Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Ashtons Legal

The lifetime planning practice at Ashtons Legal ‘has a diverse mix of skills and can provide complex advice collaboratively'. The firm has as a strong regional, agricultural and owner-managed business client base, and also acts for many multi-generational client families in Suffolk. In Bury St Edmunds, deputy CEO and head of the practice Alan Brown is regarded as being ‘an expert in trusts and very knowledgeable on financial and investment-related matters‘; French law expert Matthew Cameron is also a key contact. Highly regarded senior associates Chris Cumberbatch and Faye Stolls work from the same office. In Ipswich, head of lifetime planning Janette Wand, and Louise Cardwell are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Alan Brown


Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cameron; Janette Wand; Louise Cardwell; Chris Cumberbatch; Faye Stolls


Testimonials

‘The team at Ashtons Legal work collaboratively with each other to deliver a great service to clients.’

‘The individuals are very easy to talk with and give easy-to-understand advice and guidance without jargon or complication. A refreshing service.’

‘Ashtons stand out for the way they collaborate with other professionals to obtain better outcomes for clients.’

Work highlights


  • Advising HNW client regarding succession and IHT planning, wherein there are assets in three jurisdictions, including shares in a multi-million pound family-run business abroad, some of which are held in a trust.
  • Administering an estate which includes multiple companies, a farming partnership, multiple properties, significant investments and large pensions.
  • Advising a French resident client on the implications of being a discretionary beneficiary under his late father’s Will trust which involved advising on the historic legal position in France regarding the lack of recognition of foreign trusts.

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich-based practice at Birketts LLP provides its clients with ‘top-tier legal expertise’. Louise Long, who is described as having a ‘compassionate, empathetic and calm manner’, leads the private client advisory practice across all five of the firm’s offices. Lorna Spear moved internally from the Norwich office to co-lead the practice in Ipswich. Senior associates Jessica Godfrey-Withey and Rhiannon Russell as well as London-based legal director Claire Tenwick who joined from Smyth Barkham LLP in September 2022, also play central roles in the firm’s tax and estate planning work.

Practice head(s):

Louise Long; Lorna Spear


Other key lawyers:

Rhiannon Russell; Jessica Godfrey-Withey; Claire Tenwick


Testimonials

‘Birketts offer good practical and sensible advice and are pleasant to deal with.’

‘They have a clear understanding and ability to explain key elements of issues. They provide prompt attention to queries and clear communication to the client. They are readily availabile for meetings and discussions too.’

‘Louise Long is an extremely capable counsel who has always provided me with sound legal advice; I have total trust in her judgement and advice.’

‘Closeness to and empathy with clients.’

‘Birketts’ strength isn’t just the team’s top-tier legal expertise, but also their ability to deliver advice in a timely, personable and easy to understand manner. This is not something that I have experienced with other firms. The team’s depth means that they are able to offer support on a wide-variety of issues, and I have found their advice and consultation invaluable. In today’s age, it is very easy to feel like just a number, but every time I deal with the Birketts team, I am treated as if I am their only client.’

‘Over twenty years, Louise Long has never failed to impress or put a foot wrong in my experience. Louise is an experienced expert in the field but she also brings her unique insight to bear when dealing with complex family issues. It is not an overstatement to say that clients love her for her compassionate, empathetic and calm manner. Louise is always able to get to heart of the matter in the most discreet way, has a ready understanding of the issues and always provides practical solutions.’

‘Louise Long is one of the best in the business and she has a unique ability to balance delicate subjects with her professional and efficient approach.’

‘They are a personable and responsive team.’

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors has an office network that extends throughout Suffolk, where it is considered to be a leading private client firm. Its tax, trusts and probate team handles the full-range of work, including complex and high-value trust and probate matters. STEP member Peter Crix, who is a trustee of numerous trusts including farms in Suffolk, a portfolio of residential properties in London and a multimillion-pound fund for a disabled beneficiary, and partner Karina Jowitt, are the key practitioners in Ipswich. Matthew Boast is the main contact in Felixstowe; associate Richard Guy leads the Woodbridge-based practice; and solicitor Andrew Reed is the lead lawyer in Hadleigh.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crix; Matthew Boast; Richard Guy; Karina Jowitt; Andrew Reed


Greene & Greene

Clients of Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds note that ‘the partnership oozes traditional values without being stuffy or intimidating – a difficult balancing act which they deliver with aplomb‘. The firm handles many complex taxable estates, and acts for numerous high-net-worth clients. Chartered tax adviser Wayne Perrin and property and estate specialist Jonathan Mathers, who has extensive experience in both property and private client work, are the leads. Key names to note include ‘knowledgeable, responsive and efficient' senior associate and full STEP member Zoe Hodge; ‘utterly professional and patient‘ tax director Nigel Scase; and 2022-promoted 'thorough, personably and efficient' partner Martine Swaep, play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Perrin; Jonathan Mathers


Other key lawyers:

Zoe Hodge; Nigel Scase; Martine Swaep


Testimonials

‘Nigel Scase act assiduously on issues for us, remaining utterly professional and patient throughout difficult processes. He and his firm have advised clearly and acted efficiently.’

