Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Personal tax, trusts and probate

Irwin Mitchell launched a non-contentious private client offering in the Midlands in early 2023, spearheaded from Birmingham by Ian Bond, the former head of wills and estates at Thursfields Solicitors.
Terry Cooper heads the department at Thursfields Solicitors; he advises many families and individuals as well as fiduciaries both in the UK and abroad.

Personal tax, trusts and probate in West Midlands

Lodders Solicitors LLP

The large team at Lodders Solicitors LLP has an excellent reputation for its work on a myriad of complex estate and tax planning matters. Core areas of expertise include advising on the eligibility for agricultural and business property relief in addition to dealing with all aspects of the management of trusts. The 'technically very able', Louise Igoe,  heads the department which routinely helps high-net-worth clients. John Rouse specialises in advising business owners, farmers and wealthy individuals on estate planning matters. Elaine Morgan is adept at handling all aspects of the management of trusts. Associate, Jennifer Russell is also well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Louise Igoe

Other key lawyers:

John Rouse; Jennifer Russell; Elaine Morgan

Meridian Private Client LLP

The ‘user friendly’ team at Meridian Private Client LLP is particularly recommended for its complex estate and tax planning work. It is praised for building ‘strong client relationships’ and for its ‘excellent technical knowledge’. Other areas of expertise include estate/ trust administration and shareholder tax planning advice on domestic and cross-border matters. It has four Chartered Tax Advisers and twelve individuals who are full members of STEP. Jon Croxford heads the department. Drummond Kerr frequently advises on wealth management and succession issues.  Eamonn Daly is a registered Trust and Estate Practitioner. Lisa Whitehouse recently joined the team from Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Practice head(s):

Jon Croxford

Other key lawyers:

Drummond Kerr; Eamonn Daly; Lisa Whitehouse; Jennifer Morries; Natasha Smith; Peter Gate; Vicki Bennett; Edward Jones


‘A great Private Client team with the breadth and depth of knowledge needed when advising on the complexities of Wills and Trusts. Very approachable and commercial in their advice given’.

Meridian is a highly specialised and focused practice. They are approachable, technically excellent and user friendly. They concentrate on the areas they specialise in with no distractions. Compared to most other firms their technical skills are second to none’.

‘Vicki Bennett and Jon Croxford at MPC are both excellent practitioners, personable, capable and thorough and have been excellent to work with’.

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing legal and tax strategic advice and implementing/administrating it for a family with a net worth of £75-£100m.
  • Receiving a referral from another law firm to provide corporate tax, personal tax and trust law advice to executors on dealing with and winding up a complex tax structure held in the estate.
  • Advising four generations of a family with wealth of c£200m and multi-jurisdictional connections. Dealing with the strategic advice including residence, domicile, non-UK trust and business structuring as well as the ongoing tax compliance for the family.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The 'friendly team' at Mills & Reeve LLP 'has built up a superb reputation in the Midlands' for its work with business owners ( in particular family businesses) and for its advice to wealthy individuals, families and landed estate clients on the full range of estate planning and wealth structuring matters.  It also garners praise for its work on complex international estate planning matters and on family investment companies. Under the joint leadership of John Grundy  and Lucy Howard it frequently advises wealthy philanthropists on the establishment of charities and on other forms of charitable giving.  Matthew Hansell  receives plaudits for his work with business owners and high-net-worth individuals. Principal associate, Sarah Wood , heads up the national trust administration team.

Practice head(s):

John Grundy; Lucy Howard

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Hansell; Sarah Wood; Adam Williams; Jacob Cork; Stephen Atkinson


Queries are dealt with efficiently and explained well. The Team is proficient in all areas’.

‘I appreciate the uncomplicated way that Mills and Reeve deal with me as a non legal person and value the emphasis on building relationships with clients that Mills and Reeve seem to embody’.

‘They are all very knowledgeable, easily approachable and even though they are doubtless dealing with numerous clients, they seem to have total recollection of my individual circumstances without recourse to always having to check files etc and remind themselves of the situation‘.

‘The leading private team in the midlands with impressive knowledge depth across the team and widely regarded as one of the best in the business. Excellent advice delivered in a client friendly way’.

‘I have been very impressed with Adam Williams, Jacob Cork and Sarah Wood – all of them are obviously superb at their job and highly skilled but also excellent communicators and able to deliver solutions which clients and other advisers can understand’.

‘High technical capability. Very experienced team, who work very effectively together, who are used to dealing with complex matters. Friendly and approachable’.

