Next Generation Partners

Personal tax, trusts and executries in Scotland

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern has an ‘outstanding’ practice representing several of Scotland’s wealthy families and has demonstrable strength across generation planning, income tax and setting up residential property companies. The group is spearheaded by Carole Tomlinson and has specialist expertise in trusts and heritage property. For work around Scottish landed estates, Martin Campbell is the recommended contact and heads the firm’s personal injury trust team, while Alasdair Johnstone advises on property taxes, capital taxes and income taxes. Also of note is Nick Dobbs.

Practice head(s):

Carole Tomlinson

Other key lawyers:

Martin Cambell; Alasdair Johnstone; Nick Dobbs.


‘Anderson Strathern were efficient, helpful and quick to act at a very challenging time for my family during the Covid pandemic at the end of 2020 and throughout 2021.’

‘Nothing seemed to be above and beyond them, and they helped from the first moment I was in touch with them until the end of my dealings with the firm.’

‘The personal attention of the team is outstanding.’

‘The advice provided is always well thought out and presented in a clear and concise way.’

‘The fee structure is always fair and reasonable for the services they have provided to me.’

‘Efficient, professional, highly knowledgeable firm.’

‘Good and prompt communication.’

‘Expeditious progress of matters.’

Brodies LLP

Based in Aberdeen and led by the dual-qualified Mark Stewart, Brodies LLP fields an ‘impressive and very competent team’ covering estate planning for wealthy families, succession planning, tax planning and executrices for a steady roster of high-net-worth clients. The group is also active in setting up family investment companies. Tax planning matters are led by Alan Barr, who is singled out for his expertise in property tax issues including land and buildings transaction tax. In Glasgow, Norman Kennedy‘s practice covers inheritance tax mitigation, trusts and incapacity planning. Also of note is Susanne Batchelor, who specialises in complex estate planning and receives regular instructions from English law firms on cross-border issues.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Alan Barr; Norman Kennedy; Susanne Batchelor


‘Susanne Batchelor produced a report for the court on costs of trust and guardianship, which they did efficiently within the legal aid budget and timescale expected.’

‘Impressive team, very competent especially in complex cross-border probate client work.’

‘Very engaging, proactive, friendly, competent and knowledgeable.’

‘Brodies have a very strong team across the board and can support you at all levels ranging from simple queries to very complex planning and family matters.’

‘Norman Kennedy, partner, is very well connected and can introduce clients to relevant professionals, when required.’

‘Norman Kennedy is very business-minded and understand the commercial aspects of clients matters, and, indeed, may suggest business solutions to clients needs, as well as the legal aspects. He is very professional and has a relaxing manner.’

‘Brodies are very well respected in the Private Client field. Their lawyers are technically able and pleasant to deal with.’

‘Alan Barr is an excellent all-rounder with strong tax skills.’

Work highlights

    Shepherd and Wedderburn

    Shepherd and Wedderburn maintains its market-leading position as the go-to firm for high-net-worth families and individuals for their private client services and is noted for its ‘clear and coherent approach’. With a geographical spread covering key cities, Malcolm Rust in Edinburgh is the main point of contact, handling an assortment of personal tax and succession planning matters for wealthy families. Eleanor Kerr leads the team in Glasgow which features Alexis Graham, who has strength in asset protection and the tax-efficient structuring of complex wills for entrepreneurs. The group also assists domestic and international clients with foreign assets and compliance advice. The ‘excellentGillian Campbell leads the group in Aberdeen and advises on contentious executrices. Others in the core team include Christopher McGill, who advises international families with their philanthropic objectives, particularly on ESG; The dual-qualified Emma Read, and Douglas Sinclair, are also recommended contacts. Greig Honeyman stepped down from the partnership but remains affiliated with the firm as a consultant.

    Practice head(s):

    Malcolm Rust; Eleanor Kerr; Gillian Campbell

    Other key lawyers:

    Alexis Graham; Christopher McGill; Emma Read; Douglas Sinclair


    ‘Shepherd and Wedderburn were extremely easy to deal with, their communications were prompt and very open, ensuring that we as their clients were in control.’

