“It is for the shareholder to decide if they want to leave the share distribution to the local Shariah laws or want to choose the distribution themselves”

The Grid: The DIFC Wills & Probate Registry (‘the Registry”) has recently launched the first Free Zone Company Will. What protection does this provide shareholders and which free zones does it encompass?

Sean Hird: The Registry launched the Free Zone Company Will in response to the marketplace. It was created as an alternative to the full DIFC Will for cash, car, property, and children. and designed for people who had shares in a free zone company but no other tangible assets here.

So in essence, we are empowering people with the provision of an online template that is specific to free zone companies and is easier and cheaper to put in place because they do not need any bespoke drafting.


“Check with your bank what they have on record for you. Are they going to look at your passport or your residence?”

The Grid: With the introduction of the new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) into most GCC countries this year, many business families and banks will become busy dealing with this. How does CRS work and will it affect individuals in the GCC?

Deloitte: Broadly speaking, if you are resident in one jurisdiction and you have a financial account in another and both of those countries have signed up to the CRS, then the information about your financial account will be sent, annually, to the country in which you are resident.

The Grid: Which countries in the GCC have signed up?


“For every action in life there is a reaction, our countries are still heavily in debt that’s why taxes rise.”

The Grid: Being based in Dubai, most of your expatriate clients hail from the United Kingdom however there are universal issues that face anyone living away from home over a certain period. What are the top three long-term monetary concerns that expatriates most often seek counsel on?

Paul Sharman: The current climate affects all expatriates no matter where you’re from, if the UK has a financial issue there is only so much money in the world and each problem has a knock-on effect worldwide. 90% of my time is spent helping clients to secure failing pensions to stop losing more money, this is the hottest topic, based on excessive loss and way more to come. (more…)