Personal tax, trusts and probate in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Sitting within the firm's corporate department, Addleshaw Goddard’s personal tax, trusts and probate team primarily handles high-value estate planning and trust restructuring mandates. The group’s key clients include banks, trust companies, corporate shareholders, entrepreneurs, regional businesses and high-net-worth individuals; it is also increasingly advising international individuals and trustees of offshore trusts on UK residence, domicile and tax issues. The team is headed by Manchester-based Yorke Eaton, who also specialises in capital tax planning work for business owners.

Practice head(s):

Yorke Eaton

Brabners LLP

Headed up by Duncan Bailey, who specialises in high-value, high-profile trust and tax planning matters, Brabners LLP’s private client team continues to act for intergenerational families and high-net-worth individuals on a myriad of matters in the private client space. Notable work includes mandates relating to complex estate planning issues, wills, trusts and family investment companies, as well as Court of Protection matters. In Liverpool, the team is headed by Louise Scholes, the Manchester team is led by the 'extremely personable' Steven Appleton, and, in Preston, Sarah Murphy is the department’s most senior lawyer. Liverpool-based Mark Feeny is another name to note.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Feeny

Testimonials

‘They are definitely client-focused and not fee-driven.’

‘Steve Appleton is a star. He is extremely personable and has a great client-facing style. His technical ability is also without question.’

‘We have had an excellent experience in our dealings with Brabners.’

DWF

DWF’s team predominantly focuses on supporting regional businesses and the related family interests, specifically acting for entrepreneurs, high-net-worth families and trusts on a variety of matters. Key areas of strength are capital tax and pre-sale planning work, the preparation of wills, trust and lasting powers of attorney mandates, estate and trust administrations, and issues relating to complex tax planning vehicles including family investment companies, limited partnerships and family offices. The Manchester team is led by Christopher Noel, who was promoted to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Noel

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP has a strong track record in advising high-net-worth individuals on succession planning issues, with a particular focus on the tax implications of estates. Clients include business owners, professionals, landowners and sports and media personalities. Headed up by the 'technically astute' Fionnuala Kenny, the team also includes legal director Susan Sherry, who focuses on the protection of vulnerable clients. Paul Baker is also singled out and specialises in offshore tax planning work and advising on domicile and residence issues, as well as offshore trusts and alternative structures.

Practice head(s):

Fionnuala Kenny

Other key lawyers:

Susan Sherry; Paul Baker

Testimonials

‘The team provides reliable timely advice and comprehensive solutions to clients’ problems.’ 

‘The practice is unique because of the quality, personal service provided.’ 

‘Fionnuala Kenny stands out from her peers because she takes the trouble to understand the needs of the client, is technically astute, and provides advice that is always relevant and practical.’

Hugh Jones Solicitors

Boutique firm Hugh Jones Solicitors specialises in mental incapacity issues and Court of Protection matters. Led by name partner Hugh Jones, the specialist team includes Elizabeth Hughes and senior associate Chris Gallagher. The firm has a growing focus on the health and welfare field, and the Court of Protection team can also draw on support from the wider firm's private client, conveyancing and property specialists.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Jones

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Hughes; Chris Gallagher

Testimonials

‘Chris Gallagher and Hugh Jones genuinely care about our family and take away all of the hassle relating to running a care team. They have also helped us deal with problems with our local healthcare providers and always look for practical solutions to our problems.’

‘Liz Hughes provides robust pragmatic advice and opinions, in a cost-effective and always timely manner.’

‘Elizabeth Hughes has a very caring nature and is very empathetic.’

‘Christopher Gallagher provides a very high level of service and is very well respected by his peers.’

‘Hugh Jones always demonstrates a personable, inclusive manner and I am always impressed by his wide ranging knowledge.’

‘Elizabeth Hughes is committed to her clients and strives to provide the best possible service. She is communicative and receptive to suggestions to resolve complex issues, giving possible solutions balanced and fair consideration. Liz is friendly and approachable to her clients and other professionals and will seek advice from her colleagues to ensure that as much information is available when required and the client receives a positive and supportive service.’

‘We have been involved with this firm for over 30 years and Hugh Jones has been nothing less than outstanding. The team supporting him have picked up the baton and have been of the highest quality.’

‘Hugh Jones is a leader in his field – a great jovial personality with a wealth of knowledge and expertise which he shares with all of his personnel.’

