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



Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Agriculture and estates is a core element of Wrigleys Solicitors LLP’s private client offering. Areas covered by the team include estates and sporting properties and diversification projects - in particular renewal energy schemes, mineral schemes, sporting ventures and tax efficient restructurings. Jonathan Attey, who heads up the department, is an expert in the sale and purchase of farms, estates, sporting properties, country houses, woodland and grouse moors.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Attey

Other key lawyers:Andrew Wriglesworth; Angus Hunter Smart


'Determined to provide excellent and practical advice at a cost commensurate with the limited financial resources of many of their clients, who are families, private individuals and small businesses.'

'Good communicators and able to explain complicated subjects clearly and with patience.'

'An excellent firm with some fantastic lawyers.'

'Emma Ridge has great knowledge gained over many years. Nothing is too much trouble and delivery is very professional and timely.'

'Matthew Featherstone is an excellent adviser. Always available. Knowledgeable and proactive in addressing problems and challenges before they arose. Balanced legal opinion well with practical and emotional tactics to bring project to satisfactory completion. Lots of common sense and ability to advise clients of the smoothest course of action.'

'Angus Hunter Smart and Jonathan Attey set the tone for the running of the firm. They provide an efficient and timely service, which gives us confidence in their advice. They also have a good sense of humour and practical common sense which to me is a keystone of any professional advice, however complicated. It is a pleasure working with them and their teams.'

'Emma Ridge is a delight to work with. She is incredibly knowledgeable and is a very safe pair of hands.'

'Jonathan Attey has a good technical knowledge of the law and how it applies but is always able to put appropriate practical advice in context of the requirements of the law.'

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of a 770-acre farm and hydro electric business.
  • Advised on a conditional contract and subsequent sale of a residential development site.
  • Advised on the purchase of a mixed livestock and arable farm.
  • Negotiated an option to grant a lease for a stone quarry.
  • Preparing for the sale of a farm forming part of a wider estate.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s agriculture and landed estates team is based in York but boasts a commanding presence across Yorkshire, including the firm's head office in Hull. The practice collaborates with other departments across the firm to provide a cross-expertise private client offering, spanning from landed estates and landowners (under practice head Helen Mellors), high value and complex purchases and disposals and agricultural tenancies, agricultural restructuring, recovery and insolvency. The team is also increasingly involved in renewable energy and has acted on several wind farm projects.

Practice head(s):Helen Mellors

Other key lawyers:Andrew Oliver; Kevin Webster; Peter Duffus; Christopher Harrison


'They a have a good practical experience of rural matters and are focused on ensuring a deal is done and understanding the parameters of getting things over the line. A friendly and personal team with good depth of rural matters.'

'Great mix of young and older team member, each with excellent knowledge and practical experience of the issues.'

'Christopher Harrison is efficient, thorough and knowledgeable. He is very good with clients and helping explain legal jargon to laymen.'

'Chris Harrison is pragmatic, quick and efficient.'

'Hannah Farm is knowledgeable and approachable.'

Crombie Wilkinson has a strong and longstanding presence in North Yorkshire, with a network of offices acting for landed estates and private trusts, land owners and individual farmers on a wide range of agricultural matters, both contentious or non-contentious. The Malton office, led by 'true agricultural specialist' Jennifer Bartram, is particularly adept at advising on diversification projects, agricultural tenancies, tax planning and succession. Two new lawyers recently joined the team from Rollits LLP.

Practice head(s):Jennifer Bartram


'Jennifer Bartram is highly knowledgeable, a true agricultural specialist, approachable and easy to deal with, and someone I am always glad to have on the other side as I know we will get the job done with the minimum of fuss.'

Key Clients

National Farmers Union

Grays acts for landowners and landed estates, farmers, family businesses and private individuals. Head of the property Lyn Rickatson is well regarded across the market.

Practice head(s):Lyn Rickatson

Harrowells Solicitors combines advice on land holdings and tax planning with litigation support in relation to partnership and probate disputes. Paul Burkinshaw is head of the team, which is divided between York, Clifton Moor, Thirsk, Pocklington and Easingwold, and is able to advise large agricultural clients on a range of matters, including niche practice areas such as quarrying.

Practice head(s):Paul Burkinshaw

Other key lawyers:Stephen Proctor; Philip Nelson

Work highlights

  • Advising major farming group on tenancies, production agreements, land transactions and renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Advising on land sales, conditional agreements and s106 negotiations for large scale residential developments for significant Yorkshire landowner.
  • Successfully secured IHT exemption for certain business activities within a complex and diverse farming group.
  • Successfully settled a high value farm partnership dispute at arbitration.

Lupton Fawcett has offices in York, Leeds and Sheffield, providing advice to the farming community across the whole Yorkshire and Humber region. The team has a strong focus on property work, as well as issues relating to the occupational rights of farm workers, renewables, mines and minerals, development work, insolvencies and ecclesiastical matters. Former department head Johanne Spittle left earlier this year to join Ware & Kay, and was succeeded by senior associate Caroline Hawcroft, who joined the firm from Wrigleys Solicitors LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Caroline Hawcroft


'Well resourced, friendly, capable and efficient.'

'The team at Lupton Fawcett combine good, pragmatic advice with an easy personal style.'

'Kirsty Barsby has been incredibly thorough and diligent with respect to the at times complicated matters around land sales and purchases.'

'Caroline Hawcroft delivers sound, professional advice in a timely and cost effective way.'

McCormicks’ agriculture and rural affairs team has a well-established roster of clients in Yorkshire, advising on a number of substantial estates. The firm prides itself on its commercial approach, and aims to helps its clients create and manage new income flows by assisting in the diversification of their property. Peter McCormick heads the practice, which is active within the Agricultural Law Association and the Charity Law Association.

Practice head(s):Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:Heather Roberts; Elaine Lightfoot


'Peter McCormick is approachable and very efficient and always gets back to you.'

'Elaine Lightfoot is a very efficient solicitor and deals with whatever you put her way easily and successfully.'


Key Clients

The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt

The Ripley Castle Shoot

Rudding Park – Simon Mackaness

Sir Thomas & Lady Ingilby of the Ripley Castle estate

Various charities – WMT, Duke of Edingburgh’s Award Chetynde School

Liam Botham

Royal Horticultural Society

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Robert Jones – Long Mountain Shoot

Work highlights

  • Acting for the estate of John Strutt, the Eden Place Estate, the Belper Estate together with associated trusts and charities, providing advice on a variety of areas.
  • Advising the owner of the Ripley Castle shoot, Frank Boddy, and a number of other shooting estates.
  • Advised the Rudding Park Estate on a complex refinancing of the entire estate following the grant of planning permission for a new £7m spa extension.
  • Advising Sir Thomas and Lady Emma Ingilby of Ripley Castle, near Harrogate, on various issues.
  • Undertaking a large amount of estate work for charities.

Following the departure of Julia Rangecroftto Shulmans LLP, Mills & Reeve LLP’s agriculture and estates team in Leeds is now led by principal associate Andrea Newman. Newman, who was previously based in Cambridge, has 16 years’ post-qualification experience and is well versed in high-profile transactions, such as large scale development projects for institutions and landowning charitable trusts. Other highlights of the work carried out by the practice include diversification projects and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Andrea Newman

Key Clients

Coutts & Company

Wellcome Trust

The Countryside Restoration Trust

Farmcare Trading Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

John Innes Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising Coutts & Company on a review of circa 801 acres of land and buildings for bank security.
  • Acted for the Wellcome Trust on the disposal of land at Alpraham to a developer for housing.
  • Assisting the Countryside Restoration Trust with various land holdings in negotiating tenancies to best reflect the charitable obligations of the client.
  • Acting for Northumbrian Water Limited in securing easements across the length of its pipeline feeding the Abberton Reservoir.
  • Advised on the restructuring of Farmcare’s trading operation to exit direct farming on 25,000 acres.

Clients turn to Raworths for estates, farming, rural leisure and agribusiness advice on highly complex matters. The firm's agricultural expertise is spread across many practice areas, including private client (dealing with land transfers and sales), corporate and commercial (partnerships and company work), dispute resolution (with partners Matthew Hill and Jonathan Mortimer), family (agricultural divorce and family work) and employment.


'Raworths genuinely prioritizes client needs. They take enormous care to understand the client’s objectives and once that is established, they have a clear process to map advice against those objectives and to cost the key steps.'

'One of the main players in the vast and lucrative North Yorkshire agricultural and estates market - combines the friendliness of a small firm with the expertise of a much larger firm.'

'Jonathan Mortimer is a seasoned, well-known and well-respected player who has a great deal of experience and is highly regarded as a safe pair of hands.'

Key Clients

Nunnington Estate North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Parkmount Estates Company (Allerton) Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing property litigation services to Parkmount Estates across a portfolio of commercial and residential property assets.
  • Acting for clients in a complex dispute relating to access to agricultural land over a right of way running over a lane within the ownership of a neighbouring property.
  • Acting for clients in a complex dispute regarding property rights relating to their substantial rural home.

Rollits LLP is a private wealth firm that acts for a range of clients in the rural sector, from tenant farmers to large corporate freeholders and banks. The team, which is led by Neil Franklin, has expertise covering landlord and tenant matters, farm, land, woodland and forestry sales and purchases, renewable projects (biomass and anaerobic digestion, solar and wind) and pipes and other easements over land (such as offshore electricity cable crossings). The practice operates out of the firm's Hull and York offices for clients in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cumbria and beyond.

Practice head(s):Neil Franklin

Other key lawyers:John Lane


'Rollits have in-depth specialist knowledge in all the interconnecting areas required to service the sector and their team work together to provide the right solution for their clients.'

'Neil Franklin's experience enables him to highlight the important sector specialist issues for the client in order for them to get the correct outcome efficiently.'

'Sheridan Ball uses her experience and personality to calmly guide the client through the problems of divorce where the family farming assets are under threat.'

'The private client team has in-depth sector knowledge to assist with the protection of the family farm through the generations.'

Key Clients

Cranswick plc

Nat West Bank plc

Yorkshire Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Charity Bank

Bishop Burton College

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of two farms totalling approximately 2,000 acres
  • Advised on the sale of part of a plant-growing nursery
  • Advised on the sale of former dairy land and buildings to a developer.

Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The charity and social economy practice at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, widely regarded as being at the top of its game, advises on the full gamut of legal issues, from governance, social investment and mergers, to property, ecclesiastical, health and heritage-based matters. The firm has strong connections to key sector bodies, including the Charity Commission, which it is advising on the improvement of their systems, as well as the Charity Law Association and the Charity Tax Group. Department head Malcolm Lynch , who has now been at the firm for almost two decades, has specific expertise in the area of community benefit and co-operative societies.

Practice head(s):Malcolm Lynch

Other key lawyers:Sylvie Nunn; Peter Parker; Elizabeth Wilson; Chris Billington


'As a trustee who has used Wrigleys for charity and governance support, often on complex and very technical areas of charity law, I can say that their success is measured by them having trained staff, trustees and contractors how to apply the law practically so the need for legal support has declined. They are also seen as trusted friends by staff who are confident in relying on their advice.'

Key Clients

Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches Trust Corporation Ltd

Sisters of the Cross and Passion

Leeds Cares

Asda Foundation

Lions Clubs International MD105

StepChange Debt Charity

Northern Ballet

Work highlights

  • Advising a major national charity with over 600 local branch charities, training trustees on duties and responsibilities to ensure the charity maintains the highest possible levels of governance standards.
  • Advising the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches Trust Corporation Ltd on a wide range of issues borne out of the relationship between the trustee, the charity, and the 100 churches linked to the charity.
  • Advising a global charity working to rethink, redesign and build a positive future circular economy.
  • Advising Leeds Cares, a £45m health charity, on the implementation of its new strategy and governance arrangements following its conversion to independent status.
  • Advising the Asda Foundation on a range of matters, including grant-making and governance

Addleshaw Goddard's multi-disciplinary private capital department is led out of the firm's Leeds base by Pervinder Kaur. Alongside traditional charity law advice, the team has a dual focus - charities with commercial arrangements, and commercial entities entering into arrangements with charities. The team operates hand-in-hand with the wider firm, drawing on Addleshaws' considerable national and international reach. The practice's work includes advising on investigations and inquiries, such as those conducted by the Charity Commission. Kaur works alongside Yorke Eaton and legal director Charlotte Smart, who also has a focus on educational organisations.

