Firm Profile > Wilsons > Salisbury, England
ST JOHNS STREET
Wilsons > The Legal 500 Rankings
Wilsons advises on contentious trust, probate and legacy administration problems as well as on proceedings in the Court of Protection including statutory will applications. The firm is also experienced in assisting with actions by or against trustees of landed estates and cross-border trust disputes. Practice head James Aspden covers claims concerning the validity and effect of wills, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and undue influence claims.
Wilsons advises high-net-worth individuals and families on the transfer and inheritance of business, land and real estate assets. The practice also handles the establishment and structuring of offshore trusts for farms and landed estates, which involves tax advice to individuals, farming communities and trustees. Trust litigation, private wealth disputes and settlements equally represent a major aspect of the practice’s work.
Wilsons provided excellent service to my family company and handled our case very well, which involved complex tax and corporate issues
Wilsons is an exceptional group of lawyers with a unique blend of being at the top of its game but very down to earth
Agriculture and estates Tier 2
The ‘experienced, agile and very bright’ Peter Bourke heads the practice at Wilsons and advises farmers and landowners on the sale and purchase of agricultural land, assists with the division of assets on divorce, and represents landowning clients in boundary disputes. The firm also provides tax and trust advice. Other specialisms involve the structuring of farms and landed estates, agricultural succession planning, as well as rent reviews, dilapidations and the leasing of renewable energy sites.
‘A practical and quick firm that possesses real knowledge of the dynamics of farms and estates’
‘Wilsons has a helpful approach, seeking clients’ objectives and delivers objectives in the most straightforward manner and in plain English’
‘Wilsons has a strong reputation among rural clients’
‘Alison Bailey is exceptionally helpful, diligent and accommodating. Her breadth of expertise is remarkable and her attention to detail is superb’
Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2
Wilsons advises on disputes involving legacies and disputes arising from the administration of trusts and estates. The practice also advises on charity regulations and assists with the restructuring of charities. Practice head Gillian Fletcher is experienced in advising on breaches of trust and compliance issues. Charity mergers constitute another significant area of expertise, alongside the protection of data and intellectual property rights.
‘Professionally competent and fully on top of their brief’
‘The Depth of knowledge and the quality of advice are the firm’s most valued qualities’
‘Gillian Fletcher stands out as the consummate professional. Her team mirrors her approach and it always delivers’
‘The practice is characterised by an immediacy of response, personal touch, and a range of skill sets brought immediately to bear’
‘The practice members are always polite and helpful and offer sound and impartial advice’
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
British Cardiovascular Society
Forces in Mind Trust
BMA Charities Trust Fund
Save the Children
Traditionally renowned for private client work, Wilsons acts for a number of high net worth individuals in commercial disputes. Also notable is that its practice is seeing a growing amount of work from local charities. Practice head Ben Thornton leads both the commercial and property litigation departments. Debbie Ashenhurst is skilled in contractual, commercial and corporate disputes; claims often involve allegations of unfair prejudice, breaches of contract, defective goods and breaches of restrictive covenants, among others.
‘Excellent team covering a wide range of legal areas. They have considerable expertise in company law and their general commercial litigation capability is excellent‘
‘They are professional and determined‘
‘Jayna Patel was absolutely excellent, completely on the ball with a clear understanding of the legal issues and fantastic organisational skills. I was really impressed by her client-handling‘
‘In the company law sphere, I have worked with Debbie Ashenhurst who impressed me with a calm, logical approach and general common sense. She clearly knows the law as well‘
‘Jenifer has been a great support over the case in hand. her ability to adapt to the issues we have regarding the case is commendable‘
Holland Park School
Gurr Johns Limited
Luxury Clothing Limited
Pure Pastures Limited
Pudsey Diamond Limited
Chartered Institute of Taxation
Wilsons has successfully built up a base of longstanding clients, such as landed estates, landowners, trusts, charities, and private investors. Its team has extensive expertise in property transactions, commercial landlord and tenant work, and residential and commercial development, among other matters. The ‘amazing’ Jane Lonergan handles complex property issues for charities, including military charities. Alison Bailey specialises in rural property matters and assists landowners with developments of predominantly green field sites. Consultant Robert Swift, Timothy Clayden and associate Sarah Secker are also key contacts.
