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Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Tom Hewitt leads Burges Salmon LLP’s practice, which advises clients including The Crown Estate, HSBC and high-net-worth individuals on multimillion-pound property transactions, tax advice and disputes. Alastair Morrison, Kevin Kennedy and Sian Edmunds are also recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘highly skilled and personable’ practice specialises in tax, trust and estate management issues. The department is led by Christian Massey, David Marsden, and senior partner Christopher Page, who splits his time between London and Cheltenham.

Michelmores LLP’s practice handles farming partnership disputes and commercial farm transactions. Also recommended are Ben Sharples, who ‘understands the commercial realities of agricultural practice’; the ‘impressiveVivienne Williams; and Tom Hyde, who stands out for his ‘technical expertise’.

At Thrings LLP, newly promoted partner Russell Reeves represented high-net-worth individuals in a High Court farm ownership and inheritance dispute. Other clients include the National Farmers Union (NFU) and The Badminton Estate. Duncan Sigournay heads the department following Peter Cusick’s departure to Roythornes Solicitors.

Clarke Willmott LLP acts for lenders and estates on regulatory matters and rural property transactions. Tim Hayden leads the practice, which includes Rod Lloyd-Jones, Mark Buckerfield, and Rachael Crocker, who joined from Pardoes Solicitors LLP.

Foot Anstey is ‘one of the leading firms’ for tenancy disputes, estate transmission and farm partnerships. Joel Woolf leads the practice, which includes Edward Venmore, who was promoted to legal director. Clients include the Bolitho Estate, Lloyds Bank and the NFU.

Stephens Scown LLP advises estates in Devon and Cornwall and agricultural businesses seeking commercial advice. Phil Reed leads the practice, which includes Susie Murray, who handles farm acquisitions and disposals.

Trethowans LLP undertakes secured lending work for banks including Clydesdale Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken AB. Practice head Marcus Thorpe handles farm and estate transactions, tenancies, sporting rights and renewable energy work.

Ashfords LLP acts for landed estates in succession planning, sporting rights and property issues. For some, practice head Darren Blackburn is ‘the best conveyancing solicitor’.

At Blanchards Bailey LLP, practice head Paul Dunlop conducts agricultural litigation and Sarah Heath leads on property matters.

Bond Dickinson LLP advises landowners on land developments and option agreements. The ‘extremely knowledgeable and experiencedRobert Drewett heads the team.

Farnfields LLP handles inheritance and tax planning, trust and estate administration, and generational planning. Senior partner and department head Susan Lacey is ‘a pleasure to deal with’.

At Mogers Drewett LLP, solicitor Jonathan Cheal is noted for his ‘impressive’ knowledge of rights of way issues. Frank Collins took over as practice head after Richard Pinney joined Knights Professional Services Limited.

Willans LLP provides partnership and land registration services to farming and estate clients. Robin Beckley, who joined from Lodders Solicitors LLP, now leads the team following the departure of Frank Smith.

Wilsons’ Alison Bailey specialises in rural property and advises landowners on developing greenfield sites. Consultant Robert Swift concentrates on farm and estate transactions.

Royds Withy King advises lender clients on tenancy and financing matters. Angus Williams is noted for his knowledge of rural property.

Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Stone King LLP’s Tim Rutherford splits his time between Bath and London and advises religious orders and faith organisations. The practice assisted The Cutty Sark Trust with its transfer to The National Maritime Museum’s trustees. Consultant Michael King is recommended alongside senior associate Alexandra Whittaker, who ‘knows her clients and their organisations’.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards has a strong track record of work for independent schools and has experienced an increase in instructions from other public sector bodies. Con Alexander became interim manager for Enfield Island Village Trust and Legal Action Group. Emma-Jane Dalley handles strategic projects.

At Wilsons, Peter Jeffreys handles charitable legacy administration and Court of Protection cases. The practice also acts for charities on matters relating to European Law, employment, and litigation.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice, led by Julia Cox and senior partner Christopher Page (who splits his time between London and Cheltenham), acts for Marie Curie and the Summerfield Charitable Trust. Its expertise includes trustee liability and Charity Commission matters.

Foot Anstey is ‘a solid bedrock’ for clients including Age UK and Scope. James Evans heads the charities and social enterprise team, which includes ‘strong litigator’ and newly promoted partner Lucy Gill, who acts on legacy administration matters.

