Firm Profile > Hunters Law LLP > London, England

Hunters Law LLP

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Hunters Law LLP fields an experienced team that advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters for rural and agricultural businesses and properties. It acts for approximately 90 landed estates, which include a mixture of tenanted and ‘in hand’ farms spread across the UK, a number of which have heritage properties or houses that are open to the public. Other core strengths include advising on fine arts and chattels in country houses, as well as having considerable expertise in areas as diverse as trust and tax planning, family and matrimonial law, and development and planning issues. The practice is skilled at advising on the preservation of family businesses through the creation of family trusts and asset ownership structures. Lucinda Tite and Peter Robinson co-lead the department. Other key members of the group include Alexandra SarkisJames Vernor-Miles and 'meticulous' senior associate Jonathan Thompson.

Practice head(s):


‘The lawyers have got all aspects of rural law covered, with experienced leaders and a team of very knowledgeable and capable solicitors. Peter Robinson is unfazed by complex legal issues, and keeps the client and other advisers updated with easy-to-follow advice

When advice and help is required it is available immediately and on a very personal basis. This style of relationship is provided at partner and associate level

Jonathan Thompson was very pleasant, polite and very quickly understood exactly what was required. He handled it all tactfully and efficiently, dealing with any issues or complications and effectively laying out the options, but clearly working with my best interests as central

Jonathan Thompson is legally meticulous. He has worked diligently

 ‘Hunters handled the deal extremely efficiently, The process went very smoothly with all issues clearly explained in layman’s English, with the options, where appropriate, explained clearly with pros and cons laid out

In my experience, those who have been responsible for my family, dating back well over 50 years, have all been immensely friendly and helpful, and that tradition has been carried on with the present-day partnership. I would particularly draw attention to Jonathan Thompson

Art and cultural property Tier 2

Under the leadership of Hetty Gleave, the multi-disciplinary team at Hunters Law LLP advises auctioneers, valuers, dealers and galleries, as well as collectors and public and private institutions, on a broad array of contentious and non-contentious matters. Areas of expertise include title disputes and questions of misattribution, in addition to Holocaust-era restitution claims, excavated and exported goods, fakes and money-laundering issues. Dispute resolution remains a significant area of work for the team, which includes three mediators and one arbitrator. In addition, the practice is adept at handling the sale and acquisition of important artworks and collectables, as well as advising the owners of estates and other heritage property on diverse tax matters. Gleave is the deputy chair of the Treasure Valuation Committee and a director and panel mediator with Art Resolve, where key team member Gregor Kleinknecht is also a panel mediator and arbitrator.

Practice head(s):


We value Gregor Kleinknecht’s tailored, client-based approach, whereby he takes pains to understand our concerns, what we are seeking to achieve and our budget, before presenting the options and following through as agreed

‘The team offers an exceptional service. Gregor Kleinknecht is outstanding, with a profound understanding of issues relating to art law. Hetty Gleave is also superb’

Hetty Gleave is superb. Gregor Kleinknecht knows the art market like the back of his hand. Petra Warrington is an exceptionally bright and competent junior, who is really making a name for herself in the art world

‘Hetty and Petra are both hardworking and diligent. Hetty is very well known in this area, especially in the field of art mediation

It is an experienced team

Hunters provides an excellent boutique service in this field. It is a very committed and close-knit team and I would recommend it unreservedly

Hunters is one of a small number of firms with a real focus on the art law field, offering an exceptional service

Key clients

Ali Jeddi

Family Tier 2

Hunters Law LLP fields a 'super team with a wealth of experience', which acts largely for high-net-worth clients on the full range of issues from relationship inception to breakdown. The majority of its caseload relates to complex, high-value financial claims on divorce. Team head Henry Hood is particularly recommended for cases involving dynastic family assets, while Richard Kershaw frequently advises wives in private equity cases. Hetty Gleave has expertise in the art world and extensive finance and private law children practices, with a particular focus on child abduction and relocation. Both Jay Patel and newly promoted partner Amy Scollan are well regarded for their international work. Jo Carr-West is another key figure.

