Personal tax, trusts and probate in London
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles the full range of matters with particular expertise in complex, high-value and multi-jurisdictional issues. The group is recognised for its knowledge of the key regions in the ultra-high-net-worth markets, including Asia, the Middle East and Russia. It continues to have a strong reputation for helping wealthy clients with succession planning and for its work on the creation of governance structures that are Shari’a compliant. The department is also adept at advising on complex trust and corporate structures for family business and family offices. Clients include international private banks/wealth management institutions as well as international high-net-worth individuals. Damian Bloom heads this excellent team that includes Martin Paisner and Paul Whitehead. Rupert Ticehurst is now at Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP .
‘Damian Bloom is a solid performer’.
‘Damian Bloom – extremely approachable and superb with clients, extremely responsive and provides clear advice and implementation is also a big strength. An exceptional lawyer‘.
‘Simon Phelps does a lot with ultra-wealthy families and Paul Whitehead is very practical‘.
‘Paul Whitehead is simply fantastic. Detailed, no nonsense advice on complex tax issues and always ready to give an objective opinion. Always available and a pleasure to work with‘.
‘Paul Whitehead considers every relevant aspect and guides his clients through a maze of UK tax rules and beyond. He communicates effectively and his advice is comprehensive and well thought through. Also his memory is exceptional’.
‘The team consistently delivers an excellent service’.
‘The team can cover pre-UK immigration planning, on-going UK tax planning and tax dispute resolution, pre-/post-nup, divorce, succession, to administration of estate seamlessly‘.
‘Outstanding private client team. The pragmatic approach of the team greatly assists offshore trustees to remain compliant in an extremely complex environment. It also has the rare ability to provide a one stop shop for US and UK cases‘.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a large team that advises the wealthiest families globally and routinely advises them on complex cross-border and multidisciplinary projects. Clients range from prominent UK families to internationally mobile wealthy individuals. The London offering in conjunction with its other offices in Cheltenham and Guildford also represents some of the UK's leading landed estates (both rural and urban). Bart Peerless and William Begley head the team. Robert Blower has particular expertise in lifetime tax and estate planning, and issues relating to offshore assets/trusts as well as UK landed estates. Piers Master has a particular focus on Middle Eastern clients, and acts for many ruling family members and billionaires often with US links.
Bart Peerless; William Begley
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is an extraordinary collection of lawyers who have real depth of expertise in this area’.
‘Cross-disciplinary team work, superb technical knowledge and sound advice by experienced partners whose experience and network spans most jurisdictions‘.
‘Andrew Cameron is the consummate private client lawyer, very client focused and great on detail’.
Farrer & Co has a committed team that advises very wealthy individuals and families nationally and internationally. It covers the full gamut of matters from onshore and offshore trusts and tax, to international wealth and succession planning, investment strategies and philanthropy. A high proportion of its work is international as it has particular expertise in Switzerland, the Channel Islands, the US, the Far East and the Middle East. Other areas of expertise lie in landed estates as the firm acts for over 50 substantial estates and historic houses. As well as having considerable skill in complex tax structuring it also advises on trust law for business families, landed estates, wealth creators, international wealth and private investors. Sarah von Schmidt heads the department.
Sarah von Schmidt
Other key lawyers:
Mark Bridges; Mike Chantler; Russell Cohen; Roddy Voremberg; Debbie Pennington
- Advising the trustees of a £1.4bn landed estate on complex matters of trust law deriving from the unusual nature of the trusts.
- Acting for a high-profile international businessman philanthropist and his spouse whose affairs are increasingly connected to the UK on a range of private wealth matters.
- Acting for an Irish family in a number of areas, including assisting with their wills and cross-border succession planning.
- Acting for an ultra-high-net-worth international entrepreneur worth over £800m on a range of private wealth matters.
- Advising the trustees of family trusts for an international family with significant business interests, including general governance advice and assistance with specific projects.
Forsters LLP 's practice spans the full range of high-net-worth sectors, including international wealth, family offices and family business succession as well as advising other clients such as landed estates, titled individuals and public personalities (sports people, celebrities and well-known public figures). In late 2018 the team was joined by Christopher Findley and Henry Cecil from BDB Pitmans, both of who are experienced in acting for high-net-worth families with rural landed estates. Other highlights included Catharine Bell's recent admission as a member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers.
Xavier Nicholas (offshore); Catherine Hill (onshore)
Other key lawyers:
‘Forsters has one of the best private client teams in London. It has the depth of experience that other firms lack‘.
‘Forsters has emerged as one of the brightest stars in the private client firmament partly through organic growth and partly through careful absorption of teams from other firms. Its focus is entirely on its clients and the quality of advice cannot be faulted‘.
‘There is a genuine sense that the firm cares about its clients and values them and their wellbeing.’
‘Forsters has one of the best private client teams in London. It has the breadth and depth that a private client would need‘.
‘Daniel Ugur is doing some good work in the Asia market and Nick Jacob is very good too‘.
‘Anthony Thompson is impressive for his precise legal knowledge and his capacity to supervise matters extremely efficiently‘.
‘Catharine Bell is an absolutely talented and strategic lawyer very at ease in complex cross-borders estate matters. She is an excellent listener, a great team leader and a very nice and pleasant person‘.
‘Kelly Noel-Smith is very good at getting to the nub of the issue. Her advice on complicated issues is delivered in an easy to understand and timely manner‘.
‘Kelly Noel-smith – very approachable and provides excellent, timely service. She is involved in high value complex structures and is very effective in the advice she provides’.
‘Carole Cook and Xavier Nicholas are dedicated professionals and both are responsive to the needs of their clients‘.
Macfarlanes LLP is skilled at advising international entrepreneurs, family offices and owner-managed businesses. It routinely advises clients who have no UK connections. Strenghts lie in advising on complex international asset structuring, family governance issues as well as tax planning advice. Piers Barclay heads the team and specialises in succession, tax and estate planning for individuals and their families as well as related advice to trustees and other private client service providers, such as family offices. The team is also skilled at structuring multi-jurisdictional estates by using trusts in civil law and Sharia law countries, and is also adept at advising non-UK trustees on tax and fiduciary matters. Mark Hunter and Richard Giangrande were promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
‘A top-notch team that is extremely knowledgeable and precise led by the excellent Piers Barclay‘.
‘It is an incredibly experienced and proactive team that provides an exceptional service‘.
‘Superb across the piste. Top of the league. Terrific to work with. Responsive and excellent quality advice. Numerous partners who are top of their game and a good crop of supporting associates. Really great people to do business with. Piers Barclay. Edward Reed. Nicholas Harries. Jennifer Smithson’.
‘Has exceptional technical knowledge and commercial acumen. Its stand out characteristic is the depth of expertise each of the partners holds as well as the depth of talent amongst the broader department‘.
‘Robin Vos is a leading light on technically challenging tax issues‘.
‘Promptness, efficiency, and around-the-clock availability of resources. Charles Gothard boasts unrivalled expertise in handling the most complex client situations with utmost diligence‘.
‘Charles Gothard is excellent‘.
‘Nicholas Harries is knowledgeable, experienced and proactive‘.
‘Mark Hunter and Richard Giangrande are brilliant‘.
Investec Trust (Guernsey)
- Acting for Investec Trust (Guernsey) in relation to a number of pieces of litigation arising out of the Tchenguiz family trusts.
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP has a specialist focus on complex cross-border estate planning and structuring for ultra-high-net-worth clients from all over the world. Clients include entrepreneurs, business people, traditionally wealthy families as well as trustees and private banks. The team is adept at advising these clients who often have assets such as interests in listed and privately owned companies, real estate, race horses, works of art, yachts and planes in addition to investment portfolios of significant value. Jennifer Chambers heads the excellent team and Eesha Arora was recently promoted to the partnership. Ed Powles is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly professional and responsive team that thinks commercially‘.
‘As MTG is a boutique private wealth firm its focus is not diverted to other practice areas which is one of its key selling points. Given its client base the practitioners are highly skilled with a wealth of experience. The service levels that I have experienced are second to none‘.
‘Notwithstanding her high level of expertise Fiona Poole is hugely approachable. Stuart Smyth is responsive and a pleasure to deal with. I have complete faith in the advice that both are providing and feel that we are in safe hands‘.
‘There is no other private client law firm in London that provides its advice with such profound intellectual clout yet in a personable manner‘.
‘Fiona Poole is outstanding‘.
