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  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
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Who Represents Who

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Cripps LLP is acknowledged for its 'great strength and depth in the private client area' and 'its excellent performance and broad approach'. The team, which also includes chartered tax advisers and trust and probate managers, advises on tax, trusts, succession planning and the administration of estates. Clients include high-net-worth and well-known individuals and company owners. Key names include practice head Myles McIntosh, Anne Lewis, who is highlighted for her 'superb client-handling skills' and Chris Wilkinson . Jessica Jamieson, 'who demonstrated depth of knowledge and was able to explain concepts very well', consultant Simon Leney and managing associate Stephen Horscroft, who is noted for 'his broad knowledge, infinite patience and great wisdom', are other names to note.

The 'first-class' team at Stevens & Bolton LLP is 'terrifically responsive' and 'quickly grasps the essence of the matter and provides clear, timely and commercial advice'. Practice head Stuart Skeffington provides 'advice which is of the standard expected from the very top City firms, but at a fraction of the price' and Rosie Todd is also in demand as a 'go-to adviser'. The team assists with all areas of private client work, including succession planning, tax and tax regulatory and trust matters concerning complex, high-value estates, as well as international tax advice for non-domiciled residents. It advises high-net-worth individuals, business owners and trustees including those based offshore. Other key team members include Nick Acomb, Daryl Fox  and senior associate James Lister, who heads the contentious trusts and probate division. Matthew Carman left private practice in September 2017.

Thomson Snell & Passmore's team is 'excellent', 'very professional' and provides 'high-quality advice'. It advises high- and medium-high-net-worth families, farm and estate owners and business people on the range of private client matters including tax planning, trust management and contentious probate matters. It frequently deals with complex business structures and estates which include overseas assets. The 'practical and service-oriented' Nicola Plant heads the group and Helen Stewart focuses on probate issues and is noted by a client for having 'a knowledgeable and friendly approach in dealing with emotional issues'. Stuart Goodbody leads on trust management work and Mark Politz, who is 'bright and perceptive', heads the tax planning practice. Tax expert Christopher Walkeris 'very approachable and always provides clear, unambiguous advice'.

Adams & Remers has 'an outstanding personal tax, trust and probate department'. The team advises on the gamut of private client work, including taxation and complex trust matters which frequently involve issues of domicile and overseas assets as well as Court of Protection cases. Practice head Bibi Fortin Lees 'provides a Rolls-Royce service which the best known firms in London would find hard to match'. Other noted practitioners include Francis Nation-Dixon, who is 'very knowledgeable about anything legal with financial or trust complications', and Simon Mitchell. 'Solution-driven' consultant Amanda Epstein joined the team from Coole Bevis LLP in September 2017.

asb law LLP acts for a wide range of clients including business owners and wealthy families and individuals and is known for its experience in advising both residential and commercial property investors on tax issues. The team assists clients with complicated trusts and estates, succession and tax planning, asset protection and wills and probate matters. It works with corporate and other colleagues as needed. Ellen Lambert heads the department, Glen Miles has a focus on assisting vulnerable people, including advising on Court of Protection applications and deputyships, and associates Eleanor Gadd and Lana Fodor are other key practitioners.

Barlow Robbins LLP 's team is valued for its 'high level of efficiency, communication skills and for providing value for money'. The team, which operates from the firm's offices in Surrey, provides a comprehensive private client service ranging from contentious probate and trust matters and Court of Protection work to estate and tax planning and estate administration. It acts for UK and overseas high-net-worth individuals, and frequently advises on matters involving assets in other jurisdictions. Practice head Tim Adams is 'very approachable, experienced and astute and highly accomplished at getting the job done'. Senior associates Samantha King, Jeremy Duffy and Scott Taylor are other names to note.

The team at Brachers is 'knowledgeable and professional' and provides 'pragmatic' advice. The group acts for an impressive range of clients including high-net-worth individuals and families, as well as business-, landed- and agricultural estates owners. It handles the gamut of advisory and contentious matters pertaining to tax and succession planning and the administration of estates and family trusts. Christopher Eriksson-Lee, who heads the department, is 'very client focused and easy to work with and is alive to the issues that matter most'. Other key names include consultant Simon Palmer, senior associates Justine Sloover and Mary Rimmer and Deborah Cain, who joined in April 2017 from Griffith Smith LLP and heads the firm’s contentious trust and probate department. Solicitor Amy Lane is 'personable, empathetic, professional and thoroughly effective'.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team, which is 'approachable and highly skilled', provides a full service private client offering. In addition to its expertise in contentious and non-contentious trusts, estates, tax planning and wealth preservation, it can also draw on the firm's real estate, family and corporate experts as needed. Practice head Sally Ashford is noted for her  'excellent client skills' and 'for working extremely hard to get the right results for her clients and for being a pleasure to work with'. Duncan Elson, who heads the litigation and dispute resolution team, handles a range of complex trusts and estates disputes. Richard Honey, who is noted for handling highly complex estate matters in an 'extremely effective and timely' manner, and Gareth Walliss are other key team members,