Practice head(s):


‘A really excellent firm. Strength across the board in the family team and at all levels from senior partners to associates. Providing excellent value for money. Dedicated and committed and extremely supportive of its clients – providing sound and realistic advice with a proper eye on costs

All of the partners are extremely able, headed up by the king of rainmakers, the indomitable Henry Hood. The department now also has some of the best associates in London. It has such strength throughout

Henry Hood is extremely good, sensible and a very safe pair of hands – a class act who makes clients do the right thing

Henry Hood is urbane, charming and highly experienced. He keeps the temperature down in potentially acrimonious litigation. He is unflappable and committed to his clients, providing them with confidence, and gives sensible and pragmatic advice with a keen eye on costs

‘Jo Carr-West is very able and warm. She gives sensitive and sensible advice and has great client management skills. Hetty Gleave is extremely hardworking and fiercely committed to her clients. She gives excellent, balanced advice and is sensible and tough when it’s needed

Richard Kershaw is the most accomplished and hardworking solicitor. His analysis of the law is first rate, his client care unparalleled and the results he achieves for his clients way beyond what could reasonably be expected. Hetty Gleave and Jo Carr-West are also absolutely excellent

‘Amy Scollan is extremely bright and able and utterly committed to clients. She thinks outside the box and is excellent  both on the detail and the wider picture. Nicole Derham is very smart, able and always cool under pressure

Jay Patel has a level-headed, calm approach but is determined. He is easy and pleasant to deal with, very approachable, always available for queries and efficient

Family: mediation Tier 2

Experienced and 'extremely effective' mediator Henry Hood heads the team at Hunters Law LLP, which also includes the 'first-rateJo Carr-West, who is skilled in co-mediating with therapeutic providers and is noted for her expertise in high-value financial remedy work. Jay Patel offers mediation in English and Gujarati and Hetty Gleave’s mediation experience spans both family and commercial cases. Hazel Wright has retired.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Henry Hood is an extremely effective mediator: his experience and charm give him the magic touch for unlocking intractable problems’

Henry Hood is an excellent mediator. He has a warm and conversational approach that puts clients at ease. He draws on his experience to move past issues and guide clients to be solution focused

Jo Carr-West is a first-rate mediator. Balanced and calm, she inspires confidence in her clients and can steer her way through the trickiest of mediations

Jo Carr-West is a standout mediator, who is able to work with clients from all walks of life. She has a proven track record and has delivered great results for clients

‘Jo-Carr West has a knowledgeable, pragmatic and sensible approach which means clients are in excellent hands and will make progress in mediation with her. She is fairly directive as a mediator, which results in a focused and effective mediation process, while being eminently compassionate and user-friendly from a client perspective

‘The family team seems cohesive and well coordinated. Jo Carr-West is a great mediator and an extremely sensible and capable lawyer’

‘This is a strong team with in-depth experience in mediation. The lawyers work in conjunction with other family law professionals such as therapists. They provide a reliable service’

Jay Patel works collaboratively with other solicitors on cases whilst striving to get the best outcome for his clients. He is sensible in his advice and works productively with others to reach a resolution. He is an experienced and diligent lawyer’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Hunters Law LLP has acted for many families over multiple generations and succession planning is at the cornerstone of the practice. The firm has a strong landed estate practice and acts for over 60 estates across England, Wales and Scotland, many of which are held through complex structures involving partnerships, companies and trusts. Clients range from highly successful property moguls and business entrepreneurs with domestic and international interests to traditional farming businesses and houses that are open to the public. It is experienced in advising wealthy clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions. The department has a 'personal feel' and is led by the well regarded Alexandra Sarkis and Lucinda Tite.

Practice head(s):


‘I have found that there is a very wide range of top-quality expertise available in its partners so that the firm can deal with the more esoteric areas of law (art restitution for example) that I would not expect to find elsewhere’

‘I find the philosophy that runs through the staff of being conscious of keeping client costs to a minimum very reassuring

‘Overall, I feel that Hunters is on my side and we are a team, working well together

‘Alexandra Sarkis is an outstanding lawyer. We say this having regard to her profound knowledge of her specialty, her presentation and clarity of mind, and the clarity of her explanations of legal issues

Alex Sarkis inspires absolute confidence and displays great efficiency, patience, understanding, attention to detail and a wealth of knowledge, coupled with a sound and carefully considered judgement – all qualities one would hope and expect to see in an ideal lawyer and adviser. In summary, we hugely appreciate Alex, her advice and her guidance

The team at Hunters is excellent. It is very client friendly and always provides practical advice which is easy to follow. The lawyers punch above their weight as compared with other private client firms

‘Wilfrid Vernor-Miles knows his clients very well and provides very comprehensive and easy-to-understand advice in respect of very complex issues

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Hunters Law LLP's experienced team acts for a broad range of charities, schools, sports clubs and humanitarian organisations. Other key clients include religious societies, staff associations, trade unions and various not-for-profit organisations. Paul Almy and Dominik Opaliński lead the team, which advises charities on the full array of issues. Opaliński has particular expertise in advising on safeguarding audits and investigations; he also has considerable international experience. Wilfrid Vernor-Miles advises on all aspects of charity formation, regulation and administration.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


