Firm Profile > Sinclair Gibson LLP > London, England

Sinclair Gibson LLP

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Sinclair Gibson LLP has an agile team that advises on the full array of complex issues from the establishment and ongoing administration of trusts to lifetime tax planning and family office services. It combines extensive experience in advising UK-based families and landed estates on wealth structuring and devolution planning with a specialist practice of advising international clients on multi-jurisdictional issues and cross-border estates. The group is led by Keith Bruce-Smith and Lucy Gibson, who both act as fiduciaries of substantial UK and offshore trusts and are also non-executive directors of UK companies owned by the families they advise.

Practice head(s):

Keith Bruce-Smith; Lucy Gibson

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Walsh; Elizabeth Fordham


‘Sinclair Gibson is one of the key firms in the private client world – hugely respected by its peers especially for technical expertise. Its lawyers are often our first choice where independent advice is required. Keith Bruce-Smith is one of the true elder statesmen of the private client world and a superb handler of difficult clients. Associates are well trained and responsive – rising to the challenge of responsibility early in the careers‘.

‘Continuity, consideration, adaptability and looking at the whole picture. Friendly, approachable and responds to communications super fast‘.

Every part of this company is outstanding. Lucy Gibson is amazing. Her knowledge, efficiency and caring nature is exceptional. The support I received from Lucy not only for myself but for the other professional companies I use alongside Lucy is unrivalled!‘.

‘Brilliant client focus and an ability to take a step back and re-appraise even the most complex of international ownership structures and repeatedly bring “fresh” thinking to situations to improve client outcomes. Fantastic team players who have settled in brilliantly to a very established group of advisers. Keith Bruce-Smith has a wealth of experience and wisdom and has an ability to bring fresh and current thinking to a wide range of complex challenges. Keith has outstanding client care attributes, energy and enthusiasm to bring progressive solutions demonstrating outstanding value in the process‘.

Sinclair Gibson LLP is absolutely first rate in the private client practice, with deep experience and expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional planning and litigation. All of the partners are impressive as are the associates – Lucy Gibson is a top advisor, with keen intelligence, excellent judgement built on deep experience, and a practical approach to difficult problems. She is particularly impressive in leading a team of lawyers from various jurisdictions in complex cross-border  matters and coordinating advice with leading QCs. She is experienced, knowledgeable and can juggle the complexities of various legal systems masterfully. We work with her regularly. She is a brilliant and loyal ally, and a fierce opponent‘.

‘Sinclair Gibson has excellent credentials and knowledge in this area. Being a specialist firm means that the lawyers know the area inside out, so that the service that clients receive is first rate. Both Lucy Gibson and Keith Bruce-Smith are excellent lawyers with outstanding client skills. Eleanor Walsh also really knows her stuff as well as being incredibly hardworking. They know the area inside out. They are supported by excellent associates/consultants/solicitors including Elizabeth Fordham‘.

‘Very capable and proficient private client team, with excellent partner leadership.  Keith Bruce-Smith – an outstanding non-contentious partner who is fully across all the technical trusts and tax aspects of trusteeship and trust transactions‘.

Key clients

Executors of the estate of the late Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath

Executors of the estate of the late Guy Innes-Ker, 10th Duke of Roxburghe

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Sinclair Gibson LLP ’s work primarily consists of advising on trust and probate disputes as well as claims under the Inheritance Act 1975. It frequently advises on Court of Protection proceedings on behalf of minors and others who lack capacity to conduct their affairs where partners also take on appointments as deputies and act as litigation friends. The team is well-placed to advise on appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Alison Meek and Henry Hickman both head the department.

Practice head(s):

Alison Meek; Henry Hickman


‘Alison Meek is really easy going and looks to act in her clients’ best interests. The story about the creation of the firm appeals to clients – the lawyers are business people as well as lawyers. Alison Meek – one of my favourite litigators – she is really clever, hardworking and passionate about her clients’ rights.

A team that punches well above its weight given the size of the firm. Alison Meek is a really tenacious litigator but with so much experience she knows how and when to go about settling cases in a constructive and effective manner.’

Very competent advisers for legal contentious cases. Alison Meek: Probably the best adviser that I have encountered for advice in a contentious case. She is not afraid of giving advice to stop a pursuit of another party if she feels that it will in the end prejudice her client.’

This is a niche private client firm offering really excellent service. The contentious team is really great. Alison Meek has an incredible grasp of how people work and sees straight through disputes to what really matters. She is a really fearsome adversary with a strong sense of what is right and how a matter will work out. One of my favourite firms!

