The Legal 500

South West

United Kingdom > South West > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate


Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘outstanding’ private client team includes the ‘efficient and technically very strongJohn Barnett, who has particular strength in advising owner-managers and entrepreneurs; highly rated civil law and international wealth structuring expert Beatrice Puoti ; and agriculture specialist Charles Wyld .

Christopher Page’s team at Charles Russell LLP advises a number of longstanding Sunday Times Rich List clients on domestic and international tax, trust and probate matters. Julia Cox demonstrates ‘considerable ability to deal with complex matters, and to deliver excellent outcomes for a range of clients, both personal and corporate’.

Clarke Willmott LLP has private client specialists in both its Bristol and Taunton offices, advising wealthy individuals, charities and large estates, among others. The team, managed by Anthony Fairweather, recently welcomed two new senior associates.

Michelmores LLP’s ‘friendly and co-ordinated team’ is ‘efficient in providing advice and assistance to all levels of private clients’. The firm has recently opened in Bristol, with Sandra Brown joining from Osborne Clarke to head the private client offering there.

Niche private client firm Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove fields an experienced eight-partner team which acts for high-net-worth individuals, trust companies, charities, insurers and private banks.

Wilsons is able to draw on the broad expertise of is various private client partners to offer a well-rounded client service. ‘Oustanding probate and trusts lawyerFrances Mayne successfully defended the executors of a large estate in a claim to set aside a consent order. Belinda Watson is commended for her handling of a number of heritage maintenance funds.

Mark Hartley is head of the sizeable Cheltenham private client team at the newly merged Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has particular expertise in elderly client matters, estate planning and trusts administration.

At Lester Aldridge LLP, John Maddocks has an international probate practice, assisting UK and foreign executors in relation to domestic and international assets. The team was recently involved in the administration of an Australian estate. David Parkhouse is a wills and estates specialist.

Mark Woodward replaced Sandra Brown as head of the private client team at Osborne Clarke, following Brown’s departure to Michelmores LLP. The firm continues to offer a full service on tax and trusts matters.

Stephens Scown LLP’s private client department, led by Graham Murdoch, spans three offices and includes over a dozen fee-earners. The team runs a trust advice service, acts for a growing portfolio of landed estates, and has growing expertise in Court of Protection work.

Ashfords LLP’s head of trusts and estates, Michael Alden, is recommended for his problem-solving skills, and recently acted in an intestacy matter.

Foot Anstey’s multi-disciplinary private client team is now led by Stephen Howells following the recent departure of Angela Bridges.

At QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day, Anne Minihane acts in the adminstration of estates, some of them very high value, and handles wills for a range of clients.

Steele Raymond LLP’s Paul Causton advises wealthy individuals and trustees on tax and estate planning matters. Richard Smith, who handles wills drafting, is also recommended.

Stone King LLP’s private client team is praised for its ‘excellent service, in-depth legal knowledge, sound advice, quick response times, and very good value for money’.

TLT LLP’s Patrick Wooddisse is recommended, and has a particular focus on cross-jurisdictional work for high-net-worth clients.

Michael Young at Thrings LLP advises wealthy individuals on inheritance tax matters and asset protection.

At Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Christine Green is an experienced trusts and estates administrator, while Judith Cuxson specialises in wills drafting and inheritance tax planning.

Withy King LLP’s private client team includes James McNeile, who regularly handles offshore matters; Court of Protection expert Tony Spiers ; and Amanda Noyce, who administers a number of large estates.

Lee Young at Frettens LLPprovides sensible, technically robust and practical advice’.

LaceysKate Mansfield is ‘very efficient and tactful’.

Mogers Solicitors LLP fields a three-partner private client team.

Pardoes is appreciated for its ‘good technical knowledge and pragrmatic approach’.

Parker Bullen LLP handles wills and probate matters as well as estate administration.

Helen Honeyball is recommended at Stones Solicitors LLP.

Trethowans LLP’s Elizabeth Webbe is highly regarded by clients.

The ‘professional and personable’ Ruth Baker is recommended at Willans LLP.

Samantha Buckthought is recommended at Wolferstans.

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Legal Developments in South West for Personal tax, trusts and probate

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

Legal Developments in the UK

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  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

Press Releases in the UK

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