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Discretion. Empathy. Collaboration

We truly value effective collaboration between professional advisors and believe that this can be vital to delivering the best outcome for clients. We are proud to have built a reputation for being easy to work with - whether you are a client or a professional advisor - and happy to work confidentially and pragmatically to advise on the most complex of circumstances. We are also active in referring clients to professional colleagues with complementary specialisms.

Changes to the taxation of assets transferred between separating and divorcing spouses and civil partners in England & Wales were revised in April 2023. Whereas previously couples had only the remainder of the tax year to make tax-free transfers between them, there is now generally a period of at least three years to do so.

But tax, both in the UK and overseas, still has a significant impact on financial settlement negotiations, the fair division of assets, and how much each party receives at the end.

Our deep expertise in all areas of taxation on divorce, as well as our first-hand experience of the English Family Courts, places us in a unique position.

Instructions & recent cases

At Sanctoras we are highly experienced in advising on all personal tax matters in the context of divorce and separation. We are regularly instructed by some of the most respected and formidable matrimonial lawyers in England to provide expert advice. Examples of matters on which we have been instructed include:

Discovering the true value of assets

Instructed by the wife’s legal team in a £100million divorce to respond to matters in dispute relating to the husband’s financial disclosure, particularly the net value of his assets after the calculation of chargeable gains and allowable losses. The husband’s stated net worth was successfully challenged as having been understated.

Highlighting historical tax inaccuracies

Instructed by the wife’s lawyers to jointly advise the wife and the husband (who was acting as an unrepresented litigant-in-person) on historic inaccuracies in the husband’s tax affairs, and the implication on the net impact of the financial settlement of bringing his affairs up to date with HM Revenue & Customs, the UK tax authority.

Avoiding confrontation working with both parties

Instructed by husband and wife as a Single Joint Expert to review their joint financial affairs, in particular in relation to the husband’s expected future earnings from Private Equity ventures and the likely tax thereon. Both parties agreed with our recommendations and the divorce proceeded as a ’no fault’ divorce, avoiding the need for lengthy court battles.

Applying UK tax law to overseas divorces

Instructed by the English solicitors for the wife, who was divorced in a foreign jurisdiction, to advise on the tax implications of remittances of her divorce proceeds to the UK. Both the husband and wife had, at various times, been UK resident but non-UK domiciled, and the financial settlement required remittances to be made to the UK in as tax-efficient manner as possible.

Coordinating complex cross-border advice

Advising family counsel in England, New York and Spain on the tax and structuring implications of a highly complex cross-border divorce, with assets in six different jurisdictions. Working with our counterparts in New York and Spain, our advice spanned the taxation of spousal maintenance (alimony); lump-sum capital payments; the transfer between the parties of properties in two US states and South America; and how to enable the parties to give effect to the Court Order in a tax-efficient way.

Helping clients & their lawyers navigate complex lives

As with all our services, discretion is paramount and assured. We work closely with your lawyers to effectively manage issues of confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and legal privilege.

Where required, we can also accompany you to Court and be on-hand to assist you, your solicitors and counsel on any points that require clarification or verification during the course of a hearing.

If you or your clients need more than just tax advice, we also act in numerous cases as a party’s primary point of contact with their legal team, particularly in complex, international or very high value proceedings.

We have extensive first-hand experience of how the divorce process works in the English Family Courts and what solicitors and barristers need to get you the best possible outcome; but we also know all too well the pressures on time-poor, entrepreneurial or high-profile individuals - particularly where detailed financial disclosure spanning multiple jurisdictions is required.

We can work hand-in-hand with your existing legal team (or introduce you to some of England’s top-ranked family lawyers in our network), as well as with your family office, investment managers, bankers and other parties as relevant.

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"James and the team at Sanctoras are an invaluable asset to family lawyers. Their specialist tax advice and knowledge sit alongside a deep insight of their clients' needs.

Sanctoras identify early on the circumstances in which their clients need legal advice and their holistic approach enables them to be an intrinsic part of a client’s legal team. They understand not only the complexities of private clients’ lives but also what family lawyers and the courts need, making them an efficient and knowledgeable resource to both barristers and solicitors.

Sanctoras seamlessly help join together the many facets of clients’ lives. The personalised commitment and support they give to clients and lawyers alike is exceptional."
Lois Langton
Head of Family Law, Howard Kennedy LLP

To find out more about instructing us for tax advisory services on behalf of your client, or as a Single Joint Expert, or to discuss how we can assist your client through the whole process please enquire directly.

James Heathcote, our Divorce and Separation specialist would be happy to share his professional CV, initial thoughts and considerations and if possible, depending on the scope of the engagement, a fee quote.

Professional appointment enquiries

Whether you are in the early stages of thinking about separation, in the middle of a divorce, or looking at tax issues and structuring for the next chapter of your life, please get in touch. We would be pleased to have a confidential, no-obligation discussion with you.

If you are not already legally represented, we can make introductions to matrimonial lawyers with whom we have worked extensively.

Arrange a confidential discussion

Working collaboratively to get our clients the best possible outcomes

We are really proud of our industry awards, you will see a selection of testimonials on our website from clients and other professionals. But nothing beats having a chat!

Get in touch to find out more about Sanctoras, discuss your circumstances and explore how we can work together.

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Making our clients' lives easier

We aim to become part of the engine room which helps you achieve your objectives.

We can work whenever, wherever suits your lifestyle.

Your office in London, your favourite coffee shop in Dubai, virtually from anywhere, or even a terminal at LAX.