The highly-regarded team at Browne Jacobson LLP is ‘very knowledgeable and easy to work with’ owing to its extensive history working with private clients, often for several generations, in wealth structuring, UK and offshore trust structuring and contentions work. Practice head Lucy Worwood advises many significant leading family businesses on their estate and succession planning, and is highly experienced in personal tax and will drafting, among other areas. Wenna Thompson is another key figure in the Nottingham office.
Personal tax, trusts and probate in East Midlands
Browne Jacobson LLP
Other key lawyers:
‘Lucy Worwood is my main contact and I have worked with Lucy for too many years to count. Lucy is knowledgeable and always helpful whatever the issue.’
‘They are very knowledgeable and easy to work with.’
‘Lucy Worwood is very knowledgeable and easy to work with.’
‘The team work together well to meet varying client needs, referring aspects to others to assist when necessary.’
Though led by Daniel Curtis and Alex Taylor from Cambridge and Cheltenham, HCR Hewitsons maintains a strong presence in the Midlands, advising on all facets of private client work. Key names include Catherine Ball, the ‘calm, empathetic and measured’ Kerri Woodrow and head of trust management Eric Wardle. The team, which is praised for its gender balance, is perceived as ‘highly professional, with an exceptional spread of advisers.’
Daniel Curtis; Alex Taylor
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Ball; Kerri Woodrow; Hauke Harrack; Eric Wardle; Elaine Morgan; Alexandra Svennevik
‘Totally responsive to questions, queries and concerns – answering by email almost immediately and always on the same day. The service felt personal, demonstrating a complete understanding of the situation not only on a technical level, but on an emotional one too.’
‘Highly professional with an exceptional spread of advisers.’
‘There is a genuine culture of their working together, drawing upon the relevant people and their different capabilities to enable the best advice to be brought to me as a client. Additionally, the firm also appears to have a good gender balance which suggests that diversity is valued. A measure of my satisfaction is that I have recommended this team to two other colleagues who have subsequently engaged with them as clients.’
‘Daniel Curtis – a strategic thinker who is able to advise clients with clarity and empathy, enabling them to understand the key priorities.’
‘Standout partner Kerri Woodrow is calm, empathetic and measured. Employs a collaborative working style and very capable. Understands and acts decisively; exceptional service especially when there are time sensitive challenges needing to be resolved quickly and thoroughly.’
Roythornes Solicitors continues to establish itself as a prominent name for private client work, with the expansion of its team; partner Jak Ward joined in late 2021 from Smith Partnership, bolstering the firm’s expertise in contentious trusts and probate, while March 2022 saw the arrival of Tim Galloway, previously practice head at Birketts LLP. Galloway specialises in all aspects of estate planning, but with a particular focus on business succession and complex trust restructuring. Leading the department, Jarred Wright‘s practice focuses on capital tax planning, trust law and succession planning, often including agricultural estates. Paul Thompson is the firm's key contact in Nottingham, and routinely receives referrals from local accountants and wealth advisers.
Jarred Wright; Paul Thompson
Other key lawyers:
Jak Ward; Tim Galloway
‘Very good trust and tax knowledge. Exceptional for large land transactions.’
‘Great personal service from Jarred Wright.’
‘Paul Thompson – clear definitive advice. Quick understanding of problems, delivered excellent solutions.’
‘The team has a wealth of experience in private client affairs specialising in agriculture and complex cases. The interaction of the business affairs and the private client matters is seamless ensuring clients are well advised on what is often complex matters.’
‘Jarred Wright is a stand out partner who understand this field to an exceptional standard, and give clients good clear advice regarding their affairs.’
Shakespeare Martineau LLP
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a good ‘depth of experience within the team’ and continues to be a strong choice for UK and overseas estate planning and administration, work involving agricultural/farming estates, and private taxation. Department head Suzanne Leggott in Leicester is ‘very knowledgeable and adds value to all assignments.’ Consultant Mark Dunkley and director Sarah Brack are also highly experienced members of the the same office. Virginia Harvey is the lead contact in Nottingham.
Other key lawyers:
Virginia Harvey; Mark Dunkley; Sarah Brack
‘The team are very approachable and friendly, but also knowledgeable and professional. Mark in particular has a huge amount of experience in Court of Protection and this gives him a certain level of gravitas, whilst still remaining approachable and friendly.’
‘Attention to detail, practical solutions good all round service to other departments’
‘Suzanne Leggott is very knowledgeable, stands her ground and adds value to all assignments.’
‘Sarah Brack has been very caring understanding and helpful with everything. Somehow always find time to respond to my questions or concerns and been very supportive in some challenges along the way.’
‘Sarah Brack has always been extremely approachable, easy to talk to and helpful/supportive.’
‘Sarah Brack is very efficient and easy to talk to, she is also a very good communicator.’
‘Depth of experience within the team. Very helpful and clear.’
‘Mark Dunkley is extremely knowledgeable. Suzanne Leggott is highly regarded and is very proactive with clients.’
