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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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As β€˜one of the leading firms in the region’, Addleshaw Goddard provides β€˜a first-class service’ that is β€˜comprehensive and professional while being commercially driven and delivered in a manner that is sensitive to each particular circumstance’. Practice head Pervinder Kaur β€˜is an excellent lawyer who possesses exceptional legal abilities allied with sensible and practical thinking’; she focuses on assisting high-net-worth individuals and family trusts. Other noteworthy practitioners include Yorke Eaton, who β€˜is a safe pair of hands for any private client’ and is recommended for trust issues, particularly those regarding trustee duties and liabilities; consultant Paul Howell, who specialises in high-value capital tax planning and trust mandates; and managing associate Charlotte Smart, who demonstrates β€˜professionalism and empathy in equal measure’.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP’s β€˜outstanding technical expertise and excellent knowledge’ makes it stand out as β€˜the go-to firm for private clients in the Leeds market’, and it is β€˜always a pleasure to deal with’ and β€˜consistently reliable’. The β€˜exceptionally strong’ practice focuses on four key areas: assisting clients in the farming and landowning arena, advising family businesses on succession and asset protection issues, representing injured, disabled and vulnerable clients; and providing trust management services. In a recent highlight, Peter Greswold assisted Safe Hands Plans with its drafting of a funeral plan trust. Malcolm Lynch also advised a business owner on succession and trust issues. β€˜Strong professional’ Andrew Wriglesworth and the β€˜approachable and straightforward’ Marie-Louise Hamilton jointly lead the firm’s Leeds practice, while the β€˜highly effective’ Lynne Bradey heads up the Sheffield team. Other key team members include the β€˜proactive and understanding’ Julia Boyes and Angus Hunter Smart.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is β€˜unrivalled in Hull’ with an β€˜exceptionally strong team that provides elegant solutions no matter how complex the problem’. The practice regularly handles succession and lifetime planning for high-net-worth individuals as well as the creation and administration of lifetime trusts. In the team, practice head Kevin Webster, who is β€˜superb at finding innovative solutions and provides clear and sound guidance’, is the key name for trust issues, particularly for charity sector clients; Peter Duffus is singled out for his contentious probate expertise, and associate Deborah Gilpin has a substantial focus on inheritance tax planning; clients praise her β€˜very hands-on and personal service, that helps clients easily navigate complex dynamics and difficult situations’.

Caroline Hedges, who has β€˜a unique blend of technical knowledge, interpersonal skills and responsiveness’, heads up Bond Dickinson LLP’s β€˜proactive, knowledgeable and friendly’ team, which is β€˜one of the very best in the North of England and utilises the firm’s excellent national standing’. Hedges’ clients span entrepreneurs, lottery winners and other high-net-worth individuals; she also has particular expertise in wealth devolution and capital tax mitigation. Legal director Susan Maxey, who β€˜creates robust legal solutions in a timely and thorough manner’, is recommended for succession planning and capital taxation; and managing associate Richard Pike specialises in trust and probate disputes.

Clarion’s β€˜strong and talented team’, which β€˜always demonstrates the willingness to go the extra mile and think outside the box’, β€˜punches above its weight’ and is led by the β€˜highly personable’ Vivienne Wild, who has β€˜a wealth of knowledge regarding trusts, tax planning and wills’, with β€˜excellent technical skills’ and β€˜a helpful attitude’; she focuses on estate and inheritance tax planning. Clients also single out the β€˜compassionate, technical and diligent’ Justine Osmotherley, who has β€˜a truly empathetic approach to client relationships’ and β€˜an ability to both listen well and articulate law in a practical way’; β€˜brilliant’ legal director Clare King, who focuses on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals - particularly business owners and entrepreneurs; and senior associate Stephanie Parish, who is β€˜incredible with clients’.

Irwin Mitchell provides an β€˜excellent client experience’ and β€˜gets the best outcomes possible’ thanks, in part, to the leadership of Gillian Coverley, who is β€˜incredibly approachable’ and heads up a team that is β€˜passionate about delivering an excellent service that serves the client’s best interests’. The department is recognised for its expertise advising financial services and charity clients; Age UK, Barclays Bank and Leeds Building Society are noteworthy examples. Recent highlights include assisting Capita Trust Company with providing estate administration and will-writing services to its clients, acting for Macmillan Cancer Care’s clients on will-writing issues, and handling estate planning services for Nationwide Building Society’s clients. Associate Emma McCann is also recommended and focuses on estate administration and post-death restructurings.

