Peter Harris profile
Revenue Barrister, French tax and estate practitioner
Curriculum Vitae - a brief summary of Peter Harris'
In-House Counsel/Barrister to Head Office Tax Department, of
Régie Nationale des Usines Renault, Boulogne
Billancourt, 1981-1986; Jersey 1986-1994; Chambers in France
1994-1999; 3 Temple Gardens Tax Chambers, 1999-2004; Parallel
Chambers in France through www.clerksroom.com 2003-2007;
Consultant Barrister Jersey 2007-2009; Overseas Chambers in Jersey
2009-date. Clerksroom Door Tenant from June, 2010 to
First French Honorary Consul to Jersey (1993-1994) - Preliminary
tax position work for Ministère des affaires
étrangères prior to French Parliamentary Commission's
mission to the Island concerning commissions rogatoires, in
Revenue Bar Association; Overseas Member of the Chancery Bar
Association, Qualified Mediator.
Established Chambers in France between 1994 and 1999, Athos
Conseil Sarl, then 2004-2007.
Peter has decided not to become a Member of STEP, as his advice
is frequently given from a different perspective than that
generally taken by the organisation, with which he collaborates on
certain matters. His professional independence from general
STEP policies is frequently the edge required to bring matters to a
pragmatic and effective conclusion abroad, particularly in civil
law and tax issues.
Recent Instructions include:
Advising a Middle Eastern State on its position in relation to
Stamp Duty Reserve Tax following an acquisition of a property
through a Jersey company.
Requiring HMRC Trusts and Estates by argument and Counsel's
Opinion to abandon any hope of a re-assessment of a French usufruit
and a successive usufruit over parts d'intérêt in a French SCI as a
s 43 ITA settlement; treating these as property rights under the
first part of the Inheritance Act 1984, and obtaining credit for
the French succession duty chargeable on the successive usufruit.
Similar historic instructions (10) have also led to 100% success
with significant savings in IHT by declaring correctly.
Wills governed by English law under the European Succession
Regulation n° 650/2012 to remove forced heirship issues. Also
enabling through separate wills the cloistering of administration
and executorship to English assets, whilst enabling the heirs in
France to take land directly.
Advising on use of Zakat religious dues to establish residence
in the context of the Franco-Saudi Treaties.
Successfully arguing the territorial limitations of the 1925
Land and Administration of Estates legislation to enable rapid and
effective administration of succesions abroad in testamentary and
other contexts outside probate, without the need for the
appointment of an English executor or personal representative.
Managing a French Appeal process to Cour de Cassation level, and
negotiating a transactional settlement, alongside French avocats
for British clients.
Successful negotiation with French administration on behalf of
French resident expatriates linked to a Liechtenstein Foundation by
Use of French legislation to reduce SCI capital in conjunction
with Estate Duty Treaty for UK residents;
Restructuring foreign finance for French Property acquisitions
to obtain efficient ISF relief;
Opinion to English Solicitors to enable Al-Bassam French estate
to leave France without French succession duty by negociation under
Franco-Saudi Treaty, since amended.
Successful declaration and defence of a French immovable
Usufruit as a separate property right outside the Succession Part
of IHTA 1984.
Ensuring that a trust for sale of land is treated as land under
s. 3 et seq TLATA 1996 and not as a trust under article 792-0
bis I CGI. Use of Von Overbeck Report on Hague Convention on Trusts
Other instructions and advice are subject to Professional
Prior Instructions include, for example:
Lead counsel, tax and legal, concerning a
« Hive-down » and purchase of the « capsules »
activity de Péchiney Emballage Alimentaire for a British purchaser,
et a potential Greek financier.
Proposal of a general succession trust for Bordeaux
châteaux, presented and argued before Direction Général des Impôts,
Bercy, MM. Lieb and Saint Amand, bearing on the
nue-propriété of parts in
sociétés immobilières and
commercialisation under the approval of the Conseil
Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, during the producers'
Defense of French immovable purchases by Luxemburg companies
under the previous Double Tax Treaty with France, and its
modification ; use of Sociétés civiles and
Sociétés civiles de construction vente under the
Dip. ICEI (Europa Institut, University of Amsterdam & IBFD:
European Law, Tax and monetary economics);
LLB (Hons.) (Manc.) : European and Roman law
at Regis chair of Roman Law.
1st Year English Language and Literature BA (Hons)
with French option.
Public and Private international Law, Revenue law
Roman and Civil Law and EU law.
Full Maroon: Sailing, Commodore of Manchester
University Yacht Club.
Chambers in France (1995-1999, 2004-2007), and United
Pupillages in both London (Steven O'Malley - EC
law) 1981, and Paris (Donald Von Landauer - French and UK law)
Revenue Bar practice: Chancery, PIL, International tax, commercial
taxation and estate planning in the common law and civil law
EU Private law issues: Succession Regulation, Matrimonial
Property régimes draft Regulation;
French commercial and estate planning and taxation: use of
matrimonial property regimes as a parallel to trusts in France.
Transparent, translucent and opaque wealth planning structures
incorporating both trust and civil law vehicles.
Strategic use of principles of English procedure, evidence as to
foreign laws, as fact; and private international law (French and
British). Use of treaties and EU/EFA and ECHR provisions in
Double Taxation Agreements and Tax Information Exchange
Agreements: in particular the French Conventions d'assistance
administrative with Jersey, Guernsey, BVI and Isle of Man.
French ETNC and article 238 CGI issues.
Informal assistance to the Jersey authorities in addressing the
illegality of the French Blacklisting with the Ministère de
l'Economie et des Finances.
Defending the trust concept as such under the Hague Convention
and article 792-0 Bis Code Général des Impôts, in particular as to
the limitations on the latter's effective scope; e.g. English
statutory trusts of land.
Zakat and Islamic taxation of non moslems:
Peter Harris acted as French Tax Counsel to English Solicitors
in the Al-Bassam litigation, his advice leading to the exemption of
the Substantial French Succession from French droits de
succession under a treaty with France.
He is competent to advise on Shari'ah law aspects of taxation
and the interrelation of Zakat, the Moslem voluntary
religious "duty", with tax systems in various jurisdictions, and,
in particular the use of tax treaties with the members of the GCC
to obtain effective exemption from various western taxes. He also
advises GCC non-Moslem domiciliaries on the differential between
Moslem Zakat, their separate tax assessments and liabilities, and
on the difference of treatment as to successions under the relevant
Generally Peter is able to advise and manage issues of Conflict
and Private International Law in a civilian context where other
"angels" fear to tread.
Peter Harris has a right of audience before the final appellate
jurisdiction of the Islands and is therefore able to advise on
certain aspects of Jersey and other Channel Islands' laws, but does
not have a right to appear before the Royal Court of Jersey or the
Jersey or Guernsey Courts of Appeal. He advises in his capacity as
a Barrister, which is more than sufficient authority for the
international private and public law practice which he
He is an overseas correspondent of Juris Défi, the French
association of avocats notaries and huissiers,
He also advised Notaries as an independent advisor of the Cridon
in Nantes between 2004 and 2007 adressing matters of English law
and practice prior to his moving to Jersey.
Peter Harris is unique in the tax field, possessing detailed knowledge and experience of both British and French revenue law in international tax matters from the Onshore and the Offshore perspective.