‘Jennifer Emms is very responsive, sharp-witted and pleasant to work with‘.
‘Emma-Jane Weider is hands-on, very experienced and knowledgeable with sound common sense‘.
‘Jennifer Chambers, Clare Maurice, Ceris Gardner – these advisors are pure gold, no one touches them‘.
- Providing advice to a client in relation to his personal tax affairs.
- Advising on a potential HMRC challenge to domicile in a high-value probate matter and assisting with the administration of UK assets.
- Oversight over private client and charity legal projects for an ultra-high-net-worth family office.
- Providing trust law advice on the establishment of family trusts in a holding structure for a family investment office with complex public international law issues.
- Advising a Belgian/Canadian family moving their home and business to the UK.
Clients of Mishcon de Reya LLP include a mix of ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, institutions, investors and property developers as well as entrepreneurs, trustees and charities. Its work spans both UK and cross-border transactions as well as providing succession planning advice. A growing area for the practice is advising on philanthropy by advising on tax-efficient giving and the establishment of charitable trusts and foundations. The practice has also been developing its expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. In addition, its tax practice spans both personal and corporate tax. Andrew Goldstone is well-regarded, and in December the team was joined by former Forsters LLP private client head Patrick Harney.
Andrew Goldstone; James Libson
Other key lawyers:
Kassim Meghjee; Filippo Noseda; Martin Davies; Charlie Sosna; Patrick Harney
‘The team continues to go from strength to strength. The team is recognised and admired for both its domestic expertise and its highly respected international private client practice.‘
‘The lawyers are top-notch in dealing with complex high-profile families’ structuring and reputational matters and their clients rely on their deep knowledge and technical expertise in multi-jurisdictional matters.’
‘This is a first-rate team, with significant strengths in research and a doggedness that is exceptional.‘
‘The team has an excellent reputation in the private client market. The team is known for providing high-quality, practical and timely advice.‘
‘Andrew Goldstone has deep client relationships, and his clients look to him to handle every aspect of their affairs. Andrew is also incredibly commercial in his approach, and balances his technical knowledge with the practical side.‘
‘The individual team members are very personable, which makes for a positive client experience with Andrew Goldstone, Kassim Meghjee and Charlie Sosna in particular‘.
‘Kassim Meghjee is a tax lawyer who advises in the corporate and private client spheres. He is highly regarded by his UHNW domestic and international client base.’
‘Martin Davies is peerless with regard to advising Middle Eastern Royal families and he is also the ‘go-to’ lawyer in London for the merchant trading families of Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region. His understanding of the region’s nuances is second-to-none.‘
‘Filippo Noseda is an outstanding lawyer. He is understanding of his clients’ needs and will go to extraordinary lengths to support their case. He never takes ‘no’ for an answer and leaves no stone unturned.‘
‘Charlie Sosna is exceptionally able, and is one of a rare breed of private client partners who is equally able to deal with contentious and non-contentious matters to a very high standard. He is personally charming and engaging.‘
‘Patrick Harney is great on the crossover between UK and US issues.’
‘Patrick Harney is very knowledgeable across a range of subjects. He gives clear advice and recommendations and does not complicate things’.
- Brought the first European challenge based on data protection against the new rules on automatic exchange of information. The challenge has been broadly reported in the press.
- HMRC has fought two court cases and has applied its discretion in denying Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief to the firm’s client.
Andrew Hine heads the heavyweight international practice at Taylor Wessing LLP. It advises on the full range of complex tax, trusts, succession and estate planning matters as well as on the creation and maintenance of multi-jurisdictional asset holding structures. It has a strong international client base with a mix of 'old' and new money. Clients range from ‘Middle England’ families with an asset value running into £5-10m all the way to international billionaires and the team acts for eight Royal Families. In addition the department provides trust, tax and succession planning advice to around 40 hedge fund principals and around 40 principals in the private equity sector. Ryan Myint is now at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Buzzoni; Sanjvee Shah; Nick Warr; Antoaneta Proctor; Ben Lister
‘The team has a global coverage. Mark Buzzoni produces work of the highest quality and Nick Warr is great. He is well respected and well liked‘.
‘Nick Warr is a standout private client lawyer. He has superb technical skills and a drive and energy unlike anyone else in the market. He is a real star’.
‘Andrew Hine is a hugely impressive private client lawyer with exceptional technical and client handling skills‘.
‘Technically it is in the top echelon of lawyers to work with. Widely regarded as the best lawyers in the industry. Nick Warr – very competent and professional adviser. Clients respect him immensely. Ben Lister is a real star of the future‘.
‘It has very able practitioners throughout the team. Nick Warr has an amazing work ethic and determination to deliver high quality to service to all his clients. He thinks laterally and is unceasing in his drive to find the best solution for clients‘.
‘The team operates as a unit very well with work delivered in a timely fashion and with a strong sense of client care‘.
‘The team is a very knowledgeable and dynamic team that is able to grasp the big picture without losing sight of the finer details. Mark Buzzoni – excellent rapport with clients; extremely knowledgeable and efficient‘.
‘Antoaneta Proctor is a very responsive and conscientious lawyer. An effective communicator with excellent interpersonal skills; clients appreciate her attention to detail and ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and easy to understand manner‘.
‘Taylor Wessing can boast an exceptionally strong private client team – the lawyers are all approachable, smart and easy to work with‘.
‘Mark Buzzoni – wise, strategic and with excellent nuanced judgement. Kirstie MacGuigan – capable and personable‘.
Withers LLP has a large team that specialises in all areas of private client work from elder law and landed estates through to international probate, international trusts and tax investigations. Other areas of expertise include advising on philanthropy and it also has a significant number of US-qualified attorneys in the London office. It acts for just over half of the individuals and families in the 2018 Sunday Times UK Rich List. Its international probate expertise is also well recognised as it deals with complicated cross-border issues, and manages estates where property and family members are spread across different countries. Jeremy Arnold heads the team in London. Alessia Paoletto and Lara Crompton were promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
‘Withers has a team of top legal experts. The lawyers explain new or proposed developments in UK and international law in layman’s terms‘.
‘Withers LLP is the market leader in personal taxation in London and worldwide‘.
‘The team has an excellent level of technical knowledge and is able to use its international colleagues to provide joined up multi-jurisdictional advice‘.
‘Undoubted ‘go-to’ firm in the private client international space, with strength in depth, particularly on UK and US matters, but with a critical presence in Asia. Philip Munro always delivers. Stephen Nerland and Jay Krause are excellent in dealing with the complexities of any US involvement’.
‘Philip Munro has a broad range of experience and gives practical advice‘.
‘Richard Cassell is a very bright lawyer‘.
‘Ceri Vokes is just the best! Her knowledge of tax law is encyclopaedic and cutting edge. She was aware of every nuance and issue in my file, and she was great at communicating these to me clearly and concisely. As a result, I got the exact services that I needed‘.
‘Ceri Vokes satisfies the most demanding clients. She is also very committed and reliable‘.
‘Claire Harris is excellent at building a rapport with clients and giving clear advice‘.
‘Claire Harris is always easy to speak with and goes the extra mile to think of a solution for the task at hand‘.
Ashley Crossley heads the team at Baker McKenzie that 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 in 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.
Other key lawyers:
Phyllis Townsend; David Whittaker
‘The team is extremely strong and very proactive. Its breadth of knowledge particularly in respect of the interaction of legal and tax issues and also the important cross-border aspects is second-to-none‘.
‘The team is always available to meet our deadlines and solves our issues and provides clear advice‘.
‘This practice is unique because the team responds very fast, right to the point, and provides clear and helpful advice‘.
‘Ashley Crossley is an experienced practitioner and heads an extremely capable team with every member contributing to the incredibly professional service‘.
‘Phyllis Townsend is a very knowledgeable lawyer and an impressive member of this team‘.
‘David Whittaker provides clear and timely advice. He is very approachable and proactive‘.
‘David Whittaker has a very strong grasp of the issues in complex trust, tax and cross-border matters and his attention to detail, approachability and commitment to resolving issues make him a very impressive practitioner‘.
‘Strong team that is well able to deal with very complex trust and beneficiary tax issues. Stand-out partner – Ashley Crossley. Stand-out associate – David Whittaker‘.
‘The team always looks for solutions to our problems’.