Practice head(s):Pervinder Kaur

Other key lawyers:Yorke Eaton; Charlotte Smart


'The team is attentive, responsive and the individuals that I have been associated with are hugely supportive in both practical terms and in understanding the pressures of my sector and work environment.'

'The team is sociable, engaged in culture and interested in the client - giving them a rounded picture.'

Key Clients

National Coal Mining Museum

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Bedingfield's Trust

NFU Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • The firm has acted for the trustees of Bedingfield's Trust for almost 20 years.
  • Continuing to provide ad hoc advice to the NFU Charitable Trust, with advice including looking at the use of the charity's logo and name, and various sponsorship matters.

Hempsons’ charities and social enterprise team operates across the firm's four UK office, with the Yorkshire arm of the practice run out of the firm's Harrogate base. The practices combines its corporate and charities capabilities with the firm's wider expertise in health and social care. The local team is led by associate Helen Hirst, who joined the firm in 2018 from Schofield Sweeney, working in tandem with the 'very knowledgeable' national practice head Ian Hempseed  in London. The firm's credentials in the sector were underlined by its recent appointment by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as the prime contractor for GoMutual consortium to support new public service mutuals.

Practice head(s):Helen Hirst

Other key lawyers:Faisal Dhalla


'A strong team, especially in the health sector.'

Key Clients

AAGBI Foundation

Anchor Trust

Anthony Nolan

Autism Plus Limited

Avalon Group, The

Avenues East

Avenues London

Avenues South East

Avenues, Trust Group, The

Avocet Trust

Battersea Dogs Home


British Heart Foundation

British Home & Hospital for Incurables

Bury Hospice

Camden Society

Charities Trust

Children’s Trust

Christie Charitable Fund, The

Conservation Fund, The

Dame Alice Owen’s Foundation

Demelza House Children’s Hospice

DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Centre

Douglas Macmillan Hospice

Energy Institute

Ergonomics Society

Ethos Academy Trust

European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery

Federation of Jewish Services

Foundation Trust Network, The

Francis Crick Institute, The

Groundwork North East

Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Services

International Federation of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

London’s Air Ambulance Ltd

Lowry Centre Trust

Macmillan Cancer Support

Making Space

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Charity

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

National Association for Hospital Education

National Childbirth Trust


North West Air Ambulance

Outward Bound Trust

Overseas Development Institute

Pilgrim’s Hospices in East Kent

Pure Innovations Ltd

Ramblers Association

ReVitalise Respite Holidays

Richmond Fellowship

Royal College of Paediatrics

Royal Exchange Theatre Company

Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

Royal Mencap Society

Royal Pharmaceuticals Society of GB

Royal Society for Public Health

Sheffield Hospitals Trust & Related Charities

St Gemma’s Hospice

St George’s Police Children Trust

St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice

Sue Ryder

Tees Valley Community Foundation

Trustees of the London Clinic Limited

Turning Point

Voiceability Advocacy

Wellcome Trust

Wilf Ward Family Trust

Wirrall Autistic Society

York Conservation Trust

Yorkshire Cancer Research

Young Foundation

Zoological Society of London

Work highlights

  • Acted for Autism Plus when it entered into a merger agreement with another charity to become a subsidiary. When later both charities decided the collaboration opportunities had not materialised, Hempsons helped terminate the merger arrangement.
  • Advised Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service on its acquisition of the Harrogate Community House Trust.
  • Developed a range of commercial agreements for Yorkshire Cancer Research to use with the various partners and sponsors so that they could benefit from working with the charity and its brand.
  • Advising Ethos Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust of alternative provision academies through a helpline service.
  • Advising the National Association for Hospital Education on its formation as a membership organisation.

The 'extremely professional'¬†charities and not-for-profit team at Irwin Mitchell¬†is based in the firm's Sheffield office, from where it serves a national client base of specialist charities of varying sizes across all sectors ‚Äď from leisure to religious, heritage, education and health charities. Laurence Gavin¬†leads the practice, which has lately been particularly busy advising education charities during mergers. Other areas of intense activity include corporate governance and compliance.

Practice head(s):Laurence Gavin


'Irwin Mitchell is able to respond to any legal issue that a charity may need to take into account.'

'The whole team at Irwin Mitchell are extremely professional - we would commend Anna Ai and Elizabeth Cook, Chloe Eyre and Amy Hollins.'

Key Clients

Sheffield City Trust

Helen’s Trust

Cathedral Archer Project Limited

Sheffield Theatres Trust

Cadbury College

National Children’s Bureau (NCB)

Telford College

Wentworth Woodhouse

Work highlights

  • Providing general corporate governance advice and specific charity sector advice to Sheffield City Trust as and when required.
  • Assisting Helen’s Trust in expanding their operations, both through contractual arrangements and changes to its corporate structure.
  • Assisted Cathedral Archer Project Limited with a governing documents review to ensure that the charity could maximise its operations within the scope permitted by its charitable objects and by charity law generally.
  • Providing Sheffield Theatres with general advice relating to the operation of the charity, regularly advising on issues concerning governance and contract issues.
  • Advised Cadbury College on its acquisition by Sandwell College.

Lupton Fawcett's charities and not-for-profit offering is organised among two groups across York, Leeds and Sheffield: the ecclesiastical and charities department and the charities and social enterprise Team, led by Mark Honeywell, who stepped up to lead the team on his promotion to partner last year. The former comprises a number of ecclesiastical law specialists, the majority of who also act as registrars for Yorkshire dioceses; while the latter provides 'seamless, responsive and flexible service' in matters of regulation, registration, collaborations and mergers, governance and trust law issues.

Practice head(s):Mark Honeywell

Other key lawyers:Peter Foskett; Louise Connacher


'The team is extremely friendly and approachable, and provides excellent advice.'

Always reassuring and you know you are in very safe hands.

'Mark Honeywell provides expert advice around Charity Commission issues and makes his advice absolutely bespoke and appropriate to our charity.'

All of the team go above and beyond to provide a responsive and flexible service. Mark Honeywell worked with us to ensure continuity of specialist legal advice to my education colleagues when our in-house expert was on maternity leave. As part of that he based himself with us for one day a week and created a flexible and affordable approach to charging work over the period.'

'Louise Connacher is always ready to provide practical advice, often rearranging schedules to fit in matters of urgency.'

Key Clients

Province and Diocese of York

Diocese of Leeds

Diocese of Sodor and Man

The Horse Trust

St George’s Crypt

Communication Matters (ISAAC UK)

The Grammar School at Leeds

Scarborough College

Resource for Anglican Renewal Ministries

Bingley Grammar School Foundation

West Bank Park Heritage Trust

Caring for Life

Work highlights

  • Advising a school on its incorporation as a CIO.
  • Advising on a major development project.
  • Acting for a Trust on a range of legal matters.
  • Advising on the merger of two hospital charities.

McCormicks' charity and not-for-profit team offers the full range of services to clients, advising on matters relating to asset transfers, property issues, sponsorship agreements, procurement and commercial litigation. Practice head Peter McCormick continues to act as a trustee for many charities, including the Football Foundation, which which receives millions of pounds of funding from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Government to deliver community projects at grassroots level.

Practice head(s):Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:Elaine Lightfoot


'A friendly and approachable team who are very effective at providing a legal service for the layperson.'

'Peter McCormick instills confidence - he is comfortable dealing with anything we ask him to respond to.'

Key Clients

Harrogate International Festivals

John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation, John Strutt Memorial Foundation, John Strutt Conservation Foundation, John Strutt Charity

The Premier League Charitable Fund

War Memorials Trust

The Football Foundation

The Helen Feather Memorial Trust

The Harrogate Operatic Players

The Royal Horticultural Society

The Prince’s Trust

The Outward Bound Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Harrogate International Festivals in respect of a widely varied range of legal issues covering employment law, commercial property law and other issues as and when they arise.
  • Continue to act for the John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation, John Strutt Memorial Foundation, John Strutt Conservation Foundation, and the John Strutt Charity along with other charities related to the estate of the late John Herbert Strutt.
  • Advising the Premier League on all aspects of its charitable work, including the Premier League Charitable Fund.
  • Advised the War Memorials Trust on various matters including the re-drafting of the charity’s governing document in line with an expansion of work into Scotland.
  • Act for the Helen Feather Memorial Trust, a charity based in London established to promote research into and the relief of cancer suffering.

Rollits LLP's Hull-based charities and social enterprise team is led by Gerry Morrison. The practice draws support from the firm‚Äôs commercial, corporate, property and disputes departments, enabling it to advise its clients - which include housing associations, education providers, museums, community benefit societies and healthcare providers ‚Äď on the full spectrum of their needs. Other areas of focus include advising public bodies on their relationships with external charities, as well its work with¬†education providers and¬†multi-academy trusts.

Practice head(s):Gerry Morrison

Key Clients

University of York Students’ Union

University of Leeds Students’ Union

Sentamu Academy Learning Trust

Goodwin Development Trust

Exceed Academies Trust

The Consortium Academy Trust

St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Academy Trust

The Charity Bank Limited

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board

The Family Fund Trust for Families with Severely Disabled Children

The Holbeck Charitable Trust

Hull University Students Union

Halifax Bridge Club

Pickering & Ferens Homes

Yorkshire Builders Federation

Crescent Purchasing Consortium (North West) Panel

Work highlights

  • Acted for Exceed Academies Trust in respect of the re-brokerage of Harden Primary School.
  • Ongoing advice to St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Educational Trust in respect of Freedom of Information requests, dispute resolution and governance issues.
  • Advised The Family Fund Trust for Families with Severely Disabled Children in relation to updating its articles of association and in respect of its relationship with its non-charitable trading subsidiary.
  • Advised Wilson Memorial Homes Charities in relation to incorporation.
  • Advised Charity Bank Limited in respect of security documentation and completion of legal charges and related property matters.  

The charities unit at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP assists local and regional organisations in a wide range of matters. The main area of expertise is advice in the process of obtaining charitable status, especially after refusals, when difficulties arise in demonstrating a public interest, or when aspects of the application are contended. The team also advises on the winding up and transfer of charities and in relation to Charities Act compliance. The team, led by Daniel Hammond, has a number of lawyers who act as trustees of several private and charitable trusts as well as partners in different areas, including real estate, litigation and dispute resolution, tax and commercial property.

Practice head(s):Daniel Hammond

Key Clients

The Alcohol & Drug Service

Beverley Catholic Club

Bridlington Rugby Union Football Club Ltd

Cleethorpes Cricket Club

European Missionary Fellowship

Families for Individual Needs and Dignity

Forum: North Bank Forum for Voluntary Organisations

Grimsby Aquatics Swim Team

Hull IVF Trust

Hull & East Yorkshire Medical Research Centre (The Daisy Appeal)

Humbercare Limited

International Organisation for Medical Physics

Pickering & Ferens Homes

St Paul's Amateur Boxing Club

The Society of Ploughmen

The Viola Trust

Tigers Sport and Education Trust

Trade Right International

United Kingdom Association of Fish Producer Organisations

At Schofield Sweeney, the firm has established education and academies as its sector of expertise within the charity arena, and is now developing its client base and growing with it. The team handles academy conversions, re-brokerages and reorganisations, and also offers a package to support organisations post conversion. This consists of, for example, advice relating to data protection, freedom of information, exclusions, special educational needs, litigation, commercial and procurement matters. The practice is led by commercial lawyers Chris Schofield (Leeds) and Andrew Hurst (Bradford).

Practice head(s):Chris Schofield; Andrew Hurst


'Welcoming, accessible, approachable, interested and pragmatic all while being professional – a challenging balance to maintain, and one Schofield Sweeney does very well.'

'Great support in achieving deadlines and maintaining momentum when the legal process is at risk of stalling.'

Key Clients

Forget Me Not Hospice, Huddersfield

Brathay Trust, Cumbria

Community Cougars Foundation, Keighley

Thackray Medical Museum

Mind in Bradford

Doncaster Culture & Leisure Trust

Paces Sheffield

Christians Against Poverty

Leeds Mencap

SNOOP, Bradford

Work highlights

  • Assisted St Gemma’s Hospice with negotiating a lottery contract to be put in place with the new provider, as well as updating the joint venture agreement between St Gemma’s and the other hospice in respect of the lottery.
  • Advised Brathay Trust on the sale of land owned by MAT for development purposes.
  • Advised Community Cougars Foundation on a substantial claim against the foundation for a range of different items.
  • Advised Thackrey Museum on high profile construction advice
  • Advising Mind in Bradford in relation to relocation of office and facilities including disposal of lease dilapidation claims – new lease and extensions thereto.

