Stephen Arthur


Practice Overview

Stephen Arthur qualified as a solicitor in 1974 with Herbert Smith & Co.  He transferred to the Bar in 2002, after a short period as a merchant banker, followed by 20 years as lead tax partner with major City and West End solicitors’ practices, and 4 years as managing director in Switzerland of a trust company owned by a substantial Swiss private bank, which became part of one of the largest global banks and financial service groups.


Regular practical professional experience

  • all aspects of UK domestic and international taxation, corporate and individual, with particular focus on IHT and estate planning, and anuual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED)
  • domicile and fiscal residence
  • drafting trusts and ancillary documents, pensions and share option and estate planning arrangements (clients include professional trust service providers in various jurisdictions involving ‘offshore structures’ for many nationalities) and advising on trustee/beneficiary powers, duties and rights
  • SDLT and indirect taxes (clients include nationally known names involved with all aspects of property/infrastructure development projects budgeted from £30m to £100m+)
  • settling back tax investigations and Leichtenstein Disclosure Facility arrangements without resort to formal litigation
  • tax and trust litigation at all levels, from First Tier Tribunal (formerly General/Special Commissioners) to the Supreme Court, via all intermediate (and VAT) tribunals


Stephen’s work experiences outside direct legal practice have enhanced his practical appreciation of the application of commercial pressures to legal problem solving.



As an accredited mediator Stephen has practical experience of mediation of disputes between

  • partners/partnerships
  • private company shareholders
  • trustees and beneficiaries
  • HMRC/taxpayers.


Professional associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Revenue Bar Association
  • CIOT (Chartered Institute of Taxation) since 1974 (Chairman, European Branch 1998 – 2006). 
  • Stamp Duty Practitioners Group (a multi-disciplinary association)
  • STEP (tutor for 10 years of trust, company and anti-money laundering law to students sitting the internationally recognised STEP Diploma in International Trust Management and the Advanced Professional International Tax Diploma)
  • former member of the City of London Solicitors’ Law Society Revenue Law Committee (instrumental in making fiscal representations to HMRC at the highest level).



Stephen is an editor of the STEP Journal, sent to all STEP members nine times a year, and a well-known contributor to domestic and international tax and estate-planning journals and publications, including

  • Tolley’s International Tax Planning (now in 4th Edition)
  • Tax on Transactions (a major loose-leaf work)
  • Butterworth’s Encyclopoedia of Forms and Precedents (Gifts )
  • Tax Planning International and Tax Planning International Review 
  • Tax Advisor 
  • Trust & Estates Tax Law Journal
  • European Tax Review 
  • The Practical Lawyer Guide to Inheritance Tax Planning (2005).
  • Several chapters in Tiley & Collison 2018/19 Tax Guide


Joint author and consulting editor – Tax Efficient Will Drafting (LexisNexis 2007).


Foreign languages

Stephen speaks fluent French, and competent Italian, and can deal with documents in those languages. In addition he has a good understanding of written Spanish and German.


Other commercial experience

Stephen holds/had held executive directorships of companies/charities involved in trust management, consulting, finance leasing, estate management and private education.


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