Warners Solicitors > Tonbridge, England > Firm Profile

Warners Solicitors

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Warners Solicitors fields a considerable workload in contentious, criminal, regulatory, tax planning, and asset protection matters. With over four decades of experience, Steve Colville leads the department and thrives in commercial property mandates, while Michael McNally is adept in employment law. Gail Hall‘s practice encompasses lifetime tax planning, trust and estate administration, and wills. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Tonbridge.

Practice head(s):

Steve Colville

Other key lawyers:

Michael McNally; Gail Hall; Tim Ryan; Hope Flashman-Wells

Work highlights

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 3

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 3

Led by Mary Shaw, who specialises in estate planning advice for couples and families, the Tonbridge-based private client practice at Warners Solicitors fields an in-house tax team and also includes capital tax planning expert Philip Raggett. As a member of the firm’s agricultural and elderly and vulnerable team, Gail Hall advises on a range of matters including wills, lifetime tax planning, lasting powers of attorney and trust and estate administration issues. Richard Theobald advises executors on the administration of estates and restructurings for tax efficiency purposes, while full member of STEP Fiona Taylor deals with complex probate matters. Arshoo Singh joined the team from Weightmans LLP in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mary Shaw

Other key lawyers:


‘Warners has a good team, covering all the different fields. I have never had anything other than good, well-informed and helpful advice from them. The team offers a personal service, is prompt and knowledgeable, and has a professional attitude. They are quick to understand personal requirements and advise accordingly.’

‘A hugely impressive private client practice that is very client focused and responsive. Gail Hall is a stand-out talent, she is extremely bright, has a great reputation in the market and has become a go-to adviser for me on private client matters. I cannot speak highly enough of her.’

‘A very professional service. They are caring and thoughtful towards clients and explained the issues and options clearly. Fiona Taylor was kind and professional in her work with my family after my father’s death. She was readily available and managed complicated family dynamics in a sensitive way.’

‘We have found them to be helpful, quick and professional. They often ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure that things are done on time. Gail Hall is exceptional.’

‘Tracy Sales handled our cases. Tracy was calm, thorough, and compassionate. At every stage, the process and next steps were clearly explained and we were gently guided through. We felt we were in safe hands and were consistently kept up-to-date on progress. Options and alternative ways of approaching things were explained from which we were able to make informed decisions. Given the sensitivities of what we were dealing with, being looked after in this way was much appreciated.’

‘The team are very approachable, accessible and friendly. They have good broad knowledge and are able to draw on specialist knowledge across their team.’

‘Fiona Taylor has been very helpful and provided guidance through a long and complicated estate process. She has been accessible, engaged and helpful. Ultimately the process has been significantly eased through this positive engagement.’

‘In our dealings with Mary Shaw, her humanity and compassion are very evident. She listens carefully to the clients’ worries and wishes, and clarifies anything which may be confusing on either side. She has the ability to put people at ease and explain even quite complex processes in a way that is easy to understand, without being patronising. She has a “matter of fact” approach which demystifies some of the more complex or scary legal processes which need to be followed. This gives the client confidence that their business is being handled professionally.  I would not hesitate to recommend Mary and Warners to anyone needing the advice of a solicitor.’

Private client > Court of protection Tier 3

Martin Terrell  has an excellent reputation for his work at Warners Solicitors. The team covers the full range of deputyship matters. It frequently acts for the elderly (including wealthy clients and those on benefits), and those who have received damages through brain injuries. The versatile team works on contentious and non-contentious matters, and deals with diverse matters such as lasting powers of attorneys and trusts. It is skilled at advising on other related issues such as tax, welfare benefits and funding issues.

Practice head(s):

Martin Terrell


‘Martin Terrell has a detailed knowledge of the area’.

Very understanding and really put you at ease with their professional but friendly approach‘.

‘Deep knowledge of Court of Protection matters and the MCA 2005. Friendly and responsive partners and associates‘.

‘Knowledgeable, calm, diligent and client focused. Attentive to best interests of vulnerable clients’.

Warners is a regional firm but its Court of Protection team is large and extremely experienced and capable’.

Martin Terrell is a well-known and highly experienced Court of Protection and private client lawyer whom I would recommend without hesitation‘.

‘The Court of Protection Team are very proactive in their approach to managing the client’s affairs. They “think outside the box” and welcome innovative solutions that help to not only manage the properties but prevent future issues’.

‘Martin Terrell and his team are highly professional’.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 4

Warners Solicitors regularly advises on the acquisition and disposal of owner-managed businesses, particularly in the technology, financial services and agricultural sectors. Practice head Kevin Sullivan offers transactional and advisory support particularly in software and fintech-related matters. Russell Brinkhurst left the firm in April 2023 to join CooperBurnett LLP, and Andrew Hawkins joined the firm from CooperBurnett LLP in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Sullivan

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Pathlock, Inc.

