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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Private client > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The private client arena has not been immune to the looming shadow of Brexit. Private client firms have noted an increase in pre-nuptial agreements as wealthy individuals look to protect their assets as they are unsure what effect Brexit will have on them.

There remains an emphasis on non-adversarial options to resolve family disputes such as mediation and solicitor to solicitor negotiations. High-net-worth individuals looking to avoid the media spotlight are increasingly moving away from litigating in courts and there is a continued move towards FDR.

Couples who commence family law proceedings have to first undergo a mediation information assessment to decide if mediation could be a more suitable way of sorting out their problems. This has led to an increase in the number of firms building up their practices in mediation. Family firms are now seeking to adopt a more collaborative approach to settle family problems.

In a significant development in the London family market Newton Kearns opened at the start of 2018 with the two founding partners along with a consultant coming from Clintons.

Firms have noted an uptake in contentious trusts and probate matters. Due to the changes in the dynamics of the modern family this is also leading to more family disputes. Disputes concerning the testator’s capacity to enter into documents are on the rise.

On the charities front, the statutory inquiries into ‘Save the Children’ and ‘Oxfam’ are having an impact on other charities at board level in terms of how charities make decisions. Charities are now more frequently seeking advice on how to protect their actions from a legal perspective. Data protection is another area of concern among charities clients.

The appetite for investment in art and antiquities has not abated but funding volatility remains. Firms report a reluctance on the part of banks to offer loans to wealthy individuals on the basis of artwork being used as security. However banks are still keen to offer loans with agricultural land being used as security for these loans due to the development potential of land.

Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Agriculture and estates clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Boodle Hatfield LLP's team has national reach across Oxford and London and acts for a number of wealthy individuals and landowners as well acting for more than 80 landed estates. Key figures include the ‘very knowledgeable and expert’ Simon Rylatt and the ‘legendary’ Sue Laing. Saskia Arthur  heads the residential property team and routinely advises high-net-worth individuals and landowners on their estate management, tenancy issues and sporting rights as well as on their asset protection and the effective devolution of their estates. Fiona Graham has particular expertise in advising on tax, trust and succession matters for landed estates and UK trusts and family businesses. Highlights included acting for a UK investor in a significant estate purchase of a mixed-use agricultural estate comprising land, residential and commercial buildings. The estate is located in an interesting area with very specific title issues and potential long term issues about access to the estate. The team also advised a well-known philanthropist on the purchase of shares in an offshore company where the underlying asset was a country estate which included a substantial listed mansion.

The ‘excellent and knowledgeable’ Simon Pring  is a key member of the ‘personable and proactive’ team at Farrer & Co . Pring has a ‘particularly good knowledge of mineral rights’. The group is praised for ‘dealing with matters on a pragmatic basis and for not always looking to the professional fees first when giving advice’. The ‘prompt and articulate’ Edmund Fetherston-Dilke  is ‘one of the most talented lawyers around; his advice is concise, practical and helpful’. Other key figures include Paul Krafft, who routinely advises private, charitable and institutional clients on agricultural and rural matters, and James Maxwell, who is known for his work on matters such as landlord and tenant issues, renewables and sporting rights, in addition to rights of access. Highlights included acting for a longstanding client in connection with its purchase of a farm in the Yorkshire Wolds for £2.9m. The purchase was notable for the fact that it included a large wind turbine that was valued at £900,000 which was acquired through a trading subsidiary - this resulted in a number of complex tax issues. In another significant matter it has been advising an institutional client on proposals for a major glasshouse development in a horticultural development area near Chichester.

Forsters LLP  has a ‘first-class agriculture and estates team that deals with queries promptly and efficiently’. Key members of the team include Rupert Mead  and Andrew Lane; Lane has extensive experience advising on capital taxation and succession issues for the owners of landed estates. Team head Penny Elliott  and ‘exceptionally brilliant’ senior associate Charlotte Brackley  are ‘particularly good at dealing with all agricultural and rural conveyancing issues’. Other members of the ‘top-quality team’ include the ‘exceptionally brilliant’ Catherine Hill, who has been advising a significant number of landed estates on myriad complex estate planning matters. The team boasts a sophisticated client base which includes a mix of traditional landowners, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and, increasingly, overseas investors and purchasers. Christopher Findlay and Henry Cecil joined in October from Bircham Dyson Bell.

Withers LLP fields a ‘highly responsive team that is professional and gives advice in a way that is easy to understand’. Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall  and newly promoted partner Edward Jarron attracts praise for its ‘formidable range of expertise and experience in all areas of rural estate law’. The ‘sensible and capable’ Matthew Woods  is also recommended. The team advises 130 landed estates across England and Wales and is recommended for its ability to advise on all aspects of rural property transactions including transactional advice such as VAT and stamp duty land tax. The group also receives a steady flow of instructions from overseas clients who are entering the rural UK property market for the first time. Newly promoted partner Claire Harris is adept at advising owners of UK landed estates and rural property on tax and succession issues which impact on families. Harris also advises trustees where the principal asset is land. Christopher Groves  acts for the Spencer-Churchill family and Blenheim Palace Estates. Groves also advises farmers and landowners on the structuring of their businesses to mitigate inheritance tax and on the sale of land for development purposes.

Burges Salmon LLP  ‘has a long tradition of working in this area', and acts for a wide range of clients, from institutions to private individuals. Tom Hewitt leads the food and farming team and Alastair Morrison is particularly skilled on the transactional side. Hewitt has ‘many years of experience of dealing with complex sales and purchases in a very efficient way’. Jim Aveline  advises a number of farms and landed estates on tax, estates and succession issues. Sian Edmunds acts for various agribusinesses and Kevin Kennedy has a particular focus on agricultural tenancy advice, real property disputes, trust-related disputes as well as contract and tort claims. Emma Folkes leads on a diverse range of transactions involving rural land for institutional investors, registered charities and high-net-worth individuals. The ‘very impressive’ group acts for major clients such as the National Trust, the Crown Estate, the John Lewis Partnership as well as the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  has a large team that advises clients across its three UK offices on all aspects of agricultural and rural estates matters. It often advises on the terms of old trusts (including Settled Land Act settlements) where the trustees own farmland and rural estates. The ‘exceptional and reassuring’ Bart Peerless  heads the private client division and adopts a ‘pragmatic approach to solving problems’. Christopher Page  heads the rural business and landed estate sector. The team is recommended for its work in succession planning both in terms of tax mitigation and at ensuring that estates pass down the generations as intended. The department also works closely with the firm’s trust litigation team. Thomas Moran  regularly acts for UK and foreign clients on the acquisition and disposal of agricultural property and James Bradford is recommended for his advice on various matters such as tax and succession issues that affect rural estates. Christian Massey  has considerable experience of handling a wide range of issues for landed estates. He is also well regarded for his work on agricultural and country house property transactions.

At Hunters Law LLP Peter Robinson  and James Vernor-Miles  are key contacts. The team advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious agricultural and landed estates matters and acts for approximately 90 estates stretching from Cornwall to Scotland. These estates range in size from houses with amenity land to large landed estates of several thousands of hectares often with diverse interests such as tenanted farms, residential units, commercial operations as well as renewable energy and historic rights. Highlights included advising a landowning family in Suffolk on a conditional agreement for the sale of a site for development. On this matter there was a separate overage agreement and the sale was also complicated by the fact that it was a joint sale by the firm’s client and another adjoining landowner. The team co-ordinated the drafting and negotiation of the documents between the firm’s client and the co-seller and the buyer. The ‘extremely able and thorough’ Jonathan Godwin-Austen  advises a broad range of landowners and specialises in trust, estate and tax law in addition to the preservation, management, enhancement and devolution of capital wealth.

At Macfarlanes LLP department head Tristan Ward and Michael Ranson  provide a ‘Rolls-Royce service in terms of their comprehensive advice to UHNW clients’. Clients range from international and British business people, pension funds and life assurers to traditional country estates. Highlights included advising Pilgrim’s Pride on its $1.3bn acquisition of Moy Park (a poultry business) from JBS, its Brazilian owners, which involved undertaking a due diligence exercise in relation to the company’s extensive UK agricultural land holdings and production facilities which were held both as freehold and leasehold land.

Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its ‘high level of technical expertise, practical and common sense advice, excellent industry knowledge and good value for money’. The ‘very well-respected, efficient and experienced’ Michael Aubrey  is recommended along with the ‘excellent’ Tim Ryan, who is ‘very good on property and development work’. Aubrey has a ‘very affable manner and is extremely knowledgeable across an extraordinary breadth of legal disciplines’. Senior associate Matthew Hesketh  is ‘very diligent, is an excellent listener and communicates well’. The ‘very professional’ team has considerable agribusiness sector knowledge and acts for several of the landowning Cambridge and Oxford colleges as well as various pension funds, numerous prestigious landed estates and many substantial national farming businesses such as Greenyard and Farmcare. Other clients include The Wellcome Trust, Barclays Bank and Christ Church Oxford.

Payne Hicks Beach acts for the owners of over 50 landed estates varying in size from 750 acres to well over 30,000 acres and is increasingly advising on farming business reorganisations and succession planning work in addition to undertaking a substantial amount of agricultural development work. Practice head Alastair Murdie  is recommended along with Robert Brodrick  who acts for both trustees and owners of landed estates primarily advising on tax and estate planning. Rosamond McDowell ’s practice spans contentious and non-contentious advisory, estate planning, trust and probate work. McDowell provides ‘sound and accessible advice and always goes the extra mile for her clients’. The group advises on the full array of matters from sophisticated tax matters such as maximising agricultural property relief and entrepreneurs’ relief to advising on protecting farmers from trespass and the use of alternative energy schemes and diversification. The ‘very thorough, patient and knowledgeable’ Simon Blackburn, who advises on transactional and land management matters, joined as a partner from Macfarlanes in November 2018.

Luke Callaghan (senior counsel) is a key contact at Taylor Wessing LLP and provides specialist advice on a myriad of property issues that affect the firm’s landed estates clients. The ‘very commercial and very impressive’ Andrew Hine is  experienced in the areas of probate, succession and wills particularly where there are multi-jurisdictional assets and heritage property. Recent highlights include advising an ultra-high-net-worth individual on the acquisition of a traditional sporting estate that surrounds its property.

Art and cultural property

Index of tables

  1. Art and cultural property
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Art and cultural property clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


At Boodle Hatfield LLP  ‘the level of service on all fronts and its response times are excellent; the team has a complete understanding of the complexities of the art market and its very strong and experienced art litigation team dovetails well with its excellent private client and art finance offering’. The ‘knowledgeable’ Simon Fitzpatrick  ‘gives one confidence in his ability’ and Natasha Hassall is recommended for her experience at handling both onshore and offshore trusts, tax planning and wills for large landed estates that have substantial heritage property and art collections. The ‘active team has prestigious clients’ that includes artists from a diverse range of disciplines spanning well-known, high-net-worth artists through to up-and-coming street artists and couture fashion designers. The full-service team advises on everything from high-value disputes to setting up new art-focused businesses. Becky Shaw is a ‘hardworking associate with a real interest in her work’.

Farrer & Co   has a number of ‘standout individuals’ among them the ‘very impressive’ Adrian Parkhouse, who acts for dealers, galleries, individuals and foreign governments in disputes over art and heritage property. The ‘brilliant and pragmatic’ James Carleton  has particular expertise in cross-border art and heritage law. The ‘exceptionally able’ Rhoddy Voremberg is well regarded for his advice on the tax treatment of heritage property; the ‘excellent and immensely experienced’ Mike Chantler is also recommended for his work on the administration and taxation of heritage property. Julian Smith  is highly respected for his work in advising charities and non-departmental public bodies. Adam Carvalho  is an ‘up-and-coming senior associate whose reputation continues to grow’. The team represents major museums and galleries such as the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum, and also acts for the international super-rich, dealers and collectors. Other major clients include Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, Historic Royal Palaces and the Art Fund.

Mishcon de Reya LLP   has a ‘strong name and is a major presence in the art world’. The ‘brilliant’ team is headed by the ‘extremely well-known’ Karen Sanig and is frequently involved in the biggest art transactions in the world and the most significant litigation in this area. Managing associate Amanda Gray is also recommended for her work on contentious and non-contentious matters. It recently advised a client who was acting as agent for the seller in a cross-jurisdictional sale and purchase of an extremely high-value Impressionist masterpiece. The team advised on the consignment agreement with the seller, the duties as agent, the terms of sale and the commission that was to be received out of the sale. In a matter that showcases the team’s knowledge of art loan agreements, art trust structures and the value of reputations in the art world, the team is representing the art dealer Anthony D’Offay in connection with his substantial gift to the nation of contemporary art that was valued at £126m which has come under pressure as a result of the Tate’s public response to various press allegations. Other clients include Halcyon Gallery, Museum of Everything, Contemporary Art Society and Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Stephenson Harwood  fields a ‘very well-respected and market-leading team that provides great customer service, very good representation and high levels of advice with a great ability to adapt quickly as needed’. The ‘pragmatic and friendly’ Roland Foord garners considerable praise as someone who is ‘very experienced in the art world with an excellent grasp of fact and detail’. The group has ‘great experience and expertise at all levels and its advice is consistently reliable, constructive and straightforward’. Stephen Roberts is known as a skilled litigator in the fine arts sector.  The team continues to be engaged in some of the largest and most complex disputes and has also been busy providing non-contentious advice to high profile individuals in the art market. In a significant matter that is attracting media interest the team is acting for Mark Weiss Limited and Mark Weiss (an established London old master dealer) in a dispute over a painting that was sold privately through Sotheby’s as a work by Frans Hals. There are now questions about the painting’s authenticity. Other clients include a major museum in the Middle East.

The ‘excellent’ Suzanne Marriott at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP heads the arts group and Edward Craig  heads the retail and leisure group. Marriott advises individuals, landed estates and charitable trusts where art is part of their assets on diverse issues from cross-border and UK tax planning to tax reliefs on art. Robert Blower  is ‘superb on heritage matters’ and the ‘very focused’Andrew Cameron  is also recommended. For art-related dispute resolution Ludovic de Walden  is described as ‘one of the best in his field about everything related to art’. The team advises a broad client base of dealers, artists, galleries and auction houses as well as wealthy individuals on a diverse range of issues from tax planning, escrow and valuation agreements to succession planning and insurance matters. The National Museum of the Royal Navy is an important client. In a key matter the team acts as a trustee of a charitable trust which endows the Arts, organises and funds art prizes and helps with exhibitions and the collections of leading museums and galleries throughout the UK. The firm is well placed to provide the full range of advisory, transactional and dispute resolution services to clients in this specialist area. The firm recently hired Tim Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo from Boodle Hatfield LLP .

Pierre Valentin at Constantine Cannon LLP is skilled at advising on a full range of issues from commercial matters, to regulatory and contentious art related issues. Valentin acts for private banks lending against artworks in the USA, Europe and Asia and is well regarded for his expertise in art finance. Senior associate Azmina Jasani also has significant experience of working with international collectors, large and small galleries as well as auction houses, professional advisers, dealers and financial institutions on an extensive range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The team has considerable transatlantic capacity with both UK and US-qualified lawyers. Notable clients include a prominent European industrial family, a European governmental owned entity, a partnership of British antiquities dealers as well as a pre-eminent New York jewellery dealer and a UK ultra-high-net-worth private art collector.

Mark Stephens  heads a dedicated team at Howard Kennedy LLP that advises on all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property, from drafting agreements to litigation and the resolution of disputes for clients such as museums and galleries as well as public art organisations, photo libraries and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Other clients include governments and national institutions. The ‘robust’ Daniel McClean  divides his time between the US and UK and is recommended along with Robert Lands, who specialises in intellectual property and related IT and media work. Major clients include The Tate, Contemporary Arts Society, Mark Wallinger and the Design Artists Copyright Society. Sir Peter Blake and Art Basel are other significant clients. Tim Bignell  is leading the advice for a pre-eminent Middle Eastern gallery and art collector in a claim against the international art house Sotheby’s. The claim is for the alleged incorrect description and dating in a sales catalogue relating to the sale of a historical bronze statue.

Hunters Law LLP  fields a ‘professional and capable’ team under the leadership of Hetty Gleave who has an ‘excellent track record in this area’. It has ‘several very able and knowledgeable practitioners who deal with all aspects of art and cultural property from litigation to problem solving for clients with cultural assets. The team also has a nice human touch’. Gleave has a ‘wealth of knowledge’ and the ‘very responsive’ Gregor Kleinknecht  ‘has a great eye for detail and is very well-informed in this area’. Senior associatePetra Warrington  is ‘very patient and is building up considerable experience in this field’ and all three make a ‘great team’. The skilled team has a ‘very good ethos and range of clients’ such as artists, dealers, galleries and collectors as well as public and private institutions. It advises on the full spectrum of issues from title disputes to other issues such as questions of misattribution. It also advises on a myriad of other complex issues including claims regarding illegally excavated and/or exported artefacts and advice in relation to treasure. Gleave is a member of the Treasure Valuation Committee which advises the Secretary of State on the fair market value of declared treasure finds from the UK which museums may wish to acquire. Both Gleave and Kleinknecht are mediators and members of the Art Resolve (this is a specialist Art Dispute Resolution Service). In addition Gregor is a qualified arbitrator and is a member of the PAIAM (Professional Advisors to the International Art Market) board.

Clyde & Co LLP  is praised for its ‘strong international network. As an international firm, it has very good links to the New York, London and Asian art markets’. Tony Baumgartner heads the fine art group and is someone who ‘really sees the bigger picture of each case and is very good tactically. He has an intimate understanding of the art world. He is an intelligent and down-to-earth solicitor who has a knack of explaining difficult concepts clearly’. Baumgartner is also someone who ‘stays calm under pressure and remains reasonable and open to sensible compromise with counterparties while also being able to co-ordinate multi-jurisdictional issues well’. Some say that he is ‘best in the business – the ‘go to’ doyen’. The firm is a ‘top level insurance firm that does interesting work in the art world (art insurance, stolen art, title issues etc.)’. The specialist fine art and specie team handles a full range of fine art, antiquities, jewellery and specie matters for leading international insurers and reinsurers around the world together with major auction houses, galleries, museums and private clients. Clients appreciate that there is ‘good oversight by the partners who ensure high levels of service’. The ‘excellent’ Tim Crockford  joined the team from Gowling WLG and is regularly retained by some of the world’s foremost auction houses, art dealers and museums to advise on a range of issues from title queries to large and complex professional liability disputes.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP has the ‘very strong’ Ceris Gardner at the helm. Jennifer Chambers  andClare Maurice  are both ‘very experienced’. The team has extensive expertise in working with UK resident non-UK domiciled art collectors in the review and structuring of the ownership of their collections in line with the UK tax regime and their succession planning objectives. The group routinely advises collectors, dealers, museums and private individuals on art-related and heritage property matters. It advises on a broad array of matters from art loan arrangements, arrangements for the safe custody and sale of the artwork through to gallery contracts and negotiations with auction houses. Gardner is well known for her work on advising grant-making and operational charities on matters of charity law and tax pertaining to the acquisition, loan and sale of both collections of works of art and individual pieces.

Celia Lloyd Davidson is the UK head of art law at Withers LLP  and is praised for her ‘excellent technical advice and strategic guidance on key matters’. Lloyd Davidson advises on all aspects of commercial art law and is regularly instructed by leading museums, galleries, artists and intermediaries. Newly promoted partner Eleni Polycarpou  leads the UK art litigation team and is ‘very knowledgeable and is exceptional with clients’. Clients benefit from its network of international offices through which the team can service its globally mobile client base. It is also well-regarded for its work on tax and estate planning issues particularly for the owners of major art collections. Other key areas of expertise include advising on the full range of contentious matters in the art sector from restitution claims, to disputes about title and contested provenance and contractual issues. Major clients include the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Naxos Art Inc. The team is also part of initiatives in Switzerland and in London through which the art world is kept informed about using arbitration as a preferred form of dispute resolution.

The ‘very knowledgeable, experienced and very user-friendly’ Susan Johnson  co-heads the team atBircham Dyson Bell  with the ‘very experienced’ Hugo Smith . Smith acts for a number of clients with large art collections and advises them on the use of structures and tax reliefs to enable collections to be protected for future generations. Team members are ‘professional, fiercely bright and approachable’. Its ‘client list is expanding’ and clients range from individuals, executors and trustees to galleries, art dealers and charities. The team continues to advise its long-standing client the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on various contractual and regulatory matters. Other clients include the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Historic England, the Crossrail Art Foundation and Handel House Trust Limited. Areas of expertise include advising on the formation of charities to hold art and cultural property to make works available for public display. The team also routinely advises on issues such as the sale and purchase of works of art, advises on issues of provenance and intellectual property matters as well as on succession and tax planning matters.

Alex Watt  at Browne Jacobson LLP  has extensive experience of advising both artists on the protection of their intellectual property as well as advising galleries on their relationships with artists. Watt has particular expertise in advising artists, galleries and other institutions on ‘street art’ or ‘urban art’ and acts for a large number of urban artists and well known writers such as CEPT and SHOK-1. The team acts as the sole counsel for the world-renowned street artist Ben Eine (also known as EINE). Declan Cushley  is the key partner for the National Trust. It has variously advised the National Trust on matters such as intellectual property issues regarding the Trust’s major heritage sites through to the terms and conditions for the hire of National Trust properties as wedding venues.

Rupert Mead  at Forsters LLP  has a particular interest in the preservation of heritage property and its exemption from tax. Mead acts as a trustee of a number of significant estates in England and Wales, many of which include pre-eminent collections of chattels. The ‘very experienced’ Catherine Hill  is ‘able to draft complex bespoke documents which succinctly capture a client’s requirements’. Hill advises clients who own and invest in art and has a particular expertise in advising living artists (several of whom are Royal Academicians) on legacy, succession and taxation issues. The group has a wealth of experience in acting for influential individuals and institutions in the UK and in the major international art markets. Clients range from families and their trustees owning old masters and chattels of national importance through to living contemporary artists seeking to establish structures to safeguard their artistic legacies. Its client base includes international collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities.