JMW Solicitors LLP

Tasnim Khalid leads the Manchester-based team at JMW Solicitors LLP, which is highly adept at handling complex estate planning issues, with particular expertise in family investment companies and trust planning work. As well as dealing on a regular basis with charitable trusts, the firm also has extensive experience in cross-jurisdictional wills and estates, where it advises high-profile sports and media personalities. Other clients include family business owners, landed gentry and farming families, which the group assists with agricultural property relief and business property relief issues. In autumn 2020 a 14-strong Court of Protection team led by Megan Christie-Copeland and Andrew Cusworth joined the firm from Linder Myers.

Practice head(s):

Tasnim Khalid

Testimonials

‘Tasnim Khalid assembles the most appropriate people with availability and agrees on a plan of action with me at the outset. A regular update on progress is always available.’ 

‘Andrew Cusworth has excellent knowledge of the issues. He is wasy to engage with and able to break down the information in a format that is understandable by a varying degree of experience that individuals have.’ 

‘Andrew Cusworth and Megan Christie have many Deputyships in their name and are very experienced. They are quick to react and understand client needs; they are always prepared to go the extra mile.’

‘Megan Christie-Copeland’s hard work and attention to detail have clearly engendered her team’s trust. She is always smiling, has a ‘can-do’ attitude, and is a pleasure to work with.’ 

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP regularly advises business owners and leading sports personalities and their families on a wide range of private client matters including complex tax planning issues, family disputes, family-asset protection work, wills, probate mandates and matters pertaining to the Office of the Public Guardian, Court of Protection and powers of attorney. The team is led by Graham Wood, who is particularly experienced in tax and estates matters which contain an international element.

Practice head(s):

Graham Wood

Testimonials

‘The private client team has a breadth of knowledge in the family business arena that is difficult to match for value. They get the balance between tax and law right which makes them ideal to work with as a tax adviser.’

‘Paul Bricknell stands out for me, always generous with his time he is an outstanding legal adviser for a business owner.’ 

‘Graham Wood has worked with us for a number of years. He’s quick to respond and very supportive. Nothing is too much trouble.’

‘As a team they are efficient, always available and make you feel valued at a client.’ 

‘Stand out partners are Lauren Clyne and Paul Bricknell.’ 

Key clients

Crown Oil Limited

DanceSyndrome Charity

Park Charitable Trust

Recommended adviser to clients of Personal Financial Planning Limited

Recommended adviser to clients of Swisspartners

Recommended adviser to clients of UBS Private Bank Zurich

Stoller Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising on legal arrangements for the Stoller Charitable Trust, dealing with donations to, and agreements with, over 20 recipient charities, including  distributions in excess of £50m for projects in Manchester.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The Mills & Reeve LLP team in Manchester is headed up by Deborah Clark, who is recognised in the region for advising high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs on estate planning matters and the design and implementation of family investment companies. The team, which also includes the vastly experienced Tony Hall and trust specialist Zahra Siddiqui, also advises on succession issues, including those with a cross-border element. Another name to note is senior associate Charlotte Shaughnessy, who has experience acting for high-value estates.

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Shaughnessy

Testimonials

‘The team work most efficiently together’

‘A good attention to detail and a prompt efficient service.’

 

Myerson Solicitors LLP

The 'highly knowledgeable' and 'empathetic' team at Myerson Solicitors LLP works for high-net-worth clients and their families, managing multi-million-pound trusts and dealing with the administration of estates, deputyship issues, wills and estates succession planning work, and inheritance tax mitigation. The team, led by Bik-ki Wong, who was made head of the department in 2019, has recently seen an increase in instructions relating to family investment companies and educator trusts being used by families wishing to preserve wealth. Amanda Freeman and senior solicitor Clara Staunton are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Bik-ki Wong

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Freeman; Clara Staunton

Testimonials

‘A small team of highly qualified lawyers, capable of providing a personal service to each and every client. Myerson offers a City Centre expertise combined with a local practice feel.’ 

‘Amanda Freeman and Clara Staunton give STEP qualified technical advice to  clients, with a friendly and approachable personality behind the advice.’ 

‘The team is highly knowledgeable and respond quickly to questions/problems. Strong in strategic planning and anticipate issues without waiting for them to develop.’ 

