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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
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Who Represents Who

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Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘very strong and experienced team’ provides ‘sage and pragmatic’ advice regarding large on and offshore estates to business owners, landowners and private clients based in the UK and abroad. ‘Excellent’ practice head William Colacicchi combines his ‘understanding of family relationships’ with ‘vast experience and a calm and professional bedside manner’. The ‘knowledgeableWenna Thompsonlooks after her clients well’, and Lucy Worwood is also recommended. The group advises trustees on tax mitigation strategies, handles succession planning involving assets based abroad and assists with amendments to trusts. Family trusts form a large proportion of the client base, and acting for will executors and beneficiaries is another area of specialism.

The group at Freeths LLP handles tax planning, trust administration, probate issues and Court of Protection matters, with an increasing focus on highly technical trusts and estate planning work. Clients include prominent families in the region and trustees of family trusts. ‘Very technically able and sensible’ practice head Paul Thompson gives ‘pragmatic advice’.

Geldards LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team provides ‘the highest level of care and attention to detail’ to deliver ‘superb’ service. ‘Astounding lawyer’ and practice head Erica Thomson combines ‘professionalism, common sense and empathy’, and the ‘considered and methodical’ Jaclyn Barnes has ‘good technical insight’. Niche areas of expertise include assisting entrepreneurs with wealth management for charitable objectives or family benefit, and managing estates involving cross-jurisdictional issues and complex tax structures. The firm advised the directors and majority shareholders of a family company on succession planning and related tax matters; assisted a business owner with the transfer of offshore family trusts to the UK; and is acting for the executors of a large estate on its administration and the tax implications.

Hewitsons handles a range of matters such as inheritance and capital gains tax planning, trust administration and reorganisation, and management of complex estates with assets including heritage and offshore property. Highlights included pursuing agricultural property relief on a substantial gift, obtaining a variation of family settlements involving historic, agricultural and residential properties, and advising a trustee on a beneficiary’s rights. Clare Colacicchi assists farming clients with tax and trust issues, advises trustees on their powers and duties, particularly in family settlements, and specialises in strategic capital tax planning; Catherine Ball supports agricultural clients and business owners with succession planning, efficient tax strategies and diversification into the renewable energy sector; and ‘impressive and intelligent’ senior solicitor Antonia Cooper is also recommended.

Prompt responses and excellent service levels’ combined with a balance of ‘professionalism and sensitivity’ make Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s practice stand out. It advises high-net-worth individuals on all aspects of tax and estate planning, including business and agricultural property reliefs. Other highlights included managing the administration of a will trust to establish a lasting legacy for local animal charities and obtaining a conditional exemption from inheritance tax for a client’s acquisition of a £1.25m painting, currently displayed by the Derby Museums Trust. Richard Grosberg specialises in Court of Protection work, and the ‘knowledgeable, efficient and communicativeCatherine McCannah is also recommended. Andrew Birchall left the firm.

Roythornes Solicitors’ team handles high-value estate administration, comprehensive tax strategy, and will drafting and succession planning for business and farming clients. It also assists elderly and vulnerable clients with matters of legal capacity. The group managed the administration of a farming estate following the owner’s death, which involved early surrender of tenancy with a national farming company, resolution of dilapidation claims and property distribution. In other work, practice head Elizabeth Young is assisting the executors of an estate with obtaining affidavit evidence and deeds of variation; Sarah Banner led on the investigation and administration of an intestate estate. Jarred Wright is another name to note.

The team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP predominantly acts for high-net-worth individuals and trusts as it handles matters ranging from wealth management and strategic tax planning to high-value deputyships and trust administrations. Practice head Mark Dunkley is advising a prominent family on inheritance tax planning pertaining to the acquisition of an agricultural estate. The firm also recently acted for the executors of an intestate estate. ‘Calm, knowledgeable and straightforward’ solicitor Sarah Brack ‘finds the best solutions’, and Stephen Woolfe is also recommended.

Actons acts for individuals, business owners and farmers in matters concerning wills, trusts and probate as well as handling Court of Protection work. Practice head Mandy Kelly is advising the executors of a multimillion-pound estate on the beneficiaries’ rights, deeds of variation to relieve the inheritance tax liability and a wider capital gains tax planning strategy. The team also assisted with filing for a deputyship order and conducted a comprehensive revision of wills and tax planning for high-net-worth clients.