Payne Hicks Beach  has a ‘team that is excellent in every way’. It is adept at advising private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities and has particular expertise in the administration of high value and extensive collections of art and the trusts associated with these collections. James Bacon heads the art and cultural property team and is well regarded for his work on heritage property taxation. Bacon has niche expertise in the use of maintenance fund settlements for land. His clients include owners of very substantial art collections and landed estates. Alastair Murdie , who is the head of private client, routinely handles the legal and tax implications of large art collections owned by his clients. Murdie is experienced at advising on conditional exemptions as well as handling applications for the creation of maintenance funds. The team is also well-regarded for its experience in the resolution of disputes and the recovery of misappropriated items.

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP  advises high-net-worth individuals, royal family members, art foundations and cultural institutions as well as artists and government bodies on their art collections. Richard Hart  routinely advises clients on the structuring of their collections and on their philanthropic endeavours through cultural foundations. He also advises clients on facilitating donations to cultural institutions and is skilled at advising on issues as they arise on large international touring exhibitions. The group is adept at advising on all types of art including traditional fine art, art and sculpture and is also skilled at advising on video and digital art, street art and jewellery. Highlights included advising a large multinational company with a portfolio of art investments on the establishment of a website to showcase some of the client’s collection of gemstones, jewellery and artefacts. The team has also been engaged to advise a foreign art investing corporate on its global trade mark filing strategy for its vast collection.

Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Charities and not-for-profit clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bates Wells  ‘takes the times to understand its clients’ values and priorities and then gives advice that is accurate and practical’. The ‘very industrious’ Philip Kirkpatrick heads the department and is an ‘imaginative and resourceful thinker’. Thea Longley  ‘attracts high-profile clients and retains their confidence’. Rosamund McCarthy provides ‘clear and sensible advice and works within deadlines’ and Stephanie Biden  provides a ‘consistently excellent service’. Luke Fletcher  gives ‘excellent advice and guidance’ and Laura Soley  is ‘very experienced and level-headed’. Lawrence Simanowitz  is praised for his ‘excellent communication skills and knowledge’. Abbie Rumbold  has particular expertise in the social enterprise sector and associate Lucy Rhodes ‘tenaciously digs away through historical documents to come up with highly useable advice and solutions’. Augustus Della-Porta  is now a partner and Julian Blake  joined Stone King LLP  Clients include Oxfam and the RNIB. The group continues to advise the Royal Albert Hall on various high profile and complex governance and constitutional issues relating to the Hall’s constitution – the constitution was created by Royal Charter and several acts of parliament dating back to 1876. The Samaritans, National Federation of Women’s Institutes and BBC Children in Need are also clients.

Farrer & Co  fields a ‘very responsive team that provides clear advice and guidance’. It is a ‘good all-round and solid team that always has someone available to assist who is a safe pair of hands’. The ‘excellent’ Anne-Marie Piper heads the team, which includes the ‘very professional and approachable’ James Carleton, who is ‘experienced and pragmatic’; Elizabeth Jones, whose ‘response times are always quick and clients feel that the advice is realistic in terms of tailoring the advice to ensure that it is commercially viable'; 'superb' newly promoted partner James Maloney; and Sam MacDonald, who advises charities and other not-for-profit institutions on all aspects of UK charity law and related tax law. Another key member of the team is Julian Smith who advises a wide range of foundations and functional charities including those organisations that have been established by statute or by Royal charter. At associate level Laetitia Ransley  is ‘extremely professional and thorough. She provides clear and concise yet comprehensive advice’. Philip Reed  is also ‘effective and personable’. The ‘strong’ team continues to advise Leonard Cheshire Disability (a major international disability charity) on a wide range of issues. In other key matters it advised on the establishment of the London Emergencies Trusts. This is a charity that was established to help victims of terror attacks and other emergencies in London.

Bircham Dyson Bell  has a team that is ‘always available for emergency enquiries and swift in its everyday working responses’. The group has ‘fantastic charity law expertise and a strong and effective relationship with the Charity Commission’. The ‘highly recommended’ Penny Chapman  heads the 13-partner team and is described as ‘the best in the arena and someone who has retained a massive enthusiasm for her job and a complete commitment to her clients. She has a very straightforward style, explains technical issues simply and advises with great integrity and practical judgement’. Jonathan Brinsden is ‘well connected in the not-for-profit sector’. Brinsden and associate Alice Unwin are both ‘very helpful, and knowledgeable’. Simon Weil is ‘highly recommended’ and charities counsel Nicola Evans  is ‘brilliant- she is the person to go to for any niche question on charity law and policy and for general charity know how’. It also continues to provide regular advice to the HALO Trust, one of the world’s leading landmine charities which employs thousands of people across the globe. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Mothers’ Union are other major clients.

Lynn Povey  heads a team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  that ‘understands the charity sector intuitively and is sensitive to the pressures that charities are operating under’. Povey is adept at leading multi-disciplinary teams on complex charity transactions and is experienced at advising on property and development projects for charities. Consultant Mike Scott  has considerable experience of dealing with all issues surrounding charitable and not-for-profit organisations. Other members of the ‘first-class team’ include senior associate  Sarah Rowley, who is a ‘pleasure to work with, efficient and attuned to the needs of her charity clients’. The team continues to work closely with the National Museum of the Royal Navy on various projects including on the acquisition of HMS Warrior from the Warrior Preservation Trust Ltd. It also continues to advise Save the Children on all aspects of the management of its property portfolio. The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Cancer Research UK are other important clients.

Hempsons ’ ‘knowledge of the charities sector is second to none. Its advice is of excellent quality and it is served with a positive ‘can do’ attitude’. Ian Hempseed heads the department and has a ‘great ability to get things done’; Hempseed garners considerable praise as someone who is ‘excellent on governance with a first-class understanding of charity law and company law’. On employment matters for charities Martin Cheyne  delivers ‘exceptional value for money with quick response times and great insight’ and associate Philippa Doyle  ‘always positively assists us’. The group acts for an impressive array of clients and has been advising the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (a Royal Charter corporation) on various matters including advising the Chief Executive on diverse governance issues such as on a series of changes to its by-laws. The team provides ‘effective advice due to its outstanding sector knowledge’. Other key clients include Turning Point, Salvation Army Trust as well as National Childbirth Trust.

At Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP  Jennifer Chambers  heads the philanthropy and charity team and routinely advises philanthropists on the suitability of various charitable vehicles, on the creation of foundations, on the terms of any grants and on tax-efficient ways of giving to charities. She is also a known name for advising charity trustees and those who transact with charities on all aspects of charity law issues and on philanthropy matters. The ‘extremely bright and thorough’ Emma-Jane Weider  is a ‘creative thinker and is a pleasure to deal with’. Weider regularly advises operating and grant-making charities in the arts and educational sectors and a range of religious and cross-border charities on diverse legal and governance issues. Ceris Gardner is skilled at advising charities and chartered bodies, grant-making and operational charities on constitutional, governance and taxation issues. Active clients include Leverhulme Trust, DS Smith Charitable Foundation, the Association of Taxation Technicians and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Russell-Cooke LLP has a growing team with six partners and seven associates who work exclusively for charity clients under the leadership of Andrew Studd. Studd is particularly well known for his work with charities on mergers, re-organisations and trading arrangements. Chris Rowse was promoted to partner. Rowse’s clients include 'several household name’ charities as well as a number of smaller voluntary bodies. He led the firm’s work for the Normandy Memorial Trust which was awarded £20m to build a D-Day memorial in France. Andrew Small joined the team from Stone King LLP and is highly regarded for his experience of advising charities and other third sector bodies on various property issues. Small has particular experience of advising on the property issues that arise from charity mergers and acquisitions as well as on property issues for schools. Jane Klauber is recommended for her employment law advice to charities. James Sinclair Taylor is praised for his particular understanding of the workings of the Charity Commission.  The department acts for a number of well-known names such as the British Heart Foundation, the Youth Hostel Association, Action for Blind People, World Vision UK and World Wildlife Fund.

Stone King LLP  has a number of excellent practitioners among them the ‘accessible and responsive’ Tim Rutherford  who is ‘happy to explain difficult issues and to then discuss solutions. He has a sound knowledge of charity law’. Jonathan Burchfield and Ann Phillips are praised for their ‘excellent response times and accessibility’ and Stephen Ravenscroft  and Reema Mathur are ‘highly rated’. The ‘experienced’  Hannah Kubie  is well regarded for her advice to charities on their commercial and financial arrangements and related matters such as on the application of public procurement rules and is praised for her ability to come up with ‘innovative solutions’. The team is lauded for its ‘well-presented advice’ and for the fact that there are ‘sufficient subject matter experts on hand to be able to tackle a wide range of questions’. Andrew Small  joined Russell-Cooke LLP  and the team recently added the ‘very bright’ Julian Blake to its ranks from Bates Wells Braithwaite. The national practice acts for over 200 of the country’s largest charities including household names. Highlights included Tom Murdoch ’s appointment by the Charity Commission to act as interim manager of the Central Gurdwara London which is the oldest established Sikh place of worship in Europe. The National Trust is another important client.

Con Alexander heads the national team at VWV, which acts for more than 1000 charities including national clients such as Citizen Advice and City & Guilds London Institute. It also advises a large number of charitable independent schools and major school charities such as Eton College, Rugby School and Education Development Trust. Other areas of expertise include advising local authorities on charity law and charity trusteeships. The team  advises faith charities as well including the Diocese of Gloucester, the Diocese of Truro and several regional Synods of the United Reformed Church. The team added Paul Voller to its ranks from Bircham Dyson Bell. Both Voller and associate Elizabeth Knight  are praised for being ‘calm and very experienced in charity law’. The group is currently advising on the restructuring of the Nightingale Fellowship and its associated charities to create a single organisation known as ‘One Fellowship’. Birmingham Association for Mental Health, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Avon Autistic Foundation Ltd are other significant clients.

At Withers LLP  the ‘overall level of service is outstanding, with prompt responses forthcoming coupled with insightful advice and robust knowledge’. Alison Paines  ensures that the ‘quality of the advice is always first-class; few others have such in-depth knowledge of NHS charities as she does’. Paines’ clients include an eclectic mix of service providers, grant-makers, educational bodies, aid agencies and research institutes as well as individual and corporate philanthropists. She has particular expertise in strategic and governance advice. Chris Priestley  provides ‘superb advice, always encompassing the ‘bigger picture’ as well as incorporating the finer details’. Priestley has a wealth of experience of advising charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit bodies on all aspects of their operations and regulation.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP  has a number of well-regarded practitioners including Malcolm Lynch, the ‘excellent’ Sylvie Nunn, and ‘very experienced’ newly promoted partner Peter Parker. Highlights included continuing to advise the Sisters of the Cross and Passion (the Catholic international religious order) on a wide range of issues including on various property transactions, governance, restructuring, regulatory and employment law advice. In another key matter the team advised Ampleforth Abbey Trustees on the transfer of an entire parish from Ampleforth Abbey Trustees to the local diocese. This transfer included all parish properties (the church, monastery, presbytery, schools, ancillary accommodation and parish shop). It has also advised the trustees of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation and Leeds Hospital Charitable Foundation on the process of re-categorising and rationalising a significant amount of funds ahead of the charity’s conversion to independent status.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP's team is headed by senior associate Shivaji Shiva, who has a particular focus on social care charities and national membership charities in the sport and physical activity sectors. The team continues to act for charities of all sizes nationwide and is acting for a growing number of national providers of health and social care. Matthew Wort  leads the firm’s work in the health and social care sector; an employment lawyer with a particular focus on health and social care charities, Wort is ‘extremely professional, friendly and accessible’. The team is also well known for its advice to clients in the social housing sector including charitable housing providers. Highlights included acting for Broadening Choices for Older People (BCOP) a care provider for the elderly, in respect of the refinancing of two large care homes in the West Midlands. The group also acted for BCOP’s new mortgagee and worked to a very tight timescale to complete this commercially important refinancing projects.

The team at Blake Morgan LLP operates across offices in Southampton, Oxford, Portsmouth, London, Reading and Cardiff and is headed by Ben Brice  (a legal director) from Bircham Dyson Bell. The group provides a full range of legal services to charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises. Areas of expertise include advising charities that are governed by an Act of Parliament as well as advising international charities that are working in dysfunctional and dangerous political regimes and disaster areas. The team continues to advise Sailors’ Society on various matters such as governance arrangements/amendments to the charity’s constitution and on charity fundraising – this includes assisting with negotiations for sponsorship support agreements. Catch 22 Charity Limited, Pilgrims Friend Society, Oxfam and Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust are other major clients.

Fieldfisher fields an ‘excellent team that provides responses in a timely manner’. The ‘amiable and helpful’ Graeme Nuttall is ‘thoughtful and proactive’. On the employment side Margaret Davis and the head of private client Penny Wotton are both ‘first-class’. The group advises not-for-profit social enterprises in the health sector such as City Health Care Partnership CIC on a broad range of issues ranging from commercial contracts and real estate to mergers and acquisitions. Other key clients include Sport England, Bloodwise (Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research) as well as Nursing and Midwifery Council. General Optical Council , Central Surrey Health Limited and Architectural Association are also clients.

Forsters LLP advises individual philanthropists, charities and other not-for-profit organisations both in the UK and worldwide. Other areas of expertise include advising on the tax implications of giving to charity both in the UK and abroad. In addition the team acts for the trustees of a wide range of charities (with a particular emphasis on those involved in education, social care and the arts). Carole Cook is one of the key members of the three-partner practice and specialises in advising UK and overseas individuals on tax, trust, estate and succession planning issues connected with philanthropic matters. Rupert Mead is also recommended along with Fiona Smith. The department is well known for its particular specialism in advising on dual qualified UK/US charities and frequently advises on structures for effective charitable giving and through Zakat.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP provides advice that is ‘considered, thorough and appropriate at all times’. Clients appreciate that Colin Howes’ ‘input is always excellent. His advice draws on his knowledge of and expertise at dealing with the Charity Commission’. Clients are ‘particularly impressed by his ability to bring a complex negotiation to a speedy conclusion without exerting undue pressure’. Howes is a long standing member of Comic Relief and the team continues to advise the charity on various matters encompassing charity law alongside broader issues relating to reputation management, fundraising and other issues such as data protection. Howes is also a board adviser to Virgin Unite (which is the Virgin Group’s charitable foundation). The team continues to advise corporate foundations, media-related fundraising charities and subsidised arts organisations as well as a number of new and innovative charities. David Scott advises some very high profile charities on all charity law issues in addition to advising high-net-worth individuals on their personal philanthropy.

Hunters Law LLP  is an ‘established firm with strong ethical standards and a very loyal client base which is founded on its depth of expertise in this field’. Practice head Paul Almy advises on all aspects of charity law with particular expertise in advising on commercial and residential property, company and commercial affairs and on employment matters for charity clients. Both Dominik Opalinski and Wilfrid Vernor-Miles  are ‘highly knowledgeable and technically excellent with strong client skills’. Opalinski has established niche expertise as a child protection adviser to numerous national and international clients many of whom are registered charities or NGOs. The skilled team acts for a broad range of charities, schools, sports clubs, humanitarian organisations, religious societies, staff associations, trade unions and many other not-for-profit organisations. It has substantial experience of handling complex matters with a cross-border or international dimension, with particular expertise in Africa.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Winckworth Sherwood LLP  includes Joanna Bussell, who is an ‘excellent lawyer who has a first-class legal brain and an ability to apply a pragmatic and common-sense approach to problems’. The ‘calm under pressure’ Bussell is particularly well known for her expertise in the establishment of not-for-profit organisations to work with local authorities. Consultant Simon Randall  is ‘responsive and an excellent negotiator’. The team advises on the full array of charity issues from restructuring and governance through to trustee training. It has a particular focus on leisure, arts and cultural charities. Aiden Hargreaves-Smith  acts for a wide range of private and institutional clients including diocesan boards of finance, individual parishes and clergy as well as Bishops and Cathedral Chapters. He is well regarded for his work with ecclesiastical charities and is a trustee of several substantial charities. Imperial War Museum, Southwold and Waveney Valley Regeneration Society as well as Epping Forest District Council are all key clients.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Bristows LLP  is known for its particular expertise in advising charities operating principally in the science, engineering and technology sector as well as in the arts and culture arena. It has particular strength in advising charities on all the legal aspects relating to medical research. The ‘brilliant’ Mark Hawes  shows ‘forensic attention to detail and to strategy’ and Miranda Cass  is recommended for her specialism in advising charities on the various taxation issues that they face. Robert Bond serves as a trustee of the South West Grid for Learning – the firm advises it on various commercial, IP/IT and data protection issues. Clients says that Bond ‘has provided exceptional support and advice in particular in relation to data protection and GDPR’. Other key clients include Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP acts for a broad range of charitable clients including a number of trusts and foundations that have been established by international high-net-worth individuals through to an increasing number of corporate charitable foundations. It also continues to advise donors, founders, charities and trustees as well as wealthy families in the co-ordination and management of their international charitable giving. The team has a particular expertise in the Orthodox Jewish charitable sector. Martin Paisner acts as a trustee of a considerable number of family trusts regularly advising across multiple generations. Associate Nicola Allison routinely advises a range of charities and not for profit organisations on a myriad of issues such as structuring, incorporation and registration. Clients include Wolfson Foundation and Wolfson Family Charitable Trust, Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation and Weizmann UK.

The ‘conscientious’ team at Druces LLP ‘takes really great care of its lay clients. The team is willing to go that extra mile’. The ‘readily available’ Richard Monkcom is ‘very realistic and is able to respond quickly to problems. He has extensive knowledge of charity law’. The ‘excellent’ Helen Freely  is ‘always really pleasant and willing to fully engage with her clients while at the same time showing a great degree of humanity’. Senior associate Caroline Cropley regularly advises charities on various corporate issues. The multi-disciplinary team is drawn from lawyers across a range of disciplines that brings together specialisms in taxation, employment, corporate, commercial, property as well as litigation. This is alongside its considerable expertise in charity law. The Dogs Trust is a major client. It acts for a variety of private charities, independent schools, medical charities, religious orders and city livery companies. In addition the group advises a broad range of individuals on the tax implications of charitable giving and sets up and runs many family charities. It also acts for charities where an estate (with charitable beneficiaries) is disputed and has a particular expertise in the area of disputed estates containing high value artwork.

Macfarlanes LLP ’s clients range from family grant-making foundations through to high-profile operational charities that are active in a number of sectors from education and healthcare through to sustainable development. Much of the department’s work has a cross-border element and the group routinely advises international philanthropists and charities on their UK activities as well as advising English charities on how to comply with UK regulations when operating abroad. Notable clients include Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The DFN Charitable Foundation and Longshot Kids Foundation (Kidzania). The team has been advising the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity on a variety of charity law matters and also on data protection issues. Head of department Nicholas Harries  along with senior solicitors Clarissa Lyons  and Emma Cox are recommended. The skilled team advises on the full spectrum of issues such as advising on the responsibilities of charity trustees through to advising on the tax issues that affect charities including gift aid and tax-efficient charitable giving.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP  has a team with ‘genuine expertise in this area’. The team that ‘really knows its stuff’ advises on a wide range of matters and is currently advising the Museum of London on its relocation to Smithfields Market. It also acted for the international development charity CARE International (that is based in Geneva) in setting up a branch in the UK. Ian Davis  specialises in advising charities, voluntary sector organisations and public bodies. Sharron Webster  is recommended for her corporate advice to a wide range of charities particularly those operating in the housing, leisure, cultural, recreational as well as the educational sectors. Emma Burrows  is skilled at advising on all aspects of employment law to charities. UK Youth and Ambition and the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society are other important clients.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  has a ‘very responsive team that is easily accessible even out of hours. The team’s knowledge is excellent’. Head of team is Emma Moody  who ‘wins peoples’ trust quickly’. The' approachable, pragmatic and knowledgeable’ Jo Coleman  provides ‘well explained advice and delivers to time and within estimate’. The national team has an international reach and advises a broad range of clients such as service providers, corporate and family foundations, grant makers as well as professional societies. It has particular expertise in the education, health and care as well as the religious sectors. Highlights included advising the United Synagogue on the funding and structuring arrangements that were required to develop one of the United Synagogue’s flagship synagogues. The advice included negotiating the funding arrangements with a local charitable trust as well as advising on other issues such as the transfer of land. Gateshead College and Addaction are other major clients.

Boodle Hatfield LLP undertakes a wide range of work for leading charities such as the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre and also has an excellent practice in philanthropy. It routinely advises corporates, family businesses and individuals on major philanthropy projects. It has been advising a major international corporate on the establishment and ongoing governance of a UK corporate charitable foundation. Simon Rylatt heads the team and is a ‘steady hand at the helm’. Senior associate Eleanor Sepanski regularly deals with governance issues as well as philanthropy and CSR planning for companies. The skilled team is adept at advising corporate clients and family offices on various matters such as structuring philanthropic initiatives, establishing new charities, liaising with the Charity Commission as well as acting as trustees.

The ‘technically excellent’ David Goepel  heads the team at Edwin Coe LLP . The group is increasingly advising on the structuring and on the establishment of new charities for private individuals and families. Goepel has recently advised a number of UK charities on a variety of issues and also has extensive experience of advising charitable donors often in a cross-border context on establishing and registering family charitable foundations. He also advises on how to facilitate cross-border charitable gifts in a tax efficient way. The team continues to advise Theatre Royal Haymarket’s charity on its conversion from a charitable trust to a charitable company limited by guarantee. The work has included advising on the new governing documents and on other employment, contractual and IP issues as a result of the transfer. The Lion Youth Club, Save our Sons and the Salvation Army International Trustee Company are other major clients.