Under Philip Crawley‚Äôs now two years‚Äô long leadership, the charities practice at Taylor Bracewell‚Äôs has increasingly focused on education. Crawley has promoted a hands-on approach, encouraging the firm's lawyers to commit themselves to getting to know the institutions for which they work ‚Äď this is achieved through pro bono projects and by spending as much time as possible at the clients‚Äô premises to get a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses. The team specialises in issues varying from debt collection and exclusions to full academy conversions, and is gaining a national reputation in trustee issues.

Practice head(s):Philip Crawley

Other key lawyers:Sharon Beck


'The team is approachable and accessible at all times.'

'Phil Crawley is superb. He is professional yet friendly. His advice and strategy is well thought-out. He is an asset to the firm.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in respect of a joint purchasing consortium; the first of its type in the education sector formalising procurement practices of schools that are not part of multi academy trusts.
  • Advised on the creation of a primary teaching school educational charity to take on a multimillion-pound third sector industry.
  • Represented a local charity struggling to engage new trustees to alter the charity structure to make recruitment and charity management easier.
  • Represented a client in respect of the extraction of the teaching school from a teaching school alliance and the creation of a new multi-academy trust.

Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Irwin Mitchell's will, trust and estate disputes department provides a comprehensive service on both a regional and national level. Litigators routinely work closely with non-contentious lawyers on will validity challenges, rectification and construction of wills claims, maladministration and breach of trust matters. There is a 'real focus on client care', with the firm's lawyers aiming to ensure that the client is involved and fully participating in decisions around all matters. This is underpinned by the 'great soft skills' of key figures within the team, such as national head of contentious probate Paula Myers , who is described as a 'strategic and brilliant' litigator and a 'patient and focused' negotiator.

Practice head(s):Paula Myers

Other key lawyers:James Laycock


'A very strong team.'

'The strongest team in the North of England with a real depth of experience.'

'A well-structured team which benefits from a robust leadership - they take a logical and practical approach to problem solving.'

'A sincere, experienced and highly educated team who are friendly and down to earth – which makes the client feel at ease and comfortable.'

'The quality and consistency of support is heart-warming.'

Key Clients

Viscount Jonathan Durival Rochdale

Louise Miller

Matthew and James Wills

Age UK Legal Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Viscount Jonathan Durival Rochdale on a high profile will validity challenge alongside various breach of trust allegations, all of which were successfully resolved at mediation.
  • Defended a will validity challenge involving an interim injunction application by the claimant.
  • Defended a proprietary estoppel claim brought by two brothers who had dedicated most of their working lives to a farm.
  • Representing a trust in a breach of trust claim pertaining to the trust’s shares in the multimillion-pound family business.
  • Representing a client in respect of two matters – a will validity challenge and a challenge to his beneficial entitlement to the proceeds of an investment bond.

At Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP , partner Peter Duffus has recently begun to undertake more contentious trusts and probate work after a long career as a broad-based civil/commercial practitioner. Now, his team is especially involved in Inheritance Act cases (occasionally with an international element), disputed wills where medical issues arise, as well as cases involving estoppel arguments and contentious Court of Protection work.

Practice head(s):Peter Duffus


'Particularly helpful, readily available and pragmatic.'

'Excellent practical solutions.'

Bell & Buxton’s practice features the 'extremely efficient' Katie Winslow and 'clear-headed and conscientious' will, trust and inheritance disputes head John Breeze. The team, which has 'a deservedly strong reputation', deals with complex contentious probate claims, disputed Court of Protection applications and cases involving financial abuse of the elderly.

Other key lawyers:Katie Winslow; John Breeze


'In a competitive Sheffield market, Bell & Buxton have a deservedly strong reputation and good resources.'

'The team are genuine contentious trust and probate specialists.'

'The team adopts a practical and client-friendly approach to each case.'

Work highlights

  • Advising on a claim involving rectification of a will to save a gift of shares valued at £1.8m.
  • Defending a high value claim under the Inheritance Act in an estate complicated by construction issues.
  • Successfully represented GM in an application to remove theexecutor and trustee of a contentious family estate.
  • Acting as independent administrator to pursue claims against a former executor removed by the court and to conclude the administration of the estate.
  • Assisting professional executors with the contentious estate of a former National Lottery winner, involving English and French assets and a potential claim by the deceased’s widow under the Inheritance Act.

Clarion is known for having 'one of the best' specialist contentious probate and trust teams outside London. The firm's lawyers are 'genuine specialists' who deal with work at all levels of complexity, including high value claims. Contentious private client head Lynsey Harrison leads the team - she handles contentious aspects of wills, trusts and probate as well as Court of Protection cases and is described by clients as 'a class act - unflappable and determined'.

Practice head(s):Lynsey Harrison

Other key lawyers:Louise Dodds; Liam Brooke


'Clarion have been growing a fast rate and have now assembled a formidable team to rival any in the Leeds market.'

'Depth and scope of specialist knowledge across all members of the team.'

'Clarion has a strong, well-structured team, with genuine expertise. They are straightforward and easy to deal with.'

Work highlights

  • Represented Client A in a multi-million pound dispute against an heir-hunting firm.
  • Represented a well-known building society.
  • Represented professional executors and trustees in relation to a multi-million pound claim against an estate and some associated trusts.
  • Represented a spouse in relation to an Inheritance Act claim against her husband’s million-pound estate.
  • Advised an executor in relation to a claim against a beneficiary and her co-executor in relation to setting aside a gift of land worth approximately £3m.

IDR Law, which¬†was set up in 2017, claims to be the first UK law firm created solely to deal with inheritance disputes. The firm was founded by former Jones Myers LLP¬†lawyer¬†Martin P Holdsworth¬†, who 'has a great knack of getting to the root of the problem' and¬†'knows the law inside and out'. The firm purely focuses on contentious work, with all of its disputes ‚Äď which range in value from ¬£100,000 to ¬£60m ‚Äď coming from referrals from other law firms, probate administrators and will writers.

Practice head(s):Martin Holdsworth


'Excellent expertise.'

'Very approachable and down to earth. Easy to get on with and fabulous at communicating in non-legal jargon.'

'Excellent niche firm with very strong knowledge in contentious private client matters.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a respondent to an Inheritance Act claim relating to £35m farming estate dispute.
  • Defending a probate claim by seeking declaratory relief of a will being valid despite being physically reconstructed after execution.
  • Defence of an Inheritance Act claim brought by a widow on the grounds that reasonable financial provision was provided by a will.
  • Defended an allegation of sham marriage and then defended an Inheritance Act claim.
  • Resolving a dispute between sibling beneficiaries to a farming estate will.

Lupton Fawcett has a strong presence in the contentious trusts and probate market, dealing with heavyweight and complex litigation. The firm's team - which is particularly skilled in cases involving proprietary estoppel in relation to family homes and farms - acts for individuals, trustees, professionals and other law firms under the leadership of Howard Rutter  - a 'tough negotiator' and a 'very practical' lawyer.

Practice head(s):Howard Rutter

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Cripwell


'A team that works together extremely well and has considerable depth.'

'They handle terrific work and it is a joy to be working on a case when the whole team is working together to achieve superb results.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for a widow seeking a share of an estate worth in excess of £10m.
  • Advising in an unusual case on a complex estate involving assets in France and the UK, and involving a lottery winner who separated from his wife without divorcing her.
  • Acted on a cross-jurisdictional matter concerning a conflict between a will made in Spain, and another made in England.
  • A high value Inheritance Act case involving five different sets of solicitors, and potentially as many as 15 different parties to the proceedings.
  • Acted on a high value and technical case involving multiple claims and applications under the Variations of Trusts Act.

Taylor & Emmet LLP‚Äôs specialist team acts for individuals and professionals on the full range of matters relating to contentious trusts, wills and probate, tax disputes and complex estates ‚Äď often involving cross-jurisdictional elements and multiple beneficiaries. The departments attracts work from clients both in the local region and from London and further afield. Practice head Alexander Watkinson¬†is able to draw on his previous experience of having worked in the courts and in family law.

Practice head(s):Alexander Watkinson

Work highlights

  • Advised on summons for discontinuance of a caveat owing to forgery or lack of formalities, where competing evidence as to the witness’ attendance on the deceased.
  • Acted for the cohabiting partner of a man who died having made no will, leaving two minor children from a previous relationship. The deceased’s net estate comprised only a property held as joint tenants with the client, which passed to her by survivorship. There was also a life insurance policy and pensions held in trust.
  • Advised a client in relation to a claim of beneficial ownership of a bank account containing more than £1m.
  • Representing two trustees of land owned by a club in a dispute as to who is entitled to the proceeds of its sale.
  • Successfully overturned the validity of a will based on forgery at trial.

Blacks Solicitors LLP’s wills and probate department is led by Nick Rhodes, who was promoted to the partnership in 2016. Associate solicitor Nicola White provides a specialised contentious probate service, and is exclusively dedicated to this area of practice. She is recognised as a 'thorough, methodical and measured' lawyer who acts in all matters of contentious trusts and probate and property related trusts, and is praised by clients for her 'gentle but firm' approach to technical issues.

Practice head(s):Nick Rhodes

Other key lawyers:Nicola White


'A close knit and supportive team.

'A strong team, with someone always able to deal with your matters.

'Nicola White has a gentle but firm approach to technical issues which makes her perfect to instruct in an area where emotions can often run high. She is not afraid to give unwelcome advice if the case so justifies this. She is certainly a safe pair of hands.

Nicola White handled our very complex case with sincere empathy and professionalism. She was approachable and her advice was always thorough. She was patient with us and always prepared. Nicola was able to hone her communication skills effectively and understood the family dynamics without explanation. We felt that someone was always on our side, respected us and listened carefully to our instructions. We were able to have full confidence in Nicola from the start to the very end of our litigation and it never faltered.'

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in the break-up of various family trusts worth in the region of £50m.
  • Represented the beneficiaries of an estate in defending a claim brought by another beneficiary for an alleged loan by the deceased to be held as a gift.
  • Advised on a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975.
  • Representing the client in relation to a claim against trustees of a will trust, for breach of trust and failure to account
  • Representing a client in relation to a claim of breach of duty as executor.

LCF Law deals with heavyweight trust and probate work including complex trust applications, breach of trust disputes, validity claims, Inheritance Act claims and Court of Protection cases. Ragan Montgomery, who leads the department, is an experienced solicitor with a 'wealth of experience' who builds 'excellent relationships' with clients and is a 'well-regarded' mediator dealing with probate disputes. The firm takes a distinctive approach in the early stages of any dispute, compiling a report which presents a snapshot evaluation of the case, setting out the legal position, strategy and costs.

Practice head(s):Ragan Montgomery

Work highlights

  • Represented a widow in a validity claim against deceased husband’s will.
  • Representing beneficiaries of a trust in a claim for breach of trust against trustees.
  • Defended a spousal claim under the Inheritance Act 1975.
  • Represented beneficiaries of an estate in which a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 had been brought out of time and the claimant had stolen from the deceased’s estate.
  • Acting on behalf of a client who is a trustee of a discretionary settlement and a director in in a company. The trust owns shares in the company.

McCormicks’ private client offering encompasses wealth disputes, which are dealt with under the leadership of commercial litigation head Philip Edmondson. Yorkshire families, businesspeople and organisations turn to the firm for advice on the Inheritance Act, attempts to overturn wills on the grounds of capacity and duress and disputes between executors and trustees. The firm also advises on cases with cross jurisdictional elements, as well as handling more modest family cases for local clients which require rapid settlement at proportionate costs.

Practice head(s):Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:Elaine Lightfoot

Key Clients

Strutt Family Trusts

Work highlights

  • Advised on complex trust litigation relating to historical mis-management by trustees.
  • Advised on Inheritance Act claim by the deceased’s widow over a substantial estate.
  • Advised on application to court to sell co-owned property on behalf of estate’s executor.
  • Advised on complex, longstanding trust administration.

Ramsdens has fourteen offices in Yorkshire, and gained two more in York through the acquisition of Burn & Company in March 2018. The Huddersfield-based contentious probate litigation team sits within the firm's nine-strong private client practice. Under partner Steven Singh, it deals with matters regarding disputed wills, the Inheritance Act, estates, undue influence, duress or fraud and trust disputes between trustees and beneficiaries.

