Blick Rothenberg partner Suzanne Willis took top honours among private client tax accountants at last year’s Spear’s Wealth Management Awards as the judges recognised the continued strength of her practice. Willis’s previous firm, Westleton Drake, was acquired by Blick Rothenberg in 2018 as the larger business sought to benefit from its target’s US connections.
Willis, who has practised in both UK and US tax law since 1997, has told Spear’s she thinks of her clients as ‘being in the middle of the Atlantic’ because of the way that business interests and family relationships tend to take them back and forth.
As internationally mobile HNWs know only too well, this kind of lifestyle can create complexity. In some cases, problems can be dissolved before they arise – but only if clients seek advice sufficiently early. ‘A mistake clients sometimes make is to do things before taking advice. It happens all the time,’ says Willis. ‘You can get yourself in such a knot – just because you don’t understand [the implications].’
For example, a US resident moving to the UK and bringing money with them to buy a house could suddenly end up with an unexpected tax bill. When something like this happens, Willis says, her goal is for clients to feel confident their potentially difficult situation will be dealt with properly and competently. ‘To me,’ she says, ‘that’s what it’s all about.’