Personal tax, trusts and probate in West Midlands

Lodders Solicitors LLP

Head of team at Lodders Solicitors LLP Louise Igoe, along with Stephen Brignull, Martin Green, John Rouse and Ian Flavell, takes on a wide range of estate and tax planning issues. The excellent team advises on diverse issues such as the tax-efficient structuring of businesses and landholdings, the use of partnerships and other vehicles for wealth structuring and tax planning as well as the mitigation of inheritance tax and capital gains tax. The team has extensive experience of advising on eligibility for agricultural and business relief and frequently works with the agricultural department to help its farming and landed estate clients. Igoe has particular expertise in advising on the creation of family investment companies and trusts.

Practice head(s):

Louise Igoe

Testimonials

‘It always provided sound, ethical and professional advice, with a level of personal interaction with its clients and understanding its clients’ needs and what makes them tick’.

John Rouse is superb and is always available‘.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP excels at advising business owners, particularly family businesses and wealthy individuals, as well as families and landed estate clients on the full range of estate planning and wealth structuring matters. The team has witnessed a significant increase in its work on the creation of family investment companies and on international estate planning and wealth structuring advice for families with properties and businesses abroad. Matthew Hansell is highly respected and acts for three individuals in the top ten of the Midlands Rich List. John Grundy acts for a raft of high-net-worth individuals and families in the Midlands, the UK and internationally. Principal associate Sarah Wood is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Hansell; John Grundy

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Wood

Testimonials

Mills & Reeve is an established team and  remains one of the leading private client teams in Birmingham‘.

‘John Grundy has excellent knowledge in key areas. He is responsive, proactive and pragmatic. He will provide valued guidance on matters and will dissuade us from taking a path where others might see billable hours. In summary we trust him and look forward to continued involvement with him and his team.’

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's dedicated team has four full STEP members. It advises on a broad spectrum of wealth, tax and succession planning matters for families, landed estates, entrepreneurs and business owners. Key clients include ultra-high-net-worth individuals including some national lottery winners and landed aristocrats as well as entrepreneurs and senior business leaders. All partners regularly act as professional trustees, executors and administrators and are skilled at elderly client advice, frequently advising on capacity issues, powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. The firm also acts as registrar for the Diocese of Birmingham. Anne Tromans is the group chair and Lesley Davis is another well-known member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Anne Tromans

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Davis; Verity Kirby

Testimonials

The response times are very good and important concerns are dealt with expertly and efficiently. Sensitive matters have been dealt with in an understanding way and with humanity. Considered opinions are given with expert precision. This gives me confidence in what have been difficult times‘.

I have always found Anne Tromans incredibly easy to deal with and have trusted her judgement and expertise. There is a great surety for me in her guidance through the legal jungle of probate, wills, p o a and pensions. Verity Kirby is also efficient and helpful‘ .

The lawyers explain everything and I always feel they really care‘.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals and families on complex tax and succession planning matters and frequently works alongside its tax litigation and contentious probate teams to assist clients. The group advises business owners and private companies and has particular expertise also in the rural sector acting for land owners, farmers and landed estates as well as agribusinesses. Eamonn Daly has been developing the firm’s family investment company and personal investment company offerings. The practice has a dedicated administration team too that specialises in high-value estates and also has a team that specialises in Court of Protection matters by assisting those who lack mental capacity. Susan Floyd heads the excellent team that also includes Martin Oliver, who is a solicitor-advocate (all higher courts) specialising in inheritance disputes, and Jennifer Russell, who has expertise in charity-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Susan Floyd

Testimonials

Wright Hassall is very professional, client oriented, proactive, sensible, efficient and highly competent‘.

The team’s professionalism at all levels is what sets it apart. That combined with a lovely friendly manner makes for a great feeling of confidence in its ability to provide the service I’m after. Comments above relate to all members of the firm I was in contact with but especially Eamonn Daly‘.

It is a large practice with wide competence but is also readily accessible. It treats clients as individuals rather than just another routine problem‘.

Eamonn Daly is straightforward to deal with and has a knack of explaining complicated legal issues in a clear concise manner; inspires confidence; dependable; lets us know if he will be personally temporarily unavailable if we are in the middle of something but always gives a fallback contact‘.

