Digital Assets & Wills

In our modern world which increasingly relies on technology, digital assets are something that people who use a computer, tablet or smartphone certainly have. While digital assets may not necessarily have a monetary value, they definitely have sentimental value. For example, photographs and videos create memories which makes them irreplaceable and priceless. This is why it is so important for people to understand what will happen to their digital assets and include them in their wills.

While social media accounts, emails and online account details may be treasured even more than physical possessions, very few people understand the importance of access to such information, and digital assets are very often overlooked in wills. The most obvious examples of digital assets are:

  • Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • Share Trading Accounts
  • Email Accounts
  • Bank Accounts including PayPal
  • Online Gambling Sites
  • Virtual Currency
  • Cloud Storage
  • Content Holders – eBooks, Spotify, iTunes, etc.
  • Online Auction Sites – eBay, Gumtree, etc.
  • Domain Names.

According to the Law Society, the number of people making or updating their wills has skyrocketed during the pandemic. However, in spite of all these efforts, the majority of people still do not have their affairs in order.

The research conducted by the Law Society has found that 93% of those who have a will in place have not included any digital assets in it, and three quarters of people do not know what will happen to their digital assets at all.

Considering your digital assets when making a Will is more important than ever and in the event of death you need to consider putting in place a Will that makes provisions for the management of digital assets and to maintain a log of the digital assets you have.

At GSC Solicitors LLP we are able to advise people on the best way to include both their physical and digital assets in their wills. This is crucial to ensure that people’s estates will be inherited according to their wishes, and their family members will not face any unnecessary difficulties that will cause additional stress to their already grieving families.

To have a quick chat with about adding digital assets to your existing will or even if you do not have one in place, please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257.

© 2021 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.

 

專業法律團隊 – 為您籌劃移居英國、投資每一步

香港 BN(O) 簽證政策

英國內政部大臣宣佈英國將為來自香港的英國國民(海外)建立一條自訂移民路線。這項新的香港 BN(O) 簽證政策非常慷慨,沒有施加技能測試或最低收入要求、經濟需求測試或人數上限,並且將允許 BN(O) 簽證持有人在英國居住、工作或學習,提供了一條定居而後獲得公民身份的途徑。

該簽證的有效期最長為 5 年,簽證持有人在英國居住5 年後,只要沒有犯罪行為,在經濟上自給自足,並且遵守簽證條款,便可以申請定居身份;並可以在繼續逗留一年後申請英國國籍。

私人客戶 移民前規劃

如果您正考慮持新的香港 BN(O) 簽證來英國,您務必要瞭解在抵達英國之前、之時和之後適用的個人稅項和法律含義。

我們的私人客戶團隊擅長提供全套私人客戶服務(包括稅收籌劃),當結合我們公司完善的公司和財產部門時,我們能夠為您提供全面的、度身訂造的建議,以確保您有最佳的策略來遷居英國。我們的建議可涵蓋以下範疇:

  • 如何最合理地在英國置業
  • 建立境內和境外信託以保全財富
  • 繼任計劃,以協助確保以最有效的方式處理各個轄區的資產
  • 針對所得稅和資本利得稅的居留和匯款計劃
  • 如何安排在英國的投資
  • 多司法管轄區遺囑和授權書
在英國的房地產投資 商業或住宅

對於世界各地的房地產投資者而言,英國一直以來都是最理想的目的地。無論您是想購買英國房地產自用還是投資,我們的房地產律師都能為您提供幫助。我們是一家採用現代和商業方法來遵守財產法但保留傳統價值的公司。我們確保收費人始終在最適當的層面,以最經濟高效率的方式處理您的事務,並具備適當的資歷來確保您獲得應得的服務。

商業地產

我們的客戶包括領先的房地產所有者、機構和私人投資者、開發商和建築商、銀行和其他金融機構、酒店經營者、私人業主、企業家、加盟商、具有綜合體職業租約的藍籌租戶、休閒和醫療保健物業所有者、初創企業、在英國或海外的老牌企業租戶和高淨值人士。

