The team at Lodders Solicitors LLP has a wealth of experience across a wide spectrum of private client matters. It has particular expertise in advising on the eligibility for agricultural and business property relief and other strengths lie in advising on all aspects of the creation, variation and termination of trusts. Louise Igoe heads the department. Martin Green is an experienced trustee and deputy while John Rouse is known for his work with business owners, farmers and high-net-worth individuals. Sofia Tayton is a recognised name for her work on cases involving NHS care funding and for dealing with mental capacity issues. Ian Flavell has niche expertise in heritage property. At associate level Jennifer Russell joined the team from Wright Hassall LLP.
Personal tax, trusts and probate in West Midlands
Lodders Solicitors LLP
Other key lawyers:
Martin Green; John Rouse; Sofia Tayton; Ian Flavell; Jennifer Russell
The team at Mills & Reeve LLP excels at advising business owners such as family businesses, wealthy individuals, families and landed estate clients on the full range of estate planning and wealth structuring matters. The practice has been busy advising on family investment companies and is also adept at providing international estate planning and wealth structuring advice to families with properties and businesses as well as individuals who are abroad. Matthew Hansell and John Grundy are highly regarded for their work on a range of complex matters. Lucy Howard is another key figure along with principal associate Sarah Wood.
Matthew Hansell; John Grundy; Lucy Howard
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Wood; Adam Williams
‘A superb team with decades of experience of helping HNW and UHNW families tackle all sorts of legal challenges and advice issues. The lawyers have significant strength in depth and have achieved the difficult balancing act of building one of the technically best teams around and also a team full of individuals with great personal skills – that clients will enjoy and want to work with over the longer term‘.
‘The first name I think of when I need help with my HNW clients. Matthew Hansell takes the time to really understand the issues for the client and their families, he has superb understanding of the emotions involved‘.
‘First-class service from Matthew Hansell, John Grundy and Adam Williams. Pragmatic prompt advice from individuals who think outside the box. Very knowledgeable‘.
‘Matthew Hansell produces high quality innovative work and has a firm grasp of technical problems which he approaches in a calm way.’
‘John Grundy is very approachable, knowledgeable and helpful. Excellent knowledge of trust & probate matters. very good at linking up with overseas solicitors where necessary. Easy to speak to, easy to contact and always prompt and helpful.’
‘Mills & Reeve provides a broad spectrum of services, covering most individual and corporate requirements. The lawyers have good expertise in all areas. Matthew Hansell and John Grundy are both personable and very competent. They instil confidence in their advice‘.
‘A well-respected practice that is made up of well-respected individuals‘.
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a specialist team that is 'second to none'. It advises on all aspects of wealth, tax and succession planning for families, landed estates, entrepreneurs and business owners. It also has considerable expertise in elderly client matters and helping those with personal injury trusts. The lawyers frequently act as personal representatives of estates and as trustees of life-time settlements and trusts. Anne Tromans heads the firm’s wealth group and Lesley Davis heads the private client team in the Birmingham office. Verity Kirby is well-regarded and Hannah Tait was promoted to the partnership. The group provides 'excellent and professional advice in a friendly and helpful manner'.
Other key lawyers:
Lesley Davis; Verity Kirby; Hannah Tait; Claire Laird; Kathleen Ryan; Elaine Hart; Paul McMaster; Victoria Taylor; Ben Sharp
‘A highly professional and informed practice. The team’s guidance has steered me through difficult and complex situations. I feel very confident because the lawyers are accessible and respond quickly. Anne Tromans and Verity Kirby both deal with legal issues in a caring but very efficient manner’.
‘One of the major players in private client in the West Midlands, and having a London presence also gives them an edge. The standout star with bags of experience is Lesley Davis. She has clients in London as well as the West Midlands. Super bedside manner and technically on the ball’.
‘I work with Lesley Davis who I feel is one of the most respected solicitors in Birmingham. It is quite clear that her clients enjoy not only a professional experience but form a friendship as the relationships develop. She always makes time to respond to any questions I have and will try to find easy solutions to most problems. As a partner of the firm she is still one of the most approachable people in the industry.’
‘There is a modern caring approach and the team members are efficient. Hannah Tait is efficient and caring and does a great job. Verity Kirby – is knowledgeable, empathetic and efficient. Elaine Hart is knowledgeable, empathetic and efficient’.
‘The team is very approachable and understanding of difficult situations and gives wise counsel. Despite pandemic restrictions, the service has carried on uninterrupted and I have always felt that they are there when needed. Lesley Davis and Paul McMaster are extremely approachable and give thoughtful and wise advice’.
