Firms To Watch: Personal tax, trusts and probate

Boutique practice Private Client Solicitors covers the full range of wills, trusts, and estate planning work, with niche expertise in mental capacity law and charity law.

Personal tax, trusts and probate in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trusts, and families on matters such as succession planning, international business-related mandates, and complex tax issues. Based in Manchester, Yorke Eaton is noted for his expertise regarding complex trust issues and capital tax planning advice. Pervinder Kaur leads the private capital team in Leeds and is a key contact for clients with private company interests or substantial assets, while legal director Laura Woffinden focuses on complex probate and trust advice. Consultant Jane Shaw joined from Pannone Corporate LLP in May 2021 and covers wills, trusts, and estates planning law, particularly involving overseas assets.

Practice head(s):

Yorke Eaton; Pervinder Kaur

Other key lawyers:

Laura Woffinden; Jane Shaw

Testimonials

‘The most important benefit of dealing with the team at Addleshaw Goddard is their ability to translate complex issues into language the client understands. They remain in contact with the client (and other professionals!) for as long as is needed and their willingness to help out is second to none…even if they are unlikely to benefit.’

‘Yorke Eaton is, in my humble opinion, the most engaging and knowledgeable of the private client lawyers in the North. His personality makes him immediately approachable and his knowledge and ability to relate to clients of all wealth sets him part.’

‘We have worked very closely with Yorke Eaton and Polly Bradley and they have been super approachable and extremely efficient in ensuring that we have measures and structures in place that are the right fit for us and future generations. The key qualities I’ve identified and appreciated are am emotional intelligence containing warmth, approachability, calmness, clarity and an ability to understand the range of personalities within one family unit. We expect legal excellence of course, but the difference that makes the difference is attitude and approach.’

Work highlights

  • Advised entrepreneurial clients on pre- and post-sale planning and management of succession for both business and family.
  • Advised on the transfer of a significant book of trusteeships from one professional trustee to another, including negotiation of contractual arrangements for transfer of the trust business and subsequent practical advice in respect of ongoing trust administration and transfer of trust assets.
  • Advised the trustees of high-value, complex family trusts on ongoing trust management and trustee duties, including the provision of trust administration services.

Brabners LLP

The large team at Brabners LLP specialises in advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth families on matters such as estate planning, trusts and wills, and Court of Protection matters. Louise Scholes leads the Liverpool team and covers estate planning and Court of Protection deputyship matters, while Manchester team head Steven Appleton deals primarily with complex tax and estate planning. Lancashire private client team leader Sarah Murphy is noted for her work on establishing vulnerable and disabled persons trusts and Duncan Bailey is recommended for his expertise in complex estate and tax planning. Mark Feeny is also recommended. Amanda Bailey joined from DTM Legal LLP in November 2021 and specialises in landed estates, particularly probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Bailey; Louise Scholes; Steven Appleton; Sarah Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Bailey; Mark Feeny

Testimonials

‘The Team at Brabners worked very well as a unit. All of the staff are high quality. They believe in ‘face to face’ where possible and have good inter-personal skills.’

‘Steve Appleton is not only a good leader of the private client team, but a very talented lawyer. He is totally trustworthy and great value for money.’

‘The blend of technical knowledge and high quality client service makes Brabners stand apart from the rest of the market.’

‘The team led by Duncan Bailey is exceptional. Duncan provides first class service to his clients. Duncan is professional, knowledgeable and he cares about his clients.’

‘Experienced team capable of handling the tax affairs of high-net-worth individuals and calling upon other resources at Brabners to assist with matters affecting these clients, like property purchases, etc.’

‘Duncan Bailey has exceptional client-handling skills. Warm and friendly and very well organised.’

Amanda Bailey is technically exceptional and my go-to person for all trust and related matters.’

DWF

DWF is especially strong on advising business owners and high-net-worth families and trusts on private wealth and estate planning, particularly matters involving an international element or complex tax planning issues relating to overseas assets and trusts. Other areas of expertise include will preparation and tax planning vehicles such as FICs. Based in Manchester, Christopher Noel leads the North West team and specialises in wealth protection, trust formation and administration, as well as tax planning. Nicole Chadwick was promoted to associate in January 2022 and covers complex estate planning for high-net-worth families.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Noel

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Chadwick

Testimonials

‘DWF provides a full-service law firm. Therefore they are able to utilise a wide variety of expertise in every case.’

‘Christopher Noel has a wealth of experience and is great to work with.’

