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Relocating to the UK from South Africa


Stefan is a successful businessman, originally from South Africa. He is in his early 50s and has four adult children who live in South Africa, the UK and the US. Stefan has established an international lifestyle and footprint, with complex structures and assets spread across multiple jurisdictions.

Following a change in circumstances, he and his wife started looking to relocate, searching for a compatible, flexible jurisdiction as a place to call home.

Stefan’s goals:

  • Identify a new jurisdiction to complement his family’s preferences and lifestyle needs.
  • Conduct a strategic review of his family’s international footprint and structures to identify ways of simplifying them and ensuring compatibility with the new jurisdiction.
  • Preserve the integrity of his existing international structures while resident in and operating from the new jurisdiction.

Our recommendations:

  • Our Family Office in South Africa assisted Stefan and his wife to review potential jurisdictions. After consideration, it was concluded that the UK would best suit the family’s needs from both a lifestyle and tax residency perspective. The UK was deemed well-positioned geographically, offered political and economic stability and a flexible ‘non-domiciled’ individual tax regime.
  • Stonehage Fleming Law and the Family Office team, conducted a strategic review to assess Stefan’s existing global structures, related reporting and disclosure requirements.
  • They also conducted a review of all Stefan’s existing business roles and directorships to assess how becoming a UK tax resident would affect such positions. Where applicable, employment vehicles were created to facilitate the continuity of his positions.

Outcomes (so far):

  • Stonehage Fleming Law advised Stefan on the legal and tax aspects of his re-location to the UK and prepared a pre-immigration tax plan to take full advantage of ‘remittance planning’.
  • Our Family Office team in London supported the family with all the relocation logistics. They set up both UK and offshore bank accounts, arranged medical insurance policies, a medical concierge for the family and arranged the purchase of a car. Furthermore, the team remain on hand to support the family on an on-going basis as required.
  • Our London-based residential property advisory team shortlisted a selection of rental properties for the family, negotiated the rental tenancy and sourced furnishings, utilities and a housekeeper in advance of their arrival.

Disclaimer: Please note, all case studies have been carefully anonymised. Although scenarios are based on real life events they have been fictionalised and are an amalgamation of client experiences. All names, locations and occupations have been replaced with pseudonyms.

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