Glynne Stanfield  heads the charity team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  and Paul Pugh  heads the third sector services team. The team in the last year has acted for over 250 charities and has particular expertise in advising research institutions and grant makers on various matters such as governance, international giving, social investments and tax. It recently advised the Royal Society of Chemistry on its benevolent fund and on the powers of the trustee in relation to the fund. Turning Point, South Downs National Trust and Royal College of General Practitioners are other major clients. It also acts for Dementia Research Institute, Further Education Trust for Leadership and Dewsbury Endowed Schools Foundation.

Cambridge-based Neil Burton heads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP. Burton ‘inspires confidence with his mixture of technical knowledge and pragmatism’. Senior associate Mark Ashton is ‘approachable and responsive’. The team has been busy advising on various matters. Highlights included UK Sport instructing the team to carry out governance reviews for a number of UK Sport and Sport England funded organisations. These organisations included  British Amateur Boxing Association, British Rowing and the British Paralympic Association. The team had to ensure that these organisations' articles of association met the requirements of the new Code of Sports Governance. The team’s remit also included recommending appropriate constitutional amendments as necessary. In other matters on a complex deal it acted for Christian Blind Mission (CRM) in the merger of CRM UK and BasicNeeds. CRM is a major international charity that works in 59 countries, Other important clients include Sainsbury Laboratory, Big Issue Invest, Francis Crick Institute and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Alison Talbot leads the charities practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper. Talbot is ‘extremely warm and has a great client manner but also has a fantastic depth of knowledge and an extremely tough edge when needed’. Senior associate Philip Collins heads the charity litigation practice and he is described as being ‘very hard-nosed and a tough litigator who has a strong commercial background that shows through in his charities work’. Talbot has a particular interest in supporting charities through organisational change, disputes and distress situations. She also specialises in legacy management and routinely advises finance departments on ways to generate income. She also assists charities that are appointed as executors or beneficiaries of wills on how to manage legal and tax issues resulting from gifts to charities. Her client base is focused primarily on large charities and on those charities in the education sector. Major clients include Oxford colleges, universities, academy schools, trusts and further education colleges. The team has been advising PDSA on a wide variety of legacy matters. Other significant clients include the National Trust, British Red Cross, Hearing Dogs for Deaf and Care Ashore.

The team at Pothecary Witham Weld Solicitors has the ‘ability to find answers which may not be obvious to others’. Head of team Gerald Kidd is ‘excellent’. Kidd has particular expertise in advising on the issues facing charities and religious institutions relating to governance, commercial and on general financial matters. Alexa Beale is ‘responsive, helpful and well-informed’. The firm is particularly known for its work with religious institutions and for its advice to many Catholic charities and the Methodist Church. It acts for various schools, care homes, finance boards, pension schemes and the trading arms of these bodies. It has recently been busy acting on a number of academy conversions, school acquisitions and large-scale developments of church buildings. It has a number of well-known clients such as The Baptist Union of Wales, Seafarers UK, Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases and Epworth Investment Management.

Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

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The ‘very active’ team at Baker McKenzie  routinely acts in major international and high-value trust disputes. According to some, Anthony Poulton is the ‘top international trusts litigator in London; he is a delight to work with, is analytically excellent and is completely on top of the detail of his cases’. Poulton has extensive experience advising clients on the management of the risks associated with exposure to wealth-related controversy and routinely advises on corporate and family governance issues in addition to resolving private family disputes for trustees, executors, protectors, beneficiaries and interested third parties. The group has specialist trust, wealth, and tax planning skills and this combined with its noted disputes capability (both domestically and internationally) enables it to provide a strong service to clients in this area. Other key members of the highly regarded team include senior associate Gemma Willingham, who is ‘very good at developing strategy and is also excellent at problem solving and keeping clients informed’. Senior associate Luke Richardson is described as a ‘rising star- he will go places’. Ashley Crossley  is another stand out member of this ‘very impressive’ team.

Boodle Hatfield LLP  is ‘at the top of its game; it is a firm that really cares about its clients’. Simon Rylatt  is ‘one of the pre-eminent practitioners in this field globally’ and Andrea Zavos  is ‘excellent at running litigation and keeping sight of the big picture’. The ‘hardworking and astute’ Mark Lindley  has ‘already established himself as a star in this practice area; he has an approachable manner and is a very good technical lawyer’. The team receives significant referrals from leading UK firms, high-net-worth individuals and international intermediaries. The team has a strong reputation for its work in resolving disputes/managing complex litigation and has considerable expertise in advising on multi-jurisdictional tax, asset protection, trust, family business and governance as well other succession issues.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP  has a ‘highly competent and experienced team that provides thorough and practical advice. It is a leading practice with real strength and depth’. The practice is headed by ‘star litigator’ Rupert Ticehurst, who is a ‘very effective trusts litigator who can think outside the box and find creative and commercially viable solutions to the most complicated of problems’. Murray North has an ‘excellent understanding of his clients’ needs and a wealth of understanding to draw on to provide sensible and commercial advice’. Jessica Henson  has an ‘excellent brain’ and has notable experience in advising on asset protection in the context of cross-jurisdictional divorce proceedings. Simon Golding  handles a range of private wealth disputes such as partnership and minority shareholder actions as well as tax litigation and disputes involving marital law. Ticehurst, Henson and Goldring are ‘true industry professionals; their advice is not just correct, it is pragmatic’. The team continues to advise Dowager Duchess of Marlborough in relation to the estate of the 11th Duke of Marlborough on a number of contentious issues in the aftermath of the death of her late husband.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  fields a ‘large team of extremely capable and able lawyers which has an extremely high standing in the market’. Key figures include Graeme Kleiner (‘a master strategist and established figure in the world of international trust litigation'); the ‘calm, collected and clear-thinking’ Duncan Elson ‘masters the detail and cuts through the complexities of the case’ and the ‘very bright’ Tamasin Perkins, who is ‘always on top of the detail of each case’. At senior associate level Jessica Stafford  is 'strong on domestic and international work with a wealth of offshore experience’, and Oliver Auld  is a ‘future high-flier; calm and unflappable, with an excellent manner with clients’. Highlights included acting for Alan Shearer CBE in relation to claims against his former financial adviser and former pension provider arising from investment losses valued at £9m. The executors of the estate of the late Christine Collins are other major clients. The department also acts on a large number of contentious probate disputes for Cancer Research UK and for a number of other nationally renowned charities. Roberta Harvey left in January 2019 to join Forsters LLP.

The ‘sophisticated team ‘at Clifford Chance LLP  is a ‘major force in this field. It is a first ‘port of call’ for many international clients’. Key figures include the ‘absolutely first-class’ Jeremy Kosky, who is ‘very bright and combines technical expertise with commercial judgement’. Maxine Mossman ‘works phenomenally hard and combines a complete understanding of the subject matter with fantastic client handling skills’. They are ‘assisted by a pretty formidable posse of associates’ including the ‘endlessly energetic’  Nicole Buncher. Buncher has ‘meticulous attention to detail, excellent judgement, fighting spirit and coolness in the face of adversity’. Robert Stewart , also a senior associate, is ‘fast becoming one of the leading associates in the field and is certainly one to watch for the future’. The ‘highly regarded’ team handles claims relating to private banking and trusts whether acting for high-net-worth individuals or institutional clients. It is skilled at acting in heavyweight claims relating to family trusts, inheritance and divorce claims as well as shareholders disputes in family companies. An impressive roster of clients includes Coutts, Affinity Private Wealth and Heini Thyssen.

Farrer & Co  has a ‘group of knowledgeable and highly skilled advocates who have great experience of counselling clients in difficult and often quite personal matters’. Standout individuals include Jeremy Gordon, who ‘has a fantastic eye for detail’; Toby Graham, who is ‘particularly adept at understanding the risks and nuances of each case and offering his clients responsible and effective guidance'; Joanna Poole is ‘quickly emerging as one of the ‘go to’ partners for contentious trusts. She is very calm under pressure and is commercially savvy’. Newly promoted partner Charlotte Fraser is ‘incredibly capable. She adopts a commercial attitude along with a technically excellent approach- she will go far’. Senior associate Adam Carvalho is also ‘excellent’ and associate Tom McPhail is ‘smart and meticulous’. The team has ‘gold chip private clients and a strong international presence’. The group benefits from the firm’s stable of high-net-worth clients, trust companies and fiduciaries which all provide a steady flow of interesting and high-profile instructions. In a substantial claim it is currently acting for Julian Sheffield and the Sheffield family defendants, as executors of the estate of the late John Vincent Sheffield and the trustees of the family estate.

Forsters LLP's team is ‘in the premier league in this field’. Practice head Emily Exton  is a ‘very experienced litigator and is incredibly empathetic with clients’. Catharine Bell  is ‘one of the best managers of very large and complex international private client disputes around’. Soraya Kimber is ‘fantastic’ and Charlotte Evans-Tipping  ‘combines very extensive domestic and international private client experience with excellent client care and extremely hard work’ – both are senior associates. Exton regularly acts for trustees and high-net-worth individuals and families on a wide variety of contentious trusts and probate cases in addition to professional negligence claims that arise in the context of trust and estates work. Bell also has a wealth of experience in advising on high level trusts and estates disputes. The team welcomed the 'technically strong and very pragmatic' Roberta Harvey who joined in January 2019 from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Macfarlanes LLP ‘has a truly outstanding team from partner level to trainee level’. Charles Lloyd ‘conducts high-value and difficult litigation with charm, urbanity and intelligence’. The ‘organised, very determined and assured’ Jonathan Arr  ‘has established himself as a major presence in the sphere of international trust litigation’. The ‘impressive’ Piers Barclay , the ‘polished and incisive’ Matthew Pintus  (now a consultant) and the ‘hugely successful’ Simon Day (a senior solicitor) are also recommended. Clients of the ‘completely top-class and extremely professional team’ include beneficiaries, spouses, trustees, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and those with hereditary wealth and protectors. The group regularly deals with some of the largest trusts and estates that often hold prominent businesses, other substantial property holdings and large cash and investment portfolios.

The ‘highly rated’ Mark Keenan  leads the team at Mishcon de Reya LLP, which is ‘undoubtedly first-class and is remarkable for its tenacity and attention to detail’. Other members of the excellent team include Peter Steen, managing associate Jessica Medus  who is ‘very able’ and legal director Janet Tobin who is a ‘very good operator’. James Smith  is described as an ‘up-and-coming associate who is meticulous in his attention to detail’. Keenan is adept at handling complex domestic and international trust and succession disputes often acting for ultra-high-net-worth individuals in cases frequently involving freezing injunctions and asset recovery in offshore jurisdictions. Active clients include Lord Weymouth, The Dowager Countess of Bathurst, Signia Wealth Limited and Lo Kai Shui.

Taylor Wessing LLP has a team of ‘excellent lawyers who are very conscientious and extremely thorough’. The ‘very commercial’ Andrew Hine  ‘finds solutions’ and Emma Jordan, who is also a Jersey advocate, is ‘highly knowledgeable and experienced’. Kirstie McGuigan has an ‘excellent intuitive grasp of complex legal problems and litigation strategy’. Caroline Tayler  is ‘well-organised’ and Kate Silbermann  has ‘excellent people skills’ - both are senior associates. Recent work includes acting for the corporate trustee of a Bahamian trust in proceedings brought by a beneficiary for breach of trust, which involved careful consideration of disclosure obligations across a number of jurisdictions over a period of more than twenty years in the context of complex waiver of privilege arguments.

Withers LLP's team ‘knows its clients’ concerns inside and out and then provides them with the most appropriate advice in a timely fashion’. Head of department Stephen Richards  is ‘clever and personable and has a superb way with clients; he manages to exude calmness even in the most hard-fought litigation’. Paul Hewitt ‘gets to the nub of a matter and is brilliant at seeing a way through it and having a clear plan of attack’. Dawn Goodman  is a ‘tenacious and able litigator with clear ideas and rapid judgement’. Steven Kempster  is well regarded and associate Sarah Aughwane receives a lot of accolades –‘she is smart and has been involved in a number of complex trust disputes and shows an impressive grasp of complex legal and factual issues’. The ‘hardworking’ Alice Tomlin  is ‘brilliantly organised’.

Bircham Dyson Bell's team is led by Geoffrey Kertesz, who has ‘excellent people skills and an ability to think outside the box’. Consultant John Darnton  ‘can see cases from every angle and has a great capacity for detail’. Senior associate Lorraine Jeffery  is ‘able to marshal complex facts in a case and then produce a solid analysis of the potential problems’. The practice has a particular focus on disputes that are heard in the English courts but have an offshore dimension. It is also well equipped to handle issues when disputes arise relating to legacies left to charities. Clients include a former trustee of the Savernake Estate.

Harcus Sinclair LLP ’s team of five partners and six lawyers is led by Damon Parker and the ‘fantastic’ Alison Meek . Other key figures include Jon Beresford and the ‘extremely impressive’ Lucy Gibson, who is ‘experienced, knowledgeable and can juggle the complexities of various legal systems masterfully’. Henry Hickman has particular experience advising trustees in the context of divorce proceedings and for beneficiaries in their interests under trusts when there is a dispute. Parker continues to act for the estate of the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, which recently involved copyright issues arising from an attempt by a new biographer of the late Poet Laureate to publish previously unpublished literary material where copyright is owned by the executors of the estate. Other key clients include Bedell Cristin Jersey and the Iraq Britain Business Council.

The ‘extremely capable and personable’ Richard Norridge  heads the ‘well-resourced’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP . Norridge has a ‘good eye for detail and is always able to see the bigger picture which leads to a clear plan of action’. Of counsel Gareth Keillor is ‘bright, thorough, hardworking and is destined to become a major player in the contentious private client market’. The department acts for ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies on complex and high-value matters involving multiple jurisdictions.

Kingsley Napley LLP's team ‘adopts an easy and collaborative style which is a great catalyst to case preparation and ultimately a successful outcome for its clients’. Practice head Ryan Mowat continues to attract complex and varied work including an increasing proportion of work involving fraud or with offshore elements. He is a member of ACTAPS and an accredited mediator. Recommended associates include Kate Salter, who is ‘building up a fantastic reputation in this field'; Anna Metadjer, who is ‘very competent, calm and reassuring'; and the 'terrific'  Katherine Pymont.

The ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ Nicholas Holland  at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP  is ‘one of the best known trusts litigators in London and has a strong reputation in many offshore jurisdictions; he has exceptional knowledge of trusts issues and is skilled at handling complicated cross-border disputes’. Ziva Robertson’s contentious practice spans the Caribbean, the Channel Islands, Bermuda, Israel and Switzerland. Robertson routinely represents trustees, beneficiaries and protectors as well as companies and board members involved in fiduciary disputes. Counsel Lynsey McIntyre ‘knows what is what and how to get things done’. Significant clients include the Royal Bank of Canada, Hill Street Trustees as well as Pavilion Trustees Limited.

Stephenson Harwood has ‘assembled a highly talented and effective contentious trusts team’. The ‘highly experienced’ Jenny McKeown  is ‘tenacious and pragmatic; she manages her team and clients extremely well and leaves no stone unturned in the quest to get the right answer and then a win for her client’. The ‘commercial and constructive’ Helena Berman is also recommended. At associate level Kasia Sikora-Sikorski has a ‘keen eye for detail and an absolute mastery of the facts’. Alice Scott-Gatty is ‘really excellent with a strategic insight of someone many years her senior’ and Peter Gillis  is ‘insightful, commercial and pays good attention to detail’.  In a complex and multi-jurisdictional matter the team is acting for the Ong family who claimed that the house in which they once lived was the subject of a trust in which they are the beneficiaries. The ‘slick’ group routinely advises high-net-worth clients on a broad range of contentious trusts and probate matters frequently with an offshore element.

Anthony Gold ‘can fight it out with much bigger firms; the lawyers there know their stuff inside out and are meticulous in their work’. The group has a ‘sound grasp of the legal issues, a no-nonsense client-friendly approach and can robustly fight the clients’ corner’. Head of team is the ‘very knowledgeable and technically brilliant’ David Wedgwood, who has vast experience of all aspects of trusts and probate matters and also regularly acts in matters involving breach of trust and freezing orders. The ‘very client-focused and exceptional’ Clare Kelly ‘has a great eye for detail but can also identify the crux of the dispute'. Newly promoted partner Beth Holden  is ‘incisive and decisive; she blends sound judgement with great tenacity and an ability to effectively deal with both demanding clients and opponents’. Senior associate Monika Byrska  is ‘very straightforward and capable – she handles complex matters well’.

Burges Salmon LLP's ‘proactive and responsive’ Kevin Kennedy  ‘cuts through the legal issues, fights his clients’ cases aggressively but appropriately. His client care is impeccable’. Justin Briggs, who specialises in complex commercial and private onshore and offshore trusts litigation, ‘has his eye constantly on what is best for the client’. Senior associate Rachel Pinn  ‘always provides first-class advice’ and the ‘very responsive’ Caroline Emslie  (an associate) ‘sets out the legal arguments with clarity’. The team is acting in various matters involving high-value trusts or estates, often with significant multi-jurisdictional issues.

Howard Kennedy LLP  has a ‘perfectly formed team’ under the leadership of the ‘very hardworking’ Emily Mailer . Mailer has ‘firmly in mind her clients’ best interests and how to achieve their objectives’. Naomi O’Higgins  ‘is very measured, extraordinarily knowledgeable and gives practical and realistic advice’. Elizabeth Barclays  is a ‘hardworking solicitor who is excellent at managing clients’. The ‘very effective team’ works extensively with high-net-worth, entrepreneurial and creative sector clients and is skilled at handling complex, high-value and high profile disputes. It also frequently receives referrals from other leading firms and barristers. In addition the group has significant experience of co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional advice.

Hunters Law LLP  is praised for its ‘high level of success in difficult cases’ with the ‘fantastic, very savvy’ Richard Kershaw  at the helm. Kershaw ‘can see the answer straight away and can then get there with the minimum of fuss’. Newly promoted partner David Draisey  adopts a ‘calm and methodical approach to his work and is a rising star in contentious trust litigation’. The team handles an impressive range of matters both onshore and offshore for trustees and beneficiaries as well as for landed estates and City professionals, and acts on a broad range of trusts and probate disputes in the Court of Protection and the Chancery Division.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP ’s team has ‘specialist knowledge and conscientious solicitors. There is strength throughout the team from partner to associate level’. Arabella Murphy  who heads up the disputes team and her partners have ‘high levels of expertise. They are deeply experienced and are known and respected globally both for their litigation skills and their creative thinking in finding ways to resolve complex cases in their clients’ interests’. Other key members of the team include Richard Turnor  who is a ‘true leading statesman’; Emma-Jane Weider, who is ‘vastly experienced in tax and trusts matters and is an effective and efficient litigator’; and Clare Maurice, who is ‘recognised as one of the top international private client lawyers in the world’. Associate Rosalind Hetherington  has ‘excellent instincts – she is one to watch’. The ‘strong team’ acts for trustees, beneficiaries and members of ultra-high-net-worth families on a range of disputes both in the UK and offshore. Particular specialisms include advising on allegations of breach of trust and/fiduciary duty, proceedings for the removal of trustees and disputes generally about the validity of wills.

Payne Hicks Beach  is ‘regularly involved in very significant disputes both on the beneficiary and trustee side and continues to successfully build its reputation in this area’. Richard Manyon  is a ‘rising superstar with tremendous intellect and a lot of commercial nous’ and the ‘hugely knowledgeable and experienced’ Stephen King  is ‘great to have on your side and never misses anything’. Rosamond McDowell provides ‘sound and accessible advice to clients and always goes the extra mile for them’ and Dominic Crossley  ‘really fights his clients’ corner and remains calm under pressure while adding considerable value both tactically and legally’. Ane Vernon is a ‘very capable lawyer who builds up an excellent rapport with her clients who trust her implicitly’ and Emily Stoneham is also a ‘strong solicitor with good drafting skills’. The team continues to act for a Swiss trustee in relation to a substantial breach of trust claim over alleged excessive distributions by the former trustees.

Penningtons Manches Cooper fields an ‘incredibly responsive and super personable team that is always looking for the most cost-effective way to achieve the best result’. Head of team Michael Cash  has an ‘excellent mix of experience, knowledge and practical common sense’. Newly promoted partner Henrietta Mason  ‘stays calm even in the face of the worst adversity and is technically excellent. She is a very effective lawyer who attracts good work and will surely flourish as a partner’. Senior associate Sarah Lee  ‘ works tirelessly and is a fearsome advocate’. In a case that showcases the team’s ability to deal with complex cross border and high value matters it continues to act for the administrator of the estate of his Exalted Highness the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad. The long running dispute is over £35m that is held by National Westminster Bank that was deposited in 1948. Claimants to the funds are the States of India and Pakistan and various heirs to the 7th Nizam.

Russell-Cooke LLP  is ‘one of the major players in this area with the names and expertise to compete with the really big central London firms but with a slightly different, more client-focused approach’. The ‘knowledgeable’Alison Regan  ‘robustly fights her clients’ corner- she is always one step ahead while always taking a pragmatic and commercial approach with clients’. Regan advises on the full array of matters and many of the issues she advises on have an international element involving domicile issues or assets based abroad. Gareth Ledsham  is ‘very proactive and attentive and is easy to talk to. He has the perfect combination of sound instincts and deep legal knowledge’. Senior associate Hannah Mantle is ‘unflappable and develops a great rapport with clients’. The ‘really reliable team’ is adept at acting for professional administrators in contentious matters and also advises on contentious applications to the court of protection involving issues such as statutory wills.

At Stewarts Law LLP  James Price  is a ‘highly capable litigator who communicates very well with his senior clients’. Senior associate Emma McCall ‘combines an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law with a thoroughness and enthusiasm for her cases which few can match’. The department handles complex and large-scale disputes in England and other leading jurisdictions and acts for high-net-worth individuals, families, family offices, trustees and trust companies as well as charities.