‘The team is guided by Christopher Noel whose knowledge and experience in the private client market is excellent. DWF has a strong ability to provide advice across multiple service lines so any client entrepreneurial business owner wanting a one stop shop will be well placed to consider them.’

‘Christopher Noel builds strong and trusted relationships with his clients. He has in-depth knowledge which clients clearly benefit from. He is steadily building a capable but junior team.’

Work highlights

    Hill Dickinson LLP

    Hill Dickinson LLP provides high-value UK trusts and succession planning advice, as well as administration of estates and advice on contentious probate matters. Fionnuala Kenny leads the North West team and is especially strong in succession planning, particularly involving UK trust and settlements, while Paul Baker is a key contact regarding offshore tax planning and residence and domicile issues for high-net-worth individuals with overseas assets. Additionally, Susan Sherry is ‘extremely thorough‘ and is noted for her work on complex Court of Protection work, as well as wills, trusts, and estate planning.

    Practice head(s):

    Fionnuala Kenny

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Baker; Susan Sherry

    Testimonials

    ‘Sue Sherry is extremely thorough, great with clients, very personable and has a great ability to cut through the jargon to help clients understand complex legal issues.’

    Work highlights

      Hugh Jones Solicitors

      Hugh Jones Solicitors specialises in Court of Protection and private client work, especially on behalf of vulnerable clients involving estate administration. The team is particularly strong regarding complex capacity issues. Charlotte Crawford was promoted to practice head in April 2022 and focuses on family trust creation and management. Hugh Jones deals with Court of Protection and mental capacity work, Elizabeth Hughes advises on high-value matters involving foreign property and assets, and director Rebecca Brown is a key contact regarding mental capacity work. Director Chris Gallagher is noted for his expertise on professional deputyship cases. Senior associate Catherine Oakes joined from BBH Legal services Ltd in October 2021.

      Practice head(s):

      Hugh Jones; Elizabeth Hughes; Rebecca Brown; Charlotte Crawford

      Other key lawyers:

      Chris Gallagher; Catherine Oakes

      Testimonials

      ‘This team are the specialists on CoP work.’

      ‘Rebecca Brown is always client-focused in her work, quick to respond to my queries with a considered and balanced answer, accepting of the risks which clients often present with and keen to find solutions which mitigate the risks without inhibiting the client’s freedoms to live life as they wish.’

      ‘The court of protection/deputyship team provides first class legal advice and is totally reliable.’

      ‘Rebecca Brown is friendly and well informed. She takes time to alert us to key developments in her field.’

      ‘Excellent knowledge in deputyship/CoP matters and strength in depth.’

      ‘Hugh Jones is a niche firm offering specialist services around Court of Protection work. They are the go-to firm in this field. They are leading experts on this and the service is absolutely first rate. They have a great team, they are all friendly, eager to help and above all, responsive. You are always made to feel that your enquiry is important.’

      ‘Rebecca Brown and Liz Hughes are both superstars. They have in-depth knowledge and expertise and deliver a consistently reliable service on time and on budget.’

      ‘They have a very strong team, with solid expertise in all things deputyship and Court of Protection focused, including relatively niche issues such as that of welfare deputyships.’

      ‘Rebecca Brown has a very in-depth knowledge of both financial and welfare deputyships and the workings of the Court of Protection in relation to such matters.’

      Elizabeth Hughes is a mine of information on all matters deputyship-related, approachable and very professional in her approach.’

      Work highlights

        JMW Solicitors LLP

        JMW Solicitors LLP  advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals on estate planning and succession planning, as well as advising vulnerable clients through Court of Protection work. Matters frequently have a cross-jurisdictional element. Practice head Joe Cobb focuses on inheritance tax mitigation strategies, succession planning, and international estate administration, as well as contentious trusts and estates. Head of the court of protection team Megan Christie-Copeland covers contested deputyship applications and hearings. She works alongside Andrew Cusworth. Paul Gotch departed in November 2021, preceded by Tasnim Khalid  who left in June 2021.

        Practice head(s):

        Joe Cobb; Megan Christie-Copeland

        Other key lawyers:

        Andrew Cusworth

        Testimonials

        ‘JMW Solicitors has provided a bespoke service to our organisation. They assist on a regular basis which has proven to be invaluable over the past 12 months.’

        ‘The support and advice we have received in particular from Megan Christie-Copeland has been excellent.’