‘Bik-ki Wong has exceptional interpersonal skills and provides quick and effective advice. Was very reassuring and was able to explain complex issues clearly and succinctly so as to make the client feel at ease.’ 

‘They deliver a very personalised service within reasonable and agreed timescales – which cannot be said about many legal practices.’ 

‘The team have the ability to work closely with the client as well as together for outcomes the client wants. Their knowledge of the subject allows them to ensure that they deliver on both complex and more straightforward cases.’ 

‘Bik-ki ensures her team are involved and works in a collegiate fashion to get the outcome the client needs. Their knowledge is key to ensuring that clients get what they need.’

BLM

At BLM, the growing team of private wealth specialists advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trustees and family businesses on intricate inheritance tax and estate planning measures; wills, LPAs, asset protection and probate are other areas of focus. The firm's instructions in this space are increasingly underpinned by complex cross-border estates. Headed up by James Beresford, who has an 'excellent grasp of the law', the team is also particularly active in advising families with disabled children and vulnerable individuals.

Practice head(s):

James Beresford

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Pritchard

Testimonials

‘Dealt with two of the team and found them to be approachable and easy to contact. The service I have received has been exceptional whenever I have dealt with them.’ 

‘James Beresford and Charlotte Pritchard are both huge assets to the private client department – their services levels are the best I have dealt with!’ 

‘The depth of knowledge appropriate to our needs far outweighed that of other firms we have used in the past. James Beresford was not only very approachable but also willing to give of his time to become fully conversant without needs. Our confidence in James was such that we asked for his personal involvement as a trustee.’ 

‘The process was very easy and quick. It was great to get everything done quickly and efficiently.’ 

‘James Beresford was excellent at answering my questions and showing me a solution to my concerns that had never been explained before. I felt confident he had an excellent grasp of the law, and explained it simply to me, in a language that any layman could understand.’

Butcher & Barlow LLP

Led by the 'very approachable and compassionate' Christopher Hopkins, the team at Butcher & Barlow LLP specialises in agricultural work, advising farmers and landowners on a range of estate planning matters. It also undertakes work for other business owners and high-net-worth clients including trust administrations, preparation of wills, power of attorney issues, Court of Protection work and matters arising from the general administration of estates. The firm’s commercial lawyers often act in close collaboration with the team, which also includes solicitor Jessica Shore.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Hopkins

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Shore; Jim Whittaker

Testimonials

‘Unique practice with personal, professional responsive service. Trustworthy in everything that they do with effective pragmatic advice.’ 

‘Professional with tailored advice specific to their clients’ situation. Stand out partner is Jim Whitaker, who in particular is so dedicated to his clients. Direct, frank, accurate views on any situation. This partner has been so helpful to us.’ 

‘All staff I have dealt with have been extremely professional, but at the same time human and considerate.’ 

‘I have dealt mainly with Chris Hopkins, who has always been excellent.’

‘A well organised and well managed team that undertake their work professionally and with excellent client communication skills.’ 

‘The quality of the team is very much a reflection of the main private client partner – Chris Hopkins. These are the same qualities that Chris provides when advising clients that we refer to him. Without exception, the feedback is always extremely positive.’ 

‘Chris Hopkins was excellent. He made sensible suggestions which we had not thought about and made the whole experience and process as straightforward and smooth as possible.’ 

‘Extremely flexible and accommodating.’

‘Personal, caring, efficient service – which you do not find with most solicitors nowadays; nothing was too much trouble.’ 

‘Chris Hopkins is very approachable and compassionate, making you feel like you are not just a client. Great communication skills.’ 

‘Very personalised service, with staff who are more than willing to go above and beyond the expectations of their clients.’

‘I have been incredibly impressed by the willingness of individuals at this practice to advise and act swiftly upon their clients’ requests.’

Work highlights

  • Handled the complex administration of an estate which included agriculture land subject to Farm Business Tenancies raising issues around Agricultural Property Relief.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Working closely with the firm’s conveyancing, family and trust administration groups, the private capital team at Clarke Willmott LLP, which is led by Paul Davies, handles general wills, inheritance tax and trust and probate mandates. Tax planning issues, Court of Protection matters, cross-border estates, off-shore trusts, and the creation and administration of charities are among its other areas of expertise. Senior associate Rebecca Clarke is a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Paul Davies

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Clarke

Testimonials

‘A can-do attitude to getting the task completed, on time and on budget.’ 

