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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Wales > Private client > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Matthew Evans - Hugh James
    • Lucy Hollis - Red Kite Law LLP
    • Rory Hutchings - JCP Solicitors
    • Sioned Thomas - RDP Law

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Alice Dearden Cobbett¬† - JCP Solicitors

With significant sectoral knowledge and also able to draw upon the expertise of practitioners from other complementary practice areas including property, probate and litigation, JCP Solicitors' rural practice advises clients across the full spectrum of agriculture-related work including succession advice, wills, sales and purchases, as well as contentious trust and probate matters, and contract and property disputes. Team head Rory Hutchings handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work for the National Farmers' Union and has a particular expertise in the dairy sector. From a rural background herself, Welsh speaking associate Alice Dearden Cobbett is a specialist in complex land disputes, tenancies and equine matters.

Practice head(s):Rory Hutchings

Other key lawyers:Richard Howells; Alice Dearden Cobbet; Beverley Bowen

Testimonials

'A fantastic team who are always willing to go the extra mile for their clients.'

'Always extremely professional but with a human touch and recognition of how important a case is to the individual involved.'

'Rory Hutchings is extremely approachable and will always go the extra mile with advice and follow up support.'

Key Clients

National Farmers' Union

With numerous lawyers able to conduct business through the medium of Welsh and also benefiting from significant expertise across core areas of concern impacting the agricultural community (including as it relates to property issues and estates planning), Hugh James is well-placed to provide a 'very effective service' to high-net-worth landowners, as well as public sector entities. As head of the firm's overarching wealth management offering, Matthew Evans regularly handles agriculture-related matters, specifically relating to succession planning and contentious probate, including as it relates to farming proprietary estoppel cases.

Practice head(s):Matthew Evans

Other key lawyers:Eleanor Evans; Sarah Cash; Roman Kubiak

Work highlights

  • The firm is representing Natural Resources Wales in the defence of a claim made to ownership of mineral rights beneath the surface of several large forestry areas in Wales.
  • The firm is continuing to act in defence of an application to register a Town and Village Green at Miskin, South Wales.
  • Finalising the administration of a Life Interest Trust on the death of a life tenant; the Trust holds a farm house, multiple titles of farmland, grazing land and commercial woodland all valued at £1.8m.
  • The firm is advising members of a North Walian agricultural farming business in relation to claims for a beneficial interest in the underlying assets by reason of a proprietary estoppel and claims to set aside the deceased business owner’s will.

RDP Law has 'a wide knowledge of the industry and its associated problems', enabling it to provide a 'solutions-oriented service' to many loyal clients, including numerous large farming families spread throughout Wales. Herself from a farming background, Welsh speaker Sioned Thomas provides 'very thorough yet succinct advice' across a range of farming issues, particularly in relation to estate administration and succession planning. The firm's real estate and litigation teams also regularly advise on agriculture matters.

Practice head(s):Sioned Thomas

Other key lawyers:Robert Davies; James Davies

Testimonials

'As a client I always feel like I am being given top priority.'

'The team works well with each other and keeps everyone in the loop.'

'Everyone maintains a friendly relationship with customers yet still maintains the business edge.'

A stalwart of the west Wales farming/business community, Carmarthen-based firm Red Kite Law LLP benefits from strong and loyal ties with local landowners and farm owners. Led by property expert Lucy Hollis , the team is best-known for its ability to provide effective advice to businesses requiring specialist agricultural law advice relating to the sale and purchase of land and buildings as well as agricultural tenancies such as farm business tenancies.

Practice head(s):Lucy Hollis


Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Now headed by Harriet Morgan ,following Giselle Davies' decision to step back and take up a consultancy role at the firm, Geldards LLP maintains a leading reputation in the market for charities across the gamut of issues impacting their ongoing operations, including advice on governance, formation, mergers and restructuring. Key areas of niche focus include social housing and the provision of advice to independent Christian churches. Senior associate Bethan Walsh  is also a key member of the team, particularly in light of her Welsh speaking ability, which she often puts to good effect in her advice to Welsh charities on governance matters and restructurings.

