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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 > North West > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

The team at Addleshaw Goddard  ‘is without doubt the first team to turn to in the North West for an UNHW business owner’. It is praised for its ‘all-round knowledge and appreciation of the interaction between personal and business assets’. There is ‘real strength and depth in the team’ under the leadership of Yorke Eaton; Eaton and managing associate Christopher Noel, who has recently joined DWF, are ‘both technically excellent and very knowledgeable’. Eaton specialises in complex trust issues and advising trustees on their duties and liabilities when dealing with business assets. Associate Joe Cobb is also ‘very knowledgeable’. Highlights included advising NFU Mutual on its internal policies for dealing with bereavement, vulnerable customers and powers of attorney. The team has also been increasingly advising international individuals and trustees of offshore trusts on UK residence, domicile and tax issues.

Brabners LLP's practice is headed by the ‘highly rated, experienced and knowledgeable’ Duncan Bailey . Steven Appleton  is ‘technically gifted and has superb client-facing skills’. Associate Sue Mackintosh is ‘extremely competent’. Associate Emma Agamian and solicitor Alexandra Williams  are ‘technically gifted with very good client-handling skills’. ‘Knowledgeable and practical’ consultant Pamela Wilson is also recommended. The team continues to act for intergenerational families. and regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on diverse matters such as on complex estate planning issues, wills, trusts, family investment companies as well as on court of protection matters. Mark Feeny  deals with public limited companies and landed estate families and has considerable expertise in family investment companies. He also acts as a professional attorney executor and trustee.

Hill Dickinson LLP's ‘well-regarded team’ provides a ‘professional yet very personal service that makes clients feel at ease’. David Chinn leads the practice, which includes Fionnuala Kenny, who advises wealthy clients on all aspects of succession planning with a particular focus on trusts and settlements. Paul Baker specialises in capital tax planning for UK domiciled and non UK domiciled clients and on trust and estate administration. Baker also advises on complex wills, estate and succession planning for owner managed businesses and charities in addition to international tax planning for high-net-worth clients. Legal director Susan Sherry  is ‘very diligent and extremely focused on her clients. The team works with various high-profile people in the world of retail, politics, entertainment and sports on matters such as asset protection in a matrimonial context. It also works with the family team on pre- and post-nuptial agreements and on co-habitation agreements. Sean Williams  joined Gateley Plc .

Hugh Jones Solicitors' ‘service in mental capacity law is second to none; the firm genuinely understands the needs of vulnerable people and their families and carers and does all it can to meet their needs’. Hugh Jones  has a ‘depth of experience that is outstanding; he always ensures that his clients’ capacity is addressed’. Elizabeth Hughes  is ‘very knowledgeable of all Court of Protection matters and is always focused on getting the right outcome for the client’. Carol McBride has the ‘ability to deal seamlessly with challenging clients who have a brain injury; she is always measured, thoughtful and very understanding of the issues relating to litigation, family matters, capacity and the frustrations that clients experience’. Senior associate Chris Gallagher has ‘experience beyond his PQE – nothing is too much trouble’. Solicitor Rachel Dobson  ‘fills her client with confidence’.

The team at JMW Solicitors LLP  is ‘superb and very strong’. The ‘exemplary’ Tasnim Khalid heads the department; ‘her technical expertise is second to none and her personable nature is endearing’. Elaine Roche is ‘always calm, empathetic and extremely good at explaining clearly and in plain English what might otherwise be very complicated and full of legalese’. Highlights included acting as executors of an estate which was worth £7.8m and was left entirely to charity. The funds in the estate had come from several very valuable paintings that had been restituted to the family after they had been taken by the Nazis. The administration of the estate has now been completed and the funds have been paid out to various faith-based charities in the North West and overseas. Paul Gotch  is ‘very experienced’ at protecting clients who have been awarded compensation for a personal injury or clinical negligence claim through the use of a personal injury trust.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP  offers a ‘client-friendly, easy to understand service that is backed up with accurate technical knowledge and other departments within the firm to deliver a complete solution to whatever the clients need’. Graham Wood  is ‘highly skilled at drafting trust documentation; he has a very detailed knowledge and expertise in personal and trust tax issues and leaves no stone unturned’. Paul Bricknell has ‘superb attention to detail and the advice he gives is not just factually correct but more importantly always relevant to the particular circumstances at issue’. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Lauren Clyne  is also recommended as is associate David Chambers. Clients include a fifth of the North West Rich List including three of the top ten and a quarter of the top 20 family-owned businesses in the region.