‘Lorna Payne is very approachable with clients while offering solid advice. Eamonn Daly has always been happy to have open discussions on any area of tax, offering guidance and help when needed. He is always a good source to bounce ideas off!’

Eamonn Daly not only demonstrated a highly professional grasp of his subject but managed to express to us in clear, concise and understandable terms how his approach would be implemented‘.

‘Eamonn Daly is an exceptional ambassador for the firm and a credit to the legal profession. Approachable, professional and engaging. A credit to the firm‘.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is best known for its work in a number of key areas including estate and capital tax planning for medium to high-net-worth families. It is also recommended for its work with vulnerable adults and on compensation protection trusts. Other strengths include statutory wills and Court of Protection work covering both finances and welfare. The team under the leadership of Donna Holmes has significant experience of acting as independent trustee for trusts up to £18m in addition to acting as independent executor and deputy where family relationships have broken down. Lisa Whitehouse receives a lot of plaudits. The team frequently assists the firm’s wider corporate, housing and third-sector client base and regularly  advises charities on their legacy income generation, trust entitlements, powers and duties.

Practice head(s):

Donna Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Whitehouse

Testimonials

The team is forward thinking and really going places under the creative leadership of Donna Holmes and rising star Lisa Whitehouse. The lawyers are known for doing the right thing by their clients for a fair price and have an enviable reputation in the marketplace. The team is innovative‘.

Donna Holmes is exceptional in her professionalism, natural understanding of her clients’ needs and her ability to relate to her clients. Whilst she has an ability to do the best for her clients she is always caring and considerate and at the same time can think “out of the box”.’

Donna Holmes is an exceptional deputy of great experience and knowledge. She leads a superb team and all team members take their lead from her. She is supremely professional but at the same time caring, understanding and patient. She always puts clients at ease at a very anxious period in their lives‘.

‘Lisa Whitehouse is technically outstanding. She is a unicorn in the private client world. In addition to being technically excellent, she is also personable and able to explain complex legal principles or tax matters to clients so that they understand. She exudes confidence in her dealings with clients and peers alike and deserves to be lauded accordingly. She is a credit to her firm‘.

‘Lisa Whitehouse has excellent technical knowledge of probate and the ability to deal with contentious probate matters. Able to explain complex inheritance tax issues concisely and simply to non-specialists‘.

Lisa Whitehouse is increasingly a very important and respected adviser in the team‘.

Key clients

Mr Y

Mr B and Mr W

MD

SBS and PK Trust

A Housing Association

MB

Mrs K

Dr and Mrs M

Mr & Mrs H

The Estate of CP

Work highlights

  • Advised Mrs K on the creation of a deed of covenant to enable gifts of surplus income to continue to be made should she lose capacity in the future, to protect and sustain inheritance tax planning.
  • Advised on the tax-efficient winding up of a £5m Guernsey trust to maximise benefit to the individual beneficiairies and enable them to also make provision for their own charitable intentions.
  • Advised Mr and Mrs E on appropriate wills and lifetime tax planning to protect and provide appropriately for their severely disabled son.
  • Advised an executor of an estate about the payment of inheritance tax.
  • Following an inter-family dispute, Donna Holmes and John Wearing were appointed as independent trustees of a family trust, where the trust’s main asset, a family company shareholding, was in dispute.

DWF

DWF does the full gamut of private client work with a particular focus on supporting business owners and entrepreneurs as well as high-net-worth families that have assets in the UK or overseas. The team deals with capital tax planning, the preparation of wills, trust deeds and lasting powers of attorney. It is also skilled at advising on estate and trust administration as well as complex tax planning vehicles such as family investment companies, limited partnerships and family offices for its wide and varied client base. The group regularly deals with complex probate matters involving business and agricultural assets or where assets are based in other countries. Jon Gould heads the department. Roger Williams has considerable experience in preparing wills and lifetime trusts as well as in estate administration. In addition Williams is skilled at advising on Court of Protection matters and powers of attorney.

Practice head(s):

Jon Gould

Other key lawyers:

Roger Williams

Testimonials

The team has an exceptionally wide range of knowledge and abilities, always able to bring in a specialist in each particular field we are involved in. The lawyers respond immediately to issues. The lawyers are always helpful and able to give you their complete attention. Roger Williams has provided support and assistance for many years and always to an excellent standard‘.