Practice head(s):Harriet Morgan

Other key lawyers:Giselle Davies; Stephen Marshall; Bethan Walsh

Key Clients

Assemblies Of God

Graig Shipping Plc

United Purpose

Lloyds Register Foundation

Soroptimist International (Great Britain & Ireland)

National Museum of Wales

WJEC / CBAC

Cremation Society of Great Britain

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Lloyds Register Foundation on governance issues and especially its relationship with Lloyds Register Group (its wholly owned trading subsidiary) on conflicts of interest and loyalty for trustees and their duties in relation to the management of a Social Investment trading subsidiary.
  • The firm undertook a comprehensive governance review of this charity which is the parent charity of five other charities/not-for-profit organisations, including Village Aid and organisations registered in Brazil and Malawi.
  • The firm is advising the client on the establishment of a new charitable foundation which will work with Swansea University to fund research into cardiovascular disorders, including innovative treatments.
  • The firm is representing the Assemblies of God Incorporated in respect of all its charity governance, employment matters, property transactions and commercial contracts.
  • Advised the client on a complete re-write of its articles of association, primarily to address membership as a large number had lost contact with the organisation, and to modernise the membership structure so that different benefits would accrue to different classes of membership with provision to include/amend subscriptions.

With a core group of four fee-earners focused on the charities and not-for-profit sector and also aided by lawyers from across other practice areas, including property and employment (should the need arise), Blake Morgan LLP is well-positioned to provide a holistic and comprehensive service to a wide range of Welsh and UK-based charities (where it is also able to leverage the firm's broader national footprint). Particular areas of specialism include advice on governance, transactional matters involving charities (including advice on joint ventures and restructurings), legacies and the creation of and amendments to Royal Charters, as well as advice on statutory charitable bodies. As one of the leading authorities on Welsh public law, Emyr Lewis regularly provides invaluable advice to non-Welsh charities on devolved Welsh law, and Eve Piffaretti provides niche expertise on issues affecting the social care charity sector.

Practice head(s):Ben Brice (based in Reading but works across all offices including Cardiff)

Other key lawyers:James Egan; Eve Piffaretti; Emyr Lewis

Key Clients

St John Cymru Wales

Tenovus Cancer Care

Hafal

MacIntyre

Chwarae Teg

Cardiff and Vale College

Royal National Institute for the Blind

United Bible Societies

The National Library of Wales

Work highlights

  • Reviewing and advising on updates required to the charity's policies and procedures to ensure compliance with law and best practice relating to the Protection of Children and Adults.
  • Various property and construction matters.
  • Advice on charity's governance review exercise.
  • Advising on alterations to charitable Scheme to enable development of property.

Hugh James remains a popular choice for local and national charities, which appreciate its ability to provide a full-service offering that is underpinned by a strong knowledge of the regulatory and governance issues inherent in the sector. Spearheaded respectively by Emma Burns  and Caroline O'Flaherty, property and employment law remain the principal areas of expertise for clients in the charity sector, with both education and social housing prominent sub-specialisms.

Practice head(s):Emma Burns

Other key lawyers:Louise Price; Caroline O'Flaherty; Richard Macphail

Key Clients

Cae’r Las

The Wallich

Breast Cancer Care

Wales Council for Voluntary Action

Rubicon Dance

Representative Body of the Church in Wales

YMCA

Coastal Housing

Linc Cymru

Wales Cooperative Centre

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on an extensive phased development of affordable homes using innovative funding schemes and procurement arrangements.
  • Advised the client regarding the legal basis for making payments to board members - this work  involved a review of Schedule 1 Housing Act 1996, the permitted payments and benefits circulars and Welsh Government correspondence which has changed the position in relation to payment of board members.
  • Advised Cardiff University on the transfer of its education services relating to professional training for those employed in the health sector.

Well-placed to advise charities throughout south and west Wales by virtue of having lawyers on the ground in key offices in the region, including Swansea and Carmarthen, JCP Solicitors' multi-disciplinary service combines a significant knowledge of charity-specific legal advice, including on constitution and governance matters, with expertise across complementary practice areas including private client, property, commercial and litigation. The 'knowledgeable and hardworking' Richard Howells excels in contentious probate matters and has recently represented numerous charities in disputed or challenged legacies.

