Services for barristers
We are delighted to provide highly specific financial planning advice to barristers. Cassons business advisers LLP provide specialist accounting and tax advice to barristers through Cassons for Counsel see the separate website here.
We encourage all our clients to prepare for their retirement as early as possible. As you, a barrister, are self employed and don’t have a business to sell, you need to build up a fund that will support you, and maintain your lifestyle, throughout your retirement. We will work with you to set up an appropriate pension and then review it on a regular basis to ensure that it is still meeting your objectives in terms of returns and tax efficiency. Many barristers purchase a share in their chambers building and this investment can be made through a pension fund, potentially saving up to 60% of the cost after tax relief.
It is essential that you have other savings for your short, medium and long term requirements. The overall planning of your investments and pension is critical to ensure best returns and tax efficiency. We are able to advise you on your specific situation, subject to your family circumstances and other financial commitments.
Auto-enrolment is a Government scheme that makes it compulsory for businesses to automatically enrol their employees in a pension scheme. All employers will need to work out whether automatic enrolment applies to them and f you have at least one member of staff who is paid via a PAYE scheme, then AE duties apply. What many people don’t realise is that families who employ staff, such as your spouse, nanny, cook or cleaner are treated as employees under the auto-enrolment rules, and you will be expected (dependent upon eligibility criteria) to provide and pay into a pension for them.
If you employ your spouse, have a nanny or cleaner and are unsure how the new legislation will affect you, please read John's most recent blog here which summarises some of the requirements for barristers to provide workplace pensions. You should also consider whether your Chambers are up to speed with the workplace pensions requirements for Chambers' staff. In both cases, we will be happy to advise and help with implementation.
If illness or injury prevents you from working, how will you manage financially, especially if it becomes a long term incapacity? We can arrange income protection insurance (also known, confusingly, as permanent health insurance) which fits with the nature of your career. This is a highly specialist area and one in which we have extensive experience. For example we can organise a policy which will pay out if you are unable to speak. Many policies will not pay out in this eventuality because you could switch from advocacy to research or paperwork instead. However we want to help with what is best for you personally. Incidentally, income protection may also be offered through chambers, but this may not be the best option and we recommend that we examine the various options for you.
Some chambers provide group schemes for health and life assurance, but these may not necessarily be the best option for you. It may be beneficial for you to have your own personal plan as the benefits may be better and the premiums cheaper. It is also a more flexible option if you move chambers. We would be delighted to discuss some ideas with you.
Suppose you suffer a life-threatening or other serious, illness – and survive – that’s the good news. But what if you are now disabled and need to spend significant money adapting your home to your new needs? Also many more people are now surviving major illnesses but need a medium term cushion while they take adequate time to recuperate. This type of policy would provide a lump sum on survival from specific conditions.
We understand that it is often difficult for barristers to obtain a mortgage, especially at the beginning of your career when your initial earnings will be very low but with the expectation of dramatic growth. We can work with you to produce a schedule of anticipated earnings which many banks and building societies require or part of any mortgage application process.
Managing client investment portfolios is a core part of our practice. We manage portfolios from around £75,000 up to many in the £millions. Each portfolio is individually designed and, on an ongoing basis, individually reviewed. There is no such thing as a standard Cassons portfolio because we consider your own investment objectives, your attitude to risk, your income and capital requirements, your timescales and your tax circumstances, and design an appropriate portfolio to meet your needs.
Please click here to visit the Cassons for Counsel website to read more about the services we provide for barristers around the country.