United Kingdom > London > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Blake Morgan LLP
- Bond Dickinson LLP
Currey & Co
- DMH Stallard LLP
- Fladgate LLP
- GSC Solicitors LLP
- Hodge Jones & Allen LLP
- Kerman & Co LLP
- Kingsley Napley LLP
- Lee Bolton Monier-Williams
- McGuireWoods London LLP
- Michelmores LLP
- Moon Beever
- Osborne Clarke
- PWT Advice LLP
- Stephenson Harwood
- Stone King LLP
- Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Veale Wasbrough Vizards
- John Barnett - Burges Salmon LLP
Frederick Bjørn -
Payne Hicks Beach
- Robert Blower - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
- Mark Bridges - Farrer & Co
- Keith Bruce-Smith - Harcus Sinclair LLP
- Jonathan Burt - Harcus Sinclair LLP
- Mark Buzzoni - Taylor Wessing LLP
- Richard Cassell - Withers LLP
- Mike Chantler - Farrer & Co
- Russell Cohen - Farrer & Co
- Jonathan Conder - Macfarlanes LLP
- Ashley Crossley - Baker McKenzie LLP
- Richard Frimston - Russell-Cooke LLP
Ceris Gardner -
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
- Lucy Gibson - Harcus Sinclair LLP
- Jonathan Godwin-Austen - Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans
- Andrew Goldstone - Mishcon de Reya LLP
- Charles Gothard - Macfarlanes LLP
- Andrew Hine - Taylor Wessing LLP
- James Johnston - Bircham Dyson Bell
- Sue Laing - Boodle Hatfield LLP
Clare Maurice -
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
Rosamond McDowell -
Payne Hicks Beach
- Patricia Milner - Withers LLP
Arabella Murphy -
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
- Filippo Noseda - Withers LLP
- Graham Ogilvie - Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans
- Martin Paisner - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
- Bart Peerless - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
- Simon Phelps - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
- Helen Ratcliffe - Bircham Dyson Bell
- Edward Reed - Macfarlanes LLP
- David Robinson - Forsters LLP
- Simon Rylatt - Boodle Hatfield LLP
- Alexandra Sarkis - Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans
- Daniel Simon - Collyer Bristow LLP
- Anthony Thompson - Gowling WLG
- Rhoddy Voremberg - Farrer & Co
- John Ward - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
- Simon Weil - Bircham Dyson Bell
Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s ‘technically excellent, accessible and versatile team’ regularly advises on high-value cross-border wealth, governance and tax structuring in addition to shari’ah wealth and succession planning. The ‘first-class’ team is also recommended for its work for institutional clients and on complex trust restructurings. Damian Bloom is ‘extremely competent’ and Simon Phelps is ‘very proactive’. Martin Paisner ‘provides clear, incisive and effective advice, especially on trust matters’. Paul Whitehead gives ‘well-thought-through advice, while also being keenly aware of the families’ needs’.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is ‘extremely strong for cross-border private client work’. The ‘responsive and strategic’ Bart Peerless heads the team, which is also noted for its ‘sensitive, risk-aware and client-focused approach’. Robert Blower is ‘very experienced on matters relating to the Middle East’ and Dominic Lawrance is ‘an excellent adviser to high-net-worth individuals and families, and is particularly adept at US/UK engagements’. The ‘very able’ Piers Master and Suzanne Marriott are ‘vastly experienced’ and Andrew Cameron is ‘readily able to come up with pragmatic solutions to problems as they arise’.
Farrer & Co is in the ‘top division for advising international and domestic clients on their wealth structuring by having an approachable and extremely competent team’. Russell Cohen is ‘technically excellent’; Marianne Kafena is an ‘excellent lateral thinker’ and Nick Dunnell ‘really knows his stuff’. Alison Springett is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and Mark Bridges has a ‘breadth of experience that is unmatched’. Rhoddy Voremberg is ‘outstanding’ and Ian Huddleston joined the team from Pinsent Masons LLP. It is ‘one of the strongest firms in the private client world with an incredible brand and people to match it’.