Matthew Hansell – highly experienced, very practical approach, strong client relationships with considerate gentle style. Stephen Atkinson – very experienced, eye for detail and great project management. Accessible and always helpful’.

‘Jacob Cork – very knowledgeable on international private client matters. John Grundy – experienced partner who is both client centric and highly knowledgeable’.

Key clients

Acts for two of the top five in the Midlands Rich List and for many other notable local families.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has an established reputation for its work with families, landed estates, entrepreneurs and business owners on the full range of wealth, tax and succession planning matters. Under the able leadership of Hannah Tait, Verity Kirby and Suzanne Leggott, the team 'works in harmony' and is recognised for its work on a range of trust and estate administration matters as well as for its elderly care advice. Other strengths include advising on personal injury trusts. Lesley Davis’ areas of expertise span charitable trusts, foundations and CIOs as well as advising on family investment companies and other issues such as powers of attorney.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Tait; Verity Kirby; Suzanne Leggot

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Davis; Victoria Taylor; Elaine Hart


‘The team is efficient and empathetic and is expanding due to the exceptional qualities of the partners I deal with being Hannah Tait, Lesley Davis and Verity Kirby. The Associates Elaine Hart and Victoria Taylor work exceptionally hard and are knowledgeable across all sectors of Trusts and Probate’.

‘The team are incredibly personable and attentive to clients needs and requirements’.

‘Hannah Tait is an exceptional practitioner and has both exceptional technical ability, combined with a sublime ability to explain complex matters to clients of any level of knowledge and experience’.

‘Lesley Davis has built a really strong and knowledgeable team around her. Lesley always proves to be a really good people person’.

‘The team is very diverse from an ethnicity and gender perspective which I feel is increasingly important to clients. The team also has a very good range of ages which again is useful for clients as some clients prefer to deal with advisers/solicitors their own age. The team is incredibly knowledgeable’.

‘Their technical and working knowledge of the law is very impressive and their advice has resulted in many good results for my clients’.

‘Verity Kirby – Partner – Verity is an excellent example of a Private Client Partner. There are no queries too big or small that Verity cannot deal with and she always responds in a timely manner’.

‘I have dealings with Verity Kirby and Vicky Taylor and I like their calm and measured approach. They are very approachable and deal with their clients and connections in a friendly and professional manner. It is clear from client meetings that they are capable of engaging easily with their clients’.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP has 'excellent communicators' who work across all aspects of wills, probate and life planning matters. In addition, it has niche expertise in community care and court of protection work. The practice, that is headed by Kim Carr; Graham Fuller and Sara Simson, is particularly known for its work with business owners and agricultural estate owners on various complex inheritance tax planning and business succession issues. Recently, it has been busy advising on the use of family trusts and advising clients on the protection of family wealth from divorce and other financial claims. It is also adept at advising on the administration of estates that have foreign assets.

Practice head(s):

Kim Carr; Graham Fuller; Sara Simson

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Monnes-Thomas; Rachel Wood; Christopher Bate; Christina Polychronakis


‘Good communication, concise information. Attention to detail whilst ‘seeing the bigger picture’’.

‘The FBC team shows huge compassion and commitment to brain injured claimants and individuals. Communication and responsiveness is completely seamless. Chris Bate – whose deep concern for his clients, flexibility in terms of recognising individual needs, swift communication and humour are all attributes that our mutual clients truly value‘.

‘We feel that Manby Bowdler is a firm that we can trust. In our experience they are extremely professional and efficient, but also approachable, helpful and mindful that our wishes were precisely reflected in the work that they did for us’.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys assists high-net-worth clients on the full range of private client matters. In addition, the group is skilled at handling a variety of complex matters where there are substantial agricultural or international assets. Spearheaded by Shirley Rabbetts; Laura Banks and Julia Stahl, the team also receives plaudits for its specialist advice in other areas such as family investment companies and inheritance tax relief in addition to its work with older and vulnerable clients. Dawn Oliver is another key figure.  Lisa Whitehouse is now at Meridian Private Client LLP.

Practice head(s):

Shirley Rabbetts; Laura Banks; Julia Stahl

Other key lawyers:

Dawn Oliver; Lisette Macdonald; Beth King-Smith


‘Overall a very competent service. Everything has been done efficiently with a personal touch’.

‘Laura Banks has been excellent. Efficient and responsive with a friendly and approachable manner in a difficult situation’.

‘Extremely prompt. We always felt we were the only people they were dealing with. Never mind modern technology, here you find, old fashioned manners. Laura Banks, always takes time to listen’.

