STEP news

STEP news

Founder’s Awards 2021

STEP honours contributions of key members

  • Brian Cohen TEP, STEP Toronto
  • Kathleen Cunningham TEP, STEP Vancouver
  • Paula Myers TEP, STEP Yorkshire
  • Jennie Pratt TEP, STEP Cambridge
  • Keith Robinson TEP, STEP Bermuda
  • Alix Storrie TEP, STEP Scotland
  • David Wallace Wilson TEP, STEP Geneva
  • Patricia Wass TEP, STEP West of England
  • Henry Wickham TEP, STEP Jersey

STEP is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2021 Founder’s Awards, which are given to members who have made ‘an exceptional and outstanding long-term contribution to the Society above and beyond that normally expected of a member, through office in their branch, or elsewhere in the voluntary life of the Society’.

Commenting on this year’s recipients, Mark Walley, Chief Executive of STEP, said: ‘We owe a great deal to the commitment and contribution of our most dedicated members. Their energy and expertise are integral to everything STEP does and achieves. Many congratulations and thank you to all of them.’

Read the full press release


Membership renewals

It’s nearly time to renew your membership for another year: by the end of February you will have received your renewal notice from STEP via email. Please do log in to the STEP website and check that your contact information is correct to ensure our messages are reaching you. We look forward to another successful year for all our members worldwide!


Worldwide Board elections

Congratulations to Nancy Golding QC TEP, Director in the Trust & Estate Law Team at Moodys Private Client Law, Canada, who has been re-elected as worldwide Chair of STEP, effective 1 January 2022. Nancy will lead STEP’s Board of Directors, responsible for the high-level strategic direction of the Society. 

Read the full press release

We would also like to congratulate Amanda Simmonds TEP of STEP Yorkshire and Anthony Pitcher TEP of STEP Jersey, who have been re-elected as STEP Board Deputy Chairs for a further one‑year term of office from 1 January 2022.

Read the full press release


Call for entries

Entry to the 17th Annual STEP Private Client Awards (PCAs) is open until 14 April 2022. Entries are sought across 19 categories: do not miss your opportunity to showcase your achievements to your peers and clients. Winning a PCA is a clear mark of excellence as entries go through a rigorous, practitioner-led judging process to select the best in the industry.

We have two new awards this year: Digital Assets Practice of the Year and Employer of the Year.

Following two years of virtual events, we are pleased to announce the awards ceremony will return in-person this year on 14 September 2022 at the London Hilton on Park Lane, UK. Save the date in your diary – we look forward to welcoming you to an evening of celebration.

Find out more and start your entry at pca.step.org


Obituary:

Chris Whitehouse

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Chris Whitehouse on 16 November. He was a most valued member of the private client world and his death leaves an irreplaceable gap.

After graduating from Oxford University, Chris qualified as a barrister; he was first a lecturer at the College of Law, then became a solicitor before moving to the Bar. He became one of the most sought-after practitioners in the private client field, covering both tax and Chancery work. He was an excellent academic lawyer with a deep understanding of tax but, as many who consulted him will attest, he also had a unique ability to find practical solutions for clients in even the most unpromising cases.

Many readers will remember Chris’ lectures at the STEP Spring and Autumn UK tax conferences. He founded the Autumn Tax Series in the 1990s and (unusually at that time) organised it to take place in four different regional centres. He had a unique ability to make lectures both intelligible and entertaining for general and specialist practitioners alike. Chris never used slides, just a simple handout – but he always received the best reviews.

He wrote and contributed to many books, including the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, Dymond’s Capital Taxes, A Modern Approach to Wills, Administration and Tax Planning and A Modern Approach to Lifetime Tax Planning for Private Clients. His writing style was deceptively simple but concise and beautiful to read. His opinions were similarly short but always to the point. Chris had a great ability to identify the critical issue in any given problem and this, combined with his compassion and empathy for the more human concerns often faced by clients who sought his help, made him pre-eminent in the private client field.

His interests were many and varied. His knowledge of second-hand‑book shops was second to none and he always tried to combine a lecture with a visit to the best bookshop in the area. He loved music, film, opera and art and was a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

Above all else, Chris possessed a lightness and generosity of spirit that touched all whom he met. After writing his opinion for the day, he would often persuade a colleague to come to a matinee or concert, time out never regretted. It was indeed a rare privilege to know and work with him.


