Mishcon de Reya and Legatus Family Office hosted their first legal and educational programme for the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance ("SAIF") at the end of July.
With growing sophistication of the market and an increased level of wealth, Chinese families are becoming increasingly interested in family offices as a way to manage affairs in a streamlined manner. The UK has a long established tradition of looking after families working to preserve, grow and transfer family wealth.
The delegation was welcomed by Alexander Rhodes, Managing Associate in Mishcon Private and Mark Chisholm, co-founder of Legatus Family Office.
Legatus provides outsourced family office advisory services to Chinese individuals and institutions, using their network of partners to help clients make the most of opportunities in the UK.
The day was split into two halves: an introduction to the UK and presentation of key legal topics, and an education programme on interest subjects ranging from philanthropy to blockchain and art. Across the day there was a range of speakers across various practice areas at Mishcon de Reya and Legatus, presenting on key developments in their sectors and areas of interest.
Speakers from Mishcon de Reya included Head of Asia Desk Gary Miller, who welcomed and spoke to the delegation in Mandarin; Hannah Barnett, Managing Associate in the Immigration team; Kassim Meghjee, Partner in Tax and Wealth Planning; Emma Woollcott, Partner and Head of the Reputation Protection team; Sonal Thakrar, Partner and Head of Residential Property team; Amanda Gray, Partner in Art Law; and Tom Grogan, co-lead of the Blockchain Group and Associate in the Corporate Department.
Discussions ranged widely, but the prevailing issues currently facing Chinese investors were identified as: understanding the UK's regulatory system, creating a legacy for the next generation, and key considerations when investing in and/or relocating to the UK, including the importance of managing reputation, navigating the UK school system, property market and immigration regime. Chinese investors are looking for legal advisors who understand not only the nuances of the English legal system, but also the bespoke needs and requirements of Chinese individuals, families and businesses when moving to the UK.
Alexander Rhodes highlighted that the UK continues to have a strong economy, enjoying a period of growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. It has a dynamic business landscape between, on the one hand, the long-standing tradition of business that have shaped English legal system and, on the other, the forces of technological and societal change which are shaping the future. He highlighted that around 70% of the firm's clients are international, meaning that Mishcon de Reya can offer the whole spectrum of business and legal expertise to dynamic international families.
Mark Chisholm, co-founder of Legatus, highlighted the advantages of the education system in the UK with its excellent, world-renowned schools and higher education institutions where large emphasis is placed on sport and extra-curricular activities and well-rounded development of pupils and students.
We would like to thank our speakers and participants, and we look forward to working together with Legatus and SAIF in the future.