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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 > South East > Private client > Personal tax, trust and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trust and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal tax, trust and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex clients in South East 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


According to clients, Cripps LLPmanages to combine being a commercial outfit while still delivering a very personal and individual service’. Inheritance tax planning, high-value estate administration and trust management are key areas of the practice, which also handles a variety of wealth protection matters. Recent work includes advising on the establishment of a £6m investment company, and advising on the sale of a £1.5m multi-use agricultural estate, which involved advising on the tax structure for the transaction. The team’s international expertise extends to advising clients on their onshore and offshore assets, non-domicile tax issues and advising on mitigating capital gains tax among others. Landed estate expert Simon Leney heads the team, which includes tax planning specialist Anne Lewis, whose ‘wisdom, experience and business acumen are of a very high standard’; and managing associate Stephen Horscroft, who is ‘professional, reassuring and approachable’. Kate Arnold, Jessica Jamieson, Mary-Anne Gribbon and Chris Wilkinson are also recommended.

Stevens & Bolton LLPis a first-class firm’ that handles the full remit of private client matters, including succession planning, business restructuring and estate management for clients business owners, landed families and high-net-worth individuals. The team also works closely with the firm’s tax, litigation and real estate departments on contentious and non-contentious matters. Stuart Skeffington leads the team, with experience in onshore and offshore tax structuring, international succession issues and probate. Other key figures include the ‘very professional, thoughtful and responsiveRosie Todd, who was promoted to partner in May 2016 and has particular expertise in handling tax matters and tax planning for entrepreneurs; and Matthew Carman, who was promoted to partner in May 2017 and is ‘an outstanding private client lawyer with the ability to handle the most complicated of mandates’. Probate and estate administration practice head Daryl Fox, who is ‘an outstanding practitioner’, and the ‘vastly experienced’ Nick Acomb are other key names. Senior associate James Lister joined the team from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in March 2017 to head the firm’s trust litigation practice.

Thomson Snell & Passmore is highly recommended by clients for lasting powers of attorney matters and complex will drafting; the team, based in Tunbridge Wells, also regularly assists with the establishment of family investment companies, high-value estate administrations, and succession planning for multi-generational families. Tax is another mainstay of the practice; recent work includes assisting clients with inheritance tax planning, capital gains tax and international tax matters. The practice is also active in Court of Protection cases. Nicola Plant, who took over as department head in July 2016 from estate administration specialist Simon Brown, ‘is knowledgeable and experienced in her field’. She is ably assisted by head of probate Helen Stewart, who is ‘calm, focused and very clear in what she says’; Mark Politz, who heads the tax planning team; and head of trust management Stuart Goodbody. Christopher Walker joined the firm from Adams & Remers in July 2017.

asb law LLPalways puts the client first’. The team advises on onshore and offshore assets, trust management and inheritance tax issues for a range of clients that include estate holders, non-domiciled individuals and landed families. It also frequently collaborates with the family practice on private client matters, including estate administration issues. Ellen Lambert leads the team from the Maidstone office, with experience in handling high-net-worth estate administration, landed estate trust planning and trust administration. Also in Maidstone, Glen Miles specialises in advising vulnerable people, including handling Court of Protection applications and asset protection. Crawley-based associate Eleanor Gadd heads the tax planning and estate sub-team. Solicitor Jane Scott is recommended for her expertise in trust and Court of Protection matters.

Adams & Remers is ‘renowned for its specialism in this field’. Key areas of strength for the Lewes-based practice include advising high-net-worth individuals and their families on succession planning, high-value estate management and personal tax compliance matters. The team’s expertise also covers a range of private client matters including tax planning, probate and complex will drafting. Its client roster includes families with landed estates and business owners in the South East and London. Francis Nation Dixon is recommended for trusts issues; tax expert Simon Mitchell and estate planning specialist Rose Macfarlane are other names of note. Former head of department Christopher Walker left the firm to join Thomson Snell & Passmore in July 2017 and tax manager Richard Mencner joined in 2016 from private bank Hoare & Co. Bibi Fortin-Lees and Amanda Epstein joined from Coole Bevis LLP.

