Forsters LLP

London

Forsters was formed in 1998 by ten partners from Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, who decided to create a new firm rather than take part in a merger with a large firm based in the City.  Their vision was to create a new firm with a distinctive culture which could provide a genuine alternative to City firms.

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Updates

Immigration

Statement of changes to immigration rules – implications for Tier 1 (Investor) visa applicants and holders
United Kingdom | 22 March 2019

The Home Office recently released its statement of changes setting out proposed changes to UK immigration rules. The statement contains the long-awaited details of changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, which were announced in December 2018 shortly after the Home Office backtracked from its announcement that the visa was about to be suspended. The proposed changes are significant and clarity is needed with regard to the application of the transitional rules.

Private Client & Offshore Services

International aspects to a nuptial agreement
United Kingdom | 20 June 2019

When one or both parties to a marriage have a connection with another country in addition to England and Wales, there are international considerations and implications to take into account when considering a nuptial agreement. This could be because of where they live, their domicile or nationality or where their assets are based. Among other things, couples should consider where an agreement should be drawn up and whether an English nuptial agreement will be upheld abroad.

Is it time to consider blockchain-based trusts?
International | 30 May 2019

With the slow but inexorable process of tokenisation, whereby real-world assets are moved onto blockchains and represented by tokens, it is only a matter of time before trust practitioners will need to look at blockchain-based trusts or 'smart trusts'. However, the beauty of the modern trust is its flexibility and the beauty of blockchain is its pre-programmability and immutability. Can these two worlds really come together?

Proprietary estoppel claims – lessons from recent case law
United Kingdom | 11 April 2019

Proprietary estoppel claims often arise in a farming and/or family context and 2018 was a bumper year for such claims. No fewer than 12 claims relying on the equitable doctrine came before the High Court over the same number of months (seven of which related to farms or farming businesses). However, this spike in cases did not translate into a high success rate, with only three claimants managing to satisfy the court in relation to the three elements required to establish an estoppel.

Court U-turn in approach to 'out of time' inheritance act claims
United Kingdom | 04 April 2019

Shortly after rejecting a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act outside the statutory six-month time limit, the High Court of Justice allowed a claim to be brought 25 years and nine months after the deadline. As the statutory deadline had passed, the court exercised its discretion in favour of the claimant based on, among other things, the merits of her claim and the fact that refusing the application would leave her with no benefit from the estate and effectively homeless.

Practical process of obtaining a nuptial agreement
United Kingdom | 14 March 2019

The practical process of entering into a nuptial agreement may not be as difficult as it first seems. This article provides a five-step guide which covers discussing the possibility of a nuptial agreement, engaging solicitors and agreeing headline terms, disclosing assets and liabilities, drafting and negotiating agreements and signing agreements and keeping them safe.

Tips for discussing a nuptial agreement
United Kingdom | 07 March 2019

The prospect of discussing a nuptial agreement may seem daunting, but if approached in the right way it can form part of an important conversation about a couple's future together. If a couple can agree the central elements of a nuptial agreement before lawyers draw up the document, this will help to minimise potential areas of disagreement and can pave the way for a constructive negotiation. This article outlines tips for broaching the sometimes thorny subject of prenuptial agreements.

Benefits of signing a nuptial agreement
United Kingdom | 21 February 2019

Raising the subject of a nuptial agreement can be a difficult task, but beneficial in the long run. A nuptial agreement can help to give a couple the freedom to decide their financial destiny rather than leaving that power to a judge in the family courts. It is a way for a couple to draw up their own rules rather than rely on the default of a legal system which may or may not accommodate individual circumstances. This article examines some of the many benefits of signing nuptial agreements.

Top five myths about nuptial agreements: dispelling the most common misconceptions
United Kingdom | 14 February 2019

Many feel apprehensive about raising the subject of nuptial agreements, partly due to the lack of impartial information and the influence of popular misheld beliefs. Despite the widespread belief that nuptial agreements are unfair, worthless and unromantic, they can be a sensible, fair and transparent way to discuss the financial aspects of a marriage and agree the outcome if ever it breaks down.

Offshore income gains and not-so-protected settlements: unwelcome announcement from HMRC
United Kingdom | 06 December 2018

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently surprised many with a statement that the government does not intend to remedy a defect in recently introduced legislation relating to the tax treatment of non-resident protected settlements. The defect means that gains realised by non-resident trustees on the disposal of offshore funds that are not registered with HMRC as having "reporting status" will be subject to income tax as they arise once the settlor is deemed domiciled in the United Kingdom.

Ardmore Construction v HMRC – deduction of UK income tax and source of loan interest
United Kingdom | 20 September 2018

The territorial scope of UK income tax for non-UK resident persons is generally limited to certain types of income that have a UK source. To help Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs collect the tax due on the interest received by a non-UK resident lender, the debtor is required to deduct income tax at the basic rate from the interest payments. The Court of Appeal recently confirmed that the multifactorial test is the correct approach for establishing the source of such loan interest.

Requirement to correct rule – prompt action advised to avoid penalties
United Kingdom | 17 May 2018

The Finance (No 2) Act 2017 contains provisions requiring the disclosure of historic non-compliance to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs by September 30 2018 (ie, the requirement to correct rule). This is part of a range of legislation targeting offshore tax evasion. Defences for failing to comply with the requirement to correct are limited and it may be insufficient to have relied on legal or tax advice. Prompt action is required to potentially avoid very significant penalties.

Online trust registration service updated
United Kingdom | 08 February 2018

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently issued an updated set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the new online Trust Registration Service and the information that certain trustees must maintain and report. In addition, HMRC confirmed further extensions to the deadlines for the registration of trusts with its online service. Details of the availability of the relevant online services have also been included in the FAQs.

New register for trusts
United Kingdom | 16 November 2017

The government recently enacted legislation which obliges trustees to collect, maintain and disclose information about trusts and related individuals. The information must be provided via Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) new online Trust Registration Service (TRS). As part of the regular new guidance on the practical operation of the TRS register, HMRC has released a set of frequently asked questions which deal with some areas of uncertainty.

Real Estate

Consultation published for SDLT surcharge for non-residents acquiring residential property
United Kingdom | 08 March 2019

The government recently published a consultation proposing the introduction of a 1% stamp duty land tax surcharge on non-residents acquiring residential property in England and Northern Ireland. The proposals include applying the surcharge to non-resident individuals, companies, partnerships and trusts. However, the government is considering relief for non-UK resident individuals who are Crown employees subject to UK income tax at the time of the transaction.