Matthew Sperry Partner

Matthew Sperry is a partner in McGuireWoods' Private Wealth Services group and focuses his practice on international tax, private client, family direct investing and securities matters. Matthew serves as chair of McGuireWoods' Global Private Client practice, a firm initiative that serves the tax, estate planning, structuring, business, real estate and other legal needs of global families, family offices and trust companies.

His deep tax experience, combined with his experience as a practicing business lawyer, specifically qualifies him to coordinate and deliver a broad spectrum of global legal services on an efficient, practical and holistic basis. Matthew regularly travels within the United States and abroad to provide his clients with personal attention and superior service.

International Tax Planning and Structuring

Matthew routinely develops solutions for the complex tax issues confronted by high-net-worth individuals and families and family offices as they interact with the United States. Matthew has extensive experience designing and implementing holistic family structures that solve for global taxation challenges, privacy, wealth transfer and succession, asset protection and global information compliance (such as under FATCA and the global common reporting standards (CRS)). He regularly assists clients in the architecture, execution and operation of their family offices.

Matthew’s client base includes families resident throughout the world, including China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Canada. Matthew regularly works with other family advisers (including accountants, lawyers, trustees and financial advisers) both within and outside of the United States to provide holistic advice to clients that interact with multiple countries.

Matthew’s tax experience includes serving as a federal law clerk to Judge Carolyn P. Chiechi of the United States Tax Court in Washington, DC. Matthew also holds a Master’s Degree in Tax Law from the University of Florida.

Family Direct Investing

Matthew has deep experience representing high-net-worth individuals and families, family offices and trust companies representing family interests, in connection with their direct investing activities. He regularly leads practitioners from McGuireWoods’ highly ranked Corporate, Real Estate, Tax and Private Wealth Services practices to provide global high-net-worth clients with a broad spectrum of sophisticated legal services as they invest in and operate businesses globally. In serving global private clients, Matthew offers a holistic approach aimed at addressing their particular legal and family needs, including those related to privacy, asset protection 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 and has led transactions involving a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, hospitality, chemicals, electronics, software, technology, food and beverage, oil and gas and health care.

Private Investment Funds

Matthew’s client base includes private investment funds, private equity managers, venture capital firms and commodity pool operators. Matthew has broad experience dealing with the securities issues that can arise when families desire to raise capital from sources both within and outside of the United States.


Representation of a London-based sponsor of private U.S. real estate investments for global ultra-high net worth families and family offices.  Representation included:

designing and implementing investment structures designed to shield non-U.S. investors from U.S. estate taxes while minimizing U.S. income tax leakage;

addressing investor concerns regarding U.S. tax reporting and, more specifically, their desire to manage tax reporting such that they personally do not have to file income tax returns in the United States;

advising the client as to each investment structure’s requirements under U.S. FATCA and global Common Reporting Standards (CRS); and

identifying and solving U.S. tax issues that arise post-investment, including when non-U.S. family investors wish to sell or otherwise redeem their investments. 

Representation of a prominent U.S. family with an existing U.S.-based family office in establishing a new family office branch in Switzerland. 

Representation of a UK-based family office of an ultra-high-net-worth Asian family in connection with a comprehensive review of the U.S. tax exposure related to the family office’s activities in the U.S.

Designing and implementing a U.S. tax efficient structure to permit an ultra-high-net-worth Mexican family gift global family assets to their U.S.-resident child. 

Representation of one of the leading Channel Islands-based trust companies in providing U.S. estate and income tax advice in connection with re-domiciling a non-U.S. trust structure (for the benefit of an ultra-high net worth Middle Eastern family) from South America to the Channel Islands. 

Representation of a Zurich-based trust company in connection with the U.S. tax consequences of a proposed plan to decant a series of long-standing non-U.S. trusts to new non-US trusts. 

Engaged by a Zurich-based trust company to identify the U.S. estate, gift and income tax exposure to a long-standing non-U.S. trust settled by an ultra-high-net-worth U.S. family.  Representation included identifying all U.S. tax-related issues and formulating a strategy to ameliorate such issues.  The engagement included developing a global restructuring plan to reorganize trust assets in U.S. tax efficient manner. 

Representation of a U.S. and Singapore-based sponsor of U.S. real estate investments for ultra-high-net-worth Asian individuals and families. The engagement included providing U.S. tax structuring and investment fund advice to facilitate pooled investments of Asia-based private capital. The ultimate structure eliminated U.S. estate tax exposure, while maximizing investor returns on an after-tax basis.

Representation of a Fortune Global 100 company in its disposition of a global manufacturing division conducting business in over 25 countries, leading a cross-border legal team of over 20 lawyers.

Representation of 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.

Representation of a Fortune Global 100 company in its acquisition of a water treatment business conducted in 15 countries.

Representation of the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its acquisition of a Manhattan hotel and its redevelopment into a mixed-use project.

Representation of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its acquisition of a global hotel management company.

Representation of the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its acquisition of a German-based manufacturer of precision industrial equipment.

Representation of the family office of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its acquisition in a Section 363 bankruptcy proceeding of a leading developer of road and paving technologies.

Representation of a Fortune Global 500 company in its disposition of its coffee business to a strategic buyer.

Representation of an ultra-high-net-worth family in its acquisition of numerous private aircraft, including developing and implementing a tax efficient structure for the aircraft and registering the aircraft with the FAA.

  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Speaker, "Are There Golden Rules In Wealth Structuring," STEP Cayman Conference, January 30, 2018
  • Panelist, "Global Reporting and the Challenges of Supporting Multijurisdictional Clients," STEP Roundtable, New York, New York, October 2017
  • Speaker, "Cross-Boarder Estate Planning," 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Institutional Fiduciaries, October 4, 2017
  • Panelist, "Governance Tools and Mechanisms for Global Family Wealth Structuring," STEP Roundtable, Law Society, London UK, June 2017
  • Presenter, "Cross Border Estate and Income Tax Planning," Estate Planning – Beyond the Basics, Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, Pittsburgh, April 2017
  • Speaker, "Cross Border Estate and Tax Planning," New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning Seminar, April 25, 2017
  • Speaker, "Foreign Investment into the United States – Opportunities for U.S. Trust Companies," 11th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar, October 5, 2016
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, Master's in Tax Law (LLM)
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, JD
  • University of Florida, BBA

Selected for inclusion, Private Wealth Law, Band 4, Illinois, Chambers HNW Guide, 2018

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