Now I have to put a huge great caveat on this right from the start. I have received an email from Switzerland just entitled “Paicolex“. The email came from an unknown Swiss , “ch”, email address, not from Paicolex itself and was in German, presumably from a German Swiss person, probably from an internet cafe or from home.
Once translated, which was a handy feature, it described what has gone on at Paicolex but, as I have no clue who the sender was, I have to take it with a pinch of salt. Maybe it was Thomas Meier, as I have already contacted him (but have received no reply), but I doubt it. But the sender had obviously got hold of my email address somehow and given that it was from Switzerland and had the subject “Paicolex”, I think that it may be valid, but I do not know; it just seems too much of a coincidence to me.
I have no clue what the position that this sender holds but he or she seems to have a conscience.
In summary, it talks about the following:
- A culture of excess of the leading trust officers, flying everywhere first class and staying in very expensive hotels. It is felt that within reason, the “clients” will pay whatever Paicolex asks for in fees, as they are saving millions in tax
- A clear arrangement between Paicolex and Berwin Leighton Paisner of the ability to arrange for the evasion of tax and then to shield any proceeds from view by placing the same in trusts
- Although all of the paperwork is signed by trust officers, all of the instructions come from the settlor or his or her representative as to what the settlor wishes done with the money. There are generally no written instructions, all of which generally come by phone to the “leading” trust officer. There is normally no evidence of any written instructions from the settlor but if there are, they are shredded once the instructions are carried out, leaving no evidence of “arrangements” with the settlor, thus keeping the pretense of arms length transactions
Whomever it is knows a lot but not everything
The clients know that they are being ripped off but they do not dare say anything, as they have no wish to raise their head above the parapet and get caught by HMRC, so they stay silent. The inflated fees are a small price to pay for what they have saved and that includes the Hender Family trust.
Make of this what you will
But let us be real. There is absolutely nothing illegal about excess, it is just not moral but a financial conspiracy with regard to tax evasion with one’s holding company, in this case Berwin Leighton Paisner, certainly is.
This will be included within the submission to the SRA and, of course, I will be honour bound to include the caveats that I have mentioned above, given that I have no idea as to the identity of the sender