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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 > London > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal tax, trusts and probate clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has a ‘very responsive and approachable team that provides superb advice’. Clients are ‘continuously impressed by the quality of the advice. The recent merger with Bryan Cave also adds a US string to its bow’. The ‘first-class tax and trust department ’ has various stand-out individuals including Damian Bloom, Martin Paisner and Rupert Ticehurst all of whom are ‘exceptionally able and give clear, incisive and effective advice’. Bloom heads the department and ‘really knows his stuff’. He ‘presents really well to clients and provides excellent advice. He is straightforward to deal with and extremely able’. Paul Whitehead is ‘amazingly strong technically but also has the gift of being able to distil complex issues into clear and concise advice. He is not afraid to help clients make a choice about what is the best course of action for them’. Simon Phelps has a focus on advising clients and their family offices based in the Middle East and Far East on UK tax and asset structuring. Associate director Tracey Hawksley provides ‘timely, well thought-through and thorough advice even on the most complex of issues’. The large team is adept at handling complex and high-value multi-jurisdictional matters and has considerable expertise in key regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia. Clients also appreciate the ‘pragmatic approach of the team which greatly assists offshore trustees to navigate the complex UK tax environment’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has an ‘excellent and responsive team that looks to work collaboratively with other professional advisers to provide a holistic service’. The large team has a number of ‘excellent’ practitioners. Bart Peerless is ‘exceptionally able technically and has a complete grasp of the increasingly complex tax laws that affect most trusts and estates’. Piers Master has an ‘excellent technical knowledge of the tax issues that face resident non-domiciled clients. He is sensitive to cross-border tax issues and knowledgeable about international succession matters’. William Begley has a ‘very relaxed manner which belies his sharp intellect’ and James Trafford ‘gets to the heart of the problem quickly’. Robert Blower ‘thinks each problem through to come up with an often ingenious solution’ and Nicola Thorpe is ‘very experienced in offshore trusts and tax’. Andrew Cameron is ‘proactive and very client orientated’ and newly promoted partner Sangna Chauhan has ‘great technical skills combined with a human touch’. John Ward  specialises in providing UK and international tax and estate planning advice to UK and international families.  The department advises on the full range of tax and trust matters for major landed estates and owners of heritage property in addition to advising trustees and other entities in the UK and offshore. This is ‘definitely a firm that can handle all issues on time with due regard to the practical demands of each client’.

Farrer & Co  is 'a leading firm in the private wealth world with an incredible array of technical expertise’. Rhoddy Voremberg is ‘outstanding’. Catherine McAleavey, Sarah von Schmidt and Mike Chantler are all ‘exceptionally able’. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Russell Cohen is ‘very versatile’ and James Carleton  is ‘superb on art issues’. Bryony Cove is praised for her ‘outstanding ability to meet the complex requirements of UNHW and HNW clients’. Mark Bridges produces ‘high quality work’ for a broad range of English private clients including philanthropists, trustees and landed families and specialises in succession planning, tax and trust advice. Newly promoted partner Debbie Pennington is ‘excellent for offshore planning’. The practice is acting for members of a significant Scandinavian UHNW business family in relation to a major reorganisation of the multiple family trusts between different branches of the family.

Forsters LLP ‘continues to be outstanding’ under the leadership of Patrick Harney . Harney’s ‘UK/US practice is renowned in London but it is his approachability and his measured advice that sets him apart’. Kelly Noel-Smith  is an ‘exceptional lawyer. She is very competent and is involved in some high value and complex work –which she handles with aplomb. She works very effectively with her associates’. Catherine Hill  is ‘highly capable’ and David Robinson ‘continues to impress with his exceptional ability and his immense practical experience’.Rupert Mead , Guy Abrahams  and Xavier Nicolas are ‘all bright, able and very impressive’. Nick Jacob is ‘very experienced in offshore trusts and tax – he is a big name in the market who is very busy’. Anthony Thompson has ‘great private client expertise which is matched by his commercial acumen’. Harney advises domestic UK families on wealth structuring and has a particular expertise in the use of family partnerships and family investment companies as a tax efficient wealth holding vehicle. There are also ‘numerous able assistant solicitors’ in the department. The team continues to act for high-net-worth individuals and their trustees on the creation of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures for asset protection and wealth preservation.