Practice head(s):Multi-disciplinary team but key practitioners are Richard Howells and Betsan Powell, who respectively head the lifetime disputes and commercial services teams

Key Clients

Wales Air Ambulance

Paul Sartori Foundation


Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Paul Lindsey - Howells Solicitors
    • Vlad MacDonald-Munteanu - Hugh James

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Rachel Morris - JCP Solicitors

One of the few firms in Wales providing a standalone contentious probate offering, Hugh James' 'talented' two-partner team has the 'depth of resources' to provide an 'excellent service' that accommodates both institutional and private client needs. The 'kind of lawyer you would recommend to a true friend in need of help', team head Roman Kubiak 'leads by example' and excels at handling high-value cross-border probate disputes. The 'outstanding' Matthew Evans regularly handles litigation within his broad-ranging private client offering; he has a particular focus on handling complex agricultural and proprietary estoppel cases. Associate Vlad MacDonald-Munteanu is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Roman Kubiak

Other key lawyers:Matthew Evans; Vlad MacDonald-Munteanu; Richard Adams; Eleanor Goodridge

Testimonials

Hugh James has made themselves into the leading firm for this work in south Wales, and with a national presence.

The team consistently delivers an exceptional service

Where possible the team attempts to negotiate constructively

Roman Kubiak's star continues to ascend. He is clever, knowledgeable, fiercely competitive and disarmingly charming. An exceptionally good ally and an extremely dangerous opponent.

Roman Kubiak is a well known individual who brings a clear and focused approach to the practice and makes a significant contribution to thought leadership in the industry.

The intelligent Richard Adams provides a first-class service

Eleanor Goodridge is an up and coming associate who is doing really well managing her own case load as well as being part of a team that works on the bigger cases.

 

Work highlights

  • The firm is advising a cohabitee in relation to an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claim, interim relief and proving a lost will in an estate.
  • The firm is representing the spouse and director in relation to cross-jurisdictional trust and estate dispute.
  • Advising charitable beneficiaries regarding the construction of a conditional charitable legacy, specifically as to their right of alienation.
  • Representing adult child in claim for reasonable financial provision and on the basis of a proprietary estoppel in relation to a £500,000 bond.
  • Representing the husband of deceased in claims for reasonable financial provision and to set aside will against estate with assets in Jersey, France, Switzerland and Austria.

Berry Smith has a growing reputation for handling contentious probate work and receives a regular flow of standalone mandates, as well as referrals from other professionals, including accountants, independent financial advisors and other solicitors. 'An extremely effective litigator', Simon Care  has developed significant experience across a wide range of cases including challenging wills on the ground of capacity / want of knowledge and approval, removal of executors, estoppel claims and claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

Practice head(s):Simon Care and Iwan Doull

Work highlights

  • Acting for the client in an ongoing contentious probate dispute with the client’s brothers.
  • Defending two individuals, as executors and beneficiaries of the estate of their late uncle, in a threatened claim against their uncle’s estate by a third party with whom their uncle was apparently having a relationship.

Benefiting from the expertise of two partners with a real focus on contentious trusts and probate work, Howells Solicitors has an excellent reputation in the market, as is reflected by the amount of third party referrals it receives, in addition to standalone mandates from many high-net-worth south Wales-based individuals. 'Very well-respected' team head Laith Khatib has expertise across the gamut of contentious probate matters, and represents both claimants and defendants on cases involving will validity.  Paul Lindsey  also has a thriving reputation in the market and is appreciated for his ability 'to put clients at ease and to explain the process without recourse to unnecessary legalese'.

Practice head(s):Laith Khatib

Other key lawyers:Paul Lindsey

Testimonials

Has historic strength in the area which appears to be growing

Laith Khatib gets excellent results for his clients

Paul Lindsey is something of a rarity in this field in that he is able to advise clients in connection with both contentious and non-contentious private client matters.

The 'well-informed' team at JCP Solicitors provides 'very transparent advice' to charities and private clients on complex trust disputes, as well as challenges to the validity of wills and claims pursuant to the Inheritance Act 1975.  'Knowledgeable and hardworking' team head Richard Howells has a thriving reputation in the market and has recently generated particular market recognition for handling farming proprietary estoppel cases. As well as regularly working alongside Howells on his cases, associate Rachel Morris  has developed a particular niche for handling cohabitee trust property disputes.

Practice head(s): Richard Howells

Other key lawyers:Rachel Morris

Testimonials

The team provides a comprehensive service

Richard Howells is very well-informed

Richard Howells is a highly able and personable solicitor in this firm, with a good range of clients and work.

