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STEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017 - Full Issue

  • STEP Journal December 2016/January 2017: ForewordSTEP Journal December 2016/January 2017: Foreword. The regional focus in this issue centres on Europe. It will be interesting to see how ‘Europe’ looks when STEP celebrates its 35th anniversary in ten years’ time. The Brexit vote in the UK, cast back in June as part of a democratic process, has brought a great deal of uncertainty.
  • Looking to the futureSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Looking to the future. Edward Buckland reflects on his time as Chair of STEP as he reaches the end of his tenure.
  • A step in the rights directionSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. A step in the rights direction. Recent decisions of the French Constitutional Court and the UK Supreme Court put fundamental questions of human rights in the spotlight, writes Richard Frimston.
  • Reality check on swift transactionsSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Reality check on swift transactions. Receiving instructions in time to take action before the end of the tax year is always an issue, but it could prove to be of even greater concern at the start of 2017, Sally Edwards and Katherine Neal explain.
  • Beyond the letter of the lawSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Beyond the letter of the law. Updated guidance for STEP members involved in UK tax planning takes effect on 1 March 2017. Michael Young of STEP’s Professional Standards Committee highlights the changes.
  • The Ghost of Tax Yet to ComeSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. The Ghost of Tax Yet to Come. Amanda Edwards proposes an estate-themed epilogue to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
  • Top of the classSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Top of the class. STEP is pleased to announce the highest-scoring students from the 1 January to 30 June 2016 sittings across all STEP exams globally.
  • Better togetherSTEP Journal December 2016/January 2017. Better together. Felicity Keller and Cécile Civiale Vuillier, Co-Chairs of the newly formed Swiss and Liechtenstein STEP Federation, discuss the important role it has to play in representing the interests of practitioners from the region.
  • Mountain to climbSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Mountain to climb. Tina Wüstemann, Andrew Garbarski and Aurélie Conrad Hari summarise what foreign trustees need to know in relation to trusts with a link to Switzerland.
  • Franc assessmentSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Franc assessment. Frédérique Bensahel and Fabianne de Vos Burchart analyse proposed reforms to regulation of Swiss financial institutions.
  • Liberté, égalité, privacy?STEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Liberté, égalité, privacy? The French Constitutional Court has issued judgment on the constitutionality of France’s public register of trusts. The firm representing the claimant in the challenge reports the outcome. Michael Khayat is a Partner, and Stanislas Pannetier is a Lawyer, at Arkwood SCP, which represented the claimant in the legal challenge to the Constitutional Court.
  • Golden opportunitySTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Golden opportunity. For British citizens preparing for Brexit, Portugal’s citizenship and residence regime, including the ‘golden visa’, may provide an attractive option.
  • Mediterranean sea changeSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Mediterranean sea change. Enduring powers of attorney have recently been introduced into Malta’s Civil Code, Dr Anthony Cremona explains.
  • The final chapter?STEP Journal December 2016/January 2017. The final chapter? The Italian Supreme Court has recently issued a decision on the taxation of trusts, Raul-Angelo Papotti explains.
  • Virtual becomes realitySTEP Journal December 2016/January 2017. Virtual becomes reality. Virtual currencies’ trading value and volume continue to soar globally. Sara Johns discusses opportunities for practitioners, and explains how Jersey is legislating to stay ahead of this fast-moving technology.
  • The writing on the firewallSTEP Journal December 2016/January 2017. The writing on the firewall. Data breaches are an increasing source of concern for all companies, especially those handling sensitive client data. Magnus Boyd explains why building a ‘human firewall’ is integral to achieving effective data security.
  • You get what you giveSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. You get what you give. Businesses can do more to make the most of the technology at their disposal, writes Steve Howells.
  • The view from the topSTEP Journal December 2016/January 2017. The view from the top. Working with high-growth entrepreneurs brings a series of unique challenges for advisors. Succession planning, governance and structuring family wealth were among the topics up for discussion at a STEP Journal roundtable, sponsored by First Names Group and held at the Shangri-La Hotel, high up in London’s iconic Shard.
  • Cold comfortSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Cold comfort. Richard Brown provides a Jersey perspective on the recent freezing injunctions against discretionary trusts by the English Court of Appeal.
  • No shades of greySTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. No shades of grey. Beatriz Brockhurst shares the findings of a STEP survey on the state of the offshore industry.
  • Fixed for lifeSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Fixed for life. Simon Gorbutt and Gonzalo García Pérez explain how portable insurance solutions can help address planning concerns for cross-border, high-net-worth clients.
  • A sorry estateSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. A sorry estate. Ray Magill highlights how often-overlooked provisions in the UK Finance Act 1986 can lead to disproportionate inheritance tax liabilities.
  • Russian tollSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Russian toll. Amendments introduced in February 2016 prompt Ekaterina Lazorina and Diana Kalyaeva to review Russia’s controlled foreign company regime.
  • TQR: Something old, something newSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. TQR: Something old, something new. Below is a sampler of the latest Trust Quarterly Review (volume 14, issue 3, 2016), published by STEP in association with TACT. Read more and access the archive at, or download the PDF at
  • Book Review: Elderly Clients - A Precedent Manual, fifth editionSTEP Journal: December 2016/January 2017. Book Review: Elderly Clients - A Precedent Manual, fifth edition, fifth edition.

TQR: December 2016

  • The power of informationSTEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. The power of information. Although 2016 is nearing its close, there’s still plenty to talk about in this edition, which covers US class actions, using trusts to own French real estate, the demands of information exchange, and whether human rights to privacy are impugned by such exchange initiatives.
  • Fail to prevent? Prepare to failSTEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. Fail to prevent? Prepare to fail. The US and the UK are undertaking new criminal initiatives against facilitators of tax evasion, leaving offshore financial institutions increasingly exposed and with a range of responsibilities to mitigate and remediate exposures.
  • French connectionsSTEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. French connections. Using a trust to own French real estate does not particularly change the ownership situation in France regarding wealth tax and inheritance tax, and may bring potential drawbacks in terms of corporation-tax issues and increased disclosure obligations. Nonetheless, trusts can remain good vehicles through which to own French real estate when considering estate planning.
  • An American equitable renaissance?STEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. An American equitable renaissance? The recent avalanche of American class actions against pension-plan trustees may bring about the re-emergence of forgotten equitable principles in American litigation.
  • Putting the CRS to rightsSTEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. Putting the CRS to rights. The Cayman Islands Bill of Rights, which codifies certain fundamentals similar to those enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, may represent a chink in the Common Reporting Standard’s armour.
  • Book review: Passing Wealth on Death: Will-Substitutes in Comparative PerspectiveSTEP Trust Quarterly Review December 2016. Book review. Passing Wealth on Death: Will-Substitutes in Comparative Perspective. Edited by Alexandra Braun and Anne Röthel. Reviewed by Keith Wallace.