Macfarlanes LLP is ‘provides sophisticated and nuanced advice; the team has great depth’. Head of department Piers Barclay  is ‘extremely knowledgeable and has excellent commercial sense’ and Edward Reed  is ‘first-rate’. The ‘very wise’ Jonathan Conder , Sebastian Prichard Jones , Charles Gothard , Oliver Court and newly-promoted partner Isobel Morton  are all ‘knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking and each displays valuable judgement’. Nicholas Harries  is also ‘very intelligent’. The ‘highly skilled’ team routinely advises on high value and complex work often with an international dimension. The ‘excellent’ Jennifer Smithson  is recommended for her work on international estate planning for private clients around the world.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP  is a ‘market leader providing clear, sensible and pragmatic advice. It has managed to achieve a great balance between technical expertise and clear communication to deliver advice in a meaningful way that clients really appreciate’. The ‘very impressive’ Ceris Gardner  is ‘highly regarded’ for tax structuring with cross-border elements. The ‘extensively experienced’ Jennifer Chambers ,Arabella Murphy  and Clare Maurice  provide ‘thorough and state of the art advice’. Fiona Poole , Ed Powles  and Richard Turnor  are all ‘excellent with clients and provide very practical advice’. Corinne Staves  has a ‘great bedside manner (making difficult conversations more pleasant) and an uncanny ability to find and address serious issues’. Senior associate Jessica Zimmerman  ‘is always a calming influence and never lets clients down’.

The ‘hugely knowledgeable’ Andrew Hine heads the team at Taylor Wessing LLP and has a ‘particularly great knowledge of trusts’. The department fields ‘practitioners who are not only technically excellent but just as importantly pragmatic and solution-driven’. Sanjvee Shah 'embodies everything a private client lawyer should be; she is empathetic, approachable, easy to work with, technically strong and is never afraid to tackle a complex matter’. Nick Warr has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of fiscal and succession planning and ‘allied with this he has superb client skills. Nick has a wide and diverse client base amongst high-net-worth families in the Middle East and the Far East’. Antoaneta Proctor is ‘very skilled’ at advising on international estate planning. Ryan Myint ‘guides his clients in a way that is second to none’. Mark Buzzoni is another key member of the team and regularly acts for individuals and families as well as professional trustees in Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Jersey and Guernsey.

Withers LLP is ‘without doubt one of the top law firms in the UK and globally for personal tax, trusts and probate’. Patricia Milner is ‘highly impressive and pragmatic’ and the ‘very practical’ Tim George ‘provides clear but comprehensive responses’. The ‘extremely commercial’ Philip Munro has a ‘very sharp mind’ and provides ‘concise, pragmatic and executable advice; he is very good at articulating options clearly to clients, even where the underlying legislation is complex and involved’. Charlie Tee is ‘very experienced’. Richard Cassell is recommended along with Jeremy Arnold who is renowned for his expertise in wealth structuring, tax, trusts and estate matters for high-net-worth individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs in the UK and globally. The large team advises on all areas of private client work from international trusts to US tax issues outside the US. Claire Harris, Jaime McLemore and Stephen Nerland were promoted to partner.

Ashley Crossley  heads the team at Baker McKenzie, which specialises in complex cross-border structuring, asset protection and advice particularly for major Middle Eastern clients and their family offices. It is advising on some of the latest developments in the holding and taxation of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. The group has also seen a large increase in international taxation disputes and work stemming from business and real-estate tax investigations and the cross-border exchange of information. Senior associate Phyllis Townsend  is also recommended.

Bircham Dyson Bell's wide-ranging expertise covers work involving old-money, landed estate work to complex international planning for UHNW families. Head of private wealth Simon Weil  is an ‘extremely competent private client lawyer who maintains his professional composure and judgement in the most challenging circumstances’. The ‘very efficient and client orientated’ Helen Ratcliffe  ‘combines a warm personal touch with a sagacity born of her long experience of dealing with wealthy international families’. Other areas of expertise include advising the owners of agricultural land and landed estates as well as philanthropists.

Boodle Hatfield LLP has a ‘great private client team comprising high-quality lawyers’. Simon Rylatt is an ‘impressive tactician’ and the ‘highly experienced’ Andrea Zavos is an ‘excellent lawyer’. Zavos is ‘very straight with clients and a tough opponent’. The ‘outstanding’ Sue Laing is a ‘top private client lawyer’. Mark Lindley is ‘one of the best lawyers of his generation, very clever and has genuine expertise in this area. He handles extremely high profile matters well’. Sara Maccallum is another ‘excellent’ member of the team. The group has a large international and domestic client base. Hayden Bailey has extensive experience of tax planning and advises entrepreneurs, family business owners and city executives on their UK capital taxation strategy, wills, trusts and corporate governance issues. He also advises non-UK domiciliaries on their UK tax. The department is well-equipped to advise wealthy individuals and families, family businesses, art collectors, philanthropists, trustees, protectors, family offices and landed estates on a broad range of issues.

