Paul Ayres - Spear's Magazine

Paul Ayres


Paul Ayres
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Last year Paul Ayres had just experienced ‘the busiest tax year-end in two decades’, and this year he’s been even busier. ‘What we’re seeing is a lot of people needing help in terms of restructuring, and they’re looking for a bigger firm that has a global reach,’ says the formidable accountant, who has seen his client base expand by 20 per cent.

Lucid and approachable, Ayres is head of private clients at BDO and specialises in all aspects of HNW and UHNW affairs, with emphasis on domicile and residence issues and associated planning. He serves a mix of domestic clients and international non-doms: ‘Sometimes we deal with the individual, sometimes with a whole family, sometimes with trustees and sometimes with a client’s family offices. We can either be the lead adviser or work alongside their other advisers to create a complementary service.’

Ayres adds that UK domestic trusts are a rarity these days because they are ‘incredibly complicated’ to set up. Alternatives often involve ‘corporates, or other family members coming in as shareholders’.

‘HMRC are struggling on the resource side,’ he adds. ‘That means enquiries and litigation seem to be taking a long time to resolve. Also, they seem to be rotating employees across cases so you don’t always get the same person. We’ve got one long-running enquiry where we’ve had three different handlers, which isn’t great.’