‘Verity Kirby is an absolute delight to speak to and is always enthusiastic, efficient and very understanding. She has dealt with all areas of concern promptly and gives clear, comprehensive advise’.
‘Very reliable. Always helpful. Ben Sharp is always prompt, polite, knowledgeable and professional every time i have had dealings with him’.
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is best known for its estate and capital tax planning work for medium to high-net-worth families in addition to its work with vulnerable adults and on compensation protection trusts. Other strengths lie in court of protection work covering finances and welfare, trust administration; capital tax planning and it frequently assists the firm’s corporate, housing and third-sector client base on various matters. Head of department Donna Holmes regularly acts as a professional trustee and court deputy for individuals who have received a significant personal injury award.
‘This team has a lot more depth and breadth beyond the headlines of lead partner Donna Holmes. The firm is rightly known for having an established private client practice. It really has lots of bows to its string in the whole private client offering.’.
‘Technical expertise sets the Anthony Collins private client team apart from other firms. The lawyers are accomplished at handling complex and high-value estate planning and administration work’.
‘Donna Holmes stands out. Technical understanding coupled with being approachable making her a pleasure to work with.’
‘The lawyers always make our clients feel welcome and provide an excellent standard of service whatever the enquiry. They discuss matters in layman’s terms so clients can understand the legal jargon used by some companies and feel comfortable with the advice provided’.
‘Before and throughout the lockdown the company have been very supportive to my clients and myself. Donna Holmes is a first-rate deputy to my clients. She is professional at all times but gets to know my clients’ needs and is able to reassure them during difficult times‘.
- Acted for the parents of a victim of a severe road accident in Thailand. The team advised on and prepared a s.89 Inheritance Tax Act 1984 qualifying trust to best protect funds.
- Acted as trustees in the administration of two trusts with the same primary beneficiary – the team has also allocated the beneficiary a case worker from its Court of Protection team to properly support her in a cost-effective manner.
- Assisted wealthy clients with planning to maximise reliefs for inheritance tax for their three children – one of whom is severely disabled.
Lanyon Bowdler works with clients across Shropshire and Herefordshire and has expanded its services in North Wales through the opening of an office in Conwy. It now has a dedicated trusts team as well advising on a broad spread of matters such as estate planning, powers of attorney, court of protection, tax planning and contentious probate. Edward Rees has a wealth of experience in advising on trusts, high-net-worth estate administration (many involving significant agricultural and business property), powers of attorney as well as complex tax planning issues.
Edward Rees; Kevin Thomas; Tristan Lewis; David Pugh
Other key lawyers:
Neil Davies; Kate Lawson
‘Lanyon Bowdler has a large practice with a range of qualified professionals who can advice on any of the problems clients experience. Advice is given in a friendly but professional way and I felt confident the individual I dealt with had a full knowledge of the matter we were discussing and was able to give me very valuable advice’.
‘The lawyers really listen to what you require of them and then they act expediently and competently.’
‘The service provided was of high quality both in terms of engagement and clarity of the advice provided. I found Edward Rees to be an excellent communicator with a depth of knowledge that engendered confidence that the matters would be dealt with appropriately and efficiently’.
‘David Pugh has always been supportive, given advice, and to us has become the ‘family solicitor’. He always asks how family members are and puts us at ease when dealing with any legal issues we have‘.
‘Kate Lawson was tasked with drafting our wills. She was very knowledgeable and able to listen carefully. She fully understood our situation and requirements and the wills were drafted very efficiently’.
‘The individuals I work with stand out amongst their competitors because they genuinely care: they care that their clients understand what they are telling them; they care that the process and billing is clear and fair; they care that their clients feel safe and well represented. This is testament to the culture of the company – the clients evidently are the most important aspect of what they do, and they are all very much aware of that.’
Sydney Mitchell LLP advises on all aspects of wealth preservation as well as elderly client matters with particular expertise in NHS Continuing Health Care issues. Other strengths lie in complex administrations and unusual applications to the court of protection. Under the leadership of Tracy Creed a significant proportion of its work stems from returning clients and other professionals. In addition the team regularly works with its strong contentious trusts and probate offering. Shelley Collingbourne has been promoted to senior associate.
Other key lawyers:
Shelley Collingbourne; Kirran Kauser
‘Tracy Creed and her team are efficient and supportive. She has guided me through a very stressful process and given me good advice throughout. She is readily available and her team. Tracy has kept me updated with the progress of the case which I have found to be very valuable. I don’t feel as if I am alone in this minefield of processes’.
