Next Generation Partners

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Headed by Paula Shea, Blake Morgan LLP’s private client group consists of four specialist teams covering the full range of succession and tax services. Shea advises on most aspects of private client work, including trusts, wills and probate, and tax planning. She is developing a specialist offering for high net-worth clients in the sports and media sectors, which she will continue to act for alongside her existing base of individual and businessowner clients. Simon Treherne acts for clients with significant business interests, especially in the agricultural sector. Jonathan Sleep has built a strong reputation with his work providing safeguards for the mentally vulnerable and helping individuals mitigate against inheritance tax. Darren Price is also recommended for his work on wills, power of attorney, and tax and estate planning.

Practice head(s):

Paula Shea

Other key lawyers:

Simon Treherne; Jonathan Sleep; Darren Price


‘I was very impressed by their range of knowledge and expertise and the assistance they were able to provide at a very difficult time.’

‘My experience of the team is that those I have worked with have been very ready to be flexible to accomodate clients’ differing needs which always resonates well.’

‘Friendly approach, relaxed manner which puts clients at their ease, but at the same time offering a broad range of expertise.’

‘The personal service and approachable manner of all team members makes them a delight to work with.’

‘Professional yet personable approach. Very compassionate and empathetic.’

‘A well resourced team led by Paula Shea that works closely with other teams as the case dictates.’

‘Paula Shea is an exceptionally good lawyer. Technically brilliant , amazing client service and runs a great team. I have repeatedly recommended her for her Wills and Estate services.’

‘Jonathan Sleep of Blake Morgan was extremely courteous, approachable, willing, thorough in all he did, and very helpful at all times during my dealings with him. I could not have expected better legal advice and help, and feel that he provided me with an excellent and knowledgable service.’

Moore Barlow

The private wealth team at Moore Barlow advises predominantly regional HNW clients. Lymington-based Philip Whitcomb leads the rural subteam, with particular experience in agricultural and business property relief. Southampton-based Naomi Wilkes, who recently took over from Tim Adams in Guildford as head of private wealth, is adept at handling the range of private client matters, while Fiona Heald is especially well known for her Court of Protection work. Alison Lloyd specialises in estate administration, including intestacy and the tax implications of deceased estates. Rebecca Sparrow joined the Basingstoke office as a partner from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in August 2021, and now acts as head of department for the Court of Protection team.

Practice head(s):

Tim Adams

Other key lawyers:

Philip Whitcomb; Naomi Wilkes; Fiona Heald; Alison Lloyd; Rebecca Sparrow


‘Moore Barlow is a firm that knows what it does and does it well.’

‘Farm partnership law combined with taxation knowledge.’

‘Philip Whitcomb is in a very small elite in the UK who can advise across farm partnership issues and taxation.’

‘Philip Whitcomb is a reassuring and practical expert on landed and agricultural families.’

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP‘s private client team advises a broad client base ranging from local individuals and families to HNW individuals in a variety of sectors. Team head Mihiri Gajraj splits her time between the firm’s offices in Southampton and Salisbury, and is especially well known for her work in tax planning and trust advice, with a particular specialism in intergenerational planning for businessowners and farmers. The team was strengthened by the addition of partner Adam Scott and senior associate Kate Marsh. Scott, who joined the firm’s Bournemouth office from Humphries Kirk in January 2021, has a niche focus advising sports professionals. Marsh, who joined from Moore Barlow in March 2022, has broad experience. Associate Arcadius Gregory is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mihiri Gajraj

Other key lawyers:

Adam Scott; Arcadius Gregory; Kate Marsh


‘Make themselves available. Put themselves in the client’s shoes and not their own when advising. I would particularly recommend Nick Gent and Mihiri Gajraj.’

‘The personal service as well as the all round expertise of the subjects on which advice is sought. It is a matter of ‘culture’ as much as personal character and performance’

BDB Pitmans

The Southampton private wealth team at BDB Pitmans is headed by Emily Taylor and provides broad support to clients including HNW individuals and those with significant family wealth. A court-appointed deputy, Taylor specialises in matters concerning mental capacity, with expertise extending to tax planning, estate administration, and trusts. She is supported by associate Alex O’Sullivan, who has similarly broad experience, including in court of protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Emily Taylor; Alastair Collett; Hugo Smith

Other key lawyers:

Alex O’Sullivan


‘They are a good one-stop shop for most clients as they have expertise covering a broad range of different sectors which should cover most client requirements whether personal or commercial. They are large enough to provide a full range of services but still provide a truly personal service.’