‘HCR has an abundance of talented solicitors with which they can draw experience and knowledge from to achieve the best outcome for their clients. Laura Banks’ knowledge on the law around Wills and Probates is unparalleled, coupled with her pragmatic approach, make her one of the best‘.

‘Very knowledgeable, up to date with the rules and regulation, precise, approachable, passionate with our individual’s need and situation. Mrs Laura Banks’.

‘What makes them different is their dedication to meeting client needs and expectations, in a timely efficient manner and providing clear and concise advice. They have considerable depth of knowledge and capability in the firm and you get input from highly capable specialists’.

‘Lissette MacDonald and Beth King-Smith – they are straight forward in their advice, willing to work with me on tax planning in a constructive and positive way and very supportive. They are prompt and efficient, knowledgeable and clear in their advice, what more could I ask for?‘.

‘Laura Banks is the consummate private client solicitor. Charming, reassuring and creative, but her service is underpinned with exceptional technical expertise’.

Lanyon Bowdler

Lanyon Bowdler advises clients across the whole of Shropshire, Herefordshire and North Wales. It has extensive experience in advising on trusts, estate planning and administration as well as other areas covering business property  and agricultural relief. Edward Rees is skilled at advising clients on trusts, high-net-worth estate administration, powers of attorney and on complex tax planning matters. David Pugh has a broad range of experience too. Kevin Thomas  is well-regarded for his experience in administering estates which have significant agricultural property. Neil Davies heads the court of protection department.

Practice head(s):

Edward Rees; Kevin Thomas; David Pugh

Other key lawyers:

Neil Davies; Kate Lawson


‘I have worked with the team at Lanyon Bowdler team on 2 complex estate matters. From the outset the team operated a no surprises approach. They identified all the key issues in both estates and provided a clear workplan and associated fee structure’.

‘The team worked well with: the commercial land team and other partners, such as estate agents and accountants. They have also developed a good relationship with HMRC, critical to a successful outcome’.

‘From the outset, David Pugh has been outstanding. His professionalism and legal expertise is evident. He has the ability to simplify complex probate, tax and associated matters, identify the options and advise me of the most appropriate option to pursue‘.

‘Professional, empathy with our situation. Efficient and really easy to deal with’.

‘Can’t speak highly enough of David Pugh. Very knowledgeable, gave solid advice and the matters were sorted without any fuss‘.

Lanyon Bowdler give clients the feeling that they are big enough to cope, but small enough to care. They are a large, growing and aspirational firm, yet they do a brilliant job of providing clients with a warm welcome, good communication and a service that feels bespoke to the client’s needs‘.

‘David Pugh – in addition to being an exemplary professional, is also extremely caring, punctual and accommodating. I have witnessed David deal with extremely challenging cases with ease, translating complicated jargon into simple terms for clients to easily understand’.


Work highlights

  • Prepared and executed a will for Dr Drury and prepared and executed both Property and Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare LPAs.
  • Prepared & executed a will for Mr Edward Oakley.
  • Prepared & executed a will for Ms Nicola Collins

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Wealth preservation and elderly care matters are at the cornerstone of the ‘friendly and efficient’ practice at Sydney Mitchell LLP. Led by Tracy Creed , it has also been busy advising on a variety of complex administration matters and on applications to the Court of Protection. In addition, the department offers specialist advice in relation to NHS Continuing Health Care (advising on and appearing at assessments and appeals). Shelley Collingbourne is another key figure who advises on a wide range of private client matters.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Creed

Other key lawyers:

Shelley Collingbourne; Lorna Payne


‘Tracy Creed – a natural leader, who is approachable and never dismissive of you – a lovely warm and engaging approach with the clients, giving me and the client time… never hurrying you and always pleasant‘.

‘Tracy has a calm approach where her professionalism is clear to see and fills you with confidence. There is nothing she does not know’.

The team are friendly, understanding when dealing with emotional situations, very knowledgeable with great communication’.

‘Highly professional, great at communication regarding progress and timelines’.

‘Lorna Payne -has impressed me with her knowledge, professionalism and the brilliant way she has reassured me on all aspects of the processes, taking away a lot of the stress and pressure of a highly emotional situation‘.

‘The solicitor who is handling this estate, Shelley Collingbourne has acted very professionally and kept me informed (I am the administrator) at all times‘.

‘The team is always polite, caring and kind. Polite and professional and go the extra mile to help you out’.