Harcus Sinclair LLP  has ‘deep experience and expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional planning and litigation. All the partners are impressive, as are its associates’. Keith Bruce-Smith  is one of the principal members of the ‘exceptionally able team’. Lucy Gibson has a ‘keen intelligence and excellent judgement that has been built on deep experience and a practical approach to solving difficult problems’. The partners are ‘well-assisted’ by associates Eleanor Walsh  and Judith Robertson. Jonathan Burt is now at Harbottle & Lewis LLP .

Hunters Law LLP ‘brings to its work a very personally tailored approach. It has a reputation for complete technical competence and fair dealing’. The practice is led by the ‘very experienced’ Alexandra Sarkis, who ‘handles what can be delicate family issues arising out of a trust and its complexity with great skill and tact’. Sarkis along with Julia Richards  ‘both take the time to really get under the skin of their very different clients and their needs and then tailor their approach accordingly. They provide clear advice and are excellent communicators whilst also being tough negotiators’. Jonathan Godwin-Austen  is ‘extremely able and thorough’. The ‘diligent and helpful’ Robert Wright  is ‘never too busy to pick up the phone or answer an email’. The ‘charming, knowledgeable and efficient’ Matthew Yates is ‘highly recommended for anyone wanting top quality assistance in this field’. Newly promoted partner is the ‘simply exceptional’  Molly Wills  who provides an ‘exemplary service’. The ‘first-class’ team acts for an impressive array of high-profile clients, from celebrities to titled individuals with a mix of domestic and international work.

The service that Irwin Mitchell provides is ‘excellent; responses are very quick and efficient and clients will always get the right member of the team for the matter in hand’. Nick Rucker has a ‘really good mix of technical excellence and business acumen’. Alex Ruffel  is ‘excellent’ and George Merrylees  has a ‘strong international practice. He is very approachable and highly experienced’. Mark Pearce is also well regarded for his work on complex international and UK tax and trusts. The team acts for clients from all over the world with particular strengths in advising clients from Continental Europe, the Middle East, China, CIS and Russia.

Ziva Robertson heads the team at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, which routinely acts in some of the most high value trusts, estates, wills and probate matters as well as advising on commercial issues, fund structuring and regulatory advice. The team is also well placed to advise on evolving tax regimes. It has a particular focus on trusts and wealth management issues with a US element. The team has expertise in US tax and wealth law in both its UK and US offices. Astrid Owen is another key member of the team and she is recognised for her skill on multi-jurisdictional matters primarily where there are UK and US interests. Simon Goldring  acts for a variety of clients ranging from high-net-worth individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs through to multinational corporations both in the UK and internationally such as South Africa, Latin America, the Far East and the Middle East. Simon Gibb was promoted to partner. Jean-Marc Tirard joined Tirard Naudin Société d'Avocats and Dhana Sabanathan is now at Winckworth Sherwood LLP .

Mishcon de Reya LLP  ‘combines professional and up-to-date legal advice with common sense and commercial nous’. Team head Andrew Goldstone is ‘friendly, approachable and knowledgeable’; he is ‘very attuned to his clients’ needs and distils complex legislation to ensure that clients understand where they stand and what they must do’. Kassim Meghjee  ‘always stays focused on the most critical issues and provides a sure and steady guiding hand’. Newly promoted partner Charlie Sosna  ‘provides advice of the highest quality’. Other members of this ‘excellent’ team include James Libson, who acts for high-profile individuals, corporations, families, family offices and charities, and Filippo Noseda, who is a dual qualified English solicitor and Swiss lawyer. Noseda advises clients on international tax and estate planning matters. Clients include a mix of ultra-high and high-net-worth individuals, institutions, investors, property developers, entrepreneurs, trustees and charities.

Key figures at Payne Hicks Beach include Rosamond McDowell receives a lot of plaudits, who has ‘high technical skills, is efficient and deals brilliantly with very difficult and sensitive problems’. The ‘responsive’ Frederick Bjørn ‘stays on top of detail’. Robert Brodrick ’s practice is divided into three main geographic areas of clients namely the Middle East, US/UK and UK domestic (which also includes UK resident non-doms). Basil Dixon advises a primarily international client base of ultra-high-net-worth clients. The team is adept at advising high-net worth clients from the UK and internationally. The group advises on a mix of international and domestic work with continued instructions from Scandinavia and the Middle East. It advises on a broad array of matters such as advising some of the UK’s oldest and largest estates to having extensive experience of advising on the tax aspects of pre-and post-nuptial agreements and the structuring of divorce settlements especially those involving trusts and international assets.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur  has a ‘big name in this area and a strong reputation which is very much deserved. It offers very high-level advice and client delivery for both UK and international clients’. Jonathan Shankland  is ‘highly responsive, proactive and leads from the front - he is willing to go that extra mile and it is very clear that clients hold him in very high esteem’. Victoria Fairley  is ‘steady and meticulous’. Hetty Maher  has an ‘intricate and detailed knowledge of complex legislation’. Senior associate Tulin Hamit  is ‘excellent commercially - she cares about the detail’. The team advises on a wide range of issues for its clients from traditional landed estates, to UK and international entrepreneurs both offshore and onshore.