‘Tracy Creed treated my case with respect , honesty and integrity. She listened to me and dealt with me as a unique case rather than a typical one. She acted with honesty and integrity and always told it as it was. She was always incredibly responsive, going the extra mile. She treated my case with compassion and obviously works with a strongly held set of values’.
‘The team is knowledgeable, helpful and very supportive through what could be a sensitive process’.
‘Helpful, knowledgeable, flexible and reasonable costs. Shelley Collingbourne is easily contactable and we have confidence in her ability to carry out the work at a reasonable price’.
‘The personal service from Kirran Kauser gave us confidence that all the details of our situation were clearly understood and incorporated into the wills without the need for additional queries’.
‘This is a very good local firm who serve its clients well with day to day legal matters. The lawyers are very good for the general legal work that needs to be done for clients. The team is always friendly and helpful. My main contact is Shelley Collingbourne whom I have dealt with for several years and she has always been very helpful and knowledgeable in her areas of specialism for wills and probate and trusts. I would be happy to recommend clients to her for advice’.
‘The lawyers maintain a real identity that is often not there in a ‘local’ firm. They are easy to contact and respond promptly and we are clear with who is owning a case and the work they intend to carry out. They are also intent to ensure that the person with the best skills for the case is engaged. Personal service, competency, ownership, responsive.’
- Advised on a complex estate where the children of the deceased are estranged as a result of family disputes. One child was convicted of embezzling from the deceased’s business during lifetime and another child is currently in prison convicted of killing his former wife.
- Advising on estate A that remained unadministered eight years post death. The spouse has lost capacity and entered a permanent care placement.
- Advising the client (aged 53 years) who has a history of serious mental health issues and also suffers from learning disabilities but has lived independently within the community, with support for many years.
Wright Hassall LLP
Wright Hassall LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals and families on a variety of complex tax and succession planning matters and is well-regarded for its work with elderly/vulnerable clients. Other strengths lie in advising business owners and private companies as well as acting for landowners, farmers, landed estates and agribusinesses. Senior associate Tracy Ashby now heads the team. Other names to note include Susan Floyd who is particularly skilled at advising wealthy clients on a range of complex capital taxes and trusts.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tracy Ashby’s team’s approach to the care of individual clients is exemplary. The individualised attention to detail and delivery of services in a sensitive and caring manner gives visible comfort and security to clients in what is often a difficult time.’
‘Tracy Ashby’s caring and diligent approach to client services alongside her encyclopaedic knowledge of relevant law gives clients confidence in making their own decisions regarding instructions’.
‘It is an excellent team, quick to respond and provides efficient service at reasonable charges. Friendly, efficient and responsive. Tracy Ashby is an excellent contact’.
‘The team collaborates well with each other and members of our company. Communication is clear, concise and well informative. It is always a pleasure working with the team at Wright Hassall.’
‘The individuals are always compassionate about helping their clients. They always provide an in-depth case history when instructing us, so we can ensure we can support their client in the most therapeutic way. Tracy Ashby in particular is compassionate about helping her clients in the most supportive way’.
‘A fantastic team, who I would gladly recommend to any of my clients with complete confidence that they would be in safe hands. Tracy Ashby is able to break down complex issues into simple, clear and concise points’.
Lynda Richards at Aaron & Partners LLP is a full member of STEP and is particularly known for her experience in dealing with taxable estate and capital tax planning matters. The department has particular strength in providing succession planning and business planning advice to rural families and businesses with a range of farming interests and also advises and administers various charitable trusts. Associate Ben Brassington is well-regarded and senior associate Vlad Macdonald-Munteanu is recommended for his work on contentious matters. Chester-based Clive Pointon is also well-regarded.
Clive Pointon; Lynda Richards
Other key lawyers:
Ben Brassington; Vlad Macdonald-Munteanu
‘The team seems to work very well together and is very efficient in responding to queries which is done in a timely manner. Excellent communication with our clients (who we have recommended).
‘We have found Lynda Richards to be very adaptable, especially during the pandemic. Lynda exceeded our client’s expectations with getting the will drafted and signed in a safe environment. We have received excellent feedback from our clients on how Lynda has handled their individual matters’.
‘The team at Aaron & Partners offers a level of expertise and experience that is rare to find in a regional firms. Lynda Richards is technically very strong and also has a great manner. I have referred a number of my best clients and they have always been impressed with her work’.