        ‘The private client team in the North West is a modern, forward-thinking, young and dynamic team. The team is able to grasp the needs of clients quickly and understand the main issues that need to be addressed. They have a transparent fee structure and are keen to spend time building trusting client relationships over purely focusing on chargeable hours and bills raised. Due to being part of the wider entrepreneurial firm, they are able to utilise the services of other departments to ensure all clients needs can be addressed.’

        ‘Whilst Joe Cobb is young, he has an ‘old head’ on his shoulders. He easily grasps the issues of clients and understands what they are looking for. He is a very good listener with a calm demeanour which enables him to quickly build long-standing relationships with even the most challenging client. He is able to explain complex planning structures in an easy to understand manner focusing on the clients needs.’

        ‘JMW is a full-service legal firm which also manages to deliver the highest level of service in specialist teams. The Court of Protection Team is talented, delivers excellent services and continues to grow based on its success in meeting its clients’ needs. The team is diverse with a strong culture of client focus and leadership ensuring good client outcomes daily.’

        ‘Megan Christie-Copeland is a natural leader. She inspires the team through leading by example. She has built a talented client-focused team. Megan is always looking for ways to improve the department and find new and innovative ways to improve the services which they deliver.’

        Andrew Cusworth is highly experienced deputy and trustee. He is at ease dealing in highly complex financial matters. Andrew is calm, a good listener and a good communicator. He builds relationships with ease and is respected by his peers and clients.’

        Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

        Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has developed a reputation for advising high-net-worth business owners and families on wills, trusts, and estates matters, including complex tax planning, asset protection, and Court of Protection work. Its niche expertise includes advising on tax investigations and tax disclosure work, as well as the taxation of cryptocurrency. Paul Bricknell was promoted to lead the team in February 2022, taking over from previous head Graham Wood. Bricknell is a key contact regarding family business succession planning and maximising tax efficiency for clients. Wood is a key contact regarding tax disclosures to the HMRC, as well as mitigating inheritance tax. Executive partner Robert Levy is another name of note regarding tax matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Paul Bricknell

        Other key lawyers:

        Graham Wood; Robert Levy

        Testimonials

        ‘Accessible, corporate, with a diverse range of legal skills and expertise.’

        ‘Robert Levy is a joy to work with. He has a great deal of legal expertise particularly in all aspects of taxation. He is a good listener keen to hear your thoughts and act collaboratively on.’

        Work highlights

        • Advised the Stoller Charitable Trust on all legal aspects of the creation and opening of its new climbing centre in Oldham, Summit Up.

        Mills & Reeve LLP

        Mills & Reeve LLP advises ultra-high-net-worth families and entrepreneurs on succession and tax planning, as well as wills, complex estates and trusts, and lasting powers of attorney. The team is noted for its niche expertise in business succession issues and FICs. Manchester team leader Deborah Clark is a key contact regarding estate planning and FICs, while private client team leader Zahra Siddiqui covers tax efficient protective wills and trust structures. Charlotte Shaughnessy was promoted to principal associate in 2021 and focuses on wills, tax and estate planning, and business succession issues. Associate Rebecca Minto advises on capacity and elderly client issues. Anna Moore is another key contact.

        Practice head(s):

        Deborah Clark; Zahra Siddiqui

        Other key lawyers:

        Charlotte Shaughnessy; Rebecca Minto; Anna Moore

        Testimonials

        ‘The team has a unique ability to deal with complex planning issues for private clients/OMB’s in a comprehensible manner.’

        ‘Zahra Siddiqui has ably stepped into the shoes of Tony Hall, having worked with him for many years and continues to provide an excellent service in a friendly and efficient manner. She is ably supported by Anna Moore who is a rising star and will do well in her own right.’

        ‘I think advice has been swift, succinct and pragmatic. There is good knowledge of working with a high-net-worth family and the types of issues and planning which might need to be thought about.’

        ‘I have really enjoyed working with our partner Deborah Clarke who has excellent knowledge across sectors, she is very accessible and prompt with response/advice. She has also been able to refer me to other departments where needed to equally high quality individuals.’

        ‘Deborah Clarke, Charlotte Shaughnessey and Rebecca Minto are all excellent. I have been very impressed with the work they have done for clients and the value the relationship I have with them. They offer their time and expertise without starting the clock on fees, they are of course commercial about it, but always happy for me to discuss planning points with them.’

        ‘Mills & Reeve lead the way in cutting edge wills and estate planning, with a depth of knowledge that is greater than any I have used for our clients. We have been using them for many years. The broad nature of their wider business and collaborative thinking means they can bring knowledge and experience to assist in many and varied client circumstances.’