Under the leadership of Tony Cockayne, Michelmores LLP advises educational, ecclesiastical and newly formed charities. Lease acquisition and renewals, legacy disputes and land disposals form part of its workload.

Willans LLPhas a great reputation in the third sector for property’. Margaret Austen leads the department, which advises Shelter and Princess Alice Hospice. Nigel Whittaker and senior associate Alasdair Garbutt are also recommended.

Lester Aldridge LLP’s Geoff Trobridge handles charitable status, governance and regulatory matters. British Heart Foundation, Help & Care and Autism Wessex are clients.

2015 highlights for Tozers Solicitors LLP included establishing several new charitable incorporated organisations (CIO). Richard King leads the practice, which acts for clients including the Buckfast Abbey and Plymouth Diocesan trusts.

BPE Solicitors LLP acts for Age UK Gloucestershire and Blue Cross. Practice head Iain Garfield ‘breaks advice into accessible bite-sized chunks’.

At Stephens Scown LLP, senior associate Helen Furneaux ‘has a tremendous depth of knowledge’ on large-scale grant funded projects, charity mergers and establishing CIOs.

Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Burges Salmon LLP represents individuals, corporate trustees, trust managers and beneficiaries. ‘Formidable litigatorSian Edmunds handles ‘complex family farming partnership disputes’ and is recommended alongside joint heads Kevin Kennedy and Justin Briggs, who is ‘an excellent tactician’.

Headed by newly promoted partner Lucy Gill, Foot Anstey’s practice acts for national charities, trust companies and individuals on Inheritance Act, will validity and proprietary estoppel claims. Clients include Age UK, Royal Shakespeare Company and Dogs Trust. Senior associate Holly Mieville-Hawkins joined from Royds Withy King.

Stephens Scown LLP is a ‘long-established firm with a strong reputation’ for agricultural estates and Inheritance Act disputes. Practice head Phil Gregory ‘has the confidence of his clients’. Charisse Crawford was promoted to partner.

At Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Michelle Rose’s ‘leading team’ handles cross-border disputes, testamentary capacity and professional negligence claims. ‘Accomplished practitioner’ Marianne Nankervis and Fiona Lawrence are recommended at senior associate level.

Wilsons represents charities in deed of variation and Inheritance Act matters. James Aspden’s practice also represents individuals in estate succession, will validity and international trusts disputes. Charlotte Watts is also recommended.

Royds Withy Kingachieves good results for its clients time and time again’. Amanda Noyceis unflappable’ in Court of Protection applications involving mental capacity issues, as well as Inheritance Act, tax and professional negligence matters. Holly Mieville-Hawkins is now with Foot Anstey.

Ashfords LLP hired ‘experienced and gutsy’ legal director Kerry Morgan-Gould from Michelmores LLP. Robert Horsey leads the practice, which acts for individuals, trust corporations and charitable legacies.

At Lester Aldridge LLP, Victoria Jones focuses on legacy protection and Geoff Thomas (who is ‘an excellent listener’) handles will validity, Inheritance Act and proprietary estoppel claims.

Michelmores LLP has ‘exactly the sort of team clients want to call on’. Tony Cockayne leads the practice, which represents charities, professional executors and individuals in Inheritance Act and other legacy disputes. ‘Excellent negotiator’ Barny Croft was promoted to senior associate.

Clarke Willmott LLP acts for landed estates as well as agricultural and vulnerable clients. Practice head Esther Woolford and associate Sarah O’Grady are recommended.

Colin Hunter heads the department at Coodes, which assists clients seeking to challenge the validity of wills, and also handles trustee and executor disputes. Key figures at associate level include Melanie Grose (who is ‘an extremely competent lawyer’) and the ‘outstanding’ Ben Sidgwick.

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP’s practice is ‘streets ahead’ in Inheritance Act claims, will validity disputes and proprietary estoppel claims. The ‘excellent’ Lauren Day (who splits her time between Bournemouth and London) is recommended.

At Humphreys & Co. senior partner Philip Siddons covers the full range of matters, including multi-party trust disputes and Inheritance Act claims.

Porter Dodson LLP’s practice, led by ‘first-rate problem solverStephen Wray, has expertise in undue influence disputes and intestacy matters.

Slee Blackwell is recommended for Inheritance Act claims, executor disputes and will validity issues. Lee Dawkins heads the ‘impressive’ offering.

