Overseas Chambers of Peter Harris

Maison de la Boucterie
Rue de la Boucterie
Saint Saviour
Jersey, JE2 7ZW

Peter Harris profile

Revenue Barrister, French tax and estate practitioner

Overseas Chambers of Peter Harris

Called: 1980 by the Middle Temple Inn of Court
British Door Tenancy:
www.clerksroom.com

 

Curriculum Vitae - a brief summary of Peter Harris' background:

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 date.

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 1996-7;

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 German 'leak';

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 1984.

Other instructions and advice are subject to Professional Confidentiality constraints.

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' 'chair' period.

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 new Treaty.

 

Qualifications:

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.

Specialisation in:

Public and Private international Law, Revenue law Roman and Civil Law and EU law.

Full Maroon: Sailing, Commodore of Manchester University Yacht Club.

Previous practice:

Chambers in France (1995-1999, 2004-2007), and United Kingdom(1999-2004).

Pupillages in both London (Steven O'Malley - EC law) 1981, and Paris (Donald Von Landauer - French and UK law) 1980.

Practice:
Revenue Bar practice: Chancery, PIL, International tax, commercial taxation and estate planning in the common law and civil law context.

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 tax matters.

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 régime.

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 operates.

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.