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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: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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A leading firm that is capable of providing comprehensive advice on a wide range of issues’, Boodle Hatfield LLP has recently been particularly active in advising non-domiciled individuals on succession planning, inheritance tax and trust structures that comply with new UK taxation laws. Head of the Oxford office Fiona Graham is ‘an experienced lawyer who provides a top-class service’ and ‘leaves clients feeling very reassured and well taken care of’ when assisting with tax, trust and succession matters for landed estates, UK trusts and family businesses. Ultra-high-net-worth individuals are also clients of the firm. The ‘extremely bright and knowledgeableNatasha Hassall has ‘the ability to explain complex issues clearly’ and shines in a variety of matters, including capital tax planning, asset protection and complex trusts. Recently promoted senior associate Eleanor Sepanski is ‘on the ball’ and has expertise in charity matters, offshore structures, and cross-border tax and estate planning, placing an emphasis on US instructions.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises business owners, estates, trusts and charities as well as families, high-net-worth individuals and agricultural clients on a range of matters. Led by Sue Vandersteen, the practice has expertise across the board, handling work involving succession planning, discretionary trusts and estates with extensive multi-jurisdictional and agricultural assets, among other matters. Tax practice head Philippa Roles is assisting an offshore trust company with a particularly complex matter relating to the transfer of an assets regime and the vulnerability of a historic arrangement established under the trust, which includes advice on inheritance tax and cross-border trust structures with international beneficiaries. The ‘compassionate, efficient, professional and approachableRob Crowther handles tax planning, lasting powers of attorney, estate administration and Court of Protection work, among other matters. Senior associate Mandy Clarke is also recommended, as is consultant Katharine Riley, who joined as head of the contentious probate practice from Henmans Freeth (now Freeths LLP).

The team at Freeths LLP combines ‘local expertise and regional strength’ with ‘appreciation of long-term client relationships’. The recent workload saw the team restructuring estates and trusts, handling capital gains tax structuring, advising on offshore structures and assisting with estate planning. Singled out for her ‘professionalism, sincerity and immense knowledge’, Jane Maitland acts as an executor and trustee and is also a Court of Protection appointed deputy for vulnerable clients. National practice head Nigel Roots also leads the charities team and ‘provides the technical skills and experience’. Managing partner Sarah Foster is highly recommended for contentious trust and probate work.

Recent mandates for Blake Morgan LLP include advising on intestate estates, deed of variations, mental capacity issues and multi-jurisdictional trusts. ‘Very good’ practice head James Greig is the name to note for probate, powers of attorney and Inheritance Tax Act matters, while ‘very thorough and efficient’ associate Alison Craggs leads the Oxford wills team. Senior associate Kate Allred is also recommended, as are associates Philip Allen and Kathryn Woodward, who is a qualified Notary Public. Louise Lewis is now a senior associate at Penningtons Manches LLP.

The advice provided by Blandy & Blandy LLP is ‘always excellent and practical’. High-net-worth individuals, multimillion-pound trusts and estates, and the owners and directors of family and owner-managed businesses retain the practice, which is led by joint managing partner Jonathan Gater. Also recommended are consultant and tax and estate planning expert Graham Benwell and Caroline Casagranda, who advises on tax planning, wills, probate and estate administration. On the contentious side, joint managing partner Philip D'Arcy is the primary contact. The firm recently established a Henley-on-Thames office following its acquisition of Collins Dryland & Thorowgood LLP, which added real estate and private client partner Luke McMath into the team, who also works out of Reading. Senior solicitor Louise Nelson also joined from Shoosmiths LLP.

Praised for providing a ‘reliable’ service, Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors has recently advised high-net-worth individuals on a range of cross-border matters, including protecting business assets, tax matters, and estate planning and administration. The ‘helpful and knowledgeablePeter McGeown leads a team that includes Stephanie Rose, who has notable strength in advising elderly and vulnerable clients as well as their families, carers and trustees. Other key contacts include senior associate Anita Prymak and associate Alison Cross. Emma McCarthy is now a legal director at Gateley Plc.

At Spratt Endicott, managing director and department head David Endicott has ‘a style that is definitely client led’ and utilises his ‘vast wealth of knowledge and experience’. Lucy Gordongenuinely cares for her clients’ needs and getting the best outcome for them’ in matters concerning tax planning, probate, estate administration and succession. Court of Protection work also increased for Gordon, who has strength in advising elderly clients. Recently promoted associate Tom McInerney leads the team in Bicester and is ‘extremely personable’. Solicitor Julia Routen is ‘professional, knowledgeable, understanding and patient’.