Band Hatton Button LLP
Band Hatton Button LLP now has four fully qualified STEP members in the team. The group is skilled at advising on all aspects of wealth protection and inheritance planning for individuals and their families which includes advising on wills and estate planning as well as powers of attorney and court of protection matters. Michelle Gavin leads the department and routinely advises high-net-worth individuals on the most appropriate way to structure their wills from a tax perspective.
Other key lawyers:
‘Friendly, family oriented, down to earth, no jargon. Trustworthy, responsive and proactive’.
‘Band Hatton Button enjoys a strong reputation in the area, and offers a positive friendly and professional service. Michelle Gavin and her team offer an excellent service, and client feedback is always positive’.
‘The team has done a great job adapting through the pandemic and has delivered for our mutual clients admirably. Michelle Gavin did an excellent job balancing managing the team through unprecedented times and delivering exceptional customer service’.
‘The practice is a very good provincial firm that succeeds in advising local individuals and families on their needs. It has a wide range of services to offer to clients and the lawyers are always friendly and helpful for general enquiries. Michelle Gavin whom I deal with most at this firm is a very knowledgeable and experienced individual who gives a personal and common sense approach to her advice to individuals and their families’.
‘Michelle Gavin speaks plain language and instils confidence in her clients that they are getting the very best, and most appropriate, advice’.
‘ I feel the lawyers offer a very knowledgeable and personable service. Michelle Gavin is approachable, personable with a willingness to support her clients. She prides herself on the service she provides and I always hear positive feedback from those who have worked or crossed paths with her over the years’.
- Acting on behalf of the executors of the administration of a very complicated and contested estate worth £4.5m.
- Prepared a will for an existing client with complex estate planning needs, where wealth consisted of high-value cash investments as well as a complex business structure with majority shareholdings in several companies and a SIPP.
- Advised client on an appropriate will and lifetime tax planning to protect and provide appropriately for her daughter who is vulnerable and would not be able to look after financial matters for herself.
The team at DWF frequently deals with capital tax planning, the preparation of wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney in addition to estate and trust administration. It is also adept at advising on family investment companies, limited partnerships and family offices for its large and varied client base and is part of a strong national offering. Jon Gould leads the national private capital team from Newcastle. In the Birmingham office, Roger Williams is another key figure; he has considerable experience in private client and real estate work for HNW individuals in addition to considerable expertise in court of protection matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Personal service in a digital age – very prompt service’.
‘Roger Williams is always happy to go the extra mile to help’.
Under the leadership of Dawn Oliver, the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys advises on a significant number of private wealth matters on a regional, national and international level. Oliver has been increasingly advising on the use of private family charitable trusts to mitigate inheritance tax. The team was pleased to add Laura Banks to its ranks to head the Birmingham wills, trusts and estates team from Thursfields Solicitors. Beth King-Smith is well-regarded for her work on contentious trusts and probate while Shirley Rabbetts has a niche practice in advising farmers on a broad range of inheritance issues.
Other key lawyers:
Laura Banks; Beth King-Smith; Shirley Rabbetts; David King
‘Dawn Oliver leads a well respected and expert team. Its reputation in the county is excellent and it is the stand out firm for professional advice. Dawn is exceptionally capable and an expert in her field. She shows great depth of understanding of client’s needs. She has a natural authority but able to put clients at ease in the most difficult of situations’
‘Dawn Oliver is very approachable knowledgeable and fun to work with!’.
‘Harrison Clarke Rickerbys has a very ‘hands on’ attitude. Very approachable, whilst giving fair advice, the lawyers are able to draw on many key figures if the case changes direction and are happy to redirect clients if needs be, to another department, if other services are required, to give the client the best overall chance of success’.
‘David King has worked with us on a complex probate case, and gave us the strength to pull us through. His good humour whilst being calm and supportive saw us through a tough time. His ability to understand the complex issues and get to the point quickly, was invaluable to us’.
‘Dawn Oliver puts her clients at ease‘.
‘Laura Banks – technically outstanding but also very personable‘.
Mander Hadley Solicitors
Mander Hadley Solicitors attracts a steady stream of instructions on personal tax matters ranging from inheritance tax planning to mitigation in addition to advising on trust and probate matters. Through its offices in Coventry and Kenilworth it has also been busy providing older care services acting as deputies appointed by the Court of Protection and advising on lasting powers of attorney. Head of team David Webb is a fully accredited member of STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly, and acts for HNW clients.
