Isle of Man: Private Client Services

Last Updated: 3 May 2012
Article by Phil Games

The Private Client Department

The Private Client team at Simcocks specialises in advising high net-worth individuals and is a recognised leader in this field. The independent research directory, The Legal 500, says we offer "high quality advice and delivery".

For more than 100 years Simcocks has cultivated lasting relationships with families and on their behalf liaised with other professionals including accountants, bankers, land agents, UK solicitors and tax planners to provide clients with bespoke wealth management solutions.

The Private Client team acts for individuals, families, estates, trusts and family businesses and is used to working across a number of different jurisdictions and co-ordinating with consultants in various countries. The department has experience in establishing family offices and being part of a professional team of advisers.

We work with clients to preserve and develop family wealth for future generations. Our services are tailored to meet individual needs and as people progress through different stages of life our flexible approach allows us to give practical advice according to circumstances. We understand that wealth must be correctly structured to maintain financial success.

Wills form a central part of many clients' planning and is often the starting point for a review of family and business affairs. Our work includes lifetime, inheritance and succession planning. This also covers the administration of estates, including all related trusts, advice in connection with the preparation of deeds of variation and obtaining grants of probate or letters of administration.

Trust law is becoming more international and Simcocks has a number of specialists providing advice on the formation of Isle of Man trusts and foundations. Some of our team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Pensions Management Institute.

The department is headed by chief executive, Phil Games. The Legal 500 has said: "Simcocks excellent chief executive Phil Games gives good technical advice," and "Simcocks non-contentious trust guru Phil Games leads a growing private client team which is very pragmatic and seeks to resolve what might be perceived as problems in a quick and efficient manner."

The practice has many years experience advising individuals on all aspects of relocation to the Isle of Man including property acquisition, residency restrictions and immigration. There are no restrictions on buying property and the conveyancing department at Simcocks boasts one of the most experienced teams on the Island. It regularly handles high value transactions and has a close working relationship with all the main players in this market.


Based in the Isle of Man and with an office in London, Simcocks provide an extensive range of legal services broadly grouped into the areas of private client, corporate and commercial and dispute resolution. The practice also has qualified BVI lawyers operating from its head office advising clients on all aspects of BVI law. Simcocks also has a special working relationship with Samuels Richardson, a BVI law firm for circumstances where localised "on the ground" advice is required.

The corporate and commercial department deals with all aspects of corporate and commercial activity serving both large, established institutions and small businesses. The dispute resolution team is considered to be one of the strongest on the Island. It also enjoys the appointment, as with a small number of other practices, to a panel of approved advocates to be utilised by various arms of the Isle of Man Government.

Whilst these broad groupings give some indication of how the company is organised, there is considerable interaction between the different groups given that any particular client matter often requires a mix of skills and experience.

Simcocks has built up an enviable reputation due to the wealth of knowledge and experience within all departments. Staff have extensive contacts and offer a proactive approach to all of our clients' business and domestic requirements.

We provide a first class service by listening to what clients need, responding quickly and offering creative solutions. Simcocks offers a competitive service with all fee earners taking a realistic and commercial approach to ensure we add tangible value. Many of our lawyers have been named as leaders in their field by independent researchers and the Legal 500 has said: "The firm, whose senior lawyers are highly experienced and still young enough to be energetic, serves both the international and domestic markets effectively."

Simcocks was the first Isle of Man law practice to be awarded the Quality Standard ISO 9001 accreditation by Moody International. It is the only Isle of Man practice belonging to LawNet, a leading group of law firms in the UK and Ireland and Eurojuris International, a leading European network of companies, which gives clients easy access to European legal advice and assistance. The company is also a founder member of TerraLex, a global association of eminent law firms with members in most countries.

The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is very attractive with the Government encouraging high-net worth individuals to the Island with a tax system that fosters the creation and preservation of wealth. The Island's economy continues to grow and the financial services industry has won many major awards including Best International Financial Services Centre. It holds a AAA credit rating from Moodys and AA+ by Standard and Poor.

The Island is a unique self-governing kingdom - a Crown dependency which belongs to neither the UK nor the European Union. It has its own parliament called Tynwald that is more than 1,000 years old. The Island has its own laws, currency, traditions and culture. Lines of communication are short – and decisions can be made quickly. The home number of every Minister and Member of Tynwald is listed at the start of the Isle of Man telephone book.

The Three Legs of Man is the Island's symbol of independence. While there is much local argument about which way the legs run (officially it is clockwise), the symbol's meaning is undisputed: Quocunque Jeceris Stabit – Whichever way you throw me I stand.

The Island is 33 miles long, 13 miles wide and covers an area of 227 square miles. It has a population of more than 80,000.The thriving east coast town and port of Douglas is the capital. Other popular towns and resorts are Port Erin, Port St Mary, Castletown, Ramsey, Peel and Laxey. As well as the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry the Isle of Man also has its own ship registry and is the flag of choice for many of the world's most prestigious Superyachts. There are currently two marina facilities for pleasure yachts, one in Douglas and one in Peel.

The Isle of Man offers an unrivalled lifestyle and its residents gave it the highest ever rating polled by MORI as a place to live. With a population density of 134 people per square kilometer (compared to 23,660 in Monaco and 766 in the Channel isles), the Isle of Man offers plenty of room to breathe. With the countryside and leisure facilities within five minutes of the main work areas, the Island can offer an extra hour of leisure time per day. Family life enjoys many benefits including good housing, education, health services, accessible activities and relative safety. There is an International Business School and the Isle of Man College for over 16s and there is one public school, King William's College.

The retail and social attractions of the big cities in the UK and Ireland are one hour away by scheduled flight and there are a number of companies offering private charter services. They are able to arrange direct flights all over the world and can source all types of aircraft.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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