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP  has a ‘broad spread of skills with superb attention to detail. The team can think quickly on its feet and explains complex matters in an easy to understand way’. Deborah Clark is ‘particularly highly regarded for her work in family investment companies’. The ‘tenacious’ Tony Hall  ‘seeks out answers to the most complex of problems; his knowledge is immense but just as important is his ability to convey solutions to clients on very complex issues’. The ‘highly experienced and professional’ Zahra Siddiqui can ‘translate the most sophisticated legal advice into client-friendly language’. Its focus is on wealth and estate planning for high-net-worth clients (often multi-generational) for the North West and beyond.

The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Clive Pointon  heads the team at Aaron & Partners LLP . Pointon has a ‘wealth of experience. He is friendly, approachable and offers suggestions about complex legal issues in an articulate and readily understandable way’. James Wallace  is ‘excellent in every way. He is very professional but also very personable and knowledgeable’. Capital tax work remains the mainstay of the practice. Pointon is also well regarded for his work as a court of protection deputy and is increasingly advising elderly retirees about repatriating foreign assets. The firm’s involvement in deputyship matters throughout the North and mid Wales remains significant.

DWF's team is headed by the ‘very strong’ Paul Davies, who is a qualified solicitor, accountant, tax adviser and member of STEP. The team handles the full gamut of private client work with particular expertise in supporting business owners/entrepreneurs and high-net-worth families with both UK and international assets on complex tax planning opportunities. The team is praised for its ‘timely and useful advice’. Christopher Noel recently joined from Addleshaw Goddard. Consultant Alan Sturrock has retired.

Christine Thornley heads an ‘extremely competent and professional’ team at Gorvins Solicitors. Senior associate Tasoula Addison ’s ‘main strength is not only her experience and expertise in this field but the fact that she listens and cares about the people she represents who are often involved in a very emotional family disputes’. The team has been continuing to develop particular expertise in succession planning for business owners as well as trust planning for families with disabled children. In addition it is adept at advising on succession planning for sports persons as well as having considerable skill in dementia and court of protection work, contentious probate work and statutory wills work.

The ‘technically very strong’ team at Linder Myers  is praised for its ‘excellent client management skills coupled with its timely advice –crucially it keeps to deadlines’. Practice head Andrew Cusworth is ‘absolutely at the top of his game; he is very sensible, remains very calm and is brilliant at finding solutions to the most intractable of problems’. Cusworth deals with high-net-worth individuals and complex estates but is also a panel deputy. He splits his time between private client and court of protection work. Associate Gareth Williams  is STEP qualified and has ‘excellent people skills and delivers a first-class service to all clients’. The team acts as executors and trustees on a large number of estates including estates that are high value and with foreign assets.

Myerson Solicitors LLP   has a ‘professional and client-focused’ team. Head of department Amanda Freeman has ‘experience that is second to none and she provides a very good and no-nonsense service at a fair price’. The ‘very professional, kind and supportive’ Bik-ki Irving  has ‘fantastic knowledge of her field which she always communicated to me very efficiently’. The ‘very personable and practical’ Clara Staunton  is ‘able to prioritise things well and is prompt at responding’. The ‘exceptionally professional, solution focused and realistic’ team has three STEP qualified lawyers. It advises on a wide spectrum of issues to high-net-worth individuals and families such as inheritance tax mitigation and on complex family structures, trusts and estates.

SAS Daniels LLP   is ‘large enough to have the expertise in-house but not too large to lose the personal touch which is so important to clients. The team is technically extremely capable and all team members have an excellent bedside manner’. The ‘extremely professional’ Justine Clowes  heads the team, which includes the ‘helpful, skilled and personable’ Helen Kelly, the ‘very friendly and efficient’ Helen Gowin, and associate Victoria Timothy. Solicitor Genevieve Powrie  ‘takes the time to help to find the best solutions for people’. The group advises on the administration of complex and high value estates where there are foreign assets or agricultural/business property. It is also skilled at advising on wealth planning for a variety of clients including advising on the preparation of wills for parents of children with learning difficulties.

