A bankrupt former barrister who advised wealthy clients on illegal tax avoidance schemes faces restrictions for the next 10 years after he concealed hundreds of thousands of pounds from the insolvency service.
Paul Baxendale-Walker, 56, a former solicitor and barrister also known as Paul Chaplin, had previously advised wealthy individuals on tax avoidance schemes, which were later found not to be legal.
A High Court in London heard how he failed to disclose the existence or extent of his ownership of a £300,000 property bought just before his bankruptcy or the fact he attempted to gift his ownership in the home to an associate to the detriment of his creditors.
Paul Baxendale-Walker knew exactly what he was doing when he failed to disclose all his assets"
The Insolvency Service also said the former barrister failed to disclose an interest in the lease of a property in Knightsbridge, which was rented for more than £177,000, and understated his annual income.
The court also heard how he assisted in the "concealment, removal or destruction" of electronic devices believed to contain records relating to his financial affairs.
As a result, the High Court imposed a 10-year bankruptcy restrictions order, meaning Baxendale-Walker will need to disclose his bankruptcy status if he attempts to secure £500 or more in credit. He is also barred from acting as a company director without the permission of the court.
Baxendale-Walker had already been struck off as a barrister and solicitor. As a result of his dealings he was declared bankrupt in the High Court in July 2018 on the petition of a creditor, following a court ruling earlier in the year, which found he had given negligent tax advice which left him liable for damages of about £16m.
The official receiver, Anthony Hannon, said: "Paul Baxendale-Walker knew exactly what he was doing when he failed to disclose all his assets to the official receiver and the courts have rightly recognised the severity of his actions by restricting his activities for a decade.
"The case aptly demonstrates that a bankrupt has an absolute duty to co-operate with the official receiver and the trustee in bankruptcy."
An official receiver is a civil servant with the Insolvency Service who manages the first stage of bankruptcies and companies wound up by a court.