BDB Pitmans is best known for its advice on complex estate planning and succession issues, often involving assets in multiple jurisdictions, as well as for its work on trusts and other wealth-holding vehicles for international families. The team is well-regarded for its advice to owners of agricultural land and landed estates as well as philanthropists. In addition, the team of trust and tax managers is thriving. Simon Weil heads the department.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Ratcliffe; Judith Millar; Lara Mardell
‘Has in-depth knowledge that is second to none. The lawyers have a way of getting to the issue quickly, explaining it in straightforward terms and giving clear advice as to how to proceed. An excellent firm’.
‘The team has a lot of experience and provides a thorough and reasoned style of advice. Helen Ratcliffe is very professional, hardworking and gives practical and technically excellent advice‘.
‘Helen Ratcliffe is an excellent team player – technically adept, professional yet warm with clients and team members, never competitive but rather focused on getting the best results for the client as efficiently and thoughtfully as possible‘.
‘Very technically strong friendly team‘.
‘Cool heads all around‘.
‘The team at BDB is good to work with and has a refreshing habit of putting its clients’ interest first while guiding them carefully through the technical and practical difficulties of personal tax, trusts and probates.‘
‘Judith Millar is a really good person to work with. She is empathetic to the scenario and will take time to give her advice which is always relevant and spot on to the situation.‘
‘Judith Millar is very good at handling the more aggressive and bullying practitioners that aggregate fractious family situations.‘
‘Lara Mardell is very easy to work with and brings good offshore experience to the team‘.
- Instructed by the family office of a high-profile Gulf family to review the restructuring of a series of Jersey trusts holding London property worth several hundred million pounds.
- Acting for the trustees as shareholders in an insurance company based in Bermuda.
- Advising the owner of a very large and multimillion-pound estate in the Cotswolds on succession planning.
- Advising a Liechtenstein foundation that was established for an UHNW family in relation to tax rule changes that impacted on a high-value UK residential property that was owned by the foundation.
- Advising a successful British entrepreneur with dual UK/US citizenship in relation to his acquisition of a domicile of choice in the US and providing cross-border advice in relation to his estate planning.
Boodle Hatfield LLP has an excellent team that advises wealthy individuals and their families, family businesses and art collectors on a whole range of issues. Other key clients include trustees, philanthropists, protectors and family offices. It is skilled at providing advice on issues ranging from wealth and succession planning through to the effective use of trusts and charitable initiatives. It is often instructed by beneficiaries in relation to valuable family trusts; Salpy Kouyoumjian runs the firm’s Middle East private office that advises high-net-worth individuals on a whole host of issues. Andrea Zavos heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Sue Laing; Simon Rylatt; Salpy Kouyoumjian; Hayden Bailey; Sara Maccallum; Kyra Motley
‘The team really understands our business and our values. It is a very personal experience, the team is approachable and responsive.’
‘Andrea Zavos is a skilled negotiator and fights her clients’ corner.‘
‘Simon Rylatt is outstanding. He is very responsive, an excellent technician yet always focused on obtaining efficient and practical advice for clients.’
‘Sue Laing is very efficient and sensible.’
‘Hayden Bailey and Salpy Kouyoumjian are excellent practitioners.’
‘Hayden Bailey provides a very personal service and is easy to work with.’
‘Hayden Bailey is exceptionally good at thinking outside the box and very user friendly for clients.’
‘Sara Maccallum has the great ability to apply her very detailed tax knowledge in a way which produces practical and commercial solutions. Sara can then explain highly technical issues in a very clear and readily understandable manner.’
‘Kyra Motley is easy to talk with.’
‘Kyra Motley is extremely efficient and stays very close to ongoing matters whether she is handling them directly or through her team. She provides precise advice and handles meetings and calls efficiently.’
Wates Group and Family
Hunters Law LLP provides high-end tax and trust advice to a wide range of individuals, families and trustees with onshore and offshore interests. The team is recommended for its skill at advising wealthy clients on all aspects of tax and succession planning. The firm also has an extensive landed estate practice advising over 60 estates across England, Wales and Scotland and has acted for some of these families over multiple generations. Its clients variously have family businesses ranging from traditional farming businesses and houses that are open to the public, to highly successful entrepreneurs and property moguls with domestic and international business interests. Alexandra Sarkis and Lucinda Tite head the team.
Alexandra Sarkis; Lucinda Tite
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Godwin-Austen; Robert Wright; Molly Wills; Charlotte Simm
‘Hunters is a very focused firm, with substantial expertise in personal tax, trusts and probate. Great attention to detail, very efficient, responsive and professional, but always approachable.‘
‘Hunters provides an excellent service tailored to meet its clients’ needs. Alexandra Sarkis knows her clients really well and understands complex trust issues and family dynamics.‘
‘The team is personable, experienced and thoughtful. Whilst Charlotte Simm is obviously very technically able, she is thoughtful and approachable and is very focused on detail.‘
‘A really experienced and knowledgeable team that understands its clients and what they want. Alexandra Sarkis – absolutely first-rate.’
‘Lucinda Tite is highly knowledgeable and extensively thorough in these matters. She balances the compassion and emotional intelligence needed for private client work with the necessary technical expertise.‘
‘Jonathan Godwin-Austen is an experienced professional who has built up a good relationship with clients and other professionals. He is highly regarded.‘
‘Robert Wright is thorough and efficient.‘
‘Charlotte Simm is always meticulous, and wants to ensure that clients have a full understanding of what she will do for them.‘
Nick Rucker heads the team at Irwin Mitchell that focuses on complex and high-net-worth clients. It acts for clients from all over the world and has particular strengths in advising clients from Continental Europe, the Middle East, China, CIS and Russia. It works regularly with wealth creators (private equity and serial entrepreneurs), business owners including family-managed businesses and owner-managed business clients. Alex Ruffel has a focus on UK and international tax and trusts and regularly acts for non-UK nationals and non-UK domiciliaries who wish to relocate to or exit from the UK. Helen Clarke joined the team from BDB Pitmans.
‘Alex Ruffel can distil complex matters well.‘
‘Helen Clarke provides a very good service to clients.‘
‘Helen Clarke is a very methodical and logical lady who ensures prompt delivery of papers and explains them in simple terms for the layman.‘
‘George Merrylees works particularly well on international matters.‘
McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP has a dedicated team that covers the full range of non-contentious high-value trusts and estate matters as well as providing wills and probate advice. It is adept at advising on fund structuring, the restructuring of private wealth programmes as well as providing regulatory advice. The team has particular expertise in US tax and wealth law, both in the UK and US offices, and almost all of its wealthy clients have connections with the US either through their family or assets. Simon Goldring heads the team that acts for five of the Top 20 on the Sunday Times rich list and eight of the wealthiest people on the Forbes 100 billionaires list.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Gibb; Astrid Owen; Laura Harper
‘The firm overall is large internationally, and one would think that this would lead to a depersonalisation of service. However, our experience is that team members are very engaged with their clients and provide an excellent, commercially minded service.‘
‘McDermott Will & Emery has been invaluable in providing high-quality legal advice in the private client/HNW space, specifically in regard to trust structuring and tax issues faced by my clients.’
‘Very strong on offshore tax matters, including the taxation of non-residents and non-domiciliaries.’
‘Astrid Owen and Simon Gibb are ferociously clever, dynamic, interesting – they make an extraordinary team. Their work ethic is extraordinary, matched only by their knowledge and creative solutions. Dream private client team with depth of US knowledge also.‘
‘Simon Goldring is very responsive to demands and has an ability to juggle multiple tax returns and issues for a large family.‘
‘Simon Goldring has an encyclopaedic knowledge and ability to translate this into an easy to understand format to pass on to our clients. I have full confidence that if I have a query, no matter how big or small, Simon will ensure a swift turn around.‘
‘Simon Goldring really is very good technically and very thoughtful. Very dedicated to clients.’
‘Simon Gibb is technically proficient.‘
‘Laura Harper is very effective and commercial.‘
‘Simon Golding is very experienced. Laura Harper is very practical and helpful.‘
Payne Hicks Beach advises wealthy clients from the UK and overseas and many of its clients feature in the Sunday Times Rich List, Forbes 400 and the Arabian Business Rich List. It does a mix of international and domestic work with continued instructions from Scandinavia and the Middle East. It routinely advises non-domiciled families on tax changes and is experienced in advising some of the UK’s oldest and largest estates. Other areas of strength lie in advising on the tax aspects of pre-and post-nuptial agreements and the structuring of divorce settlements. Alastair Murdie has now retired and Rosamond McDowell is the new head of department.
