuals
  • tax and succession advice for shareholders, directors and employees
  • advice on tax efficient inward investment into the UK, including real estate
  • creating and advising upon offshore trusts, foundations, companies and other wealth preservation vehicles
  • creating and advising upon overseas pensions schemes and other remuneration trusts
  • representing clients in tax enquiries and investigations instigated by HMRC and where criminal proceedings have been commenced
  • creating asset protection structures

Our private wealth team works closely with our renowned corporate tax team, which provides the full range of tax services – both direct and indirect taxes (including VAT) - to businesses in the UK and internationally.

"The ‘slick’ group routinely advises high-net-worth clients on a broad range of contentious trusts and probate matters."

The Legal 500 UK 2019

UK property

We regularly advise clients on the most tax efficient means of acquiring and holding UK property, both for personal occupation and investment, taking into account CGT, IHT, ATED, SDLT and VAT.

Residency planning

We recently advised a prominent Italian family on their relocation to the UK, looking at their personal assets and those in various offshore trusts.

Tax investigations

We represented a client in an HMRC investigation generated by their receipt of his leaked foreign bank account details and we settled the case for less than one-tenth of the amount of tax originally claimed.


We advised a prominent Hong Kong billionaire on his proposed bequest to a US charity and created two charitable trusts in the UK and Hong Kong.

International succession planning

We recently advised a UK national resident in Belgium on estate planning for his worldwide estate, including considering the interaction between UK and Belgian death taxes.

Foreign pensions

We are renowned for our expertise in foreign pensions and we have advised a large number of individuals and institutions on the UK tax treatment of IPPs, QROPS and QNUPS.

Jets, yachts and art

As well as being able to provide tax advice on the acquisition of these assets, we can also provide advice on all legal matters including build/purchase contracts, disputes and finance.

Kevin Lee Partner

T:  +852 2533 2843
M:  Email Kevin | Vcard Office:  Hong Kong


James Quarmby Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2364
M:  +44 7958 776 759 Email James | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

15 Oct 2020

From News

Success at WealthBriefing European Awards 2020

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named 'Private Client Law Firm' for the fourth consecutive year, while London-based partner Emily Osborne has won the ‘Best Pr..


14 Sep 2020

From News

James Quarmby: top ten leading tax and trust lawyer

Stephenson Harwood partner James Quarmby has been named in Spear's Magazine's top ten tax and trust lawyers of 2020. It’s the third year running that Quarmby has featu..


04 Sep 2020

From Insights

Non-resident SDLT surcharge to be introduced from 1 April 2021

The UK has published draft legislation to introduce a new 2% stamp duty land tax ("SDLT") surcharge on acquisitions of residential property by non-UK residents


12 Aug 2020

From Insights

The ownership of real estate in Dubai by ADGM registered entities

The Dubai Land Department (“DLD”) has formally agreed with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) Registration Authority to allow ADGM Foundations, ADGM family businesse..


06 Aug 2020

From Insights

CAPITAL talk – private wealth in a podcast

CAPITAL talk – private wealth in a podcast; hosted by James Quarmby, who examines the important topical issues facing the private wealth industry by way of searching i..


27 Jul 2020

From Insights

A spotlight on global investment migration options for private clients

The recent pandemic has highlighted the increasing trend of wealthy individuals seeking global mobility, alternative residency and visa free travel, for a variety of r..


13 Jul 2020

From Insights

CAPITAL letters - Issue 31

I have written before about the shifting sands of the UK property taxation regime for non resident landlords. Since I wrote that article, the government has introduced..


23 Jun 2020

From Insights

A wealth of advice

For those of you that know me well, know that I am forever an optimist.


04 Jun 2020

From News

Stephenson Harwood wins ‘Best Legal Team’ award at WealthBriefingAsia Awards 2020

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named winner of the ‘Best Legal Team’ award in Private Client Categories (Greater China) at the WealthBriefingAsia Awards 2020..


07 May 2020

From Insights

Registration of DIFC wills now available for UAE residents

In response to the challenges posed during these unprecedented times, the DIFC Wills Service Centre has taken the initiative in providing UAE residents the ability to ..


11 Mar 2020

From Insights

Budget 2020: Changes to entrepreneurs' relief

As predicted, entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) was a major casualty of today’s Budget. The headline news is that the lifetime limit has been cut to £1 million of gains with ..


03 Mar 2020

From News

Success for Stephenson Harwood at WealthBriefingAsia Awards 2020

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named winner of the 'Excellence in servicing North American clients' award at the WealthBriefingAsia Awards 2020.


14 Oct 2019

From Insights

A wealth of advice - October 2019

There is a distinctive turn of events on the ground here in the UAE and GCC; what one predicted to be a quiet, sultry summer, certainly was not!


25 Jun 2019

From Insights

A wealth of advice - June 2019 - The wonderful world of the DIFC Wills & Probate Registry - Revised Rules June 2019

With effect from 30 June 2019, any Wills executed in accordance with the newly amended DIFC Wills & Probate Registry Rules (”Rules”), shall now be able to include asse..


24 Jun 2019

From Insights

CAPITAL letters - Issue 30

Back in the early 1970s all the men were wearing flares and sporting sideburns and the Labour Chancellor, Denis Healey, in his 1974 budget speech, declared that “nothi..


14 Jun 2019

From Insights

A wealth of advice - June 2019

An update on the current UAE Foundations regimes; the DIFC Foundation based upon the DIFC Foundations Law 2018 and the ADGM Foundation based upon the Foundations Regul..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.