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Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Agriculture and estates clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Now more effectively able to represent clients throughout both the east and west of the country following the merger with Glamorgan Law in April 2017, JCP Solicitors's multi-disciplinary team has the critical mass to handle a significant volume and diversity of work covering the full spectrum of agriculture-related work including succession advice, wills, sales and purchases, as well as contentious trust and probate matters, and contract and property disputes. Team head Rory Hutchings is 'very knowledgeable' about rural issues, particularly from a property law perspective; he recently successfully represented a family in a dispute with the owner of common adjacent to their farm, over which they have registered rights of common. Hutchings also regularly handles appeals for farming clients when their subsidy payment is reduced as a result of alleged breaches of the subsidy scheme rules. Fluent Welsh speaker, Carmarthen-based associate Alice Dearden Cobbett  has a real affinity for rural issues and has enhanced the firm's rural practice since her arrival in April 2017, particularly in relation to complex land disputes and equine matters. Associate Myria Griffiths handles non-contentious property work within the rural sector including advice on the sale and purchase of farms and agricultural land. Ffion Lloyd recently departed to work in-house for a local authority. Clients include National Farmers Union, Wales Young Farmers Club and Sketty Park Estate.

Benefiting from 'strong ties with the local community', Gabb and Co¬†handles a range of property and private client work for farming clients based in mid-and-south Wales. Senior partner David Lloyd¬†regularly handles agricultural and rural property matters as part of his property practice. The 'knowledgeable and empathetic' Dawn Sullivan¬†handles probate, wills and estates work for many of the firm's farming clients.  

Leveraging the firm's overarching expertise at wealth management, private client, property and contentious probate matters, the 'reliable and highly efficient' multi-disciplinary team at Hugh James provides a 'very strong and comprehensive service' to a wide range of farming clients including high-net-worth landowners and farmers, as well as numerous public sector entities. The 'hugely respected' Matthew Evans regularly handles work for agricultural clients as part of his broad-ranging wealth management practice. Particularly accomplished at dealing with agricultural estates, Evans' recent success in the high-profile "Cowshed Cinderella" litigation has generated numerous new agricultural and proprietary estoppel instructions, including acting on a new proprietary estoppel dispute whose assets exceed £7m. The 'very tenacious' Roman Kubiak regularly handles contentious probate matters for farming clients and has 'developed an excellent reputation as someone who really understands his clients and their complex problems, and is able to deliver an effective strategy which they understand'. Property litigator Robert Phillips  has niche expertise advising on development-phase property disputes, including all aspects of agricultural tenancy law. Sarah Cash 'provides a high level of service' to high-net-worth clients including those in the farming industry on estate planning and in administering high-value estates usually involving a diversity of assets such as family company shares, farming partnerships, horses and foreign property.

Morgan LaRoche continues to receive a significant flow of direct instructions, as well as referral work across a broad range of agriculture-related mandates, both from a contentious and non-contentious perspective. Following the recent retirement of William Waters, Kevin Thomas and Ann Thomas have taken over the management of  his extensive workload of large family estates and high-net-worth individuals (many of which contained mixed portfolios of agricultural commercial and residential properties) in the Swansea and south Wales areas. Jason Williams handles contentious probate and agriculture-related property litigation. Recent highlights include representing an agricultural landowner in a claim against a national rail network operator in nuisance/negligence for damages and loss of profits for surface water flooding caused by a blocked culvert and advising an agricultural landowner in leasehold forfeiture proceedings.

Recognised for its 'efficient and pragmatic advice', RDP Law¬†¬†'provides a first-class service when dealing with rural matters' for landowners and high-net-worth individuals spread across south and mid-Wales, as well as the West Country and the South West of England. 'Very knowledgeable and well-informed' team head Sioned Thomas¬†provides a 'highly personal service and always strives to understand the detailed background to all the issues'. Thomas particularly excels at providing advice on the administration of estates, tax planning and will preparation. The 'commercial and responsive' Robert Davies¬†regularly advises on the disposal and refinancing of agricultural property.  