Under the guidance of associate Laura Alliss (who was recently appointed as a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists), Douglas-Jones Mercer continues to build up a thriving offering for personal representatives, trustees and beneficiaries, in their capacity as either defendants or claimants. Particular areas of expertise include advising clients on claims regarding the improper execution of wills and in relation to fraudulent wills.

Practice head(s):Laura Alliss

At Neath-based firm Hutchinson Thomas, the 'level-headed' Simon Thomas  is 'very well-respected' for his contentious probate expertise which he deploys to good effect on behalf of clients seeking to challenge the validity of a will, as well as in relation to claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

Practice head(s):Simon Thomas


Family

Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Hugh James has 'an excellent reputation within Cardiff', and although it has recently seen the departure of a number of high-profile members of the team, including the retirement in December 2018 of Malcolm Stevens, it remains a popular choice for clients across a range of family law matters. Now headed by 'frighteningly bright' senior associate Adrienne Donneky ,following her arrival in March 2018 from the Bristol office of Lyons Davidson, as well as regular involvement in high-value financial proceedings, the firm also has expertise across a range of other areas including childcare matters - where specialist advocate Mark Powell QC has particular expertise. Associate Lucy Williams  is developing a strong reputation and is appreciated for her 'compassionate approach'.

Practice head(s):Adrienne Donneky

Other key lawyers:Mark Powell QC; Lucy Williams

Testimonials

A well organised, highly conscientious and capable family team

Able to cut through the most complex set of facts to resolve the issue

A leader in her field, Adrienne Donneky displays impeccable judgement and is the type of lawyer you definitely want on your side.

Lucy Williams has excellent judgement and is very calm under pressure

Specialist family law boutique Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has the critical mass and expertise to handle a significant volume and variety of family law matters, often involving high-net-worth individuals and cross-border issues. Melanie Hamer provides a 'professional and knowledgeable service' and alongside the 'exceptionally calm' Thea Hughes, is regularly engaged in high-profile and high-net-worth divorce cases. The team is rounded out at partner level by the 'exceptional' Sarah Wyburn, who has niche expertise in relation to same sex marriage cases, and the 'approachable and knowledgeable' David James, who as well as handling high-value cases with a particular focus on business ownership and pension sharing issues, is also an expert on Children Act cases. At an associate level, the 'conscientious' Rebecca Knight has a thriving reputation and was singled out by one client as being 'surely one of the future managing partners of the firm'.

Practice head(s):Melanie Hamer; Thea Hughes; Sarah Wyburn; David James

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Knight

Testimonials

Exceptional attention to detail

Caring and down-to-earth approach

Calm and pleasant environment

They understand your concerns and try and offer solutions for the best possible outcome

Melanie Hamer has a formidable reputation as a divorce lawyer

Thea Hughes is so understanding and you know by how quickly she replies with information that she is 100% behind you

Rebecca Knight is incredibly empathetic and focused

 

With lawyers based out of Cardiff and Bridgend, Berry Smith is well-positioned to provide 'excellent advice' to clients throughout south Wales across all aspects of family law, including divorce, separation, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, children and financial disputes. Vastly experienced team head Katie McColgan is appreciated for her 'very straightforward approach', which she deploys to good effect across a range of private family work, often involving a wide array of assets and international aspects.

Practice head(s):Katie McColgan

Other key lawyers:Benjamin Delve

Testimonials

Katie McColgan conducted the case in a professional, diligent, friendly and caring manner

Katie McColgan is empathetic and a very good listener

Although it is still in a relatively embryonic phase, since the arrival of 'approachable and thorough' team head Gaynor Dickens in early 2017, Geldards LLP's nascent team has rapidly become a recognised force in the south Wales market on behalf of medium to high-net-worth individuals on their matrimonial issues. Although it remains a relatively small team it is effectively able to leverage the expertise of complementary practice groups, including wealth management, corporate and tax, of particular benefit when dealing with the assets of a divorce involving a partnership or company dispute element.

Practice head(s):Gaynor Dickens

Testimonials

First-rate offering

Gaynor Dickens is very client friendly and approachable but with a core of steel when dealing with opponents

Howells Solicitors' two-partner team handles a wide range of family law matters, from public/private child law matters through to high-net-worth divorces. The team is also one of the few firms in south Wales with a legal aid franchise for family work and is therefore also able to handle publicly-funded mandates. Team head Richard Scott  has a particular niche representing police officers in their divorces and has developed true insight into the peculiarities and complexities inherent in police pensions.

