The Legal 500

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Work 020 7863 8333
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82988 MAYFAIR
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www.forsters.co.uk

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP focuses particularly on advising family offices, high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs. The team includes consultant Craigie Pearson, who has experience in the hotels and leisure, charity and art sectors; cross-border M&A specialist Craig Thompson; and Christine Dubignon, who also regularly handles matters with an international element.

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 6

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP 'has an excellent reputation for all aspects of commercial litigation'. The dispute resolution team advises both businesses and high-net-worth individuals on commercial, corporate and private client matters and frequently acts in property and construction-related disputes. Emily Exton is dispute resolution head; Benedict Walton  'combines good instincts with an easy client manner'; Andrew Head's disputes work includes  professional indemnity, land issues, civil fraud, tax investigations and group actions arising out of financial mis-selling; and Christopher Bacon is 'a thoughtful, meticulous solicitor'.

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London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP  has a ‘first-class agriculture and estates team that deals with queries promptly and efficiently’. Key members of the team include Rupert Mead  and Andrew Lane; Lane has extensive experience advising on capital taxation and succession issues for the owners of landed estates. Team head Penny Elliott  and ‘exceptionally brilliant’ senior associate Charlotte Brackley  are ‘particularly good at dealing with all agricultural and rural conveyancing issues’. Other members of the ‘top-quality team’ include the ‘exceptionally brilliant’ Catherine Hill, who has been advising a significant number of landed estates on myriad complex estate planning matters. The team boasts a sophisticated client base which includes a mix of traditional landowners, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and, increasingly, overseas investors and purchasers. Christopher Findlay and Henry Cecil joined in October from Bircham Dyson Bell.

Leading individuals

Andrew Lane - Forsters LLP

Christopher Findlay - Forsters LLP

Henry Cecil - Forsters LLP

Penny Elliott - Forsters LLP

Rupert Mead - Forsters LLP

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Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

Forsters LLP

Rupert Mead  at Forsters LLP  has a particular interest in the preservation of heritage property and its exemption from tax. Mead acts as a trustee of a number of significant estates in England and Wales, many of which include pre-eminent collections of chattels. The ‘very experienced’ Catherine Hill  is ‘able to draft complex bespoke documents which succinctly capture a client’s requirements’. Hill advises clients who own and invest in art and has a particular expertise in advising living artists (several of whom are Royal Academicians) on legacy, succession and taxation issues. The group has a wealth of experience in acting for influential individuals and institutions in the UK and in the major international art markets. Clients range from families and their trustees owning old masters and chattels of national importance through to living contemporary artists seeking to establish structures to safeguard their artistic legacies. Its client base includes international collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP advises individual philanthropists, charities and other not-for-profit organisations both in the UK and worldwide. Other areas of expertise include advising on the tax implications of giving to charity both in the UK and abroad. In addition the team acts for the trustees of a wide range of charities (with a particular emphasis on those involved in education, social care and the arts). Carole Cook is one of the key members of the three-partner practice and specialises in advising UK and overseas individuals on tax, trust, estate and succession planning issues connected with philanthropic matters. Rupert Mead is also recommended along with Fiona Smith. The department is well known for its particular specialism in advising on dual qualified UK/US charities and frequently advises on structures for effective charitable giving and through Zakat.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's team is ‘in the premier league in this field’. Practice head Emily Exton  is a ‘very experienced litigator and is incredibly empathetic with clients’. Catharine Bell  is ‘one of the best managers of very large and complex international private client disputes around’. Soraya Kimber is ‘fantastic’ and Charlotte Evans-Tipping  ‘combines very extensive domestic and international private client experience with excellent client care and extremely hard work’ – both are senior associates. Exton regularly acts for trustees and high-net-worth individuals and families on a wide variety of contentious trusts and probate cases in addition to professional negligence claims that arise in the context of trust and estates work. Bell also has a wealth of experience in advising on high level trusts and estates disputes.

Leading individuals

Emily Exton - Forsters LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's Joanne Edwards is a ‘tireless campaigner who leaves no stone unturned to get the best for her clients. She is the doyenne of the family law world and is a real leader in finding less confrontational routes to solutions whilst retaining a steely core’. Rosie Schumm is ‘calm and empathetic’. Senior associate Amanda Sandys is ‘one of the future stars of the family legal profession. She is very quick to grasp the nub of a case’. Dickon Ceadel  is a ‘very bright associate who is on the road to partnership’. Edwards is skilled at advising on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown and at resolving issues about arrangements for children including the relocation of children. She has extensive experience of advising on multimillion pound pre-nuptial agreements. Schumm specialises in advising wealthy clients on complex divorce and financial matters including those relating to children. She is also attracting clients with complex international surrogacy requirements.