Praised for its 'exceptional levels of customer service', longstanding Carmarthen-based firm Red Kite Law LLP benefits from strong ties to local landowners and farm owners. Leveraging the firm's full-service credentials, the firm is able to handle a broad array of work with a particular emphasis upon property and private client-related matters including estates planning. Lucy Hollis heads the firm's commercial and agricultural property team and regularly provides specialist agricultural law advice on the sale and purchase of land and buildings, as well as agricultural tenancies such as farm business tenancies.  Mathew Bowen heads up the firm's wills and probate team and leverages his own farming background when handling agricultural estates matters.


Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Charities and not-for-profit clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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One of the few standalone charities practices in Wales, Geldards LLP provides 'professional, efficient and effective advice' to an impressive roster of charities including Age Cymru, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and National Library of Wales. 'Responsive and very reliable' team head Giselle Davies has vast experience in the sector across a range of matters including advice on governance issues and restructuring projects; she recently advised learning disability charity, Perthyn, on changes made to its constitution including the adoption of new Articles of Association. As well as her discrete fee-earning work, Davies is also pivotal to the firm's provision and operation of a service helpline to the Welsh Sports Association.  Associate Bethan Walsh is also a key member of the team, particularly in light of her Welsh speaking ability, which she often puts to good effect in her advice to Welsh charities on governance matters and restructurings. Consultant Stephen Marshall is also recommended, while the recent arrival of Christopher Williams from Blake Morgan LLP, who heads the firm's overarching commercial group, adds further weight to the charities offering.

Benefiting from 'strong charities sectoral knowledge' as well as being able to leverage the expertise that a market-leading full-service firm is able to provide in areas including employment, public law and property law, Blake Morgan LLP is well-equipped to provide a 'very professional and helpful service' to an impressive roster of clients including Cardiff Food Bank, Ty Hafan and National Library of Wales. James Egan 'has a broad understanding of property and tenancy matters in the sector' and regularly acts for charities with large property portfolios including Tenovus Cancer Care, which he advises on issues associated with its portfolio of 66 shops based across Wales and the South West of England, as well as its warehouses and its head office accommodation. Eve Piffaretti has 'extensive knowledge and understanding of the social care charity sector and in particular mental health issues'. Public law expert Emyr Lewis  is also regularly instructed by non-Welsh charities seeking guidance on devolved Welsh law, while Paula Kathrens regularly handles charities-related employment work and is praised for her 'tactical expertise'. Christopher Williams joined Geldards LLP in December 2017.       

Headed by Emma Burns, Hugh James¬†is particularly accomplished at handling employment law matters for third sector clients.¬†Burns continues to provide employment law advice to Wales Council for Voluntary Action and for its members; recent work has included advice on the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation. Under the guidance of the 'considered and calm'¬†Caroline O'Flaherty, the firm also handles a raft of property matters for not-for-profit clients; she is advising Cardiff University in relation to the new Centre for Student Life in the conservation area of Park Place, Cardiff. O'Flaherty also has vast experience advising registered social landlords. Other clients include¬†Community Housing Cymru,¬†Hafan Cymru,¬†Cardiff Community Housing Association and¬†Taff Housing Association.  

Hutchinson Thomas is 'very experienced in dealing with property transactions of a charitable nature, as well as related charitable issues'. 'Experienced' team head Huw Jones provides 'practical and accessible advice' to ecclesiastical clients, particularly as they relate to property law matters - including the sale of churches and chapels and associated ecclesiastical buildings. Jones also advises the trustees of several independent chapels in property and charitable matters. The 'very impressive' Peter Morgan often handles contentious matters impacting on charitable clients of the firm including on boundary issues and the enforcement of covenants. Roger Morris handles a significant amount of work for charitable organisations, including the Neath branch of Mencap, the Scouts and many community organisations. He also regularly handles property matters for the south Wales branches of the RSPCA on property law matters.

Leveraging significant core charities expertise, on issues including governance and constitution matters, and also able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers within areas including property, employment and litigation, JCP Solicitors regularly handles some significant work for a growing roster of local charities. Head of commercial services at the firm, Betsan Powell regularly handles charities-related work and is able to provide advice through the medium of Welsh, should the need arise. Head of lifetime planning disputes  Richard Howells has experience of representing charities in disputed or challenged legacies.


Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Contentious trusts and probate clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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'Arguably the best Welsh firm for contentious trusts and probate matters', Hugh James continues to pick up a significant volume of work, 'including taking on, and excelling at, high-net-worth and cross border matters'. 'A natural and dynamic leader', team head Roman Kubiak 'really understands his clients and their complex problems, and is able to deliver effective strategies which they understand'. The 'very tenacious' Kubiak excels at handling high-value cross border matters and recently represented a director and wife of the settlor in relation to trusts based in Isle of Man and British Virgin Islands with underlying companies registered in Montenegro. The 'hugely respected' Matthew Evans heads the firm's wealth management team and has a particular focus on handling complex agricultural and proprietary estoppel cases. In spite of his relatively junior status, solicitor Vlad MacDonald-Munteanu  has already developed significant courtroom experience both on his own and also assisting Evans on high-value proprietary estoppel cases including the recent much publicised Davies v Davies case. The team was also bolstered in September 2017 by the arrival of senior associate Richard Adams  from Swansea based firm Goldstones.

Berry Smith¬†has 'a strong and deserved reputation as one of the best firms in Wales for contentious trusts matters'. Benefiting from 'the breadth of talent and expertise of a large firm but with the service and costs of a small one', under the leadership of the 'hugely impressive' Iwan Doull, 'no trust dispute, inheritance claim or Court of Protection dispute is too big or complex for the team to handle'. Doull 'takes strong personal interest in all his cases and has a hugely impressive - almost encyclopaedic - mastery of his brief'.¬†The 'ferociously bright'¬†Simon Care¬†'gets to the essentials of a case very quickly and never misses a trick'. Care is also praised for his 'solutions-oriented approach and realism¬†about what can be achieved within the confines of a case'.¬†  

'A very credible outfit in the Cardiff market for contentious trusts and probate matters', Howells Solicitors¬†has an 'historic strength in this area of work but appears to be strengthening with a growing caseload'.¬†'Highly regarded among the south Wales private client community', team head Laith Khatib¬†'achieves¬†excellent results for his clients' across a range of contentious probate matters including representing both claimants and defendants on cases involving will validity. Khatib is well regarded for his 'dealings with opponents but is also unfailingly polite and courteous'. Active on both the non-contentious and contentious front, the 'very approachable' Paul Lindsey¬†'has always been able to strike a perfect balance between handling matters from the straightforward, to the very complex, while maintaining an unrivalled level of client care'. As well as handling claims under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 Act, Lindsey also advises clients in connection with contentious Court of Protection matters and trust disputes.  

Led by the 'excellent' Simon Thomas, one of only four full members of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists in Wales, Hutchinson Thomas is 'very well regarded in the market' and as well as direct client instructions, also regularly receives referrals from a large number of professionals. Thomas has experience across a wide range of cases and is well thought of in the industry, as is underscored by the fact that he has being appointed by the High Court on numerous occasions to act as a neutral personal representative of a deceased’s estate where there is litigation concerning that estate. Recent highlights include acting for a beneficiary of a will which had subsequently been lost in the successful High Court application to have the will reconstructed to reflect its original terms. 'Excellent' litigator Peter Morgan also has considerable contentious probate expertise.

Headed by Richard Howells from the firm's Carmarthen office, JCP Solicitors has a strong track record across the gamut of contentious trusts and probate matters including disputes over the validity of wills, proprietary estoppel cases, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, and claims against executors and trustees. Other key figures include Rory Hutchings, who as head of the rural practice handles contentious work for farming clients; and associate Rachel Morris.

At Douglas-Jones Mercer, associate director Laura Alliss has developed a considerable amount of experience in her relatively short time since qualification in 2013 across a range of contentious trusts and probate matters. Recent matters have included acting in a claim against an estate for reason of lack of capacity, undue influence and lack of knowledge and approval when the testator used a telephone will service.