Practice head(s):Richard Scott

Other key lawyers:Jayne Hunt; Karis Jones

'Vastly experienced in the field', Neath-based firm Hutchinson Thomas is undoubtedly best-known for the breadth of experience it has in dealing with childcare cases on behalf of guardians, parents and local authorities. Praised for her 'professionalism and warmth', Debbie Richards 'always goes the extra mile' and provides an 'excellent service to the children and young people she acts for'. Richards has recently handled some very sensitive and complex cases including numerous serious non-accidental injury cases, shaken baby cases and High Court Wardship cases, secure accommodation and sexual exploitation. 

Practice head(s):Simon Thomas and Debbie Richards

Other key lawyers:Meriel East; Rachel Pudner

Testimonials

The family team boasts some of the most experienced solicitors in the field of child protection matters

The firm provides excellent advocacy for children and young people

Debbie Richards is a very effective advocate and consistently commands the respect of the judiciary, and the advocates and clients in all the cases she is involved in.

Ince provides an 'excellent service', advising on matters of private and public law, cases involving children, injunctions and cohabitation disputes. The team includes Susan Williams , who has more than 24 years experience dealing with matters such as divorce and financial proceedings, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and disputes between co-habiting couples, civil partnerships and same sex marriages, and Sharon Priday. Priday advises across many aspects of family and matrimonial law.

Other key lawyers:Susan Williams; Sharon Priday

Picking up instructions from its traditional south west Wales heartland, in addition to work for an increasing roster of clients across the south east of the country, courtesy of the firm's merger in April 2017 with Glamorgan Law, JCP Solicitors has deepened its market penetration and visibility across a diverse array of family law matters. The team is particularly strong at handling financial remedy proceedings for medium to high-net-worth individuals, work which often involves complex division of assets including family businesses (including farming partnerships) and public and private sector pensions schemes. 'Very responsive and down-to-earth' Carmarthen-based associate Angela Killa continues to impress across private and public children work.

Practice head(s):Matthew Wells and Jill Bulteel

Other key lawyers:Sali Jackson-Thomas; Angela Killa

Testimonials

The team's advice is always spot on

Fantastic value-for-money

Angela Killa is very courteous and responsive

Specialist family law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors is well regarded in the local and national market, primarily as a result of 'star performer' and team head Kathryn McTaggart 's excellent reputation across a broad array of traditional family matters, as well as a growing caseload of pre-nuptial and cohabitation disputes. Praised for her 'practical and pragmatic guidance', McTaggart also has a particular niche advising on complex international children matters.

Practice head(s):Kathryn McTaggart

Testimonials

Kathryn McTaggart is an innovative and excellent lawyer

Kathtryn McTaggart is fantastic

Wrexham-based firm GHP Legal has a strong reputation in the north Wales market for handling a wide range of matrimonial matters, including divorces involving high-value assets, significant business interests and pensions. The team also has a strong reputation for handling children cases,  including cases which involve Local Authority concern for the welfare of a child.

Practice head(s):Nathan Wright

Other key lawyers:Natalie Roberts; Leah Mountford

Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP 's five-strong team has the critical mass to handle a significant variety and volume of work, primarily for south east Wales-based clients, including on divorce and high-value/complex applications for financial orders involving complex asset pools. As well as her regular work advising on high-value matrimonial proceedings, 'thorough and efficient' team head Kate Thomas  is also well-versed across private law children proceedings.

Practice head(s):Kate Thomas

Other key lawyers:Ceri Price; Suzanne Edwards; Siobhan Downes

Testimonials

Harding Evans has a great reputation in the Gwent area

A very experienced and solid team of private family lawyers which is very well regarded in the local area.

Kate Thomas really cares about her clients and provides clear advice in a sympathetic manner.

Headed from the firm's Newport headquarters by the 'vastly experienced' Sophie Hughes  and also able to call upon the expertise of practitioners spread across the firm's Pontypool and Cardiff offices, Watkins & Gunn Solicitors' six-strong team is well-positioned to advise south east Wales-based clients across the myriad of family law matters. Appreciated by clients for her 'sensitivity and pragmatism', Hughes excels in highly disputed and complex divorce and cohabitation disputes.