他們每個人都重視我們在各種房地產交易領域的卓著市場聲譽和經驗。

我們為所有層面的財產事務提供建議,並在過去十年中為一些最引人注目的、最前沿的房東和租戶案件提供法律服務,服務案例包括具有開創性的 Daejan Investments Limited Benson 及其他人員的案件裁決,這可能是近年來法院審理的最重要房東和租戶案件,EMI Group Ltd O & H Q1 Ltd

和 GSC 的房地產團隊討論:

住宅物業

GSC 的住宅物業律師處理整個英格蘭和威爾斯的高價值物業轉讓,包括皇室物業和其他歷史遺產。我們瞭解處理此類財產時可能會遇到的複雜問題,並且我們知道,只有以與您的稅務、家庭和私人財富管理無縫配合的方式來管理產權轉讓,才能最好地滿足您的最大利益。

這就是從未單獨與 GSC 進行住宅轉售的原因。與我們聯絡,您會發現您的財產律師與我們的私人客戶團隊合作,能夠確保您的所有利益都得到認真考慮和保護。

我們的財產律師可以在住宅物業法的所有方面提供協助,包括處置或獲得永久業權和租賃權、延期租賃、權利取得和優先購買權。

Carey 是私人財富團隊的律師。

她在和高淨值人士打交道方面有著豐富的經驗,涉及複雜的移民和財富規劃事務。她還為初創企業和公司業務提供法律服務,處理商業移民和聘僱問題。Carey 在迄今為止的所有移民申請中的成功率為100%。

她還是GSC大中華地區負責人,負責接待講中文的客戶,工作涉及移民、私人客戶、公司商業、財產和知識財產權等方面。她能操流利中文和英語。

如果您和/或您的企業打算遷入英國,請確保第一個聯絡 Carey。Carey期待盡心為您一一籌劃安排。

Carey Xu,律師

電話:+44(020) 7822 2231

電子郵件:cxu@gscsolicitors.com

網址:www.gscsolicitors.com

Hong Kong BN(O) visa policy

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has announced that the UK will create a bespoke immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) from Hong Kong (“BN(O)”).  This new Hong Kong BN(O) visa policy is a very generous one without imposing skills tests or minimum income requirements, economic needs tests or caps on numbers and will allow BN(O) holders to reside and work or study in the UK, with a pathway to settlement and then citizenship.

The visa will be valid for up to 5 years, and thereafter, provided that the visa holders have stayed free of criminality, have supported themselves financially and otherwise complied with the terms of the visa, they will be able to apply for settled status; and they may apply for UK citizenship after a further year of stay.

Private Client – Pre-Migration Planning

If you are considering coming to the UK under the new Hong Kong BN(O) visa, it is important that you understand the personal tax and legal implications that apply prior to, on and after your arrival in the UK.

Our Private Client team is adept at advising on the full suite of private client services (including tax planning) and when combined with our firm’s well-established corporate and property departments, we are able to provide you with holistic, tailored advice to make sure that you have the best strategy to relocate to the UK. Our advice may include, for example:

  • How best to structure purchase of UK real estate
  • Setting up onshore and offshore trusts for wealth preservation
  • Succession planning to help ensure assets in various jurisdictions are dealt with in the most efficient way
  • Residence and remittance planning for Income tax and Capital Gain tax purpose
  • How to structure investments into the UK
  • Multiple jurisdictional Wills and Powers of Attorney
Property investment in the UK – commercial or residential

The UK is a long-established favourite for property investors all over the world. Whether you are thinking of purchasing UK properties for yourself or for investment purpose, our Real Estate lawyers will be able to assist you. We are a firm that takes a modern and commercial approach to property law but retains traditional values.  We ensure that your matter will always be dealt with in a cost-effective way by a fee earner at the most appropriate level with appropriate seniority to make sure you receive the service you deserve.

Commercial Property

Our clients range from leading property owners and institutional and private investors to developers and builders, banks and financial institutions, hoteliers, private landlords, entrepreneurs, franchisees, blue chip tenants with complex occupational leases, leisure and healthcare property owners, start-up businesses, established business occupiers and high net-worth individuals, UK-based or off-shore.