‘Paul Davies has been of great help with the legal work he has completed for us.’ 

‘They handled my legal situation regarding offshore Trusts in the most excellent way – concerning all aspects involved in this very complex situation.’ 

‘Paul Davies is the most efficient solicitor we have ever used concerning sorting out the very complex details concerning our trusts. The dealings he had with our Trustees was also exemplary.’

DTM Legal LLP

DTM Legal LLP assists high-net-worth individuals with significant business and agricultural interests, as well as the trustees of high-value family trusts on a range of matters. Headed up by Amanda Bailey, who was promoted to partner in 2019 and attracts praise for being a 'very thorough, approachable and empathetic' practitioner, the team’s advice extends to succession planning work, domicile issues, estate administrations and power of attorney matters, with an increased focus on clients with foreign property interests.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Bailey

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable on all aspects relating to trusts and estates. Approachable and provides concise explanations.’ 

‘Amanda Bailey is our point of contact. She is very thorough, approachable and empathetic. She has a good understanding of the tax implications.’ 

‘I think the biggest difference is that the team are so approachable and always seem to have time for a chat. They have a modern outlook and remain very knowledgeable, which is a great comfort to me and my clients.’ 

‘Amanda Bailey is, without doubt, the most efficient and knowledgeable lawyer I have worked with. Amanda always has time for a chat and her expertise and knowledge is a massive asset to DTM. I have no hesitation in introducing Amanda to any of my clients and the ones that she has met have commented on her amazing professionalism and efficiency.’ 

‘Amanda Bailey continues to provide exceptional advice on all my personal tax and trust planning. Cannot rate her highly enough, very personable and wonderful manner. Works incredibly hard on my behalf.’ 

‘Excellent, comprehensive service with attention to detail. Having had experience of several legal firms in Wrexham and Chester, we have found DTM to be head and shoulders above the rest.’ 

‘Amanda Bailey is superb – knowledgeable, direct, clear and communicative.’ 

‘The team explains and provides solutions to very complex issues in a very easy to understand manner. They are very approachable in their manner.’ 

‘Amanda, in particular, is extremely pleasant to deal with combining a very personable approach with a high degree of knowledge.’ 

‘Young, enthusiastic and exceptionally competent. A delight to work with in a collaborative way. Probably the best team I have worked with in the North West.’ 

Work highlights

  • Advising Poulton Hall Walled Garden Trust on the creation of a charitable trust and its subsequent registration with the Charities Commission as part of wider inheritance tax planning for the owner.  
  • Advising a private individual with significant commercial and residential property interests on preparing a new will and advising on cross-border succession planning issues (including forced heirship rules and the EU Succession Regulation) in relation to his Spanish assets and preparing personal and business powers of attorney.
  • Advising the executors of an estate on the administration of the estate, including advising on the interpretation and validity of a handwritten will, obtaining the grant of probate and advising on the distribution of the estate.

Gorvins Solicitors

Headed up by succession planning specialist Christine Thornley, the team at Gorvins Solicitors provides advice to high-net-worth individuals and family business owners on matters relating to disabled beneficiaries, wills and Court of Protection issues. Notable areas of growth for the practice include contentious probate cases, often acted in by Michael Smoult, as well as inheritance tax planning work, handled by 'empathic' senior associate Tasoula Addison.

Practice head(s):

Christine Thornley

Other key lawyers:

Michael Smoult; Tasoula Addison

Testimonials

‘Tasoula Addison was empathic, with good communication skills, and kept me up to date at all times. Her rates were reasonable too.’ 

‘The team has a personal touch and is efficient and professional.’

Linder Myers

Linder Myers handles a broad range of matters including estate planning issues involving wills, trusts, probate and the administration of estates, tax planning matters, and trust administrations. Praised as 'approachable, caring and dynamic', the department acts for ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, landed estates, business owners, farms and charities. Richard Ashton leads the trusts and estates group.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ashton

Testimonials

‘Linder Myers’ team listen and take the relevant time to understand their clients’ requirements.’ 

‘The firm has in-depth knowledge and ability in the area of probate and estate work and has an excellent manner with both clients and professionals. They are proactive and timely in their approach to everything.’ 

‘The team are approachable, caring and dynamic and really get our culture. We work extremely well together. We can rely on their scope of experience and nothing is too much trouble. They have clearly bought into the entire customer experience journey with our partnership.’ 

