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Editorial

Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • John Griffiths - Red Kite Law LLP
    • Rory Hutchings - JCP Solicitors

A leader in Wales for agriculture and estates work’, JCP Solicitors provides a ‘first-class service’ from its Carmarthen office. Team head Rory Hutchings is noted for his combination of ‘expert legal knowledge with an affable manner’. Associates Ffion Lloyd and Beverley Bowen are also recommended. Clients include NFU, YFC Wales and Sketty Park Estate.

Gabb and Co benefits from deeply entrenched relationships with the farming and rural communities in mid-and south Wales. David Lloyd is one of a number of property experts within the firm and has significant experience advising on agricultural matters. Edward Jones specialises in agricultural property relief from inheritance tax.

Hugh James’ eight-partner team includes a number of Welsh speakers and is well regarded in the Welsh agricultural community for its contentious and non-contentious expertise. ‘Efficient and knowledgeable’ team head Matthew Evans has particular strength in contentious agricultural probate matters and recently acted in a high-profile matter for the daughter of wealthy agricultural landowners regarding the inheritance of their estate.

Morgan LaRoche Limited is advising a farming partnership in respect of options and lease agreements relating to the creation of a solar and wind renewable energy park. Key practitioners include Welsh-speaking team head Kevin Thomas; William Waters, who handles private client work for many of the largest family estates in south Wales; and agricultural property litigator Jason Williams.

Lucy Morris heads Red Kite Law LLP’s ‘well-respected’ commercial and agricultural property team, which continues to act on renewable energy matters.


Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘responsive and approachable’ team at Geldards LLP has ‘excellent sector knowledge’ and is the only firm in Wales with a standalone team purely focused on work in the area. The ‘well-informed and pragmatic’ Giselle Davies acts for the majority of the largest charities in Wales and beyond; she recently represented the National Botanic Garden of Wales in connection with the modernisation of its charitable objects. Other clients include Age Cymru, Arts Council for Wales, and National Library of Wales.

Acuity Legal Limited’s cross-disciplinary practice attracts praise for its ‘innovative and creative’ corporate and financing capabilities. The firm excels at work within the education sector for clients including Cardiff University. Rachelle Sellek is the main contact.

Blake Morgan LLP represents charities within the education, social housing and healthcare sectors and acts across a range of matters including corporate activity, governance, restructuring and contractual arrangements. Christopher Williams is the primary contact. Clients include St John Cymru and National Library of Wales.

Hugh James is singled out for its ability to combine strong knowledge across commercial contracts, property and employment issues, underpinned by ‘a deep understanding’ of charity law and its regulatory framework. The firm is particularly accomplished within the property sector and acts for an impressive cadre of housing associations and RSLs. Emma Burns heads the team.

At Hutchinson Thomas, the ‘excellent’ Huw Jones has vast experience acting for ecclesiastical clients on their property needs.


Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

At Hugh James, ‘thorough and experienced’ team head Matthew Evans has a strong reputation, particularly in relation to contentious probate issues within the agriculture sector. ‘Very impressive’ senior associate Roman Kubiakcombines technical knowledge and tactical nous’ and is also recommended, in particular for multi-jurisdictional claims.

At Howells Solicitors, the ‘intelligent, sensible and practical’ Laith Khatib provides an ‘exemplary level of service’ and is ‘well liked by clients, lawyers and courts alike’.

Led by the ‘commercial’ Richard Howells, JCP Solicitors is a ‘go-to-firm for trusts and contentious probate work’. Praised for his ‘focused and clear advice’, Howells excels at handling high-value agricultural estate disputes for NFU members, as well as acting in proprietary estoppel claims. Associate Andrew Murphy is ‘an excellent up-and-coming talent’.

Although they are best known as property litigators, Iwan Doull and Simon Care at Berry Smith also regularly handle contentious probate work for clients.

At Harrisons Solicitors LLP, Anne Smith has considerable contentious probate expertise.

Recognised as ‘an expert in his field’, Simon Thomas at Hutchinson Thomas recently successfully concluded proceedings against a law firm for administering an incorrect will.


Family: Cardiff

Index of tables

  1. Family: Cardiff
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘very measuredMalcolm Stevens heads the team at Hugh James and is singled out for his vast experience across a range of family matters including ancillary relief and contact issues. The team also includes the ‘very effective’ Mark Powell QC, who specialises in child law, and ‘enthusiastic’ associate Charlotte Leyshon, who has a particular expertise in pre-nuptial agreements.

A leader in Cardiff and south Wales’, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice’s ten-strong team excels at matrimonial work and handles complex cases for high-net-worth individuals, including a number of Premier League football players. Melanie Hamer recently acted for a high-net-worth individual in a case involving approximately 200 properties. Sarah Wyburn is a leading authority on civil partnerships and is a key member of the team, which includes Thea Hughes and David James.

Although relatively new to Cardiff, Gordon Dadds’ ‘exceptionally well-informed’ team has made an immediate impact. Department head Wendy Hopkins ‘has led the field in Wales for a very long time’; she continues to represent some of the most wealthy clients in and around Cardiff as well as further afield.

