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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — London (Firms)

Band 1

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the HNW guide

Charles Russell Speechlys' offering for high net worth individuals covers complex cross-border wealth planning and structuring, tax disclosure work in conjunction with its Swiss office and advice in related areas, such as immigration and high net worth residential property. One observer says that "they have strength in depth, they're extremely client-centric and they consistently provide a high level of tactical and sensible advice." Another calls the team "a pragmatic and proactive bunch of people, who are happy to tackle the issues you put forward and take responsibility for what they do. They've managed to bring together their private client, wealth management and entrepreneurial corporate advisory partners to work very collegiately for entrepreneurial clients."

This "powerful force" in domestic and international private client work is notable for what one source calls a "very sizeable offering, post-merger. They've garnered global expertise and in terms of depth of resource, they're always able to field a good team." Also noting the size of the group, another interviewee says that "they've got a great mixture of partners in the private client team. They're very personable, extremely nice people to work with and the client is at the centre of all of their core values. They all share the characteristics that they're solution-driven, collegiate and they give a lot of value. Technically, they're also extremely good and they translate it so well."

Notable practitioners

Bart Peerless heads up the group. A source says that "he is doing a fantastic job at leading the private client team, and his leadership skills have really come to the fore through the merger." His international private wealth practice covers succession and estate planning for wealthy individuals and families, trustees and beneficiaries of tax-efficient structures. A peer remarks that "he's very straightforward and bright, he has a good understanding of the international side and is good to deal with." Also praising his approach, an observer notes that "he's really personable, he can cut through the complexity, and he's very good at talking to clients about complex issues in a straightforward way that they'll understand."

One interviewee calls Catriona Syed "a very talented individual, able to give advice covering a number of jurisdictions in the private client environment." Another states that "technically she knows her stuff and she's good at handling clients," praising her "good international practice." Syed acts for individuals and institutions on cross-border tax planning and is qualified in the British Virgin Islands. "She's absolutely brilliant," says a source, adding that "clients like her a lot. She's very approachable, has a very good feeling for situations and people, and is a pleasure to work with."

"Frankly, he's an absolute delight to deal with," says a source about Robert Blower, explaining that "he's thoroughly professional, very client-centric, very accommodating and generally very good." Blower regularly works with traditional UK private clients on the taxation of heritage property, artworks and multi-generational wealth. He also has a strong Middle Eastern practice, which includes establishing and managing Sharia-compliant trusts. A peer remarks that "he's straightforward, sensible and thinks clearly."

Suzanne Marriott's broad-based practice for wealthy individuals and families covers litigation and non-contentious tax, trusts and probate work. She also handles charitable planning. A peer praises this "diverse range of expertise," explaining that "she deals with a number of different fields and does it very well, and she's pretty pragmatic, too." She is described as "very practical with a very commercial approach" and "very impressive, a lovely person and good fun."

One commentator calls Piers Master "a very intelligent chap" who "works very hard to get the best results for his clients." Another notes the depth of his international practice, saying that "he's great, particularly in the Middle East, and he understands the intricacies of Sharia law." Master also advises high-profile Russian clients, the owners of rural estates and entrepreneurs on succession and estate planning. "He's excellent," says a source, adding that "he's one of my first ports of call for referrals. He's an extremely technical tax lawyer who's very good at explaining complex things in a simple way. I'd never hesitate to refer to him."

An observer describes Andrew Cameron as "a tax guru," explaining that "he's got very deep tax expertise and he's very trusted adviser to many clients." Cameron acts for many high net worth families with interests in multiple jurisdicitions, particularly those with ties to Russia and India. He also regularly serves as a trustee on private and charitable structures.

James Trafford is known as "a very charming, amiable and friendly chap who gives very sensible advice and isn't afraid to say it as it is." He handles a wide range of estate planning, often working closely with other professional advisers. "He's extremely personable and very empathetic," says one source, summing up that "I really rate him as a lawyer and trust his counsel implicitly." Another says that "I like James very much, he's commercial and understands what the clients want. I have no hesitation going to him with a conflict at all, he'll do a very good job for the client."

Henry Fea has experience working in Geneva and regularly advises clients on cross-border issues between the UK and Switzerland, including overseeing disclosure proceedings. He specialises in international tax planning, including the creation and operation of private and charitable trusts. He also handles UK residence matters for foreign individuals, heritage property taxation for the owners of landed estates and the administration of complex estates.

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Band 1

From the HNW guide

This long-standing, blue-chip private wealth practice counts among its clients traditional landed estates, international business owners and well-known private banks. The group is notable for its strength in depth and breadth of services for the ultra-wealthy, with strong capability in tax and trusts planning and related specialisms in philanthropic giving, high-value residential property, corporate advice for owner-managed businesses and Tier One immigration work.

An interviewee describes the firm as "pre-eminent in private client matters, including matrimonial law, wills and trusts, and taxation and matters with a cross-border element. Clients to whom I have referred Farrer & Co have been delighted with their service." The source adds that the team is "flexible and open-minded, diligent, thoughtful and responsive."

Notable practitioners

Sarah von Schmidt has a "great reputation" in the London tax and trusts market and advises entrepreneurs, landowners and other high net worth families. Her broad-based tax and estate planning practice covers areas such as family governance and the structuring of philanthropic giving. In addition to acting for private clients, von Schmidt regularly works with estate offices, private banks and single and multi-family offices.

Sources note that Mark Bridges "sits at the top of his profession in his experience and approach to work, and has that classic trusted adviser role." Bridges is well known for advising some of the world's highest-profile families, and he is increasingly active in high-value succession disputes. "He's excellent," says a peer, explaining that "he brings all his experience of dealing with complex domestic and international clients." Another says that "we work together a lot and I really like working with him. He's been at the top of his game for a long time, he knows everybody and he's a really nice person to work with, which makes a big difference."

Russell Cohen is described as "very impressive with a good reputation" and praised for his "very good understanding of cross-border Swiss/UK situations." He chairs the firm's international private wealth group and regularly works with private clients, wealth managers and trustees on multi-jurisdictional wealth planning. One interviewee notes that "he's very personable with a great bedside manner - he's very knowldgeable and able to articulate complex issues in a straightforward way." Another appreciates that "you can have a sensible discussion with him, he takes on your views and presents his own reasonably."

Catherine McAleavey specialises in wealth planning for domestic UK clients and those with US ties. As well as working with the owners of landed estates and significant businesses, she also advises trustees and the executors of complex estates. Sources call her "very good and efficient," and comment that "her main strength is putting things in plain English. She strips away the legalese and gets the message across in the simplest way without losing any of the meaning."

Sources regard Rhoddy Voremberg as an "elder statesman" of private wealth work. One interviewee notes that "he's got knowledge built up from years and years of dealing with clients and he's good at applying that in a helpful way." Many of his clients own heritage property in the form of works of art and landed estates, and seek his expertise in wealth planning and family governance matters.

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Band 1

From the HNW guide

Forsters is seen as "one of the powerful forces in the London market" for private wealth work. The firm enters the top tier this year for the first time, having bolstered its already highly regarded offering by taking on the private client team from Gowling WLG. One source comments that the group has "been considerably strengthened by the arrival of such a strong team," remarking that this "seems a good fit" for the four former Lawrence Graham partners. "Forsters had already hugely increased in size and turnover in the last ten years," says another interviewee, "and this move has really added to that."

The firm has a strong base of traditional private clients and members of the team also specialise in cross-border work for the international super-wealthy. One source comments that "Forsters has a very good reputation," and another notes that "they've got great people there. Nick, Catharine and Anthony are great lawyers, and they're a great private client group." The firm is notable for the depth and breadth of expertise that it can offer to high net worth individuals: one source lauds its "strong UK and international tax business with a good residential property business."

Notable practitioners

David Robinson is an experienced private wealth adviser and one of the firm's founding partners. He works with high net worth individuals on a range of topics connected to their wealth and assets, with particular emphasis on tax planning including landed property and works of art. He also regularly sits as a trustee or executor for domestic and overseas clients.

Fiona Smith's client list consists of business owners and entrepreneurs, sport and media individuals, and trustees of private and charitable structures. She handles estate planning, tax-efficient structuring and probate. "She's very good, clear-headed and strategic," says one source, while another calls her "professional, astute and with excellent common sense," citing her "relaxed and comforting manner" with clients.

Peers say Patrick Harney is "really well regarded and knows his stuff" and that "he has an excellent reputation and very good client relationship skills." He specialises in tax-efficient structuring of clients' personal wealth and property transactions, with experience of using family investment companies and partnerships. A key part of his practice is cross-border planning for clients with interests in the UK and US. A source describes him as "very able, very hard-working and very driven. He's worked enormously hard to build a US practice and has been very successful in doing so."

Carole Cook is known for being "good on the international side" of tax planning for individuals in the UK and overseas. Her private wealth practice covers tax, trust and succession planning for business owners, landed estates and family offices. A source comments that "I know her pretty well and like her. I think she's sensible and has her feet on the ground."

Nicholas Jacob is dubbed "Mr Asia" by one private client peer, who also notes that "he's really at the top of his game." Jacob is widely known for his long-standing Singapore practice and advises international families on succession planning, governance and asset protection. A peer explains that "Nick created a practice in the Far East before anybody else. He has done a phenomenal job of travelling back and forth, and developed special cross-border knowledge. He's able to advise families on big governance structures and has a unique reputation, which reflects that he's been a pioneer in that area."

Anthony Thompson has a broad-based international estate planning practice, working with high net worth families. He regularly deals with individuals with ties to the Middle East and his clients also include professional trustees. An important focus of his private wealth practice is family governance and residence advice to complex international families. "He is a very good practitioner," says a peer, highlighting that he has "a lot of experience under his belt. He has a good client base and he is someone I would rate."

A commentator describes Catharine Bell as a "very good long-standing private client adviser," adding that "she's a very well-known figure in the private client world." Bell works regularly with entrepreneurs and other private individuals across various jurisdictions. As well as assisting overseas families with complex cross-border planning, Bell is also notable for her expertise in working with landed estates on personal tax, heritage property and farmland.

Daniel Ugur has a wide-ranging tax, trusts and estate planning practice, and works with private clients, trustees and wealth management institutions. Many of his clients are the owners of significant businesses, and he advises them on succession planning and the establishment of family governance structures. He specialises in acting for Asian clients on estate and pre-migration tax planning.

