Personal tax, trusts and probate: Essex in South East
The five-partner team at leading regional firm Birkett Long LLP provides clients with a wide and far-reaching service that covers all aspects of wills, tax, trust creation, and international trust advice. Working across three offices, the cross-practice team works together to deliver an 'excellent and efficient service'. Emma Clarke , who oversees the South Essex wills, trusts & probate practice, is regularly engaged in high-value matters and international advisory work. Other core members include private client head Claire Read, newly-made up partner Ben Parmenter who heads the wills, trusts & probate team in Colchester, and the 'diligent' Amanda Smallcombe , who provides expertise on contested trust and probate work.
Claire Read; Emma Clarke; Ben Parmenter
Other key lawyers:
‘Birkett Long provide a practical approach to this sensitive work and ensure great attention to detail. They are prepared to go the extra mile to assist their clients.’
‘Amanda Smallcombe delivers outstanding care to her clients and is a delight to work with. A strong and very intelligent solicitor.‘
Birketts LLP 's private client team offers an 'impressive' service to clients, including domestic and international work, often of a high value. The team, which is led by Tim Galloway , is skilled in handling offshore and multi-jurisdictional offerings and has recently managed an array of multi-million-pound property trust scheme work. The 'first class' Susan Young holds expertise in tax planning involving wills and probate applications. Louise Long from the Ipswich office is recommended for her complex estates practice. Katie Payne joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.
‘The team provides first-class advice and execution at prices consistent regionally.’
‘A depth of experience dealing with clients and offer carefully tailored advice and documents.’
The 'first-class service' offered by the private client team at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP covers all aspects of wills and probate. Overseen by Holland-on-Sea-based practice head, Susanne Grimwade, the team has expertise in court of protection applications, wealth planning, and long-term care planning measures. Recent work includes acting as executors in a £530,000 inheritance act claim, as well as other complex high-value instructions. Colchester based Sarah Rankin is noted for her 'invaluable approach', while Andrea Godfrey and Amy Burton are also recommended.
‘Sarah Rankin and her team were responsive, understood my situation, and were willing to take the extra step.’
‘Susanne Grimwade always goes the extra mile to give outstanding service to her clients.’
Giles Wilson LLP
The trust and probate team at Giles Wilson LLP is led by the 'excellent' Melinda Giles and has particular proficiency in tax planning and wills. Giles' specialisms lie in court of protection and all areas of mental capacity work, where she provides services to elderly and vulnerable clients. Recent highlights for the group include evaluating a series of high-value estates and tax planning for respective clients. Philip Giles is head of the contentious private client department and has experience in disputed wills. Other team members include Daniel Curnock who is recommended for complex trust and estate administration.
‘Melinda Giles has a formidable reputation in this area of law and is our family’s ‘go to’ person in this regard.‘
‘The team is of the highest calibre‘
The private client team at Palmers offers the full range of traditional will and probate services alongside advising on contentious probate matters and inheritance act claims. Led by Lee McClellan in Basildon, the team handles a number of significant high-value inheritance tax claims . South Woodham Ferrers based Tim Steele is a key contact and has experience handling estate administration. Partner Helen Jago is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
The private client team at Tees Law has been strengthened by its merger with Wortley Byers. It is led by the 'exceptionally knowledgeable' Ian Johnston in Chelmsford. Post-merger, the practice undertakes a wide range of services including high-value estate administration instructions from clients and disputes. The team has expanded its reach in the agricultural sector, with Johnston leading on several new complex farming probates. Core team members include associate Oli Budino, Nicola Healy and 'exceptional' solicitor Hayley Weston.
Nicola Havers; Sarah Walker
‘Professionalism coupled with a friendly approach is what makes this firm different. This is by far the most efficient firm I have dealt with and the most approachable.’
‘A thorough, competent and knowledgeable team that provide clear and concise answers.’
‘Ian Johnston has an excellent bedside manner and is exceptionally knowledgeable. He explains even the most complex issues in a straight forward, easy to understand way.’
‘A faultless, efficient, professional and very personal service.’
‘Exceptionally good service on a very friendly basis. We feel that the service we received is first class and exceeded our expectations from the start compared with other firms we have dealt with in the past.’
‘Excellent personal attention and good continuity of repose and advice.’