Leading individuals

Joanne Edwards - Forsters LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP ‘continues to be outstanding’ under the leadership of Patrick Harney . Harney’s ‘UK/US practice is renowned in London but it is his approachability and his measured advice that sets him apart’. Kelly Noel-Smith  is an ‘exceptional lawyer. She is very competent and is involved in some high value and complex work –which she handles with aplomb. She works very effectively with her associates’. Catherine Hill  is ‘highly capable’ and David Robinson ‘continues to impress with his exceptional ability and his immense practical experience’.Rupert Mead , Guy Abrahams  and Xavier Nicolas are ‘all bright, able and very impressive’. Nick Jacob is ‘very experienced in offshore trusts and tax – he is a big name in the market who is very busy’. Anthony Thompson has ‘great private client expertise which is matched by his commercial acumen’. Harney advises domestic UK families on wealth structuring and has a particular expertise in the use of family partnerships and family investment companies as a tax efficient wealth holding vehicle. There are also ‘numerous able assistant solicitors’ in the department. The team continues to act for high-net-worth individuals and their trustees on the creation of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures for asset protection and wealth preservation.

Leading individuals

Anthony Thompson - Forsters LLP

David Robinson - Forsters LLP

Patrick Harney - Forsters LLP

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

The team at Forsters LLP has considerable experience acting for investors and funders in property investment transactions across a range of asset types, and mixed-use development projects. In one stand-out matter, Glenn Dunn is advising a fund managed by Savills Investment Management on its joint venture with Fruition Properties to develop a mixed-use site in Bermondsey. The team is regularly involved in hotel and retail development schemes, which has recently included Guy Jordan acting for an investment fund in relation to two boutique hotel developments outside of London. Jordan also assisted The Crown Estate with its £120m acquisition of three Central London properties. Other key contacts in the investment practice include Andrew Crabbie, who acted for Investra Capital in connection with the sale and leaseback of a retail portfolio, and Sarah Pass, who has recently handled significant single-asset and portfolio transactions. In the alternatives space, Ronan Ledwidge has been involved in a student accommodation development, and Victoria Towers  is acting for a development partner in relation to a number of industrial development sites in South East London. British Airways Pension Fund, Hunter UK Retail Unit Trust and LXB Retail Properties are among the team's key clients.

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Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Forsters LLP

Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP specialises in UK development projects; recent highlights include advisingThe Crown Estate in relation to the acquisition of Central London properties from Standard Life Assurance Limited; and acting for British Airways Pension Trustees Limited in relation to the redevelopment of Piries Place in Horsham. The team also advised HIFML UK Property Fund on the redevelopment of the 11-acre former Britvic manufacturing site in Chelmsford, to construct multiple industrial and retail units. New clients include Valor Real Estate Partners, Peel Logistics and Q Investment Partners, and the team has also been re-appointed as the RFU's preferred supplier of contentious and non-contentious construction advice. Sarah Cook heads the practice.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Forsters LLP

The team at Forsters LLP has significant expertise in high-rise developments, recently advising on a residential tower-led scheme in East Croydon, as well as the continued redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula. Head of team Oliver Wright has 'good judgement, sound tactical sense combined with a lot of charm, making him a formidable opponent'; he specialises in sensitive and contentious redevelopment sites. As members of the Mayfair Neighbourhood Forum, the team are also responsible for all drafting and enabling of the Mayfair Neighbourhood Plan. Other clients include British Airways Pension Fund, Knight Dragon, Suffolk County Council and MacDonald's Restaurants.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 5

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP is known for its work for borrower clients, but has recently added a number of leading lenders to its client roster, including Rothschild Bank International, OakNorth Bank and United National Trust Bank. The practice is led by Victoria Edwards - an 'excellent negotiator' who is 'practical' and 'always responds quickly' - and also includes Simon Collins, Ronan Ledwidge, Matthew Swainston and Craig Thompson. 'Diligent' senior associate Rowena Marshall is also noted.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

The team at Forsters LLP offers ‘cost-effective advice and solutions’ and delivers ‘excellent service levels and response times’. The group specialises in forfeiture, rent arrears, dilapidations claims, lease renewals and service charge disputes. The team is praised for being ‘highly knowledgeable’ and is headed by Natasha Rees who together with Amy Jackson, is praised for being ‘extremely pleasant’ and having ‘particularly good client relationships’. Senior associates Charlotte Ross and Anna Mullins  are also singled out by clients. Ross is described as ‘a natural property litigator’ and Mullins is ‘very clever and delightful to deal with’. Partner Ben Barrison is ‘very competent in forming the strategy for securing the best outcome’ while Emma Gosling is recommended for lease renewals and recovery of possession from squatters. Will Leney arrived from Cripps LLP while Lucy Zaremba joined from Edwin Coe LLP. Rosalind Cullis departed to Kingsley Napley LLP.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Ross - Forsters LLP

Natasha Rees - Forsters LLP

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Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP ‘is one of the market leading names in this sector’ and boasts ‘an excellent track record’. The team is ‘adaptive to market conditions’ and is headed by the ‘effective team leader’, Lucy Barber. She acts for private individuals, lenders and developers and investors on the purchase and sale of property and also specialises in enfranchisement claims. Partner Chris Myers ‘ensures that client requirements are met’ and excels on residential developments and advising international clients on UK property purchases. Paul Neville has expertise in leasehold enfranchisement while Helen Marsh is experienced with developments, conveyancing and secured lending.

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