VWV provides an ‘outstanding service’ with the ‘sensible and approachable’ Michelle Rose  at the helm. Marianne Nankervis  is ‘full of energy and ability’ and Fiona Lawrence is ‘meticulous in her attention to detail and has an excellent client manner’. Julia Hardy  is a ‘real gem’ and Sally Rushton is ‘wise and charming’. Rose is appointed on a regular basis as an independent administrator and court-appointed deputy. Clients include individuals, charities, high-net worth business clients, film producers, journalists, private banks, celebrities as well as politicians.

Wedlake Bell LLP  provides the ‘highest level of service without the highest price tag’. Andrew O’Keeffe  is ‘very commercially savvy – nothing fazes him’. The ‘immaculately prepared’ Caroline Miller  is noted for her ‘great attention to detail and fights hard for her clients’. O’Keeffe advises on a wide range of contentious and probate matters with particular expertise in disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, where he has acted for spouses, partners, both adult and minor children as well as dependants. He has also advised executors in relation to these claims.

The ‘excellent’ team at Collyer Bristow LLP  provides ‘empathetic treatment to clients who are dealing with family fallouts over wills and provides sensible advice. The team is willing to go that extra mile for clients’. The group is managed by James Badcock whose clients include high-net-worth individuals and their families, trustees, foreign law firms and banks. Consultant John Rochman  and Samara Dutton  (a senior associate) ‘are particularly strong at handling difficult situations’.

Druces LLP  is ‘firm with a growing presence in this area’. Helen Freely  is ‘very good tactically’ and Matthew Duncan joined the team as a consultant from Kingsley Napley LLP. The group acts for individuals, beneficiaries, executors, trustees and charities in resolving disputes. Key clients include entrepreneurs and City individuals, fund managers and other high-net-worth individuals.

Frydenson & Co  is a ‘household known name in the private client sphere’. Henry Frydenson  is an ‘experienced sole practitioner with particular expertise in capacity issues and good experience in ADR’. He is particularly well regarded for his work in mediation and is a CEDR-accredited mediator. He is also skilled at handling all aspects of contentious trust and probate litigation.

Gowling WLG  fields an ‘accessible, responsive and highly skilled team’. James Sidwell  is an ‘excellent litigator with great technical expertise who works hard for his client. He has a keen intellect and superb tactical awareness’. The ‘highly skilled’ Catherine Naylor shows ‘outstanding attention to detail and impresses clients with her results-orientated outlook’. First Peninsula Trustees, Alliance Trust plc and Port of Hercules Trustees are all clients.

Irwin Mitchell strengthened its practice with the recruitment of Claire-Marie Cornford from Mishcon de Reya LLP . Cornford is an ‘experienced and very impressive lawyer, client focused and tactically astute’. Paula Myers is the national head who is based in Leeds and is also ‘very sensible and good at dealing with difficult people’. The team deals with the full spectrum of contested claims concerning the validity of wills and lifetime gifts.

Mills & Reeve LLP  has a team that provides ‘always timely responses and points that are well explained with clear recommendations’. David Catchpole  is a ‘seasoned litigator. He has a great capacity to soak up detailed facts whilst retaining a commercial outlook’. Principal associate Lucy Howard  is also ‘very strong’. The team advises on a broad range of disputes such as the validity of wills, actions involving trustees and executors and also acts for a number of charities involved in contested legacy matters.

Osbornes  has a ‘highly knowledgeable team that is realistic and practical in its approach and effective in standing up to unreasonable conduct on the other side’. Jan Atkins, who is frequently appointed as an independent administrator of disputed estates, ‘mixes business acumen with sound legal skills’. Elspeth Neilson  is ‘very reliable and practical’. The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals.

Pinsent Masons LLP  has a team with a ‘first-rate understanding of complex, cross-border trust structures and administration’. The ‘highly experienced’ Michael Pulford  provides ‘extremely sound and easily understandable advice’. Pulford leads a team that represents a varied client base including leading trust companies and corporate service providers, trustees, family offices, beneficiaries, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their corporates. He advises these clients on a broad range of heavyweight commercial, trust and family disputes. Harbour Guernsey and Deutsche Bank Private Wealth are key clients.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur's Nigel West  is a ‘highly experienced senior lawyer who brings a wealth of experience, common sense and commercial judgement to litigation and works hard to find a satisfactory solution to the client’s case’. The ‘very client-focused’ Jonathan Shankland is recommended for his ‘excellent tax knowledge’. The team acts on behalf of executors, administrators, beneficiaries and dependents on high-value and complex trusts and estates both in the UK and overseas.

Managing associate James Lister  at Stevens & Bolton LLP  is a ‘commercially astute, very hardworking and most importantly approachable’. Lister is experienced in advising on disputes over estate administration and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The team focuses on high-value UK trust and estate work and advises trustees, beneficiaries, executors and claimants alike.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has ‘offices nationwide and provides a top-rate service to clients big and small’.Neil Long is ‘an excellent and charming lawyer who quickly wins the trust of his clients’. Long advises individuals, families, charities and trustees about the validity of wills and trust documents, undue influence, financial provision and other issues such as mental capacity. Managing associateRichard Pike  is ‘pragmatic, efficient and very personable – he is a tough and determined litigator’.

Court of protection

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Irwin Mitchell has a ‘substantial team nationally that has real depth’. Julia Lomas heads the team , which includes the ‘very experienced’ Alex Rook  and Bristol-based Polly Sweeney. Sheffield-based Yogi Amin  is ‘a very experienced public law litigator and a good judge of a case’. Associate Anne-Marie Irwin is also ‘brilliant’. The team acts as professional deputy or trustee on many complex and high-value cases involving multimillion-pound funds.

Thomson Snell & Passmore fields an ‘efficient, highly competent, experienced and knowledgeable team’.  Eddie Fardell heads the team and is ‘highly intelligent, has vast experience and is very good and constructive with clients’. The ‘very pragmatic’ Martin Terrell is ‘sensitive to clients’ needs’ and Brian Bacon is ‘very responsive and intelligent – he has very good judgement’. Newly promoted partner Catherine Fuller and senior associate Heather West ‘are responsive and have good knowledge of this area’. The team is skilled across the board and regularly deals with property and financial deputyships, welfare and contentious cases as well as personal injury trusts. It continues to receive a steady flow of referrals from other law firms, counsel and the Official Solicitor as well as a large amount of expert witness work. It has also seen an increase in referrals for investigatory work where previous deputies or attorneys have been removed for misconduct.

Withers LLP  is regularly involved in high-value financial cases. The ‘very pragmatic and sensitive’ Julia Abrey  co-heads the elder law team with Stephen Richards. Paul Hewitt  is a ‘master tactician and has an almost supernatural sense of how to get the best result from any situation’. At associate level Alice Tomlin is a ‘superstar in the waiting’ and Deborah Nicholls is ‘quick and clever’. As well as representing families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people, the team regularly acts for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. It also advises on disabled trusts and other advance decisions to refuse medical treatment also known as ‘living wills’.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is ‘one of the leading firms in the Midlands for Court of Protection work’. Sheree Green and Donna Holmes  are both ‘knowledgeable, punctual and display a caring and supportive manner with clients and explain matters to clients, most with learning difficulties, in terms that they will understand’. Senior associate Alex Elphinston ’s strengths are his ‘promptness, courtesy, communication, attention to detail and thoughtfulness about the many complex dimensions of a client’s life’. Green is a panel deputy and acts as professional deputy or attorney personally for around 50 clients including those who have been awarded substantial settlement in personal injury or clinical negligence actions. Other key clients include the Office of the Public Guardian.

Anthony Gold has a sizeable team with particular experience in helping clients who have been disabled as a result of birth defects, injuries or clinical negligence. Head of team David Wedgwood is ‘approachable, considerate and empathetic whilst maintaining a fully professional stance’. Alexandra Knipe ‘blends a real kindness with good advice. She is very clever, technically accurate and efficient- she is also always available at short notice’. Nicola Gunn and her team are ‘considerate and caring to the client’s needs and requirements whilst maintaining a highly professional position in continuing to manage their clients’.

Bindmans LLP  is ‘a leading firm in COP for welfare and medical treatment cases in particular’. Laura Hobey-Hamsher  has ‘particular skill and expertise in the difficult area of representing families caught up in medical disputes’. Solicitor Will Whitaker  is ‘supportive and understanding, completely unflappable and deals sensitively with the most challenging clients’. Associate Charlotte Haworth Hird  is ‘very experienced’. It advises a wide range of clients on issues as diverse as the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration from patients in a minimally conscious or persistent vegetative state to cases involving an individual’s capacity to consent to marry.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Suzanne Marriott  has a ‘long history of acting in this area which gives her and the team an unrivalled depth of expertise’. The ‘knowledgeable’ Sally Ashford  has ‘an ability to explain complex matters in a way that is straightforward and understandable’. Marriott is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and both Ashford and Marriott are members of the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Duncan Elson has a ‘great deal of gravitas’. Anita Gill left the team to join Kingsley Napley LLP .

Clarke Willmott LLP fields ‘a highly skilled and experienced team that is easy to communicate with’. Anthony Fairweather leads the ‘very experienced’ team, which includes Anne Minihane, who is ‘professional, diligent and knowledgeable’; the ‘highly experienced’ Jess Flanagan, who has a ‘passion for getting what her clients want and for respecting their rights'; and Charlotte Bromley, who is ‘committed, caring and excellent with clients’. Fairweather and Minihane are both members of the Office of the Public Guardian Panel of Professional Deputies. The team specialises in the management of high-value personal injury awards stemming from catastrophic injury and clinical negligence cases for clients with complex ongoing care needs.

Enable Law  is ‘a leading firm in the South West for Court of Protection work’. The team has considerable expertise in elder law, brain injury and trusts involving incapacitated individuals. It also assists people with learning difficulties as well as advising on statutory wills and issues of physical and financial abuse. Key figures include Andrew Hannam, senior associate Katie Webber, and consultant Patricia Wass, who is an ‘outstanding practitioner who knows her stuff, is sympathetic, intelligent and approachable’. Senior associate Holly Mieville-Hawkins and legal director Stacey Bryant are also recommended; Bryant is well regarded for her work on mental capacity issues and has extensive experience in Court of Protection cases specialising in property and financial affairs.

Gillhams Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘well-respected team that provides an excellent service’. Christopher Poxamatis  garners praise for being ‘thorough, diligent and good at finding creative solutions’. Also recommended are Lisa Cornish, the ‘very knowledgeable and caring’ Hina Tailor, the ‘experienced and conscientious’ Anthony Krikler and the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ Russell Caller. It has three panel deputies and now manages over 120 deputyship cases ranging from helping elderly clients to those suffering from mental health issues. The group also helps clients who have suffered a brain injury from an accident or as a result of medical negligence.

Hugh James  has a ‘highly competent and experienced team that provides an exemplary service’. The ‘excellent’ Andrew Harding leads his team ‘efficiently and professionally and really cares about the clients’. The team deals solely with high-value and complex cases arising from damages claims and assists clients with various matters such as overseeing the direct employment of care teams, the purchase of properties and other matters including the management of planning and building applications. The team also helps clients with issues surrounding the investment of funds and the provision of care for the lifetime of the client. It currently manages the affairs of 135 individuals. Senior associate Robert Hurling  is also recommended.

JE Bennett Law's ‘well-respected team' is ‘first rate for deputyship matters’. Jane Bennett is ‘superb at handling very difficult matters and at empowering and involving the client whenever possible’. The team is known for its Court of Protection deputyship work and advice to vulnerable clients regarding court of protection litigation, powers of attorney and elderly issues. It routinely handles disputes involving competing interests on contentious family-related matters frequently centring on financial and care/welfare related disputes. Senior associate Amy Paxton has ‘extensive knowledge of this area and can explain things in a way that is understandable, despite having to cover some complicated subjects’.

Sean Humber  leads a ‘strong team’ at Leigh Day that is ‘dedicated, well organised and gets results for its clients’. Anna Moore  is an ‘exceptionally committed lawyer with excellent judgement’. Kate Egerton  ‘takes time to really understand a case and is always on top of the detail’. Frances Swaine  is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor in best interest applications. The team is acting in Court of Protection proceedings about the care and residence of a woman with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Mackintosh Law  is a ‘highly committed firm that will go that extra mile for the client’. The' outstanding, incredibly impressive and formidable’ Nicola Mackintosh is ‘dedicated to her clients and to securing access to justice’. The firm specialises in mental capacity law and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts in vulnerable adult protection cases and challenges to deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act. It is adept at advising where there are issues about the protection of adults at risk of abuse or neglect or on issues of capacity regarding a range of issues including medical issues. Other areas of expertise include advising clients with disabilities (adults and children) and their carers about their entitlements to assessments and services from local authorities and NHS agencies.

Miles & Partners LLP  has an ‘approachable, very dedicated and experienced team’ under the leadership of Rachel Turner  and Floyd Porter . The ‘unbelievably thorough’ Turner is a ‘very safe pair of hands which she combines with a first-rate knowledge of the law and practice in this area’. Porter is a ‘determined fighter for his clients’ rights whether he is acting for the vulnerable individual or the family members. He is unafraid of difficult legal challenges’. The ‘extremely personable’ Andrew Bowmer who joined from Steel & Shamash  ‘works hard for clients and has real expertise both in COP work and in community care’. The team’s focus is on mental capacity and mental health law. It is frequently involved in cases that involve issues surrounding the capacity and the best interests of vulnerable adults who cannot take important decisions themselves. It is skilled at challenging detentions in hospital under the Mental Health Act and in challenging unlawful detentions by bringing High Court actions for judicial review.

Penningtons Manches Cooper  ‘consistently delivers an outstanding level of client service; the team has an excellent grasp of the needs of the most vulnerable and catastrophically brain injured clients’. The ‘knowledgeable, practical and approachable’ Julie Burton leads the team, which includes senior associate Daniel Toop, who is ‘very hardworking and extremely pragmatic’. The group acts as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals who have received an award as a result of a personal injury or clinical negligence claim. It acts for both children and adults with acquired brain injuries and other injuries across the UK and has some clients who live abroad. The team also acts for a number of elderly clients on estate management issues.

Russell-Cooke LLP advises on the full range of contentious and non-contentious property and affairs matters. The ‘very proactive and attentive’ Gareth Ledsham  leads on the contentious side and ‘takes time to explain complex points. He gives measured advice’. Rita Bhargava  is adept at advising on all capacity issues. The skilled team is experienced at handling complex cross border/ private international law issues. It also acts (through Russell-Cooke Trust Company) as an independent attorney, deputy for financial affairs as well as trustee on various matters. It is recommended for its ability to combine tax and succession advice with general advice on property and other matters for those who lack capacity.

Simpson Millar LLP  has ‘unbelievably efficient and excellent lawyers who clearly take immense pride in their work'. The ‘very experienced’ Angela Jackman  is a ‘very confident litigator’ and the ‘tenacious’ Julie Cornes  ‘fights every case with care and excellent attention to detail every time’. The ‘phenomenal’  Oliver Studdert and associate Zena Soormally  are also recommended. The team continues to handle disputes involving local authorities and health trusts over welfare and the best interests of incapacitated, disabled and elderly people. The team has an excellent reputation for its work in pursuing challenges on behalf of both patients and their relatives in the court of protection over deprivation of liberty issues in particular.

Steel & Shamash  has ‘very experienced lawyers who are very good team players and fight hard for their clients’. The ‘wise, deeply experienced and highly effective’ Janice Kaufman  specialises in mental capacity and child care law and has extensive experience in representing parties in the Court of Protection. She represents parents, children and interveners in care proceedings including cases involving non-accidental injury and allegations of fabricated illness and sexual abuse. She has also represented many with mental health difficulties and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor. Anna O’Connell  heads the public law practice and is often instructed on Court of Protection cases where there is a lack of capacity. Andrew Bowmer is now at Miles & Partners LLP

Switalskis Solicitors  has a ‘strong presence in the North with a growing national reputation’. Alex Guy  has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the practices of the Court of Protection and the role of professional deputy in the context of personal injury awards’. Michael Kennedy  is a ‘first-class lawyer with an impressive command of the law in this area which he combines with a solid knowledge of the Mental Health Act’. Chartered legal executive Caroline Hurst 's ‘knowledge of COP work is extremely strong’. The team is renowned for dealing with complex mental capacity and welfare cases as well as deprivation of liberty cases in the court of protection alongside community care challenges. It also works closely with the firm’s clinical negligence and serious injury teams.

Weightmans LLP  has a number of excellent practitioners including Simon Goacher  and Richard Jolly, who are both based in Liverpool, and Birmingham-based Tony Yeaman . The team advises on a broad range of welfare, health and property issues for a significant number of local authorities, NHS trusts and private health and social providers. The team acted for a North West based NHS Foundation trust in an application for an urgent declaration for serious medical treatment in relation to a patient who was detained under the Mental Health Act. The patient was pregnant and was no longer cooperating with her antenatal care. The trust determined that it would be in her best interest to undertake a caesarean section at 37 weeks. The court granted this order declaring that it was lawful for the trust to provide delivery by caesarean section.

Glen Miles  at asb law LLP  has an ‘encyclopaedic technical knowledge of this area and fights his clients’ corner every time’. Associate Stella Mullane leads the vulnerable people team in Crawley. The team works closely with vulnerable and elderly people as well as their families and support teams and routinely assists individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries especially acquired head and brain injuries.

Boyes Turner  has an ‘efficient and responsive team that is willing to listen to its clients’ views and wishes’. Group head Ruth Meyer  and senior associate Alexander Wright  are both ‘very considered and knowledgeable and work hard.’. Senior manager Anne Pearson  is ‘client-focused and organised, with genuine empathy and understanding of her clients’ complex needs’. The team advises on a broad array of matters from property and affairs deputyships to private personal injury trusts. It is also known for its work on complex statutory will applications and on witness statements covering deputyship and trustee costs. It currently manages the financial affairs of 68 individuals as either a professional deputy or a trustee of a personal injury trust – the majority of these matters are multimillion-pound complex cases resulting from clinical negligence claims.

Adrian Mundell  heads the team at Ashtons Legal, which specialises in acting for clients who have suffered a catastrophic acquired or birth-related brain injury. It also acts for elderly clients and those with mental health problems. Tom Cook ‘takes time to consider options and his answers are always considered and thoughtful’. The group acts as professional deputy for over 100 clients. The team also supports family members who are acting as lay deputy or those cases where the team is appointed as an attorney or trustee. Associate Anna Foster  is also recommended.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors  is an ‘excellent firm that handles an impressive amount of work in this challenging area’. Lesley-Ann Mayhew  deals with ‘complex and intricate issues and does so with great authority and aptitude, explaining difficult concepts with consummate ease’. Mayhew handles work nationally with a particular specialism in acting in cases involving multimillion pound damages awards for claimants of medical negligence. It has a proven track record of advising clients on a wide range of matters including application to the court for statutory wills, lifetime gift orders and special needs trusts.Andrew Flannagan  is another key member of the team.

Alastair Collett  heads the Court of Protection team at Bircham Dyson Bell, which is best known for managing capacity issues for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The group has considerable experience in contested Court of Protection cases and works closely with its litigation colleagues, for example, in bringing and defending objections to enduring/lasting powers of attorney. James Freemantle  is another important member of the team.

Bevan Brittan LLP  fields a ‘highly experienced team particularly in medical COP cases’. Simon Lindsay  has ‘good judgement, is calm and measured and is excellent with clients’. The team has particular expertise in the issues that are thrown up by the Mental Capacity Act, the Mental Health Act, human rights and equality issues. It acts for commissioners, providers and care co-ordinators across England from is four offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and London. In particular it routinely advises NHS England on deprivation of liberty, mental capacity, best interests and safeguarding issues.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates has a ‘thorough and competent team that is growing its reputation in this area’. Elizabeth Cleaver  (a higher rights advocate) is ‘calm, experienced and on the ball’. The department has particular experience in welfare matters and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent vulnerable adults in complex cases involving deprivation of liberty, care and residence issues. Cleaver’s work spans financial and welfare matters.

Capsticks LLP  has a ‘knowledgeable team that has the clients' best interests in mind when it comes to patient care’. Head of team Francis Lyons  and consultant Lindsay Gee  both have a ‘thorough knowledge of the legislation around capacity and mental health’. The team advises NHS providers and commissioners as well as public, private and charitable sector clients on all issues involving incapacitated and vulnerable adults and children. It is experienced at advising on the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the deprivation of liberty safeguards. It advised Enfield CCG in a court of protection case regarding the placement of a 19 year old with brain injury. The brain injury had been acquired in infancy.

Cartwright King focuses on representing the individual. For legally aided and privately funded work it is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor as litigation friend in cases where the client lacks capacity. The group is a large supplier of mental health legal aid in the UK. Conor Maguire  is recommended along with Lauren Crow .

At DAC Beachcroft LLP  Newcastle-based Gill Weatherill heads a ‘very responsive’ team. The national team advises NHS and independent providers of health social care services as well as local authority commissioners of care. In a complex case the team brought a court of protection (High Court) application on behalf of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust seeking a best interests’ declaration. This was in respect of the proposed surgical clearance of all of an incapable patient’s teeth. The patient was a Syrian refugee with learning disabilities who was non-verbal and had witnessed the torture of his brother in Syria by way of forced tooth extraction. Senior associate Jemma Gillson  is also recommended.