High-value estate administration affairs, complex will drafting issues and lifetime trust management matters are all mainstays of the practice at Barlow Robbins LLP. The firm also has strong expertise in international tax planning, capital gains tax concerns and inheritance tax planning for multi-generational families. Its Court of Protection work is notable; the team has previously advised on contested deputyships and power of attorney matters. Clients include landed families, non-domiciled individuals and business owners among others. Estate management expert Belinda Sanders leads the practice, which includes Tim Adams, who specialises in wealth protection and tax planning. Senior associate Jeremy Duffy joined the firm from Rooks Rider Solicitors LLP, specialising in asset protection for international clients.

The practice at Brachers regularly advises landed and multi-generational families, high-net-worth individuals and agricultural business owners on high-value estate administration matters and lifetime planning, with a particular focus on agricultural estates. As well as undertaking a full range of private client matters, the practice is also strong in Court of Protection issues and has substantial expertise in tax issues such as inheritance tax planning. Christopher Eriksson-Lee, who took over as head of practice from Simon Palmer, who retired in May 2016, has expertise in handling agricultural asset protection, inheritance tax mitigation and estate administration. Also recommended are Stephen Smith and senior associate Justine Sloover, who heads the trusts administration team and ‘does a very thorough job’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Guildford-based team ‘has all the resources and quality of its London colleagues’. Clients recommend the firm for complex will drafting and inheritance tax planning; other areas of expertise include multimillion-pound estate administrations, Court of Protection applications and wealth protection for high-net-worth individuals. Non-contentious department leader Sally Ashford is ‘a very well-respected and pragmatic lawyer’ and dispute resolution head Duncan Elson is ‘the go-to person in the region for family legacy and trust disputes’. Senior associate Gareth Walliss (who is ‘everything one could hope for in a professional adviser’) is also recommended.

Coole Bevis LLP’s merged with Woolley Bevis Diplock LLP in April 2016, creating a 20-lawyer outfit that acts for high net-worth individuals on estate advice, complex probate matters and inheritance matters. The team is regularly called on to advise on beneficiary and estate matters in France, the USA and Australia among other jurisdiction. Jenny Murphy heads the team, which includes Alex Bowers, who provides advice on powers of attorney, will drafting and inheritance tax planning. Richard Bates joined the firm in October 2016 from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP, bringing specialist later life expertise and a client list of care-home owners and management teams. Helen Maddison-White is another name to note. Bibi Fortin Lees and Amanda Epstein joined Adams & Remers.

The ‘excellent’ team at DMH Stallard LLP focuses on estate administration, financial planning and probate issues. Its tax experience includes assisting with inheritance tax matters, tax mitigation as well as onshore and offshore assets. The firm is also known for its Court of Protection work, particularly on applications for deputyships and powers of attorney. The practice advises clients across the UK as well as those based in the South East and London. Michael Derrick is recommended as ‘friendly, professional, courteous and empathetic’; Lorna Fairbairn and Richard Pollins are also highly regarded. Other key names include Claire Carberry, consultant Belinda Butler-Smith and Bryan Dean.

The ‘extremely knowledgeable and client-focused’ team at Furley Page Solicitors regularly advises on matters relating to the Inheritance Act, Court of Protection applications and trust management. High-value estate administration is a key area of the practice, which is also adept at handling international private client matters involving offshore assets and non-domiciled tax issues. The ‘professional and empatheticHarvey Barrett leads the team, which includes solicitor Alexandra Gordon, who ‘is knowledgeable, engaging and is able to put across information in an easily digestible manner’. Also recommended are senior solicitor Nicola Hopper (who ‘has a calm and considered approach’), Aaron Spencer, vulnerable client head Nicola August and Sarah Bogard.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP fields a ‘highly professional’ team that regularly handles probate matters, estate administration for agricultural and commercial properties, and complex will drafting. Court of Protection work is another significant aspect of the practice, which regularly handles the drafting of deputyship applications and powers of attorney submissions. Its tax work is also noteworthy, having assisted with inheritance tax matters and capitals gains tax issues in 2016. Holly Chantler leads the team, which includes the highly regarded David Kingham and senior associate Jessica Greenhall, who ‘carefully ascertains the facts and devises workable solutions’. Deputy practice head Jane Forbat, legal director Christopher Hughes and consultant Rod Cowles are other key names.

