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Helen Clarke

Partner
  • +44 (0)203 040 3455
  • +44 (0)7921 975 244

Biography

I am a partner in the Private Wealth Team in London specialising in Tax, Trusts and Estates. I advise high net worth individuals, families, trustees in the UK and abroad and beneficiaries or settlors of trusts. I also work with directors and shareholders in family run and owner managed businesses.

I have a particular interest in tax issues and strategic planning in relation to inheritance tax, trusts and estates. I advise on and implement structures to ensure a tax efficient and secure transition of assets and wealth to the next generation.

Through my experience I’ve also provided legal opinions for corporate entities and trustees and other law firms.

What inspired you to get into law?

I wanted to develop a career that would be both intellectually stimulating and also enable me to work with people. A career in law enables me to help individuals and families whilst also collaborating with other professions. The UK is the most innovative and exercising legal landscape.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

It’s rewarding to ensure that hard earned assets are protected and structured to allow inter-generational wealth to be maintained.

The personal element of my role is very rewarding. I’ve built long standing relationships across multiple generations with individuals and their families and I provide support in what is often a stressful, emotional or difficult time.

What do you do away from the office?

I’m a proud mother of three children. I enjoy current affairs, taking advantage of the capital’s thriving cultural experiences, park runs and getting out and about with my dog.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 09/07/2019
    OTS Publishes New Report On Proposed Inheritance Tax Changes

    “This review of inheritance tax was long overdue and the OTS has produced some very interesting, and in some cases, radical proposals. “Sensibly they have a suggested a number of ‘packages’ of reforms that need implementing together rather than being cherry picked which mean that any knock on effects of individual changes are managed properly. “For example changes to the lifetime gifts rules, reducing the survivorship period to five years, taking away the much misunderstood taper relief, and the complex way that gifts going back 14 years can be taken into account for trusts, is sensible. “There are also two significant, radical changes for businesses and farms which will be seen as controversial and potentially could have a major effect on many family business and farm owners. “The proposals mean, firstly, you would lose the capital gains tax uplift on death if you get agricultural property relief or business property relief. This is designed to encourage the passing on of businesses and farms during a lifetime, but any changes in this area would need very careful consideration. “Likewise a suggestion that the threshold level of business activity to secure business relief should be the same as for CGT, that much higher than currently for IHT, which could mean many businesses need to be sold, in whole or part to pay the larger amount of tax due, after a death. “As with all significant tax changes, there would be winners and losers, and we hope that HMRC will consult widely so that any unforeseen consequences can be fully considered. “We will now be considering the potential impact of the recommendations further.”

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  • 03/04/2019
    Probate Fee Hikes ‘May Cause A Surge In Claims If Executors Are Too Late’

    “There will almost definitely be a surge in probate applications because the fee increase is so big, executors should be careful about opening themselves up to claims by beneficiaries if they don’t act in a timely manner. “Equally, executors can’t just apply for probate before the fee kicks in until all of the ducks are in a row when it comes to the estate, such as completing inheritance tax forms, making any necessary searches, and gathering and sending original documents to the Probate Registry - all of which takes precious time. “If any of this is wrong it just creates more delays and can result in further claims, so executors must make sure no corners are cut to reach the ‘deadline’. Keeping beneficiaries in the loop at all times about potential delays and increase fees is vital. “Our advice is not to delay and to get the grant of probate application in ahead of the fee hike if all of necessary information for the application to be successful is in place. If not, I’d recommend maintaining an open dialogue with the beneficiaries of the estate where possible. If expectations are managed and the work is completed at the cost of a higher fee, this is better than rushing and creating more problems down the line.”

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