Family: Cardiff

Index of tables

  1. Family: Cardiff
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family: Cardiff clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The 'efficient, effective and dependable' team at Hugh James provides a 'responsive service' to a range of clients - including many high-net-worth individuals - across the gamut of family law, including contact cases, where the team is praised for its 'considerate handling of sensitive and difficult issues'. 'Extremely supportive and efficient' team head Malcolm Stevens provides an 'exceptional service which is based on years' of experience and a thorough understanding of his field'. Praised for his 'astute advice that is geared towards achieving as constructive an outcome as possible', Stevens is often involved in complex and sensitive family issues including Children Act matters, prenuptial agreements and the dissolution of civil partnerships. Despite the recent departure of Charlotte Leyshon - who set up her own firm - 'efficient, utterly dependable and supportive' solicitor Lucy Williams has begun to assume a more senior role within the team and is increasingly handling her own caseload, where she provides 'clear, structured and well-informed advice' across a broad spectrum of family matters, often involving vulnerable clients. Childcare expert Mark Powell rounds out the team.

Described by one client as 'the go-to practice in south Wales', specialist family law firm Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has 'talented and able solicitors at all levels', and provides an 'excellent service' across a myriad of  family matters, often involving high-net-worth individuals and cross-border issues. The 'very experienced' Thea Hughes  'has an excellent rapport with her clients' and specialises in the financial issues arising upon separation/divorce. The 'supportive and very well prepared' David James  is known for handling high-value cases with a particular focus on business ownership and pension sharing issues. The 'very able' Melanie Hamer  and Sarah Wyburn  round out the team at a partner level, with Wyburn being particularly noted for her expertise advising on gay marriage and civil partnerships. At an associate level, the 'extremely hardworking' Rebecca Knight  is recognised as a 'star of the future'.

Since the arrival of the 'very approachable and thorough' Gaynor Dickens from Graham Evans & Partners in December 2016, Geldards LLP has provided substantial competition to other firms and is, according to one client, 'really stealing a march on some larger and more established firms in Cardiff'. Although Dickens very much subscribes to the tenets as set out in the Law Society's Family Law Protocol and Resolution guidelines for a non-confrontational approach wherever possible, she 'is more than capable of fighting her clients' corner' should she need to. The nascent Cardiff offering is able to draw upon the expertise of family lawyers from its broader network of offices including through the Midlands, as well being able to leverage the expertise of complementary practice areas including wealth management and tax.

Since it opened an office in Cardiff in June 2014, Gordon Dadds LLP has rapidly built up a strong reputation in south Wales and its environs for having the ability to handle the gamut of family law matters, ranging from complex divorce instructions through to private Children Act matters for estranged parents and grandparents. A good deal of the success of the office can be attributed to the stellar reputation that 'hugely experienced' team head Wendy Hopkins has in the market. 'A very effective litigator whose reputation goes before her', Hopkins has extensive experience of advising in complex and high-net-worth family matters including those involving an international element. 'Completely unflappable and calm' associate Hannah Magee continues to develop a strong reputation in the market across the full spectrum of family law matters including divorce, cohabitation disputes, children matters and ancillary financial matters. Solicitor Sharon Priday is also recommended.

Howells Solicitors provides a 'highly professional and personable service' across the panoply of family law matters from public/private child law matters through to high-net-worth divorces. Team head Richard Scott has a particular niche advising police officers on their divorces and has developed true insight into the peculiarities and complexities inherent in police pensions. A good deal of Scott's work in this respect comes from instructions derived from the firm's position on the South Wales and Gwent police federations' approved panel. In addition to his police force work, Scott also handles a wide spectrum of family law matters including cases relating to complicated financial proceedings involving foreign assets, children cases and prenuptial agreements. Based in the firm's Caerphilly office, Jayne Hunt is also recommended.

At niche family law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors's Cardiff office, team head Kathryn McTaggart¬†is a 'star performer' and is recognised for her ability to give 'excellent advice on financial cases and complex children cases'. Praised for her 'pragmatic advice', McTaggart 'takes a no-nonsense approach but is also very empathetic and understanding of her clients' needs'.  


Family: North Wales

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family: North Wales clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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GHP Legal's six-strong Wrexham-based team has a strong reputation for handling ancillary relief proceedings - often involving a sizeable asset pool including significant business interests and pensions - as well as private and public child law matters. Recent highlights include representing a high-net-worth husband seeking to resist maintenance payments which had not been paid to his wife since 2011. Nathan Wright is regularly involved in divorce proceedings requiring the division of significant assets including high-net-worth property and high-value pensions. Natalie Roberts is a member of the Law Society Children Panel and regularly handles cases which involve Local Authority concern for the welfare of a child.