John Andrews’ practice at Steele Raymond LLP undertakes Court of Protection litigation and inheritance disputes.

Wards handles a large amount of contentious will, estate, probate and trust work. Elizabeth Fry heads the team.

Willans LLP’s ‘excellent’ team represents individuals, executors and beneficiaries. Clients praise ‘hard-nosed litigator’ Paul Gordon.


Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP is ‘excellent’ in matters involving international, offshore or unusual assets. Catherine Hallam (‘one of the best lawyers in the region’) and Sarah Woodsford (who is ‘a leading light in financial remedies work’) head the practice.

At Clarke Willmott LLP, practice head Gareth Schofieldis a true Bristol legend’ for international divorce and cohabitation matters. Senior associate Alastair MacLeod (who is ‘a brilliant litigator’) is also recommended. Samantha Hickman joined Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Headed by Alison Hawes, who is ‘a go-to family finance lawyer’, Irwin Mitchell’s practice handles high-net-worth divorces, financial remedy and international matters. Also recommended are associates Nicky Howarth and Hayley Trim, who ‘gives the firm a real edge’.

Michelmores LLPhas established itself in the growing field of surrogacy work’ through Louisa Ghevaert, who splits her time between London and Exeter. Simon Thomas leads the practice, which also handles high-value matrimonial financial matters and operates a joint collaborative law initiative with Stephens Scown LLP.

Key figures at Stephens Scown LLP include Liz Allen, who is ‘an experienced and tough opponent’; Andrew Barton, who is ‘calm, considered and technically impressive’ in international divorce and jurisdictional matters; and Mark Smith, who is highly recommended for multi-jurisdictional child cases.

TLT handles financial remedy cases taking place or in assets in multiple jurisdictions. Practice head Natalie Drew and associate Mark Sage have ‘excellent reputations’. David Wheeler was promoted to legal director and undertakes international children work.

Royds Withy King is ‘one of Bath’s leading family law firms’ for collaborative law and mediation, and department head Richard Ellis has ‘a fantastic reputation’ in care proceedings. Also recommended are Sharon MacDonald and Jon Toogood, and newly promoted senior associates Katherine Lauder and Rebecca Stevens.

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP is ‘strong in matrimonial finance’, which is Deborah Leask’s forte. Sean McNally is ‘excellent with clients’ and leads on international child abduction matters.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Mathew Waddington handles matrimonial disputes and Children Act work, while associate John Lawley pursues hidden assets. Practice head Carolyn Green leads on high-net-worth financial disputes.

Lester Aldridge LLP acts in international children disputes and advises on prenuptial agreements, trusts and cohabitation agreements. Mediator Jane Porterstretches and inspires her team to the client’s benefit’.

Ashley Palminteri’s practice at The Family Law Practice handles financial remedy work, cohabitation agreements, and pre and post-nuptial agreements. Sharon Mahmood made director and is ‘excellent in private law children matters’. Elizabeth Bruce joined from Lyons Davidson.

Thrings LLP handles high-net-worth matrimonial finance and children law, including international child abduction. Fiona Kellow and Matthew Kellow head the department, which includes James Myatt.

Barcan+Kirby LLP is the product of the mergers of Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard. The combined family practice brings together the expertise of department head Jim Gridley, executive partner Anna Wilson, Hanni Pennelegion and Tom Sharkey from Kirby Sheppard. Sharkey and Gridley ‘use their experience to the best advantage of child clients’.

Foot Anstey acts for high-net-worth individuals and is ‘strong in divorce and financing matters for unmarried couples’. Practice head Mark Chanter is ‘a tough negotiator’.

Gregg Latchams LLP’s caseload includes Children Act cases and civil partnership dissolution. Collaborative law expert Victoria Daniell is ‘strong on difficult pension issues and cases involving company law’.

Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF has collaborative law expertise and is strong in mediation arising out of cohabitation, matrimonial and child law disputes. Practice head Jonathan Talbot is recommended.

At Lyons Davidson, department head Philippa Morgan is ‘a leading player in international child abduction law’ and Iona Phillips is ‘a confident and able advocate’.

At Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors newly promoted partner Daniela Nickols is ‘an exceptional childcare solicitor’. Managing partner Tracey Smith heads the practice and concentrates on divorce and separations.