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Band 1

From the HNW guide

Several interviewees say they regard full-service firm Macfarlanes as "the best in the UK market for private wealth," with one reporting that "we send conflict work to them: they're a strong group of individuals and they're rightly highly regarded." The large private client team specialises in acting for ultra-high net worth individuals and families, often combining with other departments to serve their tax planning, property and transactional needs.

"They deserve to be at the top of the tree," says one London private wealth lawyer, explaining that "they have fabulous clients and they're very well regarded. We find that if we ever lose a pitch, it's often to them." Highlighting Macfarlanes' "strength in the private client department," an observer notes that "they've very around for a very long time, consistently acting in the ultra-high and high net worth space, and they're able to draw on the service of other parts of the firm. They have a good corporate tax and corporate finance outfit, and they're able to get good advice from them."

Notable practitioners

A peer notes that Jennifer Smithson is "a good partner to have on the other side" and appreciates that "she has a practical approach to very complex problems." Smithson handles international tax and estate planning for individuals and families, including those involved in financial services. She has a particular focus on advising US citizens. A source explains that "Jenny has a really great knowledge of disclosure regimes, including FATCA and CRS. She has an amazing depth of knowledge and can provide practical solutions as a result, and she's very responsive. "

Peers say that Jonathan Conder is "very good, particularly on US/UK matters," and "stands out for exceptional work. He has so much experience in offshore and resident non-domiciliary issues." He specialises in advising wealth management institutions, high net worth individuals and trustees on wealth cross-border structuring and planning. A source explains that "he's a very nice, very personable man with very good offshore connections, particularly in Bermuda. He's very well respected."

Charles Gothard is known as "a well-regarded person in private client with a lot of international expertise." His multi-jurisdictional tax planning and structuring practice centres around acting for the owners of substantial businesses and their advisers. Sources say that "he knows his stuff, he's very commercial and a great guy to work with. He's at the top of his game and a really nice guy." One particularly praises his approach, explaining that "he's very efficient, very technical, I like his way of problem-solving and he's very pragmatic."

Senior consultant Matthew Pintus has a broad-based private wealth practice, with particular expertise in capital gains, inheritance tax and estate planning internationally. He also leads the firm's probate practice. One interviewee remarks that "he's the guy I'd discuss technical tax issues with a lot," and sources also describe Pintus as "absolutely lovely."

Sebastian Prichard Jones is described as "absolutely encyclopaedic in his technical knowledge, and hugely good at making clients feel that they have every angle covered. The client is in extremely safe hands." His practice has a distinctly international focus. As part of his broader tax and succession planning expertise, he particularly specialises in the formation of family offices and other vehicles for asset transfer and preservation.

Piers Barclay is the new head of Macfarlanes' private client group and handles international estate planning, including trust compliance work with civil law jurisdictions and Sharia-compliant structures. One peer says that "we did a big piece of work with him and he made it a delight." Another source comments that "he's very technical and he has a fantastic way of dealing with people. I like him a lot, he's a pleasure to work with and he delivers."

Edward Reed is known for his "good specialism in French clients," and he is praised for his "strong experience and particular understanding" of this area and for speaking "very good French." He advises on domestic and international wills, and trusts matters, and regularly acts as a trustee. One source says that "he's terrific, and very good at working with international clients with interests in lots of different countries." Another describes him as "a very lovely guy, and very charming. He's really honest and trustworthy with real gravitas - I would rate him."

Robin Vos is a consultant in the firm and an experienced private client practitioner. A source describes him as "technically excellent." His practice centres around handling international tax and trusts matters for high net worth individuals, including entrepreneurs and senior executives. His client base also includes trustees and financial institutions.

Oliver Court is noted for his "substantial international experience" and being "very conversant with cross-border estates." A peer particularly appreciates his "real comprehensive knowledge of US/UK planning work," adding that "he's very sharp, very capable and very thorough. He's a very steady presence." Court handles a range of estate planning matters, particularly international wealth structuring and family governance.

Nicholas Harries is known by peers as "a very clever tax and structuring lawyer with excellent people skills." He handles trust and tax planning for domestic and overseas individuals and their families, with particular focus on the Far East. He is an ex-barrister and holds Higher Courts rights of audience. "He's extremely good on the law," says a market source, explaining that "he understands anything legal which you put to him. I've seen him in conference with clients, and he's very good at bridging the gap between the legal and the personal."

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Band 1

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the HNW guide

Dedicated private wealth firm Maurice Turnor Gardner is known for its "absolutely supreme set of partners," and described as "recognised experts in their field and valued, trusted advisers to their clients. The firm deserves its spot in the premier league of private client law firms and they're a real pleasure to work with. They have a very good practice in high net worth clients with complex affairs ranging from non-domiciled through to businesses, family limited partnerships and general private client matters."

The firm continues to advise its clientele of international business owners and other individuals on wealth planning and structuring, linking with its dedicated residential property and immigration groups where necessary. An interviewee says that "they have a bunch of really good people with a lot of experience and it's very easy to pick up the phone to them and have a chat. They're very friendly, they're very responsive and they're very clear about the level of work they're doing."

Notable practitioners

Ceris Gardner is described by peers as "one of the most respected people of the private client world," with one remarking that "she's very well known in the industry, she's lovely and has a fabulous reputation." Gardner has an especially broad private wealth practice and is noted for her expertise in advising high net worth clients on charitable giving. Market commentators are quick to praise her combination of legal skill and personal manner, with one enthusing that "she's lovely, I love Ceris. She's just technically stunning with a great personality and is great with clients." Another appreciates that "Ceris is really practical with clients. She has an incredibly friendly approach and she looks for pragmatic solutions rather than convoluted structures."

Clare Maurice's "practice has gone from strength to strength at Maurice Turnor Gardner," remarks a source. She is the firm's senior partner and specialises in cross-border wealth planning and structuring. She is well known as the president of the International Academy of Trust and Estate law, and is regarded as "very sensible, with a very broad experience that people value." An interviewee says that "she's got great eminence, brings a lot of wisdom to the table and clients just love her. She's had her clients for years."

Arabella Murphy heads up the private wealth practice at Maurice Turnor Gardner and is particularly well regarded for her work setting up private trust companies and advising on family governance. Her clients include private banks, trustees and families with multi-generational wealth. A source notes Murphy's "incredible technical understanding of the private client universe matched with an ability to make lay people understand her and foster relationships, which is why she's so successful."

Emma-Jane Weider is "practical, dynamic, turns things round quickly and knows her stuff," says one source. "She's intellectually sharp with a good manner with clients." Her wide-ranging tax planning practice covers succession planning, the creation and management of structures and charitable giving. A commentator notes that she is "great on the financial planning side."

Richard Turnor "has a brain the size of a planet," says a source, remarking that "he's one of the leading partnership law experts in the UK." His practice centres on creating structures to hold international assets, and he regularly advises beneficiaries and professional trustees. An interviewee notes that Turnor is "well known on the partnership side of things, as well as Middle Eastern matters. He has a very collaborative manner and he's easy to work with."

Senior associate Eesha Arora focuses on international private client work, including pre-immigration tax planning. She works with individuals and well-known institutions, as well as charitable organisations. A source reports that she is "very easy to deal with, very direct and very responsive to any comments or suggestions made." Describing Arora as "absolutely brilliant," a market observer says that "she's up and coming, and she's phenomenal."

Jennifer Chambers acts for private clients on wealth planning and philanthropy work, also working with charitable organisations. One peer describes her as "very active on the charity side, and very well regarded." Another appreciates that "she's very easy to discuss problems with, she always provides good advice and practical solutions, and I don't have to explain what's happened in the past. She's very good at addressing the specific question that we're asking, and can provide the detail as well as seing the overview."

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Band 1

From the HNW guide

Market commentators report that "Taylor Wessing has a good combination of private client with corporate and commercial work," and describe the lawyers as "impressive and friendly with a good reputation." The firm's London private client team acts for UHNW individuals and is noted for its ability to engage other departments, particularly the corporate and funds teams, to serve ultra-wealthy international clients' complex requirements.

Sources are quick to praise the team's cross-border capabilities, stating that "they're very good for overseas clients" and calling it a "good firm doing high-level international work." One interviewee says that "they're a good quality firm and a very good practice, with lots of international, high-value complex work. They have a particularly international reach and they're a very savvy team."

Notable practitioners

Mark Buzzoni is a well-respected, experienced private wealth lawyer and a trusted adviser to international UHNW clients. Sources particularly praise his client manner, with one calling him "an old-school trustworthy lawyer" and "a quiet observer of people" who "thinks deeply about what the real issue is." One comments that Buzzoni is "very good and he has a very good reputation. He's a really experienced, thoughtful expert and he knows his onions."

Andrew Hine leads Taylor Wessing's private client team and has a broad-based tax practice, working with domestic and international clients, including the trustees and beneficiaries of offshore and domestic structures. His practice covers both litigation and non-contentious tax and trusts matters, acting for his "good strong international client base." A peer reports that "he's so nice and he's so highly regarded by those in the legal profession."

Nick Warr leads the firm's international private wealth group and specialises in cross-border succession planning. His "very impressive client base" consists of business owners, finance executives and professional trustees in various jurisdictions. One source notes Warr's "amazing ability to solve problems," adding that "he's very well equipped to deal with high-pressure clients." Another says that "non-domiciled tax planning is a big part of his practice and his advice is very clear, pragmatic and straightforward."

Sanjvee Shah is well-known for her cross-border work, with sources reporting that "she's very good in acting for Indian and South Asian clients." As part of her broad tax, trusts and wealth planning practice, she specialises in the use of a range of structures for asset protection. She has expertise in advising clients with connections to the Middle East, the Far East, Europe and the US on their UK and overseas assets.

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Band 1

From the HNW guide

This top-tier private wealth group is described as "very experienced in dealing with high net worth clients," by one interviewee, who also praises "the breadth of capabilities at the firm. They have people specialising in all sorts of jurisdictions. We see them as an extension of our office rather than a law firm, and they have a huge knowledge of the way our office runs." Another notes that "they link together well and take into account international and domestic angles. They're very quick to respond and their advice is always highly respected. It has been pretty exemplary."

Withers is particularly notable for its capabilities in complex cross-border wealth planning and for its team of US-qualified attorneys in London. A source reports that "Withers is very customer-focused. The unique piece is that they really work together across jurisdictions: when you have a family with members in UK, the US and Singapore; for example, they can really work as one team and provide the advice that is necessary. You don't see this often."

