EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: JK Rowling’s Agent Sues Tax Evasion
To be advice helped JK Rowling maximize her £820m fortune, but literary agent Neil Blair is now embroiled in a High Court battle over advice he was given.
I can announce that Blair is suing a law firm for £2million, saying he advised him to invest in a tax avoidance scheme, although he should have known it would go against government rules later on.
He claims the company, Fieldfisher, said it could offset losses against other income in the tax avoidance scheme created by investment management firm Ingenious, which was also a client of Fieldfisher.
His advice helped JK Rowling (pictured) maximize her £820m fortune, but literary agent Neil Blair is suing law firm Fieldfisher for £2million over advice he was given
Unfortunately for Blair and other famous figures, including David Beckham, HMRC concluded that such schemes actually constituted illegal tax avoidance, leading to hundreds of people receiving high tax demands.
The subpoena says Fieldfisher “did not exercise the level of competence, skill and diligence expected of reasonable attorneys.”
It adds: ‘It acted negligently and in breach of its contractual and common law duties’ towards its company, the Blair Partnership.
Blair has been Rowling’s agent since she dumped her longtime business partner, Christopher Little, in 2011.
Blair (pictured in November 2016) claims Fieldfisher advised him to invest in a tax avoidance scheme even though he should have known it would violate government rules
Blair had left Little’s company to start his own agency.
It was recently revealed that Little, who died earlier this year at the age of 79, was awarded £10 million in damages after being forced out of the Harry Potter franchise.
A Blair Partnership spokesperson told me: ‘I was told at the time that this was a legitimate way for Mr Blair to invest.
“All taxes due have been paid. JK Rowling is not involved in any way.”
SHOES AWARDS? nicky is a shoe in
When it comes to putting her best foot forward, hotel heiress Nicky Hilton is a pro.
Invited to the ‘Shoe Oscars’, she got everyone to notice her £907 silver Mach & Mach pumps by wearing a daring thigh-split dress from Prabal Gurung that cost £3,000.
Nicky Hilton (pictured with husband James), invited to the ‘Shoe Oscars’, got everyone to notice her £907 silver Mach & Mach pumps by wearing a daring thigh split dress
“This is the season to shine,” said Nicky, 38, who attended the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York to support her mother, Kathy, who received the Icon award.
Nicky was accompanied by her husband, James Rothschild, a British banker.
Last Christmas singer George Michael is still bringing festive sparkles to his old neighborhood five years after his untimely death.
The Wham! singer anonymously paid for the Highgate party tree and was the largest private sponsor of the funfair before his death on Christmas Day 2016.
And Chris Underhill, whose brokerage firm is organizing the £16,000 lamps this year, says: ‘George Michael was our secret benefactor for many years and he loved the Christmas lights.
“Fortunately, his legacy continues to support us after his death.”
SANTA SOPHIE SPREADS CHRISTMAS CHEER
The The Royal Family may seem in trouble right now, but the Countess of Wessex is determined to spread some Advent spirit.
Sophie wore a red Christmas headband and puffed hard in a party blazer yesterday while visiting a disability initiative in Surrey.
The Royal Family may seem to be in trouble, but the Countess of Wessex was determined to spread some Advent mood during her visit to a disability initiative in Surrey yesterday
Sophie wore a red Christmas hairband and shared a joke with clients of the plan in Camberley, as well as participating in making chocolate sculptures and wreaths
Prince Edward’s 56-year-old wife, dressed in a navy sweater with a white ruffled shirt underneath, shared a joke with clients of the plan in Camberley, as well as getting involved in making chocolate sculptures and wreaths.
BERCOW THE FEMINIST ICON
Thought you heard the last Brexit-hating former Commons chairman John Bercow?
Now he is touted as a feminist spokesperson.
“The Squeaker,” as he has been dubbed by critics, will host a new podcast alongside Deborah Frances-White, who is known as The Guilty Feminist.
She will learn from Bercow “how to use power for good.” I wonder what his Commons staff will think?
He was accused of leaving his female secretary with PTSD after an alleged bullying campaign. Bercow has always denied allegations of bullying.
BIGGINS’ CARRIRE AS A LADY? IT’S BEHIND YOU
To be panto ladies doomed in these politically correct times? Oh yes, they are, says veteran Christopher Biggins.
“There will come a day when they will say that a lady, who is essentially a male character in women’s clothing, should be played by a woman,” he laments at a charity auction of a portrait of the Marchioness of Bath organized by Grove Square Galleries in London.
Christopher Biggins (pictured), who plays a lady in Jack And The Beanstalk, said panto ladies are doomed because there will come a time when a lady ‘must be played by a woman’
The lead actor in pantomimes used to be played by an actress, but that tradition has largely been ditched.
“It’s all ridiculous,” says Biggins, 72, who plays a lady in Jack And The Beanstalk at the Orchard Theater in Dartford, Kent.
As he gears up to play cat-loving artist Louis Wain on the big screen, Benedict Cumberbatch muses, “I love cats, but I liken it to living with a supermodel. I admire them, but they are a little daunting.
“There’s a bit of fear involved, while dogs are a bit dope.”
Playing Wain, a 19th-century painter known for his paintings of wide-eyed cats, is clearly a three-pipe problem for the Sherlock star.