Nash & Co has particular experience in military divorces. William Giles is ‘especially strong in finance cases’ and Helen Bull is recommended for care matters.

Natalie Gamble Associatesspecialises in fertility issues’, including surrogacy and LGBT parenting matters. Natalie Gamble splits her time between London and Salisbury and is ‘hugely impressive’.

Porter Dodson LLP’s Rebecca Marshall represents children through Cafcass. Richard Baker leads the department, which was joined by associate Cathryn Smith from The Family Law Company by Hartnell Chanot.

Sharp Family Law’s Richard Sharp ‘is a leading figure nationally in alternative dispute resolution’ and Sharon Giles is ‘highly influential’ in collaborative divorce proceedings.

Steele Raymond LLP’s Julie-Ann Harris provides ‘tactically astute’ advice on financial remedy proceedings and cohabitation disputes. Associate Lindsay Halliwell handles Children Act cases.

Stone King LLP’s ‘rock solid’ department advises on non-domicile matters, pre-marital and post-separation assets, and child issues. John Brownrigg heads the practice and is ‘a formidable practitioner’.

The Family Law Company by Hartnell Chanot handles domestic abuse, divorce and child abduction cases. Managing director Norman Hartnell is the key contact.

Tozers Solicitors LLP’s Tony Wood acts in care proceedings with solicitor Julia Clayton, formerly of The Family Law Company by Hartnell Chanot. Tracy Lambert leads the pratice, which is ‘excellent in children law and complex financial remedy matters’.

Samantha Hickman, who joined Veale Wasbrough Vizards from Co-op Legal Services, is skilled in matrimonial, child and cohabitation disputes. Hickman is recommended alongside senior associate Sally Rushton, who is noted for her ‘first-rate advice’.

Willans LLP fields ‘the best financial remedies team in Cheltenham’ and is ‘well-regarded’ for children matters. James Grigg is recommended.

At Wilsons, Katharine Shaw handles disputes relating to children and prenuptial agreements, as well divorce and related financial claims. Christopher Nisbet left the firm.

Boutique firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors is ‘well thought of’ for international child cases and cohabitation disputes. Susan Harwood and Lisa Macdonald are key figures.

Financial cases and private children law form a key part of BPE Solicitors LLP’s caseload. Elizabeth Saunders* displays ‘remarkable levels of empathy and care’. *Since publication, Elizabeth Saunders has joined Tanner Solicitors LLP.

Battens Solicitors Limited undertakes financial disputes, mediation and children law proceedings for high-net-worth individuals. Senior associate Louise Gidley and senior solicitor Cherise Luke-Bennett head the practice.

At Everys, practice head Kim Stradling is regarded for cases involving injuries to children. Zoe Porter joined from Michelmores LLP, while Stephen Martin retired from practice.

Recent mandates for Kitsons LLP include divorce, Children Act and ancillary relief proceedings. Department head Tony Huntis the ideal private client solicitor’. Mogers Drewett LLP’s Rebecca Silcock is noted for her ‘spot-on advice’ on collaborative law and financial matters.

Pardoes Solicitors LLP’s Maggie Roberts has an extensive caseload in public children law. Lauren Preedy handles financial matters. Kit O’Brien is now with Slee Blackwell.

Stokes Partners LLP’s practice is headed by senior partner David Stokes, who has a track record in financial remedy cases. Joanne Butler leads on child matters.

Trethowans LLP is ‘a go-to firm for financial remedy applications and private children disputes’. Andrew Mercer is highly regarded.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘leading’ department regularly acts on cross-border matters for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Tax specialists John Barnett and Suzanna Harvey are recommended alongside Tom Hewitt and Jim Aveline.

Under senior partner Christopher Page (who splits his time between London and Cheltenham) and Julia Cox, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘highly skilled’ team advises on establishing trusts, international tax structuring and probate.

Anthony Fairweather leads Clarke Willmott LLP’s practice, which provides ‘high-quality advice’ on Court of Protection and estate planning matters. Rachael Crocker and Anne Minihane joined from Pardoes Solicitors LLP and QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day, respectively.

Michelmores LLP handles US/UK tax, estate planning and international probate matters. Jonathan Riley splits his time between London and Exeter and leads the practice, which includes Sandra Brown, newly promoted partner Jennifer Ridgway, and Peta Shanks, who joined from Gowling WLG.