‘Sydney Mitchell are a Team I can trust and would recommend. One of the strengths is their transparent approach. They are keen to involve communities and make people who use them, whoever you are, feel most comfortable. They have a broad range of services and appear strong as a team, with excellent leadership skills‘.

Work highlights

  • Advising on a complex Continuing Health Care matter for Client X.  Client X has severe learning disabilities, autism and ADHD with complex care needs.
  • Instructed to obtain a grant of probate in respect of an estate. Once instructed, the firm discovered issues including the fact that the valuation of a piece of land was incorrect which affected the inheritance tax due.
  • Client Z was not advised regarding the tax implications on creation of a trust. Issues arose because of the trust being created, including intentional deprivation of assets, claims against the deceased’s estate and the trust. Complex case involving collaboration across multiple department specialists. Value £ 540,000+

The Wilkes Partnership

The 'strong team' at The Wilkes Partnership has Andrew Hasnip and Ellie Holland at the helm. It garners particular praise for the fact that 'the team knows what the other team members are doing, which is helpful to the client'. Hasnip has a vast array of experience in trusts and frequently advises on inheritance tax, trust and estate planning matters. Holland is the firm’s managing partner and is particularly adept at advising on succession planning for business owners. Ann-Marie Aston  acts for incapacitated clients as a professional deputy and has served on the deputyship panel of the Office of the Public Guardian.


Practice head(s):

Andrew Hasnip; Ellie Holland

Other key lawyers:

Ann-Marie Aston; Sophie Fenn; Adrian Schuck; Philip Harrison


I was very impressed with the team’s proactive approach and can do attitude, I feel very reassured whilst they are dealing with my case. I am so grateful in how professional, Sophie Fenn and Ann Marie Aston have dealt with everything, they really do go above and beyond‘.

‘Philip Harrison impressed us greatly’.

‘Ellie Holland was approachable, sympathetic and very responsive. She and her associate dealt quickly and clearly with all queries and I was kept up to date with billing matters’.

‘One of the strengths is their honest and transparent approach, which is clear to see and understand. They have a broad range of services and appear strong as a team, with excellent leadership skills‘.

‘Ann-Marie Aston – an intrinsic leader, who is approachable and never dismissive of you, giving me and the client time… never hurrying you and always pleasant. She has a calm approach and her professionalism is clear to see and fills you with confidence‘.

‘Ann-Marie – her knowledge surrounding complex cases is formidable and she is assertive and decisive! Sophie Fenn – a fantastic Solicitor – kudos to Sophie – engaging with all her clients, and professionals alike, showing excellent knowledge, and efficiency’.

‘Andrew Hasnip (Probate) – is always available when needed and goes the extra mile’.

‘Their expertise is second to none and I have found them to be approachable, happy to help and always act in a most professional manner. I specifically refer clients to Adrian Schuck. He is extremely knowledgeable and I know my clients will be given great service’.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP has a varied workload of advising business owners/private company shareholders as well as other high-net-worth individuals (including landowners and farmers) on a wide range of complex tax structures, probate matters and estate administrations. It also continues to be busy advising on the creation and administration of trusts. In addition, the group is recommended for its work with elderly and vulnerable clients with Tracy Ashby at the helm - she excels at advising on care fee funding. Susan Floyd is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Ashby

Other key lawyers:

Susan Floyd; Deborah Beal


‘Great team to work with, excellent and friendly service. Tracy Ashby, partner. Very responsive and great knowledge of the sector‘.

‘Personal touch. Really comes across as caring about the client. Careful, considered advice. Available when needed’.

‘Tracy Ashby is superb. She gives careful, effective advice and ensures the correct approach through difficult and sometimes emotional client challenges carefully and calmly steering a successful course’.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Shrewsbury-based Lynda Richards  and Chester-based Clive Pointon  co-head the department at Aaron & Partners LLP. Richards, who is a full member of STEP, advises individuals and trustees on all aspects of their tax, trust, estate and succession planning. She has particular expertise in advising business owners, landowners and high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of matters and also advises on the creation and administration of charities.

Practice head(s):

Clive Pointon; Lynda Richards


‘Very efficient and effective team. Prompt and deliver results’.

‘Lynda Richards has been excellent. Lynda has considerable knowledge of inheritance law and also its relationship with regards to American tax implications. We found Lynda to be very punctual in her responses, pro-active and precise. She was very approachable and easy to contact‘.

‘Lynda Richards has been proactive and efficient’.

‘Lynda Richards – Personal service, took time to understand our particular situation and circumstances and guide us through the minefield of Trusts and Wills, letter of wishes etc’.

