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The firm: Harcus Sinclair LLP is a specialist firm focused on the needs of the private client and private client adviser through its three complementary practice areas of private client, litigation and family law.

The firm was set up by its founding partners in 2002 with the intention of moving away from the expansionist business model reliant on compartmentalisation, juniors and precedent-led work increasingly prevalent in the market to a model of bespoke advice from experienced, partner-led teams. In addition, many of the firm's practitioners have competence and experience across the conventional departmental demarcation and teams, which are client-based, are often made up across two or more practice areas depending on the client's specific needs.

The underlying ethos, together with the flexible way in which the three practice areas integrate, enables the firm to provide its clients with independent, intelligent, experienced, robust and genuinely bespoke advice. It also enables the firm to grow its expertise flexibly in line with its clients' requirements and to provide commercial solutions, as demonstrated by the fact that it leads the market in alternative fee arrangements and litigation funding.

The firm has a global reputation for international clients as well as being highly thought of in the UK market, with a client base that includes advising several generations of UK-domiciled families.

Types of work undertaken: Private client: the private client practice of Harcus Sinclair is led by Keith Bruce-Smith, a partner with over 30 years' experience. He is one of the authors of two precedent books on trusts and wills and original co-editor of an international law trust compendium. He and Lucy Gibson, widely acclaimed for her international trust and estate law expertise, act for a wide range of UK- and overseas-based individuals and trustees.

Litigation: headed by Damon Parker, the firm's vastly experienced and well-regarded litigation practice acts for private clients and family offices, institutional investors and professional trustees in domestic and international trust, estate and financial services matters. The firm's knowledge and experience is tailored to the issues typically encountered by such clients in all circumstances, from the custodians of traditional landed estates to entrepreneurs generating wealth on a global basis and family offices, businesses and professional institutions tasked with safeguarding and managing such assets. It encompasses complex and high-value trust disputes and restructurings, complex investment loss claims, fraud and asset tracing, shareholder disputes and other commercial litigation, probate disputes, contested applications to the Court of Protection involving property and affairs and disputes involving holdings of works of art. The practice is characterised by an innovative and commercial approach to litigation and the firm now leads the market among private client advisers in bringing financial services claims on behalf of clients who have suffered significant investment losses and in pioneering the use of litigation funding and group litigation orders.

Family law: Kathryn Peat leads the family law practice. She deals in particular with high-value and international matrimonial cases and those involving children. Roger Cobden-Ramsay, now a consultant, has acted in a number of landmark family law cases and specialises in complex multi-jurisdictional financial remedies claims. Together they advise on all legal issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage and other relationships, as well as on nuptial agreements and child-related matters.

  • Number of UK partners: 8
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 26
  • Breakdown of work %

  • Private client, tax and trusts : 35
  • Litigation : 45
  • Family : 20

Above material supplied by Harcus Sinclair LLP.

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