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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, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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B P Collins LLP fields an 'excellent' personal tax team that leverages the firm's overall strength in private client work to provide a holistic service to its high-net-worth client base. Capital tax planning is a particular strength for the team, which also handles trust and estate administration (often involving cross-jurisdictional elements), estate planning and Court of Protection matters. Craig Williams heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in contentious inheritance disputes and litigation arising form the validity of testamentary documents. 'Diligent, efficient' senior associate Lucy Wood is also recommended.

Blake Morgan LLP's projects practice provides 'a very good service - response times and value for money are particularly strong areas'. Headed by Penny Rinta-Suksi (who 'knows her subject area well and provides proactive and commercial advice'), the practice has an extensive track record handling leisure, housing, health and education PFI and PPP projects, as well as advising on secondary market work. Recent highlights include acting for Places for People Leisure on the development of new software with its software partner to enable better tracking of users of the client's leisure facilities; and advising Fenland District Council on a leisure management procurement for four sites, which is being undertaken under a PPP solution. Other key figures include Stephen Tainsh, who is noted for his healthcare-sector expertise, Bruce Potter, who advises a number of public-sector entities, and Simon McCann, who splits his time between Reading and Cardiff and has more than 20 years' experience advising local government and public-sector bodies.

Debenhams Ottaway attracts praise for its 'outstanding service - the team is swift, effective and extremely knowledgeable'. The practice advises on a wide range of personal tax matters, from inheritance tax and estate planning, setting up and administering trusts, and probate and estate administration, to lifetime planning matters including assisting with lasting powers of attorney, Court of Protection and professional deputyship work, and elderly care work. Practice head Susan Glenholme handles all aspects of private wealth management including wills, tax planning, probate and estate administration. Also recommended are Claire Sharp, who manages a number of trusts ranging from life interest trusts to large discretionary trusts; and Nicholas Turner, who is praised for his 'real commitment to and understanding of client needs'.

Hewitsons provides 'the highest standard of service and professionalism', with clients singling out Carolyn Bagley for her 'analytical approach and ability to explain complex legal issues in simple terms'. The practice's expertise covers  inheritance tax planning, trust reorganisations, tax reliefs on charitable donations, capacity issues relating to lifetime gifts and wills, the administration of estates (often involving overseas assets) and capital gains tax planning, among other matters. Recent work includes advising on regulatory issues related to trusts, the winding up of trusts after death, and lifetime gift planning to help children onto the property ladder. Other key figures include Clare Colacicchi, who regularly acts in conjunction with the firm's agricultural practice to advise on issues related to landed estates.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) fields 'a highly efficient' tax team that 'always responds promptly to queries and provides up-to-date and insightful information'. The merger with Turbervilles in January 2018 has added further depth to the already strong practice, which handles the full range of personal tax matters, with notable expertise advising non-domiciled clients on drafting trusts and wills in relation to UK assets. It also works closely with the firm's personal injury practice to advise on deputy applications. Jacqueline Almond heads the practice and is 'particularly good at grasping clients' needs and always goes to great lengths to handle every request'.

Noted for offering a 'one-stop solution to any legal issues', Sherrards Solicitors LLP is regularly called on by its international clients to handle wills, estate and tax planning. The 'responsive, communicative' practice also advises on the establishment of life interest trusts, offshore and charitable trusts, disabled and discretionary trusts, and excluded property trusts. The 'very knowledgeable' Nicole Marmor heads the practice, which includes Carrolle Harris, who specialises in handling issues related to vulnerable adults and children.

Shoosmiths LLP handles the full range of wealth protection matters for its high-net-worth clients, including providing corporate and real estate support where trusts or executors are involved. Charlotte Dunn heads the national practice and is noted for her track record in Court of Protection and lasting powers of attorney issues.

Clients of Taylor Walton LLP are quick to praise the firm for its 'exemplary advice and good depth of knowledge', with practice head Richard Crocker singled out for his ability to 'foresee any issue and act on it efficiently and diligently'. Recent work includes resolving a long-running probate with s double trust inheritance tax planning scheme, which involved the negotiation of a settlement with HMRC, the winding up of the scheme and the reclamation of pre-owned assets tax paid by the client. Also recommended are Alex Drake, who is 'pragmatic and solutions-oriented and who gives clear and intelligible advice'; and Alison Voyce, who has an extensive track record advising on tax planning and succession issues.

Woodfines LLP is refocusing its personal tax practice on complex estate planning work for high-net-worth clients, following the recruitment of Stephen Patch, who joined in 2017 from Taylor Vinters and now heads the practice. He brings his expertise in tax, trust and estate planning to the practice, which includes Nigel Ashton, who has a strong focus on issues concerning mental health, particularly in the elderly; Mikhala Leak, whose expertise covers Court of Protection, wills and lasting powers of attorney, and inheritance tax planning, among other matters; and Mike Cox, who has an extensive track record in wills and probate matters.

Clients of Blaser Mills Law are 'extremely pleased with the level of service' provided by Minesh Thakrar and his personal tax team, which achieves 'a very useful balance between cost and level of service'. Thakrar ('very easy to deal with and inspires confidence in clients') brings extensive experience in personal injury matters, complementing his expertise in lasting powers of attorney, inheritance tax mitigation and probate, and issues affecting the elderly. Other key figures include Jonathan Gallop, who is noted for his ability to 'provide advice in a clear and concise manner which is easy to understand'; and Sara Rendell, who 'goes the extra mile to explain the salient points of any issue in terms with clients can understand'.

Longmores Solicitors LLP 's expertise covers inheritance tax planning on behalf of land and business owners, and assisting elderly and vulnerable clients with will preparation, Court of Protection and lasting powers of attorney matters. Richard Horwood is the key contact.

Machins Solicitors LLP's personal tax and probate expertise covers inheritance tax planning for high-net-worth clients, including preparing trusts; preparing wills for sports people and musicians; advising farmers and other commercial clients on the use of trusts for tax mitigation and tax relief purposes; and administering several multimillion-pound estates. Practice head Nic Pestell is praised for his 'no-nonsense approach and ability to advise in a non-intrusive manner'.

Nockolds Solicitors advises its high-net-worth clients on the full range of private client matters, including will preparation wealth management including inheritance and capital gains tax planning; Court of Protection work including applications for deputyship, statutory wills and appointment of funds; and high-value estate administration. Practice head Peter King is particularly noted for his contentious trust and probate expertise.

Tees Law attracts praise for its 'swift, efficient, friendly yet professional, appropriate and relevant' service. Cathy Izzard heads the practice, which acts for a large high-net-worth client base on the administration of high-value estates, often with an international or agricultural dimension. It also manages a sizeable portfolio of trusts, and acts for a number of high-profile charities. Nicola Haver is 'a good listener and quick to sum up what needs to be done'.

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