Other key lawyers:
Frederick Bjorn; Robert Brodrick; Basil Dixon; James Bacon
‘The firm has an “old fashioned” approach but this is meant in a positive way. The emphasis is on legal advice rather than gimmicks. The quality of advice is high.‘
‘Incredibly strong technical knowledge coupled with the ability to explain complex points in layman’s terms.‘
‘Basil Dixon is particularly cogent in his analysis of problems and consequent distillation of advice.‘
‘Basil Dixon is a stand-out partner who provides high-quality legal advice but with a commercial hat on. His response times are good and he is very professional.‘
‘James Bacon has carved out a niche practice for himself in dealing with complex trust matters and variation of trust applications on the back of his extensive trust law knowledge and experience. He has a knack of coming up with innovative solutions and drafting to cater for even the most restrictive trust deeds.‘
‘Basil Dixon remained impressively clear headed in a difficult situation.‘
The size of the team at RadcliffesLeBrasseur allows it to advise on a broad range of HNW specialisms centred around private wealth, tax and estate planning. It is strong across the board from international wills and estate planning through to trust and international trust advice. It advises both individuals and professional trustees on a myriad of issues from Trustee Act 2000 obligations through to changes in the taxation of UK residential property. It is also strong on landed estate and heritage asset matters, as a number of its clients have significant collections of art, antiques and chattels. It has a China desk and through Tulin Hamit has a well-regarded Turkish markets team. Heads of department Jonathan Shankland and Victoria Fairley receive a lot of plaudits.
Jonathan Shankland; Victoria Fairley
Other key lawyers:
Tulin Hamit; Tom Frankel; Patrick Malone
‘Jonathan Shankland is clearly a competent lawyer but his client management makes him exceptional and significantly increases the market-worthiness of Radcliffes. He is constantly 24/7 available by email, text, phone, whatever. He exudes client support and responsiveness.’
‘Excellent responsiveness, client-centric, good advice – Jonathan Shankland is outstanding.‘
‘I trust Jonathan Shankland greatly which I think is so important when someone is dealing with your financial affairs and I know that if he is handling work for me that it will be done both diligently, efficiently and on time.‘
‘Jonathan Shankland is a top-notch lawyer and one I really rate. He’s the full package – technically able, pragmatic, excellent client care skills and very responsive. He has a bright future ahead of him.‘
‘Victoria Fairley is extremely gifted and able.‘
‘Victoria Fairley has an extremely reassuring manner, and an outstanding ability to see a matter smoothly through to successful conclusion.‘
‘The team is extremely experienced and has a long and outstanding private client history. Tulin Hamit is extremely conscientious with her outstanding client base. She is extremely able.‘
‘Tom Frankel is a very approachable and likeable individual. Explained all the issues in layman terms and was very helpful.‘
‘Jonathan Shankland and Patrick Malone impressed with their international capabilities and ability to work collaboratively with firms outside their jurisdiction. They had a solid knowledge of international and tax matters.‘
- Acting in the well publicised HMRC proceedings against many household name BBC presenters over their position as employees/agents/consultants to the BBC and the IR35 provisions and code.
- Represented the trust company in the structuring of an offshore property structure between the UK/Jersey/BVI with a value of significant millions.
- Acting in the estate administration of the estate of the late Baron Van Dedem and winding up of extensive offshore structures holding invaluable historic art collection (hundreds of millions in value terms).
- Advising client on UK inbounding tax, domicile and tax residency advice in relation to UK and international tax, trust and estate planning (£30m).
- Acting in the administration of the estate of the leading finance figure Mike Wilson CBE – the founding director and partner of St James’s Place Wealth Management, the FTSE listed company.
Russell-Cooke LLP is highly regarded for its work on complex cross-border tax planning and succession issues, particularly those relating to France. Key clients include entrepreneurs, family businesses, celebrities, senior civil servants as well as politicians, lawyers and judges. Its clients range from the substantially wealthy to longstanding clients and their families. The team has also launched the Russell-Cooke Family Office service that is led by Rebecca Fisher. This provides a range of legal services that are tailored to UHNW and HNW clients in relation to their wealth and succession planning. Dawn Alderson is another name to note. Richard Frimston is now a consultant.
Rebecca Fisher; Dawn Alderson (French Team)
Other key lawyers:
‘Russell Cooke’s private client team is unique in that it has a range of practitioners, covering the whole spectrum of private client work from routine wills and probate through to its family office offering.‘
‘The firm has a clear emphasis on practical solutions, having the expertise to deal with complex issues.‘
‘This is a pragmatic and helpful team – partner led and without lots being passed to juniors. Rebecca Fisher is outstanding – pragmatic and helpful.‘
‘Rebecca Fisher is an exemplary professional. She listens, understands and translates the requirements of clients very quickly. Her natural empathy makes complicated will and trust issues very transparent and we were very impressed with the speed and efficiency of her creative solutions.’
‘What makes Rebecca Fisher so very different from her contemporaries is that she is the “modern day face” of private client lawyers. She has charisma and charm.‘
‘Rebecca Fisher is excellent. She is very responsive and gives clear advice.‘
‘Rebecca Fisher is caring, human, professional and directs us with brilliant pragmatism, exactly what I want in my lawyer. I could not recommend her highly enough.‘
‘Rebecca Fisher and Andrew Godfrey, who are both outstanding practitioners in their field. They understand fully the cross-jurisdictional issues that arise for my clients and provide practical solutions. I find them to be responsive and dynamic.’
‘Andrew Godfrey – can distil complex matters. Approachable. Clients (and other advisors) like him.‘
- Acting for client in relation to an international succession dispute.
- Acting for an UHNW family with major business interests who are Family Office clients.
- Acting for a high-profile individual on the interpretation of family trusts and the extent to which the trustees could exercise their discretion in relation to publishing rights from books.
- Acting for UHNW client who is non-domiciled and looking to purchase property and relocate his family to UK for schooling.
- Advising a non-domiciled client on the structuring of his will to comply with the terms of an English consent order while retaining privacy in the context of a high-profile divorce.
Sinclair Gibson LLP, a new firm formed as a result of the split of Harcus Sinclair, is adept at advising UK-based families and landed estates on wealth structuring and devolution planning and at advising international clients on multi-jurisdictional matters. Keith Bruce-Smith and Lucy Gibson head the team. Both act as fiduciaries of substantial UK and offshore trusts and are non-executive directors of UK companies owned by families the team advises. Clients are predominantly high-net-worth but the team also looks after clients of more modest wealth backgrounds.
Keith Bruce-Smith; Lucy Gibson
Other key lawyers:
Eleanor Walsh; Elizabeth Fordham; Judith Robertson
‘It has the extremely experienced and well-regarded Keith Bruce-Smith and Lucy Gibson, who are supported by a team of able assistants.‘
‘This team acts for some of the most prestigious onshore and offshore private clients in the market.‘
‘Keith Bruce-Smith, in particular, brings with him a lifetime’s experience of the highest calibre private client work. Keith has a robust and confident approach that inspires confidence in clients.‘
‘Keith Bruce-Smith brings a huge amount of experience, intellect but most of all common sense to bear on the trickiest of legal or family issues.‘
‘The team, led by Keith Bruce-Smith and assisted by Judith Robertson, was superlative. They married a perfect grasp of the law with a robust, pragmatic approach to achieving our client’s planning objectives without undue complexity or cost.’
‘Keith Bruce-Smith is an extremely experienced practitioner; nothing fazes him. He has an excellent team of associates including Elizabeth Fordham. Lucy Gibson is highly regarded.’
‘Lucy Gibson is very personable, technically excellent and very pragmatic.‘
‘Lucy Gibson is exceptional from her attention to detail, to her command and understanding of sensitive family matters, vast financial responsibilities and sincere kindness to all those she is connected to in our family office.‘
‘Lucy Gibson is outstanding. Her professionalism and knowledge is a huge comfort.‘
‘Elizabeth Fordham is an associate to watch.‘
Collyer Bristow LLP advises the full range of private clients, from landed estates through to entrepreneurs. It advises on wills, trusts and probate as well as on complex questions of personal taxation and structuring. The majority of its work is cross-border and it has a sophisticated understanding of offshore trust structures in specific jurisdictions, including Switzerland, the United States, the Nordics, Russia and the Middle East. Peter Daniel is now the head of department with effect from May 2019. James Badcock has left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Dominic Cole; Daniel Simon
‘Fantastic team – highly technical and personal.’