Coole Bevis LLP's team 'is great to work with - efficient and knowledgeable' and 'wants to ensure the best outcomes' for clients. Private client practice head Jenny Murphy has a specialism in Court of Protection work, Richard Bates is 'diligent and meticulous' and provides 'considered and pragmatic advice', Catherine Fromant is 'personable' and Alex Bowers is also noted. The team advises on the full range of private client matters including high-net-worth estate and tax planning and multi-jurisdictional estate administration with clients ranging from individuals to companies and not-for-profit organisations.

Lorna Fairbairn leads the team at DMH Stallard LLP, which is particularly noted for its 'responsive' partners and for providing 'value for money'. Fairbairn's broad expertise spans the drafting of wills and estate planning and advising families and business owners on safeguarding their business assets. The team also handles probate issues, the creation and administration of trusts and Court of Protection work. Claire Carberry, Bryan Dean and Michael Derrick are other key practitioners. Senior associate Fiona Higgott is 'very responsive' and 'is able to  think outside the box when required'.

Furley Page Solicitors' team provides 'incisive and straightforward advice'. The team undertakes estate planning, the management of trusts, and Court of Protection matters. Recent work includes advising on various commercial property issues relating to a development and foreign assets pertaining to an estate where all of the estate had been left on a discretionary trust basis. The team is also handling complex probate cases and a range of tax issues. Harvey Barrett heads the group, and Aaron Spencer and Sarah Bogard are other key names. Associate Joshua Williams is 'able to convey technical information to clients in a way that engages with them, rather than baffles them with technical jargon'. Alexandra Gordon, who is dual qualified- she is also a chartered tax adviser, is 'a go-to contact and a fountain of knowledge'. 

Irwin Mitchell's team, which is based across the firm's Chichester and Crawley offices, is, according to one client, 'highly skilled, professionally innovative, reactive and proactive'. The group advises business owners and wealthy individuals on succession planning, wealth preservation and a full range of tax advice. It advises on a broad range of trust matters including creation, restructuring and administration and also has expertise in pension death benefit issues. Michael Taylor heads the department; Caroline Shelton is noted for 'her intellect, total attention to detail and creative suggestions and advice'; Anthony Nixon 'has a wealth of experience and can immediately grasp the issue at hand and provides clear and practical advice'; and Darran Fawcett heads the trust administration and compliance team. Senior associate Vicky Day is 'a highly intelligent lawyer who is on top of the latest changes in legislation but also has the ability to deliver technical and legal situations in plain English'.

The sizeable team at Morrisons Solicitors LLP is led by Holly Chantler and also includes Jane Forbat,  Kellie Williams-Jauvel and Christopher Hughes. It undertakes the full range of private client work with a strong focus on assisting elderly and vulnerable clients and Court of Protection work. In addition to drafting and administering trusts and wills, the team also advises on succession planning, the protection of UK and overseas assets and the mitigation of tax.

The 'excellent' team at Penningtons Manches LLP is 'prompt to respond and compassionate in its interactions with beneficiaries' and has 'a wide area of expertise with specialists in all required sectors'. Guildford-based Liz Garvey, who heads the team, is also a director of PennTrust, he firm's trust management company, and frequently acts as a trustee on large family trusts. Senior associates Cecelia Ward and Hannah Gearey, who is valued for 'keeping on top of many areas of business', are other names to note. The team was further boosted by the arrival of senior associate Elizabeth Nicholas, who joined from Macfarlanes LLP in January 2017. The group handles complicated cases involving family and business trusts, wills and probate matters and unusual Court of Protection cases. 

TWM Solicitors LLP is 'superb' and has 'a high-quality team' that includes 'clear and accurate' communicators that provide an 'excellent' service. It assists local families, business owners, entrepreneurs and land owners with issues of wills, the administration of trusts and estates, often with international complications, as well as Court of Protection matters. Practice head Allison Crossman provides 'clear and sound advice on sensitive family matters' and Nigel Harding is another key name. Senior associate David Lunn is noted for his ability to 'interpret clients' wishes and affairs in a sympathetic and understanding manner'. The group is also able to draw on the specialist expertise of two chartered tax advisers, Caroline Foulger and Stephanie Sharpe; the latter heads the tax department.