Slater and Gordon has considerable expertise in dealing with long term tax planning and trusts for landed and farming families and for advising parents with disabled children. It also provides a wills service for large trade unions and works closely with its large personal injury and clinical negligence departments. James Beresford  heads the team and has considerable expertise in dealing with the administration of estates and advising clients on drafting wills, lasting powers of attorney and on trusts.

The team at Weightmans LLP  was strengthened by the arrival of Richard Bate from Brabners LLP; Bate, who heads the department, has a particular specialism in tax mitigation and assists business owners and those with complicated family arrangements/ asset structures on succession planning and wealth protection. He is a professional trustee of numerous family trusts and acts as an attorney for elderly clients. James Knowles is also recommended for his specialism in providing capital tax planning advice to high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

Butcher & Barlow LLP  provides a ‘great level of service with a friendly and caring attitude’. Head of department Chris Hopkins  ‘puts things across to his clients in simple and straightforward terms, providing quality and well-thought-through advice and recommendations’. Hopkins is involved in the management of a number of trust funds totalling several million pounds. Philip Jennings assists with estate and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals and is a ‘good communicator who operates to the highest ethical standards when dealing with a vulnerable client’. Mike Bracegirdle is particularly strong on planning for agricultural clients and ‘can explain legal procedure in a way that makes it easily understandable and therefore less stressful’.

Forbes Solicitors has a ‘very efficient and knowledgeable’ team led by recently promoted partner Patricia Prescott. Prescott ensures that ‘clients are well looked after and that the team provides a service to a very high standard’. The team advises on wills, personal tax, probate, trusts and estates as well as on tax/business succession planning. It also regularly acts for high-net-worth individuals including landowners and farmers. Prescott also regularly advises on lasting powers of attorney, court of protection matters and on all aspects of elderly client issues.

The ‘very approachable and responsive’ Kathryn Harwood  heads the department at Napthens LLP . ‘She takes the time to understand what clients want to achieve and then offers solutions’. Harwood advises clients on various matters such as reducing the liability to inheritance tax as well as planning for long term care and the succession of family businesses. She routinely advises landed estates. Senior associate Charlotte Cooper  is also recommended. The team’s ‘response times are excellent’.

DTM Legal LLP  provides a ‘very professional service’ under the leadership of the ‘very approachable and knowledgeable’ Duncan McAllister . Associate Amanda Bailey  is ‘technically very competent and pays close attention to detail. She builds up an excellent relationship with her clients’. McAllister has advised on a number of cases for overseas beneficiaries. Bailey has advised on a large matter where the estate is approximately £6m. On this matter she has established a family investment company and has advised the whole family on their wills, tax planning, lasting powers of attorney, tax planning for a holiday home and on business property relief.

Hall Smith Whittingham LLP   has a ‘highly professional, speedy and supportive team’ with Alison Greatbanks at the helm. She along with solicitor Hugh Lewis-Morgan (who is ‘prompt and is very good at keeping people informed’) both ‘put people at their ease, are knowledgeable and patient in presenting information to people’. Angela Lewis  is also recommended. The department is regularly instructed on the full spectrum of issues including court of protection applications, challenging care fees, inheritance tax planning as well as general elderly care issues.

Hibberts LLP  advises on all aspects of probate and court of protection work as well as on complex trust matters and personal lifetime income tax issues under the leadership of the ‘knowledgeable’ Anne Walley . Walley has a particular interest in dealing with the administration of estates. The team works closely with the agricultural department and also does a significant amount of contentious probate work including advising on complex testamentary capacity issues and on Inheritance Act claims.

JWK Solicitors provides ‘sound person-centred advice which it gives in an efficient and sympathetic manner at a reasonable cost’. Sarah Murphy has a ‘calm and unhurried manner which is reassuring when dealing with older clients. She is a clear communicator too’. Murphy has a financial and welfare attorney appointment for a retired model and actress of stage and screen who now lacks mental capacity. The team has also been instructed to administer the estate of a UK national whose executors and beneficiaries are residents of New Zealand and the USA respectively.

Lesley Sullivan  heads a ‘professional’ team at MLP Law LLP . Sullivan advises business owners on how to structure their wills in a tax efficient way and regularly works closely with the corporate department to ensure that the company documents tie in with the clients’ wills. She also provides estate planning advice to wealthy individuals including advice on the establishment of lifetime trusts. She routinely advises and administers high value trusts and estates.

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

12 September | 6pm | Manchester

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