Practice head(s):Sophie Hughes

Other key lawyers:Kate Roberts; Leah Rhydderch


Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Rhian Williams - Hutchinson Thomas

Rising stars

  1. 1

With over 30 fee-earners providing wealth management services, Hugh James provides the largest private client offering in Wales and is consequently able to provide comprehensive contentious and non-contentious services to both private individuals and fiduciary clients, including a volume will writing offering. Sarah Cash provides a 'high level of service' to high-net-worth individuals on their tax planning, as well as the administration of their estates. Eleanor Evans is also recommended and specialises in estates and trusts administration on behalf of financial institution and trust corporation clients.

Practice head(s):Matthew Evans and Roman Kubiak

Other key lawyers:Sarah Cash; Eleanor Evans; Alun Jones; Andrew Jones; Gareth Wisdom

Testimonials

The team makes us feel like a valued client with regular contact and engagement to keep us updated every step of the way with their estate administration service.

Consistently reliable, with a broad range of services and a proven ability to deliver the personal touch on volume.

Alun Jones and Sarah Cash fully appreciate how the markets work and we have in-depth discussions regarding the underlying investments.

Eleanor Evans is excellent and admirably open to feedback

Gareth Wisdom has become a trusted source for solutions, opinion, and market insight

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a major high street bank on the administration of a £2m estate comprising of a large garage complex, two properties and farm land.
  • Acting on behalf of a major high street bank on the administration of an estate across multiple jurisdictions.

Able to leverage the firm's significant corporate client base and also regularly instructed on a standalone ad-hoc basis by high-net-worth individuals, Blake Morgan LLP's team has a strong reputation across estate administration, trusts and succession planning. The 'very professional' Lisa Davies  heads up the four-strong Cardiff team that is also able to tap into the resources and expertise of practitioners throughout the firm's UK offices, should the need arise. Recently promoted to senior associate, Nicky Sherrard regularly deals with the high value administration of estates and trust matters to include overseas assets, agricultural and business property.

Practice head(s):Lisa Davies

Other key lawyers:Nicky Sherrard; Ben Coulson

Testimonials

The firm has an exceptional attitude to ensuring the technical aspects of a matter are understood from the outset and are dealt with correctly throughout the matter.

The firm communicates issues clearly so that everyone can work together smoothly and have the depth of knowledge and access to expert advice to ensure that their work is first class.

Nicky Sherrard has a genuine interest in her clients and the ability to ensure that they receive the best outcome for their situation. Her attention to detail and client care experience makes her an outstanding solicitor for any complex or sensitive private client issue

Lisa Davies is very trustworthy

Work highlights

  • Advised trustees in relation to a potential challenge by a discretionary beneficiary of a trust in relation to a distribution.
  • Dealing with the administration of the cross-border estates of deceased civil partners
  • Acting as executors and in the administration of an estate with challenging family dynamics and advising in relation to an annuity clause contained in the will
  • Acting as co-executors and in the administration of an estate requiring specialist advice in relation to Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief

Led by the 'excellent' Claire Johnson , Geldards LLP has 'demonstrable knowledge and experience of dealing with the complex needs of private clients'. The team handles a broad range of wealth preservation and succession planning matters, as well as trust and estate administration. As well as being able to call upon the insight of highly skilled practitioners within the group, including 'patient and responsive' senior associate Anne Taylor , it is also able to draw upon the value-added expertise of practitioners from within complementary practice areas at the firm, including corporate tax, charities and family.

Practice head(s):Claire Johnson

Other key lawyers:Anne Taylor; Gillian Crouch; Laura Ikin

Testimonials

There is real strength-in-depth within the team

Claire Johnson leads a highly competent team, with a clear and informative approach to client engagement

Anne Taylor is particularly good at developing an understanding of the soft facts that help to advise her clients appropriately

Regularly referred work from other law firms, as well as local accountants/financial advisers, Howells Solicitors excels in providing a bespoke service to clients seeking to protect their assets through effective estate planning and in the subsequent administration of their trusts and estates. Both Laith Khatib and Paul Lindsey are 'held in high regard among the south Wales private client community' and regularly provide contentious and non-contentious advice to many wealthy families in the region.

