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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — London (Firms)

From the HNW guide

Baker McKenzie is widely admired for its "big international presence and its ability to service a whole range of clients in many jurisdictions." The firm regularly handles private wealth matters for HNW clients and is noted for is strong links in the Middle East and other Asian jurisdictions. It also has a significant reputation for dealing with high-profile international disputes and is further lauded as "a powerhouse firm" that is "at the top of the market." The team is acknowledged for having "a very strong combination of private client and litigation skills" and for doing "high-level work." A source says: "They have the resources and expertise to deal with the biggest and most complex disputes."

The lawyers at the firm are praised by a commentator who says: "They have a very strong team and I love working with them. They are very smart, very meticulous and very good team players." Another London source states that "they do very complex work and have some excellent people all over the world." Their cross-border strength is further praised, with one adviser reporting that "they act on some very, very significant cases in all offshore jurisdictions." A private client expert adds: "They have a very, very extensive international network and can plug into their global knowledge base and talent pool to act for clients from all over the world."

Notable practitioners

The "excellent" Ashley Crossley is well regarded for his highly international private client practice. Sources note his technical expertise, describing him as "very knowledgeable and impressive." Crossley has extensive experience working with clients from the Middle East and Russia on complex wealth structuring matters and the establishment of family offices. A market insider says that "he's clearly got a lot of expertise in the ultra-high net worth area," adding that "he's very practical, pragmatic and good on his advice." "He's wonderfully vibrant, very pleasant to work with, very connected in the industry," says an interviewee; "he's exceptional at dealing with complex matters with high-profile individuals."

Anthony Poulton is "an absolutely top lawyer" who has "tremendous experience and stature." He has a significant offshore practice and is recognised by a source as "an expert in Bahamian and Bermudian disputes." The interviewee continues: "He is an outstanding all-round litigator who is very strong at trust litigation." Poulton regularly acts for trustees, beneficiaries and other third parties in high-profile cases and is noted for his "very strong track record acting for big institutional banks and companies." His legal skills are highly praised by commentators. One offshore expert enthuses: "He is technically excellent, but his real skills are in how he handles clients. He is very charming, well liked and utilises those qualities in a very effective way for the clients." Another peer reports: "He is very smart and very diligent. He is always focused and always listens." The source adds: "He controls himself very well, like a poker player. You never know what he thinks. He does everything very softly."

Gemma Willingham regularly handles contentious trust disputes for a variety of institutional and individual clients and is recognised as "a rising star." One interviewee remarks: "She is technically excellent and always on top of matters." Other sources note that "she is very good with documents and analysis" and that "she is very sensible and pragmatic." Her strong reputation in the market is also highlighted and an interviewee reveals that "clients absolutely love her," adding: "Some very significant and high-profile clients really rate her."

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Bircham Dyson Bell is considered "a very strong traditional private client firm" with a good reputation for both non-contentious and contentious work. "They're very long-standing advisers and they've built long-term relationships with very well established families. They're very considered, very thoughtful, not too brash, quite understated. They're confident about how long they've been around and the very long-standing clients they've had," says an interviewee, adding that "there's lots of partner face-time for clients." The firm's close relationship between its private client department and the litigation team is considered a particular "selling point."

The disputes team at the firm is recognised as going from strength to strength. "They pick up high-profile work and are really carving out a strong reputation for offshore work. They're very much on an upward curve," comments a barrister. Another source reports that "they are building up and they have a strong team - clients like to go to them. They have real substance behind their practice." "They do the full range of private client litigation and they have the ability to take on complex and tricky cases," says a market insider. The team acts for wealthy clients on trust and will disputes, and works closely with the firm's family, charity and private wealth groups. "They are good at offshore work and are quite active in the wider industry. They have some very strong expertise in connection with landed estates - they act for some prominent clients," says an interviewee.

Notable practitioners

Geoffrey Kertesz leads the will and trust disputes team and acts for a broad range of high net worth clients. "He is outstanding," enthuses one source, who continues: "He is a tough but fair litigator and is the type of lawyer who can spot the sort of issues that all other lawyers miss." Another interviewee observes: "He has great instincts and knows which cases can be fought and which must be settled." Various sources further laud him as "very well-connected in the industry" and "a popular figure in the market." His ability to keep abreast of current legal issues is also noted. "He is very switched on to this market and how it is developing," states an observer.

Helen Ratcliffe is "very bright, a first-class lawyer," reports a barrister. She works with UK and international clients on tax and estate planning matters, and has additional expertise in handling heritage property issues. "She's very good, she works incredibly hard, she's very serious about doing a good job," says a peer. Another source describes her as "very responsive, knowledgeable, thoughtful and a kind person to work with."

Judith Millar advises high net worth clients on trust and estate planning matters and is experienced in both UK and international work. She also assists clients on domicile and residence issues. Millar is praised by sources as "very good, very thorough and very pleasant to deal with" and "very experienced on the international side."

^ See whole ranking table

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the HNW guide

Boodle Hatfield is "a well-known private client firm with a great reputation" which acts for a wide range of HNW clients, including wealthy families, landed estates, art collectors and family offices. A market expert says: "They still do a lot of work with traditional HNW clients from the UK and are very good on large-scale estate matters and trust disputes." The firm advises on the full spectrum of wealth and succession planning matters and is praised for "really understanding the private client world." It is also noted for its strong Middle East practice and is further lauded by a wealth adviser for showing "real dedication and commitment to their clients." The same source adds: "I have been extremely impressed, especially with regard our major mutual clients. They are an excellent firm and it's a pleasure to work with them."

Market sources note that "they have a very strong team" that is "really good at pure traditional chancery work." Its contentious trust practice is very highly regarded and one interviewee says: "They are very well-versed in the sensitive issues which arise in most of these private client disputes. They have the experience to handle these cases with discretion." Another observer explains: "Their strength is their deep understanding of trusts and of families. They have a very practical approach to advising on what are essentially pretty complex and very personal matters." A wealth expert states: "They offer a premium service on both the contentious and non-contentious side."

Notable practitioners

Described as "fantastically good," Sue Laing has a stellar reputation for her private client practice. She acts for large family estates, and is experienced in complex, multi-generational matters. Laing advises on succession planning, tax planning and trusts. An interviewee praises her as "very clever, direct, empathetic and knowledgeable."

Simon Rylatt is respected in the market for his dual practice in contentious and non-contentious private client work. "He's great, accurate but relaxed. He's clear, robust, caring and he has pretty good technical skills. He's personable and he cares about people," comments a source. "He's outstanding," says a peer, adding that "he's pragmatic but aggressive when necessary." "He's very sound and has a really good knowledge base - it helps to have an opponent who knows his stuff," reports a fellow litigator.

Andrea Zavos handles trust and private client disputes and is seen as "exceptional in this field." One market commentator enthuses: "She is very sharp and technically very good. She has some very high-profile clients." Another source notes that "she is very thoughtful and considered an expert trust litigator." Her level of service is highlighted by sources. A wealth expert reports: "She has real dedication to her clients and shows real commitment and passion for them." The interviewee continues: "She can always find the right solution and explain that clearly and concisely to everyone else." Her strength in dealing with difficult disputes is also acknowledged; one London commentator reveals that "she is very pragmatic and capable of being forceful when she needs to be." Another source reveals: "When we need someone really sensible, she is the name we call upon."

Sara Maccallum advises clients on tax planning matters, particularly in relation to family businesses. She also assists trust companies, entrepreneurs, property developers and investors with transactional and tax planning advice. "She's absolutely brilliant - she's got that fantastic ability to present difficult things very clearly. She's phenomenally commercially astute and technically brilliant. She's also fantastic in dealing with clients," enthuses an interviewee. Maccallum is also the firm's senior partner and leads the commercial tax group.

Salpy Kouyoumjian focuses on international private client matters, advising clients on tax planning, asset protection and structuring. Sources note her "impressive practice in the Middle East," where she assists wealthy clients with family business succession planning and governance issues. Fluent in Arabic, Kouyoumjian is also experienced in Shari'a-compliant wealth structuring. "Salpy's very technically strong, really commercially astute," says a tax professional, adding that "she really cares for her clients, she goes above and beyond to look after their affairs."

Geoffrey Todd advises wealthy individuals, family businesses and trustees on estate planning and tax issues. He is experienced in cross-border matters, particularly between the US and the UK.

Hayden Bailey assists family business owners, entrepreneurs and executives with tax planning, wills and trusts matters. An interviewee describes him as "a young and dynamic lawyer, with a very wide knowledge base and who is able to think parallel to the problem rather than just trying to address a single issue." Bailey is also praised for his "hands-on, personal approach" and described as "sympathetic and understanding."

Mark Lindley is lauded as "a star of the future" who is "ahead of his years." He regularly deals with trust and estate disputes for a variety of clients and is seen as being "ubiquitous in this market." A source reports: "I like the way he works; he is personable, down to earth and good at his job. I trust him to do a great job for the client." Another market commentator adds that "he is fully switched on to the nuances that arise in such disputes." Sources further praise him for being "intellectually excellent" and having "great judgement." One observer explains that "he is a smart lawyer who knows his way around the industry," while another interviewee reveals that "he is particularly good at offshore and international disputes."

^ See whole ranking table

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the HNW guide

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has significant capabilities in the private client arena. The team is particularly experienced in international matters, ranging from the Far East and the Middle East to Russia and Israel. "They are a joy to work with because they are capable of listening to the client, understanding the key issues and developing balanced solutions that make it feasible to achieve consensus among the involved parties. They are highly capable at aligning their advice with other legal perspectives that originate in jurisdictions beyond the Anglo-sphere," reports an interviewee. "They're excellent to work with - they're very pragmatic, commercial; they have a strong understanding of all the key issues and they provide everything in a timely manner," says a source. Another praises them as "superb with clients" and highlights their "ability to explain complex points in an understandable manner."

The firm is also lauded for its trusts and estates litigation capabilities. "They have phenomenal lawyers who really know the contentious space," says a litigator, who describes them as "very practical and results-driven." "By God they are good," enthuses an interviewee; "they are unbelievably courteous, straight to the point and it's real quality advice." One barrister comments that "they have top-level staff and they always deal with cases efficiently," while another commentator describes them as "very pragmatic."