‘Peter Daniel – a very engaged partner with excellent technical knowledge and great client relationship skill.‘
‘A well-sized team that benefits from high-calibre lawyers with a broad depth of knowledge and expertise.‘
‘Dominic Cole was particularly “stand out” on a recent matter. He was responsive and technically astute.‘
‘The team is first-class and is knowledgeable and approachable and offers excellent value for money.‘
Druces LLP is known for delivering traditional private client services across UK capital taxes, estate planning and probate. It also provides an international advisory service for non-UK domiciled clients, both resident and non-resident in the UK. The team provides structuring advice on international tax optimisation and asset protection and has experience of advising on non-standard structures and asset classes such as depositary receipts. Richard Monkcom and Robert Macro are the names to note. Neil Morris and Helen Freely are also well-regarded.
Richard Monkcom; Robert Macro
Alison Broadberry heads the team at Edwin Coe LLP that handles a very significant volume of intestate estates that would otherwise have been dealt with by the Treasury Solicitor under the bona vacantia rules. It acts for private individuals and families, some of whom are based overseas, on a wide range of issues, from asset protection and succession through to onshore and offshore trusts and family settlements. Other areas of expertise lie in advising on tax investigations and inheritance tax planning. Nick Giles is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
David Goepel; Nick Giles
‘Coolness under pressure, unusually high levels of good sense for such high-quality legal analysis and creativity. A stand-out firm for references where other firms have a conflict, which speaks very highly of its perception among its peers.‘
‘Very helpful team that is always pleasant to work with. The team is at the top in terms of competency. Good technical knowledge but able to be practical with clients.‘
‘David Goepel is one of the most able practitioners in the sector, but operates exactly where his clients want to be – under the radar. He has a remarkable ability to build consensus and drive forward solutions, where others would fail.‘
St. James’s Place
Fieldfisher's practice secured a major boost in autumn 2019 with the hire of Linklaters LLP head of trusts Peter Golden, who joined as head of private client, succeeding Penny Wotton, who will now increase her focus on the firm's charity client base. Golden came on board alongside former Linklaters LLP managing associate Alistair Robertson, who joined as a partner. The practice acts for numerous non-domiciled clients and continues to receive a steady flow of new instructions from wealthy non-domiciled clients, particularly from the CIS and Gulf regions. It has been advising clients on regularising their UK tax status and on restructuring their UK property portfolios. The team advises on a broad range of matters including domestic and international estate planning and structuring, UK and offshore trust formations as well as charitable giving, trust and estate administration.
‘A no-nonsense approach combined with efficient handling of the task in hand. Penny Wotton is sympathetic but straightforward and efficient; she delegated sensibly but kept on top of what was happening.‘
‘Penny Wotton is wonderful to work with. She is responsive and always provides a thorough and thoughtful response to myself and/or the client.‘
‘Penny Wotton is the fount of all knowledge.‘
‘Penny Wotton is very professional.‘
‘Amanda Gordon-Napier-Tompkinson dealt with matters quickly and efficiently.‘
- Representing the client in an appeal to the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal to secure CGT principal private residence relief.
- Representing a billionaire on structuring a gift of £200m to children.
- Representing millionaire on cross-border estate planning.
- Acting for a high-profile individual in the media sector on establishing and venture funding an integrated advertising and production business.
- Providing comprehensive tax and structuring advice to Middle Eastern billionaires.
Glen Atchison heads the team at Harbottle & Lewis LLP that acts for a significant number of entrepreneurs in new (often tech) disrupter industries. Other clients stem from the creative industries and include high-profile celebrities. Atchison’s primary focus is advising UK resident and non-resident ultra-high-net-worth individuals on multifarious issues ranging from tax-efficient international succession planning and structuring through to the use of trusts or other bespoke arrangements to either trace or protect assets. Jonathan Burt is recommended for his work on cross-border succession planning in particular.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Burt; David Scott; Caroline Rao; Siena Gold
‘Jonathan Burt and Siena Gold both have considerable experience in dealing with HNW and UHNW individuals. They have huge experience in cross-border matters and with international individuals.‘
‘It has a very modern approach which fits extremely well with the relatively young media and technology clients which it has. Glen Atchison: excellent commercial approach.‘
‘It has a very close team that works well together and is driven but balanced.‘
‘The team has excellent commercial acumen. Jonathan Burt – highly experienced and knowledgeable. Siena Gold – extremely good technically, mature, excellent judgement and delightful with clients.‘
‘Glen Atchison is a really commercial person – very solid on technical things and David Scott – a delight to work with and very competent.‘
‘Jonathan Burt: lightning-fast intellect. Siena Gold: incredibly thorough, bright and diligent.’
‘Jonathan Burt has a very strong practice and unique cross-border abilities: a leader in the private client field.‘
‘Jonathan Burt has an exceptional knowledge of the industry and extremely good working relationship with clients.’
‘Jonathan Burt and Siena Gold are intellectually excellent, have tremendous experience and great judgement.‘
‘David Scott is immensely calm, understated and reliable. Glen Atchison is deceptively clever and has a great commercial nose. Caroline Rao – we are particularly impressed with her attention to detail and grasp of the complex issues.’
- Advising two ultra-high-net-worth individuals, who made hundreds of millions of pounds through selling a disrupter tech-based company, on their wealth holding structures.
- Advised on the incorporation of a Cayman Islands PTC (by a Cayman Islands STAR trust), administered by Cayman Islands professional fiduciaries, to act as the trustee of a number of redomiciled family trusts.
- Advising client on the variation of a trust application to the Bermuda court, and on the qualification for business property relief for group of companies valued at £700m.
Howard Kennedy LLP advises wealthy clients, their families and advisers on their tax and estate planning matters. Clients include entrepreneurs, business owners, artists, authors as well as musicians and members of foreign royalty. Other clients include charities and sport professionals in the UK and overseas. The team also benefits from its wider private wealth offering, as it is well-placed to advise its clients on other matters such as family, immigration and issues affecting cultural property, in addition to reputational management issues. Head of team Liz Palmer, John Annetts and Simon Malkiel are all dual-qualified solicitors and chartered tax advisers.
- Providing ongoing UK trust, tax, legal and succession advice to members of an UHNW family and their offshore structures.
- Providing ongoing UK tax, structuring and succession advice concerning high-value UK residential properties held by senior members of an overseas royal family.
- Advising the executive management team of a large UK company that owns shares of significant value.
- Providing ongoing trust, tax/estate planning and succession advice to a prominent UHNW family.
- Dealing with the administration of a multimillion-pound estate which contains assets in the UK, Jersey, BVI and Belgium.
Clare Archer heads the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP that advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals, their families, family offices and private wealth firms on a wide range of complicated tax, family law and succession issues. Many of its clients have instructed the firm for generations to advise them on trust administration, succession planning and wills. The team is also skilled at advising on multi-jurisdictional matters and was pleased to recently add Ryan Myint to its ranks from Taylor Wessing LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Ryan Myint; Lucy Edwards
‘Ryan Myint is an exceptional lawyer who provides a thorough analysis for clients and helpful advice.‘
‘Lucy Edwards is an accomplished and knowledgeable private client lawyer with a great manner with clients.’
Stephenson Harwood acts for ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as family offices internationally and predominantly acts for entrepreneurial wealth generators. It has a particular focus on complex structuring with an international angle where a business or corporate structure is involved. It has niche expertise in advising on the UK tax treatment of international pensions. As well as the traditional private client services, it also advises its clients on a myriad of other issues such as private jets, super-yachts, art and white-collar crime. James Quarmby and Hugo Jenney are key contacts.
James Quarmby; Hugo Jenney
Other key lawyers:
‘I always get the feeling that the firm has a very good culture at all levels. This makes everyone easy to talk to and in turn, they speak in a language which is easy to understand, even when discussing very complex tax planning issues.‘
‘The team is very strong in international private client.‘
‘James Quarmby is excellent on tax and has a very good panoptic view of the global marketplace for private client services. He is very approachable and has mastery of his fields of expertise.‘
‘James Quarmby and Emily Osborne both have extensive technical knowledge, complete professionalism and explain things in a succinct, clear manner.’
‘Emily Osborne worked on this particular deal across multiple time zones and didn’t seem to sleep for days on end! However, the work product was well drafted, delivered on time and the transaction managed really efficiently and always in a positive way.‘
‘Friendly and commercial but also exceedingly bright and technically proficient. The team is a major player in the area, for good reason. Its established partners are intelligent and, crucially, available. The next tier of senior associates and junior partners is very promising.’