        ‘I have worked with Zahra Siddiqui for 10-15 years on client work and have found her to be exceptional in her knowledge and ability to make complex subjects easy to understand for clients. She is consistent in her approach and works well, alongside planning work with us as wealth managers.’

        Work highlights

          Myerson Solicitors LLP

          Based in Altrincham, Myerson Solicitors LLP is best known for providing advice on estate and inheritance tax planning; however, the team also advises on gift giving for high-net-worth individuals and business owners, as well as the establishment of trusts and FICs. Bik-Ki Wong leads the team and is considered ‘very knowledgeable‘ by her clients for her work on inheritance tax mitigation and the establishment and maintenance of complex trusts and estates. Clara Staunton focuses on estate and trust administration, as well as on tax planning. The team is noted for its work for clients with major overseas assets and multi-jurisdictional estates.

          Practice head(s):

          Bik-ki Wong

          Other key lawyers:

          Clara Staunton

          Testimonials

          ‘Broad spectrum of private client services offered. Larger practice, but not so large as to not offer a personal approach.’

          ‘Bik-ki Wong is very knowledgeable, but personal. Great attention to detail and explains things concisely.’

          ‘Professional and personable approach. Efficient and timely in communication with clients.’

          ‘Clara Staunton has always been someone who we know will work with ourselves and our clients with their very best interests at the centre of any advice that is provided. Friendly and professional approach which is valued by the clients in what can be difficult circumstances.’

          ‘The team dealing with probate and IHT is very knowledgeable and also very approachable. Clients have been delighted with the service.’

          Work highlights

            Butcher & Barlow LLP

            Butcher & Barlow LLP is noted for its niche expertise in estate planning, inheritance tax mitigation, and related agricultural work for farmers, although the team also advises on the full spectrum of wills, estates, and tax matters. Practice head Christopher Hopkins specialises in trusts and long-term care planning. Mike Bracegirdle covers succession planning, while Philip Jennings and Samuel Dale are key contacts regarding Court of Protection work. Following solicitor Jessica Shore‘s departure in June 2021, the agricultural side of the practice was strengthened after Tim Bailey joined from Bowcock & Pursaill in September 2021.

            Practice head(s):

            Christopher Hopkins

            Other key lawyers:

            Mike Bracegirdle; Philip Jennings; Samuel Dale; Tim Bailey

            Testimonials

            ‘Accessible high street practice, but part of a larger network of offices throughout the region, giving it good back-up.’

            ‘I have a number of contacts across the practice and have always found them to be extremely professional and they have a good range of expertise within the practice.’

            ‘Samuel Dale is fantastic in the probate department.’

            ‘The practice is regionally in the North West-based, but feels like more locally involved with its clients. There is a personal touch not always associated with larger firms.’

            ‘I deal mainly with Philip Jennings who is extremely personable and empathetic towards his clients. He makes them feel at ease and explains sometimes complex matters in an understandable way.’

            ‘A very professional team that provides clients with tremendous reassurance.’

            ‘Chris Hopkins is very down to earth in his approach and explains matters in a simple and straightforward manner.’

            Work highlights

            • Took instruction from a client for a power of attorney who did not then have mental capacity; a Court of Protection Order then applied for to ensure the effective management of assets, which were then distributed by the firm as executors of the estate.
            • Set up of personal injury trust to protect a client’s means tested benefits and referral to an independent financial advisor to maximise the returns for the client.
            • Acted in the administration of an estate where there had been misuse of funds by a beneficiary and challenging circumstances surrounding the release of funds to legatees who it was alleged could not be found.

            Clarke Willmott LLP

            Clarke Willmott LLP deals with complex tax planning, cross-border estates and off-shore trusts, and Court of Protection matters for high-net-worth clients. Private wealth team leader Paul Davies  is noted for his experience regarding tax mitigation and lifetime estate planning matters, while managing partner Anthony Fairweather covers Court of Protection work, elderly care law, and inheritance tax planning. Senior associate Rebecca Clarke is a key contact regarding complex estate administration. Nicola Walker departed in December 2021.

            Practice head(s):

            Anthony Fairweather; Paul Davies

            Other key lawyers:

            Rebecca Clarke

            Testimonials

            ‘Friendly, down to earth, professional, as a client they instill confidence in you that they know what they are doing. Also very efficient, timely and easy to work with.’

