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

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal's lifetime planning practice handles complex multi-jurisdictional tax and estate planning and probate, notably for the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire professional, academic and agricultural communities. STEP member, deputy CEO and firm-wide head of individual services Alan Brown is the key partner in Bury St Edmunds and he is best known for his capital tax planning work, which includes acting for clients with foreign assets and non-UK domiciles. Matthew Cameron heads the firm’s French legal services team from Bury St Edmunds.

Practice head(s):

Alan Brown; Lynn Wicks

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cameron; Chris Cumberbatch


‘The firm has many lawyers specialising in different fields so someone is always at hand to help with advice.’

‘Faye Stolls was quietly efficient throughout my dealings with wills and power of attorney, always answering questions diligently. I would certainly consult her again.’


Fosters has a single private client practice across its offices, in which the Lowestoft and Sheringham teams play key roles. Solicitor Christina Stohr joined the firm from Chamberlins as head of the Lowestoft office, bringing her experience in will writing, lasting powers of attorney, the administration of estates, Court of Protection applications and inheritance tax matters. The Wymondham office houses significant expertise in solicitors Lisa Glynne , Angela Ireland and Lauren Ward.

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds excels in tax matters, having three qualified Chartered Tax Advisers and two qualified members of the Association of Taxation Technicians, and frequently handles complex taxable estates, trusts and personal tax issues, often liaising directly with HMRC to ensure the correct outcome. Wayne Perrin and Jonathan Mathers, whose skills include residential and agricultural property matters, are the key partners advising high-net-worth individuals with large estates. Martine Swaep and Nigel Scase are rising stars.

Practice head(s):

Michael Batty; Rob Adam


‘It is an excellent firm, well established in a cathedral city covering a wide area of East Anglia and beyond. It has an extensive range of commercial and private expertise.’

‘Jonathan Mathers has been dealing faultlessly with property issues, concerning our trust, of which I am a trustee.’

‘My experience of Greene & Greene was of a highly professional practice that provided very clear advice, both verbal and written. Issues were dealt with promptly.’

‘Nigel Scase was most efficient. He set out very clear parameters, including the costs, and I was kept fully informed at all stages.’

Work highlights

  • Application by a cohabitee in the High Court, Family Division under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 in an estate.
  • Advice given on the removal of an executor of a high-value estate and subsequent account on a wilful default basis.
  • Advising a beneficiary of a life interest trust in relation to potential breaches of trust in an estate comprising assets held in offshore trusts.
  • Advising on the challenge to the validity of a will on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval.
  • Advising a trustee facing allegations of numerous breaches of trust.


Churchgates is a multi-disciplinary professional services practice that provies legal, accountancy, tax, financial planning and investment management advice. Partners Matthew Boardman and Suzanne Alston are solicitors and Chartered Tax Advisers handling matters involving UK trusts, tax and complex wills. The firm stands out for estate planning advice to farmers, owner-managed businesses, investors, doctors and property owners.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Boardman

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Alston; Fraser Paskell; Joanne Clayden


‘A very efficient and forward-looking firm.’

‘It responds quickly and efficiently to enquiries, always helpful on the telephone.’

Work highlights

  • Representing parents/partners in estate planning of farming operations in excess of £10m.
  • Estate planning using will trusts and deed of variation of estate for non-business property owning family. Value in excess of £3m with pension wealth outside estate.
  • Agricultural and business estate planning involving detailed knowledge of Agricultural and Business Property Relief, partnership planning, and wills. Value in excess of £5m.
  • Tax-efficient retirement of principal shareholder using employee ownership trust and Insolvency Act reconstruction. Value £5m.
  • Sale of trade and assets. Metals recycling company trading from various sites in North/North East of England. Value £4.1m.

Fraser Dawbarns

Fraser Dawbarns is one of the most prominent firms in East Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk and its private client department, led by Harleen Hanson in King's Lynn, handles work including wills, administration of estates, Court of Protection work, tax and wealth planning, and the creation and administering of trusts. One client notes that 'the team has excellent technical knowledge, as well as being very approachable'. Partner Sarah Lamb and associate solicitor Amy Pettitt are praised for their 'dedication to client care'.

Practice head(s):

Harleen Hanson

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lamb; Amy Pettitt; Kieren Cross


‘Fraser Dawbarns has a comprehensive complement of solicitors including specialists at a local level that are able to deal with any requirements set of them and also have the ability to interpret the most complex of legal jargon in terms understood by the general public.’

‘Having dealt with Fraser Dawbarns LLP’s Wisbech office for many years, and having many mutual clients, I have been impressed recently by Amy Pettitt in dealing with an urgent Trust case. She was able to firstly put our elderly client at ease, thinking outside of the box and using the power of advancement to distribute the trust’s assets before effectively winding up of the trust.’