‘Emily Osborne – I have nothing but praise for her. She is exceedingly smart but never condescending. She has a wonderful manner and is a joy to work with. I have complete confidence in her.‘
Wedlake Bell LLP has a long-established team that provides advice on trusts and estates, tax planning, wills and succession planning as well as wealth preservation strategies for UK and international clients. It handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious private client and wealth management work. The group is also skilled in other areas such as mental capacity, elder law and court of protection work. In addition the team acts for both high-net-worth individuals and ultra-high-net-worth billionaires. The practice was pleased to recruit Matthew Braithwaite from BDB Pitmans.
Camilla Wallace; Andrew O’Keeffe; Jenny Cutts; Matthew Braithwaite
Other key lawyers:
Eleanor Metcalf; Ann Stanyer
‘A highly experienced team acting in valuable and difficult matters. Andrew O’Keeffe heads up a strong and highly proficient team.‘
‘Andrew O’Keeffe is excellent and provides top-quality advice at a very reasonable rate.’
‘Andrew O’Keeffe is a shrewd negotiator and a good tactician.’
‘Eleanor Metcalf makes herself very available and is responsive.‘
‘Eleanor Metcalf is accessible, practical and knows when to bring in colleagues in other areas, delegate to her team and has a good hands-on approach.‘
‘Camilla Wallace has an ability to connect with clients and communicate complex tax and legal issues with them in a comprehensible manner. She is very professional and technically very detailed.‘
‘Camilla Wallace is ambitious and manages a team well.‘
‘Ann Stanyer leads a very focused and dedicated team and encourages learning and good practice to maintain a high standard of work.‘
Burges Salmon LLP has a particular strength in acting for major landed estates and a large slice of the country’s aristocracy. It is increasingly acting for international and City-based clients and has added a number of the international super-rich to its client base. It is also involved in some of the largest and most complex trust restructuring work. It has been assisting some individuals, trustees and corporate entities on high-value disclosures to the HMRC under the Requirement to Correct legislation and has also advised on some major probate matters. John Barnett and Beatrice Puoti are well-regarded.
John Barnett; Beatrice Puoti
Other key lawyers:
Suzanna Harvey; Jim Aveline; Tom Hewitt; Catherine de Maid
‘Client-centric. Very technical. Personable. Stand-out partners are Suzanna Harvey, Beatrice Puoti, John Barnett.‘
‘John Barnett and his team can be relied upon to give clarity to the most complex situations.‘
‘John Barnett’s technical knowledge and ability is even more appealing coupled with his “cool as a cucumber” demeanour.‘
‘John Barnett combines strong technical ability with excellent interpersonal skills.‘
‘Beatrice Puoti is a genuine trusted adviser, her clients from what I can see think she is amazing.’
‘Beatrice Puoti’s lively and outgoing personality is matched by her knowledge and ability to apply practical solutions to complicated problems.‘
‘Suzanna Harvey is very good at explaining very complicated matters simply and in ways which are easily understood. She is also very practical and knowledgeable.‘
‘Jim Aveline is a safe and very capable pair of hands, combined with an engaging personality and a confidence-inspiring manner.‘
‘A safe pair of hands to deal with our wealthier clients who have some specialist needs. Very knowledgeable on trusts, inter-generational planning and multi-jurisdictional situations. Jim Aveline is very competent, reliable, reassuring and personable.‘
‘Catherine de Maid is very helpful and nothing is too much trouble.’
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a dedicated private wealth offering that comprises senior disputes, advisory and transactional lawyers who advise on various issues including structuring and tax advisory matters. It regularly advises institutional clients, trustees, insurers, beneficiaries and family offices as well as high-net-worth individuals. Client mandates include acting for some of the wealthiest families in Asia, the Middle East and Europe (including the UK). Richard Norridge heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Richard Norridge is knowledgeable and articulate. Approachable, but strong. Has been very good to deal with. Supported well by colleagues.‘
‘Pragmatic and commercial, as well as technically sound, it is an ambitious and motivated team that is keen to make its mark in what is a competitive area.‘
‘Gareth Keillor is very experienced and capable in offshore and in Russia/CIS/Ukraine matters. He is hardworking, bright, commercial and aware of – and sensitive to – clients’ needs.‘
Kingsley Napley LLP acts for weathy individuals both in the UK and overseas, many of whom are in the public eye, politicians and business people. James Ward, who is a full member of STEP and joined the firm from Seddons, heads the team that also includes Jim Sawer. Sawer is a registered wills draftsman in the Dubai International Finance Centre’s wills and probate registry and therefore is authorised to draft and advise on DIFC-compliant wills.
Other key lawyers:
Jim Sawer; Stephanie Mooney
‘What a lovely team of just downright good private client lawyers. It may be city based, but the lawyers are not above helping anyone, yet when required they can hit the highest notes. Jim Sawyer who listens like nobody I know. Stephanie Mooney for her adaptability and James Ward for his technical abilities.‘
‘The team has a very client friendly focus, which concentrates on the needs of the client and how they can best be delivered. Its focus is on giving the client exactly what they need in as simple manner as possible.‘
‘Constructive and helpful Jim Sawer – a practical adviser with an ability to communicate difficult concepts in a simple style.‘
‘The lawyers are caring, professional and sensitive to their clients’ needs. They deal with matters quickly and efficiently. I trust the team to do a great job.‘
‘Jim Sawer has an imaginative approach to get solutions.‘
‘The team treats us with respect and show they have our interests as their main concern. They respond in a quick and clear manner to our requests and see things through to our satisfaction plus go further than most to make sure we are fully satisfied.’
‘They genuinely care and make you feel special.’
- Acting as principal adviser to a high-profile sportsman on a number of complex tax, domicile and succession issues.
- Advising a famous media personality on tax and succession matters.
Michelmores LLP advises on all aspects of wealth structuring for wealthy individuals and their families, whether they are based in the UK or internationally. The tax, trust and succession team in London is augmented by lawyers who are based in Exeter and Bristol. The team has a qualified accountant and a chartered tax advisor so it is well-placed to advise on disputes with an international/offshore dimension that involve complex trust and corporate structures, as well as on complicated probate matters. Jonathan Riley heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Sandra Brown; James Radcliffe; Jennifer Ridgway
‘Jonathan Riley is very competent and experienced.‘
‘Michelmores delivers a quality service at a fraction of the price. Jonathan Riley is responsive, commercial pragmatic, bright and easy to work with.‘
‘To have this combination of experience and price efficiency is rare and extremely attractive to private families. Jonathan Riley is very charismatic and engaging and has forged a very good name.‘
‘Sandra Brown brings a wealth of experience and is able to translate this to ensure it is accessible to clients.‘
‘James Radcliffe is very pleasant to deal with and very competent.‘
‘James Radcliffe is very approachable and calm and clients of mine have appreciated his clear and concise advice.‘
‘I have been enormously impressed with Jennifer Ridgway’s diligence, speed of response, charm and technical know how across the whole range of private client issues.‘
‘Provides London-quality service and advice at regional prices.‘
Sarah Cormack now heads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP and joined the firm from Withers LLP in October 2018. Cormack is recommended for her work with very wealthy individuals and often advises on international asset holding structures and international family offices. She is skilled at advising on the governance of these structures as well as the use of private trust companies, protector and appointor entities, family councils and family constitutions. Most of her work spans multiple jurisdictions. Cambridge-based Chris Belcher is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Belcher; Gillian Kennedy-Smith
‘Sarah Cormack provides excellent customer service and has an excellent understanding of our business.’
‘It has a regional presence and covers domestic and international work. Client-centric. Highly technical and great service.‘
‘Gillian Kennedy-Smith is very experienced, but deals with clients compassionately to achieve their intentions in relation to their private wealth.‘
New Quadrant Partners LTD acts for a number of substantial landed estates and is also adept at advising on offshore trusts, foundations and other asset holding vehicles for clients with interests in various jurisdictions. In addition, the team is well-regarded for its advice on family governance and succession matters, as well as onshore trust administration and family office work. The group has been busy too in advising on the establishment and administration of charitable foundations. Louise Stoten heads the team. Paul Davidoff joined the team from Moon Beever.
Other key lawyers:
Marilyn McKeever; Jonathan Colclough; Zoë Camp; Paul Davidoff; Sophie Voelcker
‘It has the feel of being joined up as a firm and offers a full range of private client services.’