‘Lynda Richards is clearly able to show a depth of knowledge over the breadth of the specialism area. She has given us appropriate guidance, and has demonstrated a thorough methodology’.

‘I have dealt with Lynda Richards. I have found her and her team to be exemplary in their engagement and response with clients‘.

‘Lynda responded quickly to my needs, understood these immediately, listened to me, explained her actions, and took care in answering my queries. Her communication is excellent. Her work ethic is truly outstanding’.

‘Lynda Richards has dealt with the complex legal side of the difficult family business challenge that I was faced with. She has professionally advised and prepared the many legal documents required. Meanwhile her kind thoughtful advice has prevented a potentially expensive, hurtful family disaster’.

Band Hatton Button LLP

The nimble group at Band Hatton Button LLP handles all aspects of wealth protection and inheritance planning for individuals and their families. Headed by Michelle Gavin, who is a full member of STEP and a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly, the team is skilled at advising wealthy individuals on various issues including lifetime planning, lasting powers of attorney, issues under the Court of Protection and estate administration. Court of Protection specialist Charlotte Macalister is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Gavin

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Macalister


‘Close knit team that keeps their clients updated and reassured’.

‘The whole team are approachable and provide excellent client service. The firm is active in the community , supporting local businesses, professional organisations and charities‘.

‘Their purpose is to deliver excellent  legal services with a human touch. I find that the team are responsive , approachable and expert in their field which gives me confidence with whatever matter we are working through‘.

MFG Solicitors LLP

Giles Scott spearheads the department at MFG Solicitors LLP that provides inheritance tax planning, wills and trusts advice. It also frequently deals with the administration of estates. Scott is an accredited member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Professionals. Gary Priest is another key contact and leads on various tax issues. Valerie Robinson  is also recommended for her work with vulnerable clients on court of protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Giles Scott

Other key lawyers:

Gary Priest; Valerie Robinson; Thomas Evans; Melinda Rice


‘Fantastic team of very capable and professional solicitors’.

‘Thomas Evans, Giles Scott and Melinda Rice are all great to work with and have an excellent knowledge of the sector’.

‘Melinda Rice (Associate) helped me navigate the difficult and emotional process of managing my late husbands estate. She did so with compassion and understanding. She took the time to listen to my concerns and explain everything in a way that I could understand. All communication was timely and relevant’.

Key clients

Roger Taylor

David Fellows

Pickerings Solicitors

Under the leadership of Emma Harrison, the excellent team provides a 'very personal and caring service' at Pickerings Solicitors. It advises many business owners, landowners and high-net-worth individuals on a whole host of trusts, estate planning, succession planning and asset protection matters. Lucy Cooling, who is a member of STEP and of the SFE, is a key figure. Marie Tisdale is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Emma Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Cooling; Marie Tisdale


‘I would recommend them for their seamlessness of communication, focus on customer detail and building personal relationships that are supportive and professional. I would particularly like to mention Emma Harrison for her professionalism, enthusiasm and attention to detail’.

‘The team comprises a number of talented & competent lawyers who overall provide a great service to their clients. I would say that the practice is the best in the North Birmingham/North Warwickshire region & bears comparison with the best of the Birmingham City Centre practices’.

‘Lucy Cooling is an excellent private client lawyer, experienced, extremely competent, & excellent with clients’.


The 'dedicated and knowledgeable' team at VWV 'puts the client at the heart of everything that it does'. It does the full range of private client work for wealthy clients such as business owners, farming families, politicians, private banks and charities. It is ably led by the 'exceptional' Rachael Armstrong  who is Birmingham based and by Michelle Rose who is at the Bristol office. The team is also skilled at advising on personal injury trusts.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Rose; Rachael Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Courtney L’homme


‘VWV are excellent in being able to bring to life the importance of good legal advice. First class at explaining principles behind private client work in a clear and accessible way’.

‘Rachael Armstrong has a wonderful manner with clients and can never do enough for them. She is also technically brilliant’.

‘Rachael Armstrong delivers work of outstanding quality on a consistent basis. Very much cares about her clients and ensures their total understanding of all relevant matters’.

‘The team is close knit and has the ability of covering Birmingham and the Midlands and having a Bristol Head Office means the team can easily cover the whole of the M5 corridor’.

The team I deal with is lead by an exceptional partner Rachael Armstrong aided by Courtney L’homme an associate. Both  individuals are hardworking, efficient, communicative, empathetic and extremely pleasant to work with. A great team under the strong leadership of Rachael Armstrong‘.