Other key lawyers:
Caroline Dobson; Rachel Gadsden; Linsey Graham
‘A proper, old fashioned law firm which combines wonderful service, sound advice and cutting-edge technology. In twenty-five years Mander Hadley has been our go-to law firm, dealing with all of our probate issues, smoothly and efficiently. David Webb has become a trusted friend. I know that the advice and service that he provides will fulfil my every expectation first time, every time’.
‘I would particularly like to mention Caroline Dobson. I will have no hesitation in consulting her in the future for similar work on my behalf. She has always answered any questions fully and has kept me up to date as the legal process has developed in the last few months. No more need be said’.
‘Caroline Dobson dealt smoothly and good humouredly with both my will and lasting power of attorney. All her written and spoken advice was clearly explained so that both she and I were sure I completely understood it. She also advised me on a difficult situation regarding an elderly relative and Court of Protection, proving to be a sympathetic listener and very clear in her advice. I felt she went above and beyond in these respects’.
My dealings with Mander Hadley Limited have been through David Webb, who I have found to be exceptional. His obvious knowledge and experience have proved invaluable in bringing to a successful conclusion for myself and my wife the writing of Wills and the creation of Trust arrangements covering the differing inheritance laws of the UK and of Spain’.
‘The partners really care about the client. If there is a problem they step up to the plate and sort it out themselves. The team is understanding of family problems. David Webb is extremely helpful and goes beyond what is required. His communication is very prompt and he puts the hours in to get the job done. He shows a very perceptive understanding of family dynamics and is always prepared to give clear explanations’.
‘Mander Hadley are ideal family lawyers, with a team of experienced, long-service partners and associates. My family has dealt with them for the drafting of wills, powers of attorney, and administration of estates for two generations. We have found them empathetic and effective. I would mention particularly David Webb, the partner with whom I have had most dealings. He has helped me with the preparation and updating of wills, showing sympathy with my wishes and creativity in achieving desired results. He is unfailingly friendly and courteous, and notably prompt in correspondence. He has recently proved proactive and resourceful in the administration of a complex estate requiring the engagement of European lawyers’.
- Acting as deputy for a client resident in self-funded long term care, and being subject to a series of safeguarding actions and interventions.
- Preparing wills for HNW clients involving inheritance tax and financial planning in conjunction with an IFA to meet twin objectives of family provision and tax efficiency.
- Acted in the probate and administration of a high-value estate with a complex property and investment structure across four jurisdictions both within and outside Europe.
Meridian Private Client LLP
Meridian Private Client LLP has an excellent private client offering that specialises in diverse areas such as complex estate and trust administration where there are cross-border issues and an array of shareholder tax planning matters. It also frequently advises on other issues such as residence and domicile, historic employee benefit trusts and investment holding structures (including family investment companies). Drummond Kerr and Jon Croxford co-head the department that was pleased to add Eamonn Daly to its ranks from Wright Hassall LLP.
Drummond Kerr; Jon Croxford
Other key lawyers:
Eamonn Daly; Natasha Smith; Peter Gate; Vicki Bennett
‘The team works well together with communication amongst them being extremely good. Jon Croxford has developed a good understanding of my thinking and goals that I am trying to achieve and does not hesitate to step up to help me make things happening. This is working so well that he is also advising my children too. Vicki Bennett is also a very solid, reliable and trustworthy person‘.
‘Eamonn Daly is my go to tax planning partner. He delivers sage advice without any fuss. A wholly reliable personal tax and estate problem solver and an invaluable corporate tax planner‘.
‘A team that provides high level accountancy and legal advice while at the same time being small enough that client relationships are at a high level too. Jon Croxford is the person I have dealt with mainly, assisted by Vicki Bennett for more purely legal matters. In the seven years I have worked with Jon I have found him to be outstanding’.
‘Jon Croxford is technically brilliant. There is nothing he does not know about structuring a corporate/private client matter in a tax efficient manner. The solutions (and the hard work and quick turnaround) he will provide to a thorny problem will blow your mind‘.
‘I have worked with Eamonn Daly for several years where he has given advice to mutual clients about tax, estate planning and trusts. Eamonn’s knowledge is excellent and he has the ability to communicate well in client meetings and explain complicated matters in understandable terms for our clients. His standard of service to us and our clients has always been very good‘.
‘The practice is very forward thinking, proactive and collaborative with other professional services. Being partner-led like our own business we appreciate the values and can mirror many of them which makes us synonymous. Natasha Smith is a brilliant all-round advisor‘.