Each of them values our significant market reputation and experience in dealing with all types of real estate transaction.

We provide advice on property matters at all levels and have acted on some of the most high profile and cutting edge landlord and tenant cases of the last 10 years including the ground-breaking decision of Daejan Investments Limited v Benson and others and, possibly the most important landlord and tenant case in front of the courts in recent years, EMI Group Ltd v O & H Q1 Ltd.

Talk to GSC’s Real Estate team about:

Residential Property

GSC’s residential property lawyers deal with high value conveyancing throughout England and Wales, including Crown property and other historical estates.  We understand the complex issues that can arise when dealing with such properties and we know that your best interests are only best served when your conveyancing is managed in a way that fits seamlessly with your tax, family and private wealth management.

That is why residential conveyancing with GSC is never carried out in isolation.  Talk to us and you will find your property lawyers working alongside our Private Client team to ensure all your interests are carefully considered and protected.

Our property lawyers can assist in all aspects of residential property law including the disposal or acquisition of freeholds and leaseholds, lease extensions, enfranchisement and rights of first refusal.

Carey Xu, Associate Solicitor

Carey is an Associate Solicitor in the Private Wealth Team.

She has an extensive experience in dealing with High Net Worth individuals with complex immigration and wealth planning matters. She also acted for start-ups and corporate businesses for business immigration and employment issues. Carey has 100% success rate of all the immigration applications represented to date.

She is also the Head of China Desk looking after Chinese speaking clients on a range of immigration, private client, company commercial, property and intellectual property matters.  She is fluent in Chinese and English.

If you and/or your business is thinking to relocate to the U.K., please ensure to make Carey as your first port of call.

GSC Solicitors LLP

T: +44(020) 7822 222

E: cxu@gscsolicitors.com

© 2021 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.

 

Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh welcomes UKPBC’s inaugural issue of The UK Pakistan Business Times Magazine

GSC’s Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh who was elected to be the President of the UK Pakistan Business Council (UKPBC) last year, issued a Welcome Word to readers of the very first issue of UKPBC’s publication, The UK Pakistan Business Times Magazine.

The objective of the publication is to create a vast international business network though which businesses can share knowledge and forge trading relationships.

UKPBC is a unique organisation based in the UK, with chapters in both Pakistan and the UAE. Their mission statement is “to serve and connect businesses for prosperity, resources and success”.

GSC appoints Chief Finance and Operating Officer

We are delighted to welcome Peter Cooper as GSC’s newly appointed Chief Finance and Operating Officer (CFOO).

Peter is a Chartered Accountant, registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and has been working with the GSC Partnership Board since 2019 as a consultant.

With over 30 years’ experience working within the London finance sector, Peter will bring his expertise to the firm, where he will focus on assisting GSC in achieving its strategic and financial goals.

Throughout his career, Peter has advised a wide range of financial institutions and management teams covering a multitude of industry sectors. He was previously a Partner in one of the UK’s top 10 accountancy firms where he led a national team of restructuring experts.

In particular, he has specialist business finance lending experience, which was obtained during his time at one of the UK’s leading asset based lending Banks.

Commenting on Peter’s appointment, GSC’s Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh said, ”I am absolutely delighted to welcome Peter as a member of the GSC family. I am confident that his knowledge and expertise will be very valuable to GSC in implementing our strategic vision.”

 

GSC Solicitors LLP strengthen Commercial Property department with Islamic Finance offering

We are delighted to welcome Leila Mustafa to GSC’s Legal 500-recommended and well-respected Commercial Property team.

Leila specialises in commercial property acquisitions and disposals. Her experience also includes dealing with business leases and land options.  Leila also has expertise in Islamic finance and banking.

Commenting on Leila’s appointment, GSC’s Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh said: “We are pleased to welcome Leila to the firm, as we continue to expand our Real Estate practice with the best talent.”.

Capital Gains Tax Review: Clawback Proposals

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), an independent adviser to the Government, has been asked by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to review Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to identify any potential administrative and technical issues and need for reform.

It is inevitable that taxes will have to rise to meet the cost of supporting the British economy through the COVID-19 pandemic, and this review is likely to use CGT as a way of increasing revenue for the Government.