    ‘We worked closely with Gillian Campbell who was excellent. Personal tax was a new area for us and her approach suited us perfectly, she made no assumptions and made sure we had all the facts before we made a decision.’

    ‘Once we had decided what we wanted, it was actioned very quickly, with all options covered, as far as we were concerned. We live in Shetland, so correspondences were a mixture of Teams meeting, calls and a face-to-face with Gillian Campbell in Aberdeen, we really appreciated the flexibility.’

    ‘Malcolm Rust not only displays full knowledge and experience but has the required skill to interface with other advisers from relevant spheres.’

    ‘Eleanor Kerr is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, approachable and efficient. I have had complete confidence in her advice and work on my behalf for over 15 years.’

    ‘The team have provided continuity of service for many years for our family trust. We have been pleased to have the same staff supporting us and feel that they know our requirements really well.’

    ‘I was the primary interface from the partnership working with Douglas Sinclair, who provided an excellent service to both the partnership as a whole and to the family of the main partner. I was working with a partner of a speciaIist accounting firm for tax matters who was also very impressed with Douglas’ knowledge and pragmatism.’

    ‘Malcolm Rust has been very efficient, and I was particularly impressed with how quickly he grasped the nature of our affairs at our initial meeting.’

    Burness Paull LLP

    Burness Paull LLP continues to be instructed by a steady roster of high-net-worth clients and individuals across the domestic tax, trusts and estate succession planning areas, and is led by the Aberdeen-based Colin McKenzie, who is well respected in the market. The group is active in cross-border domicile issues as well as succession laws. Glasgow-base  led the private client practice at Gilson Gray.

    Practice head(s):

    Colin McKenzie

    Other key lawyers:

    Fiona Clarke; Claire Macpherson; Euan Fleming


    ‘The firm are very experienced in the high-net-worth/complex space, where they have provided extremely crucial advice to family business owners and entrepreneurs who have been gearing up for sale and require the best possible structuring advice.’

    ‘Fiona Clarke provided my husband and I with our own wills, I had spoken with several different firms that I felt did not provide the most appropriate will structuring for our needs. Fiona understood our split family requirements and took the time to sit down with us and fully explain the various options that we had.’

    ‘Colin McKenzie – Coming from a commercial background Colin has a sense of urgency often lacking in other Private Client solicitors. Colin puts clients at ease and always comes across as a very practical adviser.’

    Fiona Clarke – Great manner with clients and can be trusted to produce high quality advice in good time.

    ‘My experience is that the team works collaboratively to achieve the best outcome for clients.’

    ‘Fiona Clarke has the rare skill of being able to explain complex matters in simple terms for clients.’

    ‘Long term working relationship particularly with Colin McKenzie. They have in depth knowledge of our history and circumstances. Provided essential planning advice and assistance with recent extensive employee share schemes.’

    ‘My main contact is with Fiona Clarke, who has not only demonstrated a very high level of technical ability (which if I recall was acknowledged in an award when passing her exams), but also very strong client communication skills.’

    Key clients

    CHAP (Holdings)

    Esson Properties


    Malcolm Allan Housebuilders

    National Oilwell Varco

    Petrofac Group

    Scotia Homes

    Stena Drilling

    Transocean Group

    Wood Plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised a high-net-worth couple on the creation of a family investment company (FIC) for inheritance tax mitigation purposes and to pass value to grandchildren whilst retaining control.
    • Advised the founding shareholders of a multinational IT business in relation to their succession planning.
    • Advised a listed multi-national oil and energy company in relation to several death in service cases.

    Gillespie Macandrew LLP

    Highlighted as ‘creative, diligent and detailed’, Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s practice is jointly managed by tax specialist John McArthur and Agnes Mallon in Edinburgh, and handles a steady stream of inheritance tax planning and tax mitigation work. The group features Lianne Lodge, who is noted for her expertise advising philanthropists as well as vulnerable clients on guardianship matters. Eilidh Adams is a key driver of the practice in the North of Scotland and advises on a range of succession planning for rural clients and farmers.