‘Emily Taylor, a partner in the private client department, continues to impress. She is knowledgeable, business like but very personable and has a good bedside manner with clients.’

‘The team have fantastic attention to detail and are very approachable. Their knowledge is above par and able to carry out a wide range of services under one roof.’

Foot Anstey

Made up of experienced lawyers formerly of Thrings LLP and Blake Morgan LLP, Foot Anstey‘s Southampton-based succession and tax team acts for a range of local and regional clients. Team lead Rachel Brooks has particular expertise in succession planning for clients with landed estates. Douglas Smith specialises in tax advice for high net-worth clients, including those with overseas interests. Senior associate Celine Lecomte handles a variety of trusts work, including matters relating to family, personal injury, and charitable trusts. Bonnie Ward and Carol Ward are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Brooks

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Smith; Celine Lecomte; Bonnie Ward; Carol Ward


This practice has a broad skill set and reassuringly high level of competence. This is in contrast to other firms I have used where I felt I had to check everything they did and usually found them wanting. With Foot Anstey it is possible to relax and let them get on with the task in hand.’

‘Rachel Brooks is capable, pro-active, efficient and intuitive. She is the person you need by your side when you are going through the minefield of challenges that the loss of a family member can bring to your door.’

Paris Smith LLP

Split across the firm’s Southampton and Winchester offices, Paris Smith LLP‘s tax and estate planning department handles all aspects of private client work for clients including landed estates, farmers, entrepreneurs, and businessowners. Isabel Deverill in Winchester is especially well known for her work on wills, trusts, and estates, while William Hadley focuses in particular on agricultural and business relief. Anthony Nixon joined the Southampton office from Irwin Mitchell as a consultant in September 2021, and brings both depth and breadth of experience. Jason Oliver heads the contentious probate and trusts disputes team. 

Practice head(s):

Kelly Greig

Other key lawyers:

Isabel Deverill; William Hadley; Anthony Nixon; Jason Oliver

Phillips Solicitors

Phillips Solicitors continues to grow following its 2020 merger with Brain Chase Coles, acquiring local firm Henleys Solicitors in July 2021. This bolsters its already strong wills and probate offering, bringing in a significant number of new clients. The wills and probate teams provides advice from simple wills to complex trusts, estate administration, and inheritance planning. Team head Lucy Watson is particularly well regarded for her work with elderly clients. Sian Lias and Sarah Parker are known for their work in complex estate administration and the creation and administration of trusts, while Laura Karon is experienced in the preparation and registration of lasting powers of attorney, as well as court of protection work. Claire-Marie Selwood is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Watson

Other key lawyers:

Sian Lias; Sarah Parker; Laura Karon; Claire-Marie Selwood


‘My experience was to do initially with an LPA and then my executorship of a will. Sensitive, clear (specifically on consequences, intended and unintended) and knowledgable and particularly good at working with other agencies/organisations to ensure timelines were met.’

‘Lucy Watson – responsive from the off, tackled the challenges presented by Covid deftly and with persistant pragmatism. Good advice, prompt responses and completely supportive – nothing too much trouble, including a number of visits to hospital, despite Covid, to ensure an accurate and thorough record of the brief.’

‘Great at giving a sympathetic explanation of the legal issues which inevitably follow the death of a loved one. Professional advice given in a friendly way.’

‘Sarah Parker has looked after my affairs since the death of my husband – I have confidence in her work and more so personal care of me as a client.

‘Strong team of very experienced individuals.’

‘Sarah Parker and Lucy Watson. Friendly and happy to spend the time to explain any situation. Very knowledgeable on trust and estate law and administration.’

‘The team members were readily available and quick to respond to requests and queries. The responses were always accurate and helpful, especially when complications arose.’

‘Claire-Marie Selwood: I was impressed by the clarity provided, allowing me to engage in some of the work myself, leaving her to manage the more complex matters. I liked the transparency at all stages. All of the work was thorough and accurate.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on and drafted Inheritance Tax report on basis of foreign domicile of choice and complex Business Property Relief application.