‘The firm is a small firm with the capacity to handle complex international trust and estates structuring and related disputes with aplomb. Its members have a profoundly knowledgeable, sympathetic and intelligent approach to solving complex problems to obtain the best outcomes for their clients. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Henry Hickman is a tenacious and subtle litigation strategist with the ability to adapt quickly to new situations in order to exploit them to full advantage for the benefit of his clients.’

Family Tier 3

The family department at Sinclair Gibson LLP advises on all aspects of family law, but is best known for its work in advising high-net-worth clients on complex financial remedy claims and pre/post-nuptial agreements. The team is also well regarded for its work in private children matters. The firm’s clients are typically high and ultra-high net worth individuals and wealthy professionals including a significant proportion who are neither UK resident nor UK domiciled. Kathryn Peat leads the department and her practice encompasses substantial financial remedy cases, children matters, nuptial agreements and multi-jurisdictional issues. Senior associate Beth Mason is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Peat

Other key lawyers:

Beth Mason


‘This practice is unique. From the instant I contacted Kathryn Peat at Sinclair Gibson I felt in safe hands. Kathryn inspired complete trust and confidence, without which I would have really struggled to pursue the case. Kathryn Peat inspires complete trust and confidence. She has built a truly amazing team. Beth Mason was exceptional. She listened, advised clearly, reassured, guided, and responded by return.  Beth combined her forensic legal execution with unrivalled interpersonal ability. She secured a most welcome result‘.

‘Kathryn Peat has excellent judgment and great case management skills. She guides her clients with great skill, achieving the best possible outcomes‘.

‘Dynamic, hardworking and some of the best client care in London. Kathryn Peat is one of the best family lawyers working today. She has more experience than almost anyone else, she writes a formidable letter and her clients rightly worship her. She is a brilliant family lawyer with excellent judgement and takes on the hardest cases‘.

‘A top rated law firm, with a wonderfully human touch. Kathryn Peat is first class. She is able to handle complex finances at the same time as understanding the needs of clients and their children. Hard to beat‘.

One of the very best boutique firms in London offering magic circle quality at much more competitive prices. It provides a superb service for clients and clients always know they are getting the very best quality advice at all times. Kathryn Peat has enormous experience and it shows. She is on top of her game and has a wonderfully soothing and calm exterior which pours oil on the most troubled waters. Beth Mason is a fabulous lawyer and one to watch for the future. She understands her cases inside out and is always able to think outside the box‘.

‘The team goes above and beyond for clients and supports them throughout the process. There is close attention to detail, and briefs and documents are well prepared. Clients are well advised and the team balances fighting a client’s corner with sound expectation management’.

‘The family team, headed by Kathryn Peat, is a growing force in the field. Kathryn Peat is a very wise owl; she has been there and seen it so often that nothing fazes her. She is assisted by Beth Mason who is a guaranteed ‘partner-to-be’. Beth has an assured manner, and lovely client skills’.

Amazing group of lawyers. Kathryn Peat certainly stands out as the most extraordinary lawyer I have come across. Unbelievable work ethic, but also an amazing understanding of the bigger picture and how everything ties together to achieve what really matters. She is very tough, but also a highly skilled negotiator, and can bring issues to a resolution even when they look impossible. She is also very compassionate, and is truly interested in all individuals within the affected family, and so her recommendations have even more weight. I cannot recommend her highly enough’.


The firm: Sinclair Gibson is a specialist firm, based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London, focused on the needs of the private client and private client adviser through its three complementary practice areas of private client, litigation and family law.

Sinclair Gibson, which was set up in 2019, represents a return to the core work that the founding partners have always enjoyed and valued and continues to move away from the expansionist business model reliant on compartmentalisation, juniors and precedent-led work increasingly prevalent in the market.

The firm’s model places an emphasis on bespoke advice from experienced, partner-led teams with many of the firm’s practitioners having competence and proficiency across the conventional departmental demarcation, allowing teams for individual matters to span two or more practice areas depending on specific needs.

This ensures that clients benefit from high quality and robust advice, rooted in independent and intelligent thinking as well as extensive experience. This expertise, coupled with individual partners’ personable and pragmatic approach, has resulted in long standing relationships with clients who recognise that Sinclair Gibson is committed to delivering excellent and relevant advice in all aspects of private client law.

Types of work undertaken: 

Private client: the private client practice of Sinclair Gibson is led by Keith Bruce-Smith, a partner with over 30 years’ experience. He is one of the authors of two precedent books on trusts and wills and original co-editor of an international law trust compendium. He and Lucy Gibson, widely acclaimed for her international trust and estate law expertise, act for a wide range of UK- and overseas-based individuals and trustees.