Macfarlanes LLP ‘particularly impresses for the range of highly regarded partners with the ability to provide a consistently high level of service on super-sophisticated cross-border work’. Head of team Jonathan Conder is ‘just brilliant at everything’ and Charles Gothard is ‘superb at structuring unusual and complex cross-border trusts’. Jennifer Smithson is ‘terrific at handling complex situations and finding solutions’ and the ‘thorough’ Oliver Court has an ‘amazing US following’. Piers Barclay and Robin Vos are ‘brilliant technically’. It is also ‘excellent at associate level’.
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP fields a team of ‘bright, articulate and incredibly talented lawyers who are well versed in trusts, estates, probate and tax planning’. Team head Arabella Murphy is ‘top notch for trust structures, corporate governance and trust litigation’ and Jennifer Chambers is ‘very impressive on international estate planning’. Emma-Jane Weider is ‘bright, technically excellent and manages clients’ expectations very well’. Clients also recommend the ‘vastly experienced’ Ceris Gardner and ‘extraordinary’ Clare Maurice.
‘At the top of its game’, Taylor Wessing LLP provides a fully integrated service to high-net-worth families and family offices that require multi-jurisdictional advice. Sanjvee Shah is ‘technically excellent, with a talent for simplifying complex issues for an increasingly large international client base’. Also recommended are the ‘superb and pragmatic’ Nick Warr, Mark Buzzoni, who is ‘experienced, knowledgeable and has great client-handling skills’, and Andrew Hine, who heads the ‘excellent private client practice’.
Withers LLP is ‘unrivalled for the sheer breadth and depth of its expertise’. Its ‘excellent’ team includes Filippo Noseda, who stands out for his ‘broad range of expertise’; Tim George, who is described as ‘the first choice for ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a truly global asset base’; the ‘technically excellent’ Julia Abrey, who is recommended for elder law; Andrew Haave, who has ‘detailed knowledge of US tax and estate planning issues’; the ‘very experienced’ Sarah Cormack, who stands out for complex offshore structures; and Patricia Milner.
Baker McKenzie LLP’s global footprint enables it to provide seamless cross-border advice, making it a natural choice for international disputes. Ashley Crossley heads the wealth management group and is praised for his ‘enormous knowledge of complex trusts’. Associate Phyllis Townsend is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and wonderful with clients’. The team has strong Russia/CIS and Middle East links.
Bircham Dyson Bell is recognised for its work on complex estate and succession planning for multi-jurisdictional families. The ‘very competent’Helen Ratcliffe heads the private wealth team and has particular expertise in offshore trusts. Also recommended are the ‘unflappable and knowledgeable’ Susan Johnson, and Hugo Smith, who is ‘very good on the taxation aspects of trusts; he is clever and practical and provides clear and insightful advice’. Matthew Braithwaite has been promoted to partner.
Boodle Hatfield LLP has ‘an outstanding team that is impressive on all fronts’. Clients include privately owned businesses, very wealthy entrepreneurs and individuals, and numerous large landed estates. Simon Rylatt is ‘technically excellent and cares about his clients’ needs above all else’. Also recommended are ‘excellent strategic thinker’ Sara Maccallum and Sue Laing.
Forsters LLP’s sizeable practice ‘combines a high level of expertise with a personal service’. Andrew Lane, Patrick Harney and Xavier Nicholas are all ‘technically very able and highly commercial’. Fiona Smith provides ‘robust and detailed advice’. The ‘very strong team’ acts for some major high-net-worth clients and has considerable offshore expertise. David Robinson and Rupert Mead ‘continue to impress’.
Gowling WLG is praised for its ‘impressive response times and knowledgeable lawyers who understand not only the theoretical and legal aspects of a problem but also the practical implications of the advice on clients’ businesses’. Anthony Thompson heads the team, which focuses on complex cross-border matters.
Harcus Sinclair LLP’s team is ‘deeply experienced in complex multi-jurisdictional planning and litigation’. Jonathan Burt is ‘technically gifted in the intricacies of complex estate planning and has an uncanny knack for getting things right first time, every time’. Other key figures include Lucy Gibson, who is ‘a great strategist who also has a very human touch’; the ‘exceptionally able’ Keith Bruce-Smith; and Siena Gold, who is ‘one to watch’ and is rated for her skill in offshore trusts.
Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans’ ‘all-round technical skills and commercial approach makes it a very strong offering’. Joe Richardson is ‘hugely experienced, technically brilliant and very wise’, and Jonathan Godwin-Austen has ‘extensive knowledge of trusts and probate’. Also recommended are the ‘technically very able’ Alexandra Sarkis and Julia Richards, and ‘very astute’ Mary Elliott. Clients include landed estates, family businesses and celebrities.
McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP is ‘one of the top firms for transatlantic tax planning; the breadth of its international reach is significant’. Astrid Owen has a ‘deep understanding of the interface between US and UK tax laws’. Andrew Vergunst (‘an excellent strategic thinker’), Charles Lubar and Claire Murray are also recommended.
Payne Hicks Beach fields ‘a highly competent and practical team that understands its clients very well’. Rosamond McDowell is ‘highly intelligent and responsive’ and Alice Palmer is ‘outstanding’. Frederick Bjørn is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and Christopher Sly is ‘thorough and client-driven’. Robert Brodrick and newly promoted partner Basil Dixon are also recommended. The firm acts for a broad range of clients from landed estates to middle eastern and Scandinavian families.
Collyer Bristow LLP fields a ‘professional and responsive’ team that includes the ‘pragmatic’ Daniel Simon, who is ‘an excellent negotiator with extensive knowledge of UK and US tax laws’; and James Badcock and William Hancock, who ‘always see the bigger picture’. It also has an international capability through its Geneva office.
Howard Kennedy LLP provides a ‘very professional yet distinctly personable service’ to a broad range of clients, from entrepreneurs to City financiers and foreign royalty. It is ‘very ably led’ by Liz Palmer and includes the ‘very practical and sure-footed’ John Annetts, who is well regarded for his work on a broad range of high-value and complex estates; and Simon Malkiel, who gives ‘very good and practical advice’.
Key figures at Irwin Mitchell include Nick Rucker, who has ‘a no-nonsense approach’, and the ‘experienced’ Conor Brindley. Alexandra Ruffel regularly acts for non-UK nationals and domiciles who wish to relocate to or exit from the UK. Andrew Watters is also well regarded. The firm merged with Berkeley Law and Thomas Eggar in 2015.
Mishcon de Reya LLP’s practice ‘provides advice of the highest technical quality as well as being very commercially focused’. Its broad expertise covers issues from international tax structuring to reputation management. Andrew Goldstone is ‘very attuned to his clients’ needs’ and Kassim Meghjee is skilled at advising on international tax issues.
Penningtons Manches LLP’s Clare Archer is ‘an exceptional lawyer with great technical expertise; she provides a high level of client care and is sensitive to the families’ needs when dealing with complex issues’. Newly promoted partner James d’Aquino has the ability to ‘focus on the key issues very rapidly’. Robert Macro and Neil Morris are now at Druces LLP.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur is ‘an established practice with a dynamic offering and very impressive levels of service’. Standout figures include the ‘pragmatic, commercial and calm’ Tim Newsome and ‘able and level-headed’ Victoria Fairley. Also recommended are the ‘really excellent’ Jonathan Shankland, and the ‘intelligent and practical’ Tulin Kiranoglu-Hamit, who is popular with Turkish clients and ‘bends over backwards to help her clients’.
Russell-Cooke LLP’s Richard Frimston has ‘an excellent reputation for cross-border work and conflict of law issues’. Dawn Alderson is well thought of for her French-related advice and Rebecca Fisher stands out for her international and domestic tax and trust planning advice for families during marital breakdown.
Wedlake Bell LLP has ‘a very strong and experienced practice that is accustomed to dealing with high-value and complex estates and trusts’. New addition to the team Andrew O’Keeffe from Wilson Solicitors LLP is ‘outstandingly intelligent and dynamic’. The ‘always helpful’ Emma Loveday is ‘very knowledgeable’ and Camilla Wallace is ‘an extremely competent lawyer who handles difficult matters very well’. Senior associate Caroline Cook is ‘an excellent communicator’.
Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘strong practice’ includes Jim Aveline, who is ‘very bright and calm’; Beatrice Puoti, who is ‘superb with clients’; the ‘technically excellent’ Suzanna Harvey; and John Barnett, who ‘explains complex issues in an engaging way’. Clients include UBS.