    Practice head(s):

    Agnes Mallon; John McArthur

    Other key lawyers:

    Lianne Lodge; Eilidh Adams


    ‘Gillespie Macandrew have been proactive, creative, diligent and detailed in all work done to date.’

    ‘A very client-focused approach to business which has not only made the process a pleasure, but also ensured that even the most complex issues are understood by one and all.’

    ‘Whilst one partner (Eilidh Adams) has led in relation to our business with Gillespie Macandrew, there has always been excellent support along the way and I have been impressed by the breadth of knowledge offered across multiple aspects of trust planning, family succession and personal tax planning.’

    ‘Eilidh Adams has repeatedly demonstrated a level of professionalism that exceeds what I’ve experienced elsewhere.’

    ‘Eilidh Adam’s ability to discuss sensitive matters across members of the family and trust in an open and transparent manner are testament to her EQ, while the depths of the detail contained in the multiple reports produced to date is testament to her knowledge of the industry, analytical ability and forward-thinking nature.’


    Housed in Dundee, Lindsays fields a ‘quality team’ that is experienced in the administration of high-value executry estates, trust creation and full range of tax planning matters, particularly, income tax and capital gains tax. Grant Johnson  leads the practice, which is made up of the highly rated Caroline Fraser, who is known contentious estates work and holds several agricultural businesses as key clients, and Sandy Lamb, who assists executors, trustees and beneficiaries on executry estate matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Grant Johnson

    Other key lawyers:

    Sandy Lamb; Caroline Fraser


    ‘The team at Lindsays includes highly experienced colleagues with a wide range of expertise, well placed to support clients across a range of areas.’

    ‘The Lindsays staff are focused on providing comprehensive guidance and support.’

    ‘The commitment of staff and their attention to detail is impressive. So too is their commitment to providing the highest quality of care.’

    ‘A quality team, skilled at questioning and listening, insightful in their observations and understanding of the clients’ requirements.’

    ‘Sandy Lamb is a quiet force.’

    ‘Having dealt with this firm for a number of years, I believe that the firm offers a good standard of personal service to their clients.’

    ‘Always comes down to client service, which is excellent. Knowledgeable, quick to respond, professional and efficient.’

    ‘Lindsay’s are professional, courteous and knowledgeable. Grant Johnston in particular is articulate, friendly and approachable.’

    Murray Beith Murray

    Providing ‘excellent timely advice’, the private client practice at Murray Beith Murray is praised by clients for its ‘one-stop shop’ offering and acts for a long-established clientbase, made up of high-net-worth families, trusts and charities. Overseen by Peter Shand, the group advises on asset protection, succession planning and tax issues. Ruthven Gemmell is rated by clients and specialises in cross-border matters around assets and estates, while Andrew Paterson is well placed to advise on powers of attorney. Hugh Younger also remains a core member of the team. The group enhanced its bench of experienced associates with the hire of Kathryn Johnston from Brodies LLP, who advises on private client matters with an international component, as well as contentious trusts.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Shand

    Other key lawyers:

    Ruthven Gemmell; Andrew Paterson; Hugh Younger; Kathryn Johnston; Sophie Napier; Fraser Scott


    ‘The MBM team manage to provide very professional advice and have the ability to advise on a very wide range of personal tax/ trusts legal needs.’

    ‘The people in the team are all of the highest calibre. They also link in well with other professionals so that individual clients receive a very high-quality total advice package.’

    ‘A reassuringly personal service by partners and other staff who know and understand the complexities of intertwined family, personal and business structures and so can give an overall view as well as keeping ‘chinese walls’ to ensure confidentiality.’

    ‘Hugh Younger – a wise adviser with a wide range of knowledge and experience.’

    ‘Andrew Paterson – my chosen first contact, always replies to queries quickly, excellent administration and detailed information at his fingertips and advice of next steps.’

    ‘Andrew Paterson, having become our key contact has maintained the previous partner’s warm and friendly approach combined with strong domain knowledge and a good way of communicating complex things to non-experts.’

    ‘This firm has worked for our family very satisfactorily for generations. We have never felt the need to use any other firm as they have kept up to date and helpful.’