Practice head(s):Steven Singh

Ridley & Hall’s practice includes a traditional contentious probate and trusts offering, which handles Inheritance Act claims and executor/beneficiary disputes; but in addition, since 2018, the team has developed a growing niche in acting on cases of financial abuse and, more specifically, predatory marriage. Practice head Sarah Young is taking an innovative approach to the growing problem of the financial abuse of the elderly, and has aimed to raise awareness of the issues and provide training about the remedies available to recover assets.

Practice head(s):Sarah Young

Other key lawyers:Helen Dandridge

Key Clients

Samir Tabla

Lynsey Delaforte

Jill Mcshane

Barbara Hegglin

Work highlights

  • Acting for the claimant in a property dispute.
  • Acting for the claimant in an Inheritance Act claim brought by a granddaughter against her late grandmother’s estate, on the grounds of financial dependency.
  • Acting for a client in relation to an executor/beneficiary dispute over the estate of the client's late mother, her will having been made in Switzerland, where she was domiciled.
  • Acting for the claimant in proceedings that were issued in relation to a long running dispute between two sisters.

While the¬†Shulmans LLP‚Äôs contentious trusts and estates team does act for corporates and charitable organisations, the practice primarily focuses on individuals ‚Äď both living in the UK or expats abroad. Key lawyers Paul Lewis¬†and Eleanor Stenson¬†are both ACTAPS accredited; Lewis¬†acts as a professional deputy for individuals who have lost capacity, while Stenson draws on her experience of¬†complex and high value commercial litigation. The firm also handles volume instructions from probate management company Chorus Law.

Practice head(s):Eleanor Stenson


'Shulmans always enables clients to navigate legal obstacles that may arise. The team is always available and makes you feel supported.'

Weightmans has put together a 'very good team' in Leeds on the back of the hire of principal associate Matthew Morton from Lupton Fawcett in 2018. He acts for high-profile clients including several national charities and receives instructions from financial advisers, professional deputies, accountants, and other lawyers and solicitors. He works alongside the firm's other Leeds-based lawyer Hollie Marcham, as well as other probate litigators from the national firm’s Manchester, Liverpool, London and Birmingham offices.

Practice head(s):Matthew Morton

Work highlights

  • Acted for the claimant in a claim against her estranged father’s estate under the provisions of the Inheritance Act 1975.

Family: Elsewhere in Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Family: Elsewhere in Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP stands out for its expertise in financial issues arising from divorce alongside experience in pre-nuptial agreements, separation agreements, private children law work, cohabitation issues and inheritance claims. Richard Hoare heads up the team and is a family arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, and Adele Wilkinson handles financial and private children's cases.

Practice head(s):Richard Hoare

Other key lawyers:Adele Wilkinson


'The team at Andrew Jackson provides an all-round fantastic service for its clients. It has both great local knowledge but also a professional outlook comparable to that of firms in London or other major cities'.

'Andrew Jackson is a very cohesive firm with a sound and broad spectrum of knowledge. It has access to good advice and is very fair, honest and realistic with its expectations. All matters are dealt with quickly, efficiently and accurately'.

'The practice is very professional but with an emphasis on a caring human approach'.

'Richard Hoare is very experienced and has a well-deserved reputation for sensible expert advice'.

'Associate Oliver Hall is very impressive. He is a young but compassionate solicitor, enthusiastic and easy to talk to with a great sense of humour - a quality that should be mandatory for a family law solicitor! He supports clients through difficult personal circumstances and provides them with the best possible outcome'.

Irwin Mitchell focuses on high-net-worth financial and divorce cases, often with national and international aspects and additional complexities including family businesses, private equity elements and property portfolios. The team also draws upon the firm's national private wealth strength to handle wealth protection matters, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements. Zoe Round and Alison Fernandes jointly lead the practice; both are noted for their high-value financial case expertise, Round is experienced in same-sex marriage issues and Fernandes handles matters involving pre-marital wealth and trust assets.

Practice head(s):Zoe Round; Alison Fernandes


'The Irwin Mitchell family team in Sheffield is a very efficient and friendly team, which offers extremely good advice across the board'.

'Irwin Mitchell Sheffield offers the professionalism and service of a large corporate organisation, but also continues to be warm and approachable'.

'The team's breadth of family knowledge and expertise is matched by the resources to deliver a quality service in a timely manner. It has the ability to deal with complex and high-value financial cases and private children matters proactively and effectively, and isn't phased by anything unusual or extraordinary'.

'Zoe Round is approachable, pragmatic and straight-talking. Clients value her competence and common sense to get the job done. She is fair and balanced in her search for solutions and always goes the extra mile to add value'.

'Alison Fernandes is a partner who is up there with the very best the firm has produced over the years. She is positive, practical and solution focused, and provides realistic outcomes and time frames in a very pleasant, respectful and collaborative manner'.

Work highlights

  • Handling an international children case in which there were several contested interlocutory applications.
  • Acting for an individual in a high-net-worth finance case involving a maintenance pending suit application compromised from capital.
  • Representing an individual in a cross-jurisdictional finance case, securing matrimonial assets and maintenance that is currently secured in Dubai.
  • Handling a complex application for a change of residence.
  • Acting in a cross-border finance cases involving a complex trust property.

Taylor & Emmet LLP divides its practice into three distinct teams; the matrimonial, childcare and mediation groups. With traditional strength in matrimonial work, the childcare group has seen recent expansion and the firm recently relaunched it mediation service as well as securing a legal aid contract for family mediation. The group is based across the firm's Sheffield and Rotherham offices. Michaela Heathcote leads the department and is also a collaborative lawyer, and Lucy Rodgers handles the firm's legal aid contracts.

Practice head(s):Michaela Heathcote

Other key lawyers:Lucy Rodgers


'Micheala Heathcote is recommended by her clients without hesitation'.

'The team at Taylor & Emmet provides excellent advice in a personable way'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a television personality in a divorce and financial settlement conducted using collaborative family law.
  • Assisted a cohabitee in a seven-year relationship with a separation involving a dependent child and assets over £5m.
  • Acting for an individual in financial remedy proceedings in which a professional trustee and third party joined as intervenors.
  • Handling complex child arrangements involving foreign jurisidictions, and Hague and European conventions.
  • Handling the relocation of children out of the jurisdiction.

Gosschalks' practice is led by Mark Reeves and handles the full spectrum of family law issues including matrimonial work, children issues, cohabitation matters and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. The group also has legal aid capabilities, fields collaboratively trained practitioners and handles family litigation and mediation.

Practice head(s):Mark Reeves

Howells fields one of the largest family law practices in the region across its three South Yorkshire offices, which handle the full range of family and children law including divorce and separation, financial cases, civil partnerships, domestic abuse matters, care proceedings and adoption work. The firm also recently added a mediation and collaborative law department. Group head Alyson Siddall focuses on high-value financial work, Sarah Walker leads the children team and specialises in complex care proceedings, and matrimonial specialist Sharon Lockwood leads the Rotherham-based group.

Practice head(s):Alyson Siddall

Other key lawyers:Sarah Walker; Sharon Lockwood


'Howells has a well-established and reliable family law practice throughout the South Yorkshire region. The group has a particularly good reputation for childcare work but also fields some good solicitors specialising in financial remedy and TOLATA work'.

'Alyson Siddall is a very experienced matrimonial lawyer who is personable and approachable in addition to being an excellent solicitor'.

Keebles handles the full range of family issues locally and nationally including children matters, financial relief work, unmarried family issues and collaborative work. Senior associate and Doncaster team head Antony Ball specialises in TOLATA issues, schedule 1 applications and high-net-worth divorces.

Practice head(s):Antony Ball


'The team is extremely committed and will go the extra mile to ensure that the client's case is presented in the strongest way possible but will also give robust and realistic advice'.

'Antony Ball and associate Rebecca Crofts stand out as extremely capable and compassionate advocates'.

Rollits LLP focuses on matrimonial finance work and regularly handles matters involving complex corporate arrangements, farming partnerships, inherited wealth and trust issues. The practice also fields three accredited mediators and has expanded is expertise in complex private children cases. Sheridan Ball heads up the department and primarily focuses on financial disputes and negotiating pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):Sheridan Ball


'Sheridan Ball is a safe pair of hands and a highly experienced mediator'.

Graysons Solicitors' client base primarily spans the South Yorkshire region, while the firm also attracts some national and international instructions. The group handles all aspects of family law including divorce, separation, finances, injunctions and children matters. Newly promoted partner Bradie Pell leads the team and also advises on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, separation agreements, cohabitation agreements and TOLATA cases.

Practice head(s):Bradie Pell

Other key lawyers:Nicola Cancellara; Rachel Read-Hill


'Graysons provides high-quality advice and always ensures each and every client is treated like an individual'.

'The team is extremely professional and gets a good grasp on the details of a case from the start'.

'The group has strong advocates who routinely think outside the box when searching for options for clients. It is compassionate and empathetic at the same time and reaches clients at all different levels'.

The team at Switalskis Solicitors expanded its South Yorkshire offering during 2018 with Alison Kitchman joining the firm's Doncaster office from Keebles and former Banner Jones Solicitors partner Toby Netting coming on board as Sheffield head of family law. The practice handles divorce, finance and children law matters; Kitchman is collaboratively trained, and Netting is an accredited specialist with resolution for children matters, pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements and domestic violence issues.

Practice head(s):Alison Kitchman

Other key lawyers:Toby Netting


'Alison Kitchman is sensible, warm, good and makes sure clients feel comfortable knowing they will be well looked after'.

At Taylor Bracewell, senior solicitor Sharon McKie joined from Atherton Godfrey Solicitors in mid-2018 to head up the family practice following Alison Kitchman's departure to Switalskis Solicitors. The team assists with all issues arising from couple separations including divorce, trust of land act applications, children matters and asset protection; McKie has a particular focus on financial disputes.

Practice head(s):Sharon McKie

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited focuses on divorce and separation matters, and has recently seen an increase in work relating to pre-nuptial agreements and financial arrangements from divorce. The group also handles cohabitation issues, civil partnerships, grandparent's rights, name changes and unmarried couple work. Lindsey Canning leads the team and has expertise in issues involving incorporated companies and trust funds.

Practice head(s):Lindsey Canning


'Wake Smith fields a fantastic and caring team which understands the client's needs and make a very stressful period in their life bearable'.

'The team provides an outstanding service. Everything is well explained, well organised, and clearly and quickly communicated. The team works extremely well together, like a well-oiled machine'.

'Lindsey Canning provides an excellent service for her clients who are always well advised. She is easy to deal with, always clear and has a very sensible, constructive approach to her client's problems'.

Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Clarion excels in the fields of divorce and financial settlements, both of which are key areas of expertise for practice head Justine Osmotherley, who deals with complex issues involving business interests, trusts, assets, post-separation accruals, inheritance and pensions. The group has also seen a notable increase in instructions involving pre- and post-nuptial agreements and is noted for its expertise in Children Act cases, surrogacy issues and wealth management. Other key practitioners include legal director Jane Ingleby, who specialises in high-net-worth matters and TOLATA cases; and legal director Sarah Buxton, who specialises in family disputes.

Practice head(s):Justine Osmotherley

Other key lawyers:Jane Ingleby; Sarah Buxton


'The diversity of the areas of law at Clarion enable it to approach financial remedy advice as part of a cross-discipline team with an eye to both the commercial and family aspects of each case'.

'A strong family law department; very approachable and with excellent judgement'.

'Justine Osmotherley has a well-deserved reputation for client care and legal knowledge, and Jane Ingleby has a wonderful manner with clients, who appreciate her approach'.

'Justine heads up the team and has the respect of her peers, which enables her to promote effective negotiations and achieve early settlements wherever possible'.

'Jane Ingleby is very caring and will got the extra mile to ensure her clients are looked after'.

Boutique family firm Jones Myers LLP fields separate divorce and financial remedies and children departments; Richard Peaker heads up the divorce and financial remedies team while Kate Banerjee leads the children group. On the divorce side, the team acts for a wide variety of clients on divorces, pensions issues, trust work and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. The children department handles national and international issues and specialises in private residence and contact disputes, care proceedings, adoption work, special guardianships, relocations and education matters; Banerjee also handles Court of Protection work. Andrew Fox is a key name for matters involving offshore jurisdictions and Sarah Dickinson has expertise in multi-jurisdictional divorces.