Notable practitioners

Rupert Ticehurst is "one of the elite lawyers in this field" and is recognised as being "very strong on contentious and non-contentious matters." He leads the firm's private client litigation team and has considerable experience in trust and estate planning. "He is a very smart lawyer and knows the industry inside out from both a litigation and a private client perspective," says a London source, who adds: "He is very savvy and intelligent. He is a very solid lawyer and a really brilliant communicator." His legal abilities are highly regarded and an offshore adviser reports: "He has an innovative approach which he balances with sensitivity to the clients. He is good at delivering commercial solutions and is an impressive lawyer who always has an interesting angle on cases." He is also highlighted specifically for his litigation skills. "He is extremely tenacious and has a good strategic approach to cases," says a commentator: "He is very hands-on and happy to deal with issues himself."

Experienced private client practitioner Damian Bloom attracts praise from clients and peers alike for his technical skills and client manner. "Damian's very good, very energetic, enthusiastic - he wants to get under the bonnet and see what's going on with the family. He's technically very good on the tax side," says a fellow private client practitioner. An impressed client says: "He's very available to me at any moment. I couldn't be happier - he's very open and really is helpful." Another interviewee reports that "we would not hesitate in introducing Damian to any of our clients in need of advice. He's excellent at presenting to clients and a very established speaker. He provides clear advice and is a pleasure to work with." Bloom heads the firm's private client group.

Simon Phelps leads the firm's Asia private client group and has deep experience assisting clients in the Middle East and the Far East. Phelps provides advice on estate planning, trusts, and tax planning matters, as well as on UK property investments. He frequently works with business owners and family offices.

Paul Whitehead assists wealthy clients and family offices on tax and wealth structuring issues, including the use of trusts and other structures. He is experienced in cross-border matters and has particular expertise in work relating to Russia. "He's very commercial in his advice - he's very quick to advise and he gives a concise answer to questions you put to him. He's quite good at looking more broadly and pointing out areas you didn't know you needed to look at," says an interviewee. Whitehead is also praised as "technically strong" and "very likeable."

Martin Paisner has a wealth of experience in private client matters, advising both UK and international clients on estate planning and trusts matters. He has particular expertise in charities law, and acts as a trustee for many charities, as well as for multi-generational family trusts.

Simon Goldring is "a top associate" who "will make a big splash." He deals with a broad array of private wealth disputes and has experience of handling offshore matters. "He is very good at legal and tactical analysis," notes one interviewee, who adds that "he is really on the ball." Another peer commends his client-handling skills, saying: "He can stand up to difficult clients and help them reconsider a tough choice. You don't see that sort of confidence from junior lawyers in this space."

Jessica Henson focuses on trust, will and tax disputes and is acknowledged as "a rising star." One market insider explains: "She has a very good profile and even though she is not a partner, she has the right gravitas. She deals with things which are above her pay grade." She is further praised as "a great tactician with incredible attention to detail" and "very good at handling difficult clients."

Dyke Arboneaux is highly regarded for her US tax and estate planning expertise. Arboneaux splits her time between the US and the UK, and leads a team dedicated to helping clients with FATCA compliance. "She's very good, I use her a lot on the US side in London," comments a UK private client lawyer. Another source describes her as "probably the pre-eminent US adviser on private wealth matters when there are UK or EU issues."

Murray North has extensive experience in international trusts and estates matters and leads the firm's Middle East private client team. He advises Middle Eastern clients on cross-border matters and the structuring of assets while ensuring compliance with Shari'a law. "He's excellent, very, very knowledgeable," reports an interviewee, adding: "He has a strong understanding of corporate structures and he's very pragmatic in his advice."

^ See whole ranking table

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the HNW guide

Charles Russell Speechlys is noted for its "raft of extremely good people" and "very strong team" in London. "They are exceptional - they are more impressive now than they have ever been," says a market insider. The team draws praise from all corners of the market for its non-contentious practice, with one barrister enthusing that "they are absolutely excellent - they are technically excellent, efficient, commercial. I can't speak higher of them." Sources highlight the strength of the firm's international practice and its expertise in handling multi-jurisdictional matters. "It is absolutely clear that the team at Charles Russell Speechlys has a huge wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with some of the most complex and demanding UHNW individuals and families," says an interviewee, adding: "They have a personal and deep understanding of their client's needs and they take a long-term view to strengthen and cement client relationships. They're the gold standard."

In recognition of the firm's increasingly strong offering on the contentious side, Charles Russell Speechlys has moved up this year's rankings. "They do fabulous work and act for many impressive clients," reports one commentator, and another notes that "they attract great talent to their practice area." A source explains: "They deal with more and more large-scale international work and are involved in some of the biggest cases in the market. They also contribute to the contentious trust industry on many levels and help other professionals across the industry." The firm's lawyers frequently represent wealthy clients in complex, high-value disputes, often involving multiple jurisdictions. "They are a great firm with a great ethos," comments an interviewee, explaining that "their service is excellent and it's a pleasure to work alongside them. They are very thorough in their approach."

Notable practitioners

Graeme Kleiner is "one of the top people in this area" who is "up there with the real big beasts in this sort of work." He leads the firm's contentious trusts practice and often advises beneficiaries, trustees and private clients in a wide array of disputes. "He is one of the experienced litigators in the field and is a very adept strategic thinker. He will get the result a client needs," remarks one commentator, while another market observer reports: "He has a first-rate reputation in this area, particularly for offshore disputes." The observer continues: "He is a highly personable and very talented litigator. He is a master of his field." Kleiner’s client-handling skills are commended by sources. One lawyer notes that "he handles very high-profile clients in a constructive manner." Another says: "He is exactly the sort of lawyer you want dealing with HNW clients in sensitive disputes. He has a very nice manner and that is important in our world." A wealth expert states: "For me, he is the sort of name right at the top of the market that you would expect to be instructed on the major cases as they arise."

Bart Peerless is highly regarded for advising high net worth individuals and families on complex estate planning matters. He is experienced in working with domestic and international clients on a range of cross-border issues. "He's absolutely first class," says an interviewee, explaining that "he's very personable, a very nice person - he gets on well with clients. He's very level-headed and no problem is too big." Another says that "he's a very sensible guy and a very safe pair of hands." Sources also describe him as "phenomenally hard-working" and highlight his "very good bedside manner."

Piers Master draws praise from a wide range of interviewees for his work with both UK and international clients with substantial assets. "He's delightful - he's such a lovely individual and certainly in terms of putting him before my own clients he demonstrates real confidence in his subject matter and he's also an extremely pleasant person," comments an interviewee. Another says: "I think he's fantastic, he is technically extremely able, he really, really is." Master is also recognised for his specialism in Middle Eastern work: "I've done a lot of Middle Eastern work with Piers, he's good. The Middle East has some idiosyncrasies and he's very intellectual, very clever, very responsive. I really enjoy working with him," reports a source. "He's the go-to for the Middle East in that firm," states a market insider, adding that "he's brilliant, proactive, technically extremely able and he knows how to deal with Middle Eastern clients."

Catriona Syed is highly respected for advising individuals, trustees and banks on structuring, estate planning and succession matters. She is experienced in dealing with both domestic and international issues. "She's very discreet, but technically excellent. She's a pleasure to work with, very responsive, very available. She gives very clear advice and goes straight to the point," says an interviewee. Sources highlight her strong reputation for Swiss work and praise her as "very able and very engaging."

Robert Blower advises wealthy clients on estate planning, tax planning and trust matters. He has expertise in dealing with landed estates, heritage property and offshore assets. "He's a highly impressive individual," says a source: "He's very quiet, very level-headed; he has a very good, dryish sense of humour. He clearly is very brilliant, and very, very well liked and well respected by the firm. I'm certain he's very well respected by the very wide client base that Charles Russell Speechlys have."

Roberta Harvey deals with a wide range of trust disputes and has significant experience dealing with asset tracing and freezing injunctions. "She has real client-facing skills," observes one source, while another commentator says: "She is a real force of nature and is very pugnacious. Clients know she is on their side." A private wealth adviser remarks that "she is tremendously popular with clients." Harvey’s practice also includes family matters and she is further lauded for being "very astute tactically" and "approaching cases in a sensible way." A private client disputes expert enthuses: "She is a top-grade lawyer and barristers speak very highly of her. She really demonstrates strong judgement and high-level thinking when dealing with cases."

Suzanne Marriott is regarded as a "safe pair of hands" in the private client world. She advises clients on tax planning, trusts and estate and succession planning, as well as mental incapacity and Court of Protection matters. "She's clever, endlessly helpful, she loves to share knowledge and she's very supportive if you've got a tricky case," says a fellow private client lawyer, adding: "She will answer questions, she's very generous in that sense, she's wonderful with clients - clients are so loyal to her. She instils confidence in people."

Andrew Cameron is an experienced private client practitioner and advises wealthy individuals and families on a variety of estate planning and wealth structuring matters. He frequently acts as trustee for both private and charitable trusts, and has particular expertise in working with clients with connections to Russia and India. An interviewee highlights his ability to "see risks and advise accordingly."

The "absolutely brilliant" Tamasin Perkins acts on a range of domestic and international trust disputes and is recognised for "building a strong reputation in this area." Sources note that she is "highly knowledgeable" and is "calm and clear in her approach." She acts for high net worth individuals and families as well as corporate fiduciaries. "She is brilliant with clients. Her strength is client management; she is brilliant with them," says a source, and another observer notes that "she shows absolute commitment to her clients."

William Begley assists clients with tax and estate planning matters and is experienced in working with both UK and non-UK domiciled clients. "William is a pleasure to work with and he takes a very personal interest in all the needs of the client and the family at all times," says another source, adding: "He is a gentleman, approachable, practical and has the ability to explain complex legal issues in a way which is easy to understand. He instils great confidence and is not afraid to have difficult conversations when the need arises." An interviewee praises his collaborative approach, saying: "We get on extremely well; he's very good at being co-operative and working together. There's no battle over who does what, we agree the best way forward and it works extremely well."

James Trafford is a trusted adviser with deep experience advising wealthy clients on a range of tax and trust issues. "He's fantastic, very straightforward, enthusiastic, he knows his stuff and he's relentlessly positive. He's a really good person to work with," comments an interviewee. Another highlights his "excellent personal skills and bedside private client manner," as well as his "good all-round advice."

Oliver Auld is "an up-and-coming associate" who will "definitely make a name for himself in this industry." He represents clients in trust and estate disputes and is praised for "having experience beyond his years." One source says: "He is very clever, very insightful and has a real eye for litigation." Another commentator explains: "He is a safe pair of hands and has good instincts. He gives you everything you need and he knows how to manage the clients really well."