Russell-Cooke LLP fields a ‘professional team that has a keen eye for detail’. Head of team is the ‘highly intelligent’ Rebecca Fisher who is a ‘real joined-up thinker who conveys her advice with impeccable reasoning and with a friendly manner’. Richard Frimston is one of the leading experts on the EU Succession Regulation. Dawn Alderson heads the French team, which includes ‘always helpful and efficient’ senior associate Patrick Delas, who is a dual-qualified solicitor and avocet au barreau de Paris. Andrew Godfrey provides advice on international trusts, tax and succession issues with a particular emphasis on the US and Italy. Godfrey is ‘intelligent and has an ability to cut through complex legislation to explain things in an easy to understand manner to clients. He adopts a pragmatic approach which clients like’. Key clients include solicitors, QCs, judges, bankers, accountants, celebrities, entrepreneurs, family businesses, senior civil servants and politicians. Arshoo Singh joined Blake Morgan LLP.

Collyer Bristow LLP has a ‘very strong line up of lawyers in its personal tax and estate planning team’. Peter Daniel has a ‘broad knowledge of tax and estate planning. He delivers advice that is well thought out, clearly communicated and is sound. He is also extremely good at building relationships with clients and advisors alike and possesses a very good professional network’. Daniel Simon is a ‘thought leader in the private client world and has extremely sound knowledge coupled with a strong professional network and client base’. James Badcock heads the team and William Hancock is experienced in cross-border matters with particular knowledge of estate planning for Scandinavian clients. The majority of the team’s work is cross border and it has an excellent understanding of offshore trust structures. It has particular focus on Switzerland, the United States, Russia and the Middle East.

The ‘calm and experienced’ Richard Monkcom heads the team at Druces LLP, which is ‘very efficient and client-focused and comes up with creative solutions to suit its clients’ needs’. The ‘responsive’ Neil Morris has ‘decades of experience of dealing with complex and high-profile cases. His knowledge is encyclopaedic’. Helen Freely ‘deals with difficult situations extremely well’. Robert Macro is ‘precise and provides quality advice’ and new addition to the team Matthew Duncan from Kingsley Napley LLP ‘knows his subject extremely well’. The team also added Paul White to its ranks. The department provides a traditional private client service in UK capital taxes, estate planning and probate. It also provides an international advisory service and acts for non-UK domiciled clients both resident and non-resident in the UK and their fiduciaries, structures and businesses. Vistra UK and Directors UK are active clients.

Alison Broadberry at Edwin Coe LLP  ‘has an ‘excellent understanding of business and family issues that affect the seriously wealthy. She cuts through the rubbish to offer solutions ’. David Goepel provides ‘great client service and advice’ and is a lead international partner in the team. Goepel has particular expertise in US/UK estate planning. Nick Giles  regularly acts for family and owner-managed businesses and the people who run them as well as acting for a wide range of individuals, unincorporated businesses and charities. Active clients include St. James’ Place and Hoopers. The team advises clients based overseas as well as in the UK on a wide range of matters including inheritance tax planning, asset protection and succession planning as well as on onshore and offshore trusts and family settlements.

Howard Kennedy LLP has an ‘excellent team with very good strength and depth and a very good international outlook’. John Annetts heads the administration and estates team and is ‘smart, able, calm and experienced. He deals with difficult situations with great assurance’. The ‘very bright’ Liz Palmer shows ‘great attention to detail and makes one feel at ease when discussing complex legal matters. She is very good at explaining difficult issues to her lay clients’. Simon Malkiel is ‘fantastic with highly technical issues and is able to think creatively to explore all possible options for his clients. He is very clear on protecting his clients from the risk of interference from the HMRC’. Senior associate Nick Mendoza ‘deals with huge probates with multiple elements with calmness and poise’. It has a diverse client base of high-net-worth individuals and families based both in the UK and internationally.