International Volunteer Day 2021

For International Volunteer Day on 5 December, STEP Chief Executive Mark Walley recognised the work of volunteers, saying ‘STEP would not exist but for the efforts of our volunteers across the 30 years we have been around’. Read Mark’s blog at blog.step.org/2021/12/06/thank-you-to-all-our-volunteers-on-international-volunteer-day


STEP Arabia Conference 2021

In November 2021, STEP Arabia welcomed 115 delegates to Dubai for its first in‑person conference since 2019. The committee took the decision to adopt a hybrid format, beginning the event with a half-day in‑person conference, followed by some long overdue networking at a post‑conference cocktail reception.

The conference marked the 30th anniversary of STEP, bringing together all the Branch Chairs of STEP Arabia since its inception in 2004: Founding Chair Laurence Black TEP, Warren Luyt TEP, Yann Mrazek TEP, Tim Denton TEP and current Branch Chair Alastair Glover TEP.

Using panel sessions rather than traditional presentations, the conference kicked off with an enlightening discussion on regional developments within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Jacques Visser, representing the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, Dr Sameer Al Ansari for Ras Al Khaimah and David Russell TEP QC gave the legal perspective on changes to Dubai trust law. The conference then moved to a lively debate, hosted by platinum sponsor Jersey Finance, on technology in trusts, pulling in expertise from Jersey and the GCC. Sunita Singh-Dalal TEP and Viren Miskita guided delegates through the issues and opportunities of advising Indian clients, and Tasleem Sayani TEP, Diana Hamade and Byron James covered family law updates in the GCC. The day closed with a round-up from Glover and Mrazek.

Day two moved online. Topics included tax updates from the GCC, UK and US and discussions around asset preservation, the future of end-of-service schemes and the role of the family office during and after COVID-19. Delegates also took part in virtual roundtable discussions. The event closed with a presentation from Mrazek and Ismael Hajjar TEP on GCC developments in practice, with a focus on foundations.


Save the date

STEP Australia Conference 2022

The STEP Australia Conference will take place both in-person and virtually on 27–29 March 2022.

For more information, visit www.step.org/events/step-australia-conference-2022

Postponed: Swiss and Liechtenstein STEP Federation 5th Alpine Conference

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Swiss and Liechtenstein STEP Federation 5th Alpine Conference has been postponed until 4–5 May 2022.

Find out more at www.step.swiss

STEP Global Congress 2022

The STEP Global Congress is coming to London, UK, on 7–8 July 2022. Details of the programme have now been released, with an agenda including discussions around global mobility, the role of the advisor in modern families, wealth taxes in a post-COVID world, protecting vulnerable clients and responsible stewardship of wealth. More details can be found at congress.step.org


People moves

  • Tom Kimber TEP has joined the JTC Private Client Services division as an Associate Director in the Dubai team.

STEP moves

  • Heather Lally TEP has replaced Rebecca Robinson TEP as Chair of STEP Cheshire.
  • Gillian Knowles TEP has replaced Heather Lally TEP as Vice Chair of STEP Cheshire.
  • Simon Cieluch TEP has replaced Gillian Knowles TEP as Secretary of STEP Cheshire.

Professional Standards Committee vacancies

The Professional Standards Committee currently has vacancies. The Committee leads on STEP’s ethical guidance and policies; overseeing the issues arising from matters considered by the Disciplinary Panel to safeguard STEP’s reputation and making recommendations to the STEP Board as required. The Committee is particularly keen to hear from applicants based in Australia, New Zealand, the Swiss Federation and the US.

Further details can be found at www.step.org/members/get-involved


Disciplinary notice

Edison Teano of STEP Panama has been excluded from STEP membership following a decision by the Investigation Sub Committee (ISC). Correspondence sent as part of a disciplinary investigation was not responded to. The ISC was of the view that sufficient opportunity had been provided to Teano to respond. The ISC found Teano to be in breach of Clause 13.1 (Provision of Information to the Society) of STEP’s Code of Professional Conduct.


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