Personal tax, trusts and probate: Ipswich in East Anglia

Barker Gotelee

The private client practice at Barker Gotelee handles the full range of wills, tax planning, trusts and estate administration work, including matters involving capacity issues, powers of attorney and Court of Protection issues. It predominantly advises family businesses in the agricultural sector. Practice head James Skellorn has more than 30 years' experience and STEP members Nick Palmer and Ann-Marie Matthews are highly recommended. The firm also has a case worker, Roswyn Bradshaw, who acts as a point of contact for vulnerable clients. Clients praise the firm's 'responsiveness, empathy and clarity of advice'.

Practice head(s):

James Skellorn; Nick Palmer; Ann-Marie Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Peter Gooch; Lindsey Sharples: Gail Frankland


‘Having worked with Ann-Marie Matthews and Lindsey Sharples, it is clear that nothing is too much for Barker Gotelee to do in the pursuit of their client’s benefit. Those who have used their private client services have been extremely pleased, particularly with how clear and efficient the process was.’

‘Ann-Marie Matthews is diligent, punctual, extremely good at explaining complex concepts to those with little or no knowledge, and very personable. Her knowledge of the financial side of clients’ affairs is exceptional.’

‘From the first introductory phone call I felt confident in placing my trust in Peter Gooch – he was supportive, efficient, informative, reassuring and competent.’

‘Rebecca McCarthy and Ann-Marie Matthews are prompt to answer questions, professional, empathetic, friendly, and understanding, and adapt easily to new situations.’

‘Lindsey Sharples was excellent in explaining every step in the process, why it was necessary and what the outcome would be, in relation to my requirements.’

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a strong probate, estate and trust administration practice that provides 'friendly, approachable and personal service'. The practice led by Louise Long, who deals with multimillion-pound estates with complex family and tax issues, expanded significantly in 2018 with the recruitment of a solicitor and two tax executives. Senior associate Richard Guy is a rising star who has ten years' experience in advising business owners, farmers and high-net-worth individuals as well as retirees and the elderly.

Practice head(s):

Louise Long

Other key lawyers:

Richard Guy


‘The firm is highly competent in its field and speaks to the client in their language.’

‘Richard Guy takes a practical approach to his work and is very good at explaining things to clients in a way they understand.’

‘Clients always speak highly of Louise Long. It is always a great relief when you find out that Louise is a client’s solicitor.’

‘Birketts has grown quite rapidly over the last few years, but has remained client-focused. The individuals are always on hand to provide guidance and support.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a family in relation to wills taking into account the family business structure.
  • Advising a client in relation to existing trusts of land and the impact on his new will.
  • Representing a family and its family business in respect of its ongoing tax issues.
  • Advising a married couple living in two jurisdictions in respect of wills and inheritance tax.
  • Advising a married couple in order to dismantle an existing complete trust structure which was entered into several years ago.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal handles complex multi-jurisdictional tax and estate planning and probate, with a particular niche in French legal affairs. Senior associates Janette Wand and Louise Cardwell are the key practitioners in Ipswich and they work closely with the deep bench of private client lawyers in the firm's other offices to advise on tax, estate planning, trusts, powers of attorney and probate. Both are members of STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly.

Gotelee Solicitors

A client remarks that at Gotelee Solicitors 'the whole team works together to ensure an outstanding service'. Ipswich is the main hub of the firm's private client activity, though it draws on the expertise in its offices across Suffolk to advise on tax, trusts, wills and probate matters, and it has several lawyers trained to handle the needs of dementia sufferers. Head of private client Peter Crix has been with the firm for almost 40 years and acts as trustee of numerous trusts in Suffolk. Associate Karina Jowitt specialises in tax and trust matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crix

Other key lawyers:

Karina Jowitt


“Their total professionalism, coupled with excellent communication skills, allows them to outperform other firms.”

“They are incredibly trustworthy and efficient.”


Kerseys Solicitors LLP

Kerseys Solicitors LLP has a busy practice handling wills and lasting powers of attorney as well as the administration of both testate and intestate estates. The firm's long history and loyal client base give it a prominent role in the local market and it is often called upon to advise on complex inheritance tax issues and high-net-worth matters. Peter Awad is the key partner for wills, trusts, tax planning and legal advice to the elderly.

Practice head(s):

Peter Awad

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Sutton; Leila Murray; Thara Thangavel


‘Very professional indeed, and very helpful in describing legal activities in layman’s language.’

‘Geoffrey Sutton has been excellent in the work and detail he has put into my late wife’s estate. He has communicated very well with me and my children. We couldn’t have asked for better service.’

‘Communication was, from the outset, excellent.’

‘Leila Murray handled the probate of my father’s estate and I found her to be extremely thorough. All our questions were answered promptly and any explanations that we required during the process, were always clear.’

‘Thara Thangavel was very efficient, approachable and clear.’

Prettys Solicitors LLP

Prettys Solicitors LLP has a long history in the Ipswich market and head of estates Zoe Hodge leads a practice that is known for its high standards of client care and the breadth of its work, which includes matters involving mental capacity issues, high-net-worth estate planning, tax planning and trusts. Hodge is a STEP member known for her work in tax-efficient succession planning for individuals, business owners and agricultural clients. Associate Laura Parker is recommended for estates and probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Hodge

Other key lawyers:

Laura Parker


The private client department at Blocks provides an extensive collection of services including wills and estate planning and advice, probate and estate administration, and deputyship and Court of Protection work. The firm has a large wills bank and key partner Emma Woollard has more than 20 years' experience that includes property transactions as well as a role as trustee of a multimillion-pound fund for a disabled beneficiary.

Practice head(s):

Emma Woollard

Work highlights

  • Advising on the estate of a retired law firm partner whose £2.5m estate was split between Suffolk and Cumbria and included an extensive art and literature collection.
  • Acting as deputy for a £4.9m clinical negligence award that the client is unable to administer herself.