Notable practitioners

Patricia Milner is the joint leader of the firm's European private client and tax team, and represents a number of families with complex international wealth structuring issues. These clients include domestic and international individuals with multi-generational wealth, business owners and large landed estates. She is also engaged in family governance matters, establishing new family offices and educating younger generations in financial and legal matters.

Penny Williams's practice has a distinctly international flavour. Her client base consists largely of non-domiciled clients relocating to or living in the UK, Latin American clients structuring their international assets, and clients in the UK seeking cross-border wealth planning advice with the US. One source notes that "she's very knowledgeable and she knows what she's talking about."

Sophie Dworetzsky has particular experience in advising fund managers and principals on the tax-efficient structuring of their income and capital. She has a strong practice in complex structuring for international clients, including setting up family offices, trusts and partnerships for wealth preservation and purchases. One interviewee notes that "I like her competence in tax matters and her analytical capabilities," while another says that "she's well known in the industry and I like working with her."

Richard Cassell leads Withers' team of US-qualified lawyers dedicated to handling cross-border planning for individuals with interests in both countries. He is dual-qualified in the UK and US, and assists individuals, families and charities requiring planning and structuring advice.

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Band 2

From the HNW guide

Baker McKenzie has a well-regarded wealth management team with an international network and expertise across a range of litigation and non-contentious matters. Its clients include the owners of some of the world's largest businesses. "They're clearly a serious player in the field," says a source, explaining that "they do a good job for their clients which is why they're so successful."

A source reports that "I've known them for many years and know them to be technically good, very engaging personally and ready to take calls at all hours and compose letters at the drop of a hat. What I like about the firm is the good experience that we've had relying on their deep technical analysis of tax issues, combined with dispute resolution skills."

Notable practitioners

Ashley Crossley "rightly has a very good reputation," and is "a terrific lawyer." He specialises in acting for UHNWIs and families with international business interests in complex international wealth structuring and estate planning. This includes establishing venture capital structures and private trust companies. A source reports that "he's very good at dealing with complex tax issues and not seeking solutions that are over-elaborate. He's very good at trying to find a workable solution."

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Band 2

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the HNW guide

Berwin Leighton Paisner's private client group has strength in depth and is able to bring in expertise across a number of related areas, such as residential property. One source reports that "Berwin Leighton Paisner have recently given me useful tax advice in the private client space. They are specialised in this area and at the forefront of market."

The team's work is highly international in nature and the firm has a number of private wealth experts with specialist expertise in a range of jurisdictions. Its Russia and Israel capability is particularly highlighted. Members of the team also specialise in cross-border work with the Middle East and North Africa, and in Sharia-compliant wealth planning.

Notable practitioners

Damian Bloom works with high net worth individuals and their wealth management advisers on tax and estate planning. Many of his clients are entrepreneurs and business owners with broad-ranging legal requirements. He is also highlighted for his impressive base of private banking clients. "It's a very pleasant experience to deal with him," says a fellow lawyer.

Rupert Ticehurst heads the firm's private client litigation team and handles both wealth planning and trusts litigation matters for high net worth clients. His client base is predominantly international and he is regularly involved in cross-border work. "He's very impressive with a very good technical grasp of the law," says a peer, adding that "he's well-known and popular."

Martin Paisner is an experienced legal adviser to high net worth clients, with a broad private client and charities practice. One source says that "he's extremely knowledgeable and his commercial approach shines through." Another states that "his reputation is huge, particularly in the charity area."

Simon Phelps heads the firm's Asia private client group, working with Far Eastern and Middle Eastern family offices and individuals in conjunction with the firm's international offices. He advises international clients on estate planning and the creation and management of trusts. He also acts as an adviser to overseas private clients acquiring property and businesses in the UK.

Paul Whitehead has a broad-based international private wealth practice with a particular focus on Russian clients. A market commentator values the fact that "I can call up Paul and have a five-minute chat and understand a tricky issue," adding that "he's personable and clients trust him as an extended member of the family. He's commercial, approachable and patient, which is key. His depth of knowledge is fantastic. I've never asked him anything that he can't provide an answer to."

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Band 2

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the HNW guide

An independent UK firm with international reach and a strong tradition of work for families with multi-generational wealth, sources know Boodle Hatfield for its "good reputation in this field" and "very strong private client offering." The private client and tax group works with large landed estates, entrepreneurs and individuals with multi-jurisdictional wealth, and the firm has a dedicated Middle East offering.

One source highlights the firm's well-developed private client group, saying: "What is good with them is that they are very focused on this area, you can tell that this is a priority. The work I've seen from them is very detailed and precise - they do the work very well and they're exhaustive in their approach." Another says that the team is "wonderful to work with," explaining that the lawyers are "very bright and very thorough, and it's a joy working with them."

Notable practitioners

Sue Laing "is wonderful," says a source, referring to her as "a very experienced lawyer on the tax and trusts side." Laing is an experienced private wealth practitioner acting for ultra-high net worth individuals with substantial business interests. Another source notes that "she has a huge reputation and it's deserved."

Simon Rylatt's private wealth practice focuses on complex, high-value structuring and wealth planning work for clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions. One source says that "he's got a lot of emotional intelligence and has the ability to connect with clients. The best people in this field are able to combine the technical side with helping people to understand, and Simon is very focused on giving people the right advice. That's what real service is about." Another remarks that "he's excellent, both in terms of technical capability but also as a human character."

Sara Maccallum is described as "extremely able and very good." She specialises in handling corporate and personal tax planning for business owners, including creating and managing trusts and other structures. She also regularly advises on taxes related to property and corporate transactions. As well as working with individuals and families, Maccallum also advises trust companies and property developers.

Salpy Kouyoumjian leads Boodle Hatfield's Middle Eastern, Russian and CIS offering, and is fluent in Arabic, French and Armenian. Her clients include the owners of international businesses and their advisers, and she often advises on the establishment of partnerships, family offices and private trust companies. "She is very good technically," remarks an interviewee. Another commentator describes her as "terrific" and explains that "she works in real time and gives responses quickly."

Geoffrey Todd has a broad-based private wealth practice and advises high net worth clients, including those with significant business interests. He advises on the creation and administration of trusts, also working regularly with the trustees of cross-border structures. Many of Todd's clients have connections with both the US and UK and make use of his expertise in wealth planning and residence issues.

One source describes Hayden Bailey as an "extremely high-quality" practitioner who is "very technically strong and user-friendly. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending him to anyone." Bailey specialises in advising entrepreneurs on corporate law and personal tax issues. He handles the use of trusts and insurance for succession planning and assists non-UK domiciled clients with UK asset structuring.

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Band 2

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the HNW guide

Specialist private client firm Harcus Sinclair provides estate and tax planning advice to high and ultra-high net worth individuals, often with interests in multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a low-leverage, partner-led approach to this work. A market commentator says that "I've been impressed with their approach - they give you good value and get straight to the point."

One client says that the lawyers are "very personal and understanding," as well as being "totally brilliant," and adds that "you feel like you are in an exclusive club, or a family. I honestly feel like there is a layer of protection over me and my family. I would trust Lucy and her team with my life."

Notable practitioners

A peer says Lucy Gibson is "intelligent and easy to deal with, and you can understand why clients warm to her." Gibson has a broad private wealth practice, covering advisory and contentious work for wealthy individuals internationally. She particularly focuses on the creation and management of trusts and charitable foundations, and regularly represents trustees in litigation. One source reports that "she's very good technically and she thinks out of the box a lot."

Keith Bruce-Smith is an experienced private wealth practitioner, who advises high net worth clients on tax planning and wealth stucturing, and regularly serves as a trustee. He is notable for his relationships with the owners of landed estates. A peer describes him as "a great practitioner," explaining that "he's got great breadth of practice, and is active on both the contentious and non-contentious side."

Jonathan Burt is highly regarded for his work as an adviser to private clients with cross-border wealth. Peers and other sources are quick to praise his technical prowess, also noting that "he's got a very good commercial understanding and he's a very skilled and well-known lawyer." An observer notes that "he's bright and articulate, and he always manages to convey his views with a dry sense of humour. That always goes down well with clients and meetings are enjoyable and engaging. He's an extremely bright person who gets to the point very quickly."

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Band 2

From the HNW guide

Payne Hicks Beach is well known for its traditional client base and domestic private wealth expertise, and its partners also work with a number of international clients on complex structuring. A client praises the team for "excellent attention to detail covering a large number of separate, and often complex matters," noting that lawyers give "calm, well-considered advice."

One source comments that "clearly it's a strong name, which gives people comfort - it's a very well-established name in private wealth, which counts for quite a lot." Another notes that "they get the work done and they do it with a genuine smile. A friend recommended that I went there and I wish they'd said so twenty years ago."

Notable practitioners

Frederick Bjørn brings his experience in corporate tax to advising high net worth individuals on international estates and succession planning. He regularly advises on both onshore and offshore structures and has particular expertise in acting for Scandinavian clients. A client of Bjørn's reports that he "has been a tower of strength. He is a superb explainer of complicated legal issues; I don't know what we should have done without him."

Alice Palmer is a well-regarded private wealth lawyer with a cross-border practice and a particular focus on representing Scandinavian HNWIs and families. A peer comments that "she's very collaborative and human, she's got experience and she'll share her knowledge. Having someone like her in a negotiation is a huge relief, you'll have a sensible conversation and she'll take a collaborative approach."

A source enthuses that Robert Brodrick "is an extremely eminent lawyer and his reputation is based on his tremendous integrity, which really comes across well." Brodrick works with domestic, US and Middle Eastern clients, with one peer noting that "on wealth structuring for international clients, he's very good." Another says that "he's lovely, he's got great client handling skills and he works for a mixture of landed and international, entrepreneurial clients."

Christopher Sly's private client practice has a distinct cross-border focus. He is a consultant in the firm's private client team and works with entrepreneurs and their families. His work often centres around the creation and management of trusts and other structures for wealth preservation and family governance. Peers describe him as "extremely eminent," with one noting that "if I had a conflict, I would certainly consider Chris."

A peer notes that Rosamond McDowell is "extremely thorough in what she does and her advice is excellent." She is notable for the breadth of her private practice, covering domestic and international tax planning and litigation for private clients. A market commentator says that "I've found her to be extremely professional and very tactful, which is very helpful. She's extremely personable and people have a great degree of comfort in dealing with her. She's very straightforward and open in dealing with things."