Litigation: headed by Alison Meek, the firm’s vastly experienced and well-regarded litigation practice acts for private clients specialising in acting for private individuals, charities and trust companies in trust litigation, succession and probate disputes and inheritance claims.  It also undertakes commercial litigation in the High Court (Commercial Court) and offshore.

Family law: Kathryn Peat leads the family law practice. She deals in particular with high-value and international matrimonial cases and those involving children. Roger Cobden-Ramsay, now a consultant, has acted in a number of landmark family law cases and specialises in complex multi-jurisdictional financial remedies claims. Together they advise on all legal issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage and other relationships, as well as on nuptial agreements and child-related matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Private client, tax and trusts Keith Bruce-Smith 0207 539 4710
Private client, tax and trusts Lucy Gibson 0207 539 4712
Litigation Alison Meek 0207 539 4737
Litigation Henry Hickman 0207 539 4738
Family Kathryn Peat 0207 539 4722
Private client, tax and trusts Eleanor Walsh 020 7539 4713
Photo Name Position Profile
 Oliver Bishop  photo Oliver Bishop Solicitor Oliver is a solicitor in Sinclair Gibson’s Private Client Department. He…
 Keith Bruce-Smith photo Keith Bruce-Smith Keith is a senior private client tax and trusts lawyer with over…
 Roger Cobden-Ramsay  photo Roger Cobden-Ramsay Roger is a senior divorce solicitor. With over 30 years of experience…
 Elizabeth Fordham  photo Elizabeth Fordham Elizabeth specialises in private client trust and tax law. Much of her…
 Laura Gabrel  photo Laura Gabrel
 Lucy Gibson  photo Lucy Gibson Lucy Gibson is a private client trust and tax lawyer. She primarily…
 Amelia Groom  photo Amelia Groom Solicitor Amelia is a solicitor in Sinclair Gibson’s Private Client department having…
 Henry Hickman  photo Henry Hickman Henry’s clients include private clients, privately owned companies, trustees, family offices and…
 Lily Hurley  photo Lily Hurley Lily is a solicitor in Sinclair Gibson’s Family Office Services Group having…
 Beth Mason  photo Beth Mason Described in The Legal 500 as “superb”, Beth specialises in divorce and…
 Alison Meek  photo Alison Meek Alison leads Sinclair Gibson’s contentious trust and estates team. She has extensive…
 Xanthy Papageorgiou  photo Xanthy Papageorgiou Xanthy is a solicitor in the Family department. She advises on all…
 Kathryn Peat  photo Kathryn Peat Kathryn has specialised in family law for over 30 years. Her practice…
 Judith Robertson  photo Judith Robertson Judith is a private client tax and trusts solicitor. She primarily advises…
 Hannah Southon  photo Hannah Southon Consultant Hannah acts for private clients and professional trustees, advising on a…
 Katie Walsh  photo Katie Walsh Solicitor Katie is a solicitor in Sinclair Gibson’s Private Client department. Katie…
 Eleanor Walsh  photo Eleanor Walsh Partner Eleanor specialises in private client tax and trust law. She acts…
 Amy Williams  photo Amy Williams   Amy works in the litigation department, as part of the contentious…
Number of UK partners : 7
Number of other UK fee-earners : 17

TESTIMONIAL: A divorce is obviously a very painful and emotional process to go through and not an experience one can ever be proudly comfortable with. Kathryn’s advice was first class and her understanding of the details in my case were outstanding. However, in my opinion, the most important factor in highly recommending Kathryn was that she made me feel better about the situation whenever I called in a panic. She kept me calm and positive about the process and at all times helped me be see that reasonable and sensible behaviour on my part was the only way I could look back and say at all times I did the right thing. For that I will always be grateful.

TESTIMONIAL: Kathryn Peat has been our family lawyer for almost 8 years. She has been an incredible support for the family, a true guiding light when we were struggling to find a way forward, and highly focused on achieving the right outcome. Our situation has many layers of complexities, often with issues interwoven into the mix making it hard to present a clear case. But Kathryn always saw through the complexities, and would present a clear compelling case, and then lead everything to the hoped-for outcome even when it looked almost impossible to achieve. Kathryn also has the most extraordinary work ethic – putting the family she supports ahead of everything. I have had to contact her from time zones from the other side of the world, on weekends, on her holidays and regardless, she immediately responded, supported, guided and led to a solution. I do not believe that my family could have the life we have right now, with all the opportunities that it present for the children (and even for me) without her invaluable support, advice, guidance, and execution.