            ‘Approachable, no nonsense approach (they will not blind you with jargon).’

            DTM Legal LLP

            DTM Legal LLP  is frequently instructed by estates and high-net-worth individuals with offshore assets and mixed domicile status, as well as large agricultural interests. Practice head Richard Thomas was appointed practice head following the departure of Amanda Bailey in September 2021. He advises on contentious probate and is highly experienced in Inheritance Act 1975 claims, as well as in undue influence and wills and trust disputes. Senior associate Emily O’Donnell is a key contact regarding estate administration and planning. Senior associate Heather Lally joined from Bowcock Cuerden LLP in August 2021. She is noted for her work on complex wills, trusts, and estate planning matters. Solicitor Stephen MacKeller joined from FDR Law in March 2022.

            Practice head(s):

            Richard Thomas

            Other key lawyers:

            Emily O’Donnell; Heather Lally; Stephen MacKeller

            Testimonials

            ‘Well-known, well-respected private client team.’

            ‘Heather Lally is an experienced, professional and ambitious practitioner.’

            ‘Heather Lally and Stephen McKellar are efficient and thorough.’

            ‘Heather Lally is an ambitious and determined lawyer who is highly skilled, very professional and dynamic.’

            ‘A small, but committed team, with excellent associates and led by a very good partner team.’

            ‘Heather Lally is very competent in trust and will planning matters. She is an excellent addition to the team.’

            Key clients

            The Manor Farm Estate

            The Wyresdale Estate

            JWS Waste & Recycling Ltd

            The Estate of Professor Price Evans

            Work highlights

            • Advising The Wyresdale Estate on the transfer of an 800 acre estate of a Lancashire Family to the next generation
            • Advising The Manor Farm Estate on the restructuring of the ownership of a landed estate in Oxfordshire held in trust.
            • Advising discretionary beneficiaries of a number of family trusts and shares in the Homer Family’s property investment company.

            Gorvins Solicitors

            Gorvins Solicitors advises on a wide range of family succession matters, including family business wills, Court of Protection work, contentious probate, and inheritance tax planning. Michael Smoult was promoted to department head in August 2021 and focuses on inheritance tax planning and will preparation. Julie Burgess was promoted to partner in December 2021 and advises on lasting powers of attorney and inheritance tax planning, as well as complex estate administration. Associate solicitor Almas Patankar is a specialist in Court of Protection matters and inheritance tax planning. Tasoula Addison  departed in July 2021, while Christine Thornley  departed in August 2021.

            Practice head(s):

            Michael Smoult

            Other key lawyers:

            Julie Burgess; Almas Patankar

            Testimonials

            ‘I work solely with Julie Burgess who I’ve known for many years and is fantastic with clients and offers a great service.’

            Work highlights

              Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand

              Often acting for high-net-worth individuals and farmers, the Lancaster-based team at Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand celebrated the 150th year since its founding. The team is lead by Clare Love, who specialises in will drafting, estate and trust administration, and tax and estate planning. Mark Hutchinson Lyons focuses on tax planning and trust and estate matters and made partner in June 2021. Laura Brereton was promoted to senior solicitor in June 2021 and deals with estate administration and tax planning. Senior associate Elizabeth Byrne joined from Irwin Mitchell in July 2021. Richard Gillibrand retired in January 2022.

              Practice head(s):

              Clare Love

              Other key lawyers:

              Mark Hutchinson Lyons; Laura Brereton; Elizabeth Byrne

              Testimonials

              ‘Really good, well managed team, whose attention to detail is excellent. Very good client skills and ensure they do their upmost for their clients.’

              ‘Clare Love and Laura Brereton lead the department very well. Very approachable and give excellent client service.’

              ‘A very knowledgeable team that acts very promptly and always with a friendly manner.’

              ‘I have worked with Clare Love and Mark Hutchinson for many many years. They are very knowledgeable and always helpful. As a firm which has a long history of serving the people of Lancaster and surrounding area they certainly offer a personal service and know their client base extremely well.’

              ‘Clare Love provides excellent communication, client kept in the loop at all times. Prompt responses and sound guidance. Has the client’s best interests at heart. Works with great perseverance and tenacity to overcome difficult obstacles. Uses her great initiative and just gets on with the job without having to be prompted at every corner. I could not speak more highly of this individual.’

              ‘The service provided by this practice is very personal – they take special care in understanding their clients exact needs – and keep excellent records of previous discussions and undertakings.’