^ See whole ranking table

Collyer Bristow LLP

From the HNW guide

Collyer Bristow is well regarded for its private client practice that includes assisting with domestic and international tax and estate planning matters. The team advises on probate, trusts, wills and structuring issues and draws on the firm's further expertise in family law, immigration and residential property. The firm's clients range from entrepreneurs to landed estates, and they can provide additional advice to owner-managed businesses through the corporate team. Colley Bristow’s lawyers are experienced in offshore work and handle cross-border matters with the US, Russia and the Middle East, as well as Switzerland, where the firm has an additional office in Geneva.

"They have an ability to engender a deep level of trust with their clients, built upon technical knowledge, competence and a friendly attitude," reports an interviewee. "They're very responsive," says another: "They're always available when it comes to queries that crop up and they're relatively commercial as well. They balance that with a helpful level of caution. They're helpful in getting us to a good conclusion."

Notable practitioners

James Badcock leads the firm's tax and estate planning group and is experienced in advising high net worth families and individuals, as well as banks and trustees. He frequently handles international matters, including those concerning tax and succession planning. "He's technically excellent, very considered in his approach with clients - he gets on with people easily," says a private banker. "He's very measured and resourceful, a really, really good solution finder," observes an interviewee, adding: "He established a really good relationship with the parties involved, he was always very good at co-ordinating things." Badcock is also praised as "always very prompt in getting to the right answers" and "terribly efficient."

Daniel Simon works with wealthy clients on tax, trust, estate planning and charity matters. Simon's practice has an international focus, particularly on cross-border UK/US planning, as well as on European work. "He's an all-round excellent lawyer," enthuses an interviewee, who says that his "excellent technical skills" and "very good client interaction skills" are particular strengths. Another source states: "He's very good technically and he's easy for clients to engage with, he gets on with people very well," adding that "he's great on the US/UK interaction."

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

The private client team at Edwin Coe acts for high net worth families and individuals on domestic and international estate planning matters, providing assistance with wills, probate, trusts, asset protection, succession planning and Inheritance Tax planning. Sources highlight the firm's broad practice as a particular benefit for clients. "They're a one-stop shop for problems that we have so that whatever problem we have can be tackled," states a commentator. The team has close links to the charities team and helps with the establishment and charitable foundations and with tax-efficient giving.

"Their strongest points are undoubtedly care and communication with clients," says an interviewee, adding: "Their technical ability in complex cases is something we are very comfortable to rely on." "They're articulate, they give good advice, they're very caring, very efficient and they certainly know their job," reports another. The team is also praised as "extremely approachable" and "well qualified."

Notable practitioners

Alison Broadberry heads the firm's private client group and advises clients on tax and estate planning matters. Sources acknowledge her previous experience in the financial services industry as a particular strength. "She is a very competent private client lawyer with exceptional knowledge of the wealth investment world," reports an interviewee, adding that "she is also a strong presenter and well-liked by clients."

David Goepel leads the firm's charity practice and assists wealthy clients with philanthropic matters, including the establishment of charitable foundations and international charitable gift tax planning. He also advises on trust and tax matters. "He's really clever in a really difficult area of law," says an interviewee, adding: "I have every confidence in him to give advice on all client issues. He has that way of explaining things in a really comprehensive and digestible way." "He's very intelligent and he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of trust law," says a barrister, who adds that "he guides his trustees with consummate professionalism through what is very difficult territory."

Nick Giles assists high net worth individuals, the owners of family businesses and charities. Alongside his role as managing partner of the firm, Giles also deals with complex probates. "He's very, very personable, very approachable," says an interviewee: "I like his pragmatic approach to innumerable problems that arise. He guides his department effectively and gets the job done."

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Farrer & Co is lauded as "a real market leader" with a "tremendously strong client base among HNW families." It has a long-standing tradition acting for high-profile domestic and international clients and a source reveals that "the size and scope of their work is breathtaking." This "very blue-blooded" firm advises on the full range of contentious and non-contentious private client matters. "They are one of the best firms in London for this work," says one interviewee, who continues: "They leave no stone unturned and clients are hugely impressed by their level of service and responsiveness. They were always available to help." Another observer notes: "They provide a top-quality legal service in a discreet and appropriate fashion."

The strength of the team at Farrers is highlighted by a range of market insiders. "They have great lawyers who have a really sensible and measured approach," says a commentator. Another legal adviser remarks: "They can match the right lawyer to the right matter and have a wide variety of expertise within their team." Sources are also very impressed by the firm’s contentious practice, with one saying that "they are the epitome of a good trust litigation outfit." Another observes that "they marry in-depth trust knowledge with strong litigation skills." The firm is widely admired for having "heavyweight partners" who are in "a league of their own."

Notable practitioners

Mark Bridges "is fabulous," says a fellow private client lawyer, "and everyone knows that." Bridges continues to have an excellent reputation across the private client market, noted by peers for his "personal reputation and quality of work." He leads the firm's private client group and has decades of experience advising wealthy clients on complex estate planning and trusts matters. "He's a great pleasure to deal with," says an interviewee, with another commenting that "he's really stellar, literally everyone knows him."

Jeremy Gordon has great experience dealing with private wealth disputes and is lauded for his "tremendous track-record in this area." He acts for a wide array of clients in the UK and in key overseas locations. A commentator says: "He can handle the heavyweight cases in multiple jurisdictions; he can run a big Jersey case or a big Cayman case." His experience is further highlighted by a leading barrister who observes: "He has acted on many of the leading disputes in this field and his list of cases is a highlights reel of big international disputes." Sources praise his legal acumen and temperament. One lawyer explains: "He is very considered and balanced; he is very bright and shows a lot of common sense in his judgement." Another interviewee says: "He is very sensible and aware of his responsibilities to preserve rather than destroy family relationships." Commentators further praise Gordon for his "outstanding client-handling skills" and for being "very resilient when dealing with tough cases."

An interviewee states that Toby Graham is "perhaps the best trust litigator in London." He leads the firm's contentious trusts and estates group and often deals with major international disputes. One litigation expert explains: "He is an understated, yet brilliant, lawyer. He can deal with complex cross-border issues and has a real familiarity with such tricky issues." Another London source says: "He is particularly adept at integrating overseas legal considerations into an overall global planning strategy." He has "encyclopaedic knowledge and experience of trust litigation" and is praised for his "unbridled enthusiasm and real dedication to his matters." His high-level service is also acknowledged and one source notes that "he is very responsive and a tireless advocate for his clients." Another reports: "His engagement was amazing. Except for his very high technical knowledge, his stamina and willingness to go the extra mile for the client was outstanding. He was always one step ahead."

Russell Cohen "is a very good lawyer, technical but not lost in the details. He's at the top of his game," says an interviewee. Cohen has an excellent reputation in the market for his international private client expertise, as well as his work on charity law matters. "He's very personable, responsive, he builds rapport quickly," reports a market insider. "I think highly of him in terms of his expertise and analytical skills," says another source.

Bryony Cove is well regarded for her work with wealthy UK clients on estate planning and succession matters. "She is pragmatic and gives clear advice, always with the client’s best interests at heart. She can cut through the complexities to reach a solution and is always responsive," says an interviewee. "I love her, she's so commercial, pragmatic and she's a pleasure to work with," enthuses a well-known tax professional, adding: "She's a very collegiate lawyer who respects our business model and absolutely gets that there'll be a crossover in the work we do. She's very good with clients, very calm, reassuring."

Catherine McAleavey advises wealthy families and individuals on tax and succession planning matters, and has experience dealing with businesses and landed estates. "She's brilliant, she's very, very good and very consistent - she always gets it right. She's got a good instinct for getting complicated matters put on the right footing and an advantageous footing. She's really very good," enthuses a barrister. McAleavey is also lauded for her detail-oriented approach and her ability to make clients "feel safe and well looked after."

Sarah von Schmidt assists clients with tax planning, trusts and succession planning. She also works with private banks, wealth managers and family offices. "I'm very impressed with her," says a fellow private client lawyer, who also describes her as "very creative" and "very thoughtful." An interviewee explains: "She's a nice combination of the very personal with the very professional. She has very high technical skills and manages to give highly technical advice in a nice, friendly, unthreatening way, which in family circumstances is very helpful."

Widely recognised for his expertise in landed estates work, Rhoddy Voremberg advises clients on tax, trusts and succession planning. "He has very great authority generally - he often chairs meetings of private client lawyers," says a barrister, adding that "he's respected in the heritage property area."

Charlotte Fraser is "a rising star in the private client litigation world,” according to an interviewee. She acts for individual and institutional clients on domestic and cross-border disputes. "She is just brilliant and fantastic at client management," says a source, adding: "She is incredibly pragmatic whilst always fully defending her client's interests." Another commentator describes Fraser as "very measured, very sensible and very bright," while one source states that "she is very efficient and everything goes to plan when you work with her."

Sources point out that Joanna Poole "is going to be one of the star names in the trust litigation field" and that "she will go far in this world." She handles private client disputes, including contentious trusts and probate matters, as well as professional negligence claims brought against trustees. "She is very strong and amazingly intelligent," observes one interviewee, and another notes that "she has a really thorough approach to cases and takes a no-nonsense approach." Her previous experience at the Bar is highlighted by sources and one commentator reveals that "she knows the courtroom inside out." Another explains: "As a former barrister, she really understands the process of litigation and she brings real strategic insight to the case."

Adam Carvalho is a senior associate and regularly deals with trust and estate litigation. "He is extremely good technically and has a good grounding in private client matters generally," remarks a London adviser, who adds that "he is a very good associate." He acts for wealthy families, trustees and beneficiaries and is "well-trusted by his clients who are very important figures." A legal expert reports: "He is very knowledgeable, extremely calm and very pragmatic." Another market insider notes: "He is very creative and is utterly focused on securing a good outcome for the client."

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From the HNW guide

Forsters wins praise from peers and clients for its strong private client offering. Sources highlight the acquisition of the ex-Gowling WLG team on the non-contentious side as a "coup" for the firm, which has greatly strengthened the firm's international practice. "Forsters having awareness and expertise of the US market in addition to their UK private client offering is incredibly valuable to us," reports one accountant. "They are responsive, technical, practical and professional. I have no reservations sending a high or ultra-high net worth client to them to take matters forward from a UK perspective - they're a safe pair of hands," comments an interviewee, describing them as "a superb private client firm." The lawyers in the team are also lauded as "a calming influence on clients" and "very client-centric."

