Trust Registration Service: Update

Background

All trusts with a UK tax liability have been required to register under the Tax Registration Service (TRS) since March 2018. Following the country’s adoption of the EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive, the scope of the TRS has been expanded. As a result of the change, all existing UK trusts and some non-UK trusts, irrespective of whether the trust has a UK tax liability, need to now register with HMRC too, unless they fall within the list of excluded trusts.

What are excluded trusts?

 Excluded trusts include but are not limited to:

  • charitable trusts;
  • will trusts (for the first two years after date of death only);
  • co-ownership trusts where legal and beneficial owners are the same person;
  • bank accounts for minors;
  • trusts for bereaved minors or adults aged 18-25;
  • trusts of life policies paying out on death, terminal illness or disability;
  • trusts imposed by courts or created by legislation.

It is important to note that bare trusts have not been excluded and, therefore, will be required to register.

What information is required?

The following information will need to be provided:

  • trust name;
  • status;
  • details of assets;
  • reference numbers of settlor, trustees and beneficiaries.
Who is the information available to?

 The register can be viewed by HMRC and law enforcement authorities.

What is the registration deadline?

 The deadline for registrations for non-taxable trusts is 1 September 2022.

Are there any other deadlines?

 Both taxable and non-taxable trusts will have 90 days to report any changes.  If the trust is taxable, a declaration that the trust is up to date needs to be made on an annual basis by 31 January.

What to do next?

 Trustees have a legal duty to comply with the HMRC reporting requirements. If you have any questions, please contact us, and we will advise on the above.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257, or Alla Stepanyants on astepanyants@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2222.

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Machine Learning engineer? Why you should consider the UK for your next move

LinkedIn has listed Machine Learning Engineer as second place in this year’s 20 most in-demand job titles in the UK. Top locations for this position include London, Cambridge and Edinburgh, and employers are generally asking for around three years of experience. Interestingly, while Data Engineers and Back End Developer roles are also in demand, London and Manchester are the most popular locations.

If you’re thinking of relocating here, the UK is attractive for many reasons; here are just a few:

  • The average base pay for a Machine Learning Engineer is £51,487, and it goes up to a six-figure salary for the right person (Glassdoor[1]).
  • The UK is ranked third in the world for private venture capital investment into AI companies; in 2019, investment into the UK reached almost £2.5bn. It’s also home to a third of Europe’s total AI companies.
  • More and more Unicorn start-ups[2] are making their presence felt in the UK, with three in four of the UK’s unicorn companies based in London. As this includes all 20 fintech unicorns[3], the demand for a skilled workforce couldn’t be higher.
  • The UK offers the most flexible visa for specialists and highly skilled individuals. The traditional Skilled Worker visa route is readily available if you qualify to enter the UK market on a sponsored route.
  • Alternatively, the Global Talent Visa offers great flexibility if you’re a highly accomplished ML engineer. A successful application will get you through a fast-track route to permanent residency status after three years and you wouldn’t be bonded to any employer throughout the visa duration.

The UK also offers a fantastic work-life balance for professionals with a family. With excellent commuting routes, you wouldn’t necessarily have to live in London. With access to an exceptional school system and being strategically located geographically, it’s a smooth ride for your family members if they relocate to the UK with you.

At GSC Solicitors LLP, we advise clients on all aspects of Immigration, UK tax, and UK employment law. If you’re considering moving to the UK for work, get in touch with our specialist immigration team to discuss your options. Call our Private & Corporate Immigration expert Shareena Rahman on +44 (0)20 7822 2222 or email srahman@gscsolicitors.com

[1] https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/machine-learning-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm

[2] https://startupsoflondon.com/the-complete-list-of-unicorn-startups-in-the-uk-2021/

[3] https://www.beauhurst.com/research/unicorn-companies/

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

GSC Solicitors LLP hosts a roundtable discussion with Malaysian women business leaders

GSC Solicitors LLP were delighted to host a roundtable discussion with The Hon. Datuk Hajah Zuraida Kamarudin, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Malaysia. She is also the Chairman of the Malaysian Women Political Council. She was joined by a delegation of 5 women business leaders from Malaysia. The event was led by Shareena Rahman, Immigration Advisor.