Gateley Plc

Catriona Attride at Gateley Plc is the national head of private wealth and the partner heading up the Birmingham team. Its clients are generally HNW and UHNW individuals. The team has a diverse skill set advising on pre-sale business strategies using lifetime trusts as well as advising on family investment companies. Other fields of expertise include providing multi-generational advice to clients by way of wills and lifetime trusts and administering complex UK-based and multi-jurisdictional estates. The team also acts as professional deputy on a significant number of complex and high-value cases.

Practice head(s):

Catriona Attride

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Turner

Testimonials

The real strength of this team is that it has an absolutely unparalleled knowledge of trust and tax issues, but also a really excellent appreciation of the contentious aspects which can underlie trusts and estate planning‘.

The team is brilliantly headed by Catriona Attride whose experience of heavyweight contentious disputes and of Court of Protection matters (including acting as court-appointed deputy) is invaluable‘.

Catriona Attride is superb – she is knowledgeable, has unfailing judgement and is able to explain the most difficult trusts and tax issues to the lay client. She is my “go-to” recommendation when people ask me for someone to advise in a tricky planning or contentious situation. She is very well supported by the experienced and able Hannah Turner‘.

Hannah Turner deals with things very professionally, efficiently and sensitively‘.

Strong team with wide skill base. Hannah Turner has provided an excellent service pulling in specialist help as required for wider issues‘.

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons is recommended for its advice to individuals and families on the various methods that can be used to preserve their personal and corporate wealth. The practice acts for a sizeable number of family businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals with business assets and works closely with its corporate department to assist on tax and estate planning matters for owner-managed businesses, directors and shareholders. Lucy Obrey is the head of private client. Nick Moxon is another key figure along with Peter Gosling who is also knowledgeable about rural issues. Gosling is a member of STEP and the Law Society Private Client Section.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Obrey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Moxon; Peter Gosling

Lanyon Bowdler

Lanyon Bowdler has extensive experience of advising on trusts, estate planning and administration as well as on powers of attorney, tax planning and contentious probate matters. The practice now has a dedicated trusts team that deals exclusively with trusts matters. Edward Rees is the main contact for this type of work. Overall Ludlow-based Giles Scott is at the helm. Scott, who is a member of STEP, concentrates on trusts, wills, inheritance tax planning and the administration of high-value estates. He is also adept at advising on powers of attorney and frequently acts as a professional deputy and trustee. Associate solicitor Neil Davies is another important member of the practice and heads up its Court of Protection department.

Practice head(s):

Giles Scott (Ludlow)

Other key lawyers:

Edward Rees; Kevin Thomas; Neil Davies

Testimonials

Edward Rees is straight talking and confidence inspiring – he exudes friendliness and absolute professionalism in equal measure. He explains the options, gives the pros and cons and enables the client to make wise decisions‘.

Edward Rees communicates complex legalities very clearly and nothing is too much trouble and he treats me as a valued client. His personality is both professional with plenty of understanding and empathy‘.

Kevin Thomas is very responsive‘.

Key clients

Elizabeth Threlfall

Graham Maule

Peter Bates

Andrew Higgins

Work highlights

  • Acting in an estate administration of approximately £1m.
  • Acting in an estate administration of approximately £500,000 including a nil-rate band legacy.
  • Provided tax planning advice and prepared a will and deed of variation for a client with assets of approximately £2.5m.
  • Advised on the registration of an enduring power of attorney that was required in order to allow the attorney to act on behalf of his incapacitated mother.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a wealth of experience in a wide range of private client matters from wills/estate planning through to deputyship applications to the Court of Protection. It is also skilled at advising on powers of attorney and on elderly client matters. The department offers specialist advice on NHS continuing healthcare issues and on care placement and care funding. Head of department Tracy Creed is well-regarded. Creed deals with probate, trusts and estate planning matters and specialises in elderly care work.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Creed

Testimonials

Professional, welcoming, friendly office. Tracy Creed was very professional, friendly, empathetic and her knowledge and experience were exceptional‘.

Ravinder Sandhu is a very caring and sympathetic person. Ravi has offered exceptional service and sound advice‘.