Actons‘ practice is led by director Cara Watson with the support of fellow newly promoted promoted directors, Heather Parker and and Bindiya Patel. The team also includes director Mike Spencer, who is the primarily litigator with over 30 years’ experience resolving complex family fall-outs, contentious and non-contentious negotiations and Court of Protection applications. The firm displays aptitude acting for farmers and agricultural business owners on all areas of will, trust and estate work.
Other key lawyers:
Heather Parker; Bindiya Patel; Mike Spencer
‘Cara Watson has been exemplary in advising us in our finances and planning. She is patient and always happy to explain things to us in lay terms. She is flexible and makes herself available at short notice if we need to speak to her. We feel confident in her handling our affairs and her knowledge of tax and financial planning matters’
‘Bindiya Patel was outstanding and extremely supportive. I can’t recommend her highly enough. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone wanting to address personal tax, trust and probate matters.’
‘Bindiya Patel has been excellent in all our dealings. She is sympathetic, knowledgeable and gets stuff done! ’
‘Heather Parker was extremely helpful and I felt totally at ease to ask questions on a subject I had little knowledge of. Heather moved my case forward quickly, explaining in detail and although my case needed urgency, I did not feel rushed.’
‘Bindiya Patel is accessible, relatable and responsive. She clearly has knowledge and expertise and takes the time to explain things delicately and clearly to clients and helps clients understand complex situations in a simple and clear manner.’
‘Working with Actons is a joy. Their legal knowledge is outstanding; communication is forthcoming; they provide an impeccable service.’
‘Heather Parker – her approach is second to none. She puts everyone at their ease and is always available for questions and to reassure. Excellent service.’
- Advising on a complex £multi-million estate including a complex issue relating to an investment property.
- Providing Estate Planning advice to a high-net-worth individual with significant business assets and complex family circumstances.
- Advising on the ongoing administration of numerous trusts within the same family.
Flint Bishop LLP
Flint Bishop LLP‘s full service wills, trusts and tax planning practice is equally well versed in probate and Court of Protection work, and in the nuances of elderly client matters. It also undertakes a significant amount of work in administration of high-value estates, often with overseas assets, and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. Claire Rudkin and William Harper are its lead lawyers in Derby.
Other key lawyers:
‘I always received prompt, efficient attention from William Harper. I was never left waiting. Very approachable and kind, while retaining full professionalism. I had total confidence in Mr Harper, and would recommend wholeheartedly,’
‘They have a reputation for being a large efficient firm.’
‘Claire Rudkin was very efficient, and a hard worker. Excellent communication – Explanations and communication at one-to-one meetings over complex issues were first rate .’
- We are currently instructed in to act as Executors in connection with the administration of an estate containing shareholdings in over 70 companies, property and cash investments. The value of the estate is approximately £4.12m.
- We are advising on Wills for ultra-high net worth clients with assets in excess of £100m. Their asset portfolio includes substantial business interests. As part of the wider family tax planning we have helped create trusts with a focus on school fees and inheritance tax mitigation.
- Administration and financial management of a complex deputyship case which consists of significant capital assets generating an annual income of approximately £450,000.
Nelsons Solicitors Limited
Nelsons Solicitors Limited‘s reputable practice is a well-established player in the Midlands and acts on matters ranging from wills and estates, lifetime and tax planning, asset protection and care fee planning, through to trust structuring, with a focus on high net-worth individuals and those with international assets. Craig Staten-Spencer brings in additional capabilities as the firms’ lead Court of Protection specialist. Jane Sutherland oversees the Nottingham, Derby and Leicester wider group, which house Nadia Faki(Leicester), Catherine McCannah (Nottingham) and Helen Salisbury (Derby).
Jane Sutherland; Catherine McCannah; Nadia Faki; Helen Salisbury; Craig Staten-Spencer
‘The practice is a good size – big enough to have most bases covered but not too large to lose a friendly personal approach.’
‘All the staff are friendly, approachable and will sing to listen to your ideas. Wide range of specialist solicitors, so many areas covered by one practice. Also offer financial advice, working together with your accountant. Open approach and and reasonable billing.’
‘The legal work has been excellent and on time. A major difference between Nelsons and other major law firms we have dealt with is that they focus on a personal touch. Knowing they are there and can check up on any changes we need to make on legal issues is comforting.’
Howes Percival LLP
Howes Percival LLP‘s team is a solid choice for all manner of private client personal tax, trusts and estate work, and displays specialist capabilities in IHT and CGT structures, cross-border work and complex probate mandates. Alexandra Hornsby is the main contact in the Leicester office, and is supported by the Catherine Scott led team, based in Norwich.
Other key lawyers:
‘Attention to detail, sound advice and availability when urgent advice was required. Sensitivity when dealing with personal matters. The practice is helpful in as much as referring you to the department which would be best suited to your enquiry, without undue delay. Through personal contact with Alexandra Hornsby I would have no hesitation in recommending the practice.’
