Exclusive: top Linklaters partner in leather trouser tax shame
27 May 2011
Rumours are circulating that one of Linklaters'
top partners has been accused of tax evasion - after failing to declare presents he bought in the US.
Ralph Wollburg, currently of Linklaters but formerly of Freshfields
, apparently arrived at Dusseldorf airport in February on a flight from New York. In his bag were an expensive blouse and some sort of leather trousering - reports in the German press describe them as "Lederhose", but it's not clear whether they were of the shiny nightclub variety or traditional national dress. Either way, he claimed they were presents for his wife and had receipts to the value of Euro 3,500. That's some pair of trousers.
||Some lederhosen yesterday
A customs officer told Wollburg that he was obliged to pay tax on the goods, to which the partner allegedly replied that he'd already paid the tax in the States, apparently adding "Do you know who I am? I am one of the leading business lawyers in German
The unimpressed officer charged him with tax evasion. And issued a press release
about the incident, saying the culprit was a "54-year-old man from Dusseldorf
". Insiders tell RollOnFriday that it's Wollburg, and the firm wouldn't deny it. So that seems like a "yes", then...
Wollburg, as a top equity partner, will be pulling in around £1.6 million a year, which should cover the tax on as many pairs of exotic trousers as his wardrobe has space for.