Practice head(s):Richard Peaker; Kate Banerjee

Other key lawyers:Andrew Fox; Sarah Dickinson


'The firm has an excellent reputation for handling some very sensitive issues such as matrimonial and child protection in a very careful and empathetic manner. The practitioners' experience in their respective fields is very clearly demonstrated in their dealings with other lawyers and it is clear they command the respect of their peers'.

'The team is empathetic, patient, understanding, able to deal with very sensitive issues. Kate Banerjee and Sarah Dickinson are both superb'.

'Kate Banerjee is a force to be reckoned with'.

Lake Legal LTD's specialist family practice advises on all aspects of private family law with a focus on high-net-worth individuals, cases involving business and family assets, cross-jurisdictional issues and third-party interests. The group is also handling an increased volume of pre- and post-nuptial agreements and has an increasing specialism in complex cases involving children. The team also has arbitration and collaborative law capabilities through the experience of 'brilliant' team head Lyn Ayrton, who specialises in advising on financial settlements arising from divorce and other separations. Partner Claire Glaister has a growing reputation in the market as 'a superb practitioner'.

Practice head(s):Lyn Ayrton

Other key lawyers:Claire Glaister


'Lake Legal is one of the stand-out practices in Yorkshire, if not the North East of England. Its lawyers are all of exceptional quality'.

'Lyn Ayrton is well known and respected in the market and has built Lake Legal up to be a great niche practice. Clients always receive excellent, knowledge-based advice which factors in what they need rather than what may seem clear to a lawyer'.

'All members of the team are empathetic, understanding and discreet, making clients feel welcome and put at ease immediately'.

'Lyn Ayrton is brilliant and has a fantastic reputation. She has a great understanding of how to deliver an outcome and is tactically astute but warm and approachable. Claire Glaister is a superb practitioner whose ability far outstrips her experience. She is tactically shrewd and superb with client care'.

'Lyn Ayrton is highly knowledgeable as to the law and a good advocate for her clients, but also a pragmatist and realist who won't encourage her clients to fight a battle doomed to be lost. She really stands out'.

'Clients have 100% confidence in Lyn Ayrton and trust her immediately. She is calm, kind and incredibly knowledgeable'.

Mills & Reeve LLP stands out for its knowledge of complex financial arrangements, with the team's expertise encompassing multi-jurisdictional disputes, trust structures, inherited wealth, pensions and marital agreements. Philip Way leads the practice and heads up the firm's Leeds office; he is also an expert on the pensions aspects of divorce. Clients also praise senior associate Claudia Gilham, who has growing expertise in cohabitation cases and private children matters; and principal associate Ellie Foster, who handles financial arrangements and pensions issues.

Practice head(s):Philip Way

Other key lawyers:Ellie Foster; Claudia Gilham


'Mills & Reeve is easily one of the leading firms in the region for family work and fields a team of experts who clearly know what they are doing'.

'Philip Way is undoubtedly a leading individual in the field'.

'Ellie Foster is incredibly thorough and professional in her approach'.

'Claudia Gilham is a fantastic family solicitor who gives commercial and practical advice and is professional and approachable. She is really building a name for herself in the region'.

With a focus on finance and divorce work, Stewarts Law LLP's Leeds practice leverages the strength of the firm's London team to assist with national and international mandates, while also attracting work as a result of its well-established regional reputation. The practice exclusively handles high-value disputes and is experienced in matters involving international jurisdictional elements or corporate structures. The 'pragmatic and insightful' Adrian Clossick heads up the department and is a trained collaborative lawyer; senior associate Ed Heaton and associate Jenny Bowden support Clossick on high-value matters.

Practice head(s):Adrian Clossick

Other key lawyers:Ed Heaton; Jenny Bowden


'The team at Stewarts excels at the highest level of the market regionally and nationally'.

'Adrian Clossick is always very constructive, pragmatic and insightful'.

Berwins' family law department handles the full spectrum of issues, ranging from divorce and separation matters to children work and injunctions. The team fields collaboratively trained lawyers and has a financial specialism. Senior associate Danielle Day was recently promoted to head of the group, which also includes managing director Sarah Smith, who specialises in divorce work, nuptial agreements and children law; and Stephen Root, who has expertise in collaborative law, trusts and farming assets.

Practice head(s):Danielle Day

Other key lawyers:Sarah Smith; Stephen Root

Blacks Solicitors LLP solely handles privately funded matters and regularly deals with international high-value financial cases, alongside Children Act and TOLATA expertise. The team also works closely with the firm's wills and probate, commercial property, corporate and property litigation groups. Department head Ann Robinson is experienced in divorce settlements and property disputes involving cohabitees. Other key practitioners include Paul Lancaster, who acts for high-profile sportspeople and high-net-worth individuals on complex financial settlements.

Practice head(s):Ann Robinson

Other key lawyers:Paul Lancaster


'The straightforward team at Blacks is clear and explanatory with its advice with no legal mumbo-jumbo. It handles high-end work in a very pragmatic way, which is always focused on the client, without cutting corners'.

'Blacks is empathetic, honest and truly professional with the client at the forefront of all considerations. The group is efficient, helpful and responsive - clients couldn't ask for a better, faster or more effective service'.

'Ann Robinson provides a brilliant service and handles unexpected situations effectively, quickly and with kindness and calmness. She gets the job in hand done without causing unnecessary costs'.

'Paul Lancaster is absolutely superb and gains the client's absolute trust and belief. He works really hard for his clients and is aware of the issues and their perspective and he manages expectations well'.

Harrogate Family Law specialises in high-net-worth financial proceedings following divorce, separation and the dissolution of civil partnerships, as well as mandates involving businesses, trusts, pensions and international issues. The practice also handles financial and property claims involving unmarried partners and nuptial agreements. Team members also have individual areas of expertise; 'exceptionally knowledgeable' group head Andrew Meehan regularly handles cases with hidden assets and Carol Jessop has a notable reputation in financial disputes between cohabitees.

Practice head(s):Andrew Meehan

Other key lawyers:Carol Jessop


'Harrogate Family Law is a small boutique firm providing a very high level of service in matrimonial cases. It punches significantly above its weight in terms of size, principally because of the expertise of Andrew Meehan. The team works harmoniously and extremely effectively'.

'Harrogate Family Law is a dynamic family law practice with a good reputation in Yorkshire and beyond. The small and dedicated team genuinely cares about its clients and the issues affecting them. It pays huge attention to detail, offers high-quality advice and an enormous amount of support'.

'Andrew Meehan is exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced and particularly ardoit at ensuring the commerciality of outcomes. His advice is holistic 360 degree advice and is usually spot on'.

In Irwin Mitchell's Leeds office, Katie McCann now heads up the family practice following the departure of Teresa Davidson. McCann, who relocated from the firm's Manchester office, specialises in matrimonial work for high-net-worth individuals and has niche expertise in reputation management matters and wealth protection work. The team also handles pre- and post-marriage financial planning and asset protection, trust and tax arrangements, Court of Protection matters, cohabitation cases and international child abduction issues. Senior associate David Lister is the key contact for children work, while solicitor Scott Halliday has expertise in LGBTQ+ family law.

Practice head(s):Katie McCann

Other key lawyers:David Lister


'The team at Irwin Mitchell has really developed this year with the addition of Katie McCann. It is really working well together now and has some dynamic ambitious people on board'.

'Irwin Mitchell's Leeds team offers a personal approach to family law, which a client might not otherwise expect to find in a large firm. It is committed to its clients and cases and has a desire to help and find a solution. It is able to deal with even the most challenging of cases and constantly gives rock solid advice'.

'Katie McCann brings a huge amount of experience to the team and is keen to develop it into new areas - she is a real asset. David Lister punches above his weight in terms of the work he is taking on at this stage in his career. His clients love him; he makes them feel very much looked after and at the same time is always pragmatic and realistic'.

'David Lister is a rising star, both in the region and nationally. He genuinely cares about his clients, loves his job and aspires to do everything he can to achieve a good result'.

'David Lister is born to do this job. He excels at everything he does and goes well beyond the extra mile for his client. He is a real people's lawyer who will go far'.

Raworths' client base focuses on high-net-worth individuals and SME owners or directors with complex personal business and agricultural issues, often with national and international assets. The group handles the full spectrum of matters including marital and cohabitation agreements, separations, divorces, emergencies and new relationships, and also excels as alternative dispute resolution practitioners, fielding multiple collaborative lawyers and mediators. The 'exceptional' Carmelita Ardren heads up the department, Zoe Robinson is an experienced mediator and senior associate Joanna Lofthouse focuses on clients in the agricultural sector.

Practice head(s):Carmelita Ardren

Other key lawyers:Zoe Robinson; Joanna Lofthouse


'The team at Raworths is professional and compassionate and guides clients well, making them feel like they are not alone'.

'What makes Raworths unique is its single office in Harrogate, where it has been for over a century. This means it has an unparalleled depth of local knowledge giving it a unique insight into its clients' needs'.

'The team is easy to communicate with and has diverse experience and approach to helping clients achieve their goals. It isn't a 'one strategy fits all' practice and it takes the time to talk to clients and seek out the best solutions for their needs'.

With a substantial network across Yorkshire, specialist firm Stowe Family Law LLP handles challenging matrimonial matters with complex assets including trusts and businesses, often with an international element. The group can also draw on a team of in-house forensic accountants. David Millburn leads the Harrogate practice, Rachel Roberts is head of the Leeds team, Sarah Barr-Young is leader of the Ilkley group, and Neil Dring heads up the Wetherby department. Senior partner Julian Hawkhead is noted for his financial remedy expertise, Angela Sussens has experience with pre-nuptial agreements, and newly promoted partner Debbie Heald also handles cohabitation and children issues.

Practice head(s):David Milburn; Rachel Roberts; Sarah Barr-Young; Neil Dring

Other key lawyers:Julian Hawkhead; Angela Sussens; Debbie Heald


'Stowe Family Law has an excellent reputation across Yorkshire and is highly regarded by clients and peers alike'.

'Rachel Roberts is excellent. She is efficient, effective and pragmatic with her advice'.

Langleys Solicitors LLP's department fields separate family and child law teams, which collectively handle the full range of family law issues. The family group specialises in divorce-related finance work, issues in the agricultural sector, trust work, cross-border matters and collaborative law. The child law team focuses on public law proceedings and is noted for its expertise in legal aid children work, publicly funded international cases and domestic abuse cases. Group co-heads Mark Day and William Kaye focus on the finance side, while Sheelagh Coles is the key contact for children work.

Practice head(s):Mark Day; William Kaye

Other key lawyers:Sheelagh Coles


'The team at Langleys works well together and is very professional, competent and knowledgeable about the individual cases. Its support is excellent'.

'Mark Day is a highly respected practitioner with an immense local standing. He has sound judgment and good knowledge'.

'Clients can't speak highly enough of William Kaye's care and dedication. His support and expertise are outstanding and he always acts in a professional, calming and caring manner'.

'Sheelagh Coles is helpful, efficient, knowledgeable and reliable'.

At LCF Law, the practice is led by Rachel Spencer Robb, who specialises in matrimonial finance matters and also has expertise in wealth preservation and property issues; she is also an accredited mediator and collaborative lawyer. The wider team is experienced in family arrangements and asset ownership, unmarried couple issues and international matters. Associate solicitor Harjit Rait is the key name in the firm's Bradford office and acts for high-net-worth clients in divorce and family finance work including asset protection issues.

Practice head(s):Rachel Spencer Robb

Other key lawyers:Harjit Rait


'LCF Law fields a professional team of individuals who truly care about the clients and their needs'.

Lupton Fawcett handles privately funded matters and collaborative law work for high-net-worth clients. The group advises on the full spectrum of issues arising from family breakdowns with expertise in pre- and post-nuptial agreements, finance work relating to relationship breakdowns, tax issues, pensions work and trust matters alongside Children Act proceedings. Department head Chris Burns and Peter Foskett focus on financial remedy cases. Former Blacks Solicitors LLP associate Andrew Smith joined the firm as a partner in mid-2019.

Practice head(s):Chris Burns

Other key lawyers:Peter Foskett


'The team at Lupton Fawcett is exceptionally well led, adopting a professional yet highly family-centred approach. It actively promotes non-court-based solutions and collaborative approaches where possible, whilst still being realistic about when court is the only solution to move a situation forwards'.

'The practice is a quality, forward-thinking, medium-sized regional practice, which is very proficient and has great strength in depth'.