Also in attendance were GSC’s Senior Associate Solicitor / Higher Courts Advocate Sana Sheikh, Mei Sim Lai OBE DL, Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, Sabila Din, Zehan Albakri Verden, Rie Hamagguchi, and Aimee Alado all of whom are representatives of prominent businesswomen based in London.

The Hon. Minister and our guests discussed topics relating to women empowerment and the two main topics discussed were:

  1. Women in business – East vs West – the challenges of setting up a business for women in today’s climate
  2. Women work force – The current challenges and how we can improve the women work force?

The attendees from the British and Malaysian delegation shared their personal experience of running large organisations and how they have since made the pathway for younger women to follow. The attendees also discussed the core issues on the importance of setting up strong foundations and to give back by helping other women on their road to success.

A Matter of Merit: The Fight to Practise Law

Saleem Sheikh, senior partner of GSC Solicitors LLP, has been part of the fabric of the City law firm for over 40 years. But in early-1980s London it was tough for any young Asian to find a way into a legal profession that was anything but welcoming.

In this story in our series of GSC Stories celebrating 50 years of GSC Solicitors LLP, Saleem celebrates the people who saw his merit and potential.

Mercifully, I didn’t encounter much racism at all when I was at university and at the College of Law. I’d experienced it before, of course. I had arrived in the UK in 1967 from Kenya, the son of parents who had left India for Pakistan during the partition, and then left Pakistan for East Africa. I was the only Asian boy in my class at school and I was the butt of all the insults you might imagine. But by the time I had reached the latter stages of my academic career my world was a meritocracy. You stood or fell on your own abilities, and I was proving myself able.

So it was jarring to find that, when I came to apply for articles, things did not appear so simple. I knew that, despite my qualifications being as good as, if not better, than other applicants, the clients of the firms to which I was applying might not appreciate someone with the surname Sheikh as their legal representative.

Eventually I secured articles with a large City firm, although the offer felt lukewarm – as though it was more a result of their running out of reasons not to give me the job rather than actively wanting me.

As always at that time, my confidante and source of wisdom, advice and encouragement was Debra Trosser, my lecturer at the LSE. I explained my situation. She suggested I contact her brother-in-law who happened to be the co-founder of a boutique law firm in London.

I didn’t do that. I had an offer and, despite my misgivings, I felt I should probably stick with it.

The next time I ran into Debra, she challenged me. Why hadn’t I made the call? She insisted that we went for a drink, where we were joined by a rather imposing, grey-haired gentleman who also demanded to know why I hadn’t been in touch. This was John Green, co-founder of Green David Conway & Co, the firm which would in time become GSC Solicitors LLP. I mumbled something to John about my existing offer.

“In years to come,” he said, “there are going to be a lot of successful Asian clients who may need a commercial lawyer like you.” This was different. Here was a man actively seeking to recruit me, a man who saw the potential in me and the opportunity I represented for the firm.

John Green offered me the position of Green David Conway & Co’s first articled clerk in 1981.

I had a choice to make, and as ever in such matters, I asked my father, Manzoor-Ul-Haq Sheikh, for his advice. My father was a highly educated man and someone who provided me with constant support and wise counsel.

“Where did you feel most welcome?” he asked. “Where is your heart leading you?” It was leading me to GSC. 41 years later I’m still here.

Like many – perhaps every – person of colour in the UK at that time, I felt I had to work harder, do more and prove more because I was in a minority. I do believe everyone should achieve on merit alone. I say precisely that to the young lawyers I support today. But everyone, no matter what their colour or gender, should be given an equal opportunity to demonstrate that merit.

 

 

 

GSC in the Press – Entrepreneur Tribune: GSC Solicitors advises longstanding client on £420m acquisition

 

Source: https://entrepreneurtribune.com/gsc-solicitors-advises-longstanding-client-queensway-on-tristan-capital-partners-420m-acquisition-of-point-a-hotels/ 

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

The Register of Overseas Entities: Questions & Answers

Why is the Register of Overseas Entities being introduced?

The UK government is introducing a ‘Register of Overseas Entities’ to achieve transparency of property ownership where any UK property is held by an overseas entity. The government is looking to disincentivise foreign criminals from using UK property to launder money while continuing to provide legitimate businesses with an opportunity to invest in the United Kingdom.

The deadline for registration will be 6 months from the commencement of this new law.

Who will the measures apply to?

