Personal tax, trusts and probate in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has an impressive offering and is able to service clients across the full spectrum of personal tax, trusts and probates mandates. The team demonstrates an 'understanding of family dynamics' and has 'in-depth knowledge'. Providing succession advice to business owners is a cornerstone of the team's practice and its clients include farms and estates. The group also advises on trust structuring, wills and estate planning, and contentious trust work. Practice head Lucy Worwood 'provides practical solutions'. Wenna Thompson and William Colacicchi are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Worwood


The team has an excellent balance of partners with an understanding of differing family dynamics and partners with the technical knowledge to provide solutions to issues.’

William Colacicchi understands family dynamics and is an excellent communicator of complex issues; Lucy Worwood provides practical solutions to problems.’

A very strong team with in-depth knowledge. As well as being technically strong, they have a pragmatic nature and seek to find solutions to problems rather than a list of reasons why not.’

My main contact is Wenna Thompson, who I have dealt with for many years on a range of mutual clients and latterly on my own affairs. Good knowledge and pleasant to deal with.’

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP acts for clients on a wide range of matters, with its wealth preservation and succession team working with experts in other areas to deliver a full spectrum of services, including corporate, corporate tax and family advice. The firm is strong in advising clients such as high-net-worth individuals, families and business owners. As a founding member of the Camelot panel, the firm has a strong presence in advising national lottery winners. 'Knowledgeable' practitioners Erica Thomson and Jaclyn Barnes jointly lead 'the down to earth and reliable' team.

Practice head(s):

Erica Thomson; Jaclyn Barnes


I haven’t met a partner or employee that isn’t down to earth reliable and helpful.’

Geldards private client team are the best advisors on domestic and cross-border inheritance and tax matters I have seen outside London.’

Jaclyn Barnes and her team are fantastic. Very knowledgeable, hands-on, client-focused and utterly pleasant. A real privilege to work with Jaclyn and her team. And in contrast to many of the larger London firms: no ego issues, fantastic team players.’

Depth and range of knowledge, experience and expertise of the team. Very effective co-ordination, communication and customer care right across the team. All team members kept up to date. Very professional, thorough, knowledgeable and timely in their dealings with you.’

I work with Erica Thomson and her Nottingham based team predominantly. Erica is a very good communicator and team manager. She has a wide knowledge and expertise in wills, personal tax, trusts and probate matters. She is very professional, thorough and accurate in her work, responds promptly and keeps you clearly up to date with progress made. She is courteous and persuasive and gets on well with people but does not suffer fools. She is very effective in all areas. I have no hesitation in recommending Erica and her Geldard’s team.’

HCR Hewitsons

The private wealth practice at HCR Hewitsons demonstrate strong expertise in inheritance tax planning, administration of trusts and landed estates, among other matters. The 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'professional' team works closely with the firm's rural, charities, contentious probate and planning teams to offer clients cohesive advice. Clare Colacicci has a strong reputation in the field and Catherine Ball and Antonia Cooper are also noted. Practice head Daniel Curtis in Cambridge specialises in tax and succession planning.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis


The team is extremely knowledgeable, professional and timely in providing advice. They are unique in that they look at a situation from a practical perspective as well as a legal one and will listen to the comments from other professionals. Professionals working together are key and HCR Hewitsons are very good at doing this.’

‘Very efficient and responsive.’

Stability within the organisation combined with a reassuring level of competence and deep subject matter expertise.’

Antonia Cooper, Eric Wardle and Clare Colacicchi all equally efficient and easy to understand.’

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP demonstrates notable expertise in advising high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and families whose wealth is inherited. Clients also include lottery winners and farming clients. The firm advises on matters ranging from wealth management and strategic tax planning to high-value deputyships and trust administration. The firm is increasingly sought out to advise on family investment companies. Suzanne Leggott and Virginia Harvey lead the practice from Leicester and Nottingham respectively. Sarah Brack is also noted.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Brack


Virginia Harvey has a very friendly manner and excellent professional skills, clearly explaining the procedure and offering good advice. I can only say I had a very good experience with excellent service and full confidence in their work.’

Personal and effective, reliable service. Always professional but friendly and understanding.’

Everyone I have worked with at the firm provides the highest degree of service.

The whole private client team at Shakespeare Martineau are personable, friendly and reliable. They provide an informed, professional service.’


Actons undertakes a wide range of matters concerning wills, trusts and estate planning for individuals, farmers and business owners. Its team has notable expertise in contentious work, including contentious probate and Court of Protection applications. The firm has a strong presence in the charities sector and is associated with Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire and Reach Learning Disability. Former group head Mandy Kelly has retired from private practice and the team is now led by associates Bindiya Patel and Heather Parker; the latter was a key hire from Rotheras.

Practice head(s):

Bindiya Patel; Heather Parker

Other key lawyers:

Cara Watson


Bindiya Patel stands out with her prompt and attentive service.’

