Leading Individuals

Next Generation Partners

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

From advising high-net-worth-individuals on the use of investment companies, to assisting with the retention of family wealth, to acting as professional trustees, the Blake Morgan LLP private client team offers a ‘first-class service’. The firm has recently established a fintech and crypto assets working group. Practice head Paula Shea boasts 19 years’ experience of assisting sports and media clients with wills, probate, and tax-related matters. Simon Treherne routinely supports farming families and companies with financing and succession matters, while Jonathan Sleep is instructed by individuals to deal with inheritance tax and care fees. Darren Price is knowledgeable on enduring powers of attorney and estate planning. Laura Richards route out the roster of key names. The whole team is based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Paula Shea

Other key lawyers:

Simon Treherne; Jonathan Sleep; Darren Price; Laura Richards


‘Simon Treherne is simply outstanding. He makes complicated matters easily understood. I have dealt with him for over 23 years and cannot speak highly enough of him and his support team.’

‘Jonathan Sleep has delivered an excellent service concerning probate on two occasions. He was focussed and very professional, managing complex communications with an executor and keeping me informed. His approach was efficient and timely.’

‘Darren Price always kept me updated with all concerns and questions regarding the probate and handling of will requests.’

‘The team, led by Paula Shea, offers a first-class service combining legal expertise and excellent client skills.’

‘Paula Shea provides an outstanding service exhibiting the abilities to explain legal issues to clients clearly and patiently, address client queries promptly and fully and ensure the task in hand is completed as soon as possible.’

‘Expertise, professionalism and inter-personal skills with clients. It took me many years to find the right blend of these skills where I was happy to introduce my clients. The team prepares excellent explanatory side notes to sit alongside legal documentation.’

‘The practice delivers a highly professional and reliable service to the clients I have introduced to the team at Blake Morgan. I can be confident my clients are in good hands. They are flexible with their client interface using current technology for meetings where needed.’

‘In particular Paula Shea has helped my clients to work towards solutions which deliver the best outcomes for their individual needs. Her skills in adapting her approach to work best with my client circumstances have built trust and confidence for the clients involved.’

Foot Anstey

Headed up by ‘standout performer’ Rachel Brooks, Foot Anstey’s Southampton-based private wealth group specialises in all aspects of tax, contentious trusts, and agriculture matters. The team has considerable expertise in supporting entrepreneurs and high-net-worth-individuals in maximising the potential of tax savings, along with the restructuring of assets. Brooks has 27 years’ experience of assisting agricultural clients and landed estates, with an emphasis on succession planning and passing assets down through the generations, while Douglas Smith has a specific specialism in providing tax advice for both UK and overseas clients. Carol Ward deals with the administration of high-value estates, and Celine Lecomte regularly administers personal injury trusts.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Brooks

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Smith; Carol Ward; Celine Lecomte; Bonnie Ward; Carolyn Butland-Beazley; Antoinette Merryfield


‘The team are really great at dealing with more complex, high-level matters, and in particular the various complexities of family investment companies. I have always found the team to be very responsive and easy to deal with, and they are really good at understanding clients needs, demonstrating an empathetic approach.’

‘Rachel Brooks is a pleasure to work with, she is very knowledgeable, responsive, caring and pragmatic, which is a combination that makes her my go-to practitioner for private client work.’

‘They combine being extremely personable and client friendly with an encyclopaedic knowledge of their subject.’

‘Rachel Brooks is a standout performer. She provides top-notch advice to many HNWIs and UHNWIs and is extremely well respected for her knowledge of landed estates.’

Moore Barlow

Counting SME businesses, HNWIs, and trustees amongst its key clients, the Moore Barlow private wealth team is recommended for its tax efficient succession planning. The group’s strong links with the contentious trust and estate department enable it to offer a comprehensive service on all elements of restructuring of assets and family trust matters. Southampton-based practice head, Naomi Wilkes, has extensive expertise in inheritance tax and estate planning matters, while Philip Whitcomb leads the rural law sub-group from Lymington. Fiona Heald also operates out of Lymington, focusing on lasting powers of attorney and financial abuse issues. Alison Lloyd acts for executors on probate matters, while Rebecca Sparrow regularly manages the property and financial affairs of clients who lack mental capacity.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Wilkes

Other key lawyers:

Philip Whitcomb; Fiona Heald; Alison Lloyd; Rebecca Sparrow


‘Particular expertise in agricultural partnership which is second to none.’