The team at Batchelors provides an 'overall level of service that is really excellent'. It assists families, business people, executors and trustees with all aspects of probate, intestacy, trusts, lasting and general powers of attorney and tax planning. It deals with a variety of disputes concerning the validity of wills including contested statutory wills. The group also undertakes Court of Protection applications. Nick Stotesbury and Sarah Hickey, who, according to one client, 'conducted matters with dignified professionalism and provided objective, balanced and extremely well-informed advice', jointly head the team. Edward White 'has deep, comprehensive knowledge and always gives meaningful and accurate advice and recommendations' and assistant solicitor Annmarie Jones is also noted.

Lesley Rushton, who is 'wholeheartedly recommended for her depth of knowledge and her tact and discretion', heads the private client team at Girlings, which provides a 'fantastic' service. The team's expertise spans wealth preservation and tax advice; drafting of wills; estate administration and probate matters. Clients range from entrepreneurs and landowners to individuals. The firm also has a  dedicated Court of Protection team that offers assistance to vulnerable clients. Other key practitioners include Charlotte Nock, Chris Neeve  and Amanda Wilson. Tax expert Joanne Beale joined the team in September 2017 and specialises in income and capital gains tax matters. Managing partner Andrew Watson leads on contentious probate issues.

Griffith Smith LLP's team advises a range of high-net-worth individuals, including those with substantial farming and commercial assets, on wills, trusts, estate administration and tax planning matters including inheritance tax issues. Clients include those that are UK-domiciled with overseas assets and non-domiciled clients with assets based in England. Nadia Cowdrey heads the team, Emma Weir focuses on the protection of elderly clients and Simon Rozzier's practice spans probate work, estates with international elements and Court of Protection work. Consultant  Adrian Bell is another name to note.

The team at Herrington Carmichael LLP 'acts with great integrity and professionalism' and 'combines in-depth knowledge and precision with a very friendly, helpful manner'. The team draws on the firm's commercial, disputes and real estate expertise to advise on estate planning, trusts, wills and probate matters, as well as inheritance and capital gains tax issues. Its recent work has included an acrimonious probate dispute and handling a complex case concerning the domicile of a late client. Practice head  Anthony Tahourdin is ' very impressive' and managing partner Frankie Tierney is praised by clients for her 'knowledge and efficiency' and her ability to resolve family disputes. Other noted lawyers include Paul Denza, Minnaar Badenhorst and the 'exceptional' Andrew Smith, who specialises in Court of Protection work. Rachel Burnett is also noted for being 'very knowledgeable on trusts and the drafting of trust instruments'.

Mundays LLP fields a team of 'knowledgeable and empathetic' solicitors. It handles the full range of private client services including tax planning, estate administration, and complex trusts matters. It has expertise in advising on international tax matters and assets in overseas jurisdictions. Julie Man, who has 'incredible attention to detail and patience', heads the private wealth team and Stephen Morris leads on contentious probate work. Sarah Noake is another key team member.

Renaissance Legal is a niche private client firm that provides 'excellent' work 'within sensible time frames' and 'truly understands the issues that families come across and the challenges they face'. The group has notable expertise in the protection of disabled and vulnerable people in the context of wills, trusts and powers of attorney. The team's broad expertise covers all aspects of trusts law, estate administration, end of life care planning and related tax matters. Managing director Philip Warford is appreciated for 'his superb people management skills' and both he and Katherine Miller are 'understanding and extremely knowledgeable in their field'. Associate Clare Finn is also a key member of the team. 

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP's team combines 'good business acumen with a broad area of knowledge' and 'rates very high on the value for money chart' and is therefore 'a very effective alternative to the London firms'. It fields a number of specialist teams that focus on probate and estate administration, estate planning, tax and trusts, later life and Court of Protection matters. Max Wright is 'a first-rate lawyer and a pleasure to deal with' and is valued for his 'discretion and sensitivity' in his management of clients. Alan Foster, who leads on contested probate matters, is 'very responsive'. Ian Best and Rich Risino, who was promoted to the partnership in October 2017, are also key practitioners.

Elliot Lewis leads the team at Thackray Williams LLP and frequently advises on complex wills for high-profile, business and other high-net-worth clients. The team assists with tax planning, especially inheritance tax, trusts, will structures and intestacy matters, which frequently involve property and other assets located overseas. Zahra Kanani, Anthony Macey and Claire Lovis are other core team members.

The 'excellent' team at Warners Solicitors provides a comprehensive private client service encompassing estate planning, tax planning, the creation and administration of trusts, and power of attorney and Court of Protection matters. In addition to acting for high-net-worth individuals and families, the team includes specialists who can assist elderly and vulnerable people, including with obtaining deputyship orders. Mary Shaw heads the group and Philip Raggett is acknowledged as an expert on tax planning, especially inheritance tax and matters related to trusts. Gail Hall has broad private client expertise and is noted for 'having an extremely good way of dealing with clients and providing advice in a way that is clear and understandable'.

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