    ‘Ruthven Gemmell is the Partner that I deal with and have done so since being a client of MBM since c. 1980. He knows my family history and is always able to provide sage advice when dealing with problems with my brother and his Trust.’

    Work highlights

    • Advised on the lifetime transfer of an Estate valued at £28m to the next generation as a succession planning exercise and the allocation of assets held within a family trust valued at £7m to compensate non-inheriting siblings.
    • Continuing to assist the Trustees in relation to the legal and tax implications of winding up a complex, diverse and high-value Trust.
    • Advising the owner of a Scottish Estate and other significant assets on making a lifetime transfer of the bulk of the estate and earmarking compensatory assets for another beneficiary.

    Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

    Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP has the ‘perfect balance of complete efficiency and professionalism’, and acts for high-net-worth individuals and family businesses on asset protection, tax planning issues and family partnerships. Under the leadership of Glasgow-based Ian Macdonald, the team showcases strength in complex estate planning. Magnus Mackay has secured the firm’s foothold in Inverness and assists with inheritance tax planning, while Roddy Harrison has enhanced the teams Central Belt offering. Also of note is Susan Hoyle JP Campbell left for Ledingham Chalmers LLP.

    Practice head(s):

    Ian Macdonald

    Other key lawyers:

    Magnus Mackay; Roddy Harrison; Susan Hoyle


    ‘Long-established, highly reputable firm with widespread personal and business contacts.’

    ‘Ian Macdonald, partner, is a personable highly qualified perspicacious professional with helpful extensive knowledge both in and outwith his sphere of operations.’

    ‘At Wright Johnston and MacKenzie in Inverness, clients will find the perfect balance of complete efficiency and professionalism and a very friendly relaxed atmosphere.’

    ‘They are a great team who just work so well together and bounce off each other. Every type of solicitor you could need is under one roof.’

    ‘Ian MacDonald, has been my main contact in Personal tax, trusts and executries at WJM for many years now. He and his assistant are both very knowledgeable and practical to work with.’

    ‘Strength in depth of key individuals. Ian Macdonald and Roddy Harrison are experienced lawyers who have great standing on account of their holistic approach.’

    Aberdein Considine

    Noted for its ‘strong personal engagement and attentional to detail’, Aberdein Considine covers key areas of work spanning estate and succession planning, trusts and wills for high-net-worth clients and business owners. Ryan Fox, who is based between the firm’s Stonehaven and Aberdeen offices, is singled out by clients for his ‘great in-depth knowledge of estate administration’, while STEP-qualified James MacKinnon in Edinburgh advises on contentious trusts and estates. Other key individuals include Aileen Entwistle in Glasgow and Anthony Quin in the firm's Stirling office, who counts several farming families as key clients.

    Practice head(s):

    Anthony Quin; Ryan Fox; James MacKinnon; Aileen Entwistle


    ‘Each member of staff I was involved with made things as easy for me and took the burden from myself during difficult times.’

    ‘I felt fully confident with their dealing of my affairs and all was finalised in a suitable time.’

    ‘Aileen Entwistle and her team delivered a fantastic submission when the work when out to tender. The submission was clear, very detailed and the fees proposed were competitive. The quality of work, quick turnaround times, and her team’s ability to making us and the clients feel confident and happy is a real asset to Aberdein Considine.’

    ‘Aileen Entwistle has continuously gone above and beyond to assist us in all matters. The quality of work produced is of a very high standard and turned around very quickly.’

    ‘Aileen Entwistle’s communication skills are outstanding and she always makes herself available to deliver the personal touch. Aileen is real pleasure to worth with.’

    Aberdein Considine have a dedicated Wills, Trusts and Executries team based in Edinburgh. I was impressed with the ability to access specialist advice across a range of (Wills, Trusts and Executry) services in one place. I am not sure that other firms with offices in various towns and cities structure their Wills, Trust and Executry services in this way but I liked it.’

    ‘Very personal and genuine sevice. Hard working. All staff were good to deal with and were friendly.’

    ‘Strong personal engagement. Diligent attentional to detail and very versatile in difficult situations.’