The firm also has a well-regarded dispute resolution group. "They are dynamic and flexible in their approach to litigation, which can be very helpful in this area. They have strong litigation experience in their team and they always take a considered approach," says an interviewee. Another highlights their strength on domestic trust and probate cases, describing them as "outstanding in that area." "They have some very strong expertise in connection with landed estates; they are very good at that type of work," adds a commentator. A source also notes the firm’s "in-depth expertise in relevant areas like tax and property that complement the private client and contentious trusts offering."

Notable practitioners

Nicholas Jacob is highly respected for his wealth of experience advising international families on complex estate planning matters. "He's one of those incredibly impressive calm people - very thoughtful and generous with his knowledge and a good person to have as part of a team of advisers," states an interviewee. Sources highlight his expertise in the Asian market. A commentator says: "He's a very experienced practitioner, I'm envious of his Asian practice - he has a fantastic practice."

Anthony Thompson wins praise from peers for his technical expertise and client-handling skills in private client matters. "He's one of those people who is incredibly good with clients; he is a very reassuring presence for them," comments an interviewee. Another describes him as "technically excellent" and "a pleasure to work with." A fellow private client lawyer says: "He's very calm, very quiet, always provides good advice and he's very active in international matters."

Emily Exton leads the dispute resolution team and is "a really intelligent and shrewd disputes lawyer." One lawyer says: "She knows exactly what she is doing and has a real mastery of the detail." Another source states that "she has excellent instincts in court and has a full grasp of all the issues in play." Market commentators also praise Exton for her ability to "cut through the superfluous issues and get to the heart of the matter" and for being "very good at establishing strong relationships with clients."

Patrick Harney heads the firm's private client practice and has deep experience in domestic and international trust and tax matters. "He's excellent, a very good mixture of technical tax knowledge, the awareness of impact in other jurisdictions, taking appropriate advice and being practical as well," says a source. Harney is recognised for his significant expertise in US work. "One of his main strengths is his general knowledge of US tax law and how it integrates with UK tax law," remarks a commentator, adding: "Patrick is steady, reliable and insightful. He communicates very clearly to clients and is excellent at managing projects and expectations."

Catharine Bell is a well-known private client practitioner with extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious matters. A litigator says that "she's tenacious and always on the ball. She is very reliable and she deals with clients well." Sources also praise her cross-border expertise. "She's somebody who's very international in her outlook," says a commentator; "she has an uncommon understanding of foreign legal systems. She can understand very quickly foreign law concepts even when they're quite different from English law." Another interviewee says: "She's hugely experienced in onshore and offshore work - she is a major addition to the team."

Carole Cook assists wealthy clients with a range of tax, estate and succession planning matters, often with cross-border elements. She has experience working with entrepreneurial clients, those with landed estates and offices. Sources praise her as "extremely capable and nice" as well as "efficient, modest, practical and thorough."

David Robinson frequently advises high net worth clients on the preservation and transfer of wealth. He has particular expertise in working with the owners of landed estates and assisting with tax exemptions relating to artwork. Robinson often acts as trustee or executor for clients.

Fiona Smith is experienced in multi-jurisdictional private client matters, advising clients on trusts, wills, probate and tax planning. Her clientele includes trustees and wealthy individuals, ranging from entrepreneurs to high-profile members of the sports and entertainment industries.

Daniel Ugur assists clients with tax planning, trusts matters and succession planning, including family business successions. Sources note that he is "very technically sound" and highlight his focus on working with families based in, or moving to, Asia. His clients also include trustees, beneficiaries, family offices and private banks.

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Harbottle & Lewis LLP

From the HNW guide

Harbottle & Lewis enters the rankings for the first time after a strong year and earning praise for their private client practice from across the market. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Jonathan Burt in May 2018, a highly experienced practitioner who previously practised at a well-known boutique firm in London. The firm focuses on advising wealthy entrepreneurial clients with a variety of business interests as well as family offices. They assist with wealth structuring and tax planning and can draw on the firm's wider expertise in immigration, family law and residential property to provide a comprehensive service to private clients.

"I find them to be very responsive, reliable, and straightforward. They use clear language, making clear points," says one interviewee, while another praises the team as "commercial, proactive, efficient, supportive, knowledgeable and thorough." "What I like most is the targeted operational model," reports a source, who explains that "they set goals, go through milestones, always keep you updated."

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Burt is described as "one of the best tax solicitors in London." Formerly a partner at Harcus Sinclair, Burt moved to Harbottle & Lewis in May 2018. "He's incredibly bright, he's got a brain that runs faster than most," says an interviewee, adding: "I had a matter in which, two minutes after a long conference call, I received a very detailed attendance note, and he did it all by himself while leading the call - I would need two brains to do that. He's really outstanding." Burt advises wealthy clients with international connections on matters relating to tax, trusts and wealth structuring. "He's a very plain-speaking person and very, very direct. He's extremely good with clients as a result - he will want a very clear answer and will get to a very clear answer. He is extremely impressive," reports a barrister.

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Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the HNW guide

Boutique private client firm Harcus Sinclair is well regarded for its non-contentious and contentious work. They have extensive experience advising high net worth families and individuals on complex tax planning and succession matters, often with multiple jurisdictions involved. The team is described as "brilliant," and the lawyers earn praise for their technical abilities as well as for the high levels of client service they provide. "They've been really good with clients, they have a good ability to sense the personalities of the clients," reports an international private client lawyer, adding: "I find them efficient and they deliver advice in a way that is clear and easy to understand. They have an amazing client list - really very high-value wealth: well-known aristocracy in the UK as well as a number of entrepreneurial business types."

"They are one of my first choices for high-value and technical disputes," reports an interviewee: "Not only do they know their way around litigation, they understand the underlying law and practice of tax and trusts. They have that high exposure to the private client world and that's a major benefit for us when referring cases to them." The firm's litigation team acts for clients in a range of disputes, including trust, tax, succession and pensions. "They have real in-depth expertise and get involved in some really high-profile cases," says a commentator. A barrister states: "They're great fighters, real litigators - they've got exactly the right instincts for litigation, got the courage and the temperament to do it without getting too flustered or nervous." "They are a compliment to the legal profession and they really show a human face when dealing with tough litigation," says an impressed client.

Notable practitioners

Lucy Gibson "is absolutely brilliant, completely first class, one of the absolute top, top lawyers and very nice and very personable with it," reports a barrister. Gibson is experienced in advising high net worth clients and trustees on domestic and multi-jurisdictional matters. "She's a superb lawyer," enthuses a commentator: "She's extremely clever, very creative and what really stands out with her is that she uses her wit and sense of humour very effectively in delivering advice and in contentious matters." Another source says: "She's extremely bright, really great with clients, she offers practical advice. She's very efficient, very pleasant to work with - she can be tough when there's points to be negotiated. She's a real talent."

Keith Bruce-Smith has a "long-running and well-deserved reputation on the private client side." He assists clients with tax and trust matters, advising landed estates and acting as a professional trustee for family trusts. "He's extremely bright, a tower of strength," says market commentator, adding: "He's a very clever man and extremely hard-working. He has a vast client base." "He's really very knowledgeable, conservatively creative on tax and he knows it so well he usually has an idea of a solution fairly quickly, even if it needs further research," reports an interviewee.

Alison Meek is "a superb lawyer" who "has just got tons of experience in this area." Her work includes domestic and cross-border private client disputes and she is recognised for her "outstanding litigation prowess." An interviewee says: "She really knows trusts and is one of the few lawyers who can explain complex trust concepts as well as anyone." The same source adds: "She is very good on family and divorce origin disputes and is also big on 1975 Act claims." Meek’s ability to handle various disputes is lauded by sources. A lawyer explains: "She is a star litigator who can adopt different styles and approaches when the case requires. She has dealt with all types of private client litigation and has significant experience." Another observer states: "She excels at strategy and can really see the big picture. She applies reality to every part of the dispute process and that is a rare skill which she does better than anyone. It really assists her clients."

Jon Beresford is "a well-known litigator" who regularly acts for private clients in various disputes. "He is technically very astute and has a no-nonsense and straightforward approach which goes down well with clients," says an interviewee, adding: "He is excellent at strategy and a real hard worker." Another source observes: "He is very good with the clients and that is important as the nature of this work is very personal. He is also good at telling clients what they don't want to hear."

Henry Hickman handles a wide range of trust and estate disputes for wealthy individuals, family offices and professional trustees. He also has experience of dealing with offshore and cross-border disputes. "He has a platinum mind and can deal with very complex matters," says a source, adding: "He is very sharp in his analysis of the issues." Another interviewee remarks: "He has very high-calibre clients and is very astute. He has very strong attention to detail when dealing with cases."

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From the HNW guide

Howard Kennedy advises wealthy individuals and families on tax and estate planning. The team handles international as well as domestic matters, and frequently works with clients on foreign investments, international residency and overseas property. It also assists family businesses with structuring and succession planning.

An interviewee comments that "they are not only technically proficient, but the team are also very approachable and put the client at ease." Another praises their "sound practical advice" which is "tailored to the client's understanding of the issues involved." "They have immense depth of experience; they really are excellent. When they come to me they are one of the firms I really trust to issue-spot everything before they give it to me," enthuses a barrister, adding that "they have a fantastic range of experience and knowledge."

Notable practitioners

Emily Mailer enters the rankings for the first time this year and is recognised as someone who "knows her way around tricky disputes." She has plenty of experience handling contentious trust and probate matters and, according to one lawyer, is "everything you want in a fellow professional litigator." A market insider states: "She is brilliant, efficient and a lateral thinker. She can think inside and outside the box and also has a commercial approach." Another source observes: "She has some good clients and is an impressive lawyer. She understands the nuances which arise in what is often family-based litigation."

John Annetts is "calm, unflappable, intelligent and practical," according to an interviewee. He focuses on the administration of complex estates and is experienced in handling estates with business assets and offshore elements. He also advises clients on trust and taxation matters, as well as estate planning. "He's got a very easy-going manner - he's able to adapt to whoever the individual is and I'm happy to put any client in front of him," says a wealth professional, adding: "He has an ability to connect with the individual across the table and he has good technical skills."