There is a high level of expertise and all of the fee earners I deal with are extremely approachable. Collaboration within the department I deal with (mainly on wills & probate) appears to be close and effective, with good delegation of tasks where appropriate.’

Cara Watson is extremely proficient and I trust her implicitly. If she says something will get done then it will get done.’

The team is both technically and emotionally strong. I have every confidence that in any members absence, there is enough knowledge and general awareness for a case to be picked up if required. What makes them unique – they are extremely personable and have the balance of professionalism and empathy just right. Human beings as well as solicitors!’

Associate Bindiya Patel is approachable and friendly, gaining her clients’ confidence and broadening their understanding of the options available to them.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting the client with ongoing advice on a £multi-million trust.
  • Assisting a high net worth couple with planning advice for a complex £multi-million estate with multiple assets.
  • Advising the client on the administration of an extensive £multi-million estate which is being threatened with an Inheritance Act claim.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP frequently handles the administration of high-value estates and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. The team has a growing family disputes practice and has strengthened its contentious probate and litigation capabilities. Practice head Claire Rudkin is assisted by associate Kirsten Wood, who is known to be 'empathetic' and 'efficient'. Another name to note is William Harper, who was promoted to senior associate in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Claire Rudkin

Other key lawyers:

William Harper; Kirsten Wood


Kirsten Wood has been outstanding. She has answered emails promptly and in detail, answering clearly so that an ordinary person can understand what is going on. She has always been polite and empathetic to my personal circumstances and she has been very efficient in getting the job done which has relieved me of a great deal of unnecessary anxiety at a time when nothing was as it was. I cannot thank her enough.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting with the administration of taxable estate including property, share portfolios, linked trusts, linked policies in trust substantial gifts in estate. Combined estate value of £2.5m plus an additional £1m in linked trust policies and trust portfolios.
  • Advising the client on the administration of £3.6m farming estate, including contested APR claim.
  • Assisting with complex wills and tax planning worth £3.5m for clients with assets in Australia, including both life interest and discretionary trusts.

Freeths LLP

The private client team at Freeths LLP takes a multidisciplinary approach by frequently working with the commercial and agricultural teams. The team's workload consists of tax and estate planning, trust administration, probate, and wills. The firm runs a trust corporation within the department, Freeths Trustees Limited, which acts as trustee, executor and court-appointed administrator. Scott McKittrick leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Scott McKittrick

Work highlights

  • Advised the executors of a £5million estate, which included farming and business interests, on inheritance tax and a complex variation of the deceased’s will.
  • Trust administration by Freeths Trustees Limited, the firm’s Trust Corporation, of a settlement for the beneficiary with funds awarded by the main VCJD Trust.
  • Advice on succession and tax planning for a client with a £26million+ estate including farmland and a variety of business interests.

Langleys Solicitors LLP

Langleys Solicitors LLP specialises in advising farmers and landed estates on inheritance tax planning, as well as the structuring and dissolution of farming partnerships and companies. The firm also handles succession planning for business owners and entrepreneurs. The firm has connections with various organisations including The Agricultural Land Association and Solicitors for the Elderly. The practice is jointly led by Amy Allison and David Wood. Clients praise the team for its 'professional' and 'personal' approach.

Practice head(s):

Amy Allison; David Wood

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Harrison


Langleys and the private client team is outstanding, dedicated, and first-class in all respects. I have no hesitation in recommending this legal team, which is ably and capably led by partner Amy Allison.’

Specific praise must be given to partner Amy Allison. She is knowledgeable and has great empathy for her clients.

David Wood and Debbie Harrison have been great support to through probate and financial advice.’

Debbie Harrison has been the lead and has dealt with us in a timely and professional manner. David Wood’s advice, recommended by DH, has been invaluable and given me the confidence to pursue the changes needed.’

Amy Allison is always at the end of the phone for me. Others have also been helpful regarding finances.’

The Langley’s Private Client Team, are professional, but keep the personal touch. I find them approachable and helpful with all legal and technical queries. They are particularly adept in Will and Trust Tax Planning with an in-house wealth of experience, particularly in agriculture. Compared to other similar firms they stand out in the hand on approach.’

Roythornes Solicitors

The private client practice at Roythornes Solicitors specialises in complex and high-value estate administrations involving agricultural and business assets. Other key areas of focus include business successions, wills and Stamp Duty Land Tax advice. The firm demonstrates its expertise in agricultural work by being a member of Select Lincolnshire and the National Farmers Union. Practice head Elizabeth Young works with recently promoted Robert Webb, who is particularly active.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Young

Other key lawyers:

Robert Webb


A well-established and trusted local firm able to cover all legal services one may require. A one-stop shop, as it were, with excellent advice and a very professional attitude.’

Highly professional, yet approachable and helpful.

Robert Webb is able to put clients at ease quickly and takes time to listen to client concerns and objectives. His planning is always precise, well thought through, robust and dynamic when appropriate. He always responds efficiently.’