‘This firm provides top-quality advice and service at affordable prices. Louise Stoten is exceptionally shrewd, commercial and pragmatic.‘
‘Louise Stoten is incredibly devoted to the profession. She is practical, pragmatic and very thorough in the advice she provides. She is able to identify potential issues and propose solutions in a practical manner.‘
‘Marilyn McKeever’s technical knowledge is very thorough. She can answer almost any question immediately on any relevant subject. Marilyn’s advice is measured.‘
‘Jonathan Colclough has a good knowledge of international and UK laws.‘
‘Zoë Camp is excellent, incredibly practical and can explain complicated and archaic matters in a language that clients understand. I use her for all my A list talent clients and she is discreet and knowledgeable.’
‘I have had the pleasure of working with Paul Davidoff on various non-contentious matters over the course of the last few years. He is an experienced private client lawyer.‘
‘Sophie Voelcker is technically very prepared and also very thorough in her approach.‘
Osborne Clarke LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP focuses on high-value and complex private client work for entrepreneurs and international families. It has an excellent track record of acting for clients on the formation and management of UK and offshore trusts and receives a steady flow of instructions for US-related private client matters from UK/US accountants and US law firms. Stuart Janaway heads the department and has a particular strength in acting for international clients and private banks/investment managers as well as trust companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is client-centric, technical and user friendly – Stuart Janaway is recommended.‘
‘The team is young, vibrant and ambitious and has grown rapidly over the last few years due to its technical ability and client-friendly approach.‘
‘It has an excellent understanding of international tax issues that arise now when dealing with both entrepreneurs and families.‘
‘Stuart Janaway has a depth of knowledge and understanding and is personable and easy to deal with. He has a great understanding of the international issues that arise.’
‘Both Andrew Goodman and Stuart Janaway have the combined mix of skills required to give a quality service, namely excellent technical skills mixed with a very personal and commercial approach to matters.‘
Stevens & Bolton LLP does a broad range of complex work, from international tax planning for UHNW non-domiciliaries to landed estates and estate administration. In addition to receiving referrals from London private banks, firms of accountants and local IFAs, much of its work also comes from Magic Circle, US and top 20 law firms that do not have a private client team. As head of team, Stuart Skeffington has extensive experience of all aspects of tax, trusts and charities, including complex onshore and offshore trust structures, tax-efficient strategies for non-UK domiciliaries and tax planning for business owners.
Other key lawyers:
Rosie Todd; Nick Acomb; Daryl Fox; James Hardaker; Harriet Irving
‘The team is responsive and very approachable and takes the time to understand the needs of clients and to consider the best solutions. It is excellent at explaining issues in an accessible way and outlining the potential solutions. The partners manage their teams very well and are closely involved with transactions.‘
‘An excellent legal team that works well together to get the best results for its client. The entire team has always delivered excellent services and innovative thinking.‘
‘Stuart Skeffington is an excellent head of group – clients warm to him and he is very well practised at getting to the bottom of their situations and recommending appropriate solutions.‘
‘Stuart Skeffington has guided us through the process of setting up a UK trust and also advice for trusts with UK residents as beneficiaries. He has been able to make us think about the big picture before diving into technical details.‘
‘Stuart Skeffington is very knowledgeable and provides timely and commercial advice.‘
‘Rosie Todd is a very poised and capable partner, with a great understanding of the needs of clients and a practical, user-friendly style.‘
‘Rosie Todd and Harriet Irving both are clearly very capable and, importantly, they understand the family and our objectives. Advice is always clear. Meetings are always cordial.’
‘Nick Acomb’s approach is very thorough, technically very correct and his ability to explain and implement actions is exceptional .’
‘Nick Acomb and Daryl Fox are quietly competent and instil confidence in their clients.‘
‘James Hardaker is great.‘
Michael Knowles heads a well-respected team at VWV that advises on the full range of private client matters, from wills and trusts to complex estate administration and inheritance tax planning. Clients include wealthy landowning families who have been with the firm for years, as well as wealthy entrepreneurs, foreign nationals and City professionals. Many of its clients are well-known and include celebrities in the performing arts and some politicians. The group also specialises in heritage property advice and offers specialist advice to artists and owners of art. Judith Cuxson is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Judith Cuxson is friendly, diligent and trustworthy: the consummate trusted advisor.‘
- Advising on a cross-border estate planning matter involving four jurisdictions, a family investment company and advice on enveloped dwellings.
- Advising on an ultra-high-net-worth matter involving a landed estate and settled land.
- Advising on a complex estate administration involving a lifetime tax-saving scheme.
- Advising on an estate administration of an ultra-high-net-worth individual who was US/UK dual national, who owned an important collection of art.
- Advised on the administration of an estate with a poorly written homemade will, in which the estate was left to the deceased’s old school.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP has been busy advising on trusts, high-net-worth estate planning and probate matters as well as high-value matrimonial and residential issues. It has particular expertise in advising non-UK resident, wealthy, non-domiciled individuals and family offices on various issues. The firm continues to act for a number of landed estates but increasingly it is representing entrepreneurs, UK and foreign domiciled trusts and individuals as well as other entities such as agents acting on behalf of incapacitated individuals. Hugh MacDougald heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Snaith; Dhana Sabanathan; Emi Page
‘This is a responsive and highly skilled team which has decades of experience across private client matters and cross-border trusts‘.
‘A really high quality of firm, flying well below the radar. Clients value the team for the quality of technical expertise provided in an understated manner.‘
‘Tim Snaith is a good-quality private client solicitor who is comfortable in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious areas of private client law. He is calm and precise and knows his stuff.’
‘Tim Snaith – bright, charming, knowledgeable personable, understanding, efficient. He filled me with confidence.‘
‘Tim Snaith is proactive without being overly pushy. He has managed to get complex work completed for incredibly busy people, which has required persistence and patience on his part.‘
‘Tim Snaith – very sensible, focused on getting the deal done, delivers good-quality advice.’
‘The team works diligently to come up with a solution for its clients. Dhana Sabanathan is a pleasure to work with and has a wonderful work ethic.’
‘Dhana Sabanathan has great in-depth tax knowledge and a proactive approach to solving complex problems involving offshore trust and company structures.‘
‘Dhana Sabanathan is exceptionally approachable, and has built a team of very competent associates who share her view on client interaction and service.‘
‘Emi Page is clearly going to be a star and has proven to be capable of providing well-thought through support to Tim.‘
Blake Morgan LLP has a particular focus on advising on the holding and acquisition of UK residential property and owner-managed businesses. The team routinely advises on issues relating to the tax efficiency and management of property holdings from an investment and development point of view. In addition the group advises on the full gamut of tax matters from inheritance tax to issues on residency and domicile for primarily non-resident and/or non-domiciled individuals, trusts and corporate entities. It is also adept at advising on the administration of estates with cross-border elements where there are conflict of law issues or disputes between beneficiaries. Mark Spash heads the team
Other key lawyers:
‘Arshoo Singh is superb.‘
‘Arshoo Singh was exceptionally friendly and courteous in her dealings with me.’
‘Arshoo Singh is an excellent private client lawyer who has the great advantage of understanding the contentious side. She is delightful to work with.‘
‘Mark Spash has good client-handling skills.‘
- Representing the executors of an estate of an Australian domicile in connection with the deceased’s multimillion-pound UK business assets.
- Providing estate planning advice on a literary estate.
- Advising in connection with a client’s income tax and capital gains tax liability on undeclared offshore income and gains of a six-figure sum.
- Advising on the legal and beneficial ownership of the client’s corporate and/or trust structures.
- Advising and supporting two different generations of a family.
A large proportion of the work that Cripps Pemberton Greenish does focuses on tax and succession planning with an international element. Clients include members of the English aristocracy, ultra-net-worth individuals as well as sports personalities and musicians. It also works for numerous non-dom clients and the primary focus of the practice is on individuals who have assets of over £10m. The London team has two dedicated trust managers (one of whom is a qualified accountant) who can deal with annual compliance, trust accounts, tax returns and related matters for its London clients. They also deal with many of its clients’ personal tax affairs. Jeremy Curtis heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Jeremy Curtis – calm, sensible, practical and approachable’.
‘Jeremy Curtis provides innovative advice that he is able to explain in an understandable way‘.
‘Jeremy Curtis is a perfect, discrete, steady and wise private client adviser‘.
‘John Goodchild has an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of wills, trust and tax, and probate and a wealth of experience which, most importantly and unlike others, he delivers in a user-friendly manner keeping jargon to a minimum‘.