Neil Shaw, who β€˜has a well-balanced skill set that allows him to apply a holistic approach’, heads up the personal law department at LCF Law, which regularly handles Court of Protection applications and also advises clients with learning disabilities on trust and lasting powers of attorney issues. Shaw is recognised for his experience as a professional trustee for family trusts and personal injury trusts and acts as a professional deputy for clients who are unable to look after their property and financial affairs. Ann Christian specialises in care home fee planning, tax planning and trust work, Mark Jones focuses on contentious trust and probate matters, and Judith Long regularly represents charitable trusts and family estates.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s β€˜excellent’ department is led by Tricia Carter and also fields Howard Rutter, John Eaton and consultant David Grice. Key areas of strength for the practice include advising landed estates and SME owners alongside providing assistance to learning disability charities and parents of those with learning disabilities regarding wills, trusts and social care elements (an area of expertise for Carter). The team’s experience also encompasses contentious trust and probate work; Rutter is the key practitioner in this space. Associates Susan Bateson and the β€˜highly analytical’ Amanda Simmonds are also names to note and are recommended for estate planning matters and capital tax planning respectively.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, Julia Rangecroft and Andrew Playle jointly lead the department. Playle, who is β€˜responsive, pragmatic and a pleasure to work with’, joined the department in 2016 from Bond Dickinson LLP and has β€˜an unrivalled ability to simplify complex issues and provide practical and succinct advice’. Rangecroft specialises in tax planning mandates, particularly relating to property-backed businesses, agricultural assets, heritage properties and offshore work. Playle is STEP qualified and assists international families, estates, trustees and companies with succession planning, trusts issues and probate matters. Senior associate Ellie Milner is recommended for estate and succession planning and related tax matters, particularly for business owners and agricultural clients.

Janet Hoskin heads up Pinsent Masons LLP’s department, which is highly regarded for its trust expertise. The group acts for insurance companies, banks, pension providers and government agencies on all types of commercial trust issues, and handles tax-specific trust matters for corporate healthcare trusts and property investment trusts. Aegon, Scottish Widows, Simplyhealth, Standard Life and Canada Life are representative clients. In a recent highlight, Hoskin advised a major insurance company on the tax and regulatory implications relating to the extension of its healthcare trusts product. The group also regularly advises internationally mobile individuals, assisting with inheritance tax, capital gains tax and national insurance matters.

As β€˜a good solid firm that clients trust and respect’, Raworths has β€˜an excellent reputation’ thanks to its β€˜depth of experience, efficient manner and effective communication abilities’. β€˜Brilliant professional’ Rachel Tunnicliffe leads the department and regularly advises high-net-worth individuals and families on wills, trusts, powers of attorney, succession planning and inheritance issues. David Garfitt is also highly regarded in the field and was recently instructed by the Nunnington Estate to advise on the estate of a deceased settlement beneficiary and a related financial provision claim. Garfitt is recognised for his strength in the agricultural and business property sectors, and handles inheritance tax planning, trusts and wills for business owners and landed estates.

The β€˜very experienced’ Michele Todd heads up the team at HLW Keeble Hawson, which β€˜conducts itself in an appropriate way by building a caring and trusting relationship with the client’ and β€˜offering practical solutions to highly complex issues’. Todd is noted for her tax and estate planning expertise alongside knowledge of the charity sector, personal injury trusts and Court of Protection matters. The team is also instructed on contentious probate mandates, provides a will-writing service for employers with staff benefits packages, and regularly acts for elderly and high-net-worth individuals. George Connell is highly active in the charity sector, is experienced in professional deputyship work and acts for elderly clients in estate planning matters.

Harrowells Solicitors provides β€˜a truly exemplary service’ with β€˜remarkably quick response times and a sympathetic manner that is a breath of fresh air’. The practice stands out for its agricultural expertise advising on agricultural estate administration, probate issues and matters involving land assets. The β€˜professional, reliable and knowledgeable’ Ed Ryder leads the practice following Andrew Gowar’s move to Langleys Solicitors LLP; Ryder attracts praise for his β€˜reassuring and efficient approach that makes him a tower of strength for clients in difficult situations’. Other noteworthy practitioners include probate and tax planning specialist Pamela Precious and solicitor Nick Clarke, who handles will issues.

Clients praise Rollits LLP’s ability to β€˜deal with substantial and complex matters with exceptional skill and expertise’. Practice head John Lane is recommended for his estate planning expertise and is a β€˜highly competent and very flexible professional’. The team primarily acts for family-owned businesses and landed estates as well as high-net-worth individuals. Litigator Andrew Digwood receives praise, with clients citing his β€˜commercial approach’ as the key to his β€˜exceptional ability to focus on the right outcome for the individual and get the best results’.

