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



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Ashtons Legal's¬†Bury St Edmunds office is home to a deep bench of talented private client lawyers led by¬†deputy CEO and head of individual services Alan Brown¬†who is 'very knowledgeable on all matters, straight-talking and easy to work with; he goes the extra mile'. The practice acts for professional, academic and agricultural clients across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. It has niche expertise in supporting vulnerable clients and also in French law matters, with¬†Matthew Cameron¬†('very responsive and very efficient') handling property sales, inheritance issues, wills and tax for clients with assets in France.¬†The strong team of associates includes Elizabeth Dunn¬†who ‚Äėexplains the options in a relaxed and easy to understand way'; Faye Stolls,¬†who 'knows her subject well and is easy¬† to work with'; and Teresa Callender,¬†who is 'extremely approachable, friendly and efficient'.

Greene & Greene is 'very good, providing fast and helpful responses from a good selection of people able to provide specialist knowledge as needed'. One client describes the practice as 'first-class, always accessible, quick and efficient'. Head of department and STEP member Wayne Perrin, who is one of three qualified chartered tax advisors in the practice, is 'always available, approachable and capable of providing good information in a friendly and clear manner; he listens and then offers good clear advice'. He recently advised  a client on a tax-efficient succession strategy for a £12m estate. The practice is best-known for advice on taxation, but it has a broad client base for complex trusts, estates and probate matters. Solicitor and chartered tax advisor Nigel Scase is 'very knowledgeable regarding HMRC and acts with reasonable promptitude'. Jonathan Mathers, who handles agricultural and private client matters, and trusts and estates practitioners Martine Swaep and Ian Cottam are also recommended.

Clients are ‚Äėvery happy with the service‚Äė from Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, which continued to grow its private client team across Norfolk last year.¬†The firm hired¬†the 'kind and understanding' Laura van Ree¬†from Fosters¬†to lead the team in North Walsham. Clients describe her as¬†‚Äėempathetic, patient and extremely professional without being remote; she is¬†proactive with her advice whilst maintaining her kind and sensitive approach'. The ‚Äėfirst-class team that always¬†seems to go that extra mile in customer service‚Äô includes solicitor Gaynor Smith¬†and legal executive Lesley Ward¬†in North Walsham, and legal executive Susan Dawe¬†in Sheringham, where consultant Chris King, who¬†has more than 33 years' experience in wills, tax planning and trusts, is also recommended. The firm is highly regarded for work with elderly clients and all of its solicitors are qualified Dementia Friends.

Fosters¬†has a strong private client offering in Wymondham and clients remark upon the¬†'incredibly professional, sensitive and caring' team. Associate Lisa Glynne¬†, who also spends time in the Lowestoft office, is 'incredibly professional - she cannot be faulted', according to one client. She worked closely with the firm's litigators to mediate a husband's claim against an estate from which he had been excluded following¬†allegations of abuse by his deceased wife. Chartered legal executive¬†Angela Ireland, who joined from Steeles Law, is ‚Äėknowledgeable, friendly, understanding and efficient'. She is a member of STEP and has 15 years' experience in this field of law.

Fraser Dawbarns Downham Market is known for 'great response times, very professional business acumen and good value for money'. Clients praise the firm's 'excellent service and outstanding technical knowledge, provided on a timely basis' and remark that 'the firm is very efficient and approachable and the lawyers are always happy to chat over an issue'. Harleen Hanson in King's Lynn has 'a very professional and sensitive approach'. Kieren Cross acted for the executor of a large estate for which the will had been incorrectly drafted by the deceased. Associate Amy Pettitt has'excellent technical knowledge and approach to clients'. Pettitt and legal executive Sarah Lamb are 'attentive, sensitive and relate well to clients'. Legal executive Cath Collins has 'the ability to explain jargon in simple terms, with a friendly but business-like manner'.

Hunt & Coombs LLP¬†has a well-established private client practice in Peterborough and a strong presence across the region through its offices in Oundle, Huntingdon and St Neots. The practice is ‚Äėcompetitively priced, professional and approachable‚Äė and clients note that the lawyers are ‚Äėall friendly, helpful and demonstrate excellent client-facing skills‚Äė.¬†Head of probate Paddy Appleton in Oundle is ‚Äėlikeable and friendly and explains things simply;¬†he is very good with estate probate and agricultural issues‚Äô. He recently handled a ¬£3.5m probate matter involving assets in the US, a venture capital trust and an enterprise investment scheme.¬†Partner¬†Peter Izod¬†is recommended for matters involving elderly clients.¬†Associate¬†Fiona Prince¬†in St Neots joined the firm after a career break and has 18 years' experience in wills, probate and trusts law. Senior legal executive¬†Anne Dickens¬†in Huntingdon is also recommended.

Butcher Andrews in Fakenham handles the estates of numerous high-net-worth clients, many of which include substantial commercial or agricultural property. The tax, trust and probate team is highly experienced in creating tax-efficient structures for these estates, and advises on all matters concerning   inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax. Its work also encompasses the administration and winding up of trusts. Practice head Simon Underwood has ten years' experience in tax, probate and Court of Protection work, as well as the administration of complex trusts. He is supported by solicitor Sarah Parker, legal executive Cindy Grand and a trainee. The practice's recent work includes handling the UK element of a multimillion-pound, international estate, which required UK tax advice, the resealing of a foreign grant and the  determination of domicile.

Churchgates, which was formed following the management buyout of the Bury St Edmunds office of Grant Thornton in 2011 and gained approval to practice as a firm of solicitors in 2015, advises on tax and estate planning and investment portfolio management for owner-managed businesses, farmers, medical practices and private individuals. Two of its lawyers are chartered tax advisors, including head of private client Matthew Boardman. He recently handled estate and business planning matters for a farming family in which elderly parents were struggling with the management of financial reporting. Solicitor Suzanne Alston is recommended for work on UK trusts, tax and complex wills.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP in Lowestoft has two partners who handle private client matters. Robert Nicholson frequently advises high-net-worth individuals on trust and tax planning, and often handles the affairs of clients in the the farming sector with development land among their assets. Ella Nicholson has extensive expertise in wills, estate administration, trusts and taxation.

Roythornes Solicitors joins the ranking as its head of private client Elizabeth Young now spends a significant proportion of her time in East Anglia at the firm's new office in Alconbury. She is highly experienced in succession planning, both from a strategic business and intergenerational wealth perspective, and has been a member of the Court of Protection’s Panel of Professional Deputies a since 2001.  Like Young, STEP member and Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association Sarah Banner works across all four of the firm's offices and is skilled in the creation of wills, partnership agreements and trusts.

Spire Solicitors LLP has eight offices across Norfolk, through with it provides an extensive range of private client services. Jo Tinson in Watton handles both property and private client matters and her work includes trust administration for clients in the education sector. Associate Susannah Butterworth in Dereham is a member of STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly. She recently advised elderly clients on care provision and dealings with social services. Solicitor Rebecca Johnstone in Attleborough recently handled the affairs of numerous estates with international assets.

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