James Hender - Spear's Magazine

James Hender

Saffrey Champness

James Hender
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James Hender’s clients are worried about more than Brexit – they’re also worried a change in government could have a ‘radical impact’ on their lives and a very changed tax landscape.

Aside from preparing clients for this hypothetical future, Hender is also tasked with protecting a wide range of families, entrepreneurs and international HNWs from the current regime. Saffery Champness’s head of private wealth has noticed a ‘definite change in style’ in HMRC’s approach to wealth, especially if it’s stationed offshore. ‘The Revenue is focusing much more on penalties,’ he says. ‘HMRC is under the impression that there are a lot of schemes being thought up and concocted for clients – but that world is gone.’

He adds that the authorities’ suspicions, equipped with ‘powerful legislation’, can bring dire consequences for HNWs, especially those with undisclosed offshore liabilities, whether or not the error is accidental: ‘Undoubtedly some people will have been hiding. My sense is it’s not as many as HMRC thinks.’

Hender is also happy to report that businesses are still alive in the ‘broader economy’ this year, and have increased in volume compared to 2017. ‘Some very entrepreneurial people are creating fantastic businesses and are building value,’ he observes, adding that tech sector innovation is the real force driving these transactions.