Family: South and Mid Wales

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Catrin Griffiths - Red Kite Law LLP
    • Katie McColgan - Berry Smith

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family: South and Mid Wales clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Headed by the 'straight-talking but very likeable'Katie McColgan out of the firm's Bridgend office, Berry Smith provides a 'first-class service' across the gamut of family matters including divorce, separation, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, children and financial disputes. 'The very attentive and understanding' McColgan 'provides excellent advice' across a diverse range of matters including recently being involved in a fiercely contested children matter in which the client was, prior to proceedings being issued, seeing his son just two to four hours per week and is now seeing his son three nights per week. Solicitor Benjamin Delve is also recommended, as is senior associate Marina Atherton who heads the firm’s care team and regularly picks up work for guardians, as well as parents and grandparents.

'Very well regarded in the locality', Neath-based Hutchinson Thomas¬†has an 'excellent and well-deserved reputation for family law work'. Team head Robert Williams¬†¬†is a 'very able and sensible matrimonial lawyer' and has vast experience handling difficult divorce cases involving complex financial issues. The 'extremely able and conscientious' Meriel East¬†¬†is 'excellent at assimilating and understanding a large body of evidence', particularly in contact cases where she often handles her own advocacy in heavily litigated matters and is 'more than happy to appear against counsel'. Debbie Richards¬†has a 'sensitive and thoughtful approach to the vulnerable children that she represents',¬†and as part of her 'extensive experience in representing children and guardians' has recently handled shaken baby cases and acted for families in disputes as to what jurisdiction the children should live in. Rachel Pudner¬†also handles childcare cases, and along with Richards and East is a member of the Law Society's Children panel.  

With a strong presence across south west Wales, as well as increased penetration through the south east of the country following the firm's merger in April 2017 with Glamorgan Law, JCP Solicitors has significant firepower upon which to handle a diverse array of family law matters including post-separation financial disputes, divorce, dissolution of civil partnerships, pre and post-nuptial agreements and children law matters. Matthew Wells is head of the firm's Swansea and south west Wales offering and along with the 'excellent' Sali Jackson-Thomas regularly handles high value and complex divorces often involving family businesses and significant pensions. 'Very calm' associate Angela Killa has developed a thriving private children offering from the firm's Carmarthen office and is noted for her ability to 'cut through the nonsense' and to 'always act in the best interests of the child'. Formerly of Glamorgan Law, Jill Bulteel spearheads the firm's south east Wales family offering out of the firm's Pontypridd office.

Headed by the 'excellent' Ceri Price, Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP has a strong reputation across a range of family matters for clients across south east Wales and the West Country. Price and Suzanne Edwards regularly handle divorce and high-value/complex applications for financial orders. The 'well regarded' Kate Thomas heads up the firm's children and care sub group and along with the recently promoted Siobhan Downes regularly advise on complex divorce and financial remedy proceedings where Children Act issues arise.

Headed by Catrin Griffiths, Red Kite Law LLP has a strong reputation among clients in west Wales and handles work across the gamut of family law, including contact issues and pre-nuptial agreements.

With dedicated practitioners based in Newport, Pontypool and Cardiff, the 'knowledgeable and helpful' team at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors has the critical mass to handle a broad range of family law matters for clients across south Wales. Dividing her time between the firm's Cardiff and Newport offices, team head Sophie Hughes is a 'class act', particularly at handling highly disputed and complex divorce and co-habitation disputes. Kate Roberts has a niche childcare practice receiving instructions from guardians and parents alike.

With offices in Welshpool and Newton, Harrisons Solicitors LLP  has a longstanding and strong reputation handling matrimonial work for clients in Powys, mid Wales and the Shropshire borders. Team head Rebecca Easthope  regularly handles complex ancillary relief matters - including ones involving international assets - as well as child law cases. Easthope also has expertise advising clients on prenuptial and cohabitation agreements.


Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal tax, trusts and probate clients in Wales using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

'Rightly recognised as the heavyweight firm in Wales for estates, trusts and probate', Hugh James six-partner team includes numerous 'talented practitioners and the depth of resources to take on substantial work'. Matthew Evans has a 'genuine commitment to excellence'; he heads the firm's overarching wealth management group and is predominantly focused on handling contentious matters including proprietary estoppel cases, an area which he has developed a leading reputation as a result of handling some landmark cases - including most notably acting for the claimant in the much vaunted Davies v Davies litigation. 'A natural and dynamic leader', the 'very impressive' Roman Kubiak heads the firm's contested wills, trusts and estates team and is noted for his 'deep knowledge of estates and trusts law'. On the non-contentious front, Sarah Cash 'provides a high level of service' to an impressive client base that includes many high-net-worth individuals, who she advises on their tax planning, including establishing lifetime trusts and will preparation, as well as on the administration of estates. Eleanor Evans manages a team dealing with estates and trusts administration on behalf of financial institution and trust corporation clients. Evans regularly handles multimillion-pound estates including her ongoing work administering a complex estate worth in excess of £5m, consisting of significant shareholdings, business interests and international assets. 'Communicative and knowledgeable'  managing partner Alun Jones was integral to the development of the firm's volume-based wealth management services, which it provides to major UK high street financial services brands. Senior associate Andrew Jones is also recommended, particularly for handling tax and estate planning matters for high-net-worth international clients.

A spate of recent departures - including most recently that of Charlene Davies-Williams - notwithstanding, Blake Morgan LLP's two-strong team, nevertheless, remains in a relatively strong position as a result of its ability to leverage the firm’s significant corporate client base and therefore the ability to handle succession and estate planning matters for business owners and corporate executives. Clients also benefit from complementary practice areas, including litigation and tax. Senior associate Lisa Davies now heads the team following her arrival in October 2017 from Sinclairslaw and brings with her a solid base of clients as well as strong ties with professional referrers. Davies is currently involved in lifetime estate planning and will drafting for a client who has complex and high-value affairs, including a farm (for which an assessment to agricultural property relief must be made), a development property, shareholdings and property and bank accounts in Switzerland. Associate Nicky Sherrard is also recommended.

Led by the 'technically strong' Claire Johnson, the 'knowledgeable, friendly and approachable' seven-strong team at Geldards LLP is 'professional and very organised when it comes to dealing with private clients'. Praised for its 'willingness to go the extra mile', the team handles a broad range of wealth preservation and succession planning matters, as well as trust and estate administration, and has 'been excellent at building long term relationships with a variety of clients' - both in terms of direct instructions as well as in the form of referrals from tax accountants and financial advisers. 'Sharp minded and friendly' senior associate Anne Taylor is 'particularly in tune with wills, trusts and probate advice'. Associate Gillian Crouch is 'always chirpy and upbeat while maintaining a business-like approach and extreme professionalism', and is a key member of the team that also includes associate Laura Ikin, who provides 'clear and understandable explanations' in matters relating to wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, trusts, tax and estate planning.

Douglas-Jones Mercer has a strong reputation in the south Wales market across a varied array of private client work, ranging from simple will drafting for the elderly, to complex commercial succession solutions for clients throughout the UK. Team head Jonathan Powell has close ties with many local referrers including independent financial advisers (IFAs), and is noted in particular for his trusts law expertise - both for individuals and for corporates. Rebecca Laugharne has a particular specialism in the management of elderly client finances and care home packages, and is a key member of the team that also includes associate Jonathan Cudd (who has a niche in advising vulnerable clients on Court of Protection applications) and Laura Alliss, who handles contentious probate work.

Howells Solicitors continues to thrive in the local private client market and is 'equivalent in size and technical ability to some of the largest Cardiff-based firms'. Active across the spectrum of non-contentious and contentious work, the team generates a significant amount of mandates from third party instructions, and therefore offers a very bespoke service, as opposed to one relying on volume commoditised work. Team head Laith Khatib 'is held in high regard amongst the south Wales private client community', particularly in relation to contentious probate matters, where he is recognised as one of the market leaders. Paul Lindsey is 'something of a rarity in the field, in that he is able to advise clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters', and picks up a significant amount of work for many wealthy south Wales families including business owners and agricultural clients. 'Able to strike a perfect balance between handling matters from the straightforward, to the very complex, while maintaining an unrivalled level of client care', Lindsey is well regarded for his ability to advise on high-value Court of Protection cases, as well as handling estate planning work. The 'empathetic and very patient' Claire Davis displays a 'very thorough knowledge of her field' and is particularly accomplished at handling work associated with the elderly and protecting the interests of the more vulnerable in society.