Druces LLP has ‘a highly intelligent team that always seeks to provide a practical solution’. Roy Campbell ‘consistently impresses’ and the ‘vastly experienced ‘Richard Monkcom provides ‘very precise and pragmatic answers’. Robert Macro and Neil Morris, who joined from Penningtons Manches LLP, are praised for providing ‘advice that you can trust’.
Edwin Coe LLP has particular expertise in offshore trusts and tax/foreign domiciliary work. David Goepel provides ‘extremely clear advice and devises extremely imaginative solutions to complex cross-border matters’. John Shelford ‘handles difficult family situations very well’.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s ‘very responsive, pragmatic and efficient team’ advises UK-resident and international high-net-worth individuals on tax structuring and succession planning, the use of trusts and asset protection. Team head Glen Atchison is ‘always available and goes the extra mile to assist clients’. Also recommended are ‘technically strong’ partner Chris Moorcroft and non-lawyer Gary Ashford, who is experienced in serious tax investigations and large tax disputes.
Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong nationwide team that is ‘able to express difficult issues in a way that is comprehensible to the client’. Cambridge-based Chris Belcher heads the team, which advises a wide range of clients from traditional landed estates to entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. Leeds-based Julia Rangecroft is ‘very commercially aware’ and Manchester-based Deborah Clark is ‘technically able’.
Pinsent Masons LLP fields a well-resourced team that handles the full range of private client matters for ultra-wealthy families, individuals, family offices and institutions. Richard Hart’s client base is international, with a particular focus on families from the Middle East. Jason Collins specialises in the resolution of complex HMRC disputes for high-net-worth individuals.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP provides ‘one of the most joined up services in the market to its private clients’. The practice has a strong following in the Middle East and Asia, with a specific focus on Malaysian investors. Other clients include landed estate families. Andrew Sneddon is a name to note.
Piper Smith Watson LLP is now Blake Morgan LLP. Ruth O’Neill ‘breaks down complex tax and estate planning issues into an understandable and user-friendly format’, and Mark Spash provides ‘sound and practical advice’. Helen Bunker is also recommended.
At Currey & Co, William Swan is ‘very experienced’ and Sabina Fortescue is ‘rapidly becoming a first-rate technician’.
Penny Wotton heads the private client team at Fieldfisher, which acts for royalty, members of the aristocracy, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and high-profile individuals working in the entertainment business. Graeme Nuttall is dual-qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser.
At GSC Solicitors LLP, Saleem Sheikh is ‘very knowledgeable and accessible’ and James Cohen ‘presents matters in an understandable way’. It frequently acts for internationally mobile ultra-high-net-worth individuals from countries such as Africa and China.
Kerman & Co LLP has ‘an excellent reputation’ for global asset structuring and offshore trust work. It acts for clients from Russia, Asia and Africa. Amanda Elwell heads the department.
At Kingsley Napley LLP, the ‘thorough and knowledgeable’ Zoë Sive* is recommended alongside the ‘very professional’ Matthew Duncan, who heads the team. Jim Sawer joined from Thrings LLP. *Since publication, Zoë Sive has left the firm.
Moon Beever’s ‘efficient, practical and reliable’ team includes Alexandra Bartrope, who attracts praise for ‘the ease with which she explains complex matters’.
Osborne Clarke has the ‘very client friendly and able’ Stuart Janaway. Andrew Goodman remains ‘calm in any crisis and engenders confidence in his clients’.
PWT Advice LLP is a ‘very strong private client boutique firm’. The firm is acting on the administration of the estate of the late Michael Winner. The ‘technically excellent’ Jo Summers provides ‘clear and practical advice’ and Nicola Dudley ‘handles difficult cases very well’.
At Stone King LLP, Alison Allen has developed a niche practice advising older clients and their families and carers. Rod Smith handles the full array of complex wills and trusts work frequently with an international element.
The international practice at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is led from both the London and New York offices. Basil Zirinis is ‘first-rate for complex cross-border estate and trust planning; he really brings out the best in all the parties’. Key clients include the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.) and The Pritzker Family.
Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ ‘extremely efficient and professional individuals’ include Michael Knowles, who is ‘calmness personified when faced with any problem’; and Judith Cuxson and Christine Green, who ‘always provide excellent advice’.