Salisbury-based Wilsons specialises in tax and general transactional structuring for businesses and personal assets of owner-managers. Led by practice head James Johnson, the team has notable experience of the technology, healthcare and charity sectors; Johnson is particularly active in the latter area, having recently advised on mergers and sponsorship agreements. Senior associate Mark Cook, who is a new arrival from Burges Salmon LLP, is particularly experienced in mid-market M&A.
‘Helpful, clear, efficient and always listen to our feedback‘
‘Very strong group of commercial and business lawyers based in the South West with an office in London; this means they are able to compete with City firms whilst charging reasonable rates‘
‘James Johnson is always prompt in dealing with business, accessible when we need him and is responsive to our company needs‘
‘Jonathan Stephens is an extremely experienced, first-class corporate and commercial lawyer whom any client would want by their side‘
‘Stephen Whitmore and Mark Cook are very able who dealt with the matters with great efficiency and expertise‘.
‘Worked well together as a team and we received a first-class service‘
Shareholders of Great Fosters (1931) Limited
Shareholders of Copyrite Business Solutions (Holdings) Limited
Greensleeves Homes Trust
Shareholders of Us-creates Limited
Shareholders of ip-Xchange Limited
ITE Group plc
Robert Brett & Sons Limited
Kingston Smith LLP
Picker Institute Europe
Lucas Alexander Whitley Limited
Wilsons provides the full range of services on contentious and non-contentious matters for employers and employees. Its clients are active across a broad cross-section of sectors, including commercial, charities, education and agriculture. Experienced litigator Anthony Edwards regularly represents clients at the Employment Tribunal, County and High Courts. Edwards jointly heads up the practice with Stephen Oxley. Associate Sophia Zand is a recent arrival from asb law LLP.
‘Wilsons understood our needs more so than other firms, and we didn’t hesitate to go back to them when more legal issues arose‘
‘This team is well led by Stephen Oxley, who is a lawyer who understands commerce‘
‘Anthony Edwards has been outstanding during our current legal issues, and has been able to thoroughly explain and guide us through the process. He is always available to answer even the smallest of questions we may have‘
‘Stephen Oxley and associate Sophia Zand are quickly responsive and attentive. They are advising us in a tricky process and are navigating us skillfully through it‘
Williams Shipping Holdings Limited
Shareholders of Copyrite Business Solutions (Holdings) Limited
Greensleeves Homes Trust
Education Tier 3
Wilsons' wide-ranging client base includes academies, independent schools, grammar schools, preparatory schools and nurseries. Recent work highlights involved issues such as staffing, reputation management, governance, charity law, intellectual property and data protection. Practice head Stephen Oxley assists senior management teams and governing bodies with governance and leadership issues, among other matters.
‘Everyone is very friendly and responsive’
‘The team is very committed and makes sure to address each client’s issues personally while it also maintains a high quality of efficient legal services’
Talbot Heath School
The Sheiling Special Education Trust
Prince’s Mead School
A number of independent schools
Wilsons > Firm Profile
Wilsons is ranked as one of the top private client law firms in the country. Its 300 year heritage, combined with lawyers who are recognised leaders in their fields, enables Wilsons to provide a unique combination of skills and experience to their client base, which includes international and UK based ultra-high net worth individuals and their families as well as the trustees of their wealth and business owning structures, significant landed and historic estates, charities and entrepreneurs.
Wilsons has built its national reputation on the strength of its private client practice, a strategy which it has pursued consistently for over 30 years.
The firm prides itself on the quality of its bespoke service delivery. Its lawyers are dedicated to ensuring a detailed understanding of the clients’ interest and a seamless working relationship across the different specialities of the practice.
Private Client: The firm has notable experience in representing clients with business interests, landed and inherited wealth, foreign domiciliaries, UK and offshore trustees and individuals with international interests. It has developed a high profile client base, providing services including wills, tax and estate planning, UK and offshore trust formation and probate and estate administration. The firm regularly deals with probates and intestacies valued at up to £50m and sometimes more. Wilsons’ Disputes Team works closely with the Private Client Team to advise clients on a wide range of matters, particularly contentious trust, probate and property disputes. The Family Team’s legal expertise ranges from pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships to divorce and children’s arrangements. Wilsons works closely with numerous tax and trust service companies in the UK and internationally to ensure they provide the best and most efficient service to their clients.