Praised for its 'excellent industry knowledge', Hutchinson Thomas  provides 'well informed and helpful advice' across the panoply of private client matters including the preparation of wills, trust deeds, estate administration, Court of Protection applications, and powers of attorney. Now primarily based out of Swansea, since the firm opened an office there in 2016, the 'professional and very approachable' Louise Williams has excellent connections with local financial advisers and accountants who are appreciative of her 'excellent business acumen' and ability to 'identify issues and appropriate solutions taking into consideration relevant clients' individual needs and concerns'. The 'caring and very empathetic' Rhian Williams provides 'measured and succinct advice' across a wide range of wills, probate, tax and trusts matters.

With a large will bank at its disposal generated through the firm's recent mergers - most recently with Glamorgan Law -¬†JCP Solicitors¬†receives a significant flow of probate work and also generates a sizeable amount of trusts and wealth management work directly from clients as well as by dint of referrals. Now with 17 lawyers spread across the whole of south Wales, the firm is able to effectively service clients out of its offices from Fishguard in the South West to Caerphilly in the South East. Team head¬†Chris Shaw¬†has a strong reputation in the market across the spectrum of wills, trusts and probate matters and regularly represents high-net-worth individuals including sportsmen and women. Fishguard-based¬†Arwel Davies¬†and Ian Fudge¬†are 'professional, competent and easy to deal with', and¬†¬†Mike Downey, who recently joined following the merger with Glamorgan Law, oversees the lifetime planning offering across the south east of Wales.¬†As well as core private client lawyers, the firm also benefits from an ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô Court of Protection offering, where Lynne Morgan's¬†professional deputy credentials sees her handling the property and affairs of incapacitated children and adults. Richard Howells¬†is recommended for contentious probate work. .

Led by the 'extremely clever and knowledgeable' Katie Edwards, the 'professional and highly competent team of experts' at NewLaw Solicitors are 'committed to providing an excellent and value-for-money service'. A significant amount of the firm's work in the private client arena has a connection to the firm's personal injury practice, with a particular strength of the firm being its ability to provide an integrated professional deputy service within the private client group thus enabling vulnerable clients, including those with brain injuries to have their affairs managed effectively after they have lost mental capacity and in relation to the management of the settlement award. Praised for her 'practical thinking' and ability to 'make legal jargon understandable', Edwards continues to handle a large amount of wills, trusts and probate work for members of the British Medical Association. Although he is primarily noted for his personal injury expertise, Robert Thomas also regularly acts as professional deputy appointed by the Court of Protection to assist clients managing their financial affairs after they have lost mental capacity.

Red Kite Law LLP provides a bespoke service based on the individual needs of each client and is well-versed in providing creative solutions to those wishing to minimise their inheritance tax liabilities through, among other strategies, lifetime gifts and astute succession planning. With numerous offices across west Wales, including Carmarthen and Haverfordwest, the team represents a loyal client base including many of the region's wealthy families, many of who have agricultural property as part of their asset base. Tim Haggar and Mathew Bowen are recommended.   

'A regional leader', north Wales-based Swayne Johnson & Wight 's 20-strong private client team has the critical mass to resource an expanding client base that includes high-net-worth individuals, prominent farming families and SMEs across not just north Wales but also Cheshire and Shropshire. Praised for providing a 'high calibre and extremely proficient service', many of the team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), including the 'very experienced and practical' Sarah Noton, who handles a mix of pure private client work as well as Court of Protection matters. The 'sensible, organised and methodical' Sian Thompson is also recommended across both private client work as well as Court of Protection matters.

The 'very experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy' team at Berry Smith¬†regularly assists families with complex estates, often involving capital tax advice, as well as handling Court of Protection work for vulnerable clients. 'Experienced' team¬†head Christopher Beames' 'calm and meticulous approach is very reassuring'.  


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