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Band 3

From the HNW guide

Bircham Dyson Bell is described as "well known for traditional private client work and a good player in the market." The team is best known for complex domestic estate planning but it also advises international clients, particularly Middle Eastern UHNWIs. The team is particularly well known for landed estates work.

A market commentator says that "the firm has a very good reputation in private client, and justly so - they have a very strong client base and look after their clients very well." Another notes that "they're a strong team in both contentious and non-contentious matters."

Notable practitioners

Helen Ratcliffe's client base consists of domestic and overseas individuals and families with substantial wealth, with a focus on working with Middle Eastern clients. She assists with the restructuring of family wealth and acts on contentious private wealth matters. Ratcliffe also provides wealth structuring advice to trustees and beneficiaries of trusts in a number of jurisdictions. "She's lovely," says a peer, explaining that "she's terribly nice, very helpful and knows her stuff."

Judith Millar advises clients with multi-generational wealth and substantial business interests on estate and succession planning. She also handles pre- and post-nuptial agreements, residence and domicile issues and pre-immigration planning. "She's briliant," says one source, explaining that "her knowledge is brilliant and she's a delight to work with."

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Band 3

Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the HNW guide

National firm Irwin Mitchell has been building its private client practice through acquisitions, and has created the Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth brand to bring these discrete practices together as a single, UK-wide group.

The firm offers a broad-based private wealth practice for individuals and families, including those with significant corporate interests. Members of the team handle inter-generational governance and tax planning, pre-immigration planning for international clients and philanthropic stucturing. A commentator says that "the team there is very good - I get such a high level of positive feedback from clients."

Notable practitioners

Alexandra Ruffel has an international client base of high net worth individuals. As well as wealth structuring, Ruffel has expertise in immigration and emigration for non-UK nationals and domicilliaries. A source enthuses that "I love working with her and every client I've introduced to her has been super-satisfied. She's super-proactive, very good at explaining this complex field and is extremely practical, which is great because often you can have a beautiful solution that's impractical. I've never had any negative feedback, or even neutral - it's always super-positive feedback."

Glenn Hurstfield is an experienced private client practitioner with a mix of domestic and international work. His practice for high net worth clients has a strong focus on probate and estate administration work. He also regularly handles estate planning and trusts matters and Court of Protection work.

Nick Rucker is recognised for the important role that he played in the development of Berkeley Law, and now leads the Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth London and international team. His areas of expertise include tax and wealth planning, with a particular focus on the creation of private investment funds and other vehicles.

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Band 3

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the HNW guide

Mishcon Private, the firm's full-service offering for high net worth clients, has specialists in tax planning, immigration, reputation management and family work, among others. "I think their private client team is absolutely great," says a private wealth lawyer, and another market commentator describes the team as "friendly and approachable with in-depth technical know-how."

Highlighting the breadth of the firm's service, a source reports that "the personal advice and co-ordination within the firm leads to a one-stop shop, with one partner to coordinate the different issues. The partners and lawyers involved on specific issues have a very technical approach, which is highly appreciated." Interviewees note Mishcon for its "ease of access and general friendly approach," calling the team "commercial, personal and technical."

Notable practitioners

Andrew Goldstone assists his international and domestic high net worth clients on UK and offshore tax, succession and estate planning. He also has a strong practice in residence issues and charitable planning. "Andrew Goldstone is a true veteran of the private client industry," says one market source. Another calls him "a really good lawyer," explaining that "he's personable, intelligent and his clients like him. He works well on all fronts - he's a good guy."

A market observer describes Charlie Sosna as "highly personal and technical," admiring his "positive, can-do attitude." He is a managing associate specialising in advising individuals and family offices on complex, cross-border wealth structuring. "I have been impressed with Charlie," says a client, explaining that "I would describe Charlie as practical, thorough and understanding of his client's needs."

Filippo Noseda moved to Mishcon from Withers in June 2017. He is qualified in the UK and Switzerland. He handles cross-border tax planning for European families, with a particular niche practice in advising governments on the law of foundations. He is also particularly well known for his publishing and speaking on the Common Reporting Standard.

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Band 4

Collyer Bristow LLP

From the HNW guide

Collyer Bristow's tax and estate planning team acts for a range of international and domestic clients, including landed estates and business owners. The team's areas of expertise include high-value estate planning, the use of trusts and corporate structures for wealth preservation and transfer, and providing advice to private banks and family offices.

One source notes the team's "strength in technical knowledge and practical application," adding that the lawyers are "reliable and good with clients so that they understand what is being discussed." Another comments that "as a firm, they have a very strong private client reputation."

Notable practitioners

Collyer Bristow's senior partner Daniel Simon is a specialist in UK/US cross-border matters, and heads up the firm's group for US clients. A source describes him as "very knowledgeable about the interaction of UK and US tax laws for both inbound and outbound clients." He has a broad-based private client practice encompassing a range of international estate planning.

James Badcock is described as "technically really very good and very personable," and "a very bright young man building up a good practice." He has a strong international tax planning practice, and advises a number of Russian clients on estate planning and immigration. A commentator appreciates his "good relaxed manner with clients," noting that he "takes time to understand the client."

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Band 4

From the HNW guide

Edwin Coe's private wealth department is known for its long-standing relationships with domestic clients, and the firm has an increasing focus on international work. A market commentator states that "I use them fairly extensively for estate planning, trust creation and will writing for my high net worth clients. I look forward to introducing the next generation of my clients to Edwin Coe."

The team is notable for its strength in depth and breadth, and has a group of tax advisers led by Frank Strachan that is dedicated to tax advice and investigations. A client praises the firm's ability to work across practice areas, noting that "if one person can't deal with your issues, someone will be able to deal with it immediately. They're good value for money, their advice is excellent and their professionalism in undisputed."

Notable practitioners

Nick Giles is an experienced trusts and estates practitioner. He has a strong client base of business-owning individuals and families. He has also developed a philanthropy practice, assisting high net worth clients with the establishment and management of charitable giving structures.

The "charming and very able" David Goepel has particular expertise in cross-border advice for high net worth individuals, and regularly works with UK resident non-domiciliaries and US nationals. He specialises in advising private clients on philanthropic giving. A client says: "From a professional point of view I can't fault him at all – he's very knowledgeable, he knows all of the answers. As a personality, he's so kind, understanding and compassionate."

A peer describes new head of department Alison Broadberry's arrival at the firm as "a good feather in Edwin Coe's cap." Broadberry has in-house experience at financial advisory firms, and is known for her relationships with wealth management professionals. "I find her fantastic," says a source, "she has an absolutely first-class manner of communication. She conveys complicated concepts in a way that even the least intuitive clients can understand and they leave with an understanding of how the estate plan being implemented will help them." An observer enthuses that "she has good flexibility and is good at getting clients to discuss what they need openly, and she combines that with being really technically knowledgeable and having very up-to-date knowledge."

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Band 4

From the HNW guide

"Howard Kennedy has a real depth and breadth of technical expertise in private client tax and trusts," says a source, adding that the team is "particularly impressive in relation to international issues. While having the technical nous to deal with the most complex of problems, they are also skilled at applying this technical knowledge practically and in a solution-based way to help their clients."

The firm's private client team has a strong client base of entrepreneurs and individuals in the sports and media sectors, and is increasingly active in international work. A commentator says: "I like the fact that they can call on specialists from a number of areas, such as corporate or matrimonial, from within the firm. The private client team are very proactive and very easy to deal with, very through and very competent."

Notable practitioners

Head of private client Liz Palmer is described by a market observer as "approachable, warm and charismatic." She has a broad-based inheritance and estate planning practice, specialising in advising clients with US interests. One source says that "Liz is extremely thorough, extremely knowledgeable and won't say anything until she's absolutely sure she's right, which gives you comfort as a client. She's pragmatic and highlights all of the issues well." Another explains that "Liz is technically excellent and ruthlessly logical, an absolute essential for managing the complex situations and statutory provisions in this area. She combines this with a real dedication and concern for her clients."

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Band 4

Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans

From the HNW guide

This firm is well regarded for domestic private client work and its enviable clientele of landed estates. Commentators particularly underline the team's strength in dealing with high-value trusts. A source says that "they've managed all of our business extremely competently and discreetly. With trusts, you have to maintain financial security and keep up to date with law - their advice has always been first-class and they've always anticipated the future."

One commentator states that "I value their understanding and sympathy, and they reach good solutions in a consensual way. For their location and their name, their fees are surprisingly reasonable, they look after their clients and I don't think you could ask for a better experience." Another notes that "they have good relationships with private banks and they're nice people."

Notable practitioners

Alexandra Sarkis is a key contact.

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Band 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the HNW guide

The London office of this market-leading private wealth firm deals with the full range of international tax planning matters for UHNW clients. A client reports that "in terms of private client work, it's complete and I can't say enough. They are extremely diligent, the package they provide is complete and there's nothing that is too small or too large for them to undertake. Their service is exemplary, their advice is spot on and they work well on cross-border matters - there's a seamless introduction between their US and UK branches."

A market commentator praises the firm's use of its international resources, noting that "what they bring more than anything is their knowledge base. They're a big company worldwide, with a good team of cross-border tax partners - because their team is so knowledgeable, it's very easy to gain the information I need. Their service was very very good."

Notable practitioners

The "really lovely and clever" Andrew Vergunst is well-known as a trusted adviser to clients with complex, multi-jurisdictional wealth. One client calls him "invaluable to the family. His understanding of client needs, his disposition and his knowledge base across complex structures and tax law is extremely good. He's very highly trusted." He is a qualified South African lawyer and regularly advises clients with connections to the jurisdiction.

Astrid Owen is notable for her international practice, with a well-developed Middle Eastern client base and a specialism in US tax matters. As well as high net worth individuals, she regularly works with private banks, institutional trustees and single and multi-family offices. She advises on tax investigations, immigration issues and tax-efficient structuring.

Nicholas Holland is qualified in England and Wales, the Cayman Islands and Canada. He specialises in acting for trustees, beneficiaries and protectors in offshore trusts litigation, representing clients in various jurisdictions.

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Band 4

New Quadrant Partners Limited

From the HNW guide

This boutique law firm specialises in estate planning and wealth structuring work for high net worth individuals. Its domestic and international clients include business owners and entrepreneurs, fund principals and traditional landed estates.