Penningtons Manches LLP attracts praise for providing ‘an excellent and extremely knowledgeable service’. Trust establishment and management matters, probate issues and advice relating to onshore and offshore assets are all key focuses for the team, which leverages the firm’s commercial, property and dispute resolution teams where necessary. International tax matters are another mainstay of the practice, including advising on UK tax issues for non-domiciled clients, inheritance tax assistance and personal tax matters for high-net-worth individuals. Its client base includes landed families, high-net-worth individuals and international clients. Department head Liz Garveyleads her team very well’; other key figures include senior associate Hannah Gearey, who is ‘very knowledgeable and has great empathy for complex client situations’; senior associate Cecelia Ward, who is ‘a walking textbook and able to find a solution to any problem’. Associate Vanessa Riley is also recommended.

According to one client, TWM Solicitors LLPis first-class in every aspect of its work’. The firm undertakes the full spectrum of private client matters, including wealth protection, lifetime trusts advice and high-value estate administration. Its tax work includes personal tax mitigation assistance, inheritance tax advice and capital gains tax matters. The well-regarded Allison Crossman leads the team, which also senior associate Michelle Leggett who ‘delivers advice in a clear and easy to understand manner’ and the ‘impressive’ Duncan Mitchell-Innes. Other key names are Paul Bradley, Nigel Harding and Adrian O’Loughlin.

The team at Batchelors attracts praise for combining ‘efficient, knowledgeable and friendly service with sound and accurate advice’. Its expertise spans estate administration, succession planning and capital gains tax matters for high-net-worth individuals, landed families and vulnerable persons. Clients also recommend the firm for complex will drafting and probate matters. The department is led by Sarah Hickey, who ‘is very knowledgeable in her area of law’, and Nick Stotesbury, who ‘understands how to instruct experts’. Also recommended are Edward White, who ‘puts clients’ needs first’ and the ‘helpful and courteousAnnmarie Timlin.

Girlings is ‘an incredibly professional law firm’ with wide-ranging expertise of complex will drafting, trust and asset management, and estate administration. It also has a noteworthy tax practice that advises on inheritance tax planning, offshore tax matters and capital gains tax mitigation. Agricultural business owners, landed families and high-net-worth individuals all feature on the client roster. Practice head Lesley Rushton ‘combines an approachable, friendly manner with professionalism and expertise’; she is assisted by the ‘extremely professional, courteous and knowledgeable’ Charlotte Nock and the highly regarded Chris Neeve.

A strong player in this field’ according to clients, Griffith Smith Farrington Webb LLP handles a range of wealth management and protection issues, as well as non-contentious probate matters and estate administration. The Brighton-based team includes ‘organised, efficient and effective’ practice leader Nadia Cowdrey.

Inheritance tax planning, asset management and estate administration are all mainstays of Herrington Carmichael LLP’s private client practice. The team also has experience in international private client matters including advising on capital gains tax mitigation for foreign and non-domiciled persons. Clients include landed families and titled individuals in the South East. Anthony Tahourdin leads the department.

Irwin Mitchell handles the full range of trust matters, including trust management, establishing high-value trusts and trust restructuring matters. The team is also adept at tax matters such as person tax mitigation and inheritance tax advice, the team also handles Court of Protection applications including powers of attorney submissions. High-net-worth individuals, landed families and business owners make up the team’s client base. Caroline Shelton leads the team, which is split between the Chichester and Gatwick offices; Michael Taylor, Darran Fawcett, Catherine Angel and Anthony Nixon are all key contacts. Amanda King-Jones and Patricia Woolgar retired.

