Martin Davies, Partner, Mishcon Private

Martin Davies


Personal Profile

Martin is a Partner in the firm's Wealth Planning and Tax team and heads the firm's Middle East practice. Martin is a Middle East expert advising UHNW and HNW clients on their global affairs, with an emphasis on leading families and family offices from Saudi Arabia, the GCC countries and the wider Middle East.

Martin advises on all aspects of private capital and wealth planning, often when a client is considering changing their life pattern or reviewing historical structures. This involves advising on taxation and relocation issues, succession, trusts and family constitution; asset protection; common reporting standards and reputation management. Martin also regularly advises on international investments and Private Equity. Martin's experience of cross-border business transactions combined with his wealth planning and private capital expertise enables Martin to act as a close personal adviser across all aspects of the client's affairs.

Martin's understanding of the nuances of doing business in the Gulf Region is reflected in his reputation as a Middle East expert. He has been involved in the setting up and restructuring of many tens of local entities and joint ventures in the Middle East for almost four decades.

Martin established and managed law offices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Washington, DC over 30 years ago and continues to spend considerable time in the Middle East. Martin co-founded and was the elected Chairman of a global legal network with over 100 members.

Martin has been actively involved in promoting trade with the UK throughout his career and is a founder member of the Saudi British Joint Business Council. He was co-founder of the Saudi-British Society in 1986 and is a Trustee of the Oriental Cultural Foundation and several other charitable Trusts.

Key Experience

  • Advising a Middle East UHNWI royal family in respect of their very substantial inherited assets throughout Europe (including the UK), reviewing the historical corporate and tax structures for in excess of 50 group companies and advising on an updated structure, family succession and family constitution.
  • Advising a North American entrepreneur and his consortium involving the setting up of an aircraft manufacturing and licensing joint venture involving 6 jurisdictions, including the UK and China.  Also advising the same client in respect of financing and strategy for other projects in the financial services and media sectors.
  • Advising a senior member of a prominent Middle East family in respect of substantial claims and threatened claims of a highly sensitive nature made by a private individual; co-ordinating the legal team, including in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
  • Advising initially on a $1.4 billion refinancing of iconic Hotels in multiple jurisdictions and thereafter acting in the proposed purchase of the Hotels.
  • Advising a Middle East based entrepreneur in respect of substantial cross border IP litigation, corporate set up and a related IPO in the UK and separately in respect of project financing for manufacturing facilities.
  • Advising a US law firm and its multi-national corporate client on set-up and inward investment in the UK and related joint ventures and licensing in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
  • Advising a Saudi Arabian entrepreneur on the establishment of a global luxury fashion brand including start-up and shareholder documentation, tax and corporate structures, IP protection and licensing and operational requirements relating to Premises, Employment and Franchising. 
  • Advising a prominent Middle East family in respect of UK assets falling into the estate of a deceased family member on intestacy with potential for substantial IHT liability and negotiating a post-death variation between family members and HMRC to mitigate the tax liability.
  • Advising a major Chinese developer on the construction of two apartment blocks and a related hotel in London and the off-plan sales of the individual units.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner (London, Riyadh & Qatar), Clyde & Co LLP 
Partner & Head of International, Howard Kennedy 
Founder & Chairman, Lawyers Associated Worldwide 
Partner (London, Riyadh & Washington D.C.), Niche Mayfair Firm 
King's College London, College of Law

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