Simon Malkiel acts for international and UK clients on a range of matters, including estate planning, succession planning, asset protection and tax planning. He wins plaudits for his technical expertise as well as his client handling. "He is very personable and is diligent and has strong technical expertise, but is practical and understands clients’ needs and implements on a practical basis," says an interviewee. "He is a tech whiz-kid; he is so great in the way he thinks - he really is fantastic," enthuses a barrister, adding: "He is very measured, his soft skills are great - he is very quiet and dignified and I get the feeling that clients really take confidence in him. If you suddenly found yourself in a tax mess you would take real confidence in the way he presents himself."

Liz Palmer advises clients on tax and trust matters, with a particular focus on working with clients with US connections. She also heads the firm's private client and family group. "She is very practical, and she has a good way with difficult clients," comments an interviewee; "she just does it with such humour, kindness and so beautifully, so it isn't a shock to the client." Palmer is also described as "approachable, warm and charismatic" and "seriously intelligent" by interviewees.

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From the HNW guide

Hunters is recognised for its extensive experience acting for substantial landed estates and multi-generational families with significant assets. The team advises on succession planning, heritage asset relief and tax planning, including income tax, IHT and CGT. "They provide a wide range of private client services, covering some niche areas," says a fellow private client practitioner: "They are genuine specialists and have strength in depth. They have considerable institutional knowledge of their continuing family clients, generations of lawyers looking after generations of family members."

The team also assists with multi-jurisdictional matters, including cross-border trust and estate administration. "Their strongest points are that they are careful, concise and diligent and they do a great deal of research before providing answers," reports an interviewee. Another praises their "rapid response time, clear technical expertise and the ability to explain matters to clients."

Notable practitioners

Alexandra Sarkis has a wealth of experience advising high net worth clients on estate planning, trusts, probate and wills. She heads the firm's private client team and works with trustees and charities as well as wealthy individuals. "She's very, very impressive, she holds her place as a top lawyer," says one barrister.

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Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the HNW guide

The private wealth team at Irwin Mitchell advises clients on tax and estate planning matters, including the administration of estates and trusts, and the preparation of wills. The firm's clients include wealthy individuals and families from across the world, including Europe, CIS, the Middle East and the Far East. They also work with business owners on succession planning matters.

The team is praised as "pragmatic and responsive" and for "their ability to think outside the box and consider all possibilities." "They have a rare appreciation of the need to work with other professionals for the benefit of the client," says a source, adding: "They are very client-focused. In addition to the obvious need for superb and complete technical knowledge, they deliver a great deal of client empathy and humanity."

Notable practitioners

Alexandra Ruffel is an experienced private client practitioner, with a particular focus on cross-border tax and estate planning matters. "She has a very good understanding of the international side and the associated tax complexities," reports an interviewee. Another source praises her "extraordinary technical expertise." "Alex is a great credit to the firm, she works to tight deadlines," says a source, adding: "She is willing to listen to other people's views and expertise and works well with our firm."

Nick Rucker heads the firm's national tax, trusts and estates team. He draws on his previous experience of corporate law to assist clients, and advises on investment structures, succession planning and family office matters. Rucker is praised as a "strong tactician" and is recognised for his "good name in the market." "Nick is supremely professional in his manner and approach to clients and working with like-minded professionals," says another interviewee.

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From the HNW guide

Macfarlanes has "a long-standing tradition acting for some of the most high-profile clients." The private client team specialises in advising ultra high net worth individuals and families and offers expertise in tax planning, investment management and real estate matters. "They are able to bring in expertise and lawyers from various areas which is very useful when trying to provide advice to HNW clients on complex issues," explains a wealth adviser. Another London-based adviser observes that "they have real strength and depth at the firm and are a natural choice for HNW clients."

The team can advise on both domestic and cross-border matters and is specifically praised for its ability to handle multi-jurisdictional disputes. One commentator reports: "They are known for having some major offshore cases and are real experts in international trust litigation." Their discreet approach when dealing with sensitive private client matters is further highlighted by a source, who comments: "They can deal with unpleasant cases in a very classy and appropriate way." A London-based interviewee enthuses: "It is a Rolls-Royce firm, no doubt." The source continues: "They have excellent lawyers in the contentious area and an excellent non-contentious team as well. That is a vital combination in this market."

Notable practitioners

The "phenomenally clever" Robin Vos is a highly experienced private client practitioner. "He is outstanding, a real quality lawyer," says an interviewee. He advises clients on trusts, estate planning and tax matters, often involving international elements. His clients include high net worth individuals, financial institutions and trustees. "He has excellent technical tax knowledge and offers a good, practical and speedy service," reports a source.

Jonathan Conder is considered "one of the absolute stars" of the private client market. "For someone of his standing and ability, he's remarkably straightforward, no airs and graces," says an interviewee, adding that "he's one of the handful of individuals in London right at the top of the tree." "He is articulate, he provides intelligent, practical advice and he's incredibly easy to work with," comments a market insider. Another reports that "he's a bit of a legend in the market now, he's very client-friendly and he is one of the top tax lawyers. He's technical but able to explain things clearly,"

Charles Gothard is a well-respected private client practitioner with extensive experience dealing with complex, high-value matters. His clients range from international families and entrepreneurs to trust companies, family offices and institutions. Sources highlight his expertise in international matters, particularly those involving Switzerland, for which Gothard is the firm's country partner. "He's a very fine thinker and strategist," says an interviewee, adding: "He is a thought leader in private client matters and in assessing complex matters. He always puts together the best team for a client and knows how the case will unfold based on his experience."

Charles Lloyd is seen as "a luminary in the field" and "a real gentleman." He is head of the trust and probate litigation group and has extensive experience of major international disputes. "He is a man of experience who has seen the world and its different legal systems," reports one overseas commentator, while another source says: "He has a great tactical approach and is a formidable lawyer with first-class skills." His conduct during litigation is also widely commended. "He is a class act and approaches cases in the correct way," states a lawyer, adding: "He always thinks of ways to come to reasonable solutions. In an area of law like ours, this is such a key quality." Another source says: "He is a market leader and he has impeccable judgement. He is one of those lawyers who gets the big calls correct."

Sebastian Prichard Jones "remains first class - he's extremely bright and extremely good," enthuses an interviewee. "He is one of the best lawyers I've ever seen, if not the best," says an international private client lawyer, explaining that "he's brilliant, practical and he has superb judgement, which is an unusual combination." Another source says: "I've been practising law for more than 30 years and rarely come across somebody who is as engaged in the practice of law, who is as clever, smart, personable, funny and user-friendly as Sebastian. He's tireless, very bright and exceedingly helpful."

Piers Barclay heads the firm's private client department and is well-respected for tackling domestic and international matters. "He is outstanding, a real quality lawyer," enthuses an interviewee. "He's easy to work with, he's smart and has a terrific bedside manner with clients generally," says a commentator, adding: "He's also very experienced in family office work and working with trustees and beneficiaries. He's excellent all round."

The "exceedingly bright" Edward Reed is experienced in advising clients on international estate planning matters, including wills and tax issues. Sources highlight his expertise in European work, with one noting that he's "very good on Italy" and another stating that "he's got an extremely good reputation and he does lots of French work." Reed has a focus on trusts, advising trustees as well as acting as a trustee himself for private and charitable trusts.

An interviewee describes Oliver Court as "truly, truly outstanding," and a "light in the market in London." Court handles complex international estate planning and structuring matters for individuals, families and trustees. "He's remarkable," says an interviewee, who also describes him as "smart, business-minded, helpful, hard-working and pleasant." Another source praises him as "a very good technical lawyer." "He's very, very good, thoughtful and mature," says a lawyer: "I'm very impressed by him."

Nicholas Harries advises clients on estate and succession planning, as well as tax planning and trusts. Harries draws on his past experience as a barrister and continues to hold higher courts rights of audience. His clients includes international high net worth individuals and families, including those from the Far East. "He was a very cool head - he was very reassuring and had all the qualities you want in a trust lawyer," says an interviewee, adding that "he could bring people together and bring all parties to the table. It was an extremely good experience working with him. He was excellent all round."

Jonathan Arr is seen as "a real up-and-comer" by interviewees. He deals with a wide range of contentious trust and probate disputes, including those with a cross-border element. "He is intelligent, shrewd and can handle complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes," observes a source. He is praised for his "tenacious style" and a litigation lawyer says that "he sticks to his guns and pursues a point until the end."

Jennifer Smithson is an "absolute star among advisers," says a commentator. "Her knowledge and application are second to none and her advice is impeccable. As a trustee, I find her written advice among the best I have seen. In addition, she is personable, client-centric and supportive." Smithson advises clients on tax and succession planning matters and specialises in work with US or French elements. "She's got a very incisive understanding of highly complicated bits of new law," observes a commentator; "the new tax law gets more complicated every year and there's a vast new amount of law that came in in 2017, which I heard her give an absolutely brilliant lecture on - it was really a very, very impressive and authoritative piece of work."

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Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the HNW guide

Boutique firm Maurice Turnor Gardner is seen as a "very high-quality practice" that "punches above their weight in expertise and ability." "They're our favourite rival, they're the first firm we'd go to with a conflict," says a London private client practitioner, who describes them as "fabulous lawyers, great to work with." The firm frequently advises wealthy clients on complex succession planning and structuring matters with international elements. "I think the world of them - their partners are all extremely clever, extremely accomplished technically," enthuses one source, while another reports that "they're very highly regarded. Their book of clients is very strong."

Sources highlight the firm's focus on developing its next generation of lawyers. "They've got some fantastic juniors coming through, you can see the quality of the bunch coming through. They do a lot to train and mentor," explains a commentator. Maurice Turnor Gardner wins praise not only for its technical expertise, but also its "good client rapport." "Their client service is virtually instantaneous," comments an interviewee. "They are fantastic at packaging complicated issues in their area of law and being able to advise us who are not experts on it." "I rate them really highly, they're one of the top private client teams," says an accountant, adding: "They're extremely easy to work with - they're very collegiate, very supportive and technically extremely strong. They're very responsive as well - they're a firm I very much try to emulate."

Notable practitioners

Ceris Gardner draws praise from all corners of the market, with peers and clients recognising her as a leader in high-value private client work. "She's totally wonderful - everyone thinks she's wonderful," enthuses an interviewee, adding: "She's incredibly calm, she exudes confidence. She gives confidence to everyone around her. She's incredibly personable." "Ceris is just very practical, very down to earth and brilliant at building rapport," says a market insider. Another states: "She's a very good thinker and listener, very wise and she cuts through a lot of stuff." "She is much loved and admired, she's someone you'd go to with a problem. She's excellent," explains a source.

