Mark Bridges - Spear's Magazine

Mark Bridges

Farrer & Co

Mark Bridges
The Spear’s Indices
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Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers

For more than a quarter of a century, Lord Bridges has arguably been the pre-eminent lawyer in this field. Down the phone, Spear’s hears the voice which has guided not only the Queen, but also the Duchy of Lancaster through their tax affairs.

‘What is interesting is the way that for most clients the purely domestic concerns are less a part of what we’ve been doing than the global things – the CRS [Common Reporting Standard] and the EU,’ he says. It’s an opinion offered from a perch of great experience: taxation law has changed beyond recognition during his career. One gets the impression of a man whose sense of humour keeps him going – certainly, clients keep returning to him.

‘I think London is doing its best not to be attractive; Italy is trying to court people; France is coming back from the high levels of tax it had from the previous president.’ He pauses, then adds: ‘But most of us love our country and have family here – the garden we’ve been weeding all these years. My own guess is people will think about leaving, then do absolutely nothing.’

Bridges notes that clients are moving their investment portfolios into cash – that way they have money to spend in the event of sudden shifts in valuation. He also feels vindicated to some extent by the Requirement to Correct: ‘I’ve always hated clever-dick schemes:
they tend to be very expensive, the client doesn’t understand them, and they tend to get stopped.’