The German Private Clients team is known for its expertise in providing tax and legal advice for companies, high net worth individuals, private banks and family offices. We work on specific transactions, as well as functioning as an ongoing contact and discussion partner. We are frequently approached by consultants for a so-called "second opinion", and we have extensive experience in connection with tax disputes as well.
Our consulting services are aimed at developing individual tax-efficient solutions which are customised to meet the needs of our clients. We take the long view, developing enduring structures which are in full compliance with the law. SJ Berwin has an inter-disciplinary focus, and can rely on longstanding relationships with our international colleagues for international questions.
Highlights of our work include:
Business and estate succession:
Advance planning of business and estate succession helps transfer existing assets to the next generation and ensures a smooth transition of decision-making authority. A failure to plan for succession, on the other hand, may jeopardize the existence of both personal and business assets. Our business and estate succession services focus on the specific needs and conditions of each family in order to find a personalised and tax-efficient solution.
Corporate sales and acquisitions:
We advise clients in the acquisition and sale of companies, covering the entire transaction process. This includes developing a tax-optimised transaction structure and comprehensive legal advice in all aspects of the sale process, and in drafting the sales contract. Our clients also frequently benefit from our established relationships with well-known investment banks and investment management companies, which allow our clients to make contact with potential buyers. If necessary we will organise the entire transaction process and structure the subsequent asset management investments.
Introduction and removal of assets:
Removing assets, or moving them abroad, can substantially reduce your personal tax liability. However, final taxation at the time of removal may create a considerable additional tax burden. When moving assets to Germany, it must be ensured that a double tax liability does not result for the owner's hidden reserves. The Private Client team has valuable experience with all legal and tax procedures in connection with the removal of assets from and the introduction of assets into Germany and will advise you in all questions relating to the introduction and removal process.
Restructuring of business and/or personal assets:
The need to restructure business or personal assets may arise for various reasons, such as to prepare for succession, improve conditions for a corporate sale, minimize liability, create holding structures, and so on. Last but not least, tax considerations are often the decisive motivation for restructuring programs. Our consultants will develop individual legal structures for your business holdings and other assets according to your needs, structures which are both tax-optimised and which meet your non-tax goals.
Capital Investment Products:
Capital investment decisions are influenced to a great extent by general legal and tax-related conditions. In addition to the opportunities presented by tax optimised capital investment products, any investment decision must not overlook associated risks which could occur should the tax authorities take a different view. We advise our clients on the implementation of individual solutions whilst also offering support in the assessment and selection of capital investment products offered by banks. Our range of advisory services includes investment fund structures, trusts and derivatives.
"Internal" asset management:
In addition to monitoring the customer's tax and legal situation, bankers, asset managers and family officers must increasingly deal with their own legal and tax issues. This includes questions relating to the Legal Services Act and, in particular, current questions of supervisory law and structural aspects. A particular focus is advice in connection with current questions involving the implementation of MiFID in Germany by the Financial Markets Directive Implementation Act. We not only advise our clients on existing supervisory obligations, but also develop processes suitable to limit the scope of supervision, in consultation with our clients.
The Private Client team currently consists of 10 attorneys and accountants across Germany. Our employees are experienced specialists who regularly publish in well-known professional journals, as well as appearing at conferences.
View the Private Clients brochure
View the Family Businesses brochure