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Crooks puts his foray into tax down to serendipity, as a delay in university funding meant he became an accountant rather than a master of international relations. That doesn’t mean, however, that he hasn’t experienced the finer points of diplomacy first hand. ‘It’ll be interesting to see how the spirit of multilateralism and improved co-operation on the exchange of information, etc, will actually be borne out in practice,’ he says. It’s a pulse he’s got his finger on, bringing clients’ money through the UK-Swiss disclosure agreement as well as the Lichtenstein disclosure facility, telling them to move as fast as possible — before the windows close and the courts take the lead. His expertise applies to many areas, not least to wine, where he advises against speculation to avoid being taxed on any income. Spear’s agrees: where wine is concerned, it’s far better to drink it.

Toby Crooks