The firm advises on succession planning, tax planning and family governance issues, with expertise in the use of trusts, foundations and corporate vehicles for wealth preservation. Members of the team also specialise in Court of Protection matters and the creation and management of charitable foundations.

Notable practitioners

Louise Stoten is head of New Quadrant Partners' private wealth offering, and has a broad practice, including a specialism in offshore and UK tax structuring for high net worth clients. A peer sums up Stoten's practice, saying that "she's advised hedge fund managers and international clients with significant wealth, doing multi-jurisdictional estate planning. She's good fun and the advice that she gives is sound - she's engaging and quietly outspoken."

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Band 4

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the HNW guide

Penningtons Manches' private wealth team offers asset protection and estate planning advice to private clients and insitutions. An offshore source reports that "they're my go-to people in terms of UK structuring advice. As a firm, they seem very open and very collegiate about what they do and they're very responsive as well. They're an impressive outfit."

"I think they're very knowledgeable," says a market commentator, adding that "they're very good at turning things round and responsing quickly to issues - that's a very helpful aspect of working with them." A London private wealth lawyer enthuses that "Clare Archer and Laura Dadswell are thoroughly excellent," summing up that "I'm a big fan of that firm."

Notable practitioners

A peer states that Laura Dadswell "is a good lawyer, and she manages both her work and her clients really well." Dadswell's private wealth practice centres around tax planning and wealth structuring for clients with international interests, particularly concerning the US. A market observer says: "She's very personable, and she's got the gravitas you need when taking a lawyer to meet a new client. She's very good and a font of all knowledge for resident non-domiciled clients, and she's very aware of all of the issues. She's a fantastic point of contact."

Christopher Lintott is a consultant in the team and an experienced lawyer for wealthy individuals and families. "He's well known in the industry," says a peer, adding that "he's an all-round good guy with some very good clients." A market commentator highlights that "he's a huge character and he's incredibly personable." Lintott advises his international client base on cross-border wealth structuring and estate planning, including the use of offshore structures.

Clare Archer is described as "very technically able" and "extremely knowledgeable" by market sources, who also praise her positive manner. She leads the department and handles complex estate administration, capital tax and estate planning and wealth preservation for private clients, including business owners. An observer says that "I'd go to Clare on family office structures, and she has a great knowledge of wills, probate, succession and any potential contentious elements. She'd be my go-to person, she's great. She's extremely personable, very warm and friendly, and easy to work with, and clients like her because of that."

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Band 4

RadcliffesLeBrasseur

From the HNW guide

RadcliffesLeBrasseur's tax and private client group advises on a broad range of domestic and international wills, trusts and estates work. A source praises the lawyers' experience of dealing with clients' complex interests, calling them "very switched on to the clients' commercial drivers in these matters. They don't just take a purely legal approach, they're very commercially minded and focused on the end-game for the client."

"They are very client-orientated," says one international lawyer, "they have a fantastic knowledge of the law and they look at it from a very pragmatic approach, which is always very hepful in finding the best soution for the client's needs. They are always extremely responsive and very knowledgeable of the international environment, which is constantly changing. They're on top of the changes and able to analyse them very quickly, which is extremely useful."

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Shankland heads up the firm's international tax group, working with UHNW clients, business owners and City professionals. One interviewee says that "what is refreshing about Jonathan is that he's extremely responsive, very clever and very creative. He's very diligent and he has good emotional IQ in the sense that he puts himself in the client's shoes." Another reports that "I work with him on a very regular basis and he's very pragmatic, responsible and client-oriented."

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Band 4

From the HNW guide

Russell-Cooke has a "very good reputation" for working with highly compensated and high net worth clients. It handles a number of cross-border issues and is notable for its team of French Avocats and notaries public. "They have a pretty unique position with expert lawyers," says a source, explaining that "Dawn Alderson and Patrick Delas are both very experienced and professional Anglo-French lawyers who go the extra mile for their clients."

Russell-Cooke is well regarded by peers, with one private wealth lawyer stating that "the advice that they provide is always very clear and they're very quick to respond to any queries." A market commentator says: "They're very personable and compassionate in their approach. The individuals I've liaised with are good listeners and very knowledgeable. We enjoy working with them and have good contact with them - they're a good bunch of people, frankly."

Notable practitioners

Richard Frimston is singled out by peers for his "unrivalled expertise in cross-border private client." He is the chair of STEP EU and is particularly highly regarded in the field of European succession planning. An interviewee reports that "Richard is highly intelligent and at the top of his game. He takes a very pragmatic approach to clients' issues and doesn't allow himself to be swayed by emotion - I find him very personable. He's good fun to go to the pub with and a very interesting individual, he's certainly very knowledgeable."

Dawn Alderson is regarded by peers to be "as sound as a pound on French matters." She is dual-qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and as an Avocat au Barreau de Bordeau. She advises on the intersection between French and English law in property and succession planning matters. A London private client adviser reports that "she's very approachable and she provides very clear advice that's easy to understand."

Patrick Delas regularly advises clients on French and international estate planning and Court of Protection matters. His practice includes advising high net worth individuals on capital gains tax, trusts matters and the French wealth tax. He is qualified as an Avocat au Barreau de Paris and as a solicitor in England and Wales.

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Band 4

From the HNW guide

The "approachable, friendly and proactive" private client team at Wedlake Bell is well regarded by private wealth advisers and clients alike. The firm is notable for combining a strong domestic practice with work for clients with international interests, including high net worth Middle Eastern and Indian families.

A client reports that "they have huge integrity, they're very competent and they have really very good common sense to apply to whatever it is that they're working on." London lawyers note the firm's "very good reputation" for estate planning, saying that "they're very good and they've got a big private client department." Market commentators highlight the team's "good, practical advice on a timely basis," adding that "they are collaborative in the way they work."

Notable practitioners

Eleanor Metcalf is described as "a star" by one fellow lawyer, who adds that "she's got good focus and she's pleasant." Metcalf is an experienced private wealth lawyer, handling estate planning and administration, and providing wealth structuring advice to affluent individuals and families. She has particular expertise in charity law, acting as a trustee, as well as a legal adviser on structuring matters to philanthropic organisations.

Camilla Wallace's private wealth practice includes estate and tax planning for UK individuals, and she also advises clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions on wealth-structuring matters. Her clients include UK non-domiciliaries, offshore trustees and overseas investors. "I know her very well and have a lot of time for her," says a peer, explaining that "I've referred a few things to her and she's extremely personable and sharp."

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Senior Statesmen

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Senior consultant Matthew Pintus has a broad-based private wealth practice, with particular expertise in capital gains, inheritance tax and estate planning internationally. He also leads the firm's probate practice. One interviewee remarks that "he's the guy I'd discuss technical tax issues with a lot," and sources also describe Pintus as "absolutely lovely."

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Senior Statesmen

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Robin Vos is a consultant in the firm and an experienced private client practitioner. A source describes him as "technically excellent." His practice centres around handling international tax and trusts matters for high net worth individuals, including entrepreneurs and senior executives. His client base also includes trustees and financial institutions.

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Band 1

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources note that Mark Bridges "sits at the top of his profession in his experience and approach to work, and has that classic trusted adviser role." Bridges is well known for advising some of the world's highest-profile families, and he is increasingly active in high-value succession disputes. "He's excellent," says a peer, explaining that "he brings all his experience of dealing with complex domestic and international clients." Another says that "we work together a lot and I really like working with him. He's been at the top of his game for a long time, he knows everybody and he's a really nice person to work with, which makes a big difference."

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Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Buzzoni is a well-respected, experienced private wealth lawyer and a trusted adviser to international UHNW clients. Sources particularly praise his client manner, with one calling him "an old-school trustworthy lawyer" and "a quiet observer of people" who "thinks deeply about what the real issue is." One comments that Buzzoni is "very good and he has a very good reputation. He's a really experienced, thoughtful expert and he knows his onions."

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Band 1

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Peers say that Jonathan Conder is "very good, particularly on US/UK matters," and "stands out for exceptional work. He has so much experience in offshore and resident non-domiciliary issues." He specialises in advising wealth management institutions, high net worth individuals and trustees on wealth cross-border structuring and planning. A source explains that "he's a very nice, very personable man with very good offshore connections, particularly in Bermuda. He's very well respected."

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Band 1

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ashley Crossley "rightly has a very good reputation," and is "a terrific lawyer." He specialises in acting for UHNWIs and families with international business interests in complex international wealth structuring and estate planning. This includes establishing venture capital structures and private trust companies. A source reports that "he's very good at dealing with complex tax issues and not seeking solutions that are over-elaborate. He's very good at trying to find a workable solution."

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Band 1

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ceris Gardner is described by peers as "one of the most respected people of the private client world," with one remarking that "she's very well known in the industry, she's lovely and has a fabulous reputation." Gardner has an especially broad private wealth practice and is noted for her expertise in advising high net worth clients on charitable giving. Market commentators are quick to praise her combination of legal skill and personal manner, with one enthusing that "she's lovely, I love Ceris. She's just technically stunning with a great personality and is great with clients." Another appreciates that "Ceris is really practical with clients. She has an incredibly friendly approach and she looks for pragmatic solutions rather than convoluted structures."

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Band 1

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A peer says Lucy Gibson is "intelligent and easy to deal with, and you can understand why clients warm to her." Gibson has a broad private wealth practice, covering advisory and contentious work for wealthy individuals internationally. She particularly focuses on the creation and management of trusts and charitable foundations, and regularly represents trustees in litigation. One source reports that "she's very good technically and she thinks out of the box a lot."

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Band 1

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Charles Gothard is known as "a well-regarded person in private client with a lot of international expertise." His multi-jurisdictional tax planning and structuring practice centres around acting for the owners of substantial businesses and their advisers. Sources say that "he knows his stuff, he's very commercial and a great guy to work with. He's at the top of his game and a really nice guy." One particularly praises his approach, explaining that "he's very efficient, very technical, I like his way of problem-solving and he's very pragmatic."

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Band 1

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nicholas Jacob is dubbed "Mr Asia" by one private client peer, who also notes that "he's really at the top of his game." Jacob is widely known for his long-standing Singapore practice and advises international families on succession planning, governance and asset protection.  A peer explains that "Nick created a practice in the Far East before anybody else. He has done a phenomenal job of travelling back and forth, and developed special cross-border knowledge. He's able to advise families on big governance structures and has a unique reputation, which reflects that he's been a pioneer in that area."