Clients of Howells Solicitors single out Richard Scott as ‘a good and sensible family lawyer’.

Woolley & Co, Solicitors is attracting a well-deserved reputation in the domestic market based predominantly on the expertise of the ‘sensible and co-operative’ Kathryn McTaggart, who is ‘very good with complex cases involving trusts or big money’.


Family: South and Mid Wales

Index of tables

  1. Family: South and Mid Wales
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Hutchinson Thomas’ ‘strong family department’ provides ‘a high-quality service’. The ‘responsive and professional’ Robert Williams is well regarded for his ancillary relief work and heads the team, which includes the ‘sympathetic and motivated’ Meriel East and the ‘thorough and diligent’ Debbie Richards, who are known for their childcare expertise.

Headed by the ‘experienced’ Catrin Griffiths, Red Kite Law LLP has an excellent reputation among clients in west Wales and handles work across the spectrum of family law including on ancillary relief matters, contact issues and pre-nuptial agreements.

Harding Evans LLP’s three-partner team includes Ceri Price and Suzanne Edwards, who focus on ancillary relief matters, and Kate Thomas, who leads on childcare matters.

Headed out of Swansea by Sali Jackson-Thomas and now with a significant Carmarthen practice under the guidance of consultant Melanie Edwards, JCP Solicitors is well placed to assist clients in south and west Wales. ‘Excellent’ associate Matthew Wells has niche expertise in private children law cases and pre-nuptial agreements.

At Watkins & Gunn Solicitors, team head Sophie Hughes has an ‘eye for detail and can fight her corner’ in often highly disputed and complex divorce and co-habitation disputes. Associate Kate Roberts has a growing childcare practice.

Led by Katie McColgan, Berry Smith represents clients across all aspects of private family work, particularly as they relate to high asset/business family disputes, and difficult children cases. Senior associate Marina Atherton is also recommended.

At Harrisons Solicitors LLP, Rebecca Easthope acts on a range of family matters including ancillary relief, child law and pre-nuptial agreements.


Family: North Wales

Index of tables

  1. Family: North Wales
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

GHP Legal has an excellent following in north Wales and handles a range of family matters including divorces involving substantial assets. The firm also has significant experience advising on both private and public children law matters. Nathan Wright and Natalie Roberts are the primary contacts.

Led out of Wrexham by Roland Humphreys, Slater and Gordon handles a wide variety of family work including advice on more niche areas including surrogacy and transgender issues. Clients run the gamut from high-net-worth individuals to those of more limited means and union members.


Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP provides ‘professional and reliable advice’ to business owners, landowners, charitable bodies, company directors and financial organisations. ‘Courteous and sensitive’ associate solicitor Awen Mellick ‘has real expertise in her field and continues to develop her knowledge staying up to date on changes in tax and pensions legislation’. ‘Knowledgeable and good-humoured’ associate Nicky Sherrard is also recommended.

Claire Johnson and Helen Downes jointly lead Geldards LLP’s team, which provides ‘a reliable, personable and supportive’ service across the spectrum of private client work including IHT advice and succession planning strategies. The team is also known for its ‘excellent charities practice’ and regularly advises private clients on their philanthropic plans, while the ‘efficient and personable’ Anne Taylor has significant knowledge of Court of Protection matters.

Led by ‘efficient and knowledgeableMatthew Evans, the five-partner wealth management team at Hugh James advises on the full range of contentious and non-contentious private client matters including bespoke work as well as volume trust and estate administration and will writing. Sarah Cash regularly acts for high-net-wealth individuals, and Eleanor Evans is recommended for her estates and trusts administration work on behalf of financial institutions and trust corporation clients.

At JCP Solicitors, Chris Shaw leads on lifetime planning for a varied client base that includes numerous high-net-worth individuals. Lynne Morgan provides Court of Protection expertise to elderly patients, and the ‘knowledgeable’ Arwel Davies (who is based in the firm’s Fishguard office) advises on wills and estate administration for a wide range of clients.

NewLaw Solicitors’ Katie Edwards leads on estate planning and tax advice, while the ‘reassuring and capable’ Robert Thomas regularly serves as a professional deputy appointed by the Court of Protection to assist people in managing their financial affairs after they have lost mental capacity.

At Red Kite Law LLP, Tim Haggar is well regarded for advising on financial planning as well as handling Court of Protection work. Mathew Bowen has particular expertise in agricultural relief and trusts.

Co-headed by the ‘patient and understanding’ Laith Khatib and John O’Connell, Howells Solicitorsperforms exceptionally well in this area’. Claire Davis helps families set up wills and lifetime trusts to protect vulnerable and disabled children.

At Hutchinson Thomas, ‘personable and knowledgeable’ team head Louise Williams provides ‘measured and accurate advice’. Rhian Williams has ‘excellent legal knowledge’, as well as ‘an innate ability to relate to people from all walks of life’.

Berry Smith’s Chris Beames specialises in Court of Protection work involving cases relating to vulnerable or disabled children.

At Douglas-Jones Mercer, team head Jonathan Powell has a good reputation among IFAs and banks and regularly receiving referrals to advise on wills, trusts and succession planning.


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