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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Elsewhere in East Anglia > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: Elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

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Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

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Ashtons Legal’s team is particularly well known for estate planning and administration, particularly where substantial UK or overseas assets are involved or where there are business interests. In the Bury St Edmunds office Alan Brown provides ‘service that is consistently first class; he can quickly laser in on the heart of the issue and is a good listener’. Matthew Cameron is ‘professional and well informed’ in matters involving French law and is head of the firm’s French legal services division. Also recommended are Court of Protection specialist Adrian Mundell, Alison Budge who advises on high-value family trusts, and ‘very personable’ associate Elizabeth Dunn. Brown handled many high-value and complex matters in 2016, including carving out part of a multimillion-pound trust fund to take advantage of the opportunity to create a transitional serial interest following changes in IHT law. He also advised a client with substantial assets in London and France on structuring a will to leave a large part of the estate to beneficiaries other than his wife.

One of the leading practices in the region’, Greene & Greene has a team of ‘well-qualified and trained experts’ whose ‘overall service is comprehensive and efficient’. From its base in Bury St Edmunds The eight-lawyer team acts for clients across East Anglia and includes three qualified chartered tax advisers, including partner and STEP member Wayne Perrin, who is ‘proactive in his advice and clear in his explanations’; and ‘friendly and extremely diligent’ solicitor Nigel Scase, who has ‘the ability to find innovative, alternative solutions’. Partner Jonathan Mathers handles property and private client matters, and is ‘approachable, professional and sensitive to clients’ needs’. Estate and trust solicitor Martine Swaep also garners praise. Key matters from 2016 included advising a high-net-worth individual on her entitlement under her deceased husband’s will.

the overall level of service is excellent’ at Fosters, which has offices across East Anglia. Laura van Ree in Wymondham jointly heads the private client team along with Stephen Green in Norwich. Solicitor Nick Flower works between the Bungay and Lowestoft offices. The firm regularly provides advice on private client matters through clinics run by Age UK Norfolk and Age UK Suffolk. Key matters included arranging lasting power of attorney (LPA) for a couple with an aunt aged 107 and a mother aged 97; handling an intestate estate following the sudden death of a young man who had no spouse, civil partner or children; and handling a complex will that had not been updated for many years and for which the both the first appointed and replacement executors had died.

Hunt & Coombs LLP is one of the leading firms in Peterborough for private client matters, although its team is based across the region. Head of probate Paddy Appleton (whose service is ‘second to none; he makes complicated matters easy to understand’) works from the Oundle office and is one of the region’s most experienced practitioners. Peter Izodis well versed in matters concerning probate, trusts, wills and care of the elderly. Legal executive Anne Dickens in St Neots is also recommended. Last year, Appleton advised on the management of an estate with assets in foreign jurisdictions including the US that involved complex matters around venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and tax matters.

An ideal choice for wills and probate work in north NorfolkButcher Andrews has ‘a small but strong team with good knowledge of the law and a good understanding of planning issues and tax implications, which are backed up with an efficient approach that delivers in a timely fashion’. The ‘helpful and approachableSimon Underwood leads a team that includes a newly qualified solicitor in Sarah Parker, who trained at Mills & Reeve LLP in Norwich, legal executive Cindy Grand and a trainee probate executive. The firm handles the estates of many high-net-worth individuals, many of whom own substantial commercial and agricultural property. In 2016, the firm dealt with an estate that included a diverse range of property including an antique motor car, train carriage and penny farthings that were put up for sale at auction. Underwood also handled complex claims for business property relief on the home of a deceased client.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitorshas an excellent team of lawyers’ across its office network. The team is headquartered in Norwich but its Sheringham, Brooke and North Walsham offices also house significant expertise in private client matters. Legal executives Lesley Ward – who regularly provides advice through the networks of Norfolk Community Legal Services and AgeUK Norfolk – and Susan Dawe ‘have excellent client skills’. They are also part of the Dementia Friends initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. Dawe holds power of attorney for numerous clients and manages discretionary trusts for minors and vulnerable beneficiaries. Ward specialises in work for elderly clients. Consultant solicitor Caroline Ashmole and solicitor Kerri-Anne Watson are also recommended.

At Fraser Dawbarns, the ‘friendly and understanding’ Harleen Hanson is ‘outstanding; she always gives sound and comprehensive advice and has a very wide knowledge of matters such as inheritance tax’. Sarah Lamb in Wisbech is ‘very capable, committed and caring about the matter and the client’. Also recommended are Kieren Cross in March and Tony Barratt in Downham Market. Highlights for the team included a complex deputyship matter involving significant assets and the alleged fraudulent obtaining and dissipation of funds by family members that resulted in police prosecution. The firm also handled the administration of a £4.5m estate that included a family business, and the management of a £1m estate that included a gallery business.

Gotelee Solicitors fields a strong private client offering from its headquarters in Ipswich as well as across its expanding network of offices in Suffolk. Matthew Boast in Felixstowe has more than 20 years’ experience in private client matters including wills, probate, trusts and powers of attorney. Key figures in the Melton office include partner Nicola Weldon, who has 14 years’ experience advising on high-value trusts and estates; associate Lindsay Duckworth, who specialises in elderly client matters; and solicitor Sophie Grabham, who handles numerous probate and intestacy matters. Weldon’s key matters included IHT advice for many high-net-worth individuals and the management of complex business arrangements in numerous substantial estates.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP has two partners focused on private client matters in Robert Nicholson, who provides advice on trust and tax planning for a number of high-net-worth individuals, particularly farming clients with assets that include development land, and Ella Nicholson, whose broad practice encompasses wills, tax planning, trusts, probate, powers of attorney and care fee planning. Ann-Marie Matthews joined Barker Gotelee in Ipswich but it continues to be a major player in the Lowestoft area.

In the Attleborough office of Spire Solicitors LLP, Carl Heywood is respected for his work on both property and private client matters, which include wills, probate and powers of attorney. His clients include many of the surrounding region’s farming families. Sophie Harvey in Aylsham handles will drafting, estate administration, Court of Protection work and estate planning. She recently achieved the STEP Advanced Certification in will preparation. Jo Tinson in Watton is also recommended.


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