‘A reputation built up of a firm that gets things done, rather than just talking about it.’

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP advises mid- and high-net-worth individuals on wills, trusts and estate issues, and general succession planning matters. The team is led by Jane Shaw, who specialises in lifetime tax planning mandates for entrepreneurs, prominent business owners and non-UK domiciled clients. Shaw is 'used to, and well capable of, dealing with high-value trusts and estates'.

Practice head(s):

Jane Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Marchant

Testimonials

‘Pretty good private client team from a large well-resourced firm. Plenty of experience but maybe a bit aggressive for my tastes. But that may suit some clients.’ 

‘Primarily have experience of two partners – Nicola Marchant and Jane Shaw. Nicola is very good and I would recommend her. Calm, experienced and well suited to high-value cases with a personal or emotional element. Jane is pretty good as well and seems excellent at dealing with difficult or unusual lay clients. She is used to, and well capable of, dealing with high-value trusts and estates.’

SAS Daniels LLP

Led by Macclesfield-based Justine Clowes, who specialises in wills and wealth planning with a focus on mental capacity work, the team at SAS Daniels LLP provides advice on a variety of issues in this space. Long-term care funding, trusts and personal taxation work, high-value estate issues and inheritance tax planning matters are among the firms’ main strengths. The group has also seen an increase in mandates for high-net-worth-individuals. Helen Kelly is a key name in the Stockport office.

Practice head(s):

Justine Clowes

Other key lawyers:

Helen Kelly; Helen Gowin

Testimonials

‘The staff at SAS Daniels treated our probate submission almost as if it were their own – they were both very professional and caring. I found them good partners as well, in that I had managed my father’s affairs for several years before he died and they were able to dovetail my work into theirs without unnecessary repetition.’

‘Helen Gowin is a friendly, caring person, as well as clearly very professional and meticulous in procedure and detail. She always seemed to be readily available when I needed to contact her which is a not a trivial thing.’

‘Very personable and understanding and professional. They make room for the client to express themselves given that we were going through an emotionally challenging experience. The team seems to work well together. Communication with the client is excellent. Explanation of procedures and the legal process is excellent.’ 

‘Helen Gowin showed empathy yet retained professionalism. She was systematic in her approach yet flexible to accommodate our queries. Genuinely interested in our family.’ 

‘Helen Kelly is friendly, has a good manner, and explains everything for us.’ 

Weightmans LLP

Manchester-based Richard Bate heads up the wills, trusts, tax and probate team at Weightmans LLP, which primarily advises high-net-worth individuals on succession planning matters, Court of Protection issues and wills. Bate focuses on tax mitigation mandates and assists clients with complex family arrangements and asset structures with wealth protection issues. 'Very knowledgeable' principal associate John-Paul Dennis, who is a succession planning specialist, leads the Liverpool team, which is growing in size.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bate; John-Paul Dennis

Testimonials

‘John-Paul Dennis was very knowledgeable and took time in explaining the advice in plain English. He also facilitated and coordinated with other professionals to obtain a quick outcome for our family saving valuable time and money in the process. I now recommend him to my client base as I was impressed that he went out of his way to help me and my family in a very difficult time, with compassion not normally associated with the legal profession.’ 

‘I found them to be very helpful and knowledgeable as you would expect from a high profile city centre practice. Nothing appears to be any trouble and they conduct themselves excellently.’ 

‘I worked with John-Paul Dennis and liked the way he was able to use language that enabled me to understand what were, to me, new concepts and approaches.’ 

‘They come across as professional, friendly, approachable and knowledgeable, but in a down to earth way. They make clients feel relaxed and comfortable when discussing what are personal and sometimes complex matters in what could be an intimidating situation.’ 

‘John-Paul Dennis did an excellent job. At all times he explained what was going to happen and I came away feeling reassured, which considering the circumstances was what I needed.’ 

‘Richard Bate has an excellent manner with clients, making them feel comfortable and can explain complex matters in simple ways to help understanding.’

Aaron & Partners LLP

Aaron & Partners LLP focuses on providing capital tax advice to its high-net-worth clients, and also has a track record of assisting charitable trusts with administrations. Inheritance tax planning, estate restructuring, and wills and estate planning issues are also core areas of expertise. Court of Protection deputy Clive Pointon also has notary public status, which enables the team to deal with an increasing array of matters with multi-jurisdictional issues.