Ravinder Sandhu goes out of her way to make the client feel that they are getting the best solution and usually gives more than one solution to a problem‘.

The practice has high standards of expertise maintained by a caring close-knit partnership who invest in the training of the team‘.

Shelley Collingbourne is both diligent and highly efficient. Shelley is always ready and available to provide advice both on the telephone and in face-to-face meetings at the office. She is approachable, knowledgeable and always displays a pleasant disposition‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting on a complex estate where the children of the deceased are estranged as a result of family disputes.
  • Advising the deputy of a man with mental health issues who is residing in a nursing care home for residents with significant challenging behaviour.
  • Advising on a matter where errors were made by previous solicitors and accountants resulting in an incorrect payment of IHT in the sum of over £600,000 to HMRC.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Lynda Richards at Aaron & Partners LLP is known for her expertise in dealing with taxable estate issues and capital tax planning and is also a full member of STEP. Richards advises business owners, landowners and high-net-worth individuals on organising their estates to minimise exposure to inheritance tax. The team is well-regarded for its work in a number of particular areas including drafting complex wills and advising on the establishment and administration of family trusts. It also advises on various charitable trusts and acts on behalf of farmers and landowners. The practice is especially skilled at advising rural families on succession planning and business planning.

Testimonials

I find the team friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. It offers a bespoke/personal service‘.

Well established, highly respected local firm with a growing reputation. Lynda Richards is very professional, highly experienced and approachable‘.

Lynda Richards is very knowledgeable. Her skill is delivering a highly personal and responsive service combining this with her detailed knowledge and attention to detail’.

Highly professional team. Lynda Richards – significant experience in wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Efficient and great empathy‘.

Strong technical knowledge and excellent client care. Lynda Richards – technically excellent; very knowledgeable; lovely manner with clients‘.

Key clients

Beneficiaries of multimillion-pound estates

Wealthy foreign citizens with UK interests

Work highlights

  • Acting on a complex cross-border matter for a US citizen with an estate valued in the millions, advising on the establishment of lifetime trusts for IHT purposes and on the preparation of a UK will which had to take into account the tax position of US beneficiaries.
  • Instructed on behalf of the beneficiaries of two estates on their administration.
  • Instructed by the sole residuary beneficiary of an estate and family trusts.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Band Hatton Button LLP advises on all aspects of wealth protection and inheritance planning for individuals and families. It has a strong reputation for advising on wills, estate planning and wealth protection as well as powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. Michelle Gavin is at the helm. Other strengths include advising on the administration of estates, the creation of trusts as well as post-death tax planning. Members of the team are often asked to act as attorneys and deputies as well as executors of estates. There are three full STEP members in the team in addition to one associate member.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Gavin

Testimonials

BHB’s team under the fine leadership of Michelle Gavin always responds speedily to any requests with clear explanations. The lawyers appear most knowledgeable in their specialities. Michelle Gavin and her colleagues always act in a friendly and professional manner‘.

Accessible and understandable. Michelle Gavin demystifies trusts and planning ideas and explains everything in a clear, patient and friendly manner. Michelle is always accessible and you know she will always go the extra mile for her clients‘.

Michelle Gavin is knowledgeable, practical and organised. Gets things done in a friendly yet professional manner‘.

‘I have recommended Michelle Gavin on many occasions, and whether she or one of her team have completed work the quality seems very consistent’.

BHB is a very friendly and family-orientated team that is good at keeping clients and other professional advisers up-to-date with communications. I make special reference to Michelle Gavin who I have always found to be professional, helpful and engaging‘.

Personable and always willing to help. Definitely feels like a traditional people business rather than just making you feel like “a number” and you can trust the information which you are given‘.

Michelle Gavin – an excellent head of department’.

