You can’t take it with you – a Law Society Gazette roundtable
Private Wealth Partner, Clare Stirzaker was recently invited to partake in an expert Law Society Gazette roundtable looking at how Covid-19 focused the minds of the wealthy on their legacies – on life, death and what exactly it is they want to leave behind.
During the roundtable, Claire Stirzaker was joined by Claire Randall, Farrer & Co, Helena Luckhurst, Fladgate, Jenny Cutts, Wedlake Bell, Tim Stalkartt, Evelyn Partners, Sophie Dworetzsky, Charles Russell Speechlys, Charlotte Fairhurst, Evelyn Partners, Frederick Bjørn, Payne Hicks Beach, Helen Ratcliffe, BDB Pitmans, Alexander Erskine, Taylor Wessing, Chris Springett, Evelyn Partners, Alex Ruffel, Irwin Mitchell and Eduardo Reyes, Law Society Gazette.
Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that $68tn in private wealth will transfer to a new generation globally. That is a staggering sum. Dwarfing the wealth of many nations, it seems to exceed the imagination of Scott Fitzgerald in his most spectroscopic imaginings of the very rich.
But the lawyers who serve the needs of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients are not engaged in a search for a diamond the size of the Ritz. The world described by them is composed of more relatable building blocks.
Those blocks are, variously, the manufacturing, services, celebrity, duties or land use that are the source of that wealth; the values and conditions that get attached to a legacy; family ‘governance’; and, increasingly, a search for the ‘purpose’ of that wealth – from philanthropy to environmental considerations. So $68tn is a force in the global economy, and what happens to it – how it is used – matters.
This roundtable meets after ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, but before his departure and the government’s full-spectrum U-turn. The negative response of the financial markets threatened economic chaos on top of rising inflation, and war in Ukraine is having widespread effects on the world economy.
Such uncertainty has consequences for this group’s clients too. Many plans were made on the basis of greater stability. That is especially true for clients outside the ‘bubble’ of the ultra- or very-high-net-worth bracket.