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Band 1

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Clare Maurice's "practice has gone from strength to strength at Maurice Turnor Gardner," remarks a source. She is the firm's senior partner and specialises in cross-border wealth planning and structuring. She is well known as the president of the International Academy of Trust and Estate law, and is regarded as "very sensible, with a very broad experience that people value." An interviewee says that "she's got great eminence, brings a lot of wisdom to the table and clients just love her. She's had her clients for years."

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Band 1

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bart Peerless heads up the group. A source says that "he is doing a fantastic job at leading the private client team, and his leadership skills have really come to the fore through the merger." His international private wealth practice covers succession and estate planning for wealthy individuals and families, trustees and beneficiaries of tax-efficient structures. A peer remarks that "he's very straightforward and bright, he has a good understanding of the international side and is good to deal with." Also praising his approach, an observer notes that "he's really personable, he can cut through the complexity, and he's very good at talking to clients about complex issues in a straightforward way that they'll understand."

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Band 1

Sebastian Prichard Jones

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sebastian Prichard Jones is described as "absolutely encyclopaedic in his technical knowledge, and hugely good at making clients feel that they have every angle covered. The client is in extremely safe hands." His practice has a distinctly international focus. As part of his broader tax and succession planning expertise, he particularly specialises in the formation of family offices and other vehicles for asset transfer and preservation.

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Band 1

RMW Law

From the Chambers HNW guide

John Riches of RMW Law works for ultra high net worth families with multi-generational wealth. "For big families, he's very well respected and he has a very good reputation," says a source. One fellow lawyer notes that "he's terribly good on regulatory matters like the Common Reporting Standard, where he's done some amazing work." Another refers to him as a "very very nice chap and a leading light with a number of top clients."

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Band 1

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Basil Zirinis of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a US-qualified attorney described as "a great addition to the London scene." Private wealth lawyers in London are quick to praise him as a partner in complex international matters, with one commenting that "he's an excellent lawyer and a very good strategist, who sees the big picture. He's great at handling clients and has a great manner in meetings - he's genuinely a star and I'd love to work with him more. He's a real collaborator and I look forward to our meetings." Another says: "We work with him an awful lot, and we welcome the opportunity to work with him and the firm whenever we can. He's an immaculate player and a force of nature, and can make very complex things seem simple - it's a joy that he's based in London."

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Band 2

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Piers Barclay is the new head of Macfarlanes' private client group and handles international estate planning, including trust compliance work with civil law jurisdictions and Sharia-compliant structures. One peer says that "we did a big piece of work with him and he made it a delight." Another source comments that "he's very technical and he has a fantastic way of dealing with people. I like him a lot, he's a pleasure to work with and he delivers."

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Band 2

Keith Bruce-Smith

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Keith Bruce-Smith is an experienced private wealth practitioner, who advises high net worth clients on tax planning and wealth stucturing, and regularly serves as a trustee. He is notable for his relationships with the owners of landed estates. A peer describes him as "a great practitioner," explaining that "he's got great breadth of practice, and is active on both the contentious and non-contentious side."

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Band 2

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Burt is highly regarded for his work as an adviser to private clients with cross-border wealth. Peers and other sources are quick to praise his technical prowess, also noting that "he's got a very good commercial understanding and he's a very skilled and well-known lawyer." An observer notes that "he's bright and articulate, and he always manages to convey his views with a dry sense of humour. That always goes down well with clients and meetings are enjoyable and engaging. He's an extremely bright person who gets to the point very quickly."

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Band 2

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers HNW guide

Richard Frimston is singled out by peers for his "unrivalled expertise in cross-border private client." He is the chair of STEP EU and is particularly highly regarded in the field of European succession planning. An interviewee reports that "Richard is highly intelligent and at the top of his game. He takes a very pragmatic approach to clients' issues and doesn't allow himself to be swayed by emotion - I find him very personable. He's good fun to go to the pub with and a very interesting individual, he's certainly very knowledgeable."

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Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Hine leads Taylor Wessing's private client team and has a broad-based tax practice, working with domestic and international clients, including the trustees and beneficiaries of offshore and domestic structures. His practice covers both litigation and non-contentious tax and trusts matters, acting for his "good strong international client base." A peer reports that "he's so nice and he's so highly regarded by those in the legal profession."

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Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sue Laing "is wonderful," says a source, referring to her as "a very experienced lawyer on the tax and trusts side." Laing is an experienced private wealth practitioner acting for ultra-high net worth individuals with substantial business interests. Another source notes that "she has a huge reputation and it's deserved."

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Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

One commentator calls Piers Master "a very intelligent chap" who "works very hard to get the best results for his clients." Another notes the depth of his international practice, saying that "he's great, particularly in the Middle East, and he understands the intricacies of Sharia law." Master also advises high-profile Russian clients, the owners of rural estates and entrepreneurs on succession and estate planning. "He's excellent," says a source, adding that "he's one of my first ports of call for referrals. He's an extremely technical tax lawyer who's very good at explaining complex things in a simple way. I'd never hesitate to refer to him."

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Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Arabella Murphy heads up the private wealth practice at Maurice Turnor Gardner and is particularly well regarded for her work setting up private trust companies and advising on family governance. Her clients include private banks, trustees and families with multi-generational wealth. A source notes Murphy's "incredible technical understanding of the private client universe matched with an ability to make lay people understand her and foster relationships, which is why she's so successful."

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Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alice Palmer is a well-regarded private wealth lawyer with a cross-border practice and a particular focus on representing Scandinavian HNWIs and families. A peer comments that "she's very collaborative and human, she's got experience and she'll share her knowledge. Having someone like her in a negotiation is a huge relief, you'll have a sensible conversation and she'll take a collaborative approach."

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Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Edward Reed is known for his "good specialism in French clients," and he is praised for his "strong experience and particular understanding" of this area and for speaking "very good French." He advises on domestic and international wills, and trusts matters, and regularly acts as a trustee. One source says that "he's terrific, and very good at working with international clients with interests in lots of different countries." Another describes him as "a very lovely guy, and very charming. He's really honest and trustworthy with real gravitas - I would rate him."

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Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Simon Rylatt's private wealth practice focuses on complex, high-value structuring and wealth planning work for clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions. One source says that "he's got a lot of emotional intelligence and has the ability to connect with clients. The best people in this field are able to combine the technical side with helping people to understand, and Simon is very focused on giving people the right advice. That's what real service is about." Another remarks that "he's excellent, both in terms of technical capability but also as a human character."

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Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

One interviewee calls Catriona Syed "a very talented individual, able to give advice covering a number of jurisdictions in the private client environment."  Another states that "technically she knows her stuff and she's good at handling clients," praising her "good international practice." Syed acts for individuals and institutions on cross-border tax planning and is qualified in the British Virgin Islands. "She's absolutely brilliant," says a source, adding that "clients like her a lot. She's very approachable, has a very good feeling for situations and people, and is a pleasure to work with."

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Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Anthony Thompson has a broad-based international estate planning practice, working with high net worth families. He regularly deals with individuals with ties to the Middle East and his clients also include professional trustees. An important focus of his private wealth practice is family governance and residence advice to complex international families. "He is a very good practitioner," says a peer, highlighting that he has "a lot of experience under his belt. He has a good client base and he is someone I would rate."

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Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Warr leads the firm's international private wealth group and specialises in cross-border succession planning. His "very impressive client base" consists of business owners, finance executives and professional trustees in various jurisdictions. One source notes Warr's "amazing ability to solve problems," adding that "he's very well equipped to deal with high-pressure clients." Another says that "non-domiciled tax planning is a big part of his practice and his advice is very clear, pragmatic and straightforward."

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Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Emma-Jane Weider is "practical, dynamic, turns things round quickly and knows her stuff," says one source. "She's intellectually sharp with a good manner with clients." Her wide-ranging tax planning practice covers succession planning, the creation and management of structures and charitable giving. A commentator notes that she is "great on the financial planning side."

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Band 3

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

"Frankly, he's an absolute delight to deal with," says a source about Robert Blower, explaining that "he's thoroughly professional, very client-centric, very accommodating and generally very good." Blower regularly works with traditional UK private clients on the taxation of heritage property, artworks and multi-generational wealth. He also has a strong Middle Eastern practice, which includes establishing and managing Sharia-compliant trusts. A peer remarks that "he's straightforward, sensible and thinks clearly."

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Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

A source enthuses that Robert Brodrick "is an extremely eminent lawyer and his reputation is based on his tremendous integrity, which really comes across well." Brodrick works with domestic, US and Middle Eastern clients, with one peer noting that "on wealth structuring for international clients, he's very good." Another says that "he's lovely, he's got great client handling skills and he works for a mixture of landed and international, entrepreneurial clients."

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Band 3

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Russell Cohen is described as "very impressive with a good reputation" and praised for his "very good understanding of cross-border Swiss/UK situations." He chairs the firm's international private wealth group and regularly works with private clients, wealth managers and trustees on multi-jurisdictional wealth planning. One interviewee notes that "he's very personable with a great bedside manner - he's very knowldgeable and able to articulate complex issues in a straightforward way." Another appreciates that "you can have a sensible discussion with him, he takes on your views and presents his own reasonably."

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Sophie Dworetzsky

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sophie Dworetzsky has particular experience in advising fund managers and principals on the tax-efficient structuring of their income and capital. She has a strong practice in complex structuring for international clients, including setting up family offices, trusts and partnerships for wealth preservation and purchases. One interviewee notes that "I like her competence in tax matters and her analytical capabilities," while another says that "she's well known in the industry and I like working with her."

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Christopher Lintott

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Christopher Lintott is a consultant in the team and an experienced lawyer for wealthy individuals and families. "He's well known in the industry," says a peer, adding that "he's an all-round good guy with some very good clients." A market commentator highlights that "he's a huge character and he's incredibly personable." Lintott advises his international client base on cross-border wealth structuring and estate planning, including the use of offshore structures.

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Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sara Maccallum is described as "extremely able and very good." She specialises in handling corporate and personal tax planning for business owners, including creating and managing trusts and other structures. She also regularly advises on taxes related to property and corporate transactions. As well as working with individuals and families, Maccallum also advises trust companies and property developers.

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Suzanne Marriott's broad-based practice for wealthy individuals and families covers litigation and non-contentious tax, trusts and probate work. She also handles charitable planning. A peer praises this "diverse range of expertise," explaining that "she deals with a number of different fields and does it very well, and she's pretty pragmatic, too." She is described as "very practical with a very commercial approach" and "very impressive, a lovely person and good fun."