A forward-thinking firm producing consistently excellent work in the area of international safeguarding, justice and redress schemes, and consistently seeking to provide clients with the best advice built on technical excellence and an awareness of policy and its direction

Dominik Opaliński is consistently alert, careful and resourceful. He responds to the client’s concerns, circling back to ensure that all tasks are performed’

‘Dominik Opaliński is culturally aware, conducting himself effectively and appropriately when meeting with victims, senior government officials and members of the diplomatic corp. Dominik really understands diversity. A consummate civil society warrior

This firm earns considerable loyalty from its clients. Though small in size it punches above its weight. Paul Almy is very effective with clients – he is sensitive, with sound instincts and good contacts’

‘Dominik Opaliński is highly enthusiastic and hardworking, always willing to go the extra mile for his clients’

Dominik Opaliński has enormous energy, enthusiasm and calm client-handling skills. Wilfrid Vernor-Miles is another member of this firm whose knowledge of and connections within the charity sector are second to none’

Paul Almy stands out as especially well versed and experienced in all aspects of charity property, as well as the trust arrangements which may be relevant to  these transactions

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

The team at Hunters Law LLP is led by Richard Kershaw, who specialises in family law and the contentious matters that arise out of relationship-generated trust and Inheritance Act disputes. The practice receives a steady flow of onshore and offshore instructions, acting for trustees and beneficiaries as well as landed clients and City professionals on a range of trust and probate matters in the Court of Protection and the Chancery Division. David Draisey has a broad range of experience in complex trust and probate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Total honesty and attention to detail. Richard Kershaw has been my solicitor for over 11 years. His devotion to each case and attention to detail is outstanding’

A high level of client care among a highly skilful team based in the heart of Chancery legal London

David Draisey is an emotionally intelligent, capable, young and dynamic practitioner

Richard Kershaw is an experienced and well-regarded trust and family law practitioner

‘Hunters is a long-established and very experienced private client firm with strengths both in technical non-contentious trust and estate work and litigation

Richard Kershaw is a strong private client litigator. David Draisey is a rising star in private client work’

A rare mix of toughness with the opposition and sensitivity to its own clients means that its clients are devoted to the team, and rightly so. The lawyers carry the heaviest cases with ease, and never lose sight of the human issues which underlie them

‘Richard Kershaw is an absolute master of all the arts. He can be hard when that works, or gentle if that helps. And he still manages to retain a sense of humour. David Draisey is an imaginative as well as dedicated litigator. You do not want to see him on the other side

Hunters is an integrated medium sized all service partnership providing expert legal advice for today’s clients. The partners are known for their approachability and work together to provide an efficient and comprehensive professional service.

The firm: The firm has practised from its 17th century premises in Lincoln’s Inn for over 300 years, a mark of the firm’s stability and permanence. This continuity is reflected in the lasting service given to clients old and new.

The firm concentrates on looking after its clients’ individual needs; a partner is personally responsible for every client. This special relationship, often built up over many years, is the bedrock of the practice.

Since 2011 the firm has expanded significantly. In April 2011 it merged with private client firm Vernor-Miles & Noble, which significantly increased its private client, property and charity client base. Over the following 18 months five new partners joined the firm, one in business service, charity and litigation and two in family. Further, in February 2014, the firm merged with boutique firm Klein Solicitors, which specialises in international disputes resolution and business transactions as well as having a well developed expertise in both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property and art law. This complements the firm’s increasing art and heritage law practice.

On 1 April 2015, Hunters merged with private client firm May May & Merrimans. By joining forces, the firm now has one of the largest private client departments in the country, with the expertise and resources required to maintain the highest standards in what has become a very specialist area.

Types of work undertaken: The firm is best known for its longstanding expertise in acting for private individuals and trustees. The private client services include all aspects of tax planning, trusts and settlements, wills and probate and income tax. Heritage property is an area of special expertise, including exemption from inheritance tax and the establishment of maintenance funds. The firm has expanded its international work advising both UK domiciled and non-domiciled clients on all aspects of their affairs. The firm’s landed estates expertise is an important practice area, with the firm acting for over 65 landed estates.

The property department handles all aspects of conveyancing and landlord and tenant matters relating to domestic and commercial property, and agricultural and landed estates. The firm also undertakes a significant amount of banking security work and handles a wide range of commercial property work, including development, construction and all aspects of secured lending, much of it for charity and institutional clients.

The family department offers expertise in all aspects of family law, particularly in relation to high value ancillary relief and complex pre and post nuptial agreements, plus child law issues, both public and private, domestic and international. The department also has an established ADR capability with many of the team being qualified and experienced mediators and collaborative lawyers.