‘A true private client firm and a strong team of trusted advisors. John Goodchild is excellent – approachable, pragmatic and clients trust him. A first-class private client lawyer‘.
‘The team adopts a creative approach tailored to each client’s specific priorities, rather than bombarding the client with generic advice. John Goodchild is particularly highly rated by clients for finding solutions to difficult and sensitive problems‘.
Fladgate LLP gives complex tax and wealth structuring advice to domestic and international families, entrepreneurs and fiduciaries. Much of its work is for non-domiciled clients who are resident both in the UK and abroad, and their asset holding structures. The private wealth practice also provides tax advice to international wealthy clients of its property group who are looking to use foundations, trusts and companies to structure their high-end London residential and commercial property acquisitions tax-efficiently. Neal Todd heads the team that includes Matthew Bennett.
Other key lawyers:
Gordon Dadds advises on estate and succession planning matters with a particular focus on domicile issues and the administration of estates where domicile is an issue. The team is also skilled at advising on succession structures to help with the inheritance of both business and property assets. John Burrell , Anna Coakes and Roger Peters are all recommended.
John Burrell; Anna Coakes; Roger Peters
‘Roger Peters always gives sage advice. We value his experience.’
‘I know that Roger Peters has my true interests at heart.’
‘A very sensible, balanced, experienced, client-friendly approach. Stand-out partner is Roger Peters.’
‘Anna Coakes and her team make this practice unique; I am always reassured by the team’s knowledge, response times and down to earth approach. Sensible, personable and easy to follow advice.’
- Advising on the probate of a high-profile public figure in the food and literary world.
- Advising on a trust amendment and partition.
- Advising on a cross-border contentious probate dispute .
Ian Bowyer heads the team at Greenwoods GRM in London. Bowyer has extensive knowledge of onshore trusts and probate work. He routinely deals with high-value estates where there is heritage property. Senior associate Muna Rogoff advises clients on mental health-related issues such as lasting powers of attorney and deputyships.
Other key lawyers:
Muna Rogoff; Philip Carter
‘The quality of personal attention has been deeply appreciated.‘
‘Muna Rogoff is very approachable and very good at making suggestions as well as giving practical advice on a personal level. She makes time for her clients and responds promptly. Philip Cater, Ian Bowyer and Muna’s knowledge of their practice area is second to none.‘
‘Philip Carter, unlike other solicitors I have used, is always on top of all the detail, never drops the ball and never lets the work linger on his desk.‘
‘Philip Carter, in a challenging client situation, has always been thorough and efficient as well as handling the client situation with empathy and sensitivity.‘
GSC Solicitors LLP acts for international ultra-high-net-worth clients across a number of jurisdictions, with particular experience with Pakistani and Indian clients. It is a team that is experienced at working with people from different cultures and as a result has gained an insight into the cultural sensitivities surrounding money and family. Saleem Sheikh heads the team and regularly advises on issues such as succession planning for children coming into a business or protecting assets for married couples through prenuptial agreements or trusts.
Other key lawyers:
‘Saleem Sheikh and James Cohen are very quick at grasping the situation.‘
‘James Cohen is very smart, practical and responsive.‘
‘Very ‘hands-on’ partner-driven firm from MP down. The team is always available and does provide a first-class service.‘
‘It is a well-managed and very helpful team.‘
Moon Beever acts for a variety of UK and non-UK clients including high-net-worth individuals, SMEs, business owners/managers and the elderly on all aspects of wills, trusts and the administration of estates, as well as on personal and trusts taxation. Other areas of expertise lie in the creation and administration of charities and the administration of testate and intestate estates. It has a particular expertise in older unadministered estates or estates where there are missing or unknown beneficiaries. Richard Boulding heads the team.
‘The whole team has huge experience with probate and intestacy.‘
‘Richard Boulding has huge experience, with an aptitude for getting the right solutions.‘
- Advising on a case that needed a DNA analysis from the deceased’s body.
- Assisting its client with capital tax planning in her domicile in South Africa.
- Advising on a high-net-worth individual’s estate – a well-known British actress.
- Advising the beneficiary of funds held at court.
- Advising the administrator of an intestate estate.
Royds Withy King acts for entrepreneurs and business owners on their UK tax and estate planning matters, as well as for international clients looking to move to, invest in or leave the UK. Tony Millson’s work spans tax and estate planning, the administration and winding up of trusts as well as lasting powers of attorney and court of protection matters. Deanna Hurst acts for individuals (mostly business owners) and charities on a broad range of matters.
Tony Millson; Deanna Hurst
‘The team has a very nurturing approach to dealing with clients, especially those elderly clients we often refer to them. They have the breath and depth of knowledge needed to provide the advice while delivering it in a way that is understandable to the lay person.‘
‘Deanna Hurst is proactive and professional.’
‘Deanna Hurst provides a wonderful personal and professional service to each of her clients and is always timely in her advice/communications.‘
‘Tony Millson is outstanding due to his diligence and knowledge from the length of his experience.‘
- Advised on the administration of a client’s multimillion-pound estate.
- Drafted a complex will and advised on family and business succession planning.
- Advised the client on lifetime gifting, advising on the IHT and CGT implications of gifting shares and real property, putting together and executing a gifting plan and the re-writing of the client’s will.
- Advising on the administration of the estate of a deceased young man and the sale of properties to repay borrowings.
- Provided immigration advice to a client who was looking to come to the UK from Brazil.
Stone King LLP provides the full range of services for older clients. It advises clients on various matters such as powers of attorney, wills and estate planning and in addition the group is well-versed in international succession and probate matters. The group is skilled at advising on diverse matters, from lasting powers of attorney and applications to the Court of Protection through to advising on private family trusts. In London Rod Smith is a key contact and Bath-based Alison Allen and Daniel Harris are also recommended.
Rod Smith; Alison Allen; Daniel Harris
- Acting as executor of a £2m estate – planning, arranging and meeting the care needs of 96-year-old mother of deceased.
Patrick Wooddisse heads the team at TLT and is an experienced private client tax and estate planning lawyer with broad expertise across UK and international tax planning and trust issues. In addition, Wooddisse has niche specialism in UK/US tax planning. The department is adept at advising leading UK banks on complex trust matters as well as advising major trust companies on succession planning. Other areas of expertise lie in advising high-net-worth UK and non-UK residents on property, tax , trust, estate and succession planning issues. Associate Tristan Smale provides tax and trust advice to individuals, families, trustees and financial institutions.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Williamson; Tristan Smale
‘It is knowledgeable, commercially minded and pragmatic and provides an excellent service on a par with more expensive firms. The lawyers are also very approachable and pleasant’.
‘Patrick Wooddisse is excellent. He is particularly good at simplifying complex matters and dealing with them in a sensible, pragmatic and cost effective way’.
‘Chris Williamson is consistently quick to respond, has a great ‘bedside manner’ with our clients and provides a reliable, efficient, cost-effective solution‘.
‘Chris Williamson provides great value for his services. His willingness to assist is first-class and our clients have highly praised his work for the detail provided and for the fact that it is presented in a way that is easy to understand‘.
‘Its expertise is exceptional and all team members are always willing to go the extra mile. The advice is always well detailed and to the point‘.
- Advised on complex technical tax issues relating to the bank’s presence in the UK and to payment of interest on their customers’ savings.
- Advised a well-known person on the preparation of a will and wider tax and succession planning issues including dealing with international image rights.
- Advising on the administration of the client’s estate in Egypt, BVI and UK including complex international succession advice, dealing with disputed ownership of BVI companies, Swiss bank accounts and Jersey and BVI trustees.
- Advised on UK and US tax and succession following the death of the client’s wealthy mother in the United States.
- Acting as an exclusive provider of trust advice for the bank on ad hoc issues.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
Clients of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP benefit from a large team of lawyers, chartered accountants, chartered advisers and chartered financial planners in the private wealth department nationally. It continues to be instructed in the administration of high-value estates, frequently involving complex trust issues. Alexander Dickinson specialises in succession, asset protection and estate planning matters for landowners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. Neil Long advises wealthy clients and trustees on estate planning and capital tax matters.
Neil Long; Alexander Dickinson
‘Experienced and resourceful team that will tackle anything efficiently.‘
‘The team makes things happen. Alexander Dickinson is an excellent communicator who has good commercial skills.‘
‘What sets the team apart is its ability to communicate effectively with its clients.’