MFG Solicitors LLP
The team at MFG Solicitors LLP is well regarded for its work in traditional private client such advising on wills, powers of attorney and estate administration. It continues to work closely with its agricultural department. Valerie Robinson heads the busy department and focuses on the administration of large and complex estates as well as the preparation of wills for wealthy individuals. Gary Priest routinely deals with inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning matters. Amanda Piper heads the growing care team while also dealing with estate administration, wills and lasting powers of attorney. Giles Scott joined the group from Lanyon Bowdler.
Other key lawyers:
Gary Priest; Amanda Piper; Giles Scott
The practice at Pickerings Solicitors handles the full array of private client matters with Emma Harrison at the helm. Three of the solicitors are full members of STEP and two are members of the Solicitors for the Elderly.
‘Pickerings is a very friendly and helpful group. The solicitors and support staff have always responded quickly and efficiently. All my questions have been answered displaying full grasp of the law. Emma Harrison is very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient’.
‘I have dealt with Emma Harrison and her team. Very professional and good value for money’.
‘Emma Harrison is a pleasure to deal with and is always available to give me advice as and when I need it or one of her experienced team is on hand to get the information to her if she is otherwise engaged. I would not hesitate in recommending Emma and her team as the work they carry out is always appropriate and very reasonable’.
‘The whole approach by the team is well balanced between friendly and professional. Every interaction instils confidence because everything is explained in proper legal terminology and then translated or further explained in layman’s terms. I like the fact that before any new engagement you are fully aware of the costs and the time frames required to complete the tasks’.
‘Emma Harrison has very good professional knowledge and I have always found her to be reliable and diligent in her efforts to assist clients’.
Based out of its three offices in Birmingham and Solihull, The Wilkes Partnership advises clients across the West Midlands and further afield. Andrew Hasnip has an established reputation for his work on trusts, complex inheritance tax planning as well as estate work. Ellie Holland has a similar focus in addition to advising on succession planning matters for business owners. Ann-Marie Aston leads the Court of Protection offering.
Andrew Hasnip; Ellie Holland
Other key lawyers:
Ann-Marie Aston; Philip Harrison; Sophie Fenn
‘The team has great cohesion and you always get the feeling that it is easily working within its capabilities. Andrew Hasnip explains everything in a very easy to understand way and is never anything other than helpful and is patient in providing explanations of specific details. A polished professional’.
‘Philip Harrison’s advice has always been well informed, carefully considered , clear and practical. His past experience in working with corporate transactions has added value to individuals with business interests. I would thoroughly recommend Mr Harrison’.
‘Sharp, focused and responsive’.
‘Philip Harrison is an outstanding professional and will always go the extra mile’.
‘Its strengths lie in being able to deal compassionately and swiftly with challenging situations’.
‘A caring attitude to even the smallest of issues. Easy access to the person dealing with the matter at hand. Quality of knowledge and user friendly approach’.
The team at VWV is part of a strong national offering. Rachael Armstrong is the primary contact in Birmingham. Armstrong acts for a variety of clients including farmers, musicians, entrepreneurs, company directors and high-net-worth individuals. Armstrong is recommended for her work on inheritance tax, estate administration and other areas including drafting powers of attorney and deputyship applications. Senior associate Jennifer Morries regularly assists with cross-border estate administrations.
Michelle Rose; Rachael Armstrong
Other key lawyers:
‘Rachel Armstrong is particularly good. She’s knowledgeable, personable and above all has the likeability factor’.
‘What makes this firm stand out is its ability to recognise that multiple professions need to combine to provide the clients with the correct advice and this firm does that better than any law firm I have dealt with. I mainly deal with Rachael Armstrong who is exceptional not only as a lawyer but her personal skills are the best I have experienced and make her stand out from the rest of the lawyers I work with. Whilst she is commercially minded, Rachael’s first thought is the client‘.
‘Client engagement and relationship is key to VWV. Rachael Armstrong always goes the extra mile for her clients. I know that during lockdown Rachael has been meticulous in ensuring her clients have been kept fully informed and reassured’.
‘Rachael Armstrong provides strong leadership to her team and is always available and up to speed with the issues when needed. Jennifer Morries is a very capable deputy – she inspires confidence that the instructions are being carried out thoroughly and diligently’.
‘The team is able to make a complicated process simple and understandable in what are very difficult and emotional times. The lawyers show huge empathy and get to know you as a person whilst making sure that they give you all the information you need to make the right decisions’.
‘I have been looked after by Rachael Armstrong. Rachael has provided a personal service and has been very clear and patient in terms of my specific requirements. She has also handled sensitive family issues very well providing me with comfort and clarity that my wishes in the event of death will be catered for’.
