Most of the speakers at our meetings are involved in the day-to-day business of advising taxpayers and administering their affairs, and it is the experience they have gained in so doing which provides the essential material of their presentations. But we try also to look at our subject from a wider perspective. Anthony Cagiati looked at international tax planning from the point of view of a banker (Geneva, 2010). In Cannes in 2012, Sir Nicholas Forwood looked at our subject through the eyes of a judge of the European Court of Justice. Other speakers have discussed our topic from the point of view of the needs of clients in different parts of the world – e.g. in Russia and China in Monte-Carlo, 2011, and in the Middle East in Malta, 2013. Next month, Derek Sambrook will look at the needs of the South American client.
Over the past decade, the OECD has fought a battle to obtain information about offshore activities. Peter Edwards saw this as an intrusion into the privacy to which everyone is entitled (Monte-Carlo, 2007), while in Berlin (2001) Frances Horner shared with us the viewpoint of the OECD – a topic taken up by Jeffrey Owens in Monte-Carlo in 2009. More recently, there has been a wave of public sentiment calling for the abolition of offshore activities. In Monte-Carlo this year, Professor Palan will present the case for the abolitionists, and Richard Hay will present the case for the defence.