Practice head(s):Laith Khatib

Other key lawyers:Paul Lindsey

Testimonials

The team is equivalent in both size and technical ability as some of the larger firms in Cardiff

Laith Khatib is unfailingly polite and courteous and always gets excellent results for his clients

Paul Lindsey has always been able to strike a perfect balance between handling matters from the straightforward, to the very complex, while maintaining an unrivalled level of client care

Appreciated by clients for its 'warm and welcoming atmosphere', Neath-based firm Hutchinson Thomas provides a 'very efficient and professional service' to local clients across the gamut of private client work, including will drafting, establishing powers of attorney, the administration of estates and inheritance tax planning. Rhian Williams  demonstrates a 'high degree of legal knowledge and experience' and is appreciated for her 'sympathetic and attentive' approach, of particular importance in relation to her work for the elderly and on mental capacity matters.

Practice head(s):Louise Williams

Other key lawyers:Rhian Williams

Testimonials

Enquiries are dealt with in a professional and friendly manner, giving clients every confidence in regard to the outcome of matters to be discussed

They have all been very efficient, very professional and very informative to provide me with the necessary legal documents I needed to best achieve the current and future needs for my family and blood line

Rhian Williams is approachable and sympathetic

Key Clients

Ty Hafan

Work highlights

  • Acting in a cross-border estate with a large tax bill
  • Dealing with an estate involving a consent order relating to the family home, debts, a secret trust and a missing beneficiary
  • Dealing with a Gibraltar-based trust, appointment of UK trustees and arranging for its distribution

Led out of Swansea by Chris Shaw, JCP Solicitors' five-partner team has considerable expertise across the spectrum of work, from the drafting of wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, to advice on behalf of high-net-worth individuals on tax planning/trusts and the administration of high-value and often complex farming and business estates. Since the firm's recent merger with Glamorgan Law, it has also broadened the geographical scope of its work and it is now able to effectively service clients out of its offices from Fishguard in the South West to Caerphilly in the South East.

Practice head(s):Chris Shaw

Other key lawyers:Mike Downey; Arwel Davies; Lynne Morgan; Ian Fudge

Testimonials

Very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient service

The team's overall attention to detail as well as its personal consideration to clients in what is sometimes a very difficult subject matter makes them stand out from the crowd and in particular their competitors

The team is easy to get on with and act with integrity

Led by Jonathan Powell , Douglas-Jones Mercer's five-strong team has a strong reputation in the market across a varied array of private client work, ranging from simple will drafting for the elderly, to complex commercial succession solutions for clients throughout the UK. The firm also generates a significant amount of work from an extensive will bank, while the opening of an office in 2017 in the affluent Mumbles area of Swansea has led to an increase in mandates from high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Powell

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Laugharne

The 'proactive and approachable' two-partner team at NewLaw Solicitors specialises in dealing with vulnerable clients, many of who have suffered brain/spinal or age-related difficulties. The firm's Court of Protection offering ensures that it is able to act in a Professional Deputy capacity -  managing the assets of clients who have personal injury/clinical negligence claims. Utilising very efficient case management systems and software, the team also provides a volume will writing, estate planning and probate service to clients, ranging from high-net-worth to low value individuals.

Practice head(s):Katie Edwards and Robert Thomas

Testimonials

The team has a detailed understanding of the clients and are responsive to their needs

The firm is effectively able integrate expertise across the Court of Protection and catastrophic litigation to provide a complete service to brain injured clients and their families.

The team has a particular expertise in Court of Protection matters

Key Clients

BMA Law

Carole Nash Legal Services

Ageas Law

RCN Law

Age Cymru

Carers Trust

Child Brain Injury Trust

H&R Legal

Affinion Probate

National Accident Helpline

Work highlights

  • provide Private Client services for the BMA Membership on behalf of BMA Law.
  • Private client services to clients of Carole Nash Legal Services
  • Private client services to service users of Age Cymru.
  • Private Client services to users of Carers Trust

At Berry Smith, team head Chris Beames  has significant experience across a range of wills and estate planning work, including in relation to Court of Protection mandates for vulnerable clients. He is also able to effectively leverage his residential property expertise in relation to any property-related matters with regard to estate planning.

Practice head(s):Chris Beames

Testimonials

The very thoughtful Chris Beames is professional and very considered in his advice.


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