Work highlights

  • Advised on an estate where there were various options  available to raise inheritance tax on application for the grant of probate and also on a deed of variation to amend the terms of a will to balance out the distribution of family wealth between siblings, taking into account lifetime gifts.
  • Advised clients on how to protect their family wealth – they have two children, both under the age of 18, one of whom has various disabilities.
  • Advised clients who wanted to get their affairs into good order for their five children.
  • Acted in the administration of an estate, having drafted the will previously.
  • Advised on a will in a large estate that provided for the estate to pass to eight children and there was extensive discord between the family members.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys works on an impressive number of private wealth matters in the region, nationally and internationally. It represents high-net-worth individuals, families and estates across Hereford, Worcester and beyond. Co-head of the practice Dawn Oliver is also increasingly advising on the use of private family charitable trusts to mitigate inheritance tax. Shirley Rabbetts has a niche practice in advising farmers on a broad range of inheritance issues and co-head Beth King-Smith is recommended for her strength on contentious trusts and probate matters. Senior associate Annabelle Kay joined the team in November 2019 from Higgs & Sons and is skilled at working with people who have mental or physical disabilities, have lost mental capacity, or have suffered catastrophic injuries or brain injuries.

Practice head(s):

Dawn Oliver; Beth King-Smith

Testimonials

Dawn Oliver really did step into my shoes very well and understood that she needed to be directive, firm and push hard if progress were be made‘.

David James King treats me with respect, listens to my queries, and always has a personal touch, as though I am his only client!’.

‘Laura Banks is that unusual combination – a knowledgeable, experienced and efficient lawyer who is also highly approachable’.

‘Laura Banks is a genuine and very helpful person’.

Mander Hadley Solicitors

Mander Hadley Solicitors continues to be busy and has been attracting increasingly complex and high-value work. Through its offices in Coventry and Kenilworth it has been advising affluent clients with particular expertise in the area of older client law. The team has been active in advising on lasting powers of attorney and acting as deputies appointed by the Court of Protection. Under the leadership of David Murcott Webb, it has particular strength in issues surrounding mental capacity, estate planning and inheritance tax as well as continuing healthcare assessments.

Practice head(s):

David Murcott Webb

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Dobson

Testimonials

David Webb is the ultimate professional and I trust him implicitly with all my affairs but, at the same time, he has shown empathy, understanding and a degree of compassion‘.

My experience was that the team has the capability of advising in depth in the most complex situations and does so with great insight and empathy for all involved. David Webb was especially caring and went the extra mile. He showed great insight‘.

David Webb treats you so well it’s a pleasure to work with him; he cares‘.

‘David Webb looks after his clients and provides them with positive advice‘.

Caroline Dobson – communication was always quick and straightforward – we felt that we had been looked after at a tricky time‘.

‘Caroline Dobson has performed in a first-class manner in all matters’.

Work highlights

  • Advising on a complex estate administration involving a repatriation of the deceased from abroad, investigation of wealth and, being an intestacy, investigating the family across three foreign jurisdictions to facilitate distribution.
  • Advised on a taxable estate involving consideration of the attribution tax rules for IHT purposes and negotiation with HMRC in regard to agricultural relief, and successfully obtaining an award of relief.
  • Prepared a will for the client where wealth consisted of high-value cash investments as well as a complex business structure with majority shareholdings in several companies.

MFG Solicitors LLP

MFG Solicitors LLP offers a full private client service and also has a specialist care and Court of Protection team. Kidderminster-based Valerie Robinson focuses on the administration of high-value and complex estates. Gary Priest who is also based in Kidderminster has a particular focus on farming and landed estate clients but has been increasingly working with commercial clients. Peter Stephens who is based in Ludlow has a varied caseload of estate administration and routinely advises on preparing wills and on lasting powers of attorney. Senior associate Amanda Piper heads the care team.

Testimonials

Gary Priest was very knowledgeable and thorough in his explanations and very helpful. He was very flexible and extremely helpful‘.

Work highlights

  • In conjunction with its corporate department, it advised the company on the creation of an employee ownership trust and on the formation of a charity.
  • Advised on the administration of a very complicated and contested estate.
  • Advised on a substantial and complicated estate with many issues to resolve, including  a disputed claim for residence nil-rate band .
  • Advised on the administration of a very emotionally charged estate that required assistance from its personal injury and contentious probate departments.
  • Working closely with its contentious probate department to conduct a thorough examination of  various complex inheritance calculations.

Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd

Neil Raiseborough heads the private client team at Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd. The department is strongly represented throughout its four offices and provides tax planning advice and complex will drafting advice to clients as well as routinely advising clients on the creation of trusts. Raiseborough deals with complicated wills, estate and tax planning matters for primarily wealthy individuals. He regularly advises clients on protective trusts and drafts wills and settlements particularly for clients who have children with learning or physical disabilities. He also acts as a deputy and attorney for numerous long-standing clients and is increasingly advising on personal injury settlement award trusts.