Penningtons Manches Cooper provides ‘exceptional service to clients. The highly motivated team is also structured in an efficient way to provide cost effective advice’. Clare Archer  heads the department and has ‘the rare combination of experience, expertise and personable approach to be a true trusted adviser in what is often quite a sensitive and problematic area of practice’. Archer is often called upon to advise families and family offices on generational planning and governance issues. James d’Aquino ‘has the global expertise and experience to be trusted on very complex matters’. D’Aquino provides tax, trust and succession planning advice to UHNW individuals, families and trustees. Archer and d’Aquino are both ‘very sensitive to client needs and have the ability to handle diverse and often conflicting or competing elements very well’. Laura Dadswell is ‘excellent’ and newly promoted partner Lucy Edwards  is ‘highly effective’.

Wedlake Bell LLP  has an extensive track record of involvement in a number of heavy trusts and probate cases. Camilla Wallace heads the team, which includes the ‘client-friendly and extremely knowledgeable’ Andrew O’Keeffe, who provides a ‘reassuring and comprehensive service in an understated and professional manner. He is very good at finding workable solutions’. Emma Loveday and Eleanor Metcalf  ‘specialise in the overseas investor and non-doms’. The ‘excellent’ Charles Hicks  is very experienced at advising on trusts, probate, wills  as well as wealth management for high-net-worth individuals. Ann Stanyer covers a wide range of trust, probate and private wealth advisory work and holds over 70 trusteeships in addition to acting as an executor and attorney. The ‘high-quality and consistently reliable’ team handles a variety of high-value and complex work for its portfolio of longstanding clients. Its clients comprise an interesting mix of international financiers, fashion designers, architects, landed estates, international royal families, property developers, entrepreneurs and those with inherited wealth.

Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘commercial, practical and sound advice’. The ‘switched-on and practical’ John Barnett is a ‘leading technical boffin with a great affable manner’. Barnett provides tax advice to a wide range of high-net-worth individuals and many leading banks and other financial institutions. He has a particular focus on entrepreneurial clients many of whom are not domiciled in the UK or have businesses or other interests abroad. The ‘practical, very bright and technical’ Suzanna Harvey  is ‘able to explain complicated issues in simple language’ and Beatrice Puoti has ‘great commercial awareness’. Another key member of the ‘very strong’ team is the ‘professional’ Tom Hewitt  who is ‘empathetic and wise’. Highlights included advising an ultra-high-net-worth individual on a wide ranging HMRC enquiry.

At Fieldfisher Penny Wotton  has expertise in UK and non-UK resident trusts and in international estate planning and structuring. Wotton advises clients across the world and also acts as a professional trustee in addition to advising a range of charities. Graeme Nuttall  is dual qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser. He is experienced at establishing and maintaining private wealth structures such as private and commercially run trust companies and family offices. His clients include families with Australian, Indian and Middle Eastern connections and CIS based clients. The team has recently seen a significant number of new instructions from HNWIs in the Gulf region and Russia. It has also been attracting new instructions from the entertainment sector.

Glen Atchison heads the team at Harbottle & Lewis LLP  whose ‘industry knowledge and response times are excellent’. Atchison focuses on advising UK resident and non-resident ultra-high-net-worth individuals on multifarious issues. These issues range from tax efficient international succession planning and structuring through to the use of trusts /other arrangements to trace and protect assets. The ‘pragmatic and proactive’ Chris Moorcroft has a strong reputation for his work on international tax and trust structures for individuals, both UK resident and non-UK resident. Moorcroft is praised for his ‘excellent client relationship skills’. Senior associate Caroline Rao  ‘has been very helpful on a complicated legacy matter and I would highly recommend her’. Jonathan Burt  has recently moved from Harcus Sinclair LLP and has a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa as well as on helping US citizens who live outside America.

Richard Norridge  at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP  ‘holds a firm line to secure the best outcome for the client. This coupled with his professionalism and the way he conducts meetings and writes correspondence garners respect from the other side’. Of counsel Gareth Keillor  is ‘knowledgeable and responsive and is a very solid lawyer’. The group typically acts for prestigious ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Jim Sawer  at Kingsley Napley LLP is ‘practical, sensible and has loads of common sense which is based on experience’. He advises a number of landed, entrepreneurial and business clients on tax, trust and succession issues. Senior associate Joseph Austin  is ‘very precise and he is experienced in international estate planning matters’. The group has strong Middle Eastern connections and is handling an increasing number of referrals from private banks and accountants. Matthew Duncan joined Druces LLP .