TESTIMONIAL: When I first met Kathryn Peat I was going through a crucial time in my life. Years of marriage that had to be left behind in the best possible way. Kathryn Peat helped me at all times and advised me on all the details of the process. Being alone in London and as a foreigner, my legal position was special but her knowledge made it possible to obtain a fair trial. Kathryn proved to be an excellent woman above all, as well as her commitment to me and to my case throughout all time. I will never be grateful enough to her and her entire team.

TESTIMONIAL: I instructed Sinclair Gibson to litigate my divorce following a personal recommendation from a friend who told me that “They have given me my life back”. Divorcing my husband has been complicated, I expected the worse and he has been determined to be difficult about every stage of the process. However in every regard Kathryn and her team not only conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and used their full

knowledge of the law to represent me in the best possible way, they have also shown support, kindness and empathy for my circumstances. At a vulnerable time, I have felt secure in their hands and trust them to achieve the best possible solutions.

TESTIMONIAL: We as a family have had a long standing relationship with the firm but particular with Alison Meek, during which we have had both ups and downs. With Alison’s gentle but firm manner, we have always respected and listened to Alison’s recommendations, and we believe her acts have always been in our families best interest. The team with Alison are very professional and know how to deal with all types of personalities in the best possible way, they are highly qualified and I would do it all over again with Alison if we had too. I recommend the practice as well as ALISON highly.

TESTIMONIAL: Over the past decade I have had occasion to instruct Alison on various matters involving contentious issues relating to Trusts.

The advice that she has given has always been excellent and pragmatic even if in some instances it was not always what was expected or in the clients’ case the most welcome.

Her wide experience and detailed knowledge of her area of specialty contribute to and inspire confidence in the advice that she gives.

She has a very real ability to identify not only the strengths of a case, but also, and probably more importantly, its weaknesses and to tailor her advice to the most practical way of solving the problems that are presented to enable a satisfactory conclusion.

I know that she is rightly held in very high respect by other members of her profession who have instructed her.

I cannot give higher praise that to say that I have instructed her to represent my own interests in the past and I would not hesitate to recommend that she act for anyone who required help and advice in her specialist field.

TESTIMONIAL: Divorce proceedings can be overwhelming but from the moment I walked into Kathryn’s office, I knew I was in safe and capable hands. Her vast experience and considerable legal expertise combined with a calm, pragmatic and common sense approach gave me all the support and reassurance I needed during a complex and protracted divorce. She brings to the table a formidable combination of intellectual incisiveness, integrity and sensitivity with a focus on seeking resolutions.

Kathryn takes a genuine interest in her clients’ welfare and is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for them in order that they can move on with their lives. I greatly appreciated her invaluable advice and compassion when issues arose involving our children. If you are looking for a family law firm where client care is paramount, I cannot recommend Kathryn Peat and her team at Sinclair Gibson highly enough.

TESTIMONIAL: Kathryn Peat at Sinclair Gibson has supported me during my divorce negotiations. Kathryn came highly recommended and has worked tirelessly in helping me through an extremely difficult period. Kathryn has provided robust counsel on both legal and strategic matters during an extremely contentious process. Kathryn’s experience has been invaluable in balancing the appropriate level of engagement with the other side in order to protect my position. I in turn would have no hesitation in recommending Sinclair Gibson.

TESTIMONIAL: Kathryn Peat helped me through a very difficult period of my life. Her stellar professionalism is second to none and she has been able to combine wisdom and sound judgement with empathy – rare qualities indeed. I cannot thank her enough.

TESTIMONIAL: Kathryn Peat has been my divorce lawyer recently and has done a fantastic job not only fighting for me but also protecting my interests and advising me along every step of the way. Kathryn and her assistant Jane’s demeanour and etiquette constantly made me feel at ease and confident even during the most trying of times and circumstances. All communications were replied to without delay. Kathryn’s knowledge of the law and the associated system were invaluable. I was never once in doubt that I was in the best possible hands. Thank you, Kathryn!

TESTIMONIAL: I have found Kathryn and the team at Sinclair Gibson nothing but professional, responsive and empathetic. Whilst I am still at the start of what I know will be a difficult journey, to have a team as capable and proactive is incredibly reassuring at such a difficult time. Kathryn has been a real help when it comes to understanding my options and the right course of action whilst also offering sage advice along the way. I have been hugely impressed and have already recommended their services to friends.