The "very impressive" Clare Maurice is senior partner of the firm and is highly respected internationally for her work. "She is lovely and a pleasure to work with," states a commentator, adding: "She has a very good sense of humour, which is keenly required when dealing with what we are dealing with. She is excellent and always extremely technical and practical in her approach." Another says: "She is authoritative, very knowledgeable and provides excellent technical advice."

The "fabulous" Arabella Murphy is well regarded for her private client expertise and heads the firm's private wealth department. She works with affluent families, private banks and trustees on a wide array of wealth structuring and planning matters. "I love working with her," says a fellow private client lawyer, explaining that "Arabella is extremely bright, she's got great intelligence, great expertise, super practical judgement. She's very creative." "She's very easy to talk to and very sensible," observes another interviewee.

Emma-Jane Weider advises clients on estate planning and tax matters and has experience working with high net worth families as well as trust companies and banks. She also has significant expertise in assisting with philanthropic giving. A source praises her as "strong technically" and highlights her "great relationships with clients."

Richard Turnor is described as "absolutely lovely" and "delightful to work with" by one source. He assists trustees and beneficiaries on complex structuring matters, regularly working with individual and institutional clients. "He's obviously so experienced, incredibly sharp and a very, very good lateral thinker," comments an interviewee. Another describes him as "helpful, well respected and a go-to for the most complex offshore trust matters."

Jennifer Chambers "is very practical, very calm, and she takes a very common sense approach to things," reports a market commentator. She helps wealthy clients with tax, estate planning and succession matters, and also advises on charitable giving strategies. "I can only use superlatives," says one interviewee, adding: "She is immaculate, everything she presents is well thought through and very well presented." Another source states: "I trust her completely to not only give us good advice, but advice that is accurate and technically correct."

Ed Powles handles estate planning, tax planning and philanthropic matters. "He's extremely sharp, very good natured, very calm," says an interviewee, adding: "You can tell he has a genuine interest and passion for law. He likes thinking through questions very carefully - he's brilliant." Another commentator highlights his international expertise, saying: "He is very well-versed with the Middle East and has the necessary relaxed manner to succeed in that environment."

Eesha Arora advises clients on international tax and trust matters, including pre-arrival planning. Her clients range from wealthy individuals and beneficiaries to trustees and financial institutions. She also provides assistance with probates.

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McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the HNW guide

The London office of McDermott Will & Emery has an internationally focused team which acts for numerous high net worth clients, especially those with strong links to the USA. "They have some great clients and very significant contacts via their American offices," reports one market insider, while another source notes that "they have exceptional global reach."

Sources highlight the firm’s strength in private wealth disputes and note that the team have "real expertise in trust ligation." An interviewee explains: "They are a solid US firm with a big private client department. They can hold their own in big disputes and they get some real phenomenal work through the door. They are really good strategists."

Notable practitioners

Nicholas Holland has extensive experience dealing with offshore disputes and is acknowledged as "very much an influential figure in the international space." He frequently acts for trustees, beneficiaries and other third parties in contentious trust matters. "He has very strong links to the Cayman Islands and offshore jurisdictions. He has a heavy presence in our industry," says an interviewee. Another source says: "He provided Rolls-Royce service and he was absolutely on the ball on any issues every single time. I was very impressed at how he could deal with ferociously complex matters and take a key central role when running big cases." Holland is also noted for his in-depth expertise in Canadian private client matters.

Ziva Robertson deals with significant trust and estate disputes and is a qualified solicitor-advocate. "She is a practitioner of consummate skill and is very creative. She analyses legal problems deeply and wisely," enthuses an interviewee. Another observer remarks: "She is measured and experienced in her opinions on very complex and often sensitive matters. She is the voice of reason." Her cross-border experience is highlighted and a source reports that "she is really good at handling and co-ordinating massive international litigation." A disputes expert adds: "She is stupendously clever and approaches cases in a way that no one has thought of before. She comes up with very creative and innovative arguments."

Astrid Owen advises on international trust, tax and estate planning. Her clients include wealthy individuals, family offices, private banks and trustees. Owen is described by a source as "phenomenally detailed" and "brilliantly scary in her attention to detail." Owen also assists clients with the structuring of family businesses. "She combines the very best of what you want in a private client lawyer," says an interviewee, adding: "She knows clients, businesses and tax issues back to front, but she can also see around corners and see where the land mines lie in the trust and tax sphere. She's also very available - she's someone who works collaboratively very well."

An interviewee praises Andrew Vergunst as "fantastic, a really trusted adviser - very technical as well as personable." He advises wealthy families on estate planning and tax matters, often with international elements. Vergunst is especially notable for his specialisation in cross-border work involving South Africa. "His client-handling skills are second to none," enthuses an interviewee, adding: "He's also very good on details when working behind the scenes. He's very good at ensuring the key issues are addressed when acting for clients."

^ See whole ranking table

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the HNW guide

Mishcon de Reya is described as "an outstanding firm in London" which is "omnipresent in this industry." It offers the full spectrum of private client services through Mishcon Private, its specialist offering for high net worth clients. "Their commitment to their clients goes way beyond the day job and informs the culture of the firm," enthuses a source, who adds: "When the chips are down, the clients are delighted to have them by their side." A London-based adviser states: "It is clear that Mishcon's work is of an exceptionally high quality and they are unrivalled in their service."

Sources recognise the team as "commercial operators" who do "very high-quality work." The firm is also noted for its strength in private client disputes, and a market commentator says that "they can deal with some incredibly heavyweight litigation." Their approach to contentious matters is commended by interviewees. "If you have a full-on, all-guns-blazing dispute, you go to Mishcon," says a source. Another comments: "They leave no stone unturned. As a team, they work really well and always come up with strong solutions."

Notable practitioners

Mark Keenan is "one of the top people in this area who is on the big cases all the time." He deals with a wide array of trust and succession disputes and is described as "a top negotiator who has commercial nous." One interviewee reports: "No doubt I would instruct him as he is such a tenacious litigator. He can do the full spectrum of private wealth disputes - from trust litigation to succession disputes to 1975 Act claims." Another source says: "He is very tough and will really go the extra mile for the client." His strong service is also recognised by interviewees. An impressed interviewee enthuses: "He was exceptional and was very clear at explaining a complex area of law I knew nothing about. He was exceptionally clear in his approach and gave me great clarity as to what needed to be done." A commentator states that Keenan "is the kind of person you need when there is a highly contentious matter and you need to stand your ground."

Filippo Noseda attracts praise from a wide range of sources for his knowledge and client handling skills. As a dual-qualified UK and Swiss lawyer, Noseda's practice has a distinctly international focus. An interviewee mentions his "significant understanding on the international side," while another explains that "he's very good - he has an unusual quality in that he's a trust lawyer who completely understands the European civil law system." He is also praised for his "very commercial and friendly approach" as well as the clarity of his advice and his responsiveness. Multiple sources highlight Noseda's interest and active involvement in the research of international transparency initiatives. "He's amongst the best non-dom lawyers I have ever dealt with," comments an interviewee, summarising his strengths as "technical wizardry delivered with a reassuringly cheerful practicality."

Peter Steen handles a variety of trust and estate disputes and has significant experience dealing with international and offshore cases. "His technical expertise is outstanding and he is very thoughtful," enthuses one wealth adviser, while another market source says: "He has a great offshore practice and has acquired significant experience." An international private client adviser reveals that "he is extremely incisive and very helpful for our clients" and that "he can really cut to the chase and get to the nub of the issue." He is further lauded as "a very strong litigator who can see the big picture."

Andrew Goldstone advises wealthy individuals and families on a range of private client matters, including tax planning, trusts and succession planning. He also provides advice on philanthropic giving. "He's commercially minded, hard-working, responsive, and he always has the client’s best interests at heart. He has an excellent bedside manner," comments a leading tax professional. "Andrew is a logical person who has the ability to see the big picture and give solid and practical advice," says an interviewee.

Charlie Sosna advises wealthy families and individuals on an array of private client matters, including tax, trusts and asset protection. He also assists clients with residency and domicile issues. "Charlie's attention to detail is always apparent in his dealings and his ability to produce work not only timeously but speedily is greatly appreciated. His charm and approachability make him easy to talk to," says a client. Another interviewee describes him as "highly personal and technical" and highlights his "can-do attitude." Sosna was promoted to partner in April 2018.

Jessica Medus is a managing associate at the firm and she deals with a significant caseload of trust and estate litigation. "She has a bright future ahead of her," says a source, while another says: "She takes more responsibility and can lead some significant cases." Medus is "responsive, sensible and a pleasure to deal with," according to one observer, who continues: "She is always on top of her cases and she is really good at managing her client, even when things get tricky. She is calm in testing circumstances."

^ See whole ranking table

New Quadrant Partners Limited

From the HNW guide

New Quadrant Partners is a well-regarded private client boutique that is noted for its "incredible expertise" and "excellent quality of services." The team advises wealthy clients on wealth structuring, the management and administration of trusts and philanthropic giving. "They are fabulously easy to work with, they understand what I need and they explain things well," says an interviewee. Another commentator praises their "speed of response, practicality and ability to distil the essence of complex changes so as to allow the client to advance planning."

Sources note the firm's international expertise, with one reporting that they are "a safe pair of hands, especially on complex international matters." The team also has significant experience working with landed estates. "I am confident referring clients to them in the knowledge that the clients will receive an excellent service which dovetails well with my advice, so that we can offer a seamless wealth management solution," says a wealth professional.

Notable practitioners

Louise Stoten advises landed estates, entrepreneurs and multi-generational families. An interviewee comments that "she understands a case very quickly - what you're trying to do - and will find the best way of doing it." Stoten is praised for her ability to understand family dynamics and work well with all generations. "She's technically strong, a good tax lawyer," says a peer, describing her as "robust" and "innovative."

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Payne Hicks Beach is well-regarded for its private client practice and is recognised for its extensive expertise dealing with domestic issues for wealthy clients with large estates. The team also advises on international matters, with a particular focus on Scandinavia and the Middle East. An interviewee reports that the firm's "service, attention to detail, communication skills and written advice, general client care and solutions approach is second to none." Another highlights their "thorough grasp of a client's situation and priorities, and their ability to present options for discussion," as well as their "emphasis on keeping things simple and not creating complexities for the sake of it." "They provide sophisticated advice and they are consistent with follow-through," remarks a source.

