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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: Norwich > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich
  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)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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For some, Howes Percival LLP’s team is ‘head and shoulders above the rest; the lawyers are understanding, proactive, supportive and technically superb, and provide innovative solutions’. Specialist agricultural lawyer Catherine Scott leads the team and handles complex estate and tax planning matters for clients in the rural sector. The ‘highly intelligentStuart Maggs provides ‘detailed advice’ on strategic planning, management and tax minimisation. The ‘proactiveRichard Lovett is known for his ‘thought-provoking analysis’ and clients describe him as ‘an exceptionally safe pair of hands; he has all the expertise necessary to provide first-class advice’. STEP-accredited Tom Lawrence advises on a wide range of complex and technical wills, tax and trust matters. Jonathan Wortley has 37 years’ experience in private client and property matters and regularly advises high-net-worth individuals and non-doms on issues such as offshore tax planning. The team’s highlights from 2016 included the splitting and winding up of a complex trust that required the sale of numerous properties, and tax planning for the sale of land for development, which was carried out to tight timeframes.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s private wealth practice attracts praise for its ‘refreshing approach to tax planning’ and for its ability to handle the full range of private client work for a regional, national and international client base. Virginia Edgecombe leads the team and specialises in complex and high-value probate matters, as well as advising business owners and landowners on issues such as asset protection and tax planning. The firm’s senior partner Justin Ripman acts for numerous landed estates in East Anglia and across the UK, providing advice on strategy and complex tax planning matters such as heritage property and development land consortia and structuring trusts. Clients are ‘always happy to recommend top private client lawyerGregory Laming, who advises wealthy individuals in the UK and abroad. He is rated for his ‘lateral approach to coming up with excellent solutions that many other lawyers would not see’. Associate Lauren Parker is recommended for her advice to landed estates and high-net-worth individuals. ‘Extremely bright and extremely personable’ associate Elizabeth Field advises landowners and entrepreneurs on wills, family trusts and capital tax planning. Last year, the team acted for the trustees of a multimillion-pound landed estate on tax structures for agricultural and business property relief as well as conditional exemptions for heritage property.

Birketts LLP is ‘extremely good, providing fast responses and sound advice that is cost-effective and practical’. The team is led from Chelmsford by Tim Galloway and provides an integrated private client service across its four offices. In Norwich, highly experienced partners Lorna Spear and agricultural trust expert Jack Royall are ‘knowledgeable, approachable and friendly’. Also based in Norwich, Neil Sparrow has an excellent reputation for advising high-net-worth clients and landed estates on complex tax and trust matters. Senior associate Margaret Smith, who regularly acts for agricultural clients on will, probate and tax matters, is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly. The team’s client base encompasses landed estates, farming families, wealthy individuals, business owners, landowners, trustees and estate beneficiaries across East Anglia and beyond. Recent highlights include advising an estate valued at more than £100m, which includes large agricultural land holdings and many complex trusts. The work encompassed a restructuring of assets and a review of the trusts to mitigate tax obligations.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitorshas a friendly and highly experienced team of skilled negotiators who see the problem in the round and think well beyond the legal factors’. It has one of the largest teams in Norfolk, with nine practitioners, all of whom are members of the Dementia Friends initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. ‘Top-quality private client lawyer’ and Court of Protection deputy Lin Whitehead heads the team; she has 19 years’ experience and has been instrumental in building the firm’s reputation as ‘the go-to firm for all things related to dementia’. Ben Lowe handles all aspects of private client work including wills, probate and estate administration, complex trusts and inheritance tax planning for 16 years. Clients also recommend ‘very knowledgeable’ solicitors Jennifer Nash and Lauren Abbs, who are ‘excellent at client care’. In 2016, Whitehead advised an elderly client with dementia on a statutory will application, as his previous will had not made sufficient financial provision for his wife. The matter included an in-depth investigation to identify previously unknown land assets in Norfolk.

