The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work 020 7863 8333
Fax 020 7863 8444

Catharine Bell

Work +44 203 872 1088
Forsters LLP

Work Department

Private Client




Catharine is partner in our Private Client department. She is an international private client lawyer with particular expertise in contentious trusts and estates, as well as wealth structuring, family governance and varied advice to family offices.  Catharine is recognised within the private wealth industry as a leading expert in both contentious and non-contentious work.

She advises high net worth individuals and their trustees on the creation and fortification of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures, for asset protection and wealth preservation reasons.  This includes the use of family governance mechanisms in the management of potential intra-familial disputes, and advice on pre- and post- nuptial agreements as a tool to maintain family harmony.  She has a wealth of experience advising in relation to high level trust and estates disputes.

Catharine is recognized in the Citywealth Leaders List as one of the Top 10 Contentious Trusts lawyers, where she is praised for her "quick mind" and "pragmatic and practical approach".   She is ranked in the Chambers UK and HNW guides for both her contentious and non-contentious work. Catharine has written and lectured extensively on her areas of expertise both in the UK and overseas.

Catharine joined Forsters with the rest of the Gowling WLG London Private Client team in May 2017.  She practised for a number of years in Jersey, before joining Lawrence Graham (a predecessor firm of Gowling WLG) in 1999, becoming a partner in 2004.  Catharine qualified as a solicitor in 1989.


The Law Society
ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)

London: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate

Within: Contentious trusts and probate

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. The team welcomed the 'technically strong and very pragmaticRoberta Harvey who joined in January 2019 from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments in London

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to