The firm also has a notable litigation practice, frequently acting for high net worth clients in trust and probate disputes. Its clients include beneficiaries, trustees, protectors and landed estates. "They can be a great choice with an excellent reputation," says a barrister, explaining that "they have a very gentlemanly and prestigious vibe - they have some very prestigious and high-profile clients." A client reports that "they have a great bedside manner and they dealt with my matter in the most impeccable way. They have a team who have really honed their skills."

Notable practitioners

Alice Palmer advises wealthy clients on tax planning and trust matters, with a focus on working with entrepreneurs and clients with business interests. "She's acknowledged to be one of the best private client lawyers of her generation," says a peer, adding that "she is someone who will always speak her mind and be very direct and clear." Sources praise her as "someone you can have a very sensible discussion with on a difficult scenario" and "very tactful." Palmer is noted for her Scandinavian expertise, with one interviewee commenting that "she understands the Nordic way of thinking" and "her advice is top quality."

Robert Brodrick assists clients with tax, trust and estate planning matters, and frequently acts as trustee. His clients range from landed estate owners to entrepreneurs and he is experienced in handling cross-border issues, particularly involving the US and the Middle East. "I was impressed with his knowledge of trust law and tax law," says an interviewee, who also mentions his "very good style with clients."

Rosamond McDowell "has considerable litigation skills and is also very good on planning," says an interviewee, adding: "She speaks several languages and is very good on the international scene has a result - she speaks both fluent German and Arabic. She has a rare combination of skills and a very interesting background. She is very competent and a real consummate private client lawyer with strong dispute-handling skills." A fellow litigator reports that "she is very bright and great to work with. She is a sensible lawyer and she advises her clients sensibly. She is an original thinker who is good at strategy tactics."

Stephen King is head of the dispute resolution team and has significant experience in trust and inheritance disputes. An impressed interviewee states: "His general legal skills are very impressive. He talks you through everything and I couldn't fault him in anything he did. His bedside manner is outstanding - it couldn't be better." He is further praised for his "real eye for details" and is described as "a strong tactician and savvy strategist." Another source remarks: "He is an excellent lawyer with the right temperament for private client litigation."

Christopher Sly is a consultant at the firm and has deep experience in private client matters, often with an international element. His clients range from businesses and institutions to high net worth families and individuals, including non-UK domiciles. Sly has particular expertise in working with entrepreneurs, and assists with the establishment and restructuring of trusts, as well as advising on family constitutions. "Christopher brings gravitas and strategic overview," says a tax expert.

Frederick Bjørn advises wealthy clients on a range of matters, including estate planning, tax issues, wills and trusts. He also assists with family business succession planning and regularly handles matters involving a Scandinavian element. "Freddie is professional in a very relaxed and friendly way," says an interviewee, adding: "He is responsive and able to analyse complex matters clearly and in a concise way. He's patient and empathetic towards the client."

Richard Manyon deals with a wide range of private wealth disputes, and is described as "an ambitious partner who is really building up that practice." He often acts for corporate trustees, beneficiaries and other institutions in various onshore and offshore disputes. "He is very bright and has some very interesting work," says a source, who continues: "He has a very intuitive grasp of the law and the litigation process." "He is a strong all-round litigator who is really strong on trust disputes," says another commentator, adding: "He is very heavily involved in the wider industry."

^ See whole ranking table

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the HNW guide

The private wealth team at Penningtons Manches assists wealthy clients with asset protection, succession planning and wills and probate matters. They also advise on IHT and CGT tax planning, as well as tax exemptions for artwork and heritage property. "They are approachable and collaborative workers who make complex issues understandable," remarks an accountant. Another interviewee describes the team as "responsive, on the front foot, thoughtful, diligent and likeable." Clients include entrepreneurs and family businesses, family offices and fiduciaries.

The private client lawyers are also able to draw on the firm's further expertise in immigration, dispute resolution, family law and residential property. "They're superb on the private client and tax side," reports a source, going on to add: "They're delightful people, very good at networking. They're utterly trustworthy, technically proficient and they give excellent client service. The team is very, very strong."

Notable practitioners

Christopher Lintott is a senior counsel at the firm and has extensive experience advising clients on cross-border estate planning and trust matters. He has particular expertise in assisting family businesses with tax planning and succession planning.

Clare Archer advises on the administration of estates, wills, trusts and capital tax planning. Her clients include landed estates and family businesses. A source praises her as "very responsive, very personable, very calm and knowledgeable." "She's brilliant, fabulous," enthuses an interviewee, explaining that "she's wonderfully sensitive, terribly calm. I know from working with her that she's technically superb."

Laura Dadswell assists high net worth clients with their tax, trusts and wealth-structuring needs. "She's excellent - I find her absolutely brilliant," enthuses a source: "She's good with her advice, sometimes she says stuff you don't want to hear but it's good advice. She's very easy to get along with and can talk through everything." Dadswell's practice has an emphasis on international work, particularly US/UK cross-border matters. "She's extremely empathetic, she goes the extra mile," says an interviewee, adding: "She spends time getting to know the client, what the client needs, before suggesting the solution."

^ See whole ranking table

RadcliffesLeBrasseur

From the HNW guide

RadcliffesLeBrasseur wins praise for its "phenomenal customer service" and expertise advising on international tax, trusts, wills and estate planning matters. An interviewee says: "They have many strong points but the strongest in my opinion is that they are able to effectively take into account your personal circumstances, to be able to put themselves in the client's shoes and offer non-biased, practical and realistic advice while always aligning with the client's best interests." Another highlights the firm's responsiveness, saying: "They are really quick with their responses and aim to finalise matters as quickly and efficiently as possible in a given timetable. They are also very thorough in their analysis."

Members of the team work with a wide variety of clients, including entrepreneurs, high net worth families and landed estates. "They are very good at putting the client at ease and explaining complex matters in such a way that the client will understand them," comments a barrister, adding: "They are very good at distilling the key points and pulling out the crux of the matter at a very early stage."

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Shankland heads the firm's international private wealth team. "He's incredibly good to work with, he's been fantastic. He's very pragmatic, straightforward and business-like about things," says a commentator. Another source describes him as "approachable and willing to seek out and suggest the most simple solution to a complicated problem." "Jonathan is a fountain of knowledge in the tax and planning sense, and he is innovative while maintaining a sensible and traditional approach," explains an interviewee. Shankland handles a wide range of private wealth matters for UK and international clients.

Tulin Hamit is praised for her work with wealthy Turkish clients. "Tulin is an exceptional all-rounder in terms of her skill set. The clients value her highly, she is quick and efficient, and delivers every time I refer a case to her which is why I continue to do so." Another interviewee reports that "She has a really tremendous entrepreneurial spirit combined with a real ability in tax." Hamit is qualified to practise in Turkey and is also a Chartered Tax Adviser.

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Russell-Cooke is well regarded for its private client expertise, particularly in relation to international work. The firm's lawyers advise on estate administration, tax planning, the management of trusts, wills and estate planning. "They're excellent on cross-border work," reports a peer. The team regularly handles matters involving European jurisdictions, with a number of dual-qualified UK and French lawyers and notaries public, who advise on French succession and property matters.

The firm works with a range of clients, including entrepreneurs, family businesses and professionals. An interviewee describes the team as "efficient, empathetic and professional," adding: "I can have absolute confidence that any clients introduced to them will be expertly looked after." Another says: "I have found them to be competent, good and reliable communicators which instils confidence in the client."

Notable practitioners

Described as "one of the leading gurus of the cross-border world," Richard Frimston is renowned for his international private client practice. "Richard's reputation has been enduring over a number of years - he's one of the first names tripping off the tongue for experts," says a peer. Frimston leads the firm's private client group and is also a notary public. "He has the calm, reassuring air that only a real expert in his field can convey," comments an interviewee.

Alison Regan "has a nice personable approach but is robust when dealing with litigation," according to a commentator. She deals with various private client litigation matters, including will disputes, Court of Protection matters and probate issues. "She is very driven, very careful and demonstrates real independent thought. She is a very solid operator and I would definitely recommend her," says an interviewee.

Rebecca Fisher advises clients on estate planning, trusts, the administration of estates and wills, with a particular emphasis on assisting family business owners and entrepreneurs. One interviewee comments that she is "enthusiastic, very empathetic and works very hard for her clients." Another praises her as "easy to communicate with" and notes her "good and reliable service."

Dawn Alderson is recognised for her expertise advising on cross-border French property and succession matters. "She's one of my go-to UK-based French-qualified lawyers, particularly for clients who own French properties," says an interviewee. "She's easy to deal with and practically minded. She always responds very promptly. I have confidence that things will get done and clients will be satisfied."

Patrick Delas is notable for advising on French tax. He assists clients with matters relating to IHT, CGT and French wealth tax. "We always found him to be helpful and efficient," comments an interviewee, adding: "He established good rapport with the clients."

The "very good" Andrew Godfrey is known for his expertise in cross-border matters, especially those involving Italy or the USA. He advises wealthy clients on estate planning, trusts, tax planning and the administration of estates.

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Taylor Wessing is recognised for its "excellent private client team" which has strong capabilities in non-contentious and contentious work. The firm’s lawyers are experienced in advising high net worth clients on international and domestic tax, trust and estate planning. An interviewee highlights their "fantastic technical ability" and praises their "knack of explaining and communicating concepts which are easily understood by clients."

The firm also represents high net worth clients in cross-border disputes relating to trusts and estates. "The individuals there are excellent," reports a barrister: "They have the critical mass to take on the big-ticket litigation - they have the depth to handle numerous major cases." Sources praise their "strong working relationships with clients" and "their ability to call upon different areas of expertise." "They handle matters carefully and sensibly and never put a foot wrong," comments a market insider. "They are extremely good - they were very specific in what they were doing and very diligent," says a source, adding: "They are very good at dealing with cross-border disputes as they have an excellent grasp of cultural differences in different territories. I would absolutely refer to them again."

Notable practitioners

Mark Buzzoni has deep experience advising wealthy clients on structuring, trusts and tax planning matters. "He's excellent, a top, top, top professional," says an interviewee, adding: "The thing I like in particular is that he is short, succinct and to the point. When you tell him something he goes to the nub of the issue and how that should be dealt with. He's a very clear thinker and takes things that might be complex and breaks them down. If I had a substantial client, he's just the guy I'd go to." Another source comments that "he's very empathetic and understands the needs of the clients - he's a good listener and he's able to analyse complicated plots rather quickly."

