On 29 January, the Financial Post reported on revelations from a court case in Quebec which revolves around a dispute over the control of trusts between a Montreal-based wealth management company and a law firm owned by 2 Paris-based lawyers.  While neither side prevailed in the litigation, the judge took great care in detailing the duelling allegations of dubious management strategies, conflicts of interest and dishonesty.  Overall, both sides were involved in managing as much as tens of billions of euros spread throughout at least 300 trusts, according to the ruling.  Rich families were able to avoid for years France’s wealth tax through the ruse of the Canadian trust, the court said.  The article says that, to leave “no traces” as they hid billions in Canadian trusts for rich French families, a group of asset managers and lawyers referred to clients as “the old lady” or “the painter”; and they periodically destroyed office computers.  But relationships soured and spilled into court, and now their methods have been exposed in a ruling that reads as a guidebook to tax avoidance tricks.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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