 The measures will apply to the following foreign owners of UK property:

  • any companies or legal entities governed by the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom
  • individuals who have significant influence or control over the entity.
 What property will the measures apply to?

 The measures will apply to property bought since January 1999 in England and Wales and since December 2014 in Scotland.

 What will the Register do?

The ‘Register of Overseas Entities’ will:

  • provide more information for law enforcement to assist with identifying criminals who use UK property to launder money
  • require anonymous foreign owners of UK property to reveal their identity
  • bring the regulations in line with those for UK companies owning property in the United Kingdom who are already obliged to disclose their beneficial owners to Companies House
  • impose sanctions for non-compliance.
What will foreign property owners have to do?

 This regime is modelled on the “People with Significant Control” (PSC) regime which is already in place for UK Companies. Foreign entities will now have to register their beneficial owners at Companies House.

Beneficial owners include those individuals who own more than 25% of the shares or have significant influence or control over the foreign entity.

 What will the sanctions for noncompliance be?

 There will be civil sanctions in the form of financial penalties of up to £500 per day, restrictions on dealing with property as well as criminal sanctions for both owners and managing officers.

 Review

 Currently there are approximately 90,000 properties in the UK that are owned by offshore companies and this new legislation has been sitting on the shelve for 4 years. However, it has taken the crisis in Ukraine to put this now on the top of the political agenda.

It is doubtful how this new legislation will succeed in dealing with those criminals or individuals on the Sanction list who use UK property to launder their funds. The flaws of the new legislation is the same as those being faced by the current PSC regime for UK Companies. The main disadvantages being that it is still possible to create structures so that the real individual is hidden from the register and that there is no mechanism to check that the information that is provided is true.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257.

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Marking our 50th Anniversary

PRESS RELEASE

GSC Solicitors LLP: Celebrating 50 Years of the Legal Excellence

Year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of GSC Solicitors LLP. Its first (slightly) contentious issue?

The naming of the independent law firm. It’s just one of a series of ‘GSC Stories’ set to be published throughout 2022 to mark the half-centenary.

It was 1972. John Douglas Green and David Peter Conway, the firm’s founding partners, were putting final plans in place for the launch of the law firm that would later become known as GSC Solicitors LLP.

There was just one sticking point: the firm’s name. GSC Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh takes up the story:

“Discussions went back and forth but John and David simply couldn’t agree whose name would appear first. They decided to flip a coin and John won. The firm would be called Green Conway & Co.

Yet David felt a little aggrieved. He had been qualified slightly longer than John. Alphabetically his surname came first. Conway Green & Co? John refused. He’d won the coin flip fair and square.

“It was David’s mum who broke the deadlock and called John with a potential solution. John could have his name first, she said, but David wanted the firm to bear his full name.

So Green David Conway & Co was born. For years afterwards many clients assumed ‘David’ was the never seen silent partner.”

GSC Stories

Naming the firm is the first of many stories chosen to mark the golden anniversary of a law firm which has become synonymous with client relationships that span multiple generations.

It was while recalling those stories with Head of Marketing Zhanna Sutton that Saleem realised they were too good not to be told.

Zhanna says: “50 years in business is an important milestone and deserves to be celebrated. While talking with Saleem, other partners and members of the wider GSC family, it’s clear

that our stories are about more than legal cases. They are about people who shaped our history, the clients whose lives have been changed by those people and the legal precedents set in the highest courts.”

“Like every family, some of our stories are amusing, some inspiring, some profound and some moving. Together they define the legacy of GSC and now seemed the perfect time to capture them.”

During this year, GSC Solicitors LLP will share its stories, and Saleem sees a common thread running through each one.

“We are – and have always been – lawyers for life. We have never viewed our clients as ‘cases’, ‘legal problems’ and certainly not ‘fees’. We commit to our clients in real and significant ways

and they trust us to make a difference. We are their lawyers. But we are also so much more.

“It is that approach that has seen us grow for 50 years. That is what the GSC Stories reveal. And that is why we remain well positioned to thrive for the next 50.”

In a memo, reported by The Mirror, the company said staff with the virus could continue to work in stores if they felt well enough to. Wilko confirmed the memo was sent out and the firm has since made a U-turn.