‘Alexandra Hornsby showed attention to detail and prompt advice which was of great assistance in dealing with a personal and stressful situation.’
‘We have worked with Alexandra Hornsby on a number of occasions both collaboratively and as part of a bigger project. Alexandra is very personable and takes time to discuss delicate matters with clients and gives her time to understand the particular needs and dynamic being presented to her.’
Rotheras‘ sizeable department supports clients on wills, estate administration, trusts, deputyship in the Court of Protection and tax planning. The practice works with a number of owner-managed businesses in providing succession advice in conjunction with their accountants and financial advisors. Jayne Smith and Kirsten Wood are the main contacts.
Other key lawyers:
‘We work with Kirsten Wood and we like the fact that they pride themselves on communication and doing the right thing for the client’
‘Kirsten Wood is an exceptional wills and probate lawyer who we have worked with for a great number of years. She has a fantastic knowledge and her communication skills are brilliant’
Sills & Betteridge LLP
Richard Bussell and Andrew Durkan are the lead lawyers for farming families, land and business owners, and high net worth individuals at Sills & Betteridge LLP. Its capabilities have been bolstered by the addition of David Wood, formerly a partner at Ashfords LLP and head of private client at Langleys Solicitors LLP. Wood is distinguished for his knowledge and experience advising farmers, landowners and landed estates, and on aspects of farming partnerships including their creation, using inheritance tax efficient vehicles.
Richard Bussell; Andrew Durkan
Other key lawyers:
‘Richard Bussell has excellent technical knowledge of his field. He also has a wide tax knowledge outside just inheritance tax, and has considerable accounts experience which gives him and an understanding of farming clients and their needs.’
‘Great knowledge of succession planning and overlapping business and family matters. Large range of specialisms which enable a one stop shop for complex matters.’
‘Andrew Durkan went above and beyond our expectations. He understood exactly what we needed and visited us at our home. He was easy to work with and made us feel comfortable. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough.’
‘Andrew Durkan explained things very clearly and was very patient making sure we understood the work he was going to do for us. He was very friendly, professional and approachable.’
‘Sills & Betteridge have always been an easy practice to work with. The staff are friendly and helpful. The team is accessible. If the person you need to speak to is not available, someone else will either answer the query or ensure your message is passed on and answered!’
‘Sills & Betteridge LLP have a wealth of experience and expertise across all spectrums. Their hands on friendly and professional approach sets them apart from others.’
‘The technical expertise of the team is second to none. They provide a truly outstanding service.’
‘Richard Bussell is absolutely excellent. He quickly gets a thorough understanding of complex issues and is able to convey these in an excellent and clear manner. His attention to detail is also excellent, and he quickly actions the things that he says he will.’
- Richard advised the executors of a complex estate holding shares in a multi-generational family business, having large debts and where gifts had been made to one of five children which required bringing into hotchpot. This resulted in the need to carefully structure the order of events for cashflow and taxation reasons. It has led to a buyback of shares by the Company that Richard is overseeing and is being dealt with by our Commercial/ Corporate Team.
- Andrew is advising on the trusts arising out of a Will where successive life interests were created and where one of the life tenants subsequently settled his trust interest into a separate trust. The work also involves establishing which assets belong to each trust and arranging first registration of numerous parcels of agricultural land in the names of the appropriate trustees.
- David provided advice to long-standing client in respect of Capital Gains Tax and Entrepreneurs Relief. The advice related specifically to the gifting of shares (more than 5%) from a farm business into a family trust created to receive the shares. The purpose behind the gift of the shares was to create a linked transaction in relation to the disposal of the land, thereby qualifying for a rate of 10% CGT because of Entrepreneurs Relief, rather than the standard rate of 20%. This result in a six-figure saving of Capital Gains Tax for the clients.
Wilson Browne Solicitors
Vicki Pearce is the lead solicitor at Wilson Browne Solicitors, where she is ‘not only an expert in her field but delivers her advice in a firm but compassionate, empathetic manner.’ Pearce’s practice spans both private client work, primarily in wills, trusts and LPAs and Court of Protection work. Neelam Maher supports clients with family wealth protection, and the creation and taxation of trusts.
Other key lawyers:
‘Vicki Pearce also was very approachable and oversaw all aspects’
‘Experienced and personable staff. Always available for help and advice.’
‘Vicki Pearce is not only an expert in her field, she also manages to provide her advice in a way that is untypical of most solicitors – she delivers her advice in a firm but compassionate, empathetic manner without ever being dogmatic or dictatorial’
‘All individuals are pleasant to work with, trustworthy, helpful and always available.’
‘I have worked with several of the Wilson Browne team across different specialisms and they are all individually excellent at the areas they practice, they are passionate about the work they do and care. It is clear that there is excellent leadership from the top as this is mirrored throughout the employees’
- Alan Edward Woolston (Deceased) – Personal Representative/Client – Ann Woolston Grant of Representation Application