Key areas of expertise for Taylor & Emmet LLP include high-value wills and probate, complex tax planning, trust preparation and administration, powers of attorney issues and Court of Protection matters; the firm’s Bakewell office also handles agricultural probate work. Richard King heads up the five-partner department, which fields wills and estate specialist Chaanah Patton, Juanita Haigh, Richard Barlow, who joined the practice in 2016 from Banner Jones Solicitors and regularly acts for elderly clients on estate management and related tax planning; and Alex Watkinson, who focuses exclusively on contested probate matters. In a recent highlight, the team acted for the executor of a farming estate in issues relating to agricultural property relief.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s β€˜incredibly professional team’ receives β€˜full marks across the board’ from clients as β€˜an approachable and compassionate group’, which β€˜is always prompt in its replies, particularly in sensitive situations’. Niche areas of strength for the practice include inheritance tax planning, acting for elderly and vulnerable clients on lasting powers of attorney issues and Court of Protection mandates. Director Suzanne Porter heads up the group and handles probate applications, estate administration, wills and trust work; she recently advised a high-net-worth individual on the creation of a trust. Andrew Vidler is also highly regarded in the field and clients single out Breda Cashell as β€˜very easy to work with’.

The β€˜courteous, knowledgeable and experienced’ department at Bell & Buxton is led by the β€˜well-regarded’ Charles Neal, who advises on lasting powers of attorney, estate administration, trust formation and administration, and will drafting. Recent highlights include Neal handling a high-value probate matter and related negligence claims, Clare Davies advising on a probate matter that involved a residual charity legacy donation, and Martin Sissons assisting a non-domiciled UK resident with inheritance tax planning. Sissons, who β€˜is exceptional in his field of expertise and can easily explain complex legal matters in layman’s terms’, is also recommended for his work with elderly clients.

At Berwins, clients of practice head Julie Jewers β€˜can’t recommend her highly enough’ for her β€˜clear, concise and relevant advice, incredible efficiency and friendly demeanour’ making her β€˜an outstanding lawyer in a sometimes tricky and delicate field’. Jewers primarily focuses on trust work, with other work for the group including contentious and non-contentious probate issues, Court of Protection matters and tax planning. Other key individuals include contentious trust and probate expert Hollie Marcham, Julie Hutchinson, who regularly handles tax planning issues, and Helen Dawson, who focuses on probate mandates; all are associates. Associate director Gareth Marland receives praise for his β€˜very sharp brain, friendly manner and personal approach’.

Blacks Solicitors LLP β€˜always does that little bit extra for clients’ with β€˜a personal approach that comes across in a very warm and comfortable manner’. Nick Rhodes, who β€˜liaises well with clients, understands what they are trying to achieve and makes sure they understand what is being put in place’ heads up the group, which also includes associate Lucy Rigden, who is recommended for estate administration. Areas of expertise for the β€˜top-notch’ team include inheritance tax planning, care home fee planning, estate administration, lasting powers of attorney drafting, Court of Protection applications and contentious probate matters.

Diana Smart is the key contact at Gordons LLP for private client work and attracts praise for her β€˜approachable and professional manner’, which allows her to β€˜explain things in a straightforward but sensitive way’; she β€˜always goes the extra mile to find a solution to a problem’ and β€˜is a key name on any shortlist in the field’. Smart specialises in tax and estate planning, with clients also recommending her as β€˜the only lawyer to go to for trust work’.

At Grays, key practitioners include Thea Holloway and Ben Williams, who focus on probate issues and estate administrations; and Christopher Goodway, who is highly recommended for matters in the agricultural sector, regularly advising landed estates, trustees, farmers and family businesses. The team advises on matters across wills, tax planning, trust mandates and lasting powers of attorney.

In Langleys Solicitors LLP’s York office, associate Serena Brotherton advises on all elements of non-contentious private client work, including landed estates and trust issues; Hugh Thompson handles inheritance tax planning, wills and succession planning and estate administration; Edward Allen is recommended for estate planning and probate issues; and Chelsea Martin has experience in care home fee funding and mental capacity issues alongside trust and will expertise. Clients of the group include agricultural businesses, high-net-worth individuals and family-owned businesses. Andrew Gowar joined from Harrowells Solicitors.