Dawson Cornwell  has substantial court of protection expertise which is largely due to the strength of Jeremy Abraham’s experience as a court appointed deputy. Abraham has ‘great client management skills and is reassuring and wise’. His cases generally involve mid-to-high-net-worth individuals some of whom have been awarded substantial compensation and he focuses on property and affairs. Other areas of expertise include advising on declarations of capacity as well as on the international removal of people who fall under the remit of the court of protection. Associate Anna Shadbolt  is ‘very clever and relates brilliantly with clients’.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a ‘team that is quick to respond’. Key contacts are Rachel Caswell , Jemma Garside  and Toufique Hossain . It has a multi-disciplinary team that collaborates with its experts from its mental capacity, mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law departments. Alex Peebles  and Helen Cummings  are both ‘personable and client-focused but with a keen eye on the law, strategy and procedure to ensure the very best outcome for their clients’.

Anna Bond  joined the team at Fieldfisher  from Thomson Snell & Passmore . Bond has a ‘great air of confidence which is very reassuring for clients and they always feel valued. Her approach is totally client centred’.  Senior associate Robin Tubbs  is ‘forensic and dogged – he pays great attention to detail’. It has approximately 70 ongoing deputyships and specialises in the management of deputyships for children and adults who have suffered catastrophic injuries.

Freeths LLP  has an ‘excellent team’. Melanie Williams and Jane Maitland  have been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s Panel of Deputies for sometime. The majority of its clients are brain injured and have received multimillion pound compensation awards. Other areas of expertise for the team include preparing expert reports on court of protection costs for litigation proceedings and preparing statutory wills and gift applications. It also acts as professional deputy for clients with valuable estates including several with large agricultural estates and businesses.

The ‘calm’ Amy Butler at GT Stewart Limited can ‘handle anything that is thrown at her really well, has a good knowledge of mental health and social welfare issues and is realistic in assessing a case'. Butler does a substantial amount of work for the Official Solicitor and ‘is a confident litigator who works well with counsel and develops an excellent rapport with her clients’. Assistant solicitor Warwick Norris ‘combines both a strategic application of the law with also being able to work with the most traumatised and vulnerable clients with empathy and compassion’. Areas of expertise include advising clients who are deprived of their liberty and the human rights issues that flow from this in particular under Article 5 and 8 of the ECHR.

Peter Gosling heads the team at Higgs & Sons with the support of associate Annabel Kay. The team works closely with its clinical negligence and personal injury teams and has been working on a significant number of high value and complex professional deputyships and associated court of protection matters. Nick Moxon  is another key member of the team and acts as court of protection panel deputy for clients with major mental health problems in the Midlands area.

Philippa Barton heads a ‘professional team’ at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors. The team specialises in property and affairs deputyships for clients who have received high-value personal injury awards. Angela Nunn joined the team from Sternberg Reed. Nunn is ‘genuinely empathetic and understands the complex needs and circumstances of her clients’.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)  is a ‘quality firm with a knowledgeable and approachable team. It is easy to get hold of the team when required’. Jacqueline Almond  is ‘empathetic and is able to summarise situations without complexity’. Chartered legal executive Elena Hall  is ‘very efficient’. The group receives referrals from panels, local charities, care homes and other firms that do not specialise in this area. It also gets work from local authorities. The group provides a wide range of services and deals with a myriad of other issues such as applications for the appointment of deputies. In addition it advises on statutory wills and lifetime gifts.

Kingsley Napley LLP  provides an ‘excellent service to its vulnerable clients’. Simon Hardy  has a ‘personal touch with clients, who is very knowledgeable and has a real empathy with his clients’. Anita Gill joined the team from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  and is a ‘hugely experienced and a respected panel deputy and COP practitioner’. Gill is adept at administering and managing the affairs of the elderly particularly those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The team primarily assists clients with property and affairs matters. Many of its clients lack capacity due to a catastrophic medical negligence or an acquired brain injury. The team is one to watch.

Jill Mason  runs an ‘excellent’ health and mental health team at Mills & Reeve LLP . Recently the team acted for a Midlands CCG where a relevant person challenged a deprivation of liberty that the patient was subject to. The firm was able to appear quickly and demonstrate to the judge that all was in order, that the care package was appropriate and that the correct procedure was being followed.

Head of department at Minton Morrill is Julia Morrill who is well-regarded. The team assists vulnerable people especially those with a mental incapacity as well as their families and advisors. The team helps with the management of multimillion pound funds for those who lack mental capacity to manage their property and affairs.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur's ‘knowledgeable and approachable’ team includes the ‘very practical’ Andrew Parsons and ‘highly competent’ Jonathan Shankland. The team has been involved in a number of high-profile cases and vulnerable person matters for both private clients and institutional clients.

Shoosmiths LLP  provides ‘accurate and helpful advice’. Lucy Taylor ‘explains all the legal terms in a language that clients can understand’. The team acts for a large number of vulnerable clients of all ages including those with acquired brain injuries, mental illnesses, learning disabilities or degenerative diseases such as dementia. Charlotte Dunn is the head of department.

Manchester-based Martin Hudson  heads the team at Slater and Gordon. Nationally the team acts as financial deputy for over 300 clients. The team has recently dealt with a wide range of applications including complex statutory will and gift applications.Lucy Nicol and Gillian Hitchen joined Irwin Mitchell .

Stephensons Solicitors LLP's ‘background knowledge and experience in public law and social care is invaluable’. Melanie Varey is a ‘fantastic lawyer who has immense client empathy’. Varey specialises in advising parties on best interests, capacity disputes, deprivation of liberty and appeals against deprivation of liberty safeguards.

The ‘switched-on’ Lynne Bradey is the key figure  at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP. The specialist court of protection team and the personal injury team deal exclusively with clients who lack mental capacity or who have suffered serious injuries or illness. In 2015 the firm was added to the Office of the Public Guardian Panel Deputy List.


Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is headed by the ‘calm and fiercely intelligent’ Sarah Higgins. William Longrigg  has a ‘very high profile in the international family law world and attracts some very large cases’. James Freeman  ‘fights his clients’ cases with skill and expertise and is totally solution-focused’. Miranda Fisher  acts for HNWIs from overseas as well as a number of Premiership footballers. The ‘very calm' James Riby has a ’good head for figures’. Sarah Anticoni has a ‘great reputation’ and the ‘dynamic and clever’ Jamie Kennaugh is a newly promoted partner. Senior associate Joshua Green  is ‘extremely hardworking and is a rising star’. The team has particular expertise in the sports and media sectors and regularly acts for actors, musicians and other media and sports stars. Victoria Francis has left the firm.

Dawson Cornwell is a ‘leader in the field of international children’s law offering a bespoke service to clients from all walks of life in many different countries who want the best legal representation and support’. Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, QC (Hon) has a ‘stellar reputation’ particularly in the field of child abduction. It also has ‘some excellent practitioners in the area of matrimonial finance’. The ‘excellent’ Kate Allen has ‘impeccable judgement’ and Russell Bywater ‘passionately fights his clients’ corner’. Zoë Fleetwood ‘strives hard to achieve the right outcome and to ensure that the client gets the best care’. Charlotte Conner is also ‘very supportive of her clients’. The team has a number of ‘first-class younger lawyers who are also beginning to make their mark’ among them senior associate Colin Rogerson who is an ‘unsung hero both domestically and internationally’ particularly in the area of surrogacy, parentage and assisted reproduction. Jessica Reid has an ‘excellent manner with clients’. The ‘diligent’ James Netto has a ‘wide breadth of experience in child abduction’ and Caroline Korah ‘works tirelessly for her clients providing practical and supportive legal advice’.

Farrer & Co has a ‘well-established and extraordinarily talented team that offers a high-class service in both family finance and children work’. Its practitioners receive a lot of praise. Simon Bruce  has a ‘genuinely global reputation with effortless charm, vast experience and acute understanding of what the client wants and expects’. The ‘very knowledgeable and dedicated’ William Massey  is also recommended, as is Mark Fenton for financial remedy work; 'he gives sensible advice and can pull out all the stops if needs be’. The ‘immensely able’ Caroline Holley  has a ‘very incisive mind’ and Eliza Hebditch  has a ‘dedication and commitment to her clients’ cases that is simply extraordinary’. The ‘phenomenally impressive’ Claire Gordon has a ‘really analytical mind that is combined with exceptional client focus’. Other key figures include Richard Parry, who specialises in family law and contentious trust matters, Jeremy Posnansky, the ‘bright and thorough’ Sarah Hutchinson and 'fast-thinking' Nicholas Bennett. The department is recommended for high-value, complex and international cases involving substantial assets.

Hughes Fowler Carruthers is the ‘premier boutique divorce firm in London’. Frances Hughes is ‘one of a small group of practitioners who has been conducting and shaping all the leading cases for a generation. She is clear-sighted and very tactically astute’. Pauline Fowler is 'the grand dame of the matrimonial world’. The ‘calm and reassuring’Alex Carruthers ‘never gets flustered and always gets it right’. Mark Harper is ‘magisterial in managing a team on a big case and is unrivalled on trust issues. He is an exceptional and a fearless litigator’. The ‘outstanding’ Renato Labi ‘listens well and has the ability to acknowledge the emotional factors whilst targeting the pertinent issues’. Caroline Park is ‘forensic on detail while never losing sight of priorities’. It remains a firm of choice where there is huge money involved especially for prenuptial and post nuptial agreements frequently with cross-jurisdictional aspects.

Mishcon de Reya LLP  is one of the ‘most effective firms for high-profile financial remedy litigation and in all areas of private family work’. The ‘exceptional’ Sandra Davis is ‘extremely personable, astute and unflappable. She is determined and brings a great deal of experience and skill to her cases’. Barbara Reeves and legal director Miles Geffin  are ‘hugely experienced solicitors with highly tuned client-care skills’. Melissa Lesson  is ‘wonderfully calm and urbane, with an efficient and unflappable manner’. Legal director Claire Yorke  is ‘resilient, exceptionally diligent and solution-driven’. Managing associate Emma Willing has the ‘case facts at her fingers and can immediately see the right solution’. The practice frequently acts in ultra-high-net-worth cases with an international element involving complex tax and trust issues as well as substantial business assets and partnerships.

Payne Hicks Beach ‘occupies a favoured position in the pantheon of private client firms offering a sophisticated and refined level of service in the most high-profile cases’. Ian Airey  is ‘hugely respected’ and Baroness Fiona Shackleton is ‘probably the most celebrated family lawyer of her generation. She has unsurpassable client care skills and a sixth sense at sorting out cases’. Philip McGuirk is a ‘bright and engaging lawyer who knows the law inside out’ and Matthew Booth is a ‘very safe pair of hands indeed’. Simon Beccle has an ‘extraordinarily impressive case load. He is one of the very few family finance solicitors to have appeared in both the House of Lords and the Supreme Court’. Consultant Fiona Brown is a ‘superb forensic sleuth’. Newly promoted partner Ben Parry-Smith  is ‘supremely competent and gifted at negotiation’. It is recommended for its skill at advising on all aspects of family and matrimonial law.

Stephen Foster at Stewarts Law LLP is an ‘excellent team leader who has pulled together a fabulous team that continues to go from strength to strength’. Foster’s clients are figures from the City and entrepreneurs and many of his cases have an international dimension. Emma Hatley  is described as being ‘in a league of her own. She is a tenacious litigator- calm and measured as well as a real fighter with grit if necessary. She is destined for the top’. Matthew Humphries is an ‘excellent all-round lawyer with a great brain’. Also recommended are Debbie Chism (brings a vast store of experience to all her clients and is completely unflappable’), Richard Hogwood (‘frighteningly efficient’)  and Sam Longworth. Toby Atkinson  ‘strives to achieve a peaceful resolution if there is one to be found whilst preparing to fight if required. His advice is thoughtful and measured and his judgement is sound’. Helen Ward  is ‘superb in every way’. Other key members of the eight-partner practice include newly promoted partner Carly Kinch.

Withers LLP  is ‘absolutely first-class with star individuals at every level from senior partners through to associates. It is a firm that knows exactly what it is doing and always delivers’. The ‘excellent and hardworking’ Suzanne Todd heads the practice and spans complex international financial remedy work through to private international child and family matters. The ‘strategic and pragmatic’ Julian Lipson is also recommended, as is Diana Parker, who is ‘a fighter with clairvoyant abilities’. Michael Gouriet  provides ‘wise and considered advice with a perfect bedside manner’. Claire Blakemore  ‘combines professionalism with being very commercial, responsive and also entirely empathetic in difficult times of divorce’. Suzanne Kingston is ‘highly skilled’. Special Counsel Laura Winterbottom  and associate Adele Pledger  are also singled out. The firm fields a large team of family and divorce lawyers that is well –equipped to handle the most complex international cases.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP  is a boutique family law firm with extensive expertise in children work and high-value financial litigation often with cross-border elements. It also has strong mediation and collaborative law expertise. Susan Philipps  is an ‘outstanding lawyer with a phenomenal reputation with cases and clients that are the envy of most’. Tom Amlot  has ‘the confidence that comes from being utterly on top of your game’. William Healing  has ‘built up an excellent knowledge of private international law within the EU so far as it relates to divorce, children and finances. He is a fluent French speaker who has acquired an enviable client base among London’s French-speaking community’. Emma Harte has a ‘good way with clients’ and Sara Hannell is a ‘very intelligent and insightful lawyer’. Katie Longmate  is a ‘very effective family lawyer’. Douglas Alexiou  is well respected as a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Family Law in Partnership Ltd  has an ‘excellent team of family lawyers who really try to seek solutions rather than litigating for litigation’s sake’. The ‘incredibly impressive’ Gillian Bishop  is a ‘very experienced family lawyer who is utterly dedicated to helping her clients through a divorce without destroying their family relationships’. David Allison  adopts a ‘really constructive and co-operative approach’ and James Pirrie  is a ‘fantastically persuasive advocate’. The ‘very able’ Bradley Williams  is a ‘star who is outcome focused; he stays calm under pressure and works tirelessly to achieve the right outcome’. Daniel Coombes  ‘makes it his business to know every detail in every one of his cases. He is extremely well prepared and meticulous’. The ‘brilliant’ Elizabeth Fletcher  ‘really knows her stuff and looks after her clients exceptionally well’ and the ‘very pragmatic’ Helen Greenfield ‘rolls up her sleeves to get things done’. The ‘calm’ Pamela Collis  is praised for her ‘impeccable response times’.

Freemans Solicitors has a strong reputation for handling international child abduction and other cross-border matters such as enforcement under the Brussels 11 Revised Regulation. Team head Nina Hansen  has ‘reached the top of her upward trajectory in the field of international children’s cases; she is equally at ease representing HNW individuals as well as damaged children’. Laura Coyle  is ‘child focused, pragmatic and forensically analytical all combined with a dose of common sense’. Newly promoted partner Hilka Hollmann  is highly recommended for international adoption – ‘what she doesn’t know about this subject isn’t worth knowing’. Mark Kosmin  is ‘excellent on detail and keeping to deadlines; he is not the kind of solicitor to miss something important’.

Goodman Ray  is a ‘leading firm in the area of children’s law with a wealth of excellent lawyers who have particular expertise in same sex relationship breakdown and fertility law’. Kevin Skinner  has particular expertise in alternative family structures; ‘he is able to provide clarity in what is often a complex and opaque area of law and is very much in demand’. Jemma Dally  ‘goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that her clients receive an excellent service’. Peggy Ray  ‘remains at the top of her game and pulls in extremely interesting and complex cases’. Other standout individuals include Trudi Featherstone, who handles a significant amount of financial and Schedule One work and ‘has a fantastic manner with clients’. Consultant Ann Thompson  is ‘vastly experienced in international children law - a steely fighter and a master strategist’. Janet Broadley (also a consultant) is ‘extremely experienced in international children work; she has a real eye for detail and a calm and reassuring manner’. Senior associate Emma Sherrington  ‘knows how to build a winning case’.

Hunters Law LLP  has a ‘calm team that provides intelligent and cost-effective advice – in a word it is ‘classy’. It is attentive to the clients’ needs whilst giving them robust and sensible advice’. Henry Hood heads the department, which includes the ‘tactically superb’ Richard Kershaw, who is a ‘force to be reckoned with’. Hetty Gleave  is ‘charming, efficient and a very strong lawyer’ and Jo Carr-West 'leaves no stone unturned; she has a great eye for detail and approaches each case with sensitivity’. Hazel Wright  is ‘sympathetic and a wonderful mediator’. The team is ‘strong’ across the board and is regularly involved in high-value financial cases and complex children work. Senior associate Amy Scollan  is a ‘rising star of the future – she is clever and extremely thorough’.

Kingsley Napley LLP is a ‘stellar firm with well-regarded partners and associates alike. It is known for being very experienced in both finance and children cases. The firm as a whole provides a Rolls Royce service’. It has particular expertise in cases with an international/jurisdictional element. Charlotte Bradley  is a ‘superb figurehead with an excellent grasp of the law’. Michael Rowlands  is a ‘champion for the client – he will relentlessly pursue the best possible result for his client’. Jane Keir  is an ‘outstanding lawyer’ and Rachel Freeman  is ‘extremely conscientious with impeccable judgement’. Senior associate Abby Buckland  is one of the ‘firm’s many rising stars with exceptional judgement’. Stacey Nevin has ‘client care that is second to none’. Alexandra Bishop  is ‘incredibly diligent and misses nothing’ –both are associates. Claire Wood recently left to join Rayden Solicitors  and the ‘highly regarded’ Sital Fontenelle  joined the team from Irwin Mitchell.

Levison Meltzer Pigott is a ‘brilliant boutique law firm with an excellent reputation. It provides top quality advice and excellent value for money’. Simon Pigott is particularly good on complex finance cases and ‘is very focused on helping couples to find solutions- he is the elder statesman. Few have the combination of so many years of legal practice and so many years as a mediator. He is gentle but can be very tough as necessary’. The ‘top class’ Julian Ribet  is ‘a great tactician’. Alistair Myles  has the ‘deft touch and doesn’t allow opposing solicitors to rile him, remaining calm and focused on his clients’ interests’. Jeremy Levison has ‘so much experience that he always starts at an advantage to his opponents’ and Alison Hayes’ ‘dedication to her clients seems boundless. She is fantastically thorough and a team player through and through’.

At Penningtons Manches Cooper James Stewart  is ‘renowned for tricky international cases’ and Anna Worwood  is ‘one of the go-to lawyers for complex children disputes’. Jane Craig  heads the team, which has ‘fantastic strength and depth not only in the partners but also the associates. Every case is well managed at the practice’. Gillian Rivers  is ‘technically superb’ for both financial remedy and children cases. Rivers ‘combines charm and an ability to reach favourable settlements for her clients with a willingness to litigate forcefully on their behalf when necessary’. Rebecca Carlyon is skilled on advising on both financial and children issues that arise on relationship breakdown. The team has been expanding. The ‘outstanding’ Linzi Bull recently joined the team from Harbottle & Lewis LLP  and is known for her ‘good people skills. She is a first-class case runner'. Edward Floyd  was promoted to partner.

Russell-Cooke LLP  is an ‘excellent firm with many experienced practitioners who really understand the law’. The ‘calm and technically creative’James Carroll  is a ‘star’. The ‘clever, insightful and empathetic’ Fiona Read ‘brings her years of experience as a deputy district judge to her cases to really good effect’. They both have ‘the ability to digest complex information swiftly and economically and have their clients’ best interests at heart’. Samantha Little  is a ‘brilliant’ children’s lawyer whose ‘knowledge is second to none’. The ‘bright’ Kate Hamilton  is ‘always looking for creative and constructive ways to resolve issues’. For financial cases Camilla Thornton  is ‘able to get to grips with complicated financial arrangements’. Sarah Richardson is a ‘superlative strategist who always goes the extra mile for vulnerable clients’. Senior associate Anna Keat  is ‘one of the hidden gems in family law’.

The International Family Law Group LLP  is a ‘go to’ firm for cases with an international element. The team really puts clients at ease and provides solid legal advice and assistance’.Ann Thomas  is ‘highly recommended’ for her work in children and relocation cases and Helen Blackburn  is also regarded as being ‘top of the field’ in international child abduction. Blackburn ‘is caring and tenacious and knows every important detail of her cases’. David Hodson  is ‘very sharp, very reliable and very helpful. If anyone can get a case to settlement he can’. Lucy Greenwood  is ‘accurate, commercial and fast’ and Lucy Loizou combines ‘international knowledge of different laws with excellent clients care’. The firm looks after international and national families and is equally respected for its work in financial and children’s matters relating to relationship breakdown.

Vardags  ‘will fight your case all the way and stop at nothing to win. The advice and level of service it offers is unparalleled’. The team is headed by the 'excellent' Ayesha Vardag and includes Catherine Thomas, who is praised for her ‘remarkable intellect, formidable legal prowess and client care that is out of the movies’. Georgina Hamblin  is a ‘wonderful lawyer who always goes the extra mile for her clients’ and the ‘very personable and knowledgeable’ Kelly Edwards  has a ‘vast array of experience to call upon’. It has a ‘truly excellent team of junior solicitors’ including senior associate Cate Maguire  who is also ‘absolutely excellent’ and Sophie Cantillon who has ‘excellent knowledge of the law and takes command of the situation’. The firm specialises in high-net-worth and complex cases often with an international dimension.

Wedlake Bell LLP  has a ‘strong team of fee earners possessed of the highest calibre of legal knowledge'. The ‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable’Charmaine Hast heads the team and is ‘never phased by anything and has seen it all before’. Conrad Adam is particularly adept at dealing with complex financial cases. Senior associate Trisha Siddique  is ‘committed to her clients, is great at drafting, pragmatic and resolute and feisty when called for’.

Anthony Gold  has a ‘first-rate team that provides exceptional client care in a friendly and industrious atmosphere’. David Emmerson is ‘entirely sensitive to the fact that in family law, the relationships often have to continue when the lawyers leave’. Kim Beatson  is ‘vastly experienced not only as a practitioner but also as a mediator’. The team is well equipped to handle the full array of matrimonial work such as children matters and prenuptial agreements for clients including high-net-worth individuals and alternative families. It places a strong emphasis on alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

The ‘excellent’ Amy Rowe  heads the team at Bindmans LLP, which is ‘one of the leading children firms in London and is noted for is international work’. Rowe is ‘thorough, incisive and brilliantly prepared. Her knowledge of international children disputes is outstanding’. Associate Olivia Piercy is ‘very committed to each client and has boundless energy’. Solicitors Jamie Phillips  and Tracey Ann Mason are both ‘knowledgeable ‘. The team’s matrimonial practice is flourishing with an increasing number of high-net-worth cases with a complex cross-border dimension.