Practice head(s):

Clive Pointon

Other key lawyers:

James Wallace

Testimonials

‘A practice where HNW clients can actually get Private Client advice in a holistic manner to complement other professional input.’

‘James Wallace is not only knowledgeable and professional in his field of expertise, but he is also calm, understanding, engaging and can communicate technical elements of the work to clients in a manner that is understandable.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on distributing a client’s £1.9m estate with assets in Hong Kong in a tax efficient way.
  • Acted for a client in a ‘give and share’ of their property as part of Inheritance Tax planning.

FDR Law

Led by Ian Sydenham, FDR Law’s trusts and probate department has a track record in advising clients across the UK on wills, estate administration, complex trusts, powers of attorney, Court of Protection, IHT planning and succession planning issues. The group works closely with the firm’s contentious trusts and probate team.

Practice head(s):

Ian Sydenham

Other key lawyers:

Simon Cieluch; Heather Lally

Testimonials

‘From our initial introduction to this company (as a walk-in) through subsequent appointments and phone calls, each member of staff, regardless of their role and whether their interaction with us was in that role or not, have acted in a professional yet approachable manner.’ 

‘Ian Sydenham is personable and efficient, and highly knowledgeable on the law relating to Wills, estates, inheritance tax and issues affecting older clients.’ 

‘In our experience, they have gone above and beyond what they needed to do to ensure that their client’s best interests are protected.’ 

‘The people I have dealt with were Ian Sydenham and Simon Cieluch, both of whom have provided sound guidance in the matters on which I have consulted them as an executor.’ 

‘The team at FDR are second to none. They are a large scale practice that still retains client care at a very personal touch point. Their expertise in matters and clarity of delivery on complex messages is fantastic. For me, FDR surpasses other firms in their ability to communicate expert complex advice in a clear and transparent way.’

‘Ian Sydenham is a pleasure to work with – as is Heather Lally. Both have helped advise clients of mine expertly on complex issues. When I speak to either I know their response is always well considered and I value their input.’

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors provides its client base of high-net-worth individuals advice on wills, probate, trusts, lasting powers of attorney, Court of Protection issues, estate work and inheritance tax planning and business succession planning matters. Practice head Jane Burbidge and associate Victoria Motley are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Jane Burbidge

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Motley

Testimonials

‘Quick responses to any queries. Extremely timely turn around to any actions required. Takes time to explain the detail and provide objective advice. Reliable.’

‘Victoria Motley has worked with my family for the last 7 years on our Estate Planning. Family estate planning can be complicated and sensitive, especially to the layperson.’ 

‘We found them to be prompt and very clear and precise in their advice and manner. Doing a will was a nervous procedure for us having never done it before yet they came to visit and put us at ease highlighting some of the potential areas that can cause concern and conflict that we hadn’t considered.’ 

‘Jane Burbidge is very good and approachable.’ 

‘The team are always professional, have shown sympathy and care throughout this upsetting time in my life.’ 

‘Victoria is very knowledgeable and personable and thinks logically and comes up with solutions that work!’ 

Gateley Plc

The growing team at Gateley Plc works on a range of personal tax, trusts and probate matters, though it specialises in estate and succession planning issues, which often involve multi-million pound properties or assets. As part of the firm’s private client department, the Manchester team’s clients are mainly high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, particularly owners of family businesses and investment companies. The 'technically excellent' Sean Williams is the team’s main practitioner in this space.

Practice head(s):

Sean Williams

Testimonials

‘The team have been established for some years and have built up an excellent reputation within the Private Client arena.’ 

‘Sean Williams is very much one of the pre-eminent private client lawyers in the North West.’ 

‘Accessibility to the team, the experience of partners, and approachable manner of the team are key attributes of this private client team.’ 

‘The team is knowledgeable, friendly and efficient; what more could you want. They never make me feel I am asking a stupid question.’ 

‘I believe what sets the Gateley apart is that they are real technicians and deliver sound advice in complex matters.’ 

‘Sean Williams is technically excellent and incredibly supportive of clients. I can never ask a stupid question meaning he has a great ability to put people at ease which should lead to better conversations and better inputs to the advice process.’ 

