About Matthew Sperry

Matthew Sperry is an international private client attorney whose practice is devoted to making it easier for global ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families to access the United States, whether it be for investment, spending time in the US or utilizing US trust and other structures to advance personal goals or otherwise. He believes in using state-of-the-art trust, corporate, family office, fund and other US legal concepts to develop simple but effective wealth succession and family governance structures that minimize global tax and reporting burdens, foster privacy, protect personal wealth and advance family harmony, leaving his clients to focus on enjoying their hard earned wealth. Matthew's client base includes individuals and families in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Canada.

Solving tax and structuring challenges for ultra-high-net-worth clients

Matthew routinely addresses complex tax issues confronted by ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families and family offices as they interact with the United States. He has designed family trust structures optimized for global taxation challenges, privacy, wealth transfer, asset protection and global information reporting compliance (including obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the global common reporting standards (CRS)). He often assists clients in structuring and operating family offices.

When advising on direct investing activities, Matthew offers a comprehensive approach that addresses the particular needs of his clients, including concerns relating to family governance, privacy, investment strategies and cross-border tax structuring. He regularly assists clients in navigating the complex cultural, legal, tax and business challenges posed by cross-border direct investing transactions.

In addition to serving ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices, Matthew also advises private investment funds, private equity managers, venture capital firms and commodity pool operators. He has broad experience dealing with securities issues that can arise when families desire to raise capital from sources both inside and outside of the United States.

Matthew regularly travels within the United States and throughout the world to provide his clients with personal attention and superior service. He often works with other advisers (including accountants, trustees and financial advisers) in representing clients that interact with multiple countries.

Matthew's tax experience includes serving as a law clerk to Judge Carolyn P. Chiechi of the US Tax Court in Washington, DC.

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"'Matt is commercial, practical and completely dependable, he takes the time to understand the client's needs and is willing to invest in a relationship,' comments an interviewee."

Chambers HNW 2018
(Illinois, Private Wealth Law) survey response

Practice Focus

  • International estate and tax planning
  • Family direct investing
  • Architecture and operation of family offices
  • US securities issues for global families
  • Real estate
  • Private funds and investment management

Representative Experience

  • Represented London-based sponsor of private US real estate investments for global ultra-high-net-worth families and family offices. Designed and implemented investment structures to shield non-US investors from US estate taxes while minimizing US income tax leakage. Addressed investor concerns regarding US tax reporting such as how to manage tax reporting so that they personally do not have to file income tax returns in the United States. Advised as to each investment structure’s requirements under US FATCA and global Common Reporting Standards. Identified and solved US tax issues that arose post-investment, including when non-US family investors wanted to sell or otherwise redeem their investments.  *
  • Represented a prominent US family with an existing US-based family office in establishing a new family office branch in Switzerland.  *
  • Represented a UK-based family office of an ultra-high-net-worth Asian family in a comprehensive review of the US tax exposure related to the family office’s activities in the United States.  *
  • Designed and implemented US tax-efficient structure to permit an ultra-high-net-worth Mexican family to gift global family assets to their US-resident child.  *
  • Represented one of the leading Channel Islands-based trust companies in providing US estate and income tax advice in connection with re-domiciling a non-US trust structure (for the benefit of an ultra-high-net-worth Middle Eastern family) from South America to the Channel Islands.  *
  • Represented a Zurich-based trust company in the US tax consequences of a proposed plan to decant a series of longstanding non-US trusts to new non-US trusts.  *
  • Represented a Zurich-based trust company in identifying the US estate, gift and income tax exposure to a longstanding non-US trust settled by an ultra-high-net-worth US family. Identified all US tax-related issues and formulated a strategy to ameliorate such issues. Also developed a global restructuring plan to reorganize trust assets in a US tax-efficient manner.  *
  • Represented a US- and Singapore-based sponsor of US real estate investments for ultra-high-net-worth Asian individuals and families. Provided US tax structuring and investment fund advice to facilitate pooled investments of Asia-based private capital. Ultimately eliminated US estate tax exposure while maximizing investor returns on an after-tax basis.  *
  • Represented a Fortune Global 100 company in disposition of a global manufacturing division conducting business in more than 25 countries. Led cross-border team of 20+ lawyers.  *
  • Represented the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its investment in global oil and gas properties, including the negotiation of a long-term development arrangement.  *
  • Represented a Fortune Global 100 company in acquiring a water treatment business conducted in 15 countries.  *
  • Represented the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in acquiring a Manhattan hotel and its redevelopment into a mixed-use project.  *
  • Represented an ultra-high-net-worth family in acquiring a global hotel management company.  *
  • Represented the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in acquiring a German-based manufacturer of precision industrial equipment.  *
  • Represented the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in acquiring via Section 363 bankruptcy proceeding a leading developer of road and paving technologies.  *
  • Represented a Fortune Global 500 company in disposition of its coffee business to a strategic buyer.  *
  • Represented an ultra-high-net-worth family in acquiring numerous private aircraft, including developing and implementing a tax-efficient structure for the aircraft and registering the aircraft with the FAA.  *
* Experience prior to Katten


Presentations and Events