Property: Many of Wilsons’ clients have substantial commercial, agricultural and residential property interests and the firm advises on purchasing, letting and sales, and has a reputation for gaining excellent results for landowners in the options over and sales of development land. Wilsons’ clients include religious, charitable and renowned educational organisations, overseas clients and landowners.
Disputes: Wilsons have one of the largest teams outside London. The firm advises clients on a wide range of contentious matters to provide an efficient and effective means of dispute resolution. In addition to its expertise in agricultural and probate disputes, the firm has specialists who can advise on all aspects of commercial dispute claims.
Commercial: The team has specialist lawyers in employment, commercial property, insolvency and corporate work. The team specialises in helping businesses by providing cost-effective and valuable advice on banking and insolvency, buying and selling while also advising on investment and private equity work. The corporate work focuses on the three main areas of private equity: commercial tax and asset planning, transactions and refinancing. Wilsons’ private equity clients are mainly wealthy individuals and groups investing in businesses, start-up companies and those requiring capital injections. The team deals with an unusual breadth of work much of which comes from referrals from private clients’ business interests and charity clients requiring high-quality, bespoke commercial advice.
Agriculture: During the last 20 years, Wilsons’ Rural Team has developed a practice centered on the legal needs of rural business and landowners. These include complex sales and purchases, development options for landowners, grants and diversification advice, property litigation including landlord and tenant legislation, partnership matters, boundaries and rights of way disputes.
Charity: Wilsons has one of the most highly ranked teams in the UK. Unlike many of its competitors, the firm advises on the complete range of a charity’s legal needs and has a particular specialism in contentious and non-contentious legacy work, acting for charities. The constitutional and governance team has considerable expertise in advising military charities and the charitable care sector.
|Managing Partner||Mike Parkeremail@example.com||01722 427 742|
|Senior Partner; Probate & Estate Administration||Frances Maynefirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 714|
|Tax & Trusts||Adam Herbertemail@example.com||01722 427 543|
|Tax & Trusts; Landed & Historic Estates||Belinda Watsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 661|
|Wills & Trusts Disputes||James Aspdenemail@example.com||01722 427 677|
|Personal Disputes; Commercial Disputes||Ben Thorntonfirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 732|
|Family||Jacqueline Fitzgeraldemail@example.com||020 7998 0421|
|Property||Tim Claydenfirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 713|
|Employment||Anthony Edwardsemail@example.com||01722 427 714|
|Corporate & Commercial||James Johnsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 658|
|Company Commercial||Jane Lonerganemail@example.com||01722 427 733|
|Charities||Gillian Fletcherfirstname.lastname@example.org||020 7998 0422|
|Landowner Development & Planning||Alison Baileyemail@example.com||01722 427 560|
|Farms & Estates Disputes||Peter Bourkefirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 715|
|Partnerships & Farming Structures||Jonathan Stephensemail@example.com||01722 427 744|
|Landowner Development & Planning||Robert Swiftfirstname.lastname@example.org||01722 427 601|
|Education; Employment||Stephen Oxleyemail@example.com||01722 427 743|
|Kathryn Anderson||View Profile|
|James Aspden||View Profile|
|Alison Bailey||View Profile|
|Judith Beddow||View Profile|
|Peter Bourke MRICS||View Profile|
|Imogen Buchan-Smith||View Profile|
|Tim Clayden||View Profile|
|Anthony Edwards||View Profile|
|Tim Fullerlove||View Profile|
|Adam Herbert||View Profile|
|Peter Jeffreys||View Profile|
|James Johnson||View Profile|
|Jane Lonergan||View Profile|
|Frances Mayne||View Profile|
|Alison Morris||View Profile|
|Dominic Ogden||View Profile|
|Ms Stephen Oxley||View Profile|
|Mike Parker||View Profile|
|Sue Russell||View Profile|
|Jonathan Stephens||View Profile|
|Robert Swift||View Profile|
|Ben Thornton||View Profile|
|Belinda Watson||View Profile|
|Charlotte Watts||View Profile|
|Torsten White||View Profile|
|Stephen Whitmore||View Profile|
|Rupert Wilkinson||View Profile|
Staff FiguresTotal staff : 166 Partners : 28 Fee-earners : 69
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- South West Agriculture and estates
- South West Charities and not-for-profit
- South West Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire
- South West Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire
- South West Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire
- South West Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire
- South West Education