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Assets Recovery & Location in Brazil

Forensic accounting and divorce litigation involving complex financial assets. Wealthy families almost always have assets across different countries. In cases such as divorce and estate it is quite common that a party needs to diligently search for assets.

Offshore Havens

Caribbean Islands, Uruguay, and Switzerland are just a few of the destination of spouses, investors, and companies that want to hide their assets. Although locating financial assets in a tax haven is difficult, it is not impossible. Getting hold of detailed information about an account holder in one of these places may enable a party to get judicial support from the local authorities to disclose the hidden assets and properly returning these assets to the legitimate parties

Our experience

Working in international family law for many years we have learned many ways of hidden assets. We use our experience to uncover and claim assets for clients in some of the main offshore havens such as:

Sovereign CountriesNon-sovereign Jurisdictions
  • Bahamas
  • Cyprus
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Panama
  • Seychelles
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Curaçao (Netherlands)
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man


Example of how wealthy individuals take advantage of Tax Heavens

For example, a wealthy testator would transfer his mansion into an offshore company. Then, he would setup the shares of the company on a trust with himself being a trustee, while holding the life estate for him for life, and afterwards to only one of his children leaving the others aside. On his death, the shares would automatically vest in the chosen daughter, who thereby would acquire the mansion, without the house having to go through proper probate and distributed among all of his children.

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How Tax Havens Operate

The advantages of tax havens in hidden assets are viewed in the following three approaches:

A) Asset holding

Asset holding involves utilizing a trust or a company, or a trust owning a company. The company or trust will be formed in one tax haven, and will usually be administered and resident in another. The function is to hold assets, which may consist of a portfolio of investments under management, trading companies or groups, physical assets such as real estate or valuable chattels.

The essence of such arrangements is that by changing the ownership of the assets into an entity which is not resident in the high-tax jurisdiction, they cease to be taxable in that jurisdiction. Often the mechanism is employed to avoid a specific tax.

B) Trading and other business activity

Many businesses which do not require a specific geographical location or extensive labor are set up in tax havens, to minimize tax exposure. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the number of reinsurance companies which have migrated to Bermuda over the years. Other examples include internet based services and group finance companies.

C) Financial intermediaries

Much of the economic activity in tax havens today consists of professional financial services such as mutual funds, banking, life insurance and pensions. Generally the funds are deposited with the intermediary in the low-tax jurisdiction, and the intermediary then on-lends or invests the money. Although such systems do not normally avoid tax in the principal customer's jurisdiction, it enables financial service providers to provide multi-jurisdictional products without adding an additional layer of taxation.

D) Anonymity and bearer shares

Bearer shares allow for anonymous ownership, and thus have been criticized for facilitating money laundering and tax evasion

Phone: 212-300-7174