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Taube found himself attracted to tax and fiduciary work for the ‘considerable legal complexity’ it involves, and the ‘mixture between human psychology and law’. He now deals more with trusts and probate, practising in the UK and offshore, notably in Hong Kong, where he was recently involved in a case involving kidnap, death and a $10 billion fortune left with competing wills. One was drawn up by a now-jailed feng shui practitioner who forged it for his own benefit as sole heir, and another — the genuine one — was aimed at establishing a Chinese prize, similar to the Nobel Peace Prize. Thanks to Taube, the prize can now go ahead. During 35 years, the tax guidebooks on his desk have twice doubled. Does he advocate some tax simplification? ‘Easier said than done,’ he chuckles.

Simon Taube