Medaphor Group Plc

National Westminster Bank Plc

Mosaic Smart Data Limited

Rough Trade Retail Group Limited

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Headed by Robert Twining from Tonbridge, the team at Warners Solicitors is highly experienced in handling adverse possession claims, boundary disputes, and right of way issues. Twining focuses on all aspects of landlord and tenant disputes, while 'clear-minded operatorMichael McNally handles boundary and trespass claims. Nick McKnight covers issues arising from commercial leases. Lisa Waghorne and Hope Flashman-Wells are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Robert Twining

Other key lawyers:


‘We have known and worked with Michael McNally for many years. We think that he has an in-depth understanding of his subject.’

‘Michael McNally is a calm but firm and clear-minded operator with good experience of legal disputes. A good understanding of the rural sector.’

‘Punching well above their weight, the Warners team provide national service at a regional level. A strong understanding of the sector and excellent practical application of the law.’

‘Excellent understanding of the clients’ needs and sector go hand-in-hand with expert legal knowledge and application.’

‘The property litigation team are agricultural specialists with an in-depth understanding of the sector. Experts in leading laymen through the litigation risks associated with various approaches.’

‘My experience is that they are well-managed and have a good range of skills, from the very knowledgeable senior lawyers to the talented and capable junior lawyers.’

‘I have been very impressed with Hope Flashman-Wells. I have been impressed by the quality and speed of her work.’

‘Michael McNally is a reliable contact and has “seen it all before” so little phases him – and the work gets done.’

Key clients

Markel Legal Expenses Insurance

National Farmers Union

This highly regarded firm delivers private client services to high-net-worth and other individuals and has a focus on significant estates and trusts, as well as family law. Agricultural land is a specialism and corporate and commercial services are provided, with notable experience in intellectual property, property disputes and employment, together with criminal expertise.

The firm: Established in 1785, Warners has served the communities of the South East of England ever since. It has historically been a private client firm, having acted for several generations of the same families for more than 200 years. Over the past 20 years it has expanded to provide commercial services to leading international, London and Kent-based organisations, as well as criminal services.

The practice operates from two modern offices in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. It is known for the experience and knowledge of its partners, supported by a skilled team of assistants providing a highly responsive and practical service to all clients. Prominent organisations that instruct the firm include 21st Century Technology plc, Bell Identification BV, Black Eagle Estates, Brewin Dolphin, Fuel Oil Holdings, JM Osborne & Co, Masters of Foxhounds Association, RBS Commercial Funding, Svenska Handelsbanken and Tropifruit UK. Regular referrals are received from other law firms.

Types of work undertaken: Private client services include administering a significant number of high-net-worth estates and trusts, as well as advising individuals. Integrated advice is provided on tax and financial matters, using the experience of in-house accountancy professionals, as well as solicitors. The practice has close ties to farmers, landowners and landed estates provide support for its highly rated agricultural practice, from tenancies to land tribunal cases, boundary disputes, land sales and purchases, equine disputes and disputes over sporting rights.

As one of the leading family practices in the South East, Warners offers mediation and collaborative services, as well as court case expertise. It acts for many international clients and advises on cases with multi-million pounds of assets as well as smaller matters with highly complex issues.

Commercial property is a growing focus for national and regional clients. The corporate team specialises in mergers and acquisitions for owner-managed businesses as well as UK-based multinationals. Intellectual property expertise includes software and technology licensing and distribution. Employment is a specialism, with notable expertise in countryside and country sports matters.

All aspects of civil and commercial litigation are handled, including property matters in courts and tribunals. Niche expertise is provided in Japanese knotweed cases. Criminal expertise includes all regular and serious crimes including countryside issues, such as illegal hunting and breaches of animal welfare, as well as environmental issues.

Other offices: Sevenoaks

Department Name Email Telephone
Private Client Mary Shaw m.shaw@warners.law
Commercial Property Mark Davis m.davis@warners.law
Residential Property John McAuliffe j.mcauliffe@warners.law
Family Law Matthew Aves m.aves@warners.law
Corporate, Commercial & IP Kevin Sullivan k.sullivan@warners.law
Criminal & Regulatory Offences Tim Ryan t.ryan@warners.law
Agricultural Law Steve Colville s.colville@warners.law
Employment Louise Brenlund l.brenlund@warners.law
Court of Protection Martin Terrell m.terrell@warners.law
Number of UK partners : 26
Number of other UK fee-earners : 50
England & Wales Law Society
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE)
Resolution Accredited with particular specialisms in Children Law and Private
Agricultural Law Association
National Farmers Union
NFU - Legal Panel Member :