George is a Scottish Solicitor, Scottish Notary Public and Scottish Chartered Accountant, as well as an English and Welsh Solicitor. He is also a Trust and Estate Practitioner and spent six years on the STEP Worldwide Board and continues as Chairman of its HR Panel.
His specialisms include charitable trusts, private trusts and the taxation of private individuals, family companies and partnerships, and has particular experience in capital tax planning. He provides strategic advice to both businessmen and women and deals with a number of individuals with substantial land interests. He also sits as a trustee on a number of clients’ charitable foundations and private trusts.
- I act as a trustee of a number of clients and charitable foundations, including one worth £20 million. This allows me to recall my accountancy training, particularly around a large share diversification exercise this year, required following the death of one of the benefactors to avoid Charity Commission scrutiny
- Supporting major client in her ongoing divorce action and providing information for disclosure purposes in relation to her interest as the sole life tenant in a £10 million trust, with support from the tax, trust accounts and contentious trusts teams. The ongoing provision and information and documents for disclosure has avoided the trustees being co-joined to the divorce action
- Acting as executor and continuing trustee of a local businessman worth £50 million with an additional £10 million of shares in a local PLC has been a rewarding experience advising his widow and family. The significant Grandchildren's Trust has been reorganised and new trustees appointed to ensure clarity between step/full grandchildren. This included considering the trust and tax consequences of class closure provisions, particularly with a wide range of beneficiaries as a result of "second" family considerations
- For six years we have ran and sponsored a charity clay pigeon shoot in County Durham for The Prince's Trust. We raised around £50,000 for the Trust in 2015 and 2016. The 2017 figures are still to be finalised. I have had great pleasure in leading the organising committee within the firm for this event. Next year this will be hosted by the Duke of Northumberland within Alnwick Parks on 18 May 2018.
In September 2009 George was presented with “One of the 50 Most Influential Practitioners 2009” award, following global nominations.
In October 2016 George remained (eight years running) a “Notable Practitioner”.
For personal tax, trusts and probate, George is “recommended” and has been for a number of years.