Boodle Hatfield LLP  has an ‘excellent reputation which it can live up to. It is a top player in matrimonial finance’. It is led by James Ferguson  who is ‘superb with clients, cool-headed and a supreme strategist’. Emily Brand  is ‘highly experienced. She is very supportive of her clients alongside having superb technical skills’. It is the ‘quality of its junior solicitors which partly sets the firm apart’. Alexandra Hirst  has ‘amazing attention to detail and is one of the most dedicated associates around’. Harriet Errington  is ‘engaging and very effective’ and Katie O’Callaghan  is ‘capable of running complex cases on her own’. The team is also skilled at advising clients on cross-border children disputes as well as other issues such as child abduction.

Bross Bennett has ‘a number of high-calibre lawyers who provide an excellent service at more reasonable non-‘City’ rates’. Sharon Bennett  is a ‘star at dealing with complicated cases without charging the earth’ and Ruth Bross  ‘understands her clients’ needs’. Anna Wagstaff  is ‘sympathetic but fair’ and Adam Witkover  has a ‘keen eye for seeing the wood from the trees’. The ‘incredibly hardworking’ Simon Lim  ‘sorts things out’. The practice handles the full range of family issues from complex financial disputes to problems concerning children.

Camilla Baldwin  provides a ‘high-quality bespoke service’. Camilla Baldwin  ‘has a wealth of experience and gets to the heart of the matter very quickly’. Newly promoted partner Emma Percy  is ‘extremely hardworking and is all over her cases. Her commitment to her clients and cases is extraordinary’. The firm specialises in all areas of privately funded family and matrimonial work.

Clintons ‘punches well above its weight when dealing with high-value cases’. Liz Vernon  is ‘very hardworking and does everything that she can to further her clients’ cases. She knows the law inside out and shows great attention to detail’.The team is ‘not overly aggressive but is tenacious and very effective even in the most difficult cases’. Patrick Kearns, Paul Newton and Maggie Rae joined Newton Kearns LLP.

Collyer Bristow LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’. Team head Toby Yerburgh  ‘really gets to grips with the most complicated of facts and does so in a calm and supportive way’. Michael Drake  provides ‘clear and helpful advice at every stage’ and Philippa Dolan  ‘continues to operate at the very top level of family lawyers’ particularly on prenuptial agreements. Senior associate Mark Harrop  is ‘bright and forward thinking and is committed to finding the best resolution for his clients’. Susan Breen is now at NGA Law .

Forsters LLP's Joanne Edwards is a ‘tireless campaigner who leaves no stone unturned to get the best for her clients. She is the doyenne of the family law world and is a real leader in finding less confrontational routes to solutions whilst retaining a steely core’. Rosie Schumm is ‘calm and empathetic’. Senior associate Amanda Sandys is ‘one of the future stars of the family legal profession. She is very quick to grasp the nub of a case’. Dickon Ceadel  is a ‘very bright associate who is on the road to partnership’. Edwards is skilled at advising on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown and at resolving issues about arrangements for children including the relocation of children. She has extensive experience of advising on multimillion pound pre-nuptial agreements. Schumm specialises in advising wealthy clients on complex divorce and financial matters including those relating to children. She is also attracting clients with complex international surrogacy requirements.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a ‘very high-performing central London family law team with a top class client base and first-rate lawyers’. Catherine Bedford, Nicholas Westley  and Mark Irving  are all ‘big hitters who have a steely determination in terms of getting the best results for their clients’. Tom Farley-Hills is ‘incredibly good at spotting the strengths and weaknesses in a case from the beginning and his client care is fantastic’. Associate Lidia Cantele is ‘dogged and determined but hides this behind a beguiling and friendly approach’. The team is best known for representing wealthy clients who have public profiles to protect. Linzi Bull recently moved to Penningtons Manches LLP .

The team at Harcus Sinclair LLP provides a ‘personal service’. Head of department Kathryn Peat is described as ‘as one of the best family lawyers currently working. She is great with clients and her letters win cases in themselves’. Consultant Roger Cobden-Ramsay  has ‘years of experience, sound judgement and practical common sense’. Associate Beth Mason  ‘deals very well with complex cases and does not lose sight of the bigger picture’. The group is well regarded for its work with high-net-worth individuals with a range of business and trust assets in various countries in addition to its work in private children matters.

Ketley Miller Joels Ltd  acts for high-net-worth clients in financial remedy matters and in complex private children matters. Clayton Miller ‘leads by example and delivers clear and precise advice’. Philip Cooper  ‘knows exactly what he wants out of a case at the outset and knows how to get it’.

Miles & Partners LLP is a ‘strong firm that is doing good quality work with professionalism and sensitivity’. Members of the ‘impressive team’ include Michelle Uppal  who ‘provides an effective, solution-focused and ethical service to clients’. Amanda Dench specialises in international children matters and 'is good at finding solutions’. The ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeable’ Kate Hammond  and David Jockelson  are ‘heroes in the public law children sphere’. Solicitor Stephen Talbot  who focuses on finance cases and children matters is ‘very bright and technically able’.

Miles Preston & Co  has a ‘good reputation for achieving sensible and effective outcomes’. Julia Stanczyk  is a ‘strong opponent who can keep the other side in check and has a great client manner’. Both Stancyk and Harriett Wait ‘get great results’ and Wait ‘never misses a trick’. The team is skilled at advising on the full array of family law matters from arrangements for children (including leave to remove/international relocation) to divorce, relationship breakdown and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Mills & Reeve LLP  is ‘an excellent firm and its standard of client care is extremely high’. Joanna Grandfield is ‘is pragmatic, hardworking and constructive in her approach to resolving difficult cases’. Senior associate Tim Whitney ‘very clever and very committed’ and associate Eleanor Lowes has a ‘very bright future’. The team is particularly well-equipped to handle complex financial cases that involve corporate and offshore structures.

Osbornes  ‘feels like a local firm but with a ‘Big City’ reach’. Mark Freedman ‘is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases. He boxes clever, keeps his powder dry and when it comes to the end game he negotiates a really good deal’. Freedman has a specific focus on high-net-worth divorces and finance cases where there are overseas assets and trusts. The ‘very personable and client-focused’ Lisa Pepper  and the ‘quick-thinking’ Bridget Thomspon  (who is intelligent and pragmatic’) are also recommended, as are Naomi Angell, who is a ‘leading name’ in international adoption and newly promoted partner Joanne Wescott, who is a ‘very approachable and sensible opponent’.

Sears Tooth has a well-regarded team that specialises in high-net-worth and complex financial disputes. It also has considerable expertise in children matters and is adept at advising on international relocation applications, the provision for children with medical needs as well as other issues such as financial arrangements for an unmarried partner. Raymond Tooth  andSusan Apthorp  are recommended.

Alison Leivesley  leads a team at TV Edwards LLP  that includes Maud Davis, who is ‘totally committed, dedicated and exceptional at representing children’, and Forum Shah, who is 'streets ahead of others particularly in relation to child abduction’. Hannah Perry  is also recommended. Under the management of Emma Bailie  the ‘family finance team is going from strength to strength’.

Vaitilingam Kay  is a boutique practice with a 'standout level of service' in both children and financial matters. 'It deals with the most high value and complex cases with ease’. Joe Vaitilingam  ‘combines great charm and tenacity. He knows when to fight a case and when to settle’. Anne Kay  is ‘incredibly able and enormously empathetic’.

Bishop & Sewell LLP  has ‘very experienced partners with proven expertise’ in both finance and children cases. The ‘vastly experienced’ Michael Gillman  heads the practice, which includes Philip Rutter, who has ‘impeccable judgement’ and consultant Eileen Pembridge, who is ‘hugely experienced’.

At Burges Salmon LLP the ‘extremely bright’ Sarah Hoskinson  is ‘committed to resolving her cases as constructively as possible but is not afraid of the fight’. Consultant Alison Hawes  has ‘huge experience and sound judgement’.

At Burgess Mee Family Law the ‘outstanding’ Peter Burgess  ‘combines common sense with sound legal knowledge. He is strategic and knows which battles to fight and when to look for a pragmatic concession’. Antonia Mee  ‘really fights her clients’ corner’. Together they make a ‘great team’ for all aspects of divorce and separation.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates has a ‘wide breadth of lawyers at different levels of seniority who are all client-focused and experienced’. Sabrina Mackay  is ‘unrivalled in terms of her knowledge of child protection’. Abbie Huxley  has a ‘flawless memory’ and Catriona Allan  is ‘fearless – she will not leave any issues until they have been dealt with’. Antony Wilkinson  ‘manages clients with mental health difficulties very well’.

Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui at DWFM Beckman  is ‘highly knowledgeable and is driven by a painstaking passion for excellence’. Her team is ‘small but agile and packs a real punch’. The group has particular expertise in complex and substantial cases with an international dimension.

Jacqueline Major  leads a team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors that is ‘particularly known for its very high levels of client service’. Deborah Johnson  ‘just really wants to help people’ and Jeetesh Patel is ‘very committed to his clients’. Bharti Shah  is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and thoroughly hardworking’. The team focuses on both private and public work.

Howard Kennedy LLP  fields a ‘high-quality team that cares about its clients’. Lois Langton  (who is ‘likeable, smart and a strong litigator’) advises on all aspects of family law and child related work including adoption and surrogacy. Alan Kaufman  is a ‘master in his field, excellent with clients and a fine negotiator’.

Key figures at Gordon Dadds LLP include John Burrell; the ‘highly effective, calm and extraordinarily reassuring’ David Ruck, who has particular expertise in private children work; consultant Yael Selig, who is ‘commercial and charismatic’; and associate  Emma Morris, who is 'extremely experienced and an exemplary tactician’.

Irwin Mitchell  is a ‘very professional and efficient organisation from senior partner to its assistants’. National head of the team is Ros Bever and senior associate Carmel Brown  is ‘absolutely excellent’. The team is equally adept at acting in both complex children and financial remedy cases often with a cross-jurisdictional dimension. Elizabeth Hicks joined Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Michael Pulford  at Pinsent Masons LLP  is ‘blessed with a litigator’s head and instincts and knows where the strengths and weaknesses of his clients’ cases lie’. Kate Francis ‘leaves no stone unturned’ and Sarah Ingram  ‘handles litigation with great aplomb’ –both are senior associates. The team has a particular niche in Russian and Middle Eastern work.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur  fields a team that is ‘very hot on procedure, legal principles and running cases effectively in a cost effective way’. Caroline Penfold  heads up a ‘strong team’. Penfold is ‘completely on top of the detail of the case’. Newly-promoted partnerCarina Smith  ‘is not only superbly knowledgeable but she also possesses a great balance between complete professionalism and a caring attitude’. Consultant Christopher Butler  is also recommended. It is ‘building a reputation based on sound advice and hard work’ and is attracting good quality family finance and children work.

Schillings attracts praise for its ‘incredibly warm and human approach’. Davina Katz  is ‘sure-footed and clever- she is not one who will have the wool pulled over her eyes’. Katz has developed considerable expertise in negotiating pre- and post-nuptial agreements both domestically and internationally. David Greer is ‘excellent technically and has excellent client-handling skills’.

Seddons' practice is headed by Deborah Jeff who is ‘utterly committed to her clients and has a steely and calm approach’. Jeff handles complex financial disputes well often with offshore elements and intricate taxation issues. The ‘intelligent’ Toby Hales  ‘fights hard for his clients’ and Neil Russell  ‘forcefully defends his clients’ position whilst acknowledging the benefits of settling litigation if it can be achieved’. Victoria Sterritt is now a partner.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has a ‘rising family department that is easily able to take on the well-established ‘Magic Circle’ firms’. Jane McDonagh  leads a ‘very strong young team and guides it well- it is a star firm of the future’. The department ‘attracts high calibre clients’ mostly drawn from the music and arts industries who are generally wealthy. New recruit from Farrer & Co senior associate Tessa Bray  ‘achieves excellent results with the minimum of fuss’.

Stowe Family Law LLP ‘pulls out all of the stops to get a good result for its clients'. It is' very experienced’ in both finance and children cases. ‘The firm benefits from having an inhouse forensic accountancy support for the really complex finance cases’.Graham Coy is ‘great on both the detail and the bigger picture’ and Gavin Scott  and Paul Read are both ‘excellent’. Joanna Kay ‘knows the law inside out’ and senior solicitor Emily Pain  is ‘extremely conscientious’.

The ‘empathetic’ Amanda Andrews heads the practice at Winckworth Sherwood LLP  and ‘really gets under the skin of a case. From day one she will have the case on an entirely realistic course’. Andrews has particular skill in complex children issues as well as finances where there are offshore trusts and complicated property issues. Katie Spooner  is a ‘real star of the future who is already widely known, she is conciliatory but not afraid to fight’. The team is a ‘growing force building on the back of the firm’s strong private client work’.

A City Law Firm Ltd  is at the ‘cutting edge of family law. It regularly undertakes cases that really push the boundaries of how the law recognises what constitutes a family’. It has immense experience in LGBT and surrogacy cases. Andrew Spearman  is ‘an outstanding litigator who has no difficulty managing a case where there are complex jurisdictional and parentage issues’.

Siȃn Jones heads the team at Bircham Dyson Bell and has particular expertise in advising on the financial aspects of international/high-net-worth cases with more than one jurisdiction and for helping clients with complex financial structures. John Darnton excels in financial cases particularly those involving companies and trust structures both onshore and offshore.

At Brookman Solicitors Henry Brookman  is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and Aziz Malik  is ‘thorough’. Other members of the ‘fantastic team’ include Talitha Brookman and the ‘unflappable’ Julius Brookman . The team advises on the full range of family matters including property settlements and children’s matters.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors  is an ‘excellent firm with talented and experienced staff’. Alia Lewis  garners considerable praise for being ‘incredibly thorough and always on top of the case’. Laila Bhunnoo  is ‘very knowledgeable and organised’ and Ravi Kaur Mahey  is ‘hardworking and committed’. Adeeba Naseem  is also recommended. The team advises on the full array of matters from children public law and cross-border disputes to having niche expertise in Islamic law.

Teresa Cullen  at Fladgate LLP  is an ‘extremely safe pair of hands at the helm. She is empathetic and always tries to resolve cases amicably’. Cullen deals with high net worth cases with ease. Associate Anna Wakeling  has an ‘excellent manner with clients’. The family practice' is going from strength to strength’.

Under the leadership of Sheata Karim  at Grayfords the team has developed considerable expertise in international ancillary relief proceedings, complex contact disputes and leave to remove applications. Neil Scott Graham and Megan Bennie  are also recommended.

gunnercooke LLP  is a ‘highly successful niche City based firm that attracts HNWIs not only from the Square Mile but internationally’. Mary-Ann Wright has the ‘well-honed skills of an experienced family litigator who gives clear strategic advice with a very strong client focus’. Raj Bhattoa  is praised for his ‘knowledge, sensitivity and professionalism’.

Hanne & Co's team ‘ gives good advice clearly and without any legal obfuscation’. The ‘simply superb’ Elizabeth Francis ‘puts clients at ease’ and concentrates on advising on the financial issues that stem from relationship breakdown. Susan Harlow is 'highly skilled' in both private law children and financial remedy work. Grainne Fahy ‘quickly grasps the issues, thoroughly analyses the information and looks for practical and cost-effective solutions for her clients’.

Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors  is an ‘innovative and exciting practice with a personal touch’. The ‘attentive’ David Josiah-Lake  is praised for his ‘sensible negotiating skills’ and Rebecca Gardiner for her ‘tenacious ability to argue her clients’ corner’. Consultant Margaret Kelly  is ‘thoughtful and knowledgeable always listening to find a way through the difficulties and mindful of the children’s best interests’. This firm is a ‘hidden gem’ that advises on the full range of family law matters.

Newton Kearns LLP  is the ‘new kid on the block and has already made its mark. It is very much one to watch’. The newly-established boutique firm has Patrick Kearns  whose ‘fierce intelligence is matched by a compassion for his clients’; Paul Newton  who has ‘remarkable skills and competence but without the arrogance’ and ‘one of the grande dames of matrimonial law who has stellar experience’ Maggie Rae . All joined the firm from Clintons . The specialist team advises high-net-worth individuals on all aspects of relationship breakdown.

The lawyers at NGA Law  are ‘leaders when it comes to international surrogacy law. They are at the cutting edge of fertility and surrogacy law. It is also growing a broad profile in the LGBT community’. Natalie Gamble  has an ‘international reputation' in the field of fertility and surrogacy. 'She combines unrivalled expertise with dynamism and charisma’. The ‘exceptional, organised, creative and caring’ Susan Breen recently joined the team from Collyer Bristow LLP .

Russells Solicitors  provides a ‘personalised service to its many clients from the music and entertainment industries’. Head of teamCarol Ellinas  is ‘all over her cases and goes the extra mile to provide her clients with a top-notch service’.  Ellinas' cases frequently have an international element.

The ‘very personable’ Andrea Plum at Sheridans is praised for her ‘great attention to detail and dedication to her clients’. The group’s particular expertise lies in advising wealthy individuals on issues such as matrimonial finance and private law children matters frequently with an international dimension.

Shoosmiths LLP  provides a ‘much more personalised service than its City-based competitors’. Juliette Peters has a ‘very loyal following of clients’ and Jay Patel  is an experienced financial remedy lawyer who is used to dealing with the most complex high-net-worth client cases. 'He never turns a hair whatever stroke the opposition pulls’.

Hannah Cornish  heads the team at Slater and Gordon that has a ‘strong market hold for financial remedy applications concerning individuals who are public sector workers in high income roles’. Cornish is well regarded for her experience in disputes concerning children. Joanne Green  is ‘very efficient and knowledgeable’.

June Venters regularly appears in the High Court and family courts at Venters Solicitors . Andrea Dawkins is a specialist matrimonial and child care lawyer.

Curzon Green Solicitors has a strong reputation for dealing with the financial implications of relationship breakdown for mid to high-net-worth clients and also has strength in child arrangement issues. Senior associate Jeff Thomas can ‘diffuse a situation before it gets out of control’.

The team at DMH Stallard LLP  is skilled at resolving complex financial issues on divorce and separation as well as advising on a wide range of private law children cases and cross border disputes. David Leadercramer  is ‘excellent’. Siobhan Lomasney  and Philip Morton  are also recommended.

Fletcher Day has a ‘busy team that does a wide range of work' including high net-worth financial remedy cases and private child cases. Karim Assaad  ‘works tirelessly for his clients’ and senior associate Vandna Sharma  is ‘very sharp and has excellent client skills’.

Head of team at Greenwoods GRM  is the ‘knowledgeable’ Simon Donald  who has a ‘reputation as a fierce litigator’. Consultant Lesley Pendlebury Cox is praised for her ‘exceptional attention to detail’. The group undertakes a wide range of work from complex cases involving domestic violence to pre and post-nuptial contracts.

Geoffrey Castello  heads the team at GT Stewart Limited  that does a lot of public law care proceedings as well as public and privately funded private law Children Act cases, divorce, financial claims in addition to advising on other matrimonial cohabitation issues.

ITN Solicitors has a ‘substantial presence in the London public law market with an increasing focus in other areas of family law. It has an especially high profile in representing clients in cases of alleged radicalisation’. Head of department Mitali Zakaria is an ‘experienced and tenacious lawyer who has been the driving force behind the development of a family law department of high quality’.

Michelmores LLP  is ‘one of the leading firms for private client work in the South West’. Simon Thomas  has ‘wide experience and gives realistic advice. His main strength is in the large money cases’.Louisa Ghevaert heads the fertility and parenting team.

Head of a ‘strong team’ at Royds Withy King  is Patrick Hart who has ‘vast experience of representing HNW spouses often with international connections’. Vandana Chitroda  is a ‘reassuring and supportive figure to her clients’.

Janice Kaufman heads the team at Steel & Shamash . Kaufman is ‘experienced in complex cases. She is always extremely well prepared and is really good at spotting and solving complex issues’.  She has particular expertise in child care law.

Stevens & Bolton LLP  undertakes the full range of private law client work whether in children act proceedings through to divorce/financial remedy cases. 'It is well known as being committed to clients and striving for the best possible result’. Head of team Nicola Harries  is ‘unflappable’. Caroline Gordon-Smith  is a ‘stalwart of family law’.

Thomson Snell & Passmore  produces work of ‘exceptionally high quality’. Head of department Joanna Pratt  is ‘the most accomplished and able solicitor I have ever experienced outside of London’ andDesmond O’Donnell  is praised for his ‘unmatched attention to detail’.

Danny Lyness  heads the department at Wainwright & Cummins  that advises both privately and publicly funded clients. Charlotte Image-Flower is also recommended. Areas of expertise lie in public children law, human rights and international issues in family proceedings. The team frequently advises on matters such as a local authority’s involvement in chid protection. It is also skilled at advising on other diverse areas such as divorce and financial remedies as well as domestic violence cases.

Wilson Solicitors LLP  advises on the full array of family matters under the leadership ofAysen Soyer. It is a large provider of legal aid services as well as advising clients on a privately funded basis.