Clients of Fosters are ‘delighted with the level of service and specialist advice’. STEP-qualified senior associate Trina Worden is ‘friendly, professional, extremely efficient, approachable and knowledgeable’, and is rated for her ‘concern for and sensitivity toward each client’s situation’. Rachel Chiarotti relocated from Bungay to Norwich and is praised as ‘very approachable, pleasant, friendly, conscientious, efficient and patient with people who know little about legal and financial affairs’. Stephen Green leads the personal injury and clinical negligence team but is also head of wills, trusts and probate. He regularly acts as deputy and attorney for clients unable to manage their own affairs and as professional executor and trustee for clients’ estates. Among the team’s significant work was the preparation of a will for an elderly lady in ill health who excluded her extended family as beneficiaries, and the drafting of a new will to include a disabled person’s trust to ensure that a family member with learning difficulties would be provided with suitable financial provision.

Steeles Law’s team attracts praise for its ‘well-informed, professional service’ and ‘immediate, helpful and clear responses’. The firm has a team of six fee earners in Norwich led by associate Karen Bacon who is ‘trustworthy, straightforward and has an invaluable knack of explaining legal issues sensibly and calmly’. Clients note that ‘she demonstrates a high level of expertise on probate and agricultural matters, and her advice has always been faultless’. Clients also recommend associate Amy Taylor and ‘reliable, knowledgeable’ solicitor Ruth Pyatt, whose ‘clear advice always makes clients feel comfortable’. ‘Calm, reassuring and communicative’ legal executive Angela Ireland and paralegal Katherine Bearman are ‘efficient in all respects, offering advice in a personal and sympathetic manner’. The firm’s caseload from 2016 included advising on the will of a client who was recovering from a severe form of cancer that left him with difficulty communicating his wishes.

Ashtons Legal has a strong private client practice spanning its East Anglia office network. Solicitor Louisa Bradberry joined from Greene & Greene to add experience in grants of probate, estate administration, wills and powers of attorney. The firm’s work in 2016 included advising on the administration of an estate with more than £1m in assets, assisting a client with IHT and business property relief matters for a multimillion-pound portfolio of assets, and handling the structuring and ownership of business assets to optimise the tax position and succession planning for a family with high-value business interests. Robert Chalmers, who is a STEP member and chartered tax advisor of 20 years’ standing, retired from the partnership but remains active as a consultant.

Cozens-Hardy LLP’s private client practice attracts praise for its ‘professional, knowledgeable, helpful and efficient’ service. STEP-accredited principal Michelle Collins (who ‘explains matters with great care and understanding, giving clients confidence’) leads a team of nine practitioners handling a wide range of tax and inheritance matters for individuals based in Norfolk, London and Europe.

At Leathes Prior, STEP-accredited William Riley acts as executor for numerous high-value and complex estates and serves as a professional deputy for many individuals. Newly promoted partner Tessa Bonser is now a qualified member of STEP and leads the firm’s trusts work. Newly promoted associate Barrie Barker, who has more than 30 years’ experience in private client matters, focuses on wills and estate administration. Solicitor Claire Woolliscroft mainly handles Court of Protection matters. Riley and Woolliscroft maintain the trust accounts of a £2m discretionary trust of which Riley is the professional trustee. Bonser recently advised on the winding up of a trust based in the Isle of Man.

Clients are ‘completely satisfied’ with the work of the team at Rogers and Norton and single out senior solicitor Louisa Shailes and legal executive Wenke Lie-Critchley, who jointly head the department. They regularly advise on the management of numerous Norfolk estates and handle complex will drafting, as well as advising on tax planning strategies, the formation of trusts, the administration of high-net-worth estates and specialist applications to the Court of Protection for clients in East Anglia and overseas. Solicitor Laura Rumsey is a STEP Affiliate, a Dementia Friend and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Action on Elder Abuse Adult Safeguarding Network. Recent work includes handling the administration of numerous personal injury trusts for clients who received compensation from litigation.

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