              ‘We work very closely with Clare Love, and we judge her legal knowledge and understanding of personal issues to be exceptional.’

              ‘Genuinely caring and conscientious team that goes the extra mile to make sure the job is done properly.’

              ‘Clare Love brings a sense of calm to proceedings which puts clients at ease whilst also providing a sense of reassurance that you are in capable and professional hands.’

              Work highlights

                SAS Daniels LLP

                SAS Daniels LLP is noted for advising the families of elderly clients and children with mental capacity issues on personal tax, trust, and probate work. Based in Macclesfield, practice head Justine Clowes is a specialist in wills and wealth planning, especially pertaining to mental capacity work and care funding advice. Helen Gowin leads the estate administration team and is a key contact regarding the administration of complex estates with agricultural or overseas assets, while Helen Kelly covers trust formation and administration matters.

                Practice head(s):

                Justine Clowes

                Other key lawyers:

                Helen Gowin; Helen Kelly

                Testimonials

                ‘The practice has provided client-centred and bespoke support for the client I have been working with in order to provide the best for that client.’

                ‘A consummate team with individuals who are professional, considerate, and excellent at what they do with reasonable charging.’

                ‘I work mainly with Justine Clowes and Helen Kelly both of whom return calls quickly – offer excellent advice, clients like them and they have a professional yet laid back manner which works very well with my clients.’

                ‘Can’t speak highly enough of Justine Clowes and her approach. Her advice is pragmatic, commercial and very user-friendly.’

                ‘They appear to understand your personal requirements & take time to get to know you as a person rather than a number.’

                Work highlights

                  Weightmans LLP

                  The specialist private client team at Weightmans LLP advises business owners on general succession planning, including the establishment of lifetime trusts. Practice head Richard Bate is a key contact regarding estate and trust planning, as well as FICs and tax mitigation matters, while Sarah Louise Walker and associate Lorraine Wilson focus on complex trust administration matters. Principal associate Sally Cook is another name of note. John-Paul Dennis departed in January 2022.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Richard Bate; Sarah Louise Walker

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Sally Cook; Lorraine Wilson

                  Testimonials

                  ‘Very professional. Excellent communication skills & knowledge. I particularly valued their personal service.’

                  ‘Very responsive, accurate in the understanding of law that prevails, works to clients requests and always available. Having dealt with a number of large Manchester law firms the service I get with the team at Weightmans is what I really need.’

                  ‘Richard Bate was perfect for our requirements without a doubt, dealing with difficult issues I had to resolve, so I’m very pleased we moved to Weightmans.’

                  Sally Cook gives really good support and is very responsive, took a weight of work of my shoulders and is someone I can rely on.

                  ‘The people in the team are lovely, friendly and sympathetic at what is a difficult time for many.’

                  ‘Lorraine Wilson has been brilliant, always available and able to deal with what has been a complex estate.’

                  Work highlights

                    Aaron & Partners LLP

                    Aaron & Partners LLP  deals with high-value estate and tax planning, as well as contested wills, trusts, and estates matters, with particular experience advising on business and farming assets. Based in Chester, practice head Clive Pointon frequently advises on multi-jurisdictional matters such as the production of Spanish wills, as well as inheritance tax issues and charitable trust administration. James Wallace is a key contact regarding wills, estates, and trusts dispute resolution. Rowena Ridgway is also recommended.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Clive Pointon

                    Other key lawyers:

                    James Wallace; Rowena Ridgeway

                    Testimonials

                    ‘An experienced and specialised team.’

                    ‘Clive Pointon was very organised and gave frequent updates. Clive was the individual that would encourage me to use the firm in the future or to recommend this firm.’

                    Clive Pointon was extremely personable and he was really helpful. He was also readily available.’

                    ‘The team is extremely efficient and vastly experienced, meaning even the most complex cases are dealt with effortlessly.’

                    ‘Clive Pointon has a genuine personable approach combined with a great eye for detail. His knowledge and proactive approach makes him stand out significantly from any other solicitor I have ever dealt with.’

                    Work highlights

                      Forbes Solicitors

                      Forbes Solicitors is especially strong regarding estate and inheritance tax planning for business owners, as well as business succession planning through FICs and trusts. The team also advises on matters involving overseas assets and disposal of assets held in multiple jurisdictions. Practice head Jane Burbidge frequently advises on inheritance tax issues, probate, and estate administration. Victoria Motley is a key contact regarding tax and estate planning, particularly involving trusts.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Jane Burbidge

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Victoria Motley

                      Testimonials

                      ‘Excellent probate team.’

