News | June 25, 2024

In Trust profile column – Sanjvee Shah

What attracted you to Wedlake Bell?

Wedlake Bell has a highly regarded, well established, multi-disciplinary private client offering, covering not only advisory expertise but also residential property, family law and trust disputes capabilities. It is so useful for my clients to be able to get advice from these other teams as and when needed, quickly and seamlessly. In my first few months at the firm, I have been hugely impressed as to how easy it has been to collaborate with colleagues in other practice areas, such as corporate, commercial litigation, corporate tax and real estate, to help my clients.

I am really excited about the future and look forward to helping the Private Client Team grow and enhancing its already strong reputation in the market.

What aspects of your practice do you particularly enjoy?

I love the variety of matters that I am involved with on any given day. No two days are the same! My practice is very diverse from a geographic perspective and also with regards to the range of matters that my clients need help with. This, together with ever changing laws in the UK and abroad, including various international initiatives in recent times, certainly keeps private client lawyers on their toes.

I very much enjoy dealing with complex, cross-border families. We have to take into account a number of tax, succession, family dynamics and wealth protection aspects to make optimal recommendations for our clients to consider in the context of their objectives. Implementing one or more of these recommendations is usually the next phase and bringing a well-structured, robust, global estate plan into life for my clients is particularly satisfying.

I also like how my practice allows me to build long-lasting relationships with interesting, hugely successful and entrepreneurial clients from all over the world. 

What are your clients most concerned about at present?

Foreign domiciled individuals and families who are UK resident or were looking to move to the UK in the next couple of years are particularly affected by the proposed changes to the “non-dom” regime which were announced in the Budget in March and were to take effect from April 2025. These proposed changes, depending on how and when they are implemented, are likely to have significant tax implications for many clients, and could result in a number of UK resident families leaving the UK in the next few years if any new regime is not competitive or attractive in their view. 

We were expecting further information, including draft legislation, perhaps in June, but this has now been delayed in light of the General Election taking place on 4 July 2024. We will now have to wait to see how and when any new government wishes to take these proposed tax changes forward.

Given the ongoing uncertainty not just in relation to timing but also the extent of the likely tax changes, it is not possible to give any definitive advice to potentially affected clients at the moment. Some clients have made their decision to leave the UK and so are moving ahead with these plans. For other clients who are taking more of a “wait and see” approach, they should be having initial discussions with their advisers so that as more information becomes available, in the run up to the Election and from the new government thereafter, they are well placed to get the advice they need promptly and in good time to help them make well-informed decisions as to what would be best for them and their families in the years ahead.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I enjoy travelling and am a keen photographer. Some of my happiest days are when I am in the African bush, taking photos of wildlife as the sun is rising or as the day is coming to a close with one of those dramatic African sunsets.

I am a genuine sports enthusiast, with tennis and football at the top of the list of my preferred sports. Spending quality time with my family and close friends is also very important to me.