Family: mediation

Index of tables

  1. Family: mediation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family: mediation clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Family Law in Partnership Ltd has the ‘best set of mediators in London’. The legal services that this large team of family mediators provides is ‘first-class, measured, fair and comprehensive’. The team ‘combines an understanding of the legal issues with an awareness of the personal and emotional issues facing clients’. Dominic Raeside is ‘really strong’ on children’s issues. Raeside can ‘work magic - almost like pull a rabbit out of a hat and get terrific results’. He along with Ruth Smallacombe are ‘two of the best known mediators in London. They receive a very high level of referrals from central London firms and they can usually crack even the hardest of cases’. Gillian Bishop is ‘not only a fabulous lawyer but an intuitive and empathetic mediator. She works well with both parties in the room’. James Pirrie is praised for his ‘work on supporting children’ and the ‘outstanding’ David Allison  is ‘just superb for mediation’. Director Elizabeth Fletcher  provides ‘exemplary support to her clients during the mediation process’. The team offers all types of family mediation from sole to co-mediation through to child inclusive mediation. It offers mediation in relation to both domestic and cross-border family disputes including international child abduction, access and custody cases.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP has the ‘excellent’ Emma Harte who is ‘constructive and tries to find a way to resolve matters out of court’. Harte is a Resolution accredited meditator and enjoys a steady stream of high profile and high value mediation cases. Tom Amlot is ‘amongst the best’ and is an accredited mediator. Amlot is regularly called upon to mediate where the parties are well-known and the protection of their privacy is of the utmost importance. Susan Philipps is another key member of the team and is a trained mediator as is William Healing. They are both well-regarded and active in this area.

Anthony Gold  has the ‘brilliant’ Kim Beatson . Beatson is ‘really able to work with the couple to get a good outcome. She is also particularly good if the case or the personalities are difficult! She has a no-nonsense approach and is one of the most efficient people I have ever come across’. She is frequently referred complex and high-conflict financial and children work by other solicitors where court proceedings are already pending. She also offers MIAMs and is qualified to consult with children.David Emmerson  is Resolution and Family Mediation Council accredited and is praised for being ‘down to earth and able to take a broad view of matters’. Caroline Bowden  is also highly regarded. Bowden is particularly strong on dealing with financial remedies and also offers hybrid mediation.

Karen Barham  at Barlow Robbins LLP  is a ‘creative and intelligent mediator who relaxes the clients and can cloak tough subjects in artful imagery. If Karen cannot mediate a matter then it is incapable of being resolved amicably. She goes above and beyond and has an amazing success rate’. Her practice is exclusively as a mediator to assist couples and families when relationships break down. She is also qualified to consult directly with children.

Sarah Anticoni at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  is ‘one of the most seasoned mediators in the London family law circuit. Her mediation skills are undoubted and she has handled some of the trickiest mediations with impressive outcomes. She knows how to get the best results for her clients’. Anticoni is ‘very impressive in high conflict situations. If there were more like Sarah, there would be much less need for litigation’. Sarah Whitten is also ‘very experienced and sensible’.

Philippa Dolan at Collyer Bristow LLP  is ‘very solution-focused and drives the process with a gentle touch. She is sensitive of her clients’ needs and adopts a pragmatic approach. She thinks things through and ensures that things are reassuringly well done’. As a trained civil mediator she excels at complex matrimonial finance and children disputes.

Jeremy Abraham at Dawson Cornwell  is a ‘hugely experienced mediator who brings his intelligence and empathy to each case’. Abraham is accredited by the Family Mediation Council, by Resolution and by the Family Mediators. Senior associateJessica Reid  has recently become a Resolution trained mediator –she also has a ‘good reputation’.

Family Law Partners  has three mediators. Sarah Jelly  is ‘like the doyenne of mediation- she is vastly experienced and highly respected’. Jelly is a Law Society accredited mediator and is registered with the Family Mediation Council and Resolution. She also offers Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings. In addition Hazel Manktelow and Julian McEvoy  are well regarded. Linda Lamb is now at the Family Mediation Council.

At Hughes Fowler Carruthers Pauline Fowler is a ‘very safe pair of hands’. Fowler is praised for her ‘keen intelligence and she is particularly adept at co-mediation in difficult cases’. Frances Hughes is ‘highly experienced’.

Hunters Law LLP  is ‘very strong in and committed to the field of family mediation whether children finances or all issues by either sole or co-mediation’. It has a ‘very solid practice in mediation’ and Henry Hood  ‘in particular has an extremely effective style as a mediator and he is going from strength to strength with a high success rate. He has a natural air of authority which imbues clients with confidence’. Hazel Wright  is ‘bright, quick, empathetic and calm’ and Jo Carr-West is ‘always focused on getting a good resolution for her client’. Senior associate Vanessa Friend  is also well-regarded.

Charlotte Bradley  at Kingsley Napley LLP  is ‘doing incredibly well and is getting fantastic results for her clients. She deservedly has a strong reputation in this field. We are impressed by her ability to maintain her commitment to mediation whilst also running a large and busy department’. Bradley is ‘a ‘go to’ mediator for complex assets or complex people. She has an infectious commitment for mediation and this singles her out as one of the best practitioners in the City’. Senior associate Connie Atkinson  is a qualified mediator and is ‘growing in poise and experience. She has an eye for detail and a strong sense of direction for her cases’.

Levison Meltzer Pigott  is ‘renowned for both its litigation and mediation practice’. Simon Pigott  is a ‘highly skilled and experienced mediator. He is particularly effective at bringing couples who are often on the brink of proceedings through complex legal and financial issues to pragmatic and acceptable outcomes. Simon is very personable in his approach and focuses on the family and the children. He is a sharp, shrewd yet incredibly humane mediator and at all times leads his clients in the right direction’. Julian Ribet is ‘knowledgeable, firm and fair and a realist’.

Miles & Partners LLP  has the ‘very thorough and very approachable’ Michelle Uppal . Uppal is a ‘very experienced mediator with a very intuitive understanding of family dynamics’.

Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘committed to mediation and is very successful at it. The firm has embraced mediation (and ADR generally) very early on and has a great reputation for it’. Manchester-based Alison Bull is ‘absolutely fabulous and mediates some very tricky situations with high profile individuals. She brings her formidable legal brain and people skills to mediation and helps clients achieve good outcomes’. The ‘excellent’ Joanna Grandfield  is ‘extremely bright and able’.

Lisa Pepper  at Osbornes  ‘somehow manages to get parties to settle on matters where there isn’t much hope to start out with. Because of her ‘down-to-earthiness’ parties feel comfortable enough to feel relaxed and are therefore willing to compromise’. Pepper ‘can handle the large and complicated cases but takes equal care with the smaller cases. She is a highly skilled mediator who is a consummate professional’.

‘Few firms have such a strong offering and commitment across the board to ADR as Russell-Cooke LLP’. It has a large team of well thought of mediators. ‘Equally with its lawyers’ hats on, the team at RC is always supportive of mediation. It has an excellent reputation in this area’. Head of team Therese Nichols ‘has been at the forefront of the development of mediation in family law for many years. She is charming, reassuring and experienced’. James Carroll is a ‘very skilled mediator’ both in financial and children cases. ‘He tunes in sensitively to individual and family needs and can help couples to understand things to be able to cut through difficult issues in order to be able to cooperate in future’. The ‘very balanced’ Fiona Read is ‘focussed on really assisting couples to find constructive outcomes and to avoid proceedings’. The ‘pragmatic and empathetic’ Kate Hamilton is ‘effective and thorough’.

Denise Carter  at The International Family Law Group LLP  is ‘very well-known’ particularly for cases of child abduction mediation.David Hodson  ‘as a mediator is very capable of ensuring that clients will arrive at a very clear, detailed and workable settlement. He is known for his tenacity and his very strong knowledge of the law’.

Kirstie Law  and Desmond O’Donnell  at Thomson Snell & Passmore  are both ‘sound, effective and reliable mediators’. Law ‘thinks outside the box’ and O’Donnell is ‘very sensible and calm and great with clients’.

Withers LLP  is a ‘'go to’ firm for mediation where the resources and disputes are complex’. Suzanne Todd  ‘combines super empathy with a determination to ensure that any discussions are realistic and all options are explored’. Suzanne Kingston  has ‘an excellent reputation in this area which is well deserved. She understands how to manage the often challenging family dynamic and doesn’t baulk at or shy away from the thorny issues which are thrown up. Intransigent situations are her forte’.Diana Parker can ‘see the wood from the trees at the outset’. Claire Blakemore  is ‘down to earth and sensible. Clients stand a very good chance of sorting things out with Claire and are also able to feel that they had an opportunity to put their views across’. The mediators are ‘very able as one would expect as they are very experienced lawyers and they understand what their mediation clients need from them’.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal tax, trusts and probate clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has a ‘very responsive and approachable team that provides superb advice’. Clients are ‘continuously impressed by the quality of the advice. The recent merger with Bryan Cave also adds a US string to its bow’. The ‘first-class tax and trust department ’ has various stand-out individuals including Damian Bloom, Martin Paisner and Rupert Ticehurst all of whom are ‘exceptionally able and give clear, incisive and effective advice’. Bloom heads the department and ‘really knows his stuff’. He ‘presents really well to clients and provides excellent advice. He is straightforward to deal with and extremely able’. Paul Whitehead is ‘amazingly strong technically but also has the gift of being able to distil complex issues into clear and concise advice. He is not afraid to help clients make a choice about what is the best course of action for them’. Simon Phelps has a focus on advising clients and their family offices based in the Middle East and Far East on UK tax and asset structuring. Associate director Tracey Hawksley provides ‘timely, well thought-through and thorough advice even on the most complex of issues’. The large team is adept at handling complex and high-value multi-jurisdictional matters and has considerable expertise in key regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia. Clients also appreciate the ‘pragmatic approach of the team which greatly assists offshore trustees to navigate the complex UK tax environment’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has an ‘excellent and responsive team that looks to work collaboratively with other professional advisers to provide a holistic service’. The large team has a number of ‘excellent’ practitioners. Bart Peerless is ‘exceptionally able technically and has a complete grasp of the increasingly complex tax laws that affect most trusts and estates’. Piers Master has an ‘excellent technical knowledge of the tax issues that face resident non-domiciled clients. He is sensitive to cross-border tax issues and knowledgeable about international succession matters’. William Begley has a ‘very relaxed manner which belies his sharp intellect’ and James Trafford ‘gets to the heart of the problem quickly’. Robert Blower ‘thinks each problem through to come up with an often ingenious solution’ and Nicola Thorpe is ‘very experienced in offshore trusts and tax’. Andrew Cameron is ‘proactive and very client orientated’ and newly promoted partner Sangna Chauhan has ‘great technical skills combined with a human touch’. John Ward  specialises in providing UK and international tax and estate planning advice to UK and international families.  The department advises on the full range of tax and trust matters for major landed estates and owners of heritage property in addition to advising trustees and other entities in the UK and offshore. This is ‘definitely a firm that can handle all issues on time with due regard to the practical demands of each client’.

Farrer & Co  is 'a leading firm in the private wealth world with an incredible array of technical expertise’. Rhoddy Voremberg is ‘outstanding’. Catherine McAleavey, Sarah von Schmidt and Mike Chantler are all ‘exceptionally able’. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Russell Cohen is ‘very versatile’ and James Carleton  is ‘superb on art issues’. Bryony Cove is praised for her ‘outstanding ability to meet the complex requirements of UNHW and HNW clients’. Mark Bridges produces ‘high quality work’ for a broad range of English private clients including philanthropists, trustees and landed families and specialises in succession planning, tax and trust advice. Newly promoted partner Debbie Pennington is ‘excellent for offshore planning’. The practice is acting for members of a significant Scandinavian UHNW business family in relation to a major reorganisation of the multiple family trusts between different branches of the family.

Forsters LLP ‘continues to be outstanding’ under the leadership of Patrick Harney . Harney’s ‘UK/US practice is renowned in London but it is his approachability and his measured advice that sets him apart’. Kelly Noel-Smith  is an ‘exceptional lawyer. She is very competent and is involved in some high value and complex work –which she handles with aplomb. She works very effectively with her associates’. Catherine Hill  is ‘highly capable’ and David Robinson ‘continues to impress with his exceptional ability and his immense practical experience’.Rupert Mead , Guy Abrahams  and Xavier Nicolas are ‘all bright, able and very impressive’. Nick Jacob is ‘very experienced in offshore trusts and tax – he is a big name in the market who is very busy’. Anthony Thompson has ‘great private client expertise which is matched by his commercial acumen’. Harney advises domestic UK families on wealth structuring and has a particular expertise in the use of family partnerships and family investment companies as a tax efficient wealth holding vehicle. There are also ‘numerous able assistant solicitors’ in the department. The team continues to act for high-net-worth individuals and their trustees on the creation of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures for asset protection and wealth preservation.

Macfarlanes LLP is ‘provides sophisticated and nuanced advice; the team has great depth’. Head of department Piers Barclay  is ‘extremely knowledgeable and has excellent commercial sense’ and Edward Reed  is ‘first-rate’. The ‘very wise’ Jonathan Conder , Sebastian Prichard Jones , Charles Gothard , Oliver Court and newly-promoted partner Isobel Morton  are all ‘knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking and each displays valuable judgement’. Nicholas Harries  is also ‘very intelligent’. The ‘highly skilled’ team routinely advises on high value and complex work often with an international dimension. The ‘excellent’ Jennifer Smithson  is recommended for her work on international estate planning for private clients around the world.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP  is a ‘market leader providing clear, sensible and pragmatic advice. It has managed to achieve a great balance between technical expertise and clear communication to deliver advice in a meaningful way that clients really appreciate’. The ‘very impressive’ Ceris Gardner  is ‘highly regarded’ for tax structuring with cross-border elements. The ‘extensively experienced’ Jennifer Chambers ,Arabella Murphy  and Clare Maurice  provide ‘thorough and state of the art advice’. Fiona Poole , Ed Powles  and Richard Turnor  are all ‘excellent with clients and provide very practical advice’. Corinne Staves  has a ‘great bedside manner (making difficult conversations more pleasant) and an uncanny ability to find and address serious issues’. Senior associate Jessica Zimmerman  ‘is always a calming influence and never lets clients down’.

The ‘hugely knowledgeable’ Andrew Hine heads the team at Taylor Wessing LLP and has a ‘particularly great knowledge of trusts’. The department fields ‘practitioners who are not only technically excellent but just as importantly pragmatic and solution-driven’. Sanjvee Shah 'embodies everything a private client lawyer should be; she is empathetic, approachable, easy to work with, technically strong and is never afraid to tackle a complex matter’. Nick Warr has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of fiscal and succession planning and ‘allied with this he has superb client skills. Nick has a wide and diverse client base amongst high-net-worth families in the Middle East and the Far East’. Antoaneta Proctor is ‘very skilled’ at advising on international estate planning. Ryan Myint ‘guides his clients in a way that is second to none’. Mark Buzzoni is another key member of the team and regularly acts for individuals and families as well as professional trustees in Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Jersey and Guernsey.

Withers LLP is ‘without doubt one of the top law firms in the UK and globally for personal tax, trusts and probate’. Patricia Milner is ‘highly impressive and pragmatic’ and the ‘very practical’ Tim George ‘provides clear but comprehensive responses’. The ‘extremely commercial’ Philip Munro has a ‘very sharp mind’ and provides ‘concise, pragmatic and executable advice; he is very good at articulating options clearly to clients, even where the underlying legislation is complex and involved’. Charlie Tee is ‘very experienced’. Richard Cassell is recommended along with Jeremy Arnold who is renowned for his expertise in wealth structuring, tax, trusts and estate matters for high-net-worth individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs in the UK and globally. The large team advises on all areas of private client work from international trusts to US tax issues outside the US. Claire Harris, Jaime McLemore and Stephen Nerland were promoted to partner.

Ashley Crossley  heads the team at Baker McKenzie, which specialises in complex cross-border structuring, asset protection and advice particularly for major Middle Eastern clients and their family offices. It is advising on some of the latest developments in the holding and taxation of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. The group has also seen a large increase in international taxation disputes and work stemming from business and real-estate tax investigations and the cross-border exchange of information. Senior associate Phyllis Townsend  is also recommended.

Bircham Dyson Bell's wide-ranging expertise covers work involving old-money, landed estate work to complex international planning for UHNW families. Head of private wealth Simon Weil  is an ‘extremely competent private client lawyer who maintains his professional composure and judgement in the most challenging circumstances’. The ‘very efficient and client orientated’ Helen Ratcliffe  ‘combines a warm personal touch with a sagacity born of her long experience of dealing with wealthy international families’. Other areas of expertise include advising the owners of agricultural land and landed estates as well as philanthropists.

Boodle Hatfield LLP has a ‘great private client team comprising high-quality lawyers’. Simon Rylatt is an ‘impressive tactician’ and the ‘highly experienced’ Andrea Zavos is an ‘excellent lawyer’. Zavos is ‘very straight with clients and a tough opponent’. The ‘outstanding’ Sue Laing is a ‘top private client lawyer’. Mark Lindley is ‘one of the best lawyers of his generation, very clever and has genuine expertise in this area. He handles extremely high profile matters well’. Sara Maccallum is another ‘excellent’ member of the team. The group has a large international and domestic client base. Hayden Bailey has extensive experience of tax planning and advises entrepreneurs, family business owners and city executives on their UK capital taxation strategy, wills, trusts and corporate governance issues. He also advises non-UK domiciliaries on their UK tax. The department is well-equipped to advise wealthy individuals and families, family businesses, art collectors, philanthropists, trustees, protectors, family offices and landed estates on a broad range of issues.

Harcus Sinclair LLP  has ‘deep experience and expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional planning and litigation. All the partners are impressive, as are its associates’. Keith Bruce-Smith  is one of the principal members of the ‘exceptionally able team’. Lucy Gibson has a ‘keen intelligence and excellent judgement that has been built on deep experience and a practical approach to solving difficult problems’. The partners are ‘well-assisted’ by associates Eleanor Walsh  and Judith Robertson. Jonathan Burt is now at Harbottle & Lewis LLP .

Hunters Law LLP ‘brings to its work a very personally tailored approach. It has a reputation for complete technical competence and fair dealing’. The practice is led by the ‘very experienced’ Alexandra Sarkis, who ‘handles what can be delicate family issues arising out of a trust and its complexity with great skill and tact’. Sarkis along with Julia Richards  ‘both take the time to really get under the skin of their very different clients and their needs and then tailor their approach accordingly. They provide clear advice and are excellent communicators whilst also being tough negotiators’. Jonathan Godwin-Austen  is ‘extremely able and thorough’. The ‘diligent and helpful’ Robert Wright  is ‘never too busy to pick up the phone or answer an email’. The ‘charming, knowledgeable and efficient’ Matthew Yates is ‘highly recommended for anyone wanting top quality assistance in this field’. Newly promoted partner is the ‘simply exceptional’  Molly Wills  who provides an ‘exemplary service’. The ‘first-class’ team acts for an impressive array of high-profile clients, from celebrities to titled individuals with a mix of domestic and international work.

The service that Irwin Mitchell provides is ‘excellent; responses are very quick and efficient and clients will always get the right member of the team for the matter in hand’. Nick Rucker has a ‘really good mix of technical excellence and business acumen’. Alex Ruffel  is ‘excellent’ and George Merrylees  has a ‘strong international practice. He is very approachable and highly experienced’. Mark Pearce is also well regarded for his work on complex international and UK tax and trusts. The team acts for clients from all over the world with particular strengths in advising clients from Continental Europe, the Middle East, China, CIS and Russia.

Ziva Robertson heads the team at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, which routinely acts in some of the most high value trusts, estates, wills and probate matters as well as advising on commercial issues, fund structuring and regulatory advice. The team is also well placed to advise on evolving tax regimes. It has a particular focus on trusts and wealth management issues with a US element. The team has expertise in US tax and wealth law in both its UK and US offices. Astrid Owen is another key member of the team and she is recognised for her skill on multi-jurisdictional matters primarily where there are UK and US interests. Simon Goldring  acts for a variety of clients ranging from high-net-worth individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs through to multinational corporations both in the UK and internationally such as South Africa, Latin America, the Far East and the Middle East. Simon Gibb was promoted to partner. Jean-Marc Tirard joined Tirard Naudin Société d'Avocats and Dhana Sabanathan is now at Winckworth Sherwood LLP .

Mishcon de Reya LLP  ‘combines professional and up-to-date legal advice with common sense and commercial nous’. Team head Andrew Goldstone is ‘friendly, approachable and knowledgeable’; he is ‘very attuned to his clients’ needs and distils complex legislation to ensure that clients understand where they stand and what they must do’. Kassim Meghjee  ‘always stays focused on the most critical issues and provides a sure and steady guiding hand’. Newly promoted partner Charlie Sosna  ‘provides advice of the highest quality’. Other members of this ‘excellent’ team include James Libson, who acts for high-profile individuals, corporations, families, family offices and charities, and Filippo Noseda, who is a dual qualified English solicitor and Swiss lawyer. Noseda advises clients on international tax and estate planning matters. Clients include a mix of ultra-high and high-net-worth individuals, institutions, investors, property developers, entrepreneurs, trustees and charities.

Key figures at Payne Hicks Beach include Rosamond McDowell receives a lot of plaudits, who has ‘high technical skills, is efficient and deals brilliantly with very difficult and sensitive problems’. The ‘responsive’ Frederick Bjørn ‘stays on top of detail’. Robert Brodrick ’s practice is divided into three main geographic areas of clients namely the Middle East, US/UK and UK domestic (which also includes UK resident non-doms). Basil Dixon advises a primarily international client base of ultra-high-net-worth clients. The team is adept at advising high-net worth clients from the UK and internationally. The group advises on a mix of international and domestic work with continued instructions from Scandinavia and the Middle East. It advises on a broad array of matters such as advising some of the UK’s oldest and largest estates to having extensive experience of advising on the tax aspects of pre-and post-nuptial agreements and the structuring of divorce settlements especially those involving trusts and international assets.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur  has a ‘big name in this area and a strong reputation which is very much deserved. It offers very high-level advice and client delivery for both UK and international clients’. Jonathan Shankland  is ‘highly responsive, proactive and leads from the front - he is willing to go that extra mile and it is very clear that clients hold him in very high esteem’. Victoria Fairley  is ‘steady and meticulous’. Hetty Maher  has an ‘intricate and detailed knowledge of complex legislation’. Senior associate Tulin Hamit  is ‘excellent commercially - she cares about the detail’. The team advises on a wide range of issues for its clients from traditional landed estates, to UK and international entrepreneurs both offshore and onshore.