Flint Bishop LLP handles wills, probate and trusts matters, as well as assisting clients with Court of Protection and vulnerable client work. It also handles strategic tax planning and probate matters for foreign clients in the UK and UK nationals holding assets abroad. The ‘knowledgeableClaire Rudkinthinks quickly on her feet’; she recently assisted the executors of an estate containing overseas assets with tax clearance and estate administration.

The team at Langleys Solicitors LLP provides ‘excellent and appropriate advice’, particularly on inheritance tax planning regarding farming and landed estates and in Court of Protection work. ‘Deeply knowledgeable’ practice head David Wood handles strategic tax and succession planning for high-net-worth individuals, and Amanda Voakes specialises in advising elderly clients and handles matters arising from incapacity. Recent work includes handling a contested statutory will application, administering an intestate estate and handling a deputyship matter involving a high-value estate. Chairman Andrew Fearn is also recommended.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors is particularly well regarded for trusts work. Led by Jayne Smith, the team also handles the administration of high-value estates and advises clients on tax efficient structures, as well as Court of Protection issues and work with vulnerable and elderly clients. Karen Hayward was recently instructed to handle matters related to a £1.1m estate, which included deed of variation for the benefit of a charity. The team also advised on business and agricultural property reliefs, the inheritance tax aspects of a £4m estate, and obtaining a succession order in Dubai as part of an intestate estate case. Jeremy Allen and associate Petra Lewis-Feast are other names to note, as is Christina Yardley, who recently joined from Actons.

Fraser Brown’s ‘extremely professional and understanding’ team provides ‘second-to-none’ service. Expertise includes will drafting, inheritance tax mitigation, administration of estates, succession planning and trust-related work. The ‘outstanding’ Laura Mackin is ‘extremely thorough’ and a ‘true credit to the profession’. Edward Cursham is another name to note.

Howes Percival LLP’s team assists high-net-worth individuals and small- to medium-sized business owners on matters such as succession planning, lifetime trusts, tax strategies and compliance, estate administrations and Court of Protection work. The group recently assisted the executors of a high-value estate comprising real estate, farming land, liquid assets and bonds with probate application. It also obtained a deputyship order for an individual without legal capacity, and handled succession planning for two business owners. New practice head Sharon Eyre splits her time between Leicester and Milton Keynes. Jane Cowley and Lindsey Atterbury left the firm.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s practice focuses on comprehensive estate planning matters, including asset management, tax mitigation strategies, family succession and deputyship. Families in the agricultural sector, business owners, lottery winners and vulnerable individuals constitute a large proportion of the department’s clients. ‘Efficient, effective and knowledgeable’ practice head Lisa-Jane Howes is handling the management of a multi-jurisdictional landed estate between several beneficiaries. Sharon Plumtree, praised for her ‘honest and straightforward approach’, is managing a complex farming estate, including mixed assets, insurance policies held in trust and property subject to an option agreement.

Wilson Browne Solicitors has a solid track record managing trusts and large estates as well as advising on matters arising from Court of Protection and deputyship issues. Practice co-head Vicki Pearce is acting as a deputy for a patient suffering from severe dementia and assisted a client with the tax and general management aspects of an intestate estate. Other recent work includes an estate administration and handling the application for a health and welfare deputyship order for the parents of a mentally incapacitated adult. Rachel Hawkins joined Hewitsons.

The ‘experienced, competent and timely’ group at Spearing Waite LLP assists high-net-worth individuals with lifetime inheritance tax strategy, handles succession planning for family businesses, and acts for individuals lacking capacity in Court of Protection matters. Drafting wills involving disinheritance and administering estates with assets based abroad are both growing areas of specialism for the team. Recent work included administering the intestate and multi-jurisdictional estate of a foreign high-net-worth client, and handling succession planning over several generations pertaining to the ownership of a family company. Associates Marie Cooper and Alexandra Howard lead the practice.


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Legal Developments in East Midlands for Personal tax, trusts and probate

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 


    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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