Jolliffe & Co LLP

Chester-based firm Jolliffe & Co LLP is headed up by Hugh Butler, who advises entrepreneurs, families. corporate entities, charities and trusts on estate planning matters trust structures and issues relating to tax mitigation. Butler also has experience in will drafting, the administration of agricultural and landed estates, and business property relief and agricultural property relief.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Butler

Testimonials

‘Long-term knowledge of our family and its legal/financial arrangements within the firm has and continues to make Jolliffes utterly invaluable to me. I hold power of attorney for two close/immediate family members and Jolliffe have been and continue to be instrumental in helping me to help them in all matters.’

‘Hugh Butler is faultlessly thorough, steady, clear, correct and a very welcome guide (and indeed friend) in some trying times.’ 

‘Jolliffe & Co offer a professional service which is prompt and courteous. They respond to enquiries in a timely, thoughtful, informative manner and understand the wider context and implications of questions being asked and actions to be taken. Their advice is knowledgeable, appropriate, and helpful.’ 

‘I have always found Hugh Butler to be steady, reliable, professional, prompt, equitable, patient, and friendly when offering advice on a wide range of matters and dealing with our affairs. Hugh’s availability, engagement, and efficiency are excellent, and his billing is extremely fair, offering generous value for work done.’ 

‘Our main contact over the past 20 years has been Hugh Butler, whose personal service has been expert and assiduous.’ 

‘The team has a good mix of individuals with a high degree of expertise and different skills and approaches which means there is always someone who can help and with whom you will feel comfortable. There is an emphasis on accessibility and customer service.’ 

‘Hugh Butler is highly experienced and knowledgeable and has a knack of explaining complicated legal matters in an understandable way. I have always found Hugh to be very approachable and all matters are dealt with in a timely manner.’ 

‘They explain complex areas of law and tax in a very clear way.’ 

‘I work with Hugh Butler, who is calm, measured, and very experienced. His overview and review is very reassuring and he always makes himself available no matter how small the point.’

MLP Law LLP

The will, trusts and probates team at MLP Law LLP specialises in high-value estates, including advising on ways to mitigate, or avoid, inheritance tax. Jane Hunter joined the firm in 2019, from Knights Plc, to become practice head. The team also has experience assisting with estates that have foreign assets and beneficiaries abroad, as well as expertise in advising family business owners on wealth protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Jane Hunter

Testimonials

‘Jane Hunter is an absolute asset to the business.’ 

Temple Heelis

The team at Temple Heelis acts for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, rural estates and business owners in the Lake District region, where it is considered a go-to practice for wills and estate planning issues, inheritance tax and succession advice, complex will and trust structures, Court of Protection work, Power of Attorney matters, probate and estate administrations. Practice head Robert Kornas and James Hamilton are key names to note in this space.

Practice head(s):

Robert Kornas

Other key lawyers:

James Hamilton

Testimonials

‘Based upon my experience, the practice offers a bespoke personal service to their clients. Their approach is definitely not “one size fits all”.

‘Jamie Hamilton is very professional, approachable, easy to work with and communicates well with clients. I feel that he has allowed us to work as a team with the clients that we have worked with.’ 

‘They provide a very professional and personal service. Their work is very comprehensive and ‘iterative’ to ensure a) they fully understand your requirements/needs/circumstances and b) their recommendations/advice meet the former.’ 

‘Jamie Hamilton is extremely professional, knowledgeable, approachable, and very easy to deal with and backed by very competent staff.’ 

‘Firstly we respect Robert Kornas’ integrity and strong motivation to do what is right. His advice has always been sound and fair.’ 

‘Very knowledgeable and respected local professional people with excellent knowledge in their area of law (probate, trust, inheritance tax, estate matters), providing professional, personal, sound and reliable advice.’ 

‘I have worked mainly with Jamie Hamilton but also with Robert Kornas. They both have a real passion to give clients the best advice. They are both technically strong and are good at identifying technical issues and finding innovative solutions. They also communicate very well with clients.’ 

Work highlights

  • Advised local high-net-worth clients on a strategy of setting up trusts to test the availability of Agricultural Relief and Business Relief with detailed letters of wishes setting out the clients’ intended distributions to family members.
  • Advised on the full administration of a complex, high-value estate including the transfer of a farm and a substantial legacy to the National Trust.
  • Advised a private client on putting their assets into a trust and a loan by the trustee.