'The team is very committed to getting the very best outcome for its clients and has impressive legal knowledge'.

'Chris Burns is an experienced dedicated family lawyer who practices a range of family and children work. He is an excellent practitioner and fights hard for his clients'.


McCormicks fields specialists in finance, domestic abuse and children law matters, and prides itself on the early settlement of cases by its effective negotiators. Newly promoted partner and group head Stephen Hopwood is highly regarded in the region and associate Carol Hancock is an expert in children and domestic abuse cases.

Practice head(s):Stephen Hopwood

Other key lawyers:Carol Hancock


'The team at McCormicks has a wide range and depth of expertise in family law. It is both committed and thorough in the approach it takes to each and every case'.

'Carol Hancock has a particular strength and sensitivity in representing victims of domestic abuse, which is reinforced by the work she undertakes with domestic abuse agencies in the local area'.

Work highlights

  • Acting for an applicant in a trusts of land case.
  • Representing a husband in a divorce involving several investment properties.
  • Acting for a mother in Children Act proceedings relating to the schooling of the child.
  • Acting for a husband in matrimonial proceedings with multi-jurisdictional issues.
  • Representing a mother in Children Act proceedings involving controlling and coersive behaviour.

Ramsdens fields separate family and care teams led by Helen Thewlis and Joanne Coen respectively. Coen specialises in child law, particularly representing children, parents and other relatives in care proceedings, and is a collaborative lawyer; and Thewlis handles relationship finances including cases involving complex, high-value assets.

Practice head(s):Joanne Coen; Helen Thewlis


'The team has strength in depth. The solicitors are always extremely well prepared and passionate about their work'.

'Helen Thewlis is exceptionally talented and wonderful at her job, giving clear and fair advice, to clients'.

'They are organised, helpful and very supportive. They are very well informed and the service they provide is excellent I have no hesitation in instructing them'.

Ridley & Hall focuses on financial issues in divorce proceedings alongside its domestic abuse and care expertise. Expanding on its Huddersfield base, the firm recently opened a Leeds office, staffed by family and matrimonial managing director Emma Pearmaine and Melanie Hartley; Pearmaine handles financial relief, private children and domestic violence matters, while Hartley represents clients both locally and nationally. In Huddersfield, Vicky Medd is an experienced mediator and Nigel Priestley specialises in community care and adoption mandates.

Practice head(s):Emma Pearmaine; James Cook; Vicky Medd; Melanie Hartley


'Ridley & Hall fields an extremely strong team with real strength in representing the interests of adopters and foster carers. It is much better than other firms regionally in its ability to identify and pursue remedies in judicial review and human rights claims'.

'Emma Pearmaine is very professional and an excellent opponent. She gets to the point and manages her clients' expectations well. She is clear in her written exchanges and makes a lot of sense'.

'James Cook is a calm and unflappable lawyer who combines a sound tactical sense with an ability to establish a rapport and trust with a range of clients'.

Work highlights

  • Representing Irish-based adoptive parents following an adoption disruption in which the child was placed back in the care of Poole Council.

Consilia Legal excels in financial remedy cases and Children Act mandates with notable expertise in matters which have capacity considerations. The group is also noted for its alternative dispute resolution work fielding multiple mediators. Laura Clapton heads up the team and, as well as being a mediator, is a qualified direct child consultant. Associate solicitor Sarah Manning focuses on complex Children Act proceedings, particularly cases involving the local authorities or Cafcass.

Practice head(s):Laura Clapton

Other key lawyers:Sarah Manning


'Consilia Legal's knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, consideration for its clients, each other and the referring solicitors is exemplary'.

'Consilia is committed to client service - it has a very modern outlook and approach which is very impressive'.

'The practice is young and energetic and is absolutely making its way in Leeds with practitioners of considerable expertise. The team members are friendly, professional, straightforward and always to hand'.

Emsleys Solicitors Limited's family department is divided into three separate units, handling financial remedies, divorce and children work respectively. Gabbie Clasper heads up the financial remedies and divorce teams, which acts for mid- and high-net-worth individuals in cases which often have an international element; the team also handles intervenor issues, TOLATA applications and emergency freezing orders. Clients also praise Judith McAra, who is a collaborative lawyer and mediator; and Laura Mackfall, who leads the children unit and manages the legal aid team.

Practice head(s):Gabbie Clasper

Other key lawyers:Judith McAra; Laura Mackfall


'The friendly and efficient team at Emsleys Solicitors provides a personal service with excellent communication skills, prompt responses and an approachable manner'.

'The team is friendly, knowledgeable, professional and strives for the best outcome. It always thinks outside the box and applies plans to achieve the client's goals'.

'Gabbie Clasper is exceptional in her field. She is grounded and a down to earth person, which encourages honesty and openness from her clients'.

Harrowells Solicitors, which is increasingly active in matters involving international assets, has expertise in complex separation issues, finance work and children law. Lucy Phipps leads the department and is experienced in handling children disputes and also assists with divorce, finance, marital agreements and emergency injunctions. Amy Foweather, who joined from Stowe Family Law LLP, is also a key name to note; she advises on family, children and adoption law.

Practice head(s):Lucy Phipps

Other key lawyers:Amy Foweather


'Harrowells is a key name in the York area thanks to a professional team with compassionate practitioners'.

Newly established firm North Family Law , which was founded in 2017 by former Stewarts Law LLP partner Simon Preston, is a family boutique focusing on high-value and complex financial settlements arising from relationship breakdowns, particularly those involving complex corporate structures, trusts, inherited and dynastic wealth issues, offshore assets and foreign jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):Simon Preston


'North Family Law is unique in allowing clients to access the weight of Simon Preston's experience in high-net-worth matters at an affordable rate. Simon has been at the forefront of the regional family law market for many years, and he enables that expertise to be available to all, while still remaining focused on high-quality work'.

'Simon Preston brings a high level of technical expertise to his role. He is one of the best technical lawyers of his generation yet combines it with an approachable and laid-back manner that sets clients at ease'.

'Simon Preston has impressive judgement, quality and a calm, measured approach - he is completely unflappable'.

Paradigm Family Law LLP primarily focuses on finance and divorce work with local, national and international elements. The group also has notable expertise in contested divorces, civil partnership cases and Children Act work and matters involving hidden assets, offshore trusts, complex business structures, pensions issues and inheritance. Firm co-founders Frank Arndt and James Thornton are the key contacts; Arndt has expertise in matters with offshore elements and Thornton focuses on divorces.

Practice head(s):James Thornton; Frank Arndt


'Paradigm Family Law is a great York-based firm and has built up a reputation thanks to its fixed-fee structure'.

Simpson Millar LLP's practice has recently shifted its focus away from legal aid work and is moving towards assisting with more high-value matters. The team primarily handles divorce-related work under the leadership of Alison Jane Auty, who also specialises in financial remedy cases, financial order enforcements and private children law cases; Patricia Cannon is also an expert in public law care and private law children work. Clare Linden and Deborah Hardy joined Ridley & Hall and Emma Hopkins Jones moved to Rollits LLP.

Practice head(s):Alison Jane Auty

Other key lawyers:Patricia Cannon


'Patricia Cannon has a really good courtroom manner. She is sensible and pragmatic but always fights her client's corner'.

With notable practitioners in Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds and York, Switalskis Solicitors' family and child care law team is one of the largest in the region and handles the full spectrum of family law issues, including Children Act work and care issues, divorce and relationship breakdowns, financial matters, domestic violence work and forced marriages, with particular experience handling matters complicated by serious allegations of abuse. Razia Jogi and Clare Peckett jointly lead the department; Jogi specialises in issues concerning children, domestic violence, forced marriage and 'honour' violence, and Peckett handles cases relating to unmarried couples. Ranjit Uppal and Lisa Phillips are also key names for children work.

Practice head(s):Clare Peckett; Razia Jogi

Other key lawyers:Ranjit Uppal; Lisa Phillips


'Switalskis is a key name in the market for care and children work, and has really made a name for itself in the local region'.

At Ward Hadaway, Andrea Dyer is the key contact in the firm's Leeds office and specialises in high-value divorce and financial issues, particularly with a business or international element; she also handles financial settlements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation disputes and children issues. The group, which works closely with the firm's Newcastle office, also acts in care proceedings and provides advice to clients in the education sector.

Practice head(s):Andrea Dyer


'Andrea Dyer has a reputation for strong judgement and a total commitment to her clients'.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, which was founded in 1996, is a specialist private client, families and trusts firm, attracting complex work - covering wills, trust advice and creation, probate, estate planning, succession planning, pre and post nuptials and tax advice - from both regional and national clients, including more than a quarter of the richest 100 families in the Yorkshire region. The caseload in this area is divided between a team for wills, trusts & probate for injured, disabled and vulnerable clients (led by Lynne Bradey) and trust management services, led by Marie-Louise Hamilton, who oversees the whole practice alongside Andrew Wriglesworth , who heads the landed estates section of the private client department, specialising in tax planning. Julia Boyes - described as 'the best private client solicitor outside London' - is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Marie-Louise Hamilton; Andrew Wriglesworth

Other key lawyers:Thomas Wainman; Julia Boyes; Lynne Bradey


'A super team with depth and strength of knowledge combined with a personal approach.'

'Wrigleys have an intimate and detailed knowledge of complicated trust structures and their clients can rely on them for sound and appropriate advice on a large variety of matters.'

'Outstanding service in the field of tax-related trust and difficult IHT questions.'

'Julia Boyes has an ourtstanding reputation; I have heard her described by a London Chancery QC as the best private client solicitor outside London. I have used her and agree.'

'Julia Boyes has a deep understanding of the trust structure, together with the requirement, aims and objectives of individual family members. Julia is a key adviser for us.'

'Julia Boyes is outstanding - helpful, responsive and a pleasure to work with'

Work highlights

  • Administering the UK assets of a French citizen.
  • Will, estate and succession planning for ultra high net worth private client with complex business and property interests and family circumstances.
  • Acting as trustee on a deceased's will trust (and three other family trusts) where the life tenant had serious mental health issues, as did her daughter, a beneficiary of one of the family trusts as well as the will trust.
  • Advising trustees on a recommended cash offer to buy shares from fellow shareholders. This was an unusual transaction because the terms of the trust were restrictive and unusual and they contained various pre-emption rights in favour of an employee ownership trust.
  • Advising on an offer in lieu in situ of a number of important pieces of furniture in an estate which are in satisfaction of various inheritance tax liabilities.

Addleshaw Goddard¬†is recognised for its 'very powerful'¬†offering to high net worth individuals, trust companies and an increasing number of international clients, to which it provides 'pragmatic'¬†advice in different areas. The team is described as 'very strong'¬†and as having 'breadth of expertise', especially in the use of trusts in a commercial context, and aimed at consumer protection issues. The department is led by Pervinder Kaur¬†and sits within the firm's corporate division ‚Äď enabling clients to benefit from the expertise of lawyers in different departments, such as banking, litigation and employment. Main areas of activity are residence, domicile and tax issues, family governance and property structures.

Practice head(s):Pervinder Kaur

Other key lawyers:Yorke Eaton; Charlotte Smart


The staff are problem solvers and help clients effectively.

'Yorke Eaton is pragmatic and a problem solver, helping clients effectively. He is extremely well connected and advises some of the most significant business owners, families and trusts.'

'Joe Cobb is a great member of the team - he works well with clients and is able to flex his style to be effective with client personalities.'

'The breadth of experience within the team is very strong, which makes the overall offering very powerful. They have a quality client base, which they build from in terms of experience and knowledge.'

Key Clients

NFU Mutual

Zedra Trust Company (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised NFU Mutual on its internal policies for dealing with bereavement, vulnerable customers and powers of attorney.
  • Advice to trustees on will trusts valued at c.£280m which include a significant holding in a UK Plc.
  • Acting as the trustees of family settlements worth over £45m.
  • Acting as advisers to the trustees of family settlements holding assets worth over £160m, regularly advising on the duties of the trustees, indemnity issues, capital tax planning, residency issues, trust administration and distributions from the trusts.
  • Creation of trusts to protect assets and maximise business property relief of a substantial holding of private company shares, advising on asset structuring and inheritance mitigation including substantial investment into woodland and commercial forestry.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s tax, trusts and wills department advises private individuals and business owners on all aspects of trust administration (including drafting deeds and resolutions, interpretation of trust deeds and completing accounts and tax returns) as well as Court of Protection matters. Kevin Webster, a chartered tax adviser, heads up the team and is well regarded for his skills in estate and succession planning and the creation and administration of trusts.

