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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 > Personal tax, trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Carole Nash Legal Services

Ageas 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


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

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