Key figures at Mills & Reeve LLP include the 'excellent' Cambridge-based Chris Belcher and principal associate Gillian Kennedy-Smith, who is ‘highly experienced’ in matters of succession and estate planning. Kennedy-Smith specialises in providing UK and international families, trustees, attorneys, executors and companies with advice on complex tax, trusts and succession planning matters especially where there is a foreign element. The team routinely handles family investment company structuring, wills and other similar matters.

Osborne Clarke LLP acts for the owners of some of the UK’s leading businesses and household name brands. It has grown its client base of international families and now acts for a member of the Saudi royal family and other significant individuals/families from the Middle East and the US. The team has particular expertise in advising families with US connections and banks/investment managers who wish to develop new funds and investment offerings in the UK. The department is well-equipped to handle complex cross-border and international matters. Stuart Janaway is recommended for his work with business owners/entrepreneurs and is particularly well-known for his work with families with US connections. Andrew Goodman continues to act for UNHW international families, private offices, trust companies and banks covering the full raft of private client advice from personal tax, UK and offshore trusts as well as succession and philanthropy through to trust and estate litigation.

Stephenson Harwood has a ‘strong client focused team that wants to clearly understand each client’s situation so that it can identify the best solution for that client’. The ‘experienced’ James Quarmby has ‘excellent technical knowledge which shines through and he can dissect difficult subjects into a more comprehensible format for clients. He is a very much in your corner regardless of the risk or complexity’. Newly promoted partner Emily Osborne is ‘very much in demand. She is extremely knowledgeable and provides succinct advice. She is an excellent choice for extremely complex cross-border matters’. Associate Alice Vink  is a ‘real rising star and is partner material. She is also knowledgeable and personable. She is well able to give very practical advice even when under pressure’. The team acts for UNHWI individuals and family offices internationally. Hugo Jenney is another known name and heads up the firm’s ‘family office’ team specialising in advising ultra-wealthy international families. The team is praised for ‘responding at all hours and is available at short notice which makes it an ideal team for our more entrepreneurial clients where time is of the essence’.

Stuart Skeffington  heads the team at Stevens & Bolton LLP and provides ‘superb technical tax advice’. Rosie Todd is ‘a superb technical lawyer who has a keen eye on the practical detail and foresees and plans things’. Daryl Fox  heads the probate and estate administration team and provides ‘high service levels and expertise’. The team’s work ranges from complex international tax planning for UHNW non-domiciliaries and for landed estates through to estate administration. The department also has a good understanding of fund structures and has particular expertise in the cross-over between private client and the taxation of funds and corporate structures. Associate Abigail Palmer-Page is ‘very responsive and practical’. The team has a ‘deep understanding of personal tax, trusts and probate law with a keen understanding of the commercial deal in play’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP  ‘is an invaluable resource in London for top-notch US legal advice in the trust and private client sphere. It is one of the top New York trust and private client practices with offices in London’. Basil Zirinis ‘truly understands the big picture and engenders confidence with families. He is utterly remarkable, is involved in nearly every major international case and is sophisticated and urbane’. For many years the firm has advised the majority of the Pritzker family beneficiaries on the restructuring of their $25bn worldwide business empire which includes interests in Global Hyatt Corporation and extensive international gaming operations. Other key clients include the Heyman family (as owners of the Building Materials Corporation of America) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.).

VWV is ‘very efficient and professional. The team works quickly to deadlines and is able to stay within costs’. The ‘professional’ Judith Cuxson is ‘caring and technically strong’. The ‘excellent’ Michael Knowles  ‘ensures that things are delivered in a timely fashion’ and associate Angharad Lynn ‘is excellent at getting the job done efficiently and on time’. Clients include entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals and their families, landed estates, charities and museums as well as educational establishments. The team undertakes complex tax on cross-border and high value estates and acts on a number of matters involving national heritage assets.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has an ‘excellent team that is capable of dealing with sensitive and high-value issues’. Practice head Hugh MacDougald  is ‘very sensible, very measured and very knowledgeable’. The ‘highly approachable’ Tim Snaith  has a ‘deep understanding of the personal and family legal issues. He is charming and discreet with clients but also very knowledgeable and experienced’. The team added Dhana Sabanathan  to its ranks from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP. Sabanathan is a well-regarded adviser to UK and non-UK clients on international tax and estate planning issues. She is also experienced in cross-border estate planning matters and advises financial institutions on international trust matters. The group represents high-net-worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs, family businesses and family offices as well as UK and foreign domiciled trusts and individuals. It also acts for charities and a range of agents who act on behalf of incapacitated individuals.