The firm provides its clients with a first-class level of technical expertise in a professional yet highly personable way. Other firms which are able to deliver the same levels of technical ability often fail to provide it to the client in a manner that is both appropriate and of most beneficial to the intended recipient.’

‘All our dealings with Roythornes have been efficient, thorough and comprehensive.’

‘I have always found Lisa Millington to be professional, technically excellent and extremely helpful.’

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an extensive offering, with practitioners having experience of trust administration, Court of Protection work, investment management, wills and probate. A key feature of the practice is its innovative, online wills service. Jane Sutherland is the head of the team. Clients praise Helen Salisbury's 'personal and approachable' manner.

Practice head(s):

Jane Sutherland


The firm has the feel of a large commercial business but the service provided has a very personal touch. The level of expertise is very high.’

The personal touch, and approachable attitudes. Transparency of fees and value for money. Exceptional individual; Helen Salisbury.’

Nelsons is a large practice with a wide range of expertise in many areas of law. My dealings have been with the probate and disputes areas. The matter has been complex, but has been handled efficiently, with good communication between members of the team, and with me. I feel listened to and supported, through a time when I have felt quite vulnerable. The human face backed up, with efficient work is a major strength of the team.’

The main solicitor that we have dealt with is Catherine McCannah, she has been extremely helpful, professional and friendly at all times which has given us complete confidence in her abilities in her and the firm.’

Helen Salisbury excels as an ambassador for Nelsons; crucially, her listening skills give clients space to set out their concerns and objectives before advisers ‘dive in’ with solutions. This is also conducive to enabling clients to ask questions and explore options in comfort and with confidence, resulting in tailored and relevant advice.  Helen has an open, inclusive and approachable style of leadership meaning that both clients and team members feel at ease about raising questions and contributing to discussion.’


Rotheras' team is experienced in a wide range of areas, including inheritance and tax planning, wills, trusts, asset protection and estate management. The firm has a presence in the charities sector, working with Age UK Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, as well as Cancer Research UK. Jayne Smith heads up the practice, which was bolstered recently by the arrivals of Melissa Hicks and Melissa Merry from Knights Plc and Wedlake Bell LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):

Jayne Smith

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Hicks; Melissa Merry

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP, which is recognised for its agricultural and trusts expertise, has an association with the National Farmers Union. The practice additionally focuses on estate planning with reference to family succession, asset protection, tax mitigation and mental capacity. Practice head Lisa-Jane Howes specialises in inheritance tax, agricultural and business property relief. The firm has a notable specialism in handling matters for people with disabilities, with the 'friendly' and 'knowledgeableImogen Holmes having particular experience in this space.

Practice head(s):

Lisa-Jane Howes

Other key lawyers:

Imogen Holmes


We have always used Imogen Holmes, who is a partner in the firm. She is very helpful and knowledgeable. She is very thorough, always making sure that we understand what she is doing and ensuring that she has all the appropriate information from us. She works hard to obtain information from other relevant bodies and is very clear about the charging arrangements giving us clear options. She is very friendly and approachable.’

The Lincoln office has a structured probate team which operates as a unit rather than a collection of independent individuals. This means that there is always someone available who has knowledge of your job and can action anything urgent. I had the impression that the workload distribution was optimal and enabled tasks to be done promptly and efficiently.’

Imogen Holmes and her team have provided a first-class service to one of my family clients who had gone through a sudden and unexpected family death. The entire team’s help to this client has been invaluable.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a substantial landed UK estate (land and property), sale and distribution of proceeds of sale involving numerous UK and foreign entities.
  • Acted on a landed UK estate (land and property) sale of 1/16th by owner, to remaining estate owners.
  • Assisted with the termination of trust, with asset shares in a holding company with 3 subsidiaries.

Wilson Browne Solicitors

Wilson Browne Solicitors' team has a high level of expertise and handles matters concerning the administration of estates, trusts and tax planning, lasting powers of attorneys, Court of Protection applications and wills. The practice has specialist expertise in charity work, including charity formation and administration. Practice head Vicki Pearce focuses on care funding and Court of Protection work. Neelam Maher acts as a trusts and tax specialist.

Practice head(s):

Vicki Pearce

Other key lawyers:

Neelam Maher; Jennifer Laskey


Friendly, approachable, professional, good social interaction with clients, caring about clients and community.’

I have dealings with a number of partners in the firm, but in particular Neelam Maher, Vicki Pearce and Jenny Laskey. I do find them reassuringly helpful and very client focussed in their work.’

I have found that Wilson Browne always make themselves available to clients at short notice They have provided support and guidance to me, my family and many of my clients over the past 17 years that I have known them. They have proven to be polite, professional and reliable.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on a personal injury trust for a minor beneficiary following a claim made through the criminal injuries compensation authority.
  • Assisted with a will trust administered for the benefit of a disabled beneficiary.