‘There is one name to broadcast here – Rachael Armstrong. Her expertise was outstanding and combining this with her effervescent personality made the whole experience of creating new wills an enjoyable and fun experience. We cannot praise her too highly’.
‘The team provides a very personal service which has been particularly helpful during lockdown. The lawyers are fully conversant with all up to date technology. Their ability to provide home visits is really helpful. They are very capable of handling difficult estates and trusts and all other aspects of private client work. I have worked with Jennifer Morries on several matters. She has an outstanding ability to communicate with clients‘.
Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd
Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd has well-respected private client department in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Private client head Neil Raiseborough deals mainly with complex will, estate and tax planning matters predominantly for high-net-worth individuals, and is currently dealing with several sizeable estates in excess of £1m. He frequently advises on estates that contain discretionary trusts and is a known name for his work on protective trusts for clients with children who have learning or physical disabilities. In addition he regularly acts as a deputy and attorney for numerous long standing clients.
‘Professional, personal service. Always a warm welcome, people remember details of previous conversations, names etc. Variety of payment methods, correspondence timely, accurate and succinct. All in all an excellent service.’
‘Neil Raiseborough is extremely knowledgeable, helpful and personable. He uses his knowledge of the family and his legal expertise and experience to find the best possible solution for an individual case. After my mother’s death for example, he saved us considerable amounts of tax through his in-depth knowledge of the legal system’.
‘ I have used Alsters Kelley as my personal solicitor for almost 25 years. We have established a longstanding relationship with Neil Raiseborough‘.
‘Neil Raiseborough has many talents, skills and a very supportive manner which, for a private individual or couple, are all very supportive‘.
‘Neil Raiseborough is exceptionally courteous, sympathetic, reliable and prompt and he has been able to give me sound advice. Billing was prompt, reasonable and didn’t come as an unpleasant surprise. The terms of the contract were very clear and in writing. I have been extremely happy and satisfied with the service offered‘.
‘Neil Raiseborough has always been supportive, friendly and approachable. he has handled probate for both my parents and my husband, POS for myself and husband and is currently establishing my late husband’s Will trust’.
‘Neil Raiseborough builds a relationship with you and is keen to ensure that he has sufficient information to provide an excellent personal and professional service. You feel as though you are not a number but a name. His knowledge and experience in his specialist areas are excellent so you feel confident in the service and advice given’.
The team at Ansons is led by consultant solicitor Simon James. It continues to handle a broad range of high quality private client work and has a particular emphasis on estate planning for farmers, landowners and business owners in addition to working closely with its corporate, residential property and commercial property teams. Associate director Sarah Nash and senior associate Tracey Lane are full members of STEP.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Nash; Tracey Lane
‘The firm offers great continuity of service and a personal approach’.
‘Its agricultural experience and thoroughness of the team were excellent. Simon and Sarah have done a good job to future proof a complicated situation’.
‘Very technically competent in private client and property areas and conducts meetings with clients very well. Always happy to help and have competitive pricing’.
‘A local firm providing personalised local service whilst also being of a size that provides the protection of a larger law firm . You can approach them individually and not feel you are committing to a large firm fee clock, but also provides professional individual advice in line with our clients needs’.
Brethertons LLP is adept at wills drafting, advising on the administration of high-value estates and at trust creation and administration. In addition it regularly makes successful applications to the court of protection for the appointment of a deputy, statutory wills and permission to sell property. Linda Jones heads the department that includes Emma Stewart and Sarah Horton. Key clients include high-net-worth individuals, including those with agricultural property or significant business assets.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Stewart; Sarah Horton; Sophie Forsyth; Laura Stuart; Annabel Burchett
‘My wife and I have dealt with many different people at Brethertons over the years and have never had cause to be dissatisfied with any of them. We were very impressed with the way in which Sophie Forsyth dealt with us’.
‘Annabel Burchett is outstanding.’
FBC Manby Bowdler LLP
FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is known for its work with business owners and farmers. The nimble team frequently advises on complex IHT planning and on business succession matters. Kim Carr leads the team that has been busy recently advising on family trusts and on the protection of family wealth from divorce. It also provides specialist estate planning advice for second marriage families as well as advising on other complex issues such as the administration of estates where there are foreign / business assets or farming estates. The 'very professional' Graham Fuller is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Fuller; Michelle Monnes-Thomas; Carina Kervin; Christina Polychronakis
‘The lawyers are able to offer a broad range of expertise that covers the very straightforward matters to the very complex and sometimes contentious. Graham Fuller stands out as someone who has demonstrated the highest standards of professional practice in dealing with wills, lasting powers of attorney and trusts. The service he has provided has been straightforward with a transparent and fair fee charging structure’.