    Work highlights

      Balfour+Manson LLP

      Balfour+Manson LLP is ‘professional and well-informed‘ and is overseen by Shona Brown in Edinburgh. The practice specialises in the formation, management, and taxation of all types of trusts, including charitable trusts, as well as covering personal tax planning. Karen Phillips is noted for her ‘first class client care’ and handles incapacity-related work and executry administration, while Graeme Thomson is the contact for disputes. Also in the core team is senior associate and chartered tax advisor Margaret Ross, and Martin Lavery, who recently joined from Morton Fraser.

      Practice head(s):

      Shona Brown

      Other key lawyers:

      Karen Phillips; Graeme Thomson; Margaret Ross; Martin Lavery


      ‘Karen Phillips is great with clients, breaks down everything in simple English; communication is good and costs are reasonable.’

      ‘Karen Phillips is the primary point of contact. Nothing is ever a problem. She takes all in her stride . First-class client care . Good legal mind but very approachable.’

      ‘The care and empathy shown to clients by Karen Phillips and Shona Brown is clear to see. Dealing with clients and family groups in often difficult long-term situations, the team at Balfour and Manson are diligent and their experience in dealing with Personal Injury Trusts is unrivalled.’

      ‘Karen Phillips is more than a trusted adviser to her clients and their families, she is part of their lives and provides reassurance and peace of mind whilst not being afraid to have the difficult conversations when required.’

      ‘Shona Brown works tirelessly for her clients and it is clear their best interests lie at the heart of everything she does. She is dependable and a trusted adviser providing clear advice in simple terms.

      ‘Very professional practice, well informed and give clear explanations on complex matters.’

      ‘They are very reasonably priced given the exceptional service they offer. They routinely go above and beyond for clients and we have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the firm to any of our clients.’

      Blackadders LLP

      Based primarily out of Dundee, the private client practice at Blackadders LLP handles the full gamut of matters related to tax issues, trusts and executries for individuals, families, trustees, and businesses. The team works closely with Wealth Management LLP; a firm-owned subsidiary advising clients on investment, inheritance tax and insurance. Johnston Clark and Laura McDowall manage the team alongside Gillian Brown in Glasgow. John Dargie in Aberdeen routinely advises on incapacity matters. Tabitha Bell recently joined the team from Drummond Miller LLP.

      Practice head(s):

      Johnston Clark; Laura McDowall; Gillian Brown

      Other key lawyers:

      John Dargie; Tabitha Bell


      ‘It is a large firm with a broad range of knowledge and expertise but still retains the personal touch.’

      ‘Johnston Clark is a very experienced and highly skilled solicitor with great expertise but still is so approachable and reassuring while carrying out top-class legal work.’

      ‘Johnston Clark is able to relate to clients and understand their concerns while guiding them with his outstanding legal advice.’

      ‘I would never hesitate to contact Johnston for advice when required and know that he would provide me with sound legal and practical advice and do so with a sense of humour (where appropriate!).’

      Work highlights

      • Acting for the executors of a deceased high-net-worth individual whose assets were located in different jurisdictions and in multiple different forms.
      • Advised Legal Services Agency on tax implications, tax charges, suitability and new setups for a portfolio of trusts where significant sums had been awarded under CICA claims.
      • Administering multi-million pound charitable trusts, including William S Phillips Fund and Walter Craig Charitable Trust, created in the Wills of deceased clients.

      BTO Solicitors LLP

      Led by Edinburgh-based Gregor Mitchell, who recently joined from Morton Fraser, the practice at BTO Solicitors LLP handles high-value estate administration matters, contentious trusts, and income tax work. Other areas of activity include acting on adult incapacity issues, including powers of attorney. Donna Brennan has expertise in succession planning and is based in Helensburgh.

      Practice head(s):

      Gregor Michell

      Other key lawyers:

      Donna Brennan


      ‘This practice is unique with the efficient and timely legal services it provides while having a personal and empathetic approach to clients.’

      ‘The team works effectively to give excellent advice and legal support. The team seems to be well trained and to have valuable experience.’