                      ‘They have the personal touch and great bedside manner, which provides the trust and comfort to clients, who can be assured of good service and sound advice. The remain up to date with current thinking and will always look to accomodate all circumstances and needs.’

                      ‘Victoria Motley provides a personal and cohesive service, considering all aspects of the clients situation and thinking around the potential challenges that may be found when dealing with client estates and Wills.’

                      Work highlights

                        Glaisyers LLP

                        Glaisyers LLP  advises mid-to-high-net-worth individuals on the full range of wills, trusts, and probate matters, as well as Court of Protection and lasting power of attorney work. The team has seen growth in cross-border succession planning and estate administration and is especially strong in inheritance tax mitigation and asset preservation. Practice head Chris Burrows focuses on families that own businesses and international succession matters. Emma Green was promoted to associate in January 2021.

                        Practice head(s):

                        Chris Burrows

                        Other key lawyers:

                        Emma Green

                        Testimonials

                        ‘Chris Burrows has provided well-considered advice on helping me navigate complex trust issues. He is approachable and efficient.’

                        ‘They have constantly changed the business to provide services that are required by us, meaning we have never had to worry about looking elsewhere for up to date advice.’

                        ‘We’re very happy with the service. Glaysiers have been very competent, transparent about the process, timeline and fees. We have been kept in the loop all through the process and have easy accessibility to the team should we have any queries.’

                        ‘We liked Chris Burrows straight away, he is very calm and knowledgeable and his explanations about our options were well thought out and clear. He guided us through changes in the law and tax systems and advised on the best ways to do what we wanted. He has always been available for advice and we would recommend him to anyone.’

                        Work highlights

                        • Advising the directors of a family investment company on the management and conduct of the company’s activities including the repayment of loans to family members.
                        • Acting in the administration of a complex estate with assets in multiple jurisdictions, a complex history of lifetime gifts and a requirement for an interim grant of probate for preservation of the estate.
                        • Advising a business owner in the creation of an emergency will prior to urgent medical treatment. Including advice on trusts, charitable giving and gifts to individuals.

                        Jolliffe & Co LLP

                        Jolliffe & Co LLP  is jointly lead by senior partner Hugh Butler and Ian Sydenham. Butler deals primarily with estate planning, succession matters, tax mitigation, and the formation of trust structures, while Sydenham is noted for his work on trust and estate administration and planning, as well as Court of Protection work. Both Butler and Sydenham are highly experienced acting for clients on mandates involving multi-jurisdictional estates, wills, and tax planning.

                        Practice head(s):

                        Hugh Butler; Ian Sydenham

                        Testimonials

                        ‘Great personality from the team and a real willingness to achieve the right outcomes with clients in a friendly and approachable way.’

                        ‘Ian Sydenham is a brilliant solicitor who continually strives for excellence.’

                        ‘The partners have had long working relationships with many of their clients and so know their clients well. The partners are fully involved in the client work and deal with clients directly rather than delegating the work and meetings to less experienced staff.’

                        ‘The partners are very personable and approachable.’

                        ‘The company was very efficient directing my call to the right people involved and arranging a call back at a suitable time.’

                        ‘Hugh Butler gave clear and concise information and was happy to listen and explain anything I did not understand.’

                        ‘I have in every instance found the service provided to be eminently satisfactory being completed in a reasonable time-frame and with charges that were within the limit of what I considered acceptable and fair.’

                        ‘Hugh Butler has been unfailingly courteous and has taken great care to apprise me of pros and cons and ins and outs of whatever course of action was being considered.’

                        ‘The practice is forward-thinking looking for pragmatic solutions They are not constrained by the way other practices work and look to find inventive solutions.’

                        ‘Hugh Butler leads the team with deft touch and is very approachable. Hugh listens intently and is able to understand very quickly and provides well thought out answers.’

                        Work highlights

                          MLP Law LLP

                          Based in Altrincham and Cheshire, MLP Law LLP advises high-net-worth individuals, agricultural clients, and business owners on estate planning. The team is routinely active in business property relief and business succession planning and its expertise extends to Sharia law and disputed probate matters. Jane Hunter leads the team and covers estate planning advice, including promissory estoppel, inheritance act claims, and related dispute mediation matters. Legal director Doris Raggatt covers powers of attorney and the administration of estates and trusts. Samantha Kennedy was promoted to associate solicitor in October 2021 and specialises in progressive business planning.

