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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  4. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

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Who Represents Who

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Ashtons Legal has a ‘highly professional and knowledgeable’ team in Cambridge that includes Jennie Pratt, who has a highly respected high-net-worth estate planning practice and whose ‘calm manner and ability to explain complex matters in a way clients understand’ is greatly valued. She has 25 years’ experience acting for clients with complex estates that often include overseas assets. Other key figures include Lynn Wicks, a lifetime planning specialist with a strong niche in continuing care, statutory wills and other Solicitors for the Elderly matters. The team is also strong at associate level thanks to highly experienced Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) members Christina Duck and Gillian Brasher. Among the numerous complex matters the team has recently handled was the matter of a family in which parents and children died intestate. The case involved careful negotiation with extended family members to decide on their rights to administer the £1m estate.

The team at Birketts LLP is ‘excellent, swift to respond and provides knowledgeable advice at a reasonable cost’. Its practice covers the full range of trusts, tax, succession planning and probate matters but it has notable areas of specialist expertise that include advice to trustees and beneficiaries of domestic and offshore trusts; trust management and accountancy; wills and lifetime planning for business executives and landowners; Court of Protection matters; and inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains tax advice. Team head Caroline Stenner, who provides ‘clear advice’, and senior associate Catherine Bacon both ‘understand the issues and compare very well indeed to other practitioners in the region’. Associate Rachel Winter is recommended for her Court of Protection work and her advice to business executives. The team’s recent work included advising a board of trustees on their duties in administering a trust valued at more than £100m.

The level of service is fantastic’ at Hewitsons, whose private client team works across all four of its offices. Key figures in Cambridge include team head Daniel Curtis; the ‘helpful and friendlyElizabeth Davies, who is ‘well informed, always quick to respond and provides top-notch service’; the ‘attentive, personable and professionalBernadette O’Reilly, who is ‘very knowledgeable on trusts’, especially those involving international assets; and solicitor Katherine Hague, who ‘excels in all financial matters’. Vastly experienced associates Emma Satterly and Kelly Wardell are recommended for tax planning, trusts and Court or Protection matters. The firm is well known for its administration of trusts and has a strong client base of landed estates, owners of heritage property and high-net-worth individuals. The team recently acted for the trustees of a trust valued at more than £20m in complex tax and succession planning matters.

For some, Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘the leading firm in the area for private client matters’. Team head Chris Belcher is praised for his ‘pragmatic approach to problem solving, client rapport and knowledge of tax matters’. He is also praised for his ‘excellent technical knowledge and ability to explain complicated issues to clients’. The firm regularly advises ultra-high-net-worth clients, often with an international dimension to their needs. Senior associate Alex Hunt ‘understands clients’ needs quickly and provides appropriate advice, making an effort to ensure it is practical and easy to understand’. Senior associate Kimberly Sayward is also recommended for her work on setting up corporate structures for UK investors and her tax advice to trustees and business owners. The firm recently advised a high-profile sportsman on all aspects of his private client and commercial affairs, which included the setting up of trusts in the UK and overseas to take advantage of his non-domiciled status.

Taylor Vinters is ‘an excellent alternative to large London private client firms – it provides a great service at a very reasonable price’, according to clients. The ‘extremely responsive’ James Packer ‘adopts a commercial approach and is very user-friendly’ in dealing with tax, trust and estate matters for business executives and other high-net-worth individuals. The team also calls on the considerable experience of rural partner Adrian Horwood-Smart to advise on strategic planning for farming clients and large landed estates, and Mike Bell, who regularly advises high-net-worth non-domiciled investor clients on private real estate investments and asset protection matters. Senior associate Emma Parsons is regarded as a rising star for estate planning, wills, powers of attorney and trusts. The firm runs a popular in-house estate planning surgery for City professionals. Among the firm’s recent work was the preparation of a deathbed will for a client with a high-value estate that included substantial assets both in the UK and overseas.

The ‘formidable team’ at Greenwoods Solicitors LLP is ‘consistently excellent, very efficient, and clear and concise in its advice’. Director and head of the private client team Tim Addinell is now based predominantly in Cambridge and ‘provides top-quality advice’ on wills, estates and trusts, predominantly for high-net-worth individuals. ‘Knowledgeable and friendly’ STEP-qualified senior solicitor Clare Threlfall ‘is a real problem solver; she is always prepared to go the extra mile for her clients’. The team’s recent work includes organising a life interest trust – for which Addinel is a trustee – for the disabled daughter of a deceased man to ensure an adequate flow of income. Addinel also advised on a multimillion-pound trust matter related to a clinical negligence claim.

Tees Lawhas a friendly approach to clients and its advice is always clear and concise’. The firm is best known for its expertise in the administration of complex and high-value estates, including those with agricultural and international elements. The ‘highly experiencedCatherine Mowat, who has 17 years’ experience in private client matters, is ‘a tower of strength, a good listener and a wise counsellor’. She leads a team of four lawyers that was joined in 2016 by STEP-qualified senior associate James Marsh from Tees Law. He is best known for trusts, tax planning and elderly client matters. Clients also recommend Angela Sewell for advice on financial matters including IHT and trust administration. Mowat is the executor of a multimillion-pound estate with assets in the UK and Switzerland, which had to be restructured to minimise IHT liability.

Woodfines LLP has a ‘refreshingly approachable and friendly’ team that includes one of the region’s most experienced practitioners in Alun Butler, who ‘always gets positive responses and meets clients’ needs’. In 2016, he advised numerous owner-managed businesses on tax-efficient structures and private trusts to enable senior employees to maximise IHT and capital gains relief. The ‘cost-effective and efficientKarl Dembicki receives high praise for his specialist advice to vulnerable and elderly clients. He was recently instructed by Professor Simon Baron Cohen to handle the administration of the estate of his late wife.

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