Mundays LLP advises on inheritance tax planning, high-value estate administrations and trusts management matters for high-net-worth individuals. Other areas of expertise include complex will drafting, offshore and onshore assets management, and international tax matters. Practice leader Julie Man ‘is reassuring and immediately grasps the issues’; Stephen Morris and senior associate Julia Jaggin are other key contacts.

The ‘prompt, knowledgeable and courteous’ team at Quality Solicitors Howlett Clarke handles the full spectrum of private client work including agricultural estate administration, complex will drafting, cross-border probate advice and inheritance tax, among other issues. Its client base comprises high-net-worth individuals, landed families and business owners. Key figures include consultant John Brewins, who ‘is very knowledgeable of all aspects of law’, and probate executive Joanna Dixon, who heads the practice. Louise McKay left for an in-house counsel position in August 2016.

According to clients, Rawlison Butler LLP’s ‘knowledge, professionalism and client service is outstanding’. The team handles trust restructuring issues, inheritance tax planning matters and estate administration for high-net-worth individuals, commercial and agricultural business owners, and multi-generational families. Digby Armstrong leads the wills and probates team, which is based in Horsham. Head of trusts Robert Knight ‘has a wealth of experience and an excellent manner with clients’; he is recommended for tax issues, while senior associate Fiona Higgott is recommended for trusts matters. Barbara Matthews is another contact.

Renaissance Legalis an outfit that is in full command of its sector expertise’, according to clients. Estate planning, inheritance tax concerns and trusts management advice are all areas the firm, although its tax, trusts and probates work for which it is best known. The firm has a particular specialism in Court of Protection matters, including deputyship applications. The ‘professional, caring and thorough’ Philip Warford leads the team, which includes Katherine Miller who ‘demonstrates an excellent knowledge of her subject’.

According to clients, Rix & Kay Solicitors LLPis able to comfortably handle matters often dealt with by the large London firms’. It has particular expertise in capitals gains tax and inheritance tax matters, non-contentious probate issues and high-value estate administration; the team is also adept at handling Court of Protection matters involving vulnerable or mentally incapacitated persons. It also has a notable contentious private client department. Team leader Max Wrightis knowledgeable and thorough’ and associate Rich Risino, who joined from Irwin Mitchell in August 2016, ‘is approachable and practical’; Ian Best and Alan Foster are also recommended. Richard Bates left to join Coole Bevis LLP in October 2016.

Thackray Williams LLP’s private client team, which draws from the expertise of the property and dispute resolution teams when necessary, advises on a range of matters including inheritance tax planning, trusts restructuring issues and Court of Protection applications. It has extensive experience acting on issues involving mentally incapacitated persons and is well-versed in deputyship and powers of attorney cases. Elliot Lewis leads the department, which includes probate specialist Anthony Macey, contentious probate expert Jane MacLeod and complex wills and trusts specialist Jill MacMahon.

Warners Solicitors’ ‘response times are second to none’, according to clients. The firm is best known for its Court of Protection work, which includes advising on deputyship issues and assisting with probate matters; other areas of expertise include complex will drafting, personal tax mitigation advice and multimillion-pound estate administration mandates. The client roster is largely comprised of high-net-worth individuals and agricultural business owners. Mary Shaw heads the practice from the Tonbridge office. Also recommended are CGT planning expert Philip Raggett and specialist will expert Gail Hall.

Whitehead Monckton frequently advises on issues concerning wealth management and protection, trust restructuring, and high-value estate administration for clients including high-net-worth individuals, commercial and agricultural business owners, and landed families. The firm regularly provides inheritance tax planning advice and works closely with the firm’s family and property teams for multi-disciplinary matters. Kerin Speedie is leads the practice, and is ably supported by tax specialist and managing director Stephen Beck as well as wills expert Garry Warman and probate specialist Katie Broadfield, who was promoted to partner in October 2016.

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