The firm has a substantial and well established background in charity law work, giving pragmatic and practical advice to a broad range of national and private charities. The work includes the formation and administration of charities, charity schemes, housing association work and all legal matters with which the firm’s charity clients become involved.

The firm has a significant dispute resolution department which deals with all civil matters ranging from personal injury to contract disputes, bailment and disputes as to title and contentious trust and probate matters. It also has expertise in the law of cultural property, both contentious and non contentious. This complements the firm’s company/commercial work, which covers all aspects of private company law, partnerships, commercial contracts, acquisitions and disposals. As with its private client work, the firm’s practice has an increasing international focus, which has been enhanced since the merger with Klein solicitors.

The amount of employment work undertaken by the firm has increased in recent years. This includes representing clients on contentious matters at employment tribunals, as well as advising on and drafting employment contracts, disciplinary and grievous procedures and all other related matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Paul Almy
Private client Wilfrid Vernor-Miles
Private client Lucinda Tite
Family Henry Hood
Art & Cultural Property Hetty Gleave
Charity Paul Almy
Dispute resolution Richard Kershaw
Business services Stephen Morrall
Residential property James Vernor-Miles
Commercial property Peter Robinson
Landed estates James Vernor-Miles
Landed estates Peter Robinson
Intellectual Property Gregor Kleinknecht
Photo Name Position Profile
 Paul Almy  photo Paul Almy Senior Partner, specialising in all aspects of charity law, and handles commercial…
 Lara Barton  photo Lara Barton Partner in the private client department specialising in wills, trusts, administration of…
 Jo Carr-West  photo Jo Carr-West Partner in the family department. Jo has broad experience of the complex…
 David Draisey  photo David Draisey Partner dealing with a wide range of contentious issues with particular expertise…
 Mary Elliott  photo Mary Elliott Partner specialising in wills and estate planning, trusts and related tax issues,…
 Hetty Gleave  photo Hetty Gleave Partner dealing with all aspects of family law, particular divorce and complex…
 Jonathan Godwin-Austen  photo Jonathan Godwin-Austen Jonathan is a Partner with over 20 years’ experience in tax and…
 Henry Hood  photo Henry Hood Partner and head of the family department dealing with all aspects of…
 Richard Kershaw  photo Richard Kershaw Partner specialising in matrimonial and family work, particularly complex financial proceedings and…
 Gregor Kleinknecht  photo Gregor Kleinknecht Partner in the Dispute Resolution and Business Services departments with a broadly…
 Ian Layzell-Smith  photo Ian Layzell-Smith Partner specialising in commercial and agricultural property work.
 Gerald Moran  photo Gerald Moran Consultant dealing with a wide variety of property work (agricultural, commercial and…
 Stephen Morrall  photo Stephen Morrall Corporate partner advising companies, partnerships and entrepreneurs on all aspects of their…
 Dominik Opaliński  photo Dominik Opaliński Partner, dealing with all aspects of charity law, particularly the business of…
 Jay Patel  photo Jay Patel Jay is a partner in the family practice who specialises in international…
 Julia Richards  photo Julia Richards Julia has strong trusts expertise and a particular interest in landed estates…
 Peter Robinson  photo Peter Robinson Partner specialising in commercial property work. Peter acts for clients in all…
 Alexandra Sarkis  photo Alexandra Sarkis Alexandra qualified with May, May & Merrimans in 1984, becoming a partner…
 Amy Scollan  photo Amy Scollan Partner with significant experience in divorce and finance cases which often involve…
 Charlotte Simm  photo Charlotte Simm Partner in private client department. Areas of work include: estate, tax and…
 Lucinda Tite  photo Lucinda Tite Partner and joint head of private client department specialising in tax planning…
 Wilfrid Vernor-Miles  photo Wilfrid Vernor-Miles Partner in, and joint head of, the private client department specialising in…
 James Vernor-Miles  photo James Vernor-Miles Partner specialising in Property and Landed estates work. He also has extensive…
 Louise Walker  photo Louise Walker Partner in the private client department, specialising in will and trust drafting,…
 Petra Warrington  photo Petra Warrington Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution and Business Services department with experience…
 Vanina Wittenburg  photo Vanina Wittenburg Associate in the private client department specialising in wills, administration of estates,…
 Matthew Yates  photo Matthew Yates Partner in the private client department specialising in wills, trusts, administration of…
Number of UK partners : 28
Number of other UK fee-earners : 22
Chinese (Cantonese
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Agricultural Law Association
International Bar Association (IBA)