‘This is a firm of solicitors l have used for a number of years, l have always felt comfortable dealing with all the members of staff l have come into contact with. I would be reluctant to go anywhere else for legal advice.’
Thompson Smith and Puxon's 'impressive' private client department is 'very well versed in dealing with complex matters' which include all aspects of wills, inheritance tax planning and the administration of estates. Led by standout practitioner Fiona Ashworth , who clients describe as a 'real asset to the firm', the team is proficient in handling high-value and often uniquely challenging transfers of inter-generational wealth. The agriculture sector has traditionally been a strong client focus of the firm. Aileen Hirst acts for high-net-worth clients and advises on trust planning and estates. Sarah White and Robert Ashworth are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fiona Ashworth is friendly, professional and has a wealth of experience. She understands the sensitivities of dealing with estates and her farming knowledge is very helpful when handling agricultural matters.’
‘Aileen Hirst is very professional but with a personal touch. She puts her clients at ease and has a real understanding of their needs.‘
‘The team offers a thoroughly professional service, prompt response time and unswerving commitment to providing comprehensive understanding.’
Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors
The department at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors covers all aspects of private client work including advice on wills, trusts, power of attorney and probate matters for high-net-worth clients. Led by Loughton-based Andrew Flannagan, the 'strong' team has a particular focus on court of protection work, for which Lesley-Ann Mayhew is the key name to note. .It has undertaken a significant number of high-value estate and trust matters for clients. Associate Tony Brownlie has a particular specialism in estate administration and has been instructed by a client on an offshore matter.
‘Lesley-Ann Mayhew has a strong work ethic, a deep and wide knowledge of the issues and always ensures that advice is provided promptly.‘
Ellisons Solicitors provide clients with a 'high level of technical expertise' and manage all areas of tax and estate planning, trust and probate administration, as well as wills. The group has a traditional family solicitor approach and caters to a long-standing client base of high-net-worth individual and local companies. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of a deceased client in a £1m cross-border matter, with the team administrating an estate across South Africa, Australia and the UK. This matter was led by practice lead Tim Logan and Chloe Baldwin. Clacton-based associate Gina Westbrook who is 'very knowledgable' is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Practical and commercially astute- the lawyers at Ellisons provide a very personal service and are easy to work with.’
‘The private client team at Ellisons has a strength in dealing with challenging family dynamics that comes through years of experience.‘
Jefferies Essex LLP
The 'exceptional in all aspects' private client practice at Jefferies Essex LLP merged with Conway and Conway, thereby expanding its existing wills and probate services through additional trusts expertise. Gill Tobin leads the team which has been engaged in numerous state administration matters. Emma Blakesley was recently instructed to prepare a lasting power of attorney application. Philip Conway is recommended for his expertise relating to the administration of estates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Faultless service and excellent in every respect. The solicitors were courteous and showed great sympathy and understanding.‘
‘Jefferies is a friendly local firm with some exceptional individuals giving high-quality commercial advice.’
The wills and probate team at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP is led by recently promoted partner Lee Hibell and Caroline Cole. The practice covers a wide range of matters relating to estate and trust administration, wills, lasting powers of attorney and court of protection work. Recent matters include instructing genealogists in tracing and assisting heirs on a high value large estate matter. Senior associate Jonathan Saunders joined the team from Palmers.
Lee Hibell; Caroline Cole
'The firm to call', Pinney Talfourd LLP's private client team is noted for its 'extreme professionalism, friendliness, and attentive approach' . It is led by Matthew Edwards , who clients describe as working 'always with a flair with some nice personal touches.' The practice group covers the full scope of wills, trusts and probate matters, with attention to estate planning and asset protection. Senior associate Kristian Croad is consistently highlighted by clients and has a specialism in medium to high-value trust-related work. Other key members include the 'exceptional' Chris Dickinson .
‘The team displays a high level of professionalism that inspires confidence. All team members are effective communicators and are knowledgeable‘.
‘Kristian Croad eloquently explains complicated aspects in a clear, concise and client-friendly way. I had absolute faith in Kristian and would use him and the team again.’
'Efficient and quick to react', the private client team at Rainer Hughes is led by the 'charming' Michael Casson and has expertise in will creation, probate administration, trusts, and court of protection matters. Work highlights are often of a cross-border nature and of high-value, concerning power of attorney and securing grant of probate for clients.
‘Michael Casson and his team are extremely committed and consistently go over and above for clients.’