We expect the report, to be released in early 2021, to make the following recommendations:

  1. to change the CGT rates to align them with Income Tax rates
  2. to reduce the number of CGT rates, and the extent to which liabilities depend on the level of income of the taxpayers
  3. to consider reducing the Annual Exempt Amount
  4. to remove the capital gains uplift on death if a relief or exemption from Inheritance Tax is applicable, and to treat the recipient as acquiring the deceased’s assets at the historic base cost
  5. to replace the Business Asset Disposal Relief with a relief more focused on retirement
  6. to remove relief for investors selling shares in unlisted companies if they have owned them for a minimum of three years.

Whilst the Government has commissioned the report, it is not obligated to accept its findings but, at some point, it will have to turn its attention to how to cover the cost of the pandemic.

We expect that clients will be considering accelerating their restructuring or exit strategy in preparation of the increase in tax rates in the near future.

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

© 2020 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 strengthen Private Client department

We are delighted to welcome Amanda Chapman to GSC’s Legal 500-recommended and well-respected Private Client team.

Amanda specialises in wealth and tax planning, advising UK and internationally domiciled individuals, families, owner-managed businesses. Her expertise also includes charity law and practice, with an emphasis on UK and cross-border succession planning and wealth structuring.

Amanda comes from a large international practice in the City. She has been recognised in the Citywealth Leaders List and has published articles on various subjects including advising a family business, and has regularly devoted her personal time to charitable activities which focus on making a career in law more accessible to students from all backgrounds.

Commenting on Amanda’s appointment, GSC’s Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh said: “We are delighted to welcome Amanda to the partnership as we continue to expand our international private client services with the best legal talent. She has considerable experience in private wealth structuring, a great track record and a good client following. With the very international nature of our client base comprising of clients coming from the five continents, Amanda’s strength and depth in international work will only complement the practice. We look forward to the contributions she will bring to our clients and to the firm.”

Amanda Chapman commented: “GSC Solicitors already have an outstanding international private client practice, which provides an excellent platform to expand our services.”

GSC Solicitors LLP’s higher rankings in the Legal 500 2021

We are proud to announce another year of continuous achievement in the Legal 500 United Kingdom 2021 rankings. We are even more pleased this year as we have received higher positions in the newly announced rankings.

Our highly ranked Commercial Property department represents a number of blue-chip corporates, fast food franchise owners, hotel owners and private equity funded SPVs on the full gamut of commercial property matters. Led by the ‘trusted and reliable’ Harvey Posener, the practice comes particularly recommended for its Corporate Occupier work, handling significant headquarter leasing and acquisition matters. Harvey is recommended also for his ability to ‘guide the business through multiple complex deals over the years’. Peter Belcher who specialises in Property Finance is described as ‘wonderful at managing teams and complex projects’ and ‘has all-round knowledge of real estate and gets to crux of the deal’. Carole Joseph who works alongside Peter Belcher has also been noted as ‘the only person you need to know in London if you are buying or selling a property’, who ‘takes a practical and long-term approach’.

We are also proud of the increase in the ranking for GSC Solicitors’ Private Client department. Headed by Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh, this practice area has now moved up from tier 5 to tier 4. The team has a growing emphasis on acting for international ultra-high-net-worth (“UHNW”) clients, significant families and owners of blue-chip companies, with assets spread across different countries. Saleem Sheikh commonly deals with issues such as succession planning for the next generation coming into a business or protecting family assets through trusts and structures. Both ‘Saleem Sheikh and James Cohen stand out for their personalised service and attention to detail’. The department’s other strengths include advising on lasting powers of attorney and tax-efficient gifting to children. ‘Personable, knowledgeable and efficient’ James Cohen has also been noted as an expert who has ‘the expertise second to none’ and who ensures that ‘clients are offered a Rolls-Royce service’.

