Charles Gothard Partner

Charles co-heads the firm’s family office group and is the firm's country partner for Switzerland so has overall responsibility for our relationships in Switzerland. He rejoined Macfarlanes in 2013 from a leading City of London firm where he headed their international private client team and had responsibility for their Swiss and Gulf practices. Charles originally trained at Macfarlanes.

He specialises in advising international families and entrepreneurs as well as the family offices, trust companies and other institutions helping them. His work often relates to their estate planning, structures (whether trusts, foundations or other vehicles), philanthropy and personal affairs. This frequently involves complex tax planning with an international element and co-ordinating advice from advisers in different jurisdictions, often in situations with little or no UK connection. He also regularly advises foreign residents on the most tax efficient way to structure UK investments or a move to the UK.

Charles also has significant experience of contentious UK and international trust and probate work – resolving disputes between trustees or executors and beneficiaries, acting for either side.

Charles is ranked as a top tier adviser in the UK and Global editions of the independent Chambers guide and as one of the top 10 UK tax and trust lawyers in 2017 by Spear's magazine.

Charles lectures regularly in the UK and abroad and has published articles in many of the leading professional publications. He is the joint editor of The World Trust Survey – an overview of the trust laws of 34 jurisdictions published in 2010 by Oxford University Press and the joint author of a chapter on “Protectors” in Tolley’s Administration of Trusts.


Professional memberships

  • ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)
  • ITPA (International Tax Planning Association)

What people are saying

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"'He has good technical knowledge, and is flexible and pragmatic. He is a good guy' says a source."

Chambers HNW 2017

"Sources say Charles Gothard 'has good technical knowledge, and is flexible and pragmatic.' He is heavily involved in advising international families and entrepreneurs, and is sought out by trust companies and family offices."

Chambers UK 2016

"Charles Gothard is noted for his jurisdictional experience of Switzerland and the Gulf regions. Clients describe him as a 'star', and go on to highlight his impact on the francophone market. He focuses on estate planning, philanthropy-related tax issues and general financing matters."

Chambers Global 2016

"... 'very able and pragmatic in applying the law. He is also creative and can think around problems'."

Chambers UK 2015