Practice head(s):

Neil Raiseborough

Ansons

Ansons is well-regarded for its work on agricultural estates and complex probate matters for farmers. The team has considerable experience in the full array of private client matters such as estate administration, inheritance tax mitigation and will drafting. Adam Penn is a key contact who regularly deals with deputyship applications for those lacking capacity to conduct their own personal affairs, including contested deputyship applications.

Other key lawyers:

Adam Penn

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP routinely advises on high-value estates where there are complex cross-border issues as well as advising on other areas such as business and agricultural property relief. It also advises on complex Court of Protection matters and represents elderly and vulnerable clients who lack capacity. Linda Jones is the head of department. Sarah Horton who is a member of STEP is another key contact and joined the team from another firm. Horton advises on all issues from estate administration and distribution through to intestacy administration and drafting lasting powers of attorneys.

Practice head(s):

Linda Jones

Testimonials

The practitioners are very approachable, and rarely use jargon’.

Client-focused team, with empathy and a clear desire to provide a successful outcome in a timely manner at an affordable cost’.

All of the lawyers I have worked with throughout the years have been well-trained, attentive to clients’ needs, and have shown sensitivity and an ability to listen’.

Laura went through with me what would be needed and we decided who would do what to execute my husband’s will. I knew she, or a member of her team, was always on hand for any queries I might have‘.

Sophie Forsyth and Laura Stuart were extremely helpful in sorting out any issues and they would go out of their way to ensure that issues with third parties were resolved satisfactorily. Extremely professional and caring individuals‘.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP is best known for its advice to ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth clients on their tax and estate planning matters. Erica Burt-Moore is the primary partner in Birmingham who specialises in complex estate planning for business owners and entrepreneurs. Burt-Moore is also well-regarded for her work on trusts, probate and elderly care matters as well as for her Court of Protection work – in addition she is a member of STEP. The team receives a steady workflow through financial advisers, wealth managers, stockbrokers, existing and previous clients as well as accountants and other solicitors.

Testimonials

The staff member responsible was extremely conscientious, and also patient‘.

George Green LLP

Claire Pottinger heads the team at George Green LLP. Pottinger regularly works with accountants and wealth advisers to help local businesspeople. Pottinger is a full member of STEP and is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly and a Dementia Friend. The team often works on a range of cases including the administration of estates, wills, powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. It also advises on the setting up and administration of trusts and on lasting powers of attorney.

Practice head(s):

Claire Pottinger

Other key lawyers:

Louise Axford

Testimonials

‘Exacting and efficient service. They have always been of the greatest assistance with advice and prompt in their dealings with myself and official bodies.’

‘Louise Axford communicates in a friendly but professional manner, on a regular basis. The friendly nature of all the staff I have dealt with at George Green is part of what makes it a pleasure to deal with them especially in times of emotional distress.’

‘The team was always pleasant and attentive to our requirements.’

‘Louise Axford was very professional and did everything in her power to make sure our needs were met.’

‘Excellent team, always approachable and keen to help and to listen. They provide a broad range of services covering private client and corporate requirements. The level of individual specialism is excellent.’

GHP Legal

Operating from its four offices, GHP Legal has expertise across the board from drafting simple wills and lasting powers of attorney through to tax planning, complex estate administration and Court of Protection matters. It has extensive experience of advising high-net-worth individuals and often represents several generations of families in implementing tax-efficient financial arrangements. The department also undertakes a significant amount of public authority work assisting clients in receipt of legal aid. Victoria Wilson who is based at the Oswestry office specialises in non-contentious probate work, trusts and advising on the provision of long-term care costs.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Wilson

Work highlights

  • Appointed as an executor of the estate alongside a lay executor – the estate had a value of approximately 1.2m, was subject to IHT and comprised various properties and investments.