We are particularly excited about the substantial climbing in the ranking for our Commercial Litigation department; it has moved two tiers up (from tier 8 to tier 6), which does not commonly  happen. GSC Solicitors LLP has longstanding relationships with several large clients, including global businesses, UHNW individuals and sizeable family businesses. Our commercial litigation team is referred to as ‘unique’ and as a ‘remarkable mix of highly qualified and experienced solicitors whose talents, as a focussed team, complement one another’. The litigation team is led by Michael Shapiro who focuses on general commercial, contractual and shareholder disputes, as well as property litigation and company and personal insolvency-related disputes. ‘Experienced and knowledgeable litigator’, Michael is also described as ‘very calm, commercial and realistic approach to dispute resolution’. Consultant Barry Samuels specialises in complex cross-border  disputes; he is noted as ‘a litigation legend with decades of experience’,tactically extremely astute’ and ‘with great strategic acumen’. GSC’s next generation lawyers also have been noted. In particular, Commercial Litigation’s Senior Associate Solicitor Sana Sheikh was referred to as a ‘rising star’ and a ‘stand-out associate with a wealth of detailed knowledge and technical expertise’ and ‘will be a force to be reckoned with in the future in commercial litigation’.

GSC Solicitors LLP is recommended for its IP, Media & Entertainment team’s music industry expertise and is particularly active in advising copyright collecting societies including the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), Video Performance Limited (VPL) and the Performing Right Society (PRS). Justin Goldspink (who leads the team alongside corporate and commercial partner Clive Halperin) is a key contact for PPL and has a breadth of experience across music, copyright and branding matters. Also recommended is Ross Waldram who is a key contact for copyright and trade mark.

Commenting on the 2021 rankings, Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh said: “The Legal 500 is a leading independent guide into the best law firms in the UK. We are delighted that GSC is consistently recognised for our key specialisms including commercial litigation, commercial property, personal tax, trusts and probate, Media & Entertainment as well as the strong importance we place on providing innovative legal services to all our clients, regardless of the size of their business, location or aspirations. Our commitment to excellence reflects the longstanding relationship with our clients, which is the firm’s most valuable asset. In the current climate it is even more important for us to offer the strong guiding hand to businesses and individuals and be there for them as their assiduous support system. We are grateful for and humbled by all the exceptional testimonials provided by our clients.”

 

Summarising the new Job Support Scheme

On 31 October this year, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that from 1 November it will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme. The headlines relating to the Job Support Scheme are:

  • It will apply to employees who work at least 33% of their normal hours.
  • For the hours not worked by the individual, the government and the employer will each pay the employee one third of the employee’s equivalent salary for that unworked time.
  • The level of contribution by the government for each employee will be capped at £697.92 per month.
  • To qualify, an employee must have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020.
  • Employers will be able to move employees on and off the Job Support Scheme.
  • Employees are not required to consistently work the same hours, but to qualify must work the same hours for at least seven days at a time.
  • The employer must agree any changes to working arrangements with the employee and notify the employee of the changes in writing (and any such agreement must be made available to HMRC on request).
  • An employer does not need to have been part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to participate in the Job Support Scheme.
  • It is currently planned that the Job Support Scheme will run for six months.

The law in this article is accurate as of 24 September 2020.

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

© 2020 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.

 

Flagship Rolling Stones Store

We are absolutely thrilled to see the finished product for our client, Bravado – the new flagship Rolling Stones store in Carnaby Street! Harvey Posener and Amee Popat in our Real Estate team did the legal work for the lease of the premises and are delighted to have been involved in this exciting new collaboration between the band, Universal Music Group and their merchandising company, Bravado:

Flagship Carnaby Street store features items from plectrums to artwork by the creator of the band’s logo John Pasche.

It will be a place where the committed fan can consider spending £535 on a Rolling Stones-themed crystal decanter, £110 on a “Stones red” bomber jacket or £15 on a face mask made from cotton or, for £10 more, silk. Big tongues are everywhere, mostly red, occasionally leopard print.

The venue is the world’s first permanent Rolling Stones shop, which will open in the spiritual home of all things cool, Carnaby Street in London’s West End, on Wednesday.

Some will say that opening a bricks-and-mortar retail operation now, as the pandemic continues, is very risky. “Time will tell,” said Boyne. “For us, it is about taking a really powerful, positive message to the marketplace.

https://bit.ly/2RTsWLE