‘Graham Fuller was very welcoming when we met and was friendly and personable. He spoke to us in plain English, kept us informed of progress and overall, we were very happy with his advice‘.
‘The firm was very helpful and supportive of me when they helped me sort out my late father’s will‘.
‘It offers a wide range of services in modern premises in Shrewsbury. We engaged Graham Fuller a partner in the company to update the wills of my wife and myself. Graham was extremely knowledgeable and courteous throughout the process and dealt with our needs to our complete satisfaction‘.
‘Graham Fuller was dealing with our probate application. Graham was very detailed instilling confidence in his work. Graham articulated to us in a way that we could understand the most complex of things‘.
‘Very flexible and responsive, good value for money. Graham Fuller – strong technically on taxation of trusts and estates, very good at identifying practical solutions for clients‘.
Claire Pottinger leads the department at George Green LLP that advises on a wide range of private client matters for local business owners and managers. Pottinger is a full member of STEP, a fully accredited member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and a Dementia Friend. She is skilled at advising on a myriad of issues from the creation and administration of trusts through to lasting powers of attorney as well as inheritance tax and capital gains tax mitigation. Associate Louise Axford is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fundamentally, I think it is the efficiency of the firm that is its most significant strength. In my experience, many solicitors tend to underestimate the importance of an efficient service to clients. A firm that expedites work within a specific and reasonable timeframe, provides a valuable USP that places it ahead of other firms’.
‘Louise Axford has provided a reassuring, professional and efficient service. It was vital to procure a solicitor with not only legal acumen but also with the inherent abilities to deal with and expedite the many, varied tasks that our situation required’.
‘Very proactive. Clear advice. Claire Pottinger has a depth of knowledge in this sphere and gives practical advice’.
Operating from each of its four offices the team at GHP Legal advises on a wide array of matters from simple wills and LPAs to tax planning, complex estate administration, Court of Protection matters in addition to the provision of long term care advice. Oswestry-based Victoria Wilson heads the team and specialises in non-contentious probate and inheritance matters in addition to capital gains tax and trust work.
Other key lawyers:
‘What marks the practice out for me is the responsive and helpful way in which the lawyers operate, turning requests around very quickly and offering solutions rather than presenting problems. I’d particularly highlight the sensitive personal approach they have taken: always friendly and efficient. This has been despite the working challenges presented by the Covid pandemic: the firm has provided a seamless service throughout’.
‘We have principally dealt with Victoria Wilson. She has been exceptionally helpful and supportive throughout. I have particularly valued the way in which she has looked ahead and drawn issues to our attention so that we have good time to think through how we manage the estate’.
‘Vicky Wilson was recommended to us and we were very impressed with her efficiency and wonderful disposition in what were very difficult and delicate family circumstances’.
‘Vicky Wilson dealt with our work with compassion and went above and beyond with sorting potential complications with family coming out of the woodwork’.
‘ They go the extra mile to make sure that both the clients’ needs are met but also that the other professional advisers they are working alongside are kept up-to-date and informed’.
‘Working with Victoria Wilson and Lisa Jones has been a delight and the feedback from clients has been exceptional. Making clients feel comfortable during a difficult time or when preparing important documentation is something that they do with ease’.
Talbot & Co
Talbot & Co has acted for generations of families on a wide spectrum of private client matters including trust and estate administration, tax planning and wealth management. The firm’s client base is national and international with a particular following in London and the Home Counties. Tom Bramall oversees the department and advises on a variety of complex contentious and non-contentious taxation and trust matters as well as wills and probate.
‘The team is receptive, efficient and very client friendly whilst exhibiting good technical knowledge. We mainly deal with Tom Bramall, who has been consistently helpful to our clients on a range of private clients matters more typically associated with IHT and Will planning’.
‘Tom Bramall is, quite simply, streets ahead in terms of the skills and service he offers. He is efficient and professional with clients. I feel he is able to offer a quality of service that most firms do not bother with these days – particularly in this area of law. I specialise in high net worth clients and it is imperative that I am able to refer them to someone who will continue to provide the level of service they have received from me. Tom has never let me down’.
- Advised a dual Swiss/UK national with substantial UK and overseas assets upon estate and succession planning.
- Advised high-net-worth founder of prominent London investment management company on entire spectrum of his and his family’s affairs.
- Advised farmer with extensive agricultural land and business interests in connection with claims against the family estate.