TLT’s Patrick Wooddisse assists high-net-worth UK and non-UK residents with tax, trust, estate and succession planning matters. Woodisse ‘not only understands the law, but knows how to apply it to specific client cases’.

At Wilsons, Adam Herbert manages the tax and trusts team, and senior partner Frances Mayne leads the probate and trust administration practice, where she advises on mental capacity. Tim Fullerlove was promoted to partner.

Ashfords LLP is ‘a major player’ in succession and estate planning, tax, wills and trusts. Practice head Michael Alden is a Court of Protection deputy. Tom Biddick was promoted to partner.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s expertise includes landed estates and onshore and offshore trusts. Practice head Mark Woodward and legal director Christopher Kerr-Smiley are recommended.

Foot Anstey’s private wealth group is headed by Simon Gregory. Deborah Carrivick leads on international tax, trusts and succession matters. Senior associate Bart Obszynski joined from Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Phillipa Bruce-Kerr acts for older and vulnerable clients. Key figures include ‘outstanding’ practice head Alex Taylor and Mark Hartley. Ecclesiastical Insurance and Barnett Waddingham are also clients.

Stephens Scown LLP provides elder client services and is noted for its Court of Protection expertise. Key figures include ‘very experienced’ practitioners Phil Reed and Graham Murdoch, and Malcolm Emery, who arrived from Thrings LLP and heads the team in Exeter alongside Ian Newcombe.

Kurt Lee’s department at Lester Aldridge LLP handles wealth and succession planning, and foreign property taxation. Oliver Phipps and Paula Shea were promoted to partner.

Steele Raymond LLP’s workload includes trust management and tax issues. John Andrews leads the team.

Stone King LLP provides an incorporated legal and financial care service to senior clients. Practice head Alison Allen also handles mental incapacity cases.

Thrings LLP’s clients include high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and landowners. Director Michael Young is recommended.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ Mary McCrorie regularly receives referrals from private wealth intermediaries and works closely with private banks and financial advisers.

Boutique tax and private client firm Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove has an extensive track record establishing overseas trusts and foundations. Senior partner Tim Osborne is recommended.

Led by Simon Cook, Willans LLP handles tax planning, the administration of cross-border estates, and Court of Protection work. Ruth Baker was promoted to partner.

Royds Withy King’s Becky Ricards Small handles personal injury trusts, while department head James McNeile undertakes international work. Holly Mieville-Hawkins joined Foot Anstey.

BPE Solicitors LLP is many clients’ ‘first choice’ for succession planning advice involving commercial interests. Clare Young is recommended.

Blanchards Bailey LLP’s Merlin Lewis heads the department with Jerome Dodge, who manages the probate and estate administration team.

At Frettens LLP, dual-qualified tax adviser Lee Young is ‘well versed in wills, probate and tax advice’.

Kitsons LLP is noted for its ‘sound’ knowledge of tax, trusts and Court of Protection matters. Lynn Smith leads the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Charlie Siegle.

Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF’s merger with Horsey Lightly Fynn has bolstered its ‘experienced team’, which is headed by Kate Mansfield, who handles estate administration and tax planning.

Meade King LLP provides ‘good-quality and reliable tax advice’. Practice head Vanessa Eyre advises SMEs, wealthy individuals, family trusts and philanthropists.

Mogers Drewett LLP handles wills and elderly care matters, estate administration, and provides trust and tax advice. Department head Rory McFarlane and Rebecca Beresford are recommended.

At Mowbray Woodwards SolicitorsDavid Whitworth ‘draws on an exceptional knowledge of the law’ to advise high-net-worth clients on tax, trusts and preparing wills.

Porter Dodson LLP’s Kate Jameshas a good grasp of the law and implications of how this affects farming families’. Sharon Collier is also recommended.

Trethowans LLP handles succession and capital gains tax planning. Senior associate James Hammersley joined from Humphries Kirk and heads the practice following Kelly Greig’s departure to Clarke Willmott LLP.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP merged with Stones Solicitors LLP in 2015. Practice head Helen Honeyball has ‘a strong reputation’ for inheritance tax and vulnerable beneficiary matters. Amanda Rainford and Frank Cook made partner.

At Wansbroughs, practice head Alan Ciechan is ‘an expert in landed estates’. Anna Wensley Stock is recommended.

Wards handles Court of Protection and probate matters. Practice head Jenny Pierce is recommended.

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