Boyes Turner’s department comprises two specialist teams: Paul Lowery heads the wealth protection practice and Ruth Meyer leads the Court of Protection group. Recent work for the department included advising on wills, estate administration and domicile issues. Associates Sophie Martin and Emma-Jane Kurtz are also highly experienced. Caroline Wallis departed to Phillips Solicitors, associate Jenny Watson joined Mercers Solicitors and solicitor Joanna Staerck moved internally to the education team.

At Herrington Carmichael LLP, practice head Anthony Tahourdin has a ‘broad depth of knowledge’ and advised on setting up charitable trusts, capital gains tax issues and various other matters. Tahourdin’s team includes ‘extremely methodical and professional’ solicitor Paul Denza, who has been handling intestacy, powers of attorney and inheritance tax work. Solicitor Minnaar Badenhorst joined the firm from Harrison Clark Rickerbys and leads the elderly and vulnerable client practice, while solicitor Andrew Smith is the primary contact for Court of Protection matters. All named solicitors split their time between the Wokingham and Camberley offices.

Providing advice that is ‘clear, sound and easy to understand’, Penningtons Manches LLP’s expertise spans estate administration, tax planning, asset protection, Court of Protection work, contentious probate and trustee matters. The team is also experienced in cross-border matters. ‘Very knowledgeable and efficient’ senior associate Caroline van Zyl leads the team and her recent workload includes advising on wills, deputyship and inheritance tax. Associate Iain Managhan is another key contact along with ‘very knowledgeable, patient, caring and flexible’ senior associate Louise Lewis, who brought her niche expertise in digital assets from Blake Morgan LLP. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and charities.

Engendering complete confidence’ in clients, Royds Withy King’s team is led by Tom Gilman, ‘a highly regarded and respected practitioner’, who is ‘first class’ for estate planning, complex trust structures, powers of attorney and Court of Protection work. Associate Jan Tyley has experience in offshore tax and trust structures, particularly in US-related matters. Solicitors Ellen Boesen and Bridget Maier are also names to note, as is Christopher Wilson, who joined from HMG Law LLP.

Simon Berry is the principal contact at Clarkslegal LLP for estate administration, wills, powers of attorney and trusts mandates. Senior solicitor Stuart Hyden has expertise in a wide array of matters, including mental capacity cases and Court of Protection applications. The firm’s expertise also includes advising on asset protection, acting for elderly clients, handling agricultural matters and business succession planning.

At Gardner Leader LLP, recently promoted senior associate Niamh Minihane and the ‘exceptional’ Penny Wright, who made partner, are the main contacts for mental capacity matters, an area of work that has recently increased for the firm. Wright has ‘the ability to humanise what can be an extremely difficult time for clients’ and her expertise also includes cross-border tax planning and charitable trusts work. Jolyon Barton leads the ‘experienced’ practice and has been active in estate administration, non-domicile issues and intestacy matters. Meanwhile, Robert Jobson’s recent caseload included inheritance tax and trusts with multimillion-pound property and business assets. David Finnerty was promoted to associate.

The team at Irwin Mitchelladopts an approach that makes clients feel that they and their needs are of paramount importance’. The ‘caring and attentiveSarah Phillips heads the practice and advises business owners, entrepreneurs and senior executives on various matters, including wealth preservation, tax and succession planning. Senior associate Stewart Stretton-Hill’s ‘manner inspires confidence in clients’; he handles lasting powers of attorney, Court of Protection applications and deputyship for elderly and vulnerable clients, as well as wills, probate and tax planning matters. Julian Chadwick retired from practice and Sarah Roberts joined Coffin Mew LLP as a senior associate.

Pitmans LLP’s practice is led by the ‘particularly knowledgeable and very experienced’ David Ainslie, who is singled out for inheritance tax, succession planning and other private client matters. High-net-worth individuals, family trusts, non-domiciles and high-profile clients instructed the practice in matters relating to substantial business assets, probate, pension policy trusts, wills and estates that have not been administered. Sheilagh Magee was promoted to partner and is also recommended for providing a ‘fantastic’ service.

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