Elaine Lightfoot heads up the team at McCormicks, which focuses on estate planning and administration as well as Court of Protection applications, regularly advising trustees and settlors. The practice’s expertise also encompasses advising trustees on fiduciary duties and the rights of beneficiaries, advising deputies on their duties surrounding the Mental Capacity Act, care home fee planning and lasting powers of attorney. Other key team members include Philip Edmondson, who primarily handles contentious probate mandates, and Heather Roberts, who is recommended for estate issues. Lightfoot, Edmondson and Roberts were all promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Ridley & Hall fields β€˜an excellent team’, with practice head Jill Waddington and solicitors Victoria Maude and Helen Webster the key names to note. The group assists clients with will and probate issues, estate administration, inheritance tax planning, trusts, care home fee planning and lasting powers of attorney matters. Waddington also stands out for her experience advising elderly clients and Webster is a dementia friend; the practice has a niche strength advising dementia patients and their carers. Court of Protection applications are another key area of focus of the department, with advice covering statutory wills and deputyships.

Ashley Iredale is head of the department at Schofield Sweeney, which advises regional and national business owners, entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals, family trusts and elderly clients. The group is noted for its estate administration work alongside its expertise in wills, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. Recent highlights include drafting and advising on an employee ownership trust and a family discretionary trust relating to the exit of shareholders from a family business, and handling an estate administration involving charity beneficiaries. Stamp duty land tax specialist John Feaster, Sarah Hodkinson, who focuses on asset protection and wealth preservation, and Kanika Sohpal, who handles estates with foreign properties, are all recommended.

The β€˜highly knowledgeable’ two-partner team at Simpson Millar LLP β€˜has the client’s best interests in mind at all times’, which β€˜instils great confidence’. Erika Sinclair joined the firm from Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP and leads the practice following SiΓ’n Thompson’s move to Swayne Johnson & Wight. Sinclair receives high praise from clients, who label her β€˜an outstandingly able individual, who is knowledgeable, determined, thorough and indefatigable’ and who β€˜gets to the root of every issue thanks to a detailed and technical approach’. The practice handles all elements of private client work, including will preparation, lasting powers of attorney, estate administration, trust issues and Court of Protection work.

Andrew Facer heads up the department at Ward Hadaway and is recognised for his succession planning expertise, regularly acting for entrepreneurial and landed clients on a range of succession structures; he also has substantial experience in employee benefit trusts. Clients also single out the β€˜excellent’ Andrew Evans for his β€˜incredible integrity and great listening skills’, which β€˜allows him to quickly help clients work out what they need and carry that out in a way that is supportive without being patronising’. The group advises on probate matters (especially those involving high-value estates), tax planning, estates with foreign assets, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications.

Through its Beverley office, Wilkin Chapman LLP fields a β€˜knowledgeable, professional and responsive’ team led by β€˜true expert’ Lesley Archer, who β€˜has an exceptionally warm and friendly manner, is incredibly easy to deal with and delivers sound advice in a timely and effective way’. Archer is highly experienced in trust and estate issues, particularly those involving inheritance tax relief, and she is also active in Mental Capacity Act work. The group’s clients span farming families, business owners, lottery winners and disabled individuals and their carers. Senior solicitor Lucy Butterfint has β€˜an excellent knowledgebase and handles issues with sympathy and understanding’; she regularly acts for vulnerable adults through her Court of Protection work.

As β€˜a small but perfectly formed firm, which is excellent in the field’, Emsleys Solicitors Limited’s β€˜reputation is fast improving’ thanks, in part, to the β€˜highly impressive leadership’ of Helen Gott. Gott attracts praise for her β€˜incredibly hardworking, sensible and dedicated approach’ that allows her to β€˜put across to clients what might be complicated in a straightforward fashion’, making her β€˜a true professional’. The group primarily handles will issues, with further expertise in lasting powers of attorney matters, probate mandates and Court of Protection work. Solicitor Ailsa Jarvis is recommended for her work with elderly clients and is a dementia friend.

At Ramsdens, department head Chris Reynolds is the key name in the three-partner team for high-value probate matters, advising high-net-worth individuals and estates. Other noteworthy practitioners include Rachael Sykes, who handles will drafting, lasting powers of attorney, inheritance tax planning and estate administration, and Veronica Mullins, who regularly acts for vulnerable individuals. Consultants John Fryer, Mike Roberts and Gerald Jarvis are also recommended; Fryer is the name to note for Court of Protection mandates, Roberts specialises in matter relating to elderly clients and Jarvis assists with will issues and inheritance tax.

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Legal Developments in Yorkshire and the Humber for Personal tax, trusts and probate

  • New β€˜ROE Bill’ draft published

    Following from the recent public outcry regarding the lack of β€˜transparency’ in the UK property market, a new β€˜ROE Bill’ draft has now been published.
    - Hudson McKenzie

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