‘A personal touch with good and prompt communications to clients. The partnership oozes traditional values without being stuffy or intimidating – a difficult balancing act which they deliver with aplomb.’

‘Nigel Scase is considerate, sympathetic and highly professional. I can’t personally thank him enough.’

‘Our US to UK-related assistance required with our wills was handled with ease.’

‘Martine Swaep is thorough, clear in her explanations, personable and efficient. Nothing is too much trouble. The other staff members are all pleasant to deal with also and everything is handled smoothly. We felt confident we were in good hands throughout. Our overall experience was excellent, and we unreservedly recommend Ms Swaep.’

‘All the people that I have met at the firm have always been extremely polite and helpful.’

‘Martine Swaep is exceedingly kind and patient with me.’

‘Zoe Hodge is friendly, helpful, approachable, knowledgeable, responsive and efficient.’

Barker Gotelee

Barker Gotelee's team in Ipswich which ‘deals with all matters with care and efficiency', advises clients across Suffolk on wills, tax planning, trusts, estate administration and capacity issues, including Court of Protection matters. Vastly experienced partners and STEP members James Skellorn, who provides ‘excellent and prompt service', and Nick Palmer, lead the practice. Legal executive Angela Ireland, who ‘ensures her clients’ questions and concerns are comprehensively addressed‘, and trust and probate manager Peter Gooch also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

James Skellorn; Nick Palmer


Other key lawyers:

Angela Ireland; Peter Gooch; Thomas Woodlee


Testimonials

‘This practice deals with all matters with care and efficiency.’

‘Our solicitor was knowledgeable, expressed herself clearly , did all she’d committed to doing in a timely manner and provided us straightforwardly with a good service. All administrative work was to a high standard and we had no difficulties contacting them when required.’

‘Both James Skellorn and Peter Gooch have provided an excellent and prompt service. They always reply promptly to correspondence and have dealt sensitively with the matters in hand.’

Buckles Solicitors LLP

The practice at the Peterborough office of Buckles Solicitors LLP advises on complex and high-value trusts and estates, including numerous estates with assets in excess of £10m. The team is described as ‘dynamic and diverse’, led by head of private client Rebekkah Cooper, who provides bespoke advice to farming families, rural landowners and agricultural businesses. Partner Stephen Duffy is described as having ‘a friendly nature, which makes clients feel comfortable’. London-based CEO Duncan Jackson remains closely involved in the practice. Alejandro Verdu De Haro left the firm in September 2022 to set up his own practice.

Practice head(s):

Rebekkah Cooper


Other key lawyers:

Stephen Duffy; Duncan Jackson; Deborah Lewsley; Andrea Harrod


Testimonials

‘The Buckles team has a great span of knowledge and skills and they are organized well to ensure clients land with the right lawyer. They are friendly, approachable and happy to help, with a client-first and ‘how may we serve’ approach. This stands out.’

‘Stephen Duffy has been the most human legal professional I have had the pleasure of working with.’

‘Buckles has a dynamic and diverse team.’

Fosters

The main hub of the private client practice at Fosters is in Norwich but the firm also has a wide network of offices across Norfolk; practice head Lisa Glynne works in both Lowestoft and Wymondham. The practice is described as being ‘absolutely trustworthy, professional and knowledgeable‘ and Glynne is noted as being ‘empathetic, with a knack for making clients feel completely at ease’. The firm is adept in Court of Protection matters, probate and estate administration, and trusts.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Glynne


Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Ranson


Testimonials

‘From my first contact with Fosters I felt valued and nothing was ever too much trouble, no matter what the query. Every member of the team I spoke to was happy to help. The staff were kind, knowledgeable and always took the time to explain everything.’

Lisa Glynne and her team made me feel welcome every time I spoke with or met them. They made what was a difficult time a lot less stressful and I would not hesitate to recommend Lisa and her team to anyone needing probate advice.’

‘This team, in my opinion is absolutely trustworthy, professional and knowledgeable in all fields. As a client I was completely at ease, felt as though I was genuinely important and I was confident that all of my needs were met. Communication and service was exceptional and friendly, going above and beyond what was necessary.’

