Stanley Kubrick’s family in St Albans caught up in Panama Papers scandal

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick - Credit: Archant

The Kubrick family has responded to allegations about using tax havens.

The annual Childwickbury Arts Fair (pictured here in 2014) is held at the former home of famous film

The annual Childwickbury Arts Fair (pictured here in 2014) is held at the former home of famous film director Stanley Kubrick in St Albans - Credit: photo supplied

The family of St Albans film legend Stanley Kubrick has been swept up into the furore over the rich and famous named and shamed in the Panama Papers scandal.

By using offshore companies to try and minimise tax, the family of the film director, who died in 1999, are among those exposed in what is billed as “history’s biggest data leak” of 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca.

Stanley and Christiane Kubrick moved to Childwickbury Manor at Childwickbury - a large, private estate off Harpenden Road - in 1978.

The Guardian, which has been investigating the hidden wealth of leaders, politicians and celebrities, revealed last week that Kubrick’s stately house was transferred to offshore companies controlled by his daughters.

It said that after his death, ownership of the property passed to three companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, “a move that could have saved the family hundreds of thousands of pounds in inheritance tax”.

But, the paper hastens to add, “the papers do not reveal if this occurred”.

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While it is not unlawful to use offshore companies, the ethics of those who do use such tax havens have been called into question.

It went on: “Documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm reveal a complex network of offshore companies used by the family to own assets, including the profits from some of Kubrick’s films.”

The Guardian explained that after moving into the 18-bedroom Childwickbury Manor, Stanley used it as a base to work on films including The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut and Full Metal Jacket.

It said: “The house is now owned by Anya K Holdings Ltd, Vivian K Holdings Ltd and Katharina K Holdings Ltd. The companies’ names refer to his daughters Anya, who died in 2009, Vivian and his stepdaughter Katharina.

“The companies’ shares are held by trusts on behalf of Kubrick’s children and grandchildren.”

However it is not the first time that ownership of Childwickbury Manor has been in the spotlight.

In September 2015, satirical magazine Private Eye created a searchable online map of properties in England and Wales owned by offshore companies. This showed the “extent of the British property interest of companies based in tax havens from Panama to Luxembourg. Most are held in this way for tax avoidance and often to conceal dubious wealth”.

Land at Childwickbury is included on the map, which shows Anya K Holdings Ltd, Vivian K Holdings Ltd and Katharina K Holdings Ltd registered the property with the British Virgin Islands in 2009.

The Herts Advertiser asked the Kubrick family’s representative a series of questions in response to allegations in The Guardian, including whether by using the tax haven, members had saved thousands of pounds in inheritance tax.

She replied: “Stanley Kubrick was a citizen of the United States. His estate is a U.S. estate handled by a major U.S trust company.

“That company attends to all the financial matters related to the estate, with advice from their U.S. lawyers and their colleagues in the United Kingdom to assure that any activities are appropriate.”

Other properties in the district have also been highlighted in the Private Eye as being held by offshore companies, including Beech Hyde Farm in Wheathampstead (Isle of Man); Jarvis International Hotel in Redbourn (Jersey); land to the north of Eywood Road in St Albans (Jersey); and land and buildings south of Hatfield Road in St Albans (British Virgin Islands).