      ‘Gregor Mitchell, a Partner with BTO was extremely efficient when appointed to see to my mother’s legal affairs prior to major surgery for cancer which included updating her Will, Letter of Wishes (Executors), Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney, Letter of Wishes, Advance Health Directive and Opt-Out Declaration (Human Tissue Authorisation). This was carried out in a timely manner to expedite the process in an organised way.’

      ‘Gregor Mitchell demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the complex family dynamics and provided appropriate solutions which were acceptable to my mother and the family. His people skills were excellent.’

      ‘Gregor Mitchell led his team effectively which included contacting other solicitors and agencies. The whole legal process from instructing Mr Gregor to receiving copies of the legal documents was seamless, efficient and timely, carried our with empathy towards my mother and the family. I would highly recommend Gregor Mitchell for his legal services.’

      ‘Provide personal attention, tailor solutions to the individual needs.’

      Harper Macleod LLP

      Noted for its ‘forensic level of detail’, Harper Macleod LLP‘s team is led by Pamela Niven in Glasgow, and undertakes an assortment of activity across complex estate planning work, taxation matters and trusts for high-net-worth individuals. Trust creation and administration matters are dealt with by Jacqueline Leslie, while Julie Doncaster in Inverness is the main point of contacts in the Highlands; various rural businesses and farmers are key clients. Also of note is new partner Kathleen Martin, who specialises in complex executries.

      Practice head(s):

      Pamela Niven

      Other key lawyers:

      Julie Doncaster; Jacqueline Leslie; Kathleen Martin


      ‘The solicitors are very approachable, efficient conscientious and helpful.’

      ‘The ethos around the firm is very client orientated and friendly in nature.’

      ‘A real key drive and focus on client outcomes and the relationships that are build with the firm in the process.’

      ‘The individuals that I have worked with have had a level of knowledge and a enthusiasm for helping clients which is second to none.’

      ‘Whilst maintaining their professional approach, they still have the ability to build a close and personal relationship with the client which is matched with the ability to provide excellent outcomes for clients, this level of personalisation and client focus is again not something that is evident with all legal firms which is refreshing.’

      ‘Jacqueline Leslie: prompt courteous and highly professional with a relevant level of technicality.’

      ‘The main thing that always stands out is the way they deal with clients – personable, open and genuinely caring, always professional, with the ability to put clients at ease and bring out the best in them.’

      ‘The team collaborate together exceptionally well, and everyone is on the ball.’

      Key clients

      Diane Finnie

      Work highlights

      • Represented Diane Finnie in what is believed to be the first defended and reported litigation under section 3 of the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016 to rectify the terms of a Will by a different firm of Solicitors. The Court concluded that the Will as drafted failed to accurately express the testator’s instructions and ordered that the Will be rectified to restore our client as a residual beneficiary.

      MacRoberts LLP

      Described as ‘flexible and approachable’ according to clients, MacRoberts LLP’s private client practice focuses on complex tax, estates and asset protection matters. Practice head Carole McAlpine-Scott has demonstrable strength in elderly client care and frequently acts as attorney to asset protection matters and financial administration work. Also in Glasgow is James Inglis who focuses on adult incapacity issues and administration of guardianship offers.

      Practice head(s):

      Carole McAlpine-Scott

      Other key lawyers:

      James Inglis


      ‘My dealings with the team relate to the drafting of Powers of Attorney and the creations and management of Personal Injury Trusts. They are very client focused and go out of their way to put clients at their ease and explain the legal details in full and easily understandable terms.’

      ‘I have always found their approach to be very flexible and approachable and am aware that clients also appreciate that.’

      ‘My principal dealings are with one partner in particular, James Inglis. James has shown himself to be very steady and dependable, providing sound and reliable advice to a range of clients in a wide range of circumstances but all with real need of sound and dependable advice and guidance.

      ‘James Inglis takes a very keen interest in the circumstances of their accidents which helps him to relate to them when discussing and appreciating their needs.’

      ‘James Inglis has a very reassuring manner but is also very objective and can point out to clients matters which are less attractive to them but in a way which they both understand and accept.’