Practice head(s):Kevin Webster; Peter Duffus


'Highly regarded in its field and in the region.

'Very approachable and knowledgeable in their field.'

'Senior solicitor Amy Floater is the ultimate professional and will always put the best interests of the impacted party at the forefront of any decision, without sacrificing the immediate standard of living of the impacted individual. Amy shows high levels of empathy in what can be very difficult circumstances.'

'Nothing short of exceptional.'

Clarion’s private client practice, which is highly regarded in the market, is led by estate and succession planning specialist Vivienne Wild. It advises business owners, entrepreneurs as well as accountancy firms and financial services’ professionals on matters of estate planning - increasingly featuring an international element - capital taxes and trusts in connection with transactional and succession planning. The team also has mental capacity expertise, handling Court of Protection cases and complex mental capacity disputes. Legal director Clare King  as plays a key role in some of the team's most important work.

Practice head(s):Vivienne Wild

Other key lawyers:Lynsey Harrison; Clare King


'A large and highly experienced team who regularly deal with high value and complex work.'

'Professional and friendly.'

'Vivienne Wild is very knowledgeable on trust and estate law and leads a strong team.'

'Vivienne Wilde is a highly experienced and able practitioner. In my experience there is no one in Leeds who deals with the weight and complexity of work that she does.

'Stephanie Parish is a very able lawyer who can deal with work of all levels of complexity.'

'The whole team are knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with.'

Key Clients

Estate of the late Mr J W Heselden OBE

Work highlights

  • Dealing with the administration of the estate of millionaire businessman Jimi Heselden, who died in 2010.

Irwin Mitchell’s tax, trust and estates team is 'expanding and enthusiastic', with senior associate Andrea Jones joining from Ward Hadaway in early 2018 to build up the firm's offering in Leeds and support Gillian Coverley's team in Sheffield. They now often work in unison, advising a growing client base on matters of wills and estate planning, elderly and vulnerable clients, probate, tax compliance and advisory and trust administration. The firm also prides itself in educating members of the Yorkshire community by delivering seminars, attended by national experts, to financial advisers and wealth managers.

Practice head(s):Gillian Coverley; Andrea Jones; Paula Myers (National Head of tax, trusts and states)

Other key lawyers:Emma McCann; Andrea Jones


'Good experience, professional and knowledgeable.'

'Andrea Jones has a quiet confident manner, shows great understanding of problems and gives excellent advice.'

'Andrea Jones is understanding, patient and tentative to client needs.'

'Andrea Jones is fantastic to work with, she is attentive to clients, her technical skills are exceptional and clients love working with her.'

'Gillian Coverley gives clear, cogent and to-the-point advice.

'Andrea Jones has consistently made an excellent impression on referrals I have made to her, to the extent that our family used her for power of attorney and wills. She is my automatic choice if asked to provide a legal referral for high net worth individuals.'

'Gillian Coverley always has time to provide guidance and leads her team by example.'

'Paula Myers is a leader in the field, and Andrea Jones is one to watch.'

Key Clients

Age Co

Nationwide Building Society

Leeds Building Society

Macmillan Cancer Support

Link Corporate Trustees Limited

Lord Clarke Limited

Work highlights

  • Administration of UK trust for non-domiciled individual worth over £3m.
  • Advised on double estate administration which involved complex IHT and CGT issues.
  • Handled estate planning and structuring advice for clients with US implications and Italian assets.
  • Provided estate planning advice for French property.
  • Proving English will of client where there was a later Barbadian will, which involved detailed negotiation with Barbadian lawyers.

The service at LCF Law, which is described as 'personal and outstanding', went through a strategic review and rebrand in 2014, when offer packages and fixed fees were introduced for most areas of the practice in order to achieve certainty over costs for clients. The team, led by Neil Shaw, specializes in applications to the Court of Protection, in preparing both lasting powers of attorney for health and welfare and for property and financial affairs and in helping people with learning disabilities. The firm's work within the art and heritage community is also highlighted, particularly in wills with artistic legacies, inheritance tax planning and disputes relating to ownership or validity of artworks, sponsorship and lender agreements.

Practice head(s):Neil Shaw

Other key lawyers:Ann Christian; Mark Jones


'Their knowledge of their area of law is impressive.'

'LCF Law stand head and shoulders above many Yorkshire law firms. They are also exceptionally nice people to deal with.'

'An efficient and professional service - their lawyers are always helpful and take care to explain processes and timeframes.'

'Very confident in giving balanced advice and discussing options. Quick and efficient at completing the work. Flexible in making changes if required. Open and frank about fee charges.'

'Kelly Edmundson who is exceptionally personable to all age groups, which is important when dealing with difficult family matters. Her advice is concise and confidently given and she quickly builds a trusting relationship with clients. She understands what clients want which I believe makes her stand out from so many lawyers. We have recommended her to several families who have also been impressed.'

'I was hugely impressed by Neil Shaw - he gave excellent advice on wills and trust matters.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for a window resident in Pakistan who brought a claim against the estate of her English domiciled husband.
  • The firm established that deathbed changes to a client’s pension arrangements did not constitute a taxable event, which saved the beneficiaries of a pension fund in the region of £200,000.
  • Advising a client on estate planning for their multimillion-pound art collection and on the running of their charitable trust.
  • Creating and running two separate trusts in order to receive and manage a compensation payment for a vulnerable beneficiary up to a maximum value of £500,000.
  • Investigated and administered a complex estate which involved significant fraudulent investments.

Lupton Fawcett’s private client team has a strong reputation within the market, advising landed estates and the owners of SMEs and family businesses in the areas of tax planning and overseas jurisdiction, estate administration and agricultural succession.

Practice head(s):Hugh Thompson

Other key lawyers:Tricia Carter; Amanda Simmonds; Howard Rutter

The 'wonderful' Rachel Tunnicliffe heads a 'highly talented' team of private lawyers at Raworths, who are particularly sought out for their work in international tax planning issues and taxation of foreign structures in the UK including wealth devolution and capital tax mitigation, as well as succession planning, structuring of company equity, drafting of partnerships and trusts. Tunnicliffe is a trusted adviser for her clients and is 'excellent' at overseeing families’ affairs. Peter Greswold is a highly regarded senior member of the practice, while the team was recently boosted by the addition of former Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP legal director Caroline Hedges, who joined as a partner.

Practice head(s):Rachel Tunnicliffe

Other key lawyers:David Garfitt


'Sophisticated London advice, at much more competitive prices.'

'Has the expertise and ability to support individuals and businesses with their needs. They are well connected in the local area and have good links in the wider business community.'

'They have an excellent manner with clients and are able to put them at ease, whilst explaining complex subjects.'

Work highlights

  • Provision of all legal and administrative services for a charitable foundation.
  • Year-round advice and services to an state, with recent examples being a hydroelectric project and property acquisition for development.
  • Advising three generations of a family on family trusts, the sale of shareholdings and reinvestment, powers of attorney, wills and IHT matters.
  • Wide ranging succession planning for a family with significant investment and commercial assets, including adapting longstanding structures for current circumstances.
  • Advising a HNW client on a funeral plan trust, as well as advising on GDPR and other data protection aspects.

Well-regarded former Mills & Reeve LLP partner Julia Rangecroft joined Shulmans LLP in December 2018 to head up the firm's private wealth team, incorporating the previous contentious trusts and estates and private client offerings, which include advisory and private capital transactional support services. The firm is expecting to grow the team further to reach nine lawyers over the course of 2019. The practice is now in a position to offer personal and professional wealth and capital advice alongside the existing corporate and commercial offerings.

Practice head(s):Julia Rangecroft


'The team are very sympathetic to issues and have a practical approach to resolving problems.'

Key Clients

Statutory Will application by Deputy

Client – Executor and Beneficiary

Donald Davis

Norman Hargreaves

Work highlights

  • Application by a Deputy to the Court of Protection for a statutory will.
  • Acting for an executor and beneficiary regarding a contested will.
  • Advising on a dispute between two brothers over their late father’s estate.
  • Acting on a long-running dispute between siblings over their late parents’ estates.
  • Acting for a professional probate and wills provider to undertake work in supporting the estate administration service provided by it.

Harrowells Solicitors, which is based in York, helps its roster clients ‚Äď which includes SMEs and local businesses ‚Äď administer their private wealth in the form of property, business ownership or agricultural land. The firm's main areas of expertise are family trusts, succession planning and probate matters. Partner and STEP lawyer Ed Ryder¬†heads up the department.

Practice head(s):Ed Ryder

Other key lawyers:Philip Nelson; Nick Clarke; Lauren Hooghiemstra-Maughan

Keebles' Sheffield hub covers the South Yorkshire market, providing solutions to capital tax problems and large estate administration. The wider team, which is spread across the firm's Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield offices, has seen the addition of two senior associates in the past year. Michele Wightman is head of the practice and very active in the local community, while also featuring regularly on BBC Radio Sheffield to field questions from listeners.

Practice head(s):Michele Wightman

Other key lawyers:George Connell

Work highlights

  • Advised on cross border estate administration.
  • Acted on complex estate with Court of Protection involvement.
  • Handled the administration of a tax complicated estate.
  • Administered large tax complicated estate.
  • Handled administration of large insolvent estate.

Mills & Reeve LLP's private client team acts for UK and international families, estates, trustees and companies, with a specialist team under the national direction of Leeds partner Andrew Playle, who holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising and is an expert in trusts, wills, tax, probate and related structuring advice. The team also has expertise in succession planning, lasting powers of attorney and acting in Court of Protection matters. Julia Rangecroft left to join Shulmans LLP in early 2019

Practice head(s):Andrew Playle

Other key lawyers:Ellie Milner

Progeny Private Law is a boutique private wealth practice focusing on tax and succession planning (including multi-jurisdictional estates, in particular in Europe and the US), family business succession planning (wills and trusts, retirement, exit and sale planning, family charters), probate and elderly clients and Court of Protection work). The team is headed up by directors Frances Davies - 'one of the best private client solicitors in the region' - who has been practising in the Yorkshire private client arena for over 23 years, and firm co-founder Martin Hasyn, who acts as a trustee of a significant number of other ongoing trusts.

Practice head(s):Frances Davies; Martin Hasyn


'The team give sound and technical advice in a straightforward and understandable way. They understand their clients and aim to build long-term relationships to better advise them.'

'Frances Davies is one of the best private client solicitors in the region. She listens to her clients and always delivers advice that is accurate, appropriate, whilst still being practical and understandable. Its rare that you get an individual that is very strong technically and yet at the same time skilful enough to articulate advice easily to clients and Frances has this skill.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in relation to his inheritance and succession strategy following his divorce.
  • Acting for a client in relation to a review of his will and family investment company structure.
  • Acting as the Court-appointed independent administrator of a disputed estate valued in excess of £30m.
  • Representing the clients on establishing two investment companies, involving a family trust structure and related tax advice.
  • Acting on behalf of the family to put a Family Charter in place in respect of the family’s ownership of a large publishing company, and negotiations with the executive management team.

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s wills, probate, tax and trusts department is headed by Richard King, who specialises in powers of attorney and tax planning. The team also has expertise in matters relating to mental incapacity, undue influence, fraud and media-related issues and Court of Protection cases.

Practice head(s):Richard King

Other key lawyers:Chaanah Patton; John Tunnard; Richard Barlow

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited's private client department has a 'great deal of experience' to draw on when serving its high net worth client base. It advises on a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from inheritance tax planning, wills and trusts to heritage, mining and ecclesiastical law. The team is led by director Suzanne Porter, who joined the firm in 2017 and has since introduced new management strategies, a price restructuring and made a number of junior hires, all of which have contributed to a 20% increase in profits.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Porter


'Very impressed with the friendliness of the team, which did not detract from their efficiency.'

'Competent and utterly professional.'

'Very approachable and friendly and technically excellent, giving the clients a great deal of confidence in their advice, which is delivered in a language that clients understand.'

Work highlights

  • Dealt with the probates of two elderly high net worth clients.
  • Dealt with an estate worth in excess of £2.2m.
  • Drafted a Discretionary Trust Will and Letter of Wishes for the client to reflect her wishes on her death and to ensure the needs of her family are met in a very complex set of circumstances.
  • Advising on residential conveyancing.
  • Advice to potential executors of an estate where the deceased made a home-made will which they were not aware of before the death of which validity was questioned.

