A trusted adviser to entrepreneurs, hedge-fund principals, CEOs, and family offices, Steppler specialises in helping international HNWs — particularly non-doms and non-residents — structure their interests, including private equity, non-UK trusts, companies, and foundations.
She also has a special focus on people from Russia, former Commonwealth of Independent States and Israel. As many of her colleagues in this Index attest, such clients are increasingly worried about what a future in the UK means for them, and the effect so far has been decidedly detrimental.
‘I think it would be sensible to defer making any radical changes at the moment — we want absolute certainty,’ she says. ‘A lot of the non-doms who come here have their own businesses and should be welcomed.’
Unfortunately, the increasing complexity of British law hasn’t helped: ‘When I first started advising there were one or two solutions, which worked for most taxpayers,’ says Steppler, pointing to offshore mortgages to buy a property or a trust to hold investments as examples.
‘Nowadays, with the changes, I don’t think there are any solutions which would apply to a great number of taxpayers across the board, so everything is very bespoke — which makes life very interesting for us, but it also brings a lot of challenges because it means you have to be very, very careful to be sure you’ve understood their circumstances and then applied all these different complicated taxes to their plans. That’s what makes it so complicated.’
The warm and engaging organist studied classics at Oxford, and the unravelling of ancient languages often aids her approach to tax law.
As she has previously told Spear’s: ‘Looking at the legislation and teasing out the meaning of it could be a bit like translating ancient Greek.’