      Morton Fraser

      Morton Fraser is ‘extremely knowledgeable and practical’, and acts for several Scottish high-net-worth individuals, including landed estate owners and families. The team has core strengths in business succession planning, inheritance tax planning using agricultural property reliefs, and asset protection. Led by Carryl Beveridge, the group features Catriona MacPhail, Sue Hunter (who leads the wealth management team) and new partner Jack Kerr. At the associate level, Emma Wood advises on estate planning. Elsewhere, Gregor Mitchell departed the practice to join BTO Solicitors LLP.

      Practice head(s):

      Carryl Beveridge

      Other key lawyers:

      Catriona MacPhail; Sue Hunter; Jack Kerr; Emma Wood


      ‘Everyone I have dealt with at Morton Fraser has been extremely knowledgeable, practical, pleasant and kind to work with.’

      ‘Catriona MacPhail is my go-to for all matters relating to Scottish private client law. She is enormously knowledgeable and technically skilled, but, perhaps more importantly, understands what is practically and emotionally needed and possible.’

      ‘Catriona MacPhail is sensitive, responsive and a pleasure to work with.’

      ‘Sue Hunter is enormously experienced, wise and kind. I have had less work with her this year, but it is always a pleasure when I do.’

      ‘Strength in depth with willing and helpful attitude.’

      ‘Upfront with proposed fees. Adapted quickly to need for online discussions during Covid lockdown, but flexible about holding face to face meeting when lockdown temporarily relaxed’.

      ‘Have dealt mainly with Jack Kerr who is both knowledgeable and helpful. Explains matters well. Does not over-complicate things. Diligent and has good manner with clients.’

      Work highlights

      • Acting for an ultra-high net worth individual (> £150m) in succession planning to include creation of a family investment company worth > £25m.
      • Acted for a government agency in revising the terms of a Trust Deed relative to compensation payment.
      • Advising on and revising the trust documentation required to effect the transfer of a bank’s trust book to an acquiring trustee company, involving over 275 trusts subject to Scots law.

      Stronachs LLP

      Stronachs LLP has a ‘breadth of knowledge and skills’, and is active across bespoke estate planning for high-net worth clients, including farming businesses, multi-million-pound executries and administration of charitable trusts. Overseen by Jaclyn Russell, the team is made up of associate Karyn Richmond,who recently joined from Harper Macleod LLP and advises clients on estate planning and asset protection; Karen Oliver is also a key member of the team.

      Practice head(s):

      Jaclyn Russell

      Other key lawyers:

      Karyn Richmond; Karen Oliver


      ‘Highly experienced and professional team. Straight forward and friendly.’

      ‘Great depth of experience and expertise across the whole team with excellent leadership skills from Jaclyn Russell, Partner and Head of the Private Client Department. The Practice has very competent, knowledgeable and courteous staff with excellent technical skills and attention to detail.’

      ‘Gender equality is very strong with the number of highly respected, motivated and competent female Partners and Associates.’

      ‘In my experience the service levels provided by Karen Oliver have been outstanding with excellent communication channels open at all times.’

      ‘One significant factor worth noting is that when the former Partner retired after forty years service there was a seamless transition in the professional service and relationship with the client. This was due to the excellent reputation of the Practice and the exceptional quality and attributes of the staff.’

      ‘I required several complex international matters to be dealt with in my will and some more complicated family arrangements. This was dealt with smoothly and quickly to allow my husband and I to make reciprocal arrangements across jurisdictions.’

      ‘The firm was recommended to us by our financial managers as we were looking for a local firm to update our Wills and Powers of Attorney. Stronachs LLP carried out our requests efficiently and promptly, and were exceptionally professional.’

      ‘The staff we dealt with very quickly understood our requirements and executed them promptly and efficiently in a very pleasant manner.’

      Work highlights

      • Advising multiple generations of a prominent Scottish family-owned and run company (net worth in excess of £100M) in relation to multi-generational business and estate succession planning, including trust creation and management.
      • Avising landed estate owners in connection with their succession planning and lifetime gifting arrangements to begin the process of passing of the Estate down the generations
      • Avising in connection with a family investment company arrangement for a former Chief Executive of a major oil and gas company, including the creation of a family trust within the FIC arrangement