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Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Patricia Milner is the joint leader of the firm's European private client and tax team, and represents a number of families with complex international wealth structuring issues. These clients include domestic and international individuals with multi-generational wealth, business owners and large landed estates. She is also engaged in family governance matters, establishing new family offices and educating younger generations in financial and legal matters.

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Bircham Dyson Bell

From the Chambers HNW guide

Helen Ratcliffe's client base consists of domestic and overseas individuals and families with substantial wealth, with a focus on working with Middle Eastern clients. She assists with the restructuring of family wealth and acts on contentious private wealth matters. Ratcliffe also provides wealth structuring advice to trustees and beneficiaries of trusts in a number of jurisdictions. "She's lovely," says a peer, explaining that "she's terribly nice, very helpful and knows her stuff."

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Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

David Robinson is an experienced private wealth adviser and one of the firm's founding partners. He works with high net worth individuals on a range of topics connected to their wealth and assets, with particular emphasis on tax planning including landed property and works of art. He also regularly sits as a trustee or executor for domestic and overseas clients.

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Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alexandra Ruffel has an international client base of high net worth individuals. As well as wealth structuring, Ruffel has expertise in immigration and emigration for non-UK nationals and domicilliaries. A source enthuses that "I love working with her and every client I've introduced to her has been super-satisfied. She's super-proactive, very good at explaining this complex field and is extremely practical, which is great because often you can have a beautiful solution that's impractical. I've never had any negative feedback, or even neutral - it's always super-positive feedback."

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Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sanjvee Shah is well-known for her cross-border work, with sources reporting that "she's very good in acting for Indian and South Asian clients." As part of her broad tax, trusts and wealth planning practice, she specialises in the use of a range of structures for asset protection. She has expertise in advising clients with connections to the Middle East, the Far East, Europe and the US on their UK and overseas assets.

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Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Christopher Sly's private client practice has a distinct cross-border focus. He is a consultant in the firm's private client team and works with entrepreneurs and their families. His work often centres around the creation and management of trusts and other structures for wealth preservation and family governance. Peers describe him as "extremely eminent," with one noting that "if I had a conflict, I would certainly consider Chris."

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Band 3

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Fiona Smith's client list consists of business owners and entrepreneurs, sport and media individuals, and trustees of private and charitable structures. She handles estate planning, tax-efficient structuring and probate. "She's very good, clear-headed and strategic," says one source, while another calls her "professional, astute and with excellent common sense," citing her "relaxed and comforting manner" with clients.

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Rupert Ticehurst heads the firm's private client litigation team and handles both wealth planning and trusts litigation matters for high net worth clients. His client base is predominantly international and he is regularly involved in cross-border work. "He's very impressive with a very good technical grasp of the law," says a peer, adding that "he's well-known and popular."

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Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Richard Turnor "has a brain the size of a planet," says a source, remarking that "he's one of the leading partnership law experts in the UK." His practice centres on creating structures to hold international assets, and he regularly advises beneficiaries and professional trustees. An interviewee notes that Turnor is "well known on the partnership side of things, as well as Middle Eastern matters. He has a very collaborative manner and he's easy to work with."

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Band 3

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Penny Williams's practice has a distinctly international flavour. Her client base consists largely of non-domiciled clients relocating to or living in the UK, Latin American clients structuring their international assets, and clients in the UK seeking cross-border wealth planning advice with the US. One source notes that "she's very knowledgeable and she knows what she's talking about."

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Band 4

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Clare Archer is described as "very technically able" and "extremely knowledgeable" by market sources, who also praise her positive manner. She leads the department and handles complex estate administration, capital tax and estate planning and wealth preservation for private clients, including business owners. An observer says that "I'd go to Clare on family office structures, and she has a great knowledge of wills, probate, succession and any potential contentious elements. She'd be my go-to person, she's great. She's extremely personable, very warm and friendly, and easy to work with, and clients like her because of that."

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Band 4

Osbornes Law

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jan Atkinson leads the private client department at Osbornes Solicitors LLP. She assists high net worth clients with wealth planning and acts as administrator on high-value estates with assets in multiple jurisdictions. She also regularly acts for individuals in disputed probate and trust cases. She works in conjunction with the firm's family and residential property teams to provide a full service to private clients.

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Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Badcock is described as "technically really very good and very personable," and "a very bright young man building up a good practice." He has a strong  international tax planning practice, and advises a number of Russian clients on estate planning and immigration. A commentator appreciates his "good relaxed manner with clients," noting that he "takes time to understand the client."

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A commentator describes Catharine Bell as a "very good long-standing private client adviser," adding that "she's a very well-known figure in the private client world." Bell works regularly with entrepreneurs and other private individuals across various jurisdictions. As well as assisting overseas families with complex cross-border planning, Bell is also notable for her expertise in working with landed estates on personal tax, heritage property and farmland.

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Damian Bloom works with high net worth individuals and their wealth management advisers on tax and estate planning. Many of his clients are entrepreneurs and business owners with broad-ranging legal requirements. He is also highlighted for his impressive base of private banking clients. "It's a very pleasant experience to deal with him," says a fellow lawyer.

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Alison Broadberry

Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A peer describes new head of department Alison Broadberry's arrival at the firm as "a good feather in Edwin Coe's cap." Broadberry has in-house experience at financial advisory firms, and is known for her relationships with wealth management professionals. "I find her fantastic," says a source, "she has an absolutely first-class manner of communication. She conveys complicated concepts in a way that even the least intuitive clients can understand and they leave with an understanding of how the estate plan being implemented will help them." An observer enthuses that "she has good flexibility and is good at getting clients to discuss what they need openly, and she combines that with being really technically knowledgeable and having very up-to-date knowledge."

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

An observer describes Andrew Cameron as "a tax guru," explaining that "he's got very deep tax expertise and he's very trusted adviser to many clients." Cameron acts for many high net worth families with interests in multiple jurisdicitions, particularly those with ties to Russia and India. He also regularly serves as a trustee on private and charitable structures.

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Band 4

Jennifer Chambers

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jennifer Chambers acts for private clients on wealth planning and philanthropy work, also working with charitable organisations. One peer describes her as "very active on the charity side, and very well regarded." Another appreciates that "she's very easy to discuss problems with, she always provides good advice and practical solutions, and I don't have to explain what's happened in the past. She's very good at addressing the specific question that we're asking, and can provide the detail as well as seing the overview."

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Carole Cook is known for being "good on the international side" of tax planning for individuals in the UK and overseas. Her private wealth practice covers tax, trust and succession planning for business owners, landed estates and family offices. A source comments that "I know her pretty well and like her. I think she's sensible and has her feet on the ground."

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Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Oliver Court is noted for his "substantial international experience" and being "very conversant with cross-border estates." A peer particularly appreciates his "real comprehensive knowledge of US/UK planning work," adding that "he's very sharp, very capable and very thorough. He's a very steady presence." Court handles a range of estate planning matters, particularly international wealth structuring and family governance.

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Band 4

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)

From the Chambers HNW guide

Judith Cuxson of Veale Wasbrough Vizards is described by fellow private wealth advisors as "experienced, calm and approachable." She is an experienced private client practitioner with experience in estate planning and administration and court of protection issues. A clients recalls that in a recent engagement, "she was totally professional at all times and appeared to have the perfect blend of pleasant personality, years of legal knowledge and worldly experience for the work involved."

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Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A peer states that Laura Dadswell "is a good lawyer, and she manages both her work and her clients really well." Dadswell's private wealth practice centres around tax planning and wealth structuring for clients with international interests, particularly concerning the US. A market observer says: "She's very personable, and she's got the gravitas you need when taking a lawyer to meet a new client. She's very good and a font of all knowledge for resident non-domiciled clients, and she's very aware of all of the issues. She's a fantastic point of contact."

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Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Giles is an experienced trusts and estates practitioner. He has a strong client base of business-owning individuals and families. He has also developed a philanthropy practice, assisting high net worth clients with the establishment and management of charitable giving structures.

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Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "charming and very able" David Goepel has particular expertise in cross-border advice for high net worth individuals, and regularly works with UK resident non-domiciliaries and US nationals. He specialises in advising private clients on philanthropic giving. A client says: "From a professional point of view I can't fault him at all – he's very knowledgeable, he knows all of the answers. As a personality, he's so kind, understanding and compassionate."

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Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Goldstone assists his international and domestic high net worth clients on UK and offshore tax, succession and estate planning. He also has a strong practice in residence issues and charitable planning. "Andrew Goldstone is a true veteran of the private client industry," says one market source. Another calls him "a really good lawyer," explaining that "he's personable, intelligent and his clients like him. He works well on all fronts - he's a good guy."

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Peers say Patrick Harney is "really well regarded and knows his stuff" and that "he has an excellent reputation and very good client relationship skills." He specialises in tax-efficient structuring of clients' personal wealth and property transactions, with experience of using family investment companies and partnerships. A key part of his practice is cross-border planning for clients with interests in the UK and US. A source describes him as "very able, very hard-working and very driven. He's worked enormously hard to build a US practice and has been very successful in doing so."

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Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nicholas Harries is known by peers as "a very clever tax and structuring lawyer with excellent people skills." He handles trust and tax planning for domestic and overseas individuals and their families, with particular focus on the Far East. He is an ex-barrister and holds Higher Courts rights of audience. "He's extremely good on the law," says a market source, explaining that "he understands anything legal which you put to him. I've seen him in conference with clients, and he's very good at bridging the gap between the legal and the personal."

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Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the Chambers HNW guide

Glenn Hurstfield is an experienced private client practitioner with a mix of domestic and international work. His practice for high net worth clients has a strong focus on probate and estate administration work. He also regularly handles estate planning and trusts matters and Court of Protection work.

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Salpy Kouyoumjian

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Salpy Kouyoumjian leads Boodle Hatfield's Middle Eastern, Russian and CIS offering, and is fluent in Arabic, French and Armenian. Her clients include the owners of international businesses and their advisers, and she often advises on the establishment of partnerships, family offices and private trust companies. "She is very good technically," remarks an interviewee. Another commentator describes her as "terrific" and explains that "she works in real time and gives responses quickly."

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Catherine McAleavey

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Catherine McAleavey specialises in wealth planning for domestic UK clients and those with US ties. As well as working with the owners of landed estates and significant businesses, she also advises trustees and the executors of complex estates. Sources call her "very good and efficient," and comment that "her main strength is putting things in plain English. She strips away the legalese and gets the message across in the simplest way without losing any of the meaning."