Pickerings Solicitors

Two of the solicitors at Pickerings Solicitors are full members of STEP. Two of its members are also members of the Solicitors for the Elderly and it has a Dementia Friend in the team too. Members of the team include Lucy Cooling and Emma Harrison who are frequently entrusted by clients to act as executors, trustees, attorneys and deputies. Harrison leads the private client team and her expertise covers wills, lasting powers of attorney, Court of Protection applications as well as other matters including trust and probate administration (both testate and intestate).

Practice head(s):

Emma Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Cooling; Ashley Latham

Testimonials

The team has strength in depth and can advise on all aspects of probate, trust, elderly client and Court of Protection work‘.

The team is highly skilled and knowledgeable, it combines these qualities with a friendly and efficient service. We have worked with Emma Harrison who has guided us through a complicated and potentially damaging legal situation with skill, efficiency and compassion‘.

Emma Harrison has a knack of combining professionalism with a personal touch, and a sense of humour. Emma was succinct yet willing to explain at our pace anything which we may not have initially understood‘.

Very efficient without losing the personal touch. We have the highest regard for Lucy Cooling. She has always been very efficient and provides the best possible advice‘.

Lucy Cooling spent much time with us, and her understanding of our needs, and advice on how to achieve our aims, were outstanding‘.

Special mention to Ashley Latham for the sound advice and being available whenever we needed’.

Work highlights

  • Acting as financial and property affairs attorney for a long-standing client.
  • Instructed to give advice in connection with the ongoing reporting requirements imposed by the Court of Protection when a financial deputy is appointed.
  • Instructed by the sister of a deceased appointed under a will, which the team had prepared, to assist with the administration of the estate given the complexities created by the estate which had foreign assets.
  • Provided advice to the husband of a woman who had suffered a breakdown – she was unable to participate in complicated planning with a pension, therefore a deputy was needed to be appointed by the Court of Protection.
  • Instructed by the attorney who was appointed on behalf of a relative to act under an enduring power of attorney that had been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP concentrates on trusts in a commercial context. It acts for insurance companies, banks, pension providers and government agencies on all types of trusts that are used in commercial transactions including funeral trusts and insolvency customer monies trusts. The group also has some strength in tax-specific trusts that are linked to employment and reward schemes. Legal director Chris Thomas is a primary contact.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Thomas

Talbot & Co

Talbot & Co has acted for generations of families on the full array of matters. Work has included advising on ongoing trust and administration and on personal tax matters such as tax planning and general wealth management. The firm’s client base is local and national. The practice has a particular following in London and the Home Counties as well. Tom Bramall heads the team. Bramall is adept at advising on complex taxation and trust issues, both contentious and non-contentious, as well as more general wills and probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bramall

Testimonials

I have found the team to be hardworking and dedicated to its clients. Tom Bramall is a careful and diligent private client solicitor’.

Tom Bramall is a highly skilled and modest practitioner who seeks to solve client objectives with minimum fuss and options are explained in full to ensure that the best solution is achieved. Post-meeting summaries are really very thorough and issued immediately after a meeting. The service that we receive is outstanding‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised high-net-worth clients with an extensive  and diversified portfolio on philanthropy, tax planning and wills.
  • Advised a widow in a high-value claim against her last husband’s estate, his company and lifetime trust.
  • Advised a high-net-worth director of a leading financial services company on succession planning in the company and on estate planning generally.
  • Advised a Dubai-based married couple in connection with international taxation, estate planning and succession generally.
  • Acting for the trustees in a winding up and dissolution of a partnership involving multiple court hearings.

The Wilkes Partnership

Based out of its 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 and estate work. Ellie Holland leads the Solihull team and has a similar focus on succession planning for business owners. Ann-Marie Aston heads the Court of Protection offering and frequently acts as a  professional deputy and attorney. The team advises on all areas of wills and estate administration as well as trust creation and administration, with a particular strength in community care work. The Birmingham-based contested probate and litigation teams also carry out NHS continuing healthcare appeals. Consultant Philip Harrison joined the team from another firm.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hasnip; Ellie Holland

Testimonials

Well-established firm with a good reputation in the local market. Andrew Hasnip is a very knowledgeable practitioner with great client relationships‘.

The Wilkes Partnership has an extremely forward-thinking approach and is an approachable team. Adrian Schuck is technically very knowledgeable and he displays honesty and integrity in the way he approaches all aspects of his work‘.