‘They provide a rapid response which reassures clients followed by excellent advice. They do not raise expectations that are unrealistic just to raise funds. They are reasonable in their fee structure and ensure the client knows what they will expect to pay -again very reassuring to client‘.

‘Rachael Armstrong is an outstanding partner. She leads by example. Rachael combines excellent legal skills with a very personable approach – her ability to build relationships and add an element of care into her service makes her unique in the industry’.

‘Courtney is a stand out lawyer with superb client care skills. She inspires confidence from the start and my clients are delighted with the technical knowledge and results that she achieves’.

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP has a varied workload dealing with the administration of substantial estates, the creation and administration of trusts as well as court of protection matters. Another core area of focus is drafting wills and powers of attorney. The department is led by Sarah Horton in Banbury, Emma Stewart in Bicester and Laura Stuart who is based at the Rugby office.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Horton; Emma Stewart; Laura Stuart


‘Emma Stewart is a great solicitor who cares about each of her clients and her team’.

‘This firm has a very caring attitude towards its clients in my experience. They are very approachable and deliberately avoid the pretentious language and austere image often associated with the legal profession’.

‘I like the fact they deliver advice in an accessible way, using language that is proportionate to the client circumstances and background. Their approach to billing is fair, and typically provide a good level of initial support without charge, recognising the importance of building a long-term relationship with their clients’.

George Green LLP

Head of department at George Green LLP is Claire Pottinger, who regularly advises clients on a wide array of matters, from estate administration and inheritance tax to succession planning issues. Louise Axford is another leading member of the practice who advises on the full gamut of private client matters for its primarily local business owner and manager client base.

Practice head(s):

Claire Pottinger

Other key lawyers:

Louise Axford


An incredibly friendly team that are experts in their field and deliver superb advice to their clients in an easy to understand way‘.

‘Very friendly and approachable, backed by strong technical capability and a client centric approach. Claire Pottinger is a very experienced, knowledgeable partner who works collaboratively with us to provide an excellent client service’.

‘The firm is passionate at helping clients in a straight forward and understandable manner. They are exceptional at trust advice and very approachable’.

Mander Hadley Solicitors

Mander Hadley Solicitors has a solid reputation for its inheritance tax planning advice and for its work on complex probates and trusts.  The team, that is headed by Rachel Gadsden, specialises in advising wealthy individuals. It also advises on court of protection and care fee planning issues. Gadsden is known for her work on managing estates with agricultural and business elements.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Gadsden

Other key lawyers:

Shivali Gill; Emma Sommerville


‘Empathic communication style, insight and experience of trusts and probate practice. Did not overwhelm me with jargon I did not understand, compassionate and helpful’.

‘A small but friendly and professional team who were very responsive to queries and emails’.

‘I found Mander Hadley very easy to work with, all questions were answered and great communication. They made me feel at ease and explained any queries easy to understand’.

Work highlights

  • Acting in the preparation of a will involving provision for the testatrix’s widow whilst preserving all the family business assets for the benefit of her children in the most tax efficient way.
  • Acting in the estate administration spanning four different jurisdictions, involving foreign property and investments.
  • Obtaining an ad colligenda bona grant in an estate where the beneficiaries father has challenged the validity of the will, to enable the preservation of the estate assets.

Talbot & Co

Head of department at Talbot & Co is Tom Bramall, who has a wealth of experience of advising on a range of complex contentious and non-contentious tax and trust matters. Bramall also excels in advising on all aspects of wills and probate. He acts for high-net-worth individuals and families and is a full member of STEP.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bramall


‘They seem to care about their clients and do the best for them’.

‘Mr Bramall is careful and conscientious’.

‘There is no one locally to match Tom’s expertise and style’.

Work highlights

  • Advised beneficiary of family trust on possible actions and negotiated and settled dispute with other beneficiaries and trustees.
  • Advised high net worth senior London investment executive on a variety of matters including personal tax planning and succession.
  • Advised landowner in the successful settlement of litigation concerning trust assets and business and agricultural interests.

Weightmans LLP

Head of department at Weightmans LLP is Sarah Louise Walker, who is experienced in all aspects of lifetime and post-death tax planning. In addition, Walker is a full member of STEP and frequently handles Court of Protection cases.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Louise Walker


‘I  have always found the team very helpful’.

‘Sarah Walker – my client’s determination to move with her from companies she worked with previously reflects her particular qualities of sustained relationship, warmth, compassion and integrity’.