Editor's Letter

Georgina Stanley, Head of Global Research and Reporting

Welcome to the first-ever Private Client Yearbook from The Legal 500 and Legal Business.

This supplement, in association with London firm Hunters Law, brings together analysis of the key issues in both family law and private wealth today, as well as interviews with leading figures in the market.

In a frank and open interview with Lucy Enright, one of the country’s top divorce lawyers, and Legal 500 family Hall of Famer Ayesha Vardag, talks about everything from her personal journey into family law, to her top cases, through to why she believes the post-pandemic work from home movement is bad for both the legal profession and mental health. Vardag’s fellow family Hall of Famer, Sandra Davis at Mishcon de Reya, also shares the highlights in her ‘incredible’ career with Enright.

Meanwhile, Baker McKenzie’s London wealth management head, and private client Hall of Famer, Ashley Crossley tells Isabel Caine about the importance of personal perseverance and resilience and why the UK private client market is readying for its biggest challenge yet – the potential abolition of the non-dom regime.

It’s a topic that is explored in great depth in ‘planning for the unpredictable: navigating the private wealth market amid political uncertainty’, in which partners have their say on how high net worth clients in the UK can stay ahead of the curve ahead of the next General Election.

We also take a detailed look at how the law needs to change to better reflect the huge variety in what modern families look like today, with leading family lawyers having their say in ‘breaking down silos: family law in the UK in 2024 and beyond’.

Elsewhere, we showcase the firms with the most Legal 500 private client rankings in the UK.

You can also find out what’s happening in private client law around the world in the articles from our partner firms in locations from Austria to India.

We hope you enjoy this first Private Client Yearbook, and we’d love to hear from readers about the burning issues you think we should be covering in future.

Please do get in touch if you’re keen to share ideas.

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Foreword: Hunters Law

Private Client Yearbook 2024

What does digital transformation mean for private client services? Cryptocurrencies promised a revolution. Their decentralised infrastructure was thought to be the future of finance – and by late 2021, they were worth $3tn. Then those values came crashing down. Now the king of crypto, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been found guilty of one of the biggest …

Breaking down silos: family law in the UK in 2024 and beyond

Private Client Yearbook 2024

Lucy Enright talks to leading family lawyers about how the law needs to keep up with what family looks like in 2024.

As familial relationships become increasingly complex, the law governing these relationships does too. With the idea of the family unit extending to include unmarried, cohabiting couples and nontraditional routes to parenthood, the law surrounding and protecting all families is shifting to reflect this.

The private client pecking order

Private Client Yearbook 2024

The Legal 500 ranks almost 1,000 firms and 1,500 lawyers for private client work across the UK – which firms have the most rankings and stand-out stars?

From family matters and trusts disputes and rural affairs and tax advice, The Legal 500 is home to a comprehensive guide to all of the UK’s leading private client advisers.

Perspectives: Ayesha Vardag

Private Client Yearbook 2024

‘People need to be physically near each other and feel each other’s chemistry – otherwise everything is just cold and dry and boring’ – Ayesha Vardag on changing the law, how WFH trashed intellectual collaboration and why sex, love and money make family law endlessly interesting

What made you decide to become a lawyer and, once you’d made that decision, why did you choose family law? I wanted to be an actress, a journalist or a novelist, not a lawyer at all. I got interested in law spending time with my lawyer aunt in New York during my gap year, but …

Planning for the unpredictable: navigating the private wealth market amid political uncertainty

Private Client Yearbook 2024

The private client market is booming but with a general election looming and the UK non-dom regime at risk, Isabel Caine asks partners how high net worth clients can stay ahead of the curve.

Vying political parties and a constantly fluctuating international climate are driving firms to further develop their private wealth practices in the UK in a bid to capture work from the lucrative sector.

Perspectives: Ashley Crossley

Private Client Yearbook 2024

‘For the UK, the biggest challenge is about to happen’ – Baker McKenzie’s London head of wealth management Ashley Crossley on changes to the non-dom regime and the personal experience that led him to private client work

What made you decide to become a lawyer and why private client? My parents divorced at an early age, and I became very interested in how the law dealt with people and their relationships. That grew into an interest in law generally and how it could be used to solve problems. Having an interest in …

Perspectives: Sandra Davis

Private Client Yearbook 2024

‘I’ve had the most incredible career. It’s been fascinating, rewarding, and challenging’: Mishcon de Reya’s Sandra Davis on her career highlights, changes in family law and the biggest challenges facing clients right now

What made you decide to become a lawyer and why practise family law? I’m naturally a problem solver, and I’ve always wanted to make a difference. Family law makes a real difference to people’s lives. We can help make a bad situation better, create calm in an emotional storm, and save children from the turmoil …

Thought leadership: Benefits of the Austrian Private Foundation

Private Client Yearbook 2024

The Austrian Private Foundation (PF) is a viable option to protect and preserve assets over generations, as well as to prevent the distribution of assets in the event of succession. Establishing an Austrian PF enables the founder to align his/her assets with the founder’s wishes but separating the assets from the founder’s future fate. Due …

Q&A: Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Private Client Yearbook 2024

1. How does estate planning differ in India compared to other countries, especially in light of unique family structures and property laws? Indian inheritance related laws are diverse and vary on a number of factors, such as the nature of the assets (movable or immovable), their location, and the personal law of an individual, which …