Hunt & Coombs LLP

At Hunt & Coombs LLP, Oundle-based Sally Power who frequently acts for high-net-worth individuals, landowners, farmers, and business owners, now leads the practice, having taken over from Peterborough-based Henry Anstey at the start of 2023. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Anstey remains a key partner in the practice. Paddy Appleton, who also works from the Oundle office, has vast experience in all areas of private client law and Huntingdon-based Sallyann Short is known for her ‘professional manner and caring nature’.

Practice head(s):

Sally Power


Other key lawyers:

Henry Anstey; Sallyann Short; Paddy Appleton


Testimonials

‘Anyone I have had contact with is always extremely helpful, for all matters, big or small. The firm’s entire approach seems to be client-focused, which I value greatly.’

‘I have found Sallyann Short so helpful in all elements; her attitude to her clients is brilliant and her advice is always detailed but easy to digest.’

‘Henry Anstey is very knowledgeable in key areas. He is able to explain complex legalities in a way that invokes client confidence. It is very important that any professional can explain their specialties in the simplest language without resorting to unnecessary jargon.’

‘The team are extremely helpful and very knowledgeable.’

‘Sallyann Short is one of the best solicitors I have ever worked with. She is so good at dealing with the complex needs of clients whilst maintaining a professional manner and caring nature. Clients don’t feel under pressure with her either.’

Prettys Solicitors LLP

Prettys Solicitors LLP is ‘the go-to firm in Ipswich; the service is always prompt, the experience excellent and the advice appropriate'. Lead partner in the practice Emma Woollard acts as a professional Attorney and Court of Protection Deputy for numerous clients. Woollard and associate Laura Parker ‘function fantastically as a team, making clients feel instantly at ease at what can be a difficult time'. Both advise on the full range of estates services, but the firm is particularly active in matters concerning care fees and end of life planning.

Practice head(s):

Emma Woollard


Other key lawyers:

Laura Parker


Testimonials

‘In my accountancy practice I am always in need of go to legal services for clients. the go-to firm in Ipswich; the service is always prompt, the experience excellent and the advice appropriate.’

‘The main member of staff I deal with has a great understanding of what is available alongside the empathy to marry the options available with requirements of clients, to produce a result that serves the clients’ needs exactly.’

‘The team has the ability to provide advice across sectors within the firm,which is a massive help to clients as is the ability to work closely with other professional services such as tax advisers or financial planners. They have great knowledge across the board and the client outcome is at the heart of everything they do.’

‘Emma Woollard Laura Parker, and the whole team, are highly knowledgeable, personable and relatable. They function fantastically as a team, making clients feel instantly at ease at what can be a difficult time.’

‘A really good team – everyone is concerned about the wellbeing of their clients and they ensure that the client is at the centre of decision making.’

‘Exceptional attention-to-detail and always happy to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘I can always rely on Prettys to provide me with a quick, detailed response, no matter how complicated the matter is. Their knowledge base is extensive and there is always someone at the firm that can answer questions.’

‘Laura Parker and Emma Woollard are both very responsive and very knowledgeable. They are always willing to answer any queries. Answers are always explained in a clear, precise way, without using lots of legal jargon.’

Work highlights


  • Advised the Trustees of The Millar Danks Trust and assisted in reinstating their charitable status.

Roythornes Solicitors

Roythornes Solicitors hired Tim Galloway from Birketts LLP in March 2022 to lead its private client practice from its Alconbury office, which works with offices across the East Midlands to advise on numerous high-value estates. Galloway frequently assists with estates with assets in excess of £10m. The team is noted as being ‘private and discreet‘ and as providing ‘first-class’ advice. Senior associate Ayesha Brown ‘always makes every effort to understand the needs of the client’, whilst associate Joseph Stoehr is described as ‘dynamic, yet thoughtful and mature’.

Practice head(s):

Tim Galloway


Other key lawyers:

Joseph Stoehr; Ayesha Brown


Testimonials

‘Joseph Stoehr is a dynamic, thoughtful and mature solicitor. He comes to meetings well-prepared, his advice is insightful yet concise. He also has great interpersonal skills and administrative follow up.’

‘Ayesha Brown has always made every effort to know and understand the needs of the client which has been the basis of the professional advice. She is very professional but at the same time very approachable. She has a thorough knowledge within her area of expertise and clearly outlines and explains the relevant aspects.’

‘Roythornes have a very good understanding of how to provide a high-level of service, and that they also take a pleasure in doing that. That isn’t common with many other companies I have dealt with.’

‘Joseph Stoehr is friendly, very knowledgeable and able to answer all my questions – and I ask a lot of questions. He has always made me feel that he has unlimited time for me.’