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Rosamond McDowell

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

A peer notes that Rosamond McDowell is "extremely thorough in what she does and her advice is excellent." She is notable for the breadth of her private practice, covering domestic and international tax planning and litigation for private clients. A market commentator says that "I've found her to be extremely professional and very tactful, which is very helpful. She's extremely personable and people have a great degree of comfort in dealing with her. She's very straightforward and open in dealing with things."

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Band 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Eleanor Metcalf is described as "a star" by one fellow lawyer, who adds that "she's got good focus and she's pleasant." Metcalf is an experienced private wealth lawyer, handling estate planning and administration, and providing wealth structuring advice to affluent individuals and families. She has particular expertise in charity law, acting as a trustee, as well as a legal adviser on structuring matters to philanthropic organisations.

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Band 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

From the Chambers HNW guide

Judith Millar advises clients with multi-generational wealth and substantial business interests on estate and succession planning. She also handles pre- and post-nuptial agreements, residence and domicile issues and pre-immigration planning. "She's briliant," says one source, explaining that "her knowledge is brilliant and she's a delight to work with."

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Band 4

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Filippo Noseda moved to Mishcon from Withers in June 2017. He is qualified in the UK and Switzerland. He handles cross-border tax planning for European families, with a particular niche practice in advising governments on the law of foundations. He is also particularly well known for his publishing and speaking on the Common Reporting Standard.

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Band 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Astrid Owen is notable for her international practice, with a well-developed Middle Eastern client base and a specialism in US tax matters. As well as high net worth individuals, she regularly works with private banks, institutional trustees and single and multi-family offices. She advises on tax investigations, immigration issues and tax-efficient structuring.

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Band 4

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Martin Paisner is an experienced legal adviser to high net worth clients, with a broad private client and charities practice. One source says that "he's extremely knowledgeable and his commercial approach shines through." Another states that "his reputation is huge, particularly in the charity area."

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Band 4

Howard Kennedy LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Head of private client Liz Palmer is described by a market observer as "approachable, warm and charismatic." She has a broad-based inheritance and estate planning practice, specialising in advising clients with US interests. One source says that "Liz is extremely thorough, extremely knowledgeable and won't say anything until she's absolutely sure she's right, which gives you comfort as a client. She's pragmatic and highlights all of the issues well." Another explains that "Liz is technically excellent and ruthlessly logical, an absolute essential for managing the complex situations and statutory provisions in this area. She combines this with a real dedication and concern for her clients."

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Band 4

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Simon Phelps heads the firm's Asia private client group, working with Far Eastern and Middle Eastern family offices and individuals in conjunction with the firm's international offices. He advises international clients on estate planning and the creation and management of trusts. He also acts as an adviser to overseas private clients acquiring property and businesses in the UK.

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Band 4

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A professional adviser describes James Quarmby of Stephenson Harwood LLP as "extremely good and presentable. You put him in front of a client and he makes the most complicated matter seem straightforward. It's great to introduce someone of such a high quality to our clients." He handles wealth and tax planning for domestic and international private clients. Market commentators note his ability in complex wealth structuring, with one explaining that "he's very technical and knowledgeable in his field, and he gets on well with clients - he strikes the correct balance between making the client feel at ease and providing technical advice."

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Band 4

Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Rucker is recognised for the important role that he played in the development of Berkeley Law, and now leads the Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth London and international team. His areas of expertise include tax and wealth planning, with a particular focus on the creation of private investment funds and other vehicles.

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Band 4

Jonathan Shankland

RadcliffesLeBrasseur

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Shankland heads up the firm's international tax group, working with UHNW clients, business owners and City professionals. One interviewee says that "what is refreshing about Jonathan is that he's extremely responsive, very clever and very creative. He's very diligent and he has good emotional IQ in the sense that he puts himself in the client's shoes." Another reports that "I work with him on a very regular basis and he's very pragmatic, responsible and client-oriented."

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Band 4

Winckworth Sherwood

From the Chambers HNW guide

Tim Snaith of Winckworth Sherwood is a private client lawyer with expertise in creating charitable structures. "Tim Snaith is excellent," says an observer, adding that "he is extremely diligent and thorough, taking great care to ensure that every relevant point receives full consideration, while always remaining focused on achieving the client's goals. Clients can have absolute confidence in him, and he demonstrates real interest in and enthusiasm for his work. He is very responsive and a pleasure to work with." He is lauded by clients for his "excellent communication and listening skills."

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Band 4

New Quadrant Partners Limited

From the Chambers HNW guide

Louise Stoten is head of New Quadrant Partners' private wealth offering, and has a broad practice, including a specialism in offshore and UK tax structuring for high net worth clients. A peer sums up Stoten's practice, saying that "she's advised hedge fund managers and international clients with significant wealth, doing multi-jurisdictional estate planning. She's good fun and the advice that she gives is sound - she's engaging and quietly outspoken."

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Band 4

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Geoffrey Todd has a broad-based private wealth practice and advises high net worth clients, including those with significant business interests. He advises on the creation and administration of trusts, also working regularly with the trustees of cross-border structures. Many of Todd's clients have connections with both the US and UK and make use of his expertise in wealth planning and residence issues.

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Band 4

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Trafford is known as "a very charming, amiable and friendly chap who gives very sensible advice and isn't afraid to say it as it is." He handles a wide range of estate planning, often working closely with other professional advisers. "He's extremely personable and very empathetic," says one source, summing up that "I really rate him as a lawyer and trust his counsel implicitly." Another says that "I like James very much, he's commercial and understands what the clients want. I have no hesitation going to him with a conflict at all, he'll do a very good job for the client."

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Band 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "really lovely and clever" Andrew Vergunst is well-known as a trusted adviser to clients with complex, multi-jurisdictional wealth. One client calls him "invaluable to the family. His understanding of client needs, his disposition and his knowledge base across complex structures and tax law is extremely good. He's very highly trusted." He is a qualified South African lawyer and regularly advises clients with connections to the jurisdiction.

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Band 4

Sarah von Schmidt

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sarah von Schmidt has a "great reputation" in the London tax and trusts market and advises entrepreneurs, landowners and other high net worth families. Her broad-based tax and estate planning practice covers areas such as family governance and the structuring of philanthropic giving. In addition to acting for private clients, von Schmidt regularly works with estate offices, private banks and single and multi-family offices.

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Band 4

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources regard Rhoddy Voremberg as an "elder statesman" of private wealth work. One interviewee notes that "he's got knowledge built up from years and years of dealing with clients and he's good at applying that in a helpful way." Many of his clients own heritage property in the form of works of art and landed estates, and seek his expertise in wealth planning and family governance matters.

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Band 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Camilla Wallace's private wealth practice includes estate and tax planning for UK individuals, and she also advises clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions on wealth-structuring matters. Her clients include UK non-domiciliaries, offshore trustees and overseas investors. "I know her very well and have a lot of time for her," says a peer, explaining that "I've referred a few things to her and she's extremely personable and sharp."

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Band 4

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Paul Whitehead has a broad-based international private wealth practice with a particular focus on Russian clients. A market commentator values the fact that "I can call up Paul and have a five-minute chat and understand a tricky issue," adding that "he's personable and clients trust him as an extended member of the family. He's commercial, approachable and patient, which is key. His depth of knowledge is fantastic. I've never asked him anything that he can't provide an answer to."

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Band 4

Fieldfisher

From the Chambers HNW guide

Penny Wotton of Fieldfisher is an experienced lawyer in estate planning for wealth clients, with a considerable practice advising on the creation and management of philanthropic structures. A client reports that "she's always been excellent in her advice, which is first class. I like her manner - she's very engaging, understanding and conciliatory, and is always prepared to respond to anything quickly and thoroughly. She's straightforward and understanding and it makes us feel very comfortable dealing with her on any legal problems."

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Up and Coming

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

One source describes Hayden Bailey as an "extremely high-quality" practitioner who is "very technically strong and user-friendly. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending him to anyone." Bailey specialises in advising entrepreneurs on corporate law and personal tax issues. He handles the use of trusts and insurance for succession planning and assists non-UK domiciled clients with UK asset structuring.

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Up and Coming

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Frederick Bjørn brings his experience in corporate tax to advising high net worth individuals on international estates and succession planning. He regularly advises on both onshore and offshore structures and has particular expertise in acting for Scandinavian clients. A client of Bjørn's reports that he "has been a tower of strength. He is a superb explainer of complicated legal issues; I don't know what we should have done without him."

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Up and Coming

Jennifer Smithson

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A peer notes that Jennifer Smithson is "a good partner to have on the other side" and appreciates that "she has a practical approach to very complex problems." Smithson handles international tax and estate planning for individuals and families, including those involved in financial services. She has a particular focus on advising US citizens. A source explains that "Jenny has a really great knowledge of disclosure regimes, including FATCA and CRS. She has an amazing depth of knowledge and can provide practical solutions as a result, and she's very responsive. "

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Up and Coming

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Daniel Ugur has a wide-ranging tax, trusts and estate planning practice, and works with private clients, trustees and wealth management institutions. Many of his clients are the owners of significant businesses, and he advises them on succession planning and the establishment of family governance structures. He specialises in acting for Asian clients on estate and pre-migration tax planning.

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Associates to watch

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Senior associate Eesha Arora focuses on international private client work, including pre-immigration tax planning. She works with individuals and well-known institutions, as well as charitable organisations. A source reports that she is "very easy to deal with, very direct and very responsive to any comments or suggestions made." Describing Arora as "absolutely brilliant," a market observer says that "she's up and coming, and she's phenomenal."

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Associates to watch

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Emily Osborne is a senior associate in the private wealth team of Stephenson Harwood LLP. Sources particularly note that she is "excellent technically," explaining that she "understands tax law extremely well and has a really good knowledge of the way tax interacts with law." A market commentator notes that she combines this with good personal skills, saying that "her technical knowledge is very good indeed, and she's very good with her responses to clients."

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Associates to watch

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A market observer describes Charlie Sosna as "highly personal and technical," admiring his "positive, can-do attitude." He is a managing associate specialising in advising individuals and family offices on complex, cross-border wealth structuring. "I have been impressed with Charlie," says a client, explaining that "I would describe Charlie as practical, thorough and understanding of his client's needs."

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