Blake Morgan LLP's team is headed by Mark Spash  who has a ‘sound knowledge of the legal issues and is also able to think out of the box in order to find pragmatic solutions’. Spash has a particular focus on family office work for domestic and international HNWIs. Arshoo Singh  joined the team from Russell-Cooke LLP. The team is adept at advising on complex lifetime and estate planning issues often with an international element. It is also skilled at advising on the administration of estates with complex and cross-border components including advising on disputes between beneficiaries, conflicts of laws relating to the assets and other trust matters.

DMH Stallard LLP  is ‘well-positioned in the market’ and is led by Lorna Fairbairn . Fairbairn specialises in drafting wills and estate planning. She regularly advises business owners on safeguarding their business assets for future generations including advising on inheritance tax mitigation and other possible reliefs such as entrepreneurs’ relief. Other areas of expertise include advising on the administration of trusts and estates and the preparation of lasting powers of attorney.

Matthew Bennett  at Fladgate LLP  is ‘academically top drawer but also commercial and responsive’. Bennett advises UK and foreign individuals and their families on the management of their wealth and personal affairs with an emphasis on tax efficiency. Neal Todd  heads the team. The well-regarded Todd acts for individuals, intermediaries and family offices in circumstances where the individuals have substantial assets. John Ford recently joined the team from Pinsent Masons LLP. Clients include international trust companies, fund managers, individuals and families with significant personal assets, domiciled and non-domiciled trustees of family and charitable trusts as well as the personal representatives of substantial estates.

Ian Bowyer and Philip Carter  head the team at Greenwoods GRM that provides an ‘exceptional service’. Bowyer is ‘incisive, friendly and very knowledgeable’. Bowyer has extensive knowledge of onshore trusts and probate work and regularly deals with high value estates. Carter is ‘careful and meticulous with both words and numbers. Hence, he does not miss anything and is trustworthy. He has a matter of fact approach to legal problems or situations with a ‘can do’ attitude. He is responsive and has excellent communication skills’. Carter deals with various matters such as drafting of wills, tax planning as well as administering powers of attorney. The team deals with the complex estates of wealthy individuals and clients that need cross-border assistance.

GSC Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘knowledgeable and professional team’. Head of department Saleem Sheikh  is a ‘hands on negotiator with an all-round ability to grasp the issues and assist in their resolution’. Sheikh advises on a broad spectrum of issues from succession planning for children coming into the business through to protecting assets for married clients through prenuptial agreements and trusts. The ‘very practical and responsive’ James Cohen  ‘deals with matters both ably and expeditiously’. Cohen advises on wills, lasting powers of attorney, probate and other issues such as offshore structuring. He has developed substantial knowledge of dealing with matters where clients have assets located in multiple jurisdictions, especially for Pakistani and Indian clients.

Iain Donaldson heads the department at Hill Dickinson LLP  and has significant experience of advising businesses and wealthy individuals on tax, wealth protection and financial risk management issues. The team advises on a wide range of matters from wills and trusts as well as capital tax planning through to contentious and non-contentious trusts and estate administration. Clients are based predominantly in the South of England and include successful professionals, industrialists and entrepreneurs. The groups advises trustees on various issues such as the creation, administration and termination of trusts.

Ian Lane heads the team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, which pays ‘prompt attention to all matters – calls and emails are replied to within 24 hours’. Nicola Waldman  is ‘efficient beyond the call of duty. She is exceptional, efficient and proactive’. The team has represented a wide range of clients from celebrities and notable families to non-domiciles and families that are in dispute. Work has included handling the administration of substantial estates, family trusts, UK inheritance tax matters and disputed estates. The group has also advised on the drafting of wills of varying complexity.

Gordon Dadds LLP has a ‘very client focused team that works exceptionally hard to get results’. The ‘highly recommended’ Anna Coakes  is a ‘superb all-round legal adviser providing an excellent service to clients’. Associate Amelia Beringer  is ‘terrific’. The team is well-regarded for its work on multi-jurisdictional tax and inheritance issues and has a particular focus on domicile issues and the administration of estates where domicile is at issue. The team frequently works with its litigation department to resolve family inheritance disputes.

Jane Molyneaux  is the head of private client at Kerman & Co . The team regularly advises on cross-border estate and succession planning matters as well as on trusts, asset structuring, will drafting, powers of attorney and probate. Its national and international client base includes high-net-worth individuals, globally wealthy families, trustees and charities as well as family offices. It frequently carries out global asset-structuring for clients particularly from Russia, Asia and Africa. Other areas of expertise include managing complex international probate matters typically valued at approximately £15m. It also helps clients to put in place tax-efficient structures and such advice includes assisting on international transactions in relation to fine art, antiques and decorative arts.

