Geoffrey Cone Offers Invaluable Support to Solve Challenges on Foreign Trusts


Over the past few weeks, there has been a burst in the media with news about the New Zealand trust and tax laws, specifically addressing foreign trusts and how the local market has not benefited from the laws put in place earlier. Professionals from all sectors have issued their opinions with others like Geoffrey Cone analyzing the situation to single out the problems that are barring many people from excelling in their cases.


Commercial litigation is a broad area that comes with complex laws that cannot be overlooked when reviewing the state of trust laws. There have been challenges among local firms getting certifications to operate internationally simply because New Zealand is not considered a tax haven.


Geoffrey Cone intervened with vital information that will shine some light and in some way send a message to the government to consider reviewing some laws to make it easier for individuals to have their cases resolved more easily. The most affected in the mix are the wealthy and influential individuals who want to transfer their ownership rights across jurisdictions.


OECD issued a list of countries that are considered tax havens and New Zealand has never made it to be one of them. There are reasons behind this and among the issues reviewed is the fact that counties that qualify to rank as tax havens are run on nominal taxes and there is transparency across all levels. Additionally, there is no seamless transfer of information between governments, which makes it difficult for the country to be ranked among thriving tax havens.


All these requirements are in line with the 2002 Model Agreement on Tax Matters that offers support to international exchange of information for the enforcement of domestic tax laws. New Zealand was among countries that were supposed to be placed in the list and the country over the past one decade has shown progress in handling foreign trusts despite lacking the full capacity to rank as a tax haven.


Geoffrey Cone

Geoffrey Cone is a New Zealand lawyer who has pursued tax and trust laws as well as LLB. He is an experienced professional in the field as he began working in 1980 and over the years has worked with clients from different countries. Having garnered a lot of experience along the way, Geoffrey Cone founded a law firm, Cone Marshall, which has dedicated its services to working on international trust and tax laws.

Brazilian Lawyers Operate Under A Hybrid Legal System Influenced By Italian, French And German Law

Brazil is the only South American country that uses Portuguese as their country language. Portuguese dialects are as diverse as the Brazilian legal system in terms of origin. When Brazil declared their independence from Portugal in 1822, the country needed a legal system that could establish laws and train lawyers. Brazil established their first law schools in São Paulo and Olinda in 1827.

The Brazilian Civil Law system was influenced by French and German Law during the 19th and 20th century, but in 2002, the Brazilian Civil Code was changed and modeled after the Italian Civil Law Code. The goal was to unify the country’s private law system, so most legal analysts say Brazilian law is a hybrid of French, German and Italian Civil Codes.

The Federal Constitution is the basis for all Brazilian statutes, and it is considered the highest law of the country. The Constitution can only be modified through a Constitutional Amendment. The Federal Supreme Court renders interpretations of the Constitution, and those rulings are followed by all judges.

The Brazilian Bar Association was created in 1930. As lawyers like Ricardo Tosto know, in order to be admitted to Law school, students must take an examination administered by their university, or they can combine their university admission exam with a national exam. It takes five years of study to earn an undergraduate degree in law. A law degree has to be authorized by the National Commission of Legal Education, which is part of the Brazilian Bar Association.

The National Council of Education has compulsory subjects, and they are classified in three axes. The first axes is the Basic Education Axes, which includes political science, economics, ethics, anthropology, history, sociology, and philosophy. The second axes is the Professional Education Axes. Tosto knows that the courses in that axes include tax law, administrative law, criminal law, civil law, business law, procedural law, international law, labor law and constitutional law. The third axes is the Practical Education Axes, which integrates the first two axes with 300 hours of mandatory vocational training, and 250 hours of complimentary training. Once that training is completed, paid internships at law firms or other organizations are required. Upon successful completion, law students are awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree.