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David Whittaker


Personal Profile

David specialises in advising UHNW entrepreneurial individuals and families on cross-border personal and trust taxation, international asset structuring including establishing private trust companies, pre-immigration and succession planning.

He also advises international financial institutions, leading trustees and private banks on regulatory and compliance issues, automatic information exchange and has extensive contentious experience advising on family disputes, trust litigation and UK and foreign tax investigations.

David has advised on and implemented robust corporate and family governance arrangements and lead on complex multi-jurisdictional trust restructurings. His practice also includes philanthropic work and he has advised on and established a number of UK charities for clients.

David joined Mishcon de Reya as a partner in 2022, prior to which he spent 10 years at another large international, commercial law firm. During that period, David also spent time on secondment at a leading private bank within their in-house legal team, advising on regulatory, risk and compliance issues. David has chaired and presented at various tax and trust conferences including STEP, and regularly publishes articles on key tax and legislative developments.

Key Experience

  • Advised on the contentious restructuring of a highly complex multi-jurisdictional trust structure, holding a broad spectrum of asset classes, including operating companies, investment portfolios and real estate. This involved cross-border tax planning, reorganising asset ownership, debt simplification, trust instrument modernisation and putting in place formal corporate governance arrangements. 
  • Advised on asset structuring and corporate governance for a high profile and ultra-high net worth client based in the Middle East, including restructuring the ownership of real estate in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Provided advice on corporate and tax structuring for significant maritime assets.
  • Provided de-enveloping advice to an ultra-high net worth LatAm client in relation to significant and high profile UK residential property interests.
  • Advised on the establishment of a Jersey trust structure to hold a successful manufacturing company for a leading family based in Asia.
  • Advised on the establishment of a Guernsey protected trust structure to hold interests in a European FinTech business and private equity assets.
  • Advised on the enforceability of foreign tax authority claims against an offshore trust in relation to the historic disposal of a private island in Europe.
  • Advised on strategy and negotiated a settlement agreement on behalf of a Ukraine-based client in relation to a dispute in respect of a controlling interest in a significant and publically quoted business.
  • Structured the acquisition of a private island in the Caribbean through a Bermuda limited partnership, managing US, UK and Irish tax exposure and the demands of a third party lender.
  • Advised on the tax restructuring of IP interests of a multi-billion dollar US restaurant chain.
  • Provided UK tax and structuring advice on the settlement of a significant volume of cryptocurrencies on to a Jersey trust and the use of a cryptocurrency as security for the acquisition of a UK residential property.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Senior Associate, Baker McKenzie
University of Warwick, LLB 
College of Law Moorgate, LPC 

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