“When we get something wrong, we hold our hands up, admit it, and work to correct the situation,” the firm said. Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko chief executive, said he wanted to “reassure all our customers and team members” that the company’s advice to staff with Covid symptoms or those who test positive was to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

Although there is no longer a legal obligation for a person with Covid-19 to self-isolate, this is still an area where employers  need to be careful.

Employers still have an obligation to provide a safe working environment, so perhaps not allowing those who they know are unwell to enter their premises. They should also be wary of discrimination claims from the vulnerable if they are being asked to work alongside someone who has Covid-19.

Wilko have, correctly, backtracked on their original advice to staff.

The law in this article is current as of 18 March 2022.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60733394

If you have any employment law queries, please do not hesitate to contact David Nathan at dnathan@gscsolicitors.com or on 020 7822 2247.

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Application for the Ukrainian Humanitarian Route

Further support for Ukrainians fleeing Russia invasion

Thousands more Ukrainians will be welcomed to the UK as the Government continues its support for Ukraine in their fight against the Russian invasion.

The Prime Minister this morning (March 1) announced an expansion to our Ukrainian Humanitarian Route, which will increase the number of people from Ukraine who are eligible to come to the UK to be reunited with their families.

As well as immediate family members, British nationals and people of any nationality settled in the UK will now be supported to bring parents, grandparents, adult children and siblings to the UK. British nationals and people settled in the UK will be able to bring extended family members to the UK and sponsored humanitarian visa route will be established.

Assistance available to Ukrainian family members of British nationals and family members of Ukrainian residents in the UK.

The new changes will allow the arrival of Ukrainian immediate family members of families of British citizens and people living in the UK:

Who are considered to be the immediate family members?

  • Spouse/Unmarried partner
  • Children below 18 y/o
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Adult offspring above 18 y/o
  • Siblings and their immediate family members
  • a full-time relative you look after, who lives with you due to health

NO APPLICATION FEE

NO English language and salary requirements

People who successfully apply under this scheme will be granted an initial leave of 12 months.

If you meet the requirements and want your relatives to join you, please contact the hotline and apply.

You will be informed if you qualify to apply. You will also be given the information on how to submit the free application.

Telephone: +44 300 3032785 – select option 1 (0300 3032785 if you’re in the UK – select option 1)

Lines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

This is a free phone number, but network charges may still apply.

Once you apply, you need to contact a visa centre in the neighbouring country to register biometric data after applying.

Visa centres where you can submit biometric data:

  • Poland- An additional visa centre has been created in Zhešuví, Poland.
  • Moldova
  • Hungary

Basic security checks will be carried out, taking into account Russia’s offensive actions regarding infiltration into Ukraine, but the UKVI will continue to accelerate this process and consider applications as soon as possible.

UKVI aims to process these applications within 24 hours from the date when the applicant registers his biometric information.

For any questions or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us directly on +44(0) 207 8222222 or get in touch with our Immigration experts, Hateem Ali on hali@gscsolicitors.com or +44(0)207 822 2209, or Shareena Rahman on srahman@gscsolicitors.com or +44(0)207 822 2222.

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-ukrainians-fleeing-russia-invasion

 

Investor visa route closure

The Home Office announced last week that they are shutting the ‘Golden visa’ Investor visa route with immediate effect. This is amid pressure on ministers to cut UK ties to Russia over the threat of invasion to Ukraine.

The UK investor visa was first introduced in 2008, and while the visa traditionally attracts Russian, Chinese and the Middle Eastern investors, it has recently attracted western investors post-Brexit.

In 2020, a total of 216 visas were issued; in 2019, the figure was 360. Figures show that mainland China was the largest source of successful applicants (23), followed by Russia (12), the US (10), Canada (8) and Hong Kong (5), Switzerland (2) and France (1).

The Home Office has announced that they will be making reforms to the Innovator route as part of the new points-based immigration system. It is expected that it will include an ambitious investment route that will effectively support the UK economy.

At present, the Home Office will be announcing the statement of changes that includes the new Global Business Mobility visa. It is expected that this route will offer a wide range of business-friendly visa route.

We will continue to monitor the development very closely and will ensure that our clients are kept up to date.

For any questions on Private Immigration to the UK or if you would to find out regarding your eligibility for UK visa routes, please contact our Immigration Advisor, Shareena Rahman on srahman@gscsolicitors.com or +44(0)207 822 2222.

© 2022 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.