Weightmans¬†has invested heavily in its wills, trusts and estates team and is now developing a private client department in Leeds. Backed by the firm‚Äôs national presence ‚Äď and drawing on the support of its well-established corporate and employment departments ‚Äď associate David Stokes¬†has put together a fresh team of four lawyers based in Leeds. The practice benefits from a significant referral network and provides advice on wills, succession planning and lifetime trusts for business owners.

Practice head(s):David Stokes

Bell & Buxton’s private client group works closely with the firm's commercial department to provide a holistic service for its clients. This approach is praised by clients, who highlight the 'depth and breadth' of the 'one stop shop' offering. The team deals with probate and inheritance planning, lasting power of attorney and wills and probate matters. The team is led by private client head Charles Neal , who deals with complex probate and personal tax matters and is also a notary public.

Practice head(s):Charles Neal


'Clear guidance at all times.'

'The team dealt with all our requests professionally and communicated clearly and swiftly at all times.'

'Not afraid to pick up complex cases that others might run a mile from.'

Work highlights

  • Dealing with the administration of an estate and setting up a discretionary trust.
  • Administering two closely linked estates following social service and police investigation.
  • Advised on wills for a father and son to protect their assets, particularly against the outcome of a divorce.
  • Assisting a seriously ill client in hospital to make a suitable will on an urgent basis
  • Administering an estate with a life interest trust.

With a strong bench of STEP-qualified lawyers and four accredited solicitors for the elderly, Berwins’ practice is well-established in North Yorkshire. Although the core of the client base remains regional and agricultural, the team also has national and international capacity. Most of practice's work is related to lifetime planning, administration of ever larger and complex estates and trusts matters. Practice head Gareth Marland is involved in Court of Protection work, including statutory gift and will applications, probate and property co-ownership structures.

Practice head(s):Gareth Marland

Work highlights

  • Advising partners in a substantial Yorkshire farming partnership.
  • Advising a high net worth client who holds four life policies written in trust.
  • Advising a client on providing an income stream to her grandchildren and inheritance tax planning.

Blacks Solicitors LLP’s wills and probate department routinely handles work relating to power of attorney issues and estate administration. The team, which includes members with STEP and Dementia Friends accreditation, is instructed mainly by business owners who seek help with succession planning and wealth preservation and by vulnerable clients too, for whom the firm acts as professional deputies under the Court of Protection Act. The team is led by Nick Rhodes, whose work includes a focus on the administration of estates following bereavement.

Practice head(s):Nick Rhodes

Other key lawyers:Lucy Rigden


'Responsive to client queries; competitive pricing.'

'Professional and knowledgeable.'

'Main strengths are client rapport and explaining matters at an appropriate level of technical detail.'

'Friendly, understanding and realistic.'

'Nick Rhodes is always willing to help and provide guidance.'

Emsleys Solicitors Limited, which has a network of offices in Leeds area, has continued to expand with more recent launches in Bristol and Cardiff. The firm sets great store in helping clients beyond the traditional duties of a law firm, carrying out home visits and providing free advice and workshops for the local community. Head of wills and probate Helen Gott is 'personable and efficient' and works 'tirelessly' on cases involving wills, probate, administration of trusts and estates, Court of Protection issues, mental incapacity and power of attorney.

Practice head(s):Helen Gott


'Very approachable and makes clients feel at ease.'

'The team, headed by Helen Gott, is my go-to team - I totally trust them to give quality advice on a range of private client matters.'

'Helen Gott is personable, efficient and works tirelessly to look after her clients.'

Key Clients

Alzheimer’s Society – Dementia Champion

Work highlights

  • Advising a HNW individual on lifetime planning using trusts and a will for inheritance tax planning.
  • Advising a family regarding a complex deputyship application for son to be appointed as deputy for his mother and for a second trustee to be appointed to sell the family home to fund care fees.
  • Acting as executors in the administration of a £2m estate with charity beneficiaries and a claim against the estate by HMRC for unpaid income tax.
  • Advising a HNW client regarding her will.
  • Advising the executor of an estate in relation to the administration. The deceased was an active partner in a law firm at the date of his death.

Gordons LLP has a 'practical, pragmatic and very strong' private client team, led by 'exceptional private client lawyer' Greg Dixon , who stepped up to lead the department after being promoted to partner in 2017. The practice includes five full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), as well as a chartered tax adviser. Main work highlights include wills, administering estates, trust advice and administration, powers of attorney, inheritance tax and succession planning for wealthy individuals, families and high-profile business leaders in the Leeds and Bradford area.

Practice head(s):Greg Dixon


'Always very accessible, helpful and practical.'

'Down to earth, caring and efficient.'

'The team works well across all disciplines and provides a comprehensive service to clients and peers. They are great at communicating and keep all parties up to date on progress.'

Work highlights

  • Acting as, and for, the executors and trustees in the administration of a complex estate valued in excess of £245m.
  • Acted as, and for, the executors of a complex estate valued in excess of £70m and in particular, undertaking significant tax planning.
  • Acting for the executor in the administration of a complex estate valued in excess of £30m.
  • Acting for the executors in the administration of a complicated estate valued in excess of £8m.

Langleys Solicitors LLP has recently invested in its private client practice with the hire of former Weightmans partner James Knowles as head of the practice in York. Knowles attracts praise for his 'enthusiastic, commercial cutting edge' approach and his work on complex trusts matters. The firm's other specialisms include advising farmers and landed estates, the structuring and dissolution of farming partnerships and inheritance-related matters.

Practice head(s):James Knowles

Other key lawyers:Serena Brotherton


'A very professional firm, offering a first class service to their clients.'

'A large firm which manages to behave and feel like a small firm with a personal touch.'

'Ed Allen and James Knowles both have a superb command of their subject, yet they both put clients at ease and conduct meetings in a very relaxed way. They listen much more than they talk, which I always think is a very good sign.'

'Ed Allen is very impressive - he demonstrates important skills such as being approachable, putting clients at ease, being friendly, responsive and diligent. Ed always makes clients feel comfortable in meetings and like their concerns are of huge importance to him. Clients have built up a good level of trust in Ed in a short period, which is hugely reassuring.'

Work highlights

  • Advised on a cross-jurisdictional estate matter involving trusts and company assets.
  • Provided inheritance tax advice for a high net worth family.
  • Handled complex administration of a landed estate including agricultural and business assets and a half secret trust.

McCormicks continues to advise trustees, settlors, beneficiaries, attorneys and deputies in relation to planning and administration of estates and court of protection matters. The firm has a longstanding relationship with the Premier League, for which it provides advice on trust structures intended to protect young and wealthy players. Peter McCormick and Elaine Lightfoot are the key lawyers in the practice.

Practice head(s):Peter McCormick; Elaine Lightfoot

Key Clients

The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt

The Premier League

Work highlights

  • Advised the executors of an estate in respect of its administration, a matter of significant value and complexity given the scope of the assets involved.
  • Advising the Premier League in respect of structures to protect young players from financial predators. The work involves detailed advice in respect of trust structures.

Ramsdens Solicitors LLP private client department in Yorkshire is led by Veronica Mullins, who has broad expertise, acting as as a professional attorney, deputy and trustee for clients, vulnerable people and organisations. The practice was boosted in 2018 by the acquisition of York firm Burn & Company, a deal which saw private client partner Mark Burn come on board. Another key member of the practice is Rachael Brook, who is based in the Slaithwaite office and mainly deals with estate administration and inheritance tax planning.

Practice head(s):Veronica Mullins; Rachel Brook

Other key lawyers:Mark Burn


'Speed of processing work is exceptional. One of my go-to solicitors for Wills and probate'.

'Chris Reynolds is an exceptional communicator, keeping me informed of work in progress at all times.  His ability to address issues and help clients with their estate planning is far above the other solicitors we have used in the area. Whilst other solicitors may take days or even in some cases weeks to get back to our clients Chris deals with enquires and process work promptly and accurately. I would recommend without hesitation'.

Huddersfield-based boutique Ridley & Hall has gone 'from strength to strength' in recent years, expanding into Leeds with the launch of a new office in 2018. With their 'specialist expertise' the firm is able to provide a service 'comparable to larger city-based firms whilst keeping fees reasonable'. Will-writing, estate planning and administration, enduring and lasting powers of attorney, deputyships, Court of Protection work and trust administration are all part of their offering, while the firm is also particularly apt at dealing with estate administration and contentious probate matters involving missing people and elder financial abuse.

Practice head(s):Jill Waddington

Other key lawyers:Helen Webster; Victoria Ridge


They work very, very hard for their clients.

Simply excellent.

Friendly, personable, caring.

Rollits LLP's private capital practice, which is led by John Lane, enjoys a strong reputation in the market. Services provided by the team include advice to family-owned businesses and landed estates.

Practice head(s):John Lane

A 'great' local firm with a solid roster of SME clients, Schofield Sweeney’s private client department is led by the 'extremely knowledgeable and helpful' Ashley Iredale , who boasts 30 years of experience in dealing with both traditional private client work and complex, multimillion-pound estates. The team also offers advice on matters relating to stamp duty land tax and family investments across three Yorkshire bases in Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford.

Practice head(s):Ashley Iredale

Other key lawyers:John Feaster; Simon Glazebrook


'Knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.'

'A team that truly puts the client at the centre of the relationship.'

'The team provides an excellent service and is proactive in finding the right solution for their clients.'

'Extremely knowledgeable and helpful and always happy to go the extra mile to get the job done.'

'They are a very down to earth team, combining technical expertise with clear communication with client.'

'Simon Glazebrook is the most holistic private client lawyer that I have worked alongside - he delivers robust and complex planning in a very easy to understand manner.'

'Ashley Iredale and Sarah Ali are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and always happy to go the extra mile to get the job done.'

'Ashley Iredale is professional, thoughtful and approachable. He works seamlessly within a broader team of advisers when dealing with complex family arrangements and has the, often overlooked, ability of being able to clearly communicate challenging concepts in simple terms. Ashley and his team provide an excellent service and are proactive in finding the right solution for their clients.'

'Sarah Hodkinson is very approachable, attentive to clients and great to work with.'

Work highlights

  • Advised clients on the restructuring of a corporate entity.
  • Advised client on litigation in their home country relating to financial abuse of a father by a family member.
  • Represented client in relation to estate planning prior to a pending private equity deal.
  • Advised a high net worth married couple on the creation of wills and trusts in a tax efficient manner for their children and grandchildren.
  • Advised a substantial business and land owner on inheritance tax planning, protection of underage beneficiaries and a substantial pension fund following his death amid his divorce.

Ward Hadaway’s private client practice works closely with the firm's corporate, commercial and family departments to provide a broader service than other more specialised firms. As well as advising on probate matters relating to high value estates, power of attorney and tax efficient gifting, the firm also handles estate planning for lottery winners - a particular specialism of practice head Andrew Evans , who also works with sports clients and high net worth entrepreneurs.

Practice head(s):Andrew Facer; Andrew Evans


'A strong, closely knit team.'

'They are well qualified and knowledgeable, but what sets them apart is that they recognise clients as people too.'

'They have good empathy and keep the conversations as jargon-free as possible.'

'Ward Hadaway offers great advice whilst not charging London prices for work.'

'They are a practice that is proud of their Northern roots and - they offer straightforward advice.'

'Andrew Evans always takes the time to really listen to client concerns - he brings an elegant simplicity to explaining jargon and concepts as clearly as possible.'

Wilkin Chapman LLP provides farmers and business owners with 'excellent quality' advice on a wide range of matters, including family succession, asset protection, tax mitigation (personal and corporate tax), mental capacity and estate and trust administration. The Beverley-based team is part of the firm's  larger private client department and is led by the 'calm and professional' Lesley Archer. She works closely with the firm’s agricultural and corporate teams on complex cases involving restructuring or terminating farming arrangements and trusts as well as trusts with private company shares.

Practice head(s):Lesley Archer


'A wealth of knowledge and expertise on hand to meet all potential problems.

'The firm always acts with wisdom, capability and assurance, which gives confidence that you are in good hands.

'Lesley Archer has a sympathetic and professional manner.'

Key Clients

STEP – Lesley Archer

STEP – Lucy Butterfint

Solicitors for the Elderly – Lucy Butterfint

Mencap Panel

Alzheimer’s Society

Camelot (National Lottery)

Probate Solicitors Network


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