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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP covers the full breadth of wealth protection work and advises clients on all aspects of trust creation and administration. The firm can leverage the resources of four specialist teams across the South East: advisory, probate, trust administration, and court of protection. Paula Shea joined the practice from Lester Aldridge LLP  and is particularly skilled in advising elderly clients and assisting families with vulnerable children. She leads the Southampton practice alongside Simon Treherne , who works primarily with entrepreneurial clients. Jonathan Sleep is an inheritance tax specialist and helps to provide safeguards for clients losing mental capacity.

Practice head(s):

Simon Treherne; Paula Shea

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Sleep


Approachable, frank, friendly, down to earth. Open to questioning. Prompt with any replies. Always contactable. Appreciative of anxieties. Realistic. Answer questions put directly.

Paula Shea and her team are exemplary listeners and are therefore able to give the very best advice, calling on other professionals i.e. accountants, to advise and provide the best information.

Blake Morgan’s Succession and Tax Team’s review of a group of family trusts was exactly what we needed. They were flexible, helpful and gave value for money.  I was grateful for the reassurance they provided and for the issues that they flagged up for the trustees’ attention going forward.

We have had first class, personalised service from Paula Shea.

I have dealt with Blake Morgan LLP over a number of years and have always found the firm to be efficient, timely and welcoming.  The team has dealt with my requirements in a competent manner and have carried out my wishes, whilst offering valid advice and making points of law as required.

The Probate, Wills and Trusts team provide responsive and helpful advice in a timely manner. They follow up on the advice and provide a good value service.

Efficient, obliging and effective.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow's Lymington based private wealth team regularly handles high net worth, complex private client work, including tax and succession planning, wills, probate, trusts and court of protection issues. The team has particular expertise advising on agricultural and business property relief, as well as care fees planning. Philip Whitcomb leads the practice and has more than 19 years of experience in succession planning, asset protection and heritage law. Fiona Heald is a name to note for court of protection work, while Alison Lloyd  specialises in probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Philip Whitcomb

Other key lawyers:

Alison Lloyd; Fiona Heald


Moore Barlow LLP has an excellent pipeline of country wealth experience, with good knowledge of estates, agriculture and the surrounding trusts and tax issues.

Phillip Whitcomb is a veteran troubleshooter.

Work highlights

  • Advised on complex farming probate with succession planning and trusts issues worth £38 million.
  • Advised on Court of Protection application and appointment of Deputy.
  • Advised on winding up of trust worth £600,000 and ongoing trusts worth £9 million.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP is best known for its trust and estate planning advice to high net worth clients in the central southern region. Much of the firm's client base is commercial, with a strong practice managing the private wealth planning of entrepreneurs. The team also acts for long established family trusts, including farmers and landowners in the region, who benefit from the rural team attached to the practice. Elizabeth Power replaced Nick Turner as department head, while Daisy Eshelby joined the Winchester team from RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP. Jason Oliver leads the contentious probate practice.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Power


The team works well together and all seem to be kept in the loop, so very easily updated when requested.

I found them sympathetic and very understanding in dealing with my late husband’s estate and going forward sorting out my affairs.  I dealt with Isabel Deverill and her team.

Fantastic lawyers, efficient, available and pragmatic. Great value for money. Nothing negative to say.

Phillips Solicitors

While it may be too early to tell how Phillips Solicitors' 2020 merger with  Basingstoke law firm Brain Chase Coles  has affected its market offering, the firm remains committed to servicing a wide client base ranging from private individuals to multinational corporations. Former Brain Chase Coles practice head Lucy Watson leads the combined practice, which also includes Caroline Wallis , who has significant experience in estate administration and inheritance tax planning. Sian Lias is an expert in probate and estate administration.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Watson

Other key lawyers:

Sian Lias; Caroline Wallis


I found the team to be friendly and courteous.  At no time was I pressured to accept anything I was unhappy with.

My main contact was with Caroline Wallis concerning a new Will and Lasting powers of Authority.  I had prepared what I thought was simple and clear requirements for the former but she pointed out several amendments and inclusions which she explained could cause potential problems.  This she did in a friendly, confident and professional manner which I found easy to accept.

Phillips are very approachable, easy to get hold of and understand the tax planning that I am trying to achieve.

Caroline Wallis is very calm and experienced.  Sian Lias is enthusiastic, co-operative, very easy to work with, reliable and efficient.

When dealing with Phillips you are always made to feel welcome as a valued client. The staff – both senior and junior – conduct business in a very relaxed and friendly manner while maintaining the necessary professionalism. All matters are clearly explained in plain English to ensure you are fully aware of implications.

 Caroline Wallis either has a very good memory or goes to the trouble of checking clients’ background and interests before meetings. This helps make stressful meetings such as probate more pleasant, as you are greeted on a personal basis.

Everyone at Phillips is so helpful and efficient. The response time to questions is exceptionally quick.

Caroline Wallis made the whole probate process so smooth and I can’t thank her enough.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP has a breadth of expertise in tax planning, including offshore planning advice, inheritance tax, stamp duty land tax, and capital gains tax. The firm's specialism in the agricultural sector translates down to its private wealth team, which focuses on providing business and tax advice to large landed estates in the south of England. Michael Westbrook leads the practice and specialises in advising farmers, landowners, family business owners and entrepreneurs on strategic succession planning and asset protection, with a particular focus on the use of trusts, partnerships and companies.

Practice head(s):

Michael Westbrook

Trethowans LLP

The Trethowans LLP team specialises in advising farmers and landed estates on succession and capital gains tax planning. Mihiri Gajraj leads the Southampton office and advises clients in relation to to tax planning and trusts. In Winchester, Rupert Thompson joined from Stillwells LLP  and undertakes all private client work. The team also works on court of protection and mental capacity issues and acts as an independent administrator in contentious probate cases.

Practice head(s):

Mihiri Gajraj; Rupert Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Chris Pemberton


I have found Trethowans LLP to be “head and shoulders above” other local firms in relation to the quality of service and the speed of their delivery and responses. Too often these are strengths that are not found together, and it is rare to find a firm like Trethowans LLP which can consistently deliver speedy and quality service.

I have worked most closely with Mihiri Gajraj at Trethowans LLP. I find Mihiri a pleasure to work with. She is friendly and professional, quick to respond to any queries and always willing to help. Her work is accurate and well written, and her attention to detail is excellent, which I feel is especially important when preparing trust deeds. I am confident recommending Mihiri to my clients and to other professionals I work with, and have done so on numerous occasions.

Communicate well, good expertise and knowledge ; patient and cooperative. Approachable at all times. Other firms I know are similar, but this team and Trethowans are among the best.

Trethowans has a great team spirit and are very capably led, making them a joy to deal with.

Mihiri Gajraj is an outstanding lawyer, with fantastic integrity in all aspects of our work together. She does what she says and gets it done in good time.