‘Philip Whitcomb: 0ne-of-a-kind solicitor, expert in his area.’

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP’s ‘young, dynamic and highly collaborative’ team has extensive experience of handling complex probate administrations, along with Court of Protection and mental capacity matters. The group is also well equipped to act as an independent trustee in contentious trust cases. Southampton-based practice head Mihiri Gajraj noted as a specialist for the provision of tax planning and trust advice. Operating out of Bournemouth and Poole, Adam Scott routinely gives assistance to farmers, business owners and high-net-worth-individuals, while Richard Dollimore is an expert in drafting wills. Salisbury-based Kathryn Anderson focuses on emergency grant applications, having joined the firm from Wilsons in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mihiri Gajra

Other key lawyers:

Adam Scott; Kathryn Anderson; Richard Dollimore; Claire Radigois; Paula Arnold


‘I have referred lots of my clients to Trethowans, they have always been fantastic and could do no more for the clients. Speed of work and the whole process from start to finish is superb.’

‘Mihiri Gajra – brilliant, always willing to help and prepared to go the extra mile and explain everything so clearly to clients while offering a great service. I have full faith in Trethowans.’

‘The team are young, dynamic and highly collaborative. Their work is both impressive and knowledgeable, and mutual clients have very high regard to the quality of the team.’

‘The individuals are amenable and professional. Despite long careers ahead of them, their senior solicitors and partners are knowledgeable and demonstrate experience beyond their ages.’

‘Knowledgeable and helpful staff.’

Irwin Mitchell

Co-headed by Naomi Neville and Paula James, the Irwin Mitchell lifetime and estate planning department has considerable expertise in dealing with international tax issues, drafting complex wills, and handling estate disputes. Splitting her time between Southampton and Chichester, Neville regularly assists companies with their succession planning, while Chichester-based senior associate Laura Colville specialises in powers of attorney and probate matters. Amy Comins supports elderly and vulnerable individuals with property and financial affairs, and Emily Wentworth focuses on legal and beneficial co-ownership issues. Associate Nicola Hawkins is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Neville; Paula James; Paula Myers

Other key lawyers:

Darran Fawcett; Laura Colville; Amy Comins; Tanya Wadeson; Emily Wentworth; Nicola Hawkins


‘From both the team and the individuals we have felt a human touch to their work. Our work is in the charity sector, so this makes it particularly important for us.’

Paris Smith LLP

Receiving instruction from landed estates, farmers, and entrepreneurs, Paris Smith LLP’s team is highly experienced in advising on tax-efficient wills and creating trusts in line with family investment companies. Within the department, there is a specialist Court of Protection and contentious probate section. Vicky Day leads the group from Southampton after arriving from Coffin Mew LLP in July 2022. Anthony Nixon is an expert in succession planning and associated tax issues, while Winchester-based Jason Oliver is highly knowledgeable in contentious trust and estate matters. William Hadley focuses on inheritance and capital gains tax planning.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Day

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Nixon; Jason Oliver; William Hadley


‘Great service and legal advice.’

‘Anthony Nixon clearly has a handle on the legal issues we have that require a range of varied skills, and can find people in his wider team to support with their expert knowledge. I believe too we have received value for money and a clear roadmap moving forward.’

Phillips Solicitors

The Basingstoke-based Phillips Solicitors team is ‘technically strong’, primarily assisting national and international clients with all aspects of trust administration and inheritance tax matters. Practice head Leyla Whitlingum has been handling the administration of complex estates and will disputes since her arrival from Paris Smith LLP in May 2022. Senior associate Sian Lias advises on all aspects of private client law, while Sarah Parker supports clients with the preparation and registration of lasting powers of attorney. Associate Claire-Marie Selwood provides guidance on will preparation.

Practice head(s):

Leyla Whitlingum

Other key lawyers:

Sian Lias; Sarah Parker; Claire-Marie Selwood


‘Friendly, knowledgeable, unstuffy, timely and clear in all communications. Also very reasonable and clear pricing.’

‘Sian Lias was completely efficient, clear in all communication and very friendly and helpful.’

‘The team is technically strong and they can deal with complex multi-country estates. They deal with the bereaved families with sympathy.’