‘I was very impressed by the speed taken and sense of urgency given by Amy Pettitt.’

‘The private client team offers a local, personal and professional service. Client care and outcomes are always at the fore. They have the resources to manage client dealings effectively and efficiently.’

‘In my dealings with Amy Pettitt and Sarah Lamb the dedication to client care is evident. It was clear to me that their responsibilities are taken seriously. They are friendly and approachable.’

‘They are extremely knowledgeable and communicate in a very personal and easy-to-understand way, keep you updated and deal in a very professional and client-friendly manner.’

‘Fraser Dawbarns provides sound legal advice at a local level, which is cost effective, but has positive long-reaching consequences. Not all other local firms have such good access to the appropriate experience and resources.’

‘Harleen Hanson is excellent at examining the detail of a case in order to identify the clients’ proper objectives, taking into account risk assessments and cost/benefit analyses before deciding upon a suitable strategy and guiding the implementation of it.’

‘Amy Pettitt is very technically competent, able to work to a tight timetable as well as having an eye for detail. Amy is able to work with clients well, who always praise her easy manner whilst still being very professional.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on and drafting complicated wills involving family farming business and assets.
  • Dealing with estate comprising of a former garage which will be converted into eight residential properties.
  • Administration of estate (comprising of the deceased’s estate and that of her late husband’s estate which was un-administered) with no surviving residuary beneficiary, and having to instruct tracing agents to identity possible beneficiaries.
  • Representing client in dealing with the combined estates of her grandmother, grandfather and mother.
  • Acted in the estate of a client worth £800,000, which included an inheritance she had been due to receive.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors has a highly recommended practitioner in its Felixstowe office and clients remark that Matthew Boast is 'exceptional in his field – diligent, efficient and skilled, he adopts a compassionate approach'. In Woodbridge, partner and STEP member Nicola Weldon is recommended for tax planning, trusts and wills, and she is a member of the Woodbridge Dementia Project steering group. In Hadleigh, associate Kay Baker advises elderly and vulnerable clients, as well as families and business people, on tax planning.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Boast

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Weldon; Kay Baker


‘Matthew Boast was pleasant efficient and understanding.’

‘There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Matthew Boast’s sterling work – his consummate professionalism is exemplary.’

‘Matthew Boast’s communication skills are superb and he is extremely trustworthy.’

Hunt & Coombs LLP

The bulk of Hunt & Coombs LLP's private client practice is based in Peterborough, but its Oundle and St Neots offices also house significant expertise. Head of probate Paddy Appleton in Oundle and associate Fiona Prince in St Neots are the key practitioners. They excel in the areas of tax planning and will preparation for high-net-worth individuals, as well as winding up complex estates. The firm also has niche expertise in eligibility for fully funded NHS care for the elderly and issues surrounding mental capacity. Peter Izod retired from the practice. 

Practice head(s):

Paddy Appleton


‘They are very approachable and friendly, have a good knowledge of things that are important, and are good at sharing the knowledge amongst their team.’

Work highlights

  • A sizeable estate with a property and a number of accounts and investments moving onto future tax planning for the widow.
  • High-value estate including foreign assets, a venture capital trust, an enterprise investment scheme and complex tax issues.
  • Complex estate due to different jurisdictions and compliance regimes and complex tax issues with repatriating the trust.
  • Inheritance Act claim and complex property issues due to previous lack of legal advice of deceased.
  • Contentious agricultural estate due to decisions on who receives what and what the valuations are.

Butcher Andrews

Head of probate Simon Underwood at Butcher Andrews leads a practice with in-depth knowledge of tax matters and handles the estates of numerous high-net-worth clients, often involving substantial commercial or agricultural property. It advises on inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax matters, as well as the administration and winding up of trusts.

Practice head(s):

Simon Underwood

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Parker; Cindy Grand


‘My dealings with the firm over the past three decades has convinced me of its pride in trying to do what is appropriate and best for the client in a professional, yet relaxed and friendly manner.’

‘The office atmosphere is positive and warm and engenders a feeling of confidence so important when dealing with the unfamiliar machinations of the law.’

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The main group of private client lawyers at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is based in Norwich, but the firm's offices in North Walsham and Sheringham also offer a free will review service and access to STEP and Dementia Friends members. Legal executive Susan Dawe in Sheringham has 18 years' experience in wills, estate administration, equity release, tax planning, care fees and powers of attorney.

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP has seven offices across Norfolk providing private client services, including its head office in Norwich. The firm handles the administration of complex estates, trusts, deputyship matters and lasting powers of attorney. Newly promoted partner Ejike Ndaji in Wymondham frequently handles matters in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Partner Jo Tinson in Watton handles both property and private client matters. Senior associate Rebecca Johnstone is the key contact in Attleborough.