Russell-Cooke LLP fields a ‘professional team that has a keen eye for detail’. Head of team is the ‘highly intelligent’ Rebecca Fisher who is a ‘real joined-up thinker who conveys her advice with impeccable reasoning and with a friendly manner’. Richard Frimston is one of the leading experts on the EU Succession Regulation. Dawn Alderson heads the French team, which includes ‘always helpful and efficient’ senior associate Patrick Delas, who is a dual-qualified solicitor and avocet au barreau de Paris. Andrew Godfrey provides advice on international trusts, tax and succession issues with a particular emphasis on the US and Italy. Godfrey is ‘intelligent and has an ability to cut through complex legislation to explain things in an easy to understand manner to clients. He adopts a pragmatic approach which clients like’. Key clients include solicitors, QCs, judges, bankers, accountants, celebrities, entrepreneurs, family businesses, senior civil servants and politicians. Arshoo Singh joined Blake Morgan LLP.

Collyer Bristow LLP has a ‘very strong line up of lawyers in its personal tax and estate planning team’. Peter Daniel has a ‘broad knowledge of tax and estate planning. He delivers advice that is well thought out, clearly communicated and is sound. He is also extremely good at building relationships with clients and advisors alike and possesses a very good professional network’. Daniel Simon is a ‘thought leader in the private client world and has extremely sound knowledge coupled with a strong professional network and client base’. James Badcock heads the team and William Hancock is experienced in cross-border matters with particular knowledge of estate planning for Scandinavian clients. The majority of the team’s work is cross border and it has an excellent understanding of offshore trust structures. It has particular focus on Switzerland, the United States, Russia and the Middle East.

The ‘calm and experienced’ Richard Monkcom heads the team at Druces LLP, which is ‘very efficient and client-focused and comes up with creative solutions to suit its clients’ needs’. The ‘responsive’ Neil Morris has ‘decades of experience of dealing with complex and high-profile cases. His knowledge is encyclopaedic’. Helen Freely ‘deals with difficult situations extremely well’. Robert Macro is ‘precise and provides quality advice’ and new addition to the team Matthew Duncan from Kingsley Napley LLP ‘knows his subject extremely well’. The team also added Paul White to its ranks. The department provides a traditional private client service in UK capital taxes, estate planning and probate. It also provides an international advisory service and acts for non-UK domiciled clients both resident and non-resident in the UK and their fiduciaries, structures and businesses. Vistra UK and Directors UK are active clients.

Alison Broadberry at Edwin Coe LLP  ‘has an ‘excellent understanding of business and family issues that affect the seriously wealthy. She cuts through the rubbish to offer solutions ’. David Goepel provides ‘great client service and advice’ and is a lead international partner in the team. Goepel has particular expertise in US/UK estate planning. Nick Giles  regularly acts for family and owner-managed businesses and the people who run them as well as acting for a wide range of individuals, unincorporated businesses and charities. Active clients include St. James’ Place and Hoopers. The team advises clients based overseas as well as in the UK on a wide range of matters including inheritance tax planning, asset protection and succession planning as well as on onshore and offshore trusts and family settlements.

Howard Kennedy LLP has an ‘excellent team with very good strength and depth and a very good international outlook’. John Annetts heads the administration and estates team and is ‘smart, able, calm and experienced. He deals with difficult situations with great assurance’. The ‘very bright’ Liz Palmer shows ‘great attention to detail and makes one feel at ease when discussing complex legal matters. She is very good at explaining difficult issues to her lay clients’. Simon Malkiel is ‘fantastic with highly technical issues and is able to think creatively to explore all possible options for his clients. He is very clear on protecting his clients from the risk of interference from the HMRC’. Senior associate Nick Mendoza ‘deals with huge probates with multiple elements with calmness and poise’. It has a diverse client base of high-net-worth individuals and families based both in the UK and internationally.

Penningtons Manches Cooper provides ‘exceptional service to clients. The highly motivated team is also structured in an efficient way to provide cost effective advice’. Clare Archer  heads the department and has ‘the rare combination of experience, expertise and personable approach to be a true trusted adviser in what is often quite a sensitive and problematic area of practice’. Archer is often called upon to advise families and family offices on generational planning and governance issues. James d’Aquino ‘has the global expertise and experience to be trusted on very complex matters’. D’Aquino provides tax, trust and succession planning advice to UHNW individuals, families and trustees. Archer and d’Aquino are both ‘very sensitive to client needs and have the ability to handle diverse and often conflicting or competing elements very well’. Laura Dadswell is ‘excellent’ and newly promoted partner Lucy Edwards  is ‘highly effective’.

Wedlake Bell LLP  has an extensive track record of involvement in a number of heavy trusts and probate cases. Camilla Wallace heads the team, which includes the ‘client-friendly and extremely knowledgeable’ Andrew O’Keeffe, who provides a ‘reassuring and comprehensive service in an understated and professional manner. He is very good at finding workable solutions’. Emma Loveday and Eleanor Metcalf  ‘specialise in the overseas investor and non-doms’. The ‘excellent’ Charles Hicks  is very experienced at advising on trusts, probate, wills  as well as wealth management for high-net-worth individuals. Ann Stanyer covers a wide range of trust, probate and private wealth advisory work and holds over 70 trusteeships in addition to acting as an executor and attorney. The ‘high-quality and consistently reliable’ team handles a variety of high-value and complex work for its portfolio of longstanding clients. Its clients comprise an interesting mix of international financiers, fashion designers, architects, landed estates, international royal families, property developers, entrepreneurs and those with inherited wealth.

Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘commercial, practical and sound advice’. The ‘switched-on and practical’ John Barnett is a ‘leading technical boffin with a great affable manner’. Barnett provides tax advice to a wide range of high-net-worth individuals and many leading banks and other financial institutions. He has a particular focus on entrepreneurial clients many of whom are not domiciled in the UK or have businesses or other interests abroad. The ‘practical, very bright and technical’ Suzanna Harvey  is ‘able to explain complicated issues in simple language’ and Beatrice Puoti has ‘great commercial awareness’. Another key member of the ‘very strong’ team is the ‘professional’ Tom Hewitt  who is ‘empathetic and wise’. Highlights included advising an ultra-high-net-worth individual on a wide ranging HMRC enquiry.

At Fieldfisher Penny Wotton  has expertise in UK and non-UK resident trusts and in international estate planning and structuring. Wotton advises clients across the world and also acts as a professional trustee in addition to advising a range of charities. Graeme Nuttall  is dual qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser. He is experienced at establishing and maintaining private wealth structures such as private and commercially run trust companies and family offices. His clients include families with Australian, Indian and Middle Eastern connections and CIS based clients. The team has recently seen a significant number of new instructions from HNWIs in the Gulf region and Russia. It has also been attracting new instructions from the entertainment sector.

Glen Atchison heads the team at Harbottle & Lewis LLP  whose ‘industry knowledge and response times are excellent’. Atchison focuses on advising UK resident and non-resident ultra-high-net-worth individuals on multifarious issues. These issues range from tax efficient international succession planning and structuring through to the use of trusts /other arrangements to trace and protect assets. The ‘pragmatic and proactive’ Chris Moorcroft has a strong reputation for his work on international tax and trust structures for individuals, both UK resident and non-UK resident. Moorcroft is praised for his ‘excellent client relationship skills’. Senior associate Caroline Rao  ‘has been very helpful on a complicated legacy matter and I would highly recommend her’. Jonathan Burt  has recently moved from Harcus Sinclair LLP and has a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa as well as on helping US citizens who live outside America.

Richard Norridge  at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP  ‘holds a firm line to secure the best outcome for the client. This coupled with his professionalism and the way he conducts meetings and writes correspondence garners respect from the other side’. Of counsel Gareth Keillor  is ‘knowledgeable and responsive and is a very solid lawyer’. The group typically acts for prestigious ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Jim Sawer  at Kingsley Napley LLP is ‘practical, sensible and has loads of common sense which is based on experience’. He advises a number of landed, entrepreneurial and business clients on tax, trust and succession issues. Senior associate Joseph Austin  is ‘very precise and he is experienced in international estate planning matters’. The group has strong Middle Eastern connections and is handling an increasing number of referrals from private banks and accountants. Matthew Duncan joined Druces LLP .

Key figures at Mills & Reeve LLP include the 'excellent' Cambridge-based Chris Belcher and principal associate Gillian Kennedy-Smith, who is ‘highly experienced’ in matters of succession and estate planning. Kennedy-Smith specialises in providing UK and international families, trustees, attorneys, executors and companies with advice on complex tax, trusts and succession planning matters especially where there is a foreign element. The team routinely handles family investment company structuring, wills and other similar matters.

Osborne Clarke LLP acts for the owners of some of the UK’s leading businesses and household name brands. It has grown its client base of international families and now acts for a member of the Saudi royal family and other significant individuals/families from the Middle East and the US. The team has particular expertise in advising families with US connections and banks/investment managers who wish to develop new funds and investment offerings in the UK. The department is well-equipped to handle complex cross-border and international matters. Stuart Janaway is recommended for his work with business owners/entrepreneurs and is particularly well-known for his work with families with US connections. Andrew Goodman continues to act for UNHW international families, private offices, trust companies and banks covering the full raft of private client advice from personal tax, UK and offshore trusts as well as succession and philanthropy through to trust and estate litigation.

Stephenson Harwood has a ‘strong client focused team that wants to clearly understand each client’s situation so that it can identify the best solution for that client’. The ‘experienced’ James Quarmby has ‘excellent technical knowledge which shines through and he can dissect difficult subjects into a more comprehensible format for clients. He is a very much in your corner regardless of the risk or complexity’. Newly promoted partner Emily Osborne is ‘very much in demand. She is extremely knowledgeable and provides succinct advice. She is an excellent choice for extremely complex cross-border matters’. Associate Alice Vink  is a ‘real rising star and is partner material. She is also knowledgeable and personable. She is well able to give very practical advice even when under pressure’. The team acts for UNHWI individuals and family offices internationally. Hugo Jenney is another known name and heads up the firm’s ‘family office’ team specialising in advising ultra-wealthy international families. The team is praised for ‘responding at all hours and is available at short notice which makes it an ideal team for our more entrepreneurial clients where time is of the essence’.

Stuart Skeffington  heads the team at Stevens & Bolton LLP and provides ‘superb technical tax advice’. Rosie Todd is ‘a superb technical lawyer who has a keen eye on the practical detail and foresees and plans things’. Daryl Fox  heads the probate and estate administration team and provides ‘high service levels and expertise’. The team’s work ranges from complex international tax planning for UHNW non-domiciliaries and for landed estates through to estate administration. The department also has a good understanding of fund structures and has particular expertise in the cross-over between private client and the taxation of funds and corporate structures. Associate Abigail Palmer-Page is ‘very responsive and practical’. The team has a ‘deep understanding of personal tax, trusts and probate law with a keen understanding of the commercial deal in play’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP  ‘is an invaluable resource in London for top-notch US legal advice in the trust and private client sphere. It is one of the top New York trust and private client practices with offices in London’. Basil Zirinis ‘truly understands the big picture and engenders confidence with families. He is utterly remarkable, is involved in nearly every major international case and is sophisticated and urbane’. For many years the firm has advised the majority of the Pritzker family beneficiaries on the restructuring of their $25bn worldwide business empire which includes interests in Global Hyatt Corporation and extensive international gaming operations. Other key clients include the Heyman family (as owners of the Building Materials Corporation of America) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.).

VWV is ‘very efficient and professional. The team works quickly to deadlines and is able to stay within costs’. The ‘professional’ Judith Cuxson is ‘caring and technically strong’. The ‘excellent’ Michael Knowles  ‘ensures that things are delivered in a timely fashion’ and associate Angharad Lynn ‘is excellent at getting the job done efficiently and on time’. Clients include entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals and their families, landed estates, charities and museums as well as educational establishments. The team undertakes complex tax on cross-border and high value estates and acts on a number of matters involving national heritage assets.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has an ‘excellent team that is capable of dealing with sensitive and high-value issues’. Practice head Hugh MacDougald  is ‘very sensible, very measured and very knowledgeable’. The ‘highly approachable’ Tim Snaith  has a ‘deep understanding of the personal and family legal issues. He is charming and discreet with clients but also very knowledgeable and experienced’. The team added Dhana Sabanathan  to its ranks from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP. Sabanathan is a well-regarded adviser to UK and non-UK clients on international tax and estate planning issues. She is also experienced in cross-border estate planning matters and advises financial institutions on international trust matters. The group represents high-net-worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs, family businesses and family offices as well as UK and foreign domiciled trusts and individuals. It also acts for charities and a range of agents who act on behalf of incapacitated individuals.

Blake Morgan LLP's team is headed by Mark Spash  who has a ‘sound knowledge of the legal issues and is also able to think out of the box in order to find pragmatic solutions’. Spash has a particular focus on family office work for domestic and international HNWIs. Arshoo Singh  joined the team from Russell-Cooke LLP. The team is adept at advising on complex lifetime and estate planning issues often with an international element. It is also skilled at advising on the administration of estates with complex and cross-border components including advising on disputes between beneficiaries, conflicts of laws relating to the assets and other trust matters.

DMH Stallard LLP  is ‘well-positioned in the market’ and is led by Lorna Fairbairn . Fairbairn specialises in drafting wills and estate planning. She regularly advises business owners on safeguarding their business assets for future generations including advising on inheritance tax mitigation and other possible reliefs such as entrepreneurs’ relief. Other areas of expertise include advising on the administration of trusts and estates and the preparation of lasting powers of attorney.

Matthew Bennett  at Fladgate LLP  is ‘academically top drawer but also commercial and responsive’. Bennett advises UK and foreign individuals and their families on the management of their wealth and personal affairs with an emphasis on tax efficiency. Neal Todd  heads the team. The well-regarded Todd acts for individuals, intermediaries and family offices in circumstances where the individuals have substantial assets. John Ford recently joined the team from Pinsent Masons LLP. Clients include international trust companies, fund managers, individuals and families with significant personal assets, domiciled and non-domiciled trustees of family and charitable trusts as well as the personal representatives of substantial estates.

Ian Bowyer and Philip Carter  head the team at Greenwoods GRM that provides an ‘exceptional service’. Bowyer is ‘incisive, friendly and very knowledgeable’. Bowyer has extensive knowledge of onshore trusts and probate work and regularly deals with high value estates. Carter is ‘careful and meticulous with both words and numbers. Hence, he does not miss anything and is trustworthy. He has a matter of fact approach to legal problems or situations with a ‘can do’ attitude. He is responsive and has excellent communication skills’. Carter deals with various matters such as drafting of wills, tax planning as well as administering powers of attorney. The team deals with the complex estates of wealthy individuals and clients that need cross-border assistance.

GSC Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘knowledgeable and professional team’. Head of department Saleem Sheikh  is a ‘hands on negotiator with an all-round ability to grasp the issues and assist in their resolution’. Sheikh advises on a broad spectrum of issues from succession planning for children coming into the business through to protecting assets for married clients through prenuptial agreements and trusts. The ‘very practical and responsive’ James Cohen  ‘deals with matters both ably and expeditiously’. Cohen advises on wills, lasting powers of attorney, probate and other issues such as offshore structuring. He has developed substantial knowledge of dealing with matters where clients have assets located in multiple jurisdictions, especially for Pakistani and Indian clients.

Iain Donaldson heads the department at Hill Dickinson LLP  and has significant experience of advising businesses and wealthy individuals on tax, wealth protection and financial risk management issues. The team advises on a wide range of matters from wills and trusts as well as capital tax planning through to contentious and non-contentious trusts and estate administration. Clients are based predominantly in the South of England and include successful professionals, industrialists and entrepreneurs. The groups advises trustees on various issues such as the creation, administration and termination of trusts.

Ian Lane heads the team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, which pays ‘prompt attention to all matters – calls and emails are replied to within 24 hours’. Nicola Waldman  is ‘efficient beyond the call of duty. She is exceptional, efficient and proactive’. The team has represented a wide range of clients from celebrities and notable families to non-domiciles and families that are in dispute. Work has included handling the administration of substantial estates, family trusts, UK inheritance tax matters and disputed estates. The group has also advised on the drafting of wills of varying complexity.

Gordon Dadds LLP has a ‘very client focused team that works exceptionally hard to get results’. The ‘highly recommended’ Anna Coakes  is a ‘superb all-round legal adviser providing an excellent service to clients’. Associate Amelia Beringer  is ‘terrific’. The team is well-regarded for its work on multi-jurisdictional tax and inheritance issues and has a particular focus on domicile issues and the administration of estates where domicile is at issue. The team frequently works with its litigation department to resolve family inheritance disputes.

Jane Molyneaux  is the head of private client at Kerman & Co . The team regularly advises on cross-border estate and succession planning matters as well as on trusts, asset structuring, will drafting, powers of attorney and probate. Its national and international client base includes high-net-worth individuals, globally wealthy families, trustees and charities as well as family offices. It frequently carries out global asset-structuring for clients particularly from Russia, Asia and Africa. Other areas of expertise include managing complex international probate matters typically valued at approximately £15m. It also helps clients to put in place tax-efficient structures and such advice includes assisting on international transactions in relation to fine art, antiques and decorative arts.

Jonathan Riley leads the team at Michelmores LLP  in London which is augmented by a number of Exeter and Bristol-based lawyers. It is a ‘strong regional player that is well able to compete with the London firms at a much reduced cost’. Exeter-based Jennifer Ridgway  is ‘the best of communicators, making the complex simple’. The group continues to receive referrals from offshore intermediaries (including lawyers and fiduciaries) and also advises on a broad range of complex offshore tax planning and on international cross-border matters. It acts for executors of large estates and also offers specialist tax and succession planning for individuals with farming and agricultural business interests. Other areas of expertise include advising entrepreneurs on succession issues, entrepreneurs’ relief and inheritance tax mitigation strategies The team is also skilled at assisting vulnerable people with complex capacity issues on how to protect often significant clinical negligence and personal injury awards.

Moon Beever  is an ‘excellent firm that provides highly technical advice in a concise manner’. The team has a mix of UK and non-UK clients including young professionals, high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, local families and nobility. It also advises on other issues such as the creation and administration of charities and powers of attorney, living wills/advance decisions. Former head of department Paul Davidoff left for New Quadrant Partners in late 2018.

New Quadrant Partners LTD is an ‘excellent outfit. It is a very reliable and dynamic team with the right expertise. It keeps its feet on the ground to deliver real and useful advice’. Marilyn McKeever ‘certainly goes above and beyond. She is extremely smart and has an incredible human touch with her clients’. Louise Stoten  and Sophie Voelcker  ‘both are very strong and capable of handling delicate matters for demanding UHNW clients’. Zoë Camp  is ‘calm and measured in addition to being absolutely thorough and on the ball’. The firm offers clients comprehensive advice on domestic and international trusts, trust taxation, wills and succession planning as well as on personal tax matters. The firm hired Paul Davidoff  from Moon Beever in late 2018. Specialising in complex tax, trust and estate planning matters, Davidoff is described as ‘able to explain very technical issues in layman’s terms and then suggest solutions to issues. He is very precise, very technical and very charming’.

PWT Advice LLP  has a ‘highly competent and reliable team’. The ‘very responsive and commercial’ Jo Summers ’ work is ‘excellent’. Summers continues to advise on offshore trusts and other international structures as well as on estate planning. Nicola Dudley is another recommended member of the team who is skilled at advising on complex tax planning and offshore structuring in particular. The team completed the administration of the estate of the late Michael Winner. This included acting for his companies and assisting in the sale of his multi-million pound property.

The ‘outstanding’ Tony Millson at Royds Withy King is ‘urbane, unflappable and has seen it all. He gives thoughtful and clear advice and is thorough without unnecessary fussiness’. Deanna Hurst is ‘efficient, reliable and highly intelligent. She works hard, thinks ahead and forgets nothing’. Both have ‘excellent client relationship skills’. Millson advises on all aspects of tax and estate planning particularly in relation to inheritance tax, capital gains tax and trust creation. He also is adept at advising on the administration of high value trusts and estate and routinely acts for parents of children with disabilities.

James Ward heads the team at Seddons. Ward advises trusts, executors and high-net-worth individuals on tax affairs and on estates as well as on the administration of property trusts and the drafting and variation of wills. He is experienced in both offshore and onshore domicile complications and is regularly asked by clients to fulfil trustee, executor and attorney roles. Recently promoted partner John Melville-Smith is ‘an experienced litigator who never misses a point’.

Rod Smith  at Stone King LLP specialises in advising on complex wills and trusts, powers of attorney as well as applications for deputyship and the administration of trusts and estates. There is frequently an international element to this work. Alison Allen  acts for a wide range of clients advising them on general private client matters. Allen is experienced at advising on high value probates and trusts and has a particular interest in advising families and carers of vulnerable individuals with impaired mental capacity and /or mental health issues around estate planning and care funding.

Neil Long  and the ‘pragmatic’ Alexander Dickinson  are the principal contacts at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP . Long advises high-net-worth clients and trustees on estate planning and capital tax issues. His clients are mostly entrepreneurs with complex business and financial interests. Dickinson specialises in succession, asset protection and estate planning matters for landowners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. He acts for a large number of landed estates across the country, in many cases he acts as a trustee and sits on the board of several family offices. Recent highlights include advising on the administration of a major landowner's estate, with a value in excess of £200m. In another significant matter the team advised on the reorganisation of a number of substantial trusts including the restructuring of their investment and trading structures.

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