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22nd May 2019

New partner to strengthen Thrings’ succession and tax offering

Thrings has appointed private client, succession and tax specialist Douglas Smith as partner.

Douglas – who has more than 30 years’ experience of acting for UK and non-UK domiciliaries on tax planning, preparing wills and trusts, and probate work involving the administration of substantial and complex estates – joins Thrings from Blake Morgan.

In his new role, Douglas will provide tailored advice which helps new and long-term clients maximise their tax-free allowances and reliefs with regard to inheritance tax, capital gains tax, income tax and stamp duty land tax, and allows them to benefit from domestic and offshore tax mitigation structures.

He will also build on his proven track record in resolving clients’ technical tax issues with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), as well as advising on heritage property-related tax work – including making applications to obtain conditional exemption from tax through dealings with HMRC’s Heritage team.

Douglas will be based principally in Romsey and London, while advising clients and working closely with members of Thrings’ private client, commercial, corporate and agriculture teams across the firm’s other main UK offices in Bristol, Bath and Swindon.

He will also strengthen Thrings’ private wealth offering by bringing a substantial caseload of existing clients, in particular high-net-worth individuals with business interests in the UK, the Middle East and the United States.

Douglas becomes Thrings’ fifth partner in Hampshire, joining leading agriculture lawyer Mark Charter, private client expert Rachel Brooks, family law specialist Sally Pike, and experienced commercial and corporate lawyer, Mary Chant.

The firm has undergone rapid growth since opening its first office in the county with four members of staff in 2016. Today, a 25-strong team of legal and business services specialists support the office’s growing client base in the key practice areas of agriculture, agribusiness, landed estates, private affairs and commercial.

Douglas said: “The rapid pace of change within tax law, set against a backdrop of ongoing economic and political uncertainty, means it is arguably more essential than ever that individuals with specific personal and commercial objectives manage their legal affairs at the correct time and in a way that reflects their personal and financial circumstances.

“Thrings recognises the value that a private client presence can add to its commercial client base. As a result, I am tremendously excited to be contributing to the ongoing expansion of the firm and providing legal advice which adds value and allows clients to make informed decisions about their tax and succession affairs.”

Fiona Kellow, head of private client at Thrings, added: “We are delighted to welcome Douglas to Thrings and look forward to seeing him add his vast knowledge and expertise to the firm’s highly regarded succession and tax team.

“Douglas’ advisory skills will not only complement our private individuals’ needs, but he will also be able to provide much more in-depth specialist advice for individuals in business structures. Private client is a growth area which we recognise and our teams are well placed to deal with the needs of clients from all fields.”

To find out how we can help you with your private matters, please get in touch with a member of the Private Client team.

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