David is a private client tax solicitor specialising in advising business owners and high net worth individuals in relation to inheritance tax, capital gains tax, wills, trusts, succession and business planning, with a particular niche expertise in advising farmers, landowners and landed estates.
David is an expert in many aspects of farming partnerships including their creation, dissolution and use as Inheritance Tax efficient vehicles following the Balfour, George and Farmer cases. David has advised many farming families over the last 27 years about dissolving partnerships when siblings wish to farm separately.
Many clients and professionals comment upon David's ability to digest complex information situations quickly and then craft sensible and pragmatic solutions to difficult problems. His network of fellow professionals in the agriculture, accounting, banking, financial advisory and agency sectors mean he is extremely well placed to identify where assistance or advice from other professionals can add value to the work he does for clients.
David has spent his whole career providing Inheritance Tax, Succession Planning and Capital Gain Tax Advice to High Net Worth Individuals, Farmers, Landed Estate Owners and Business Owners.
His extensive knowledge of the non-contentious and non-conveyancing sides of agricultural law, including tenancies regulated under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1984 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 as well as Cropping Licences, Contract Farming and Share Farming Agreements as well as Farming Partnerships places him as one of the country’s leading experts in this complex and interesting area of practice.
David’s experience and practice naturally extend to Wills, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deeds of Variation and Letters of Wishes.
Although most definitely not a litigator or dispute resolution lawyer, David has a very good working knowledge of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and Promissory and Proprietary Estoppel and has advised clients and supported them in relation to some very large Estates and claims including a 1975 Act claim acting for the Widow and children in relation to a claim for reasonable financial provision against a circa £30m Estate where he worked together with one of the Country’s leading QC’s (Now KC) Thomas Dumont to secure reasonable financial provision of between £7 million and £10 million for the Widow and Children. David’s practical knowledge of Agriculture and land ownership in the Eastern Counties, as well as key contact with very experienced land agents with a very goof knowledge of land ownership in the South Eastern Lincolnshire Fen and Marsh, made a huge contribution to enabling a negotiated settlement of this claim in respect of an Estate which was valued at only between £3 million and £4 million on the Inheritance Tax return and the application for the Grant of Probate. Probate was granted in 2011 and the matter settled in 2014.
Advising a family with a £50 million estate in relation to inheritance tax in succession planning and developing a blueprint for a long-term succession strategy involving four generations.
Private client / agriculture / partnership:
Advising a farming family in relation to a draft inheritance tax return prepared by another firm. David's advice and suggested amendments so that the IHT return included the deceased farmer’s capital account in the farming business (rather than the separate underlying assets as had been done) resulted in a £500,000 inheritance tax saving which was cleared by HMRC with no enquiry.
Private client / farming partnership:
Advising a farming family relating to the dissolution of a £30 million farming partnership following a breakdown of the relationship between the farming siblings.
Private client / Inheritance Tax/deathbed advice:
Advising a terminally ill partner in a family farming partnership with substantial wealth outside the farming business in relation to Inheritance Tax and the Balfour, George and Farmer cases.
As a result of David's advice and planning, more than £4 million of investment assets were transferred into the family partnership shortly before the death of the client, structured so as to avoid crystallising a very large Capital Gain. David's advice was given in difficult and very sad circumstances with a very short timeline.
It saved a little over £1,500,000 in inheritance tax and HMRC issued a clearance certificate in relation to the inheritance tax within nine months of the inheritance tax return having been submitted.
- Bambridges, Solicitor: 2002-2004
- Langleys, Solicitor/Partner: 2005-2020
- Ashfords, Partner: 2020-2021
- Sills & Betteridge, Partner: 2021-2023
- Dr Challoners Grammar School, Amersham
- King Edward VI Grammar, Stratford on Avon
- South Warwickshire College of Further Education, Stratford on Avon
- Newcastle University (LLB Hons)
- College of Law (LPC)
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
- Agricultural Law Association
- The Law Society of England and Wales