Very empathetic and extremely sympathetic to sensitive family issues. Very supportive to the family and always ready to go the extra mile as required‘.

Philip Harrison provides an excellent service – proactive, practical, timely and highly effective and I cannot speak too highly of him. He specialises in advice to high-net-worth individuals on general private client matters (including planning and trusts) and in such areas as tax and domicile‘.

Philip Harrison is excellent at explaining the various options available and appropriate strategies‘.

Sophie Fenn has an excellent bedside manner and has an outstanding technical grasp of the law. She has an ability to understand her clients’ personal issues and objectives. Andrew Hasnip has a superb grasp of the technical aspects of estates, trusts and probate. His legal and tax knowledge and his ability to apply it for the benefit of a client compares favourably with any lawyer in Birmingham‘.

Ann-Marie Aston is highly experienced and knowledgeable and extremely good with clients. Her practical and gentle manner is ideally suited to private client work but specifically working for those with disabilities. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Andrew Hasnip has a very good reputation in the private client field‘.

Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors has a large private client offering that acts for a number of farming clients, business owners and entrepreneurs as well as high-net-worth individuals. Michelle Hetheridge specialises in succession planning for wealthy clients and business owners and deals with complex estates that often have offshore assets and complicated business ownership issues. Ruth Baker and Sharon Oakley are also key members of the team. Patricia Venables is currently an appointed deputy for over 30 deputyship orders. Venables advises on estate administration and planning and has extensive experience of administering clients’ financial affairs in her capacity as a panel deputy.

Testimonials

Michelle Hetheridge is increasing the firm’s profile in the city centre – she is known for her technical ability‘.

Small-firm approach with the comfort of having technical knowledge equal to larger law firms. Warm, caring attitude towards clients. Attention to detail to ensure it is doing the best for its clients‘.

A fast-growing friendly team pulling together a vast range of experience and talent. 

I have worked with Zoe Perry for several years now and find her to provide an honest and caring service to her clients‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting in the administration of an intestate estate that was referred to the firm from Finders Genealogists.  
  • Advice was sought on how trusts for five insurance and investment bonds could be brought to an end and the monies paid out.
  • Advising on wills and lasting powers of attorney for clients with substantial UK wealth where one client is UK resident and domiciled but has substantial wealth in the US and is an American citizen.
  • Working closely with its corporate department to ensure complimentary advice was provided to a two-generation family partnership.
  • Administering an estate/trust with a net value of £1.4m that includes complex application of inheritance tax exemptions.

VWV

In Birmingham Rachael Armstrong leads the team at VWV and is recommended for her estates and trusts experience. Armstrong routinely advises high-net-worth entrepreneurs and business owners as well as musicians and farmers on complex tax structures and reliefs. She also has a number of corporate director clients who she advises in conjunction with the corporate team to ensure that shares and company assets are gifted correctly in wills. In addition she is adept at advising these clients on how to qualify for business property relief. The team covers the full array of private client matters from preparing wills and powers of attorney to advising on matters where there are cross-border assets and declarations of trusts. It is also skilled at advising on philanthropy and Court of Protection issues. Senior associate Jennifer Morries is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Morries

Testimonials

The team is very proactive, client focused and professional. It has developed an excellent reputation in Birmingham for consistently delivering high standards of work and advice. Rachael Armstrong has very much developed a reputation of being an expert in this space. She is an excellent communicator and always puts the client at the centre of any transaction’.

The private client team in Birmingham is led by partner Rachael Armstrong and she is ably supported by senior associate Jennifer Morries. Although they have not been at VWV for long, they have both carved out for themselves a very healthy and well-regarded practice, which has been noticed by the local legal community‘.

Both Rachael Armstrong and Jennifer Morries have an excellent rapport and empathy with their clients. As well as being excellent technical lawyers, they are very easy to instruct and gather around themselves much client satisfaction which brings in repeat business‘.

Jennifer Morries was very approachable and listened‘.

The Birmingham team is outstanding covering all aspects that a client would need. All members of the team are approachable, kind and considerate. They put clients’ minds at ease, are empathetic and charming‘.

Rachael Armstrong is efficient and goes the extra mile as does Jennifer Morries. Jennifer is outstanding in how she handles all situations, calms families where there may be disputes and is generally a very steady pair of hands‘.