Otto-Hans Nowak

Otto-Hans Nowak
Senior Consultant
Registered Foreign Lawyer (British Columbia, Canada)

T: +[852] 2833 4989
M: +[852] 9888 5622


Otto-Hans (Hans) is a Senior Consultant who has practised Canadian law and tax law since 1978, mainly in Vancouver. Hans relocated to Hong Kong after his retirement from the Canadian national law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) in November of 2017 where he had been a Senior Counsel (2009 to 2017) and Tax Partner (1983 to 2008). Hans has a wealth management and wealth transfer planning practice, with a special emphasis on holistic global estate planning, but he also practises in the areas of Canadian domestic tax planning, international tax planning and international wealth transfer, estate and asset-preservation planning. He practised Canadian law in Hong Kong from 1989 to 1993 inclusive, and prior to his retirement from BLG, travelled extensively to Southeast Asia, China, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Brazil, Europe, South America and the Middle East to advise or meet with clients and prospective clients, including financial institutions, professional advisors and their clients, on international wealth transfer and structuring issues and Canadian tax law. 

Hans holds an LLB and a B.Comm. from the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is on the rolls of England and Wales and is admitted to practice in British Columbia, Canada. He is a full member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Prior to migrating from Germany to Canada in 1971, Hans was a captain (Hauptmann) and F-104 Starfighter pilot in the West German Air Force. He is fluent in both German and English, and conversational in Italian.

Areas of expertise

  • Family governance advisory (family charter and family policies)
  • Private trust and foundation planning (offshore)
  • Holistic global estate planning (asset preservation, tax minimisation, family governance/charter/policies)
  • Wealth transfer planning
  • Canadian income tax planning
  • Estate freezes

Representative experience

  • Focuses practice on domestic and international wealth transfer planning for high-net-worth individuals and families and related asset protection, family governance, and family charter and family policies.
  • Develops plans that have helped such individuals and families to achieve their objectives in terms of asset preservation, estate planning and tax minimization.
  • Has extensive knowledge of relevant offshore jurisdictions and offshore service providers for, and of the use of, trusts, foundations (Stiftungen), establishments (Anstalten) and corporations, which greatly assists in the design of effective structures for such plans and ensures their speedy and valid implementation.
  • Has advised on inbound investments in Canadian real estate and businesses, and on business immigration to Canada and any related planning.
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