James Walker - Spear's Magazine

James Walker


James Walker
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Following almost a decade in Jersey, Walker returned to the UK, where, after a stint as a non-dom specialist at an accountancy firm, he set up his own practice, which was rolled into Buzzacott in 2011. He now heads up the private client team and specialises in the UK taxation of offshore structures, advising settlors and beneficiaries, with a particular focus on UK non-doms.

The drive towards transparency is ‘distasteful’, says Walker categorically. ‘On the one hand we have GDPR protecting personal data with significant penalties imposed on those who do not follow it, while on the other, we have a drive towards publicly available registers showing sensitive personal information and details of their assets. This is a significant risk to their safety.’

Changes to legislation regarding trusts have also been unhelpful, making trusts less accessible to those of more modest wealth and more valuable to those with more significant assets. ‘What many people forget with trusts is that they are very often there simply for asset protection reasons, including ensuring that family wealth is not squandered,’ he says. Although alternatives exist, ‘an offshore trust remains my preferred option for those with a non-UK domicile and significant wealth’.