Jonathan Riley leads the team at Michelmores LLP  in London which is augmented by a number of Exeter and Bristol-based lawyers. It is a ‘strong regional player that is well able to compete with the London firms at a much reduced cost’. Exeter-based Jennifer Ridgway  is ‘the best of communicators, making the complex simple’. The group continues to receive referrals from offshore intermediaries (including lawyers and fiduciaries) and also advises on a broad range of complex offshore tax planning and on international cross-border matters. It acts for executors of large estates and also offers specialist tax and succession planning for individuals with farming and agricultural business interests. Other areas of expertise include advising entrepreneurs on succession issues, entrepreneurs’ relief and inheritance tax mitigation strategies The team is also skilled at assisting vulnerable people with complex capacity issues on how to protect often significant clinical negligence and personal injury awards.

Moon Beever  is an ‘excellent firm that provides highly technical advice in a concise manner’. The team has a mix of UK and non-UK clients including young professionals, high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, local families and nobility. It also advises on other issues such as the creation and administration of charities and powers of attorney, living wills/advance decisions. Former head of department Paul Davidoff left for New Quadrant Partners in late 2018.

New Quadrant Partners LTD is an ‘excellent outfit. It is a very reliable and dynamic team with the right expertise. It keeps its feet on the ground to deliver real and useful advice’. Marilyn McKeever ‘certainly goes above and beyond. She is extremely smart and has an incredible human touch with her clients’. Louise Stoten  and Sophie Voelcker  ‘both are very strong and capable of handling delicate matters for demanding UHNW clients’. Zoë Camp  is ‘calm and measured in addition to being absolutely thorough and on the ball’. The firm offers clients comprehensive advice on domestic and international trusts, trust taxation, wills and succession planning as well as on personal tax matters. The firm hired Paul Davidoff  from Moon Beever in late 2018. Specialising in complex tax, trust and estate planning matters, Davidoff is described as ‘able to explain very technical issues in layman’s terms and then suggest solutions to issues. He is very precise, very technical and very charming’.

PWT Advice LLP  has a ‘highly competent and reliable team’. The ‘very responsive and commercial’ Jo Summers ’ work is ‘excellent’. Summers continues to advise on offshore trusts and other international structures as well as on estate planning. Nicola Dudley is another recommended member of the team who is skilled at advising on complex tax planning and offshore structuring in particular. The team completed the administration of the estate of the late Michael Winner. This included acting for his companies and assisting in the sale of his multi-million pound property.

The ‘outstanding’ Tony Millson at Royds Withy King is ‘urbane, unflappable and has seen it all. He gives thoughtful and clear advice and is thorough without unnecessary fussiness’. Deanna Hurst is ‘efficient, reliable and highly intelligent. She works hard, thinks ahead and forgets nothing’. Both have ‘excellent client relationship skills’. Millson advises on all aspects of tax and estate planning particularly in relation to inheritance tax, capital gains tax and trust creation. He also is adept at advising on the administration of high value trusts and estate and routinely acts for parents of children with disabilities.

James Ward heads the team at Seddons. Ward advises trusts, executors and high-net-worth individuals on tax affairs and on estates as well as on the administration of property trusts and the drafting and variation of wills. He is experienced in both offshore and onshore domicile complications and is regularly asked by clients to fulfil trustee, executor and attorney roles. Recently promoted partner John Melville-Smith is ‘an experienced litigator who never misses a point’.

Rod Smith  at Stone King LLP specialises in advising on complex wills and trusts, powers of attorney as well as applications for deputyship and the administration of trusts and estates. There is frequently an international element to this work. Alison Allen  acts for a wide range of clients advising them on general private client matters. Allen is experienced at advising on high value probates and trusts and has a particular interest in advising families and carers of vulnerable individuals with impaired mental capacity and /or mental health issues around estate planning and care funding.

Neil Long  and the ‘pragmatic’ Alexander Dickinson  are the principal contacts at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP . Long advises high-net-worth clients and trustees on estate planning and capital tax issues. His clients are mostly entrepreneurs with complex business and financial interests. Dickinson specialises in succession, asset protection and estate planning matters for landowners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. He acts for a large number of landed estates across the country, in many cases he acts as a trustee and sits on the board of several family offices. Recent highlights include advising on the administration of a major landowner's estate, with a value in excess of £200m. In another significant matter the team advised on the reorganisation of a number of substantial trusts including the restructuring of their investment and trading structures.

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

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Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

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Legal Developments in London for Personal tax, trusts and probate

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