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‘When I started, tax avoidance was a positive thing — it’s now a dirty word,’ says Fairbairn. ‘At a firm like Withers — and as a solicitor — you’re not just looking at what works, you’re looking at what’s acceptable.’ Part of the landed estates team, Fairbairn is an adviser to wealthy domestic and international families on wills, succession, tax planning, trusts and other structures. He has a niche in heritage property and art — areas of personal interest. Friendly and engaging, he speaks lucidly of the alien world enjoyed by older former partners: ‘Changes happened very slowly, and now the government rewrites overnight an entire premise which was set in stone. And you have to work with that.’

Paul Fairbairn
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