‘Joseph Stoehr is able to explain legal concepts in a way that my wife and I can easily understand. That is a rare talent. Joseph delivers on his promises, and I always receive a deliverable in the timeframe we have agreed. Legal documents are well-presented and if there is an area of complexity, Joseph has always pre-identified it, pointed it out and given a verbal precis.’

‘We were most impressed with the advice given to us by Joseph Stoehr, he was friendly, quickly understood our needs and gave excellent advice. New wills were produced reflecting on our true wishes. We felt the costs were very reasonable and good value for money. We would highly recommend this practice, in particular Joseph.’

‘We were immediately impressed by the superb inter-personal skills of Roythornes staff at all levels. We are ordinary working individuals made to feel at ease and given time to understand and identify what we required.’

‘Roythornes strike the correct balance needed to make a customer feel comfortable during the difficult discussions regarding families and finance. In particular the attention and time given to my wife and myself by Mr Joseph Stoehr was exemplary – his manner, knowledge, patience and ability to enable his clients to understand the issues surrounding their concerns is truly exceptional.’

Ellisons Solicitors

Ellisons Solicitors has a growing presence in Ipswich, where partner and head of the private client practice Nicola Weldon is the standout lawyer; she coordinates the cross-office team which is described as ‘friendly and approachable with a depth of knowledge to match’. Senior associates Ann Coutts, who heads the Chelmsford team, and Rachel Dawson, whose ‘client care is second-to-none‘, are also recommended. The firm has many lawyers who are Dementia Friends, and they are used to dealing with elderly and vulnerable clients.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Weldon


Other key lawyers:

Rachel Dawson; Nick Bowen; Ann Coutts


Testimonials

‘Nicola Weldon’s team is friendly and approachable with a depth of knowledge to match.’

‘Rachel Dawson has an exceptional level of knowledge, particularly with complex estate administrations involving intestacies. Her client care is second-to-none. She is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘The team is very well-respected in the local area.’

‘Nicola Weldon and Rachel Dawson are outstanding. They are always responsive and go the extra mile, including with their voluntary roles as Dementia Friends Champions. Fantastic ambassadors for the profession and the firm.’

‘The team at the Ipswich Office have been courteous, friendly and efficient in what has been asked of them. They have given sound advice and are always professional, acting with sensitivity.’

‘Nick Bowen was particularly sensitive and helpful as we were dealing with my late father’s will and I needed advice as to how to deal with a Will Trust, he guided me through each step, explaining fees before we started and dealt with me with kindness.

‘Nick Bowen gives us good, sound and practical advice.’

‘Ellisons has a diverse team which covers all areas of law. All the team members I have met are friendly , approachable and knowledgeable but most importantly professional and highly competent.’

Greenwoods Legal

The wealth preservation practice at Greenwoods Legal is led from Cambridge by Clare Harris, which collaborates closely with ‘efficient, knowledgeable, kind and very patient’ associate Rebecca Towey in Peterborough to deliver a strong service to private clients. Towey notably spends part of the week in London acting for the firm’s city-based clientele. Trust advisor Tapiwa Tandi, who joined from an accountancy firm in January 2023, is also based in Peterborough. The team is regarded as being ‘helpful, friendly, efficient and prompt’.

Practice head(s):

Clare Harris


Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Towey; Tapiwa Tandi


Testimonials

‘On the occasions that we’ve had dealings with Greenwoods as a team, we’ve always found them to be helpful, friendly, efficient and prompt. Where I’ve had occasion to include my disabled daughter (wheelchair user) in appointments, they’ve always been very accommodating and understanding which is very important to me and, I’m sure, any other clients in similar situations.’

‘In recent times, I’ve been dealing with Rebecca Towey who I would like to very highly commend. I always found her to be efficient, knowledgeable, kind and very patient. I really feel she went the extra mile to understand and fully consider my personal (and quite difficult) circumstances.’

‘The team is well diversified and even has specialist knowledge so I know that whatever query I have it will be dealt with the best person to deal with that subject matter. In addition, they want to help clients and are not focused on fees but on what actually matters to clients and doing the right thing for them. The team are particularly strong in complex probate cases and trust matters.’

‘Rebecca Towey is diligent and thorough in all work that she conducts; a safe pair of hands. Her manner with clients is exceptional. She explains things in layman’s terms and at a level they understand. She is caring and takes the time to get to know the clients. I would have no hesitation in referring anyone to her in the future.’

Work highlights


  • Advised a married couple, one of whom was estranged from their son, in relation to their Wills.
  • Conducted estate and tax planning for lifetime and on death, to take into account the differing future needs and capabilities of the clients’ children, one of whom has a disability.
  • Administering a cross-border estate worth circa £2.2m, comprising a rental property portfolio.