                          Practice head(s):

                          Jane Hunter

                          Other key lawyers:

                          Doris Raggatt; Samantha Kennedy

                          Testimonials

                          ‘The main strength is expressed in terms of constant contact on progress even when subject to unavoidable delays. I rarely feel a need to ring up to ask about progress because we are kept fully informed. This is a key point compared with other firms.’

                          Work highlights

                            Price Slater Gawne

                            Based in Altrincham, Price Slater Gawne covers wills, trusts, and probate work, as well as lasting powers of attorney. The team is particularly experienced acting as Professional Deputy for protected parties and clients lacking capacity. Tom Young leads the Court of Protection team and focuses on managing complex deputyships. Laura Bywater leads the private client team and specialises in the formation and administration of trusts, as well as probate and asset protection.

                            Practice head(s):

                            Tom Young; Laura Bywater

                            Testimonials

                            ‘The whole team has been accessible and very well informed. We have been guided into our new way of life.’

                            ‘Were able to advise on complex legal matters and transfer deputyship on the most complex of cases.’

                            ‘Tom Young has been extremely helpful with case advice and a seemingly smooth transition of cases.’

                            ‘Very knowledgeable team. Efficient yet personable. Forward-thinking.’

                            ‘Tom Young is very knowledgeable. He has fantastic with clients. I would certainly recommend his expertise to others.’

                            ‘Laura Bywater has the knack of making you feel that you are the only client she has.’

                            ‘A relatively young, but dynamic team working in the deputyship and Court of Protection sector.’

                            ‘Hands-on, pragmatic, common sense. A real understanding of what is fair, just and important to people.’

                            ‘ My only regret is that I didn’t instruct them sooner.’

                            Work highlights

                              Temple Heelis

                              Based in Cumbria, Temple Heelis advises high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth UK and international clients, often with assets in multiple jurisdictions or with multiple residencies. Its experience extends to complex will and trust structures and estate planning, inheritance tax and succession advice, and Court of Protection work. Practice head Robert Kornas was key in developing the new service, Estate Planning Review Service. Managing partner James Hamilton frequently advises Lake District clients on lifetime trust planning, while Laura Priestley is particularly strong regarding wills, tax, and estate planning.

                              Practice head(s):

                              Robert Kormas

                              Other key lawyers:

                              James Hamilton; Laura Priestley

                              Testimonials

                              ‘As a team, and a firm, Temple Heelis is friendly and accessible. I found them to be highly professional, whilst at the same time maintaining an informality that created a welcoming atmosphere, where it is possible to have the conversations that mattered.’

                              ‘Robert Kornass explained complex situations in plain English, and he was an extremely calming influence on me when there were signs of problems.’

                              ‘They put the client first, operate as a team utilising the strengths of each of the partners to maximise the value of the service.’

                              ‘Through an open engagement and a strong professional approach a good working relationship has been built with Laura Priestly. This has enabled a proactive approach working with me to building a solution and provision of services tailored to my circumstances. The services outlined were provided under COVID restrictions while delivered under circumstances where client and provider were on different continents.’

                              ‘The firm represents a local, established firm with clients best interests at heart. They balance their local ties with confidentiality and professionalism. Individuals approaching Temple Heelis can be assured that they are approaching a firm that has “seen it all before” and they are in safe hands with an experienced and approachable firm.’

                              ‘Very personable service, excellent technical knowledge delivered from a local company, synonymous with the Lakes.’

                              ‘Excellent technical knowledge, very efficient and competitive fee rates. I have worked closely with Jamie Hamilton and Laura Priestley for many years and both have an excellent reputation for their knowledge and complement the planning service we provide. They also have an excellent probate team supporting them.’

                              ‘Friendly and client-focused.’

                              ‘Jamie Hamilton is well organised, efficient and knowledgeable.’

                              Work highlights

                              • Acted for Mr H and Mrs N attorneys for an incapacitated individual) in a successful application to the Court of Protection for authorisation for significant lifetime gifts, which involved extensive IHT and CGT planning and financial acumen.
                              • Advised Mr & Mrs B (ongoing instructions) on meticulous planning and structuring of ways to pass on wealth to next generations, including factoring in the tax-efficient winding up of a market-leading company and its assets.
                              • Advising Mr & Mrs B  structuring multi-million pound personal and business assets for next generations including immediate settlements, discretionary trusts, and future structures to mitigate IHT. Extensive liaison with HMRC to achieve optimum future arrangements.