Andrew Hine is "an archetypical private client lawyer" and is "one of the key people in this industry." He heads the private client group in the UK and has extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious matters. "He is very well-established and has been around for a long time," notes one lawyer. Another source says: "He is highly respected for being sensible and is seen as a problem-solver who will actually makes things better." One peer reports that "he is regularly asked to act as a guardian or a trustee as people can see he is exactly the sort of level-headed and intelligent mind you want in that role." A barrister explains: "He is the go-to person if you need an independent trustee. He has a highly sought-after combination of being a technically excellent non-contentious lawyer, while also having the ability to be put in a contentious situation."

Nick Warr "is very good at international structuring and tax. He really has a very broad practice," states a commentator. He heads the firm's international private wealth group. "He's brilliant with clients - he's proactive, he talks their language, he's extremely knowledgeable, he's got top-drawer technical skills," says an interviewee, adding: "He can take complicated tax matters and explain them in a language that a non-tax person can understand."

Emma Jordan leads the contentious trusts team in the UK and often acts for trustees and high net worth families on private wealth disputes. "She is very commercially savvy and knows how to get a good deal for her clients," enthuses one private wealth lawyer, while another interviewee observes: "She is smart, responsive and very good when dealing with tough cases." Her offshore experience is highlighted by sources and a commentator notes that "her Jersey qualification gives her a huge advantage in terms of her skill set."

Kirstie McGuigan deals with all aspects of private client work and is widely admired for her expertise in trust and estate disputes. One London source says: "She is very experienced and has run a lot of big cases." Another peer enthuses: "She has got very good judgement and a very good instinctive view of the right and practical approach to a problem." Her ability to handle clients is widely regarded and a source notes that "she is excellent with clients and good at handling sensitive situations." An observer adds that "her client management skills are magnificent." Sources further praise her "very impressive legal acumen" and note that "she is strong at both contentious and non-contentious matters."

Sanjvee Shah works with high net worth individuals and families on a range of estate, succession and tax planning matters. She also advises family offices and professional trustees. One interviewee praises her as "interpersonally fabulous" and highlights her "great following of Indian clients." Another notes her "great intellect" and "superb client care," and describes her as "very pragmatic in dealing with complex issues."

Ryan Myint assists clients with trust matters, succession planning and wealth structuring, as well as tax planning. Myint previously worked in the firm's Singapore office and is recognised as "somebody who's created an impressive clientele in Asia." He also advises Middle Eastern clients with interests in Asia. "He's really very able to utilise his huge knowledge, especially when it comes to trusts - he's good at describing the issues related to trusts," says an interviewee.

Antoaneta Proctor advises clients on international tax and trusts matters, specialising on cross-border work with Russia. "She's very personable, she carries a lot of empathy and she tries to relate to a client and work out what's best for them," reports a source, adding: "She has very good technical skills – she's really smart."

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Wedlake Bell advises wealthy clients on tax, trust and estate planning matters, working with both domestic and international clients. "They provide a personal service that is bespoke and reliable," reports a source: "They have broad experience available within the partnership." The team is also described as "very practical and communicative." The firm's lawyers assist with the administration of trusts and probate, as well as with the preparation of wills. They can call on litigation services within the firm for inheritance, trust and probate disputes.

"For me it is their empathy and emotional intelligence that stands out," says an interviewee, adding: "They take care to understand what the client wants and make them comfortable with their engagement with the law. Their advice is practical and comprehensible and properly targeted to the client's needs." Another praises their "responsiveness and the ability to communicate complex matters in a way that the man off the street can understand."

Notable practitioners

Andrew O'Keeffe is head of the private client team and specialises in trust and probate disputes. He enters the ranking for the first time this year and is described as "a real expert in contentious probate matters." One market source notes: "He is always very measured and very calm in his approach to things. He provides a steady hand for clients." Another reports: "He has a very good client manner and brings a very traditional and fair approach to this sort of work. He is a very practical adviser who is both persistent and tenacious."

Camilla Wallace is "an excellent private client lawyer, with fantastic technical knowledge combined with a clear, down-to-earth style that clients really appreciate," says an interviewee. Wallace heads the firm's private client group and is experienced in advising wealthy individuals on estate planning and lifetime tax planning. A source comments that "she is an excellent communicator, technically very competent and demonstrates flawless professional integrity."

Emma Loveday focuses her practice on advising wealthy clients on tax planning and trust matters. She has particular expertise in US/UK planning, and handles issues relating to wills and probate as well as charitable giving. A fellow lawyer describes her as "an always helpful point of reference for inheritance and trust-related matters." "She's an outstanding private client lawyer, with absolute command of the resident non-domiciled regime, abundant common sense and a genuine commitment to her clients," enthuses an interviewee.

Eleanor Metcalf provides tax and estate planning advice to international and UK clients. She assists with the preparation of wills and trusts for succession planning purposes, as well as the ongoing administration of structures. Metcalf also advises on charity law matters, including tax-efficient philanthropic giving.

^ See whole ranking table

From the HNW guide

Withers is "a top-quality firm" that has "the requisite strength on international and domestic work." This full-service firm can provide comprehensive private client services to high net worth clients and is recognised for its "long-established reputation." "The key thing is their strength and depth," observes one source, who continues: "They have resources that other firms cannot hope to match. They are very efficient in turning things around and are a very impressive group of people."

As well as its strength in non-contentious matters, sources praise the trust and estate litigation group at the firm. One interviewee reports: "They are very strong in contentious trust matters and they would be an excellent choice for any client. They are very sophisticated in their approach and all the lawyers are really well grounded in contentious trust matters." Another disputes source states: "I have worked with other firms and they have been the most impressive of all. They have the ability to get to the key issues and put the emotional issues to one side and come up with good commercial solutions for the client." Their cross-border expertise is also highlighted and a source says that "they are well-versed in major international disputes."

Notable practitioners

Dawn Goodman is "the personification of a contentious trusts expert" and "one of the true big hitters in this industry." She has decades of experience handling major private wealth disputes and also has in-depth expertise in offshore matters. "Her knowledge of the industry is immense and she is exceptionally focused on her cases," observes one peer, who continues: "She really makes an impression in court when fighting a case. She is a truly fantastic lawyer." Another interviewee comments: "She is phenomenal in terms of her intelligence and understanding of the key issues involved." Sources also say that "she has dealt with some of the biggest cases over the years" and that "her understanding of trust disputes and private client litigation is unrivalled." A commentator further explains: "She created the market and identified before anyone else it was a discipline of its own. She has been doing it forever. She is very clever and she knows her way round the market."

Paul Hewitt handles a variety of trust and probate disputes and is described as "a robust litigator who knows how to get the best for his clients." An interviewee reports: "He is an excellent lawyer who is particularly strong on the domestic probate side. He is a calm and reassuring presence for many HNW clients." Hewitt also leads the firm's charity and not-for-profit work and is described as "a guru on charity litigation." A market insider says: "He is a real expert in charity work and involved in many leading cases in that area." His legal skills are also rated highly by his peers and one remarks that "he is meticulous, very detail-oriented and nothing escapes his attention." Another lawyer notes: "He is very astute and streetwise when dealing with tough cases. He has that gimlet-eyed ability to see crucial points that other people don't."

Steven Kempster acts for a range of high net worth clients on major domestic and international disputes, including charity matters. "He finds sensible commercial solutions. He is highly communicative and his written work is as good as I've seen from any practising lawyer," says an interviewee, adding: "He is unflappable; very calm, collected and a real strategic thinker."

Sophie Dworetzsky has a "very strong reputation as an international private client lawyer," according to a source. She advises clients on a range of matters, including the establishment of family offices and tax planning. "She is meticulous in her approach and extremely responsive - she's extremely accessible and available even at inconvenient times," says an interviewee, adding: "She applies the appropriate level of caution. Her input and advice are hugely beneficial."

Jeremy Arnold is "a lovely guy to work with, really personable," states a source. He has extensive private client experience, both working directly with wealthy individuals and families, and working in-house at a private bank. He advises clients on tax, trusts, wealth structuring and estate planning. "He's an absolute trusted adviser for his principal clients - he works closely with his clients and third parties to ensure all advice is followed and the resulting structures are robust," says an interviewee, adding: "His clients are his priority - he has an eye for detail and he's a safe pair of hands."

Patricia Milner advises clients on tax, trust and estate planning matters, including Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax planning. She acts for clients with international connections, particularly with Europe and the US. Sources praise her as "an extremely good thinker," "very pragmatic," and "a good operator." "She has an attention for detail and at the same time she's always looking for a strategic position and a way forward if there are family issues," reports an interviewee.

Stephen Richards is "a very strong litigator" and acts for a range of affluent clients on major trust and succession disputes. He also deals with Court of Protection matters and is recognised as "good when you need someone to build bridges." "His pragmatism, married with his legal analysis, is what really makes him stand out. His ability to deal with the issues and the clients in long-running litigation is excellent," enthuses a commentator.

Penny Williams assists clients with domestic and international estate planning, with a particular focus on UK/US matters. She previously spent a number of years working in the US and has clients in Latin America, as well as those based in the UK with US connections. "Penny inspired in me absolute confidence in her knowledge and legal ability. Her style is very direct and plain-spoken and personable. She is not afraid to raise or respond to difficult issues," says an interviewee.

Richard Cassell is dual-qualified in the UK and the US and specialises and advises clients on cross-border matters involving the US. He assists clients with tax planning, estate planning and international trusts. He also advises on charitable giving.

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Senior Statesperson

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "phenomenally clever"Robin Vos is a highly experienced private client practitioner. "He is outstanding, a real quality lawyer," says an interviewee. He advises clients on trusts, estate planning and tax matters, often involving international elements. His clients include high net worth individuals, financial institutions and trustees. "He has excellent technical tax knowledge and offers a good, practical and speedy service," reports a source.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Bridges"is fabulous," says a fellow private client lawyer, "andeveryone knows that." Bridges continues to have an excellent reputation across the private client market, noted by peers for his "personal reputation and quality of work." He leads the firm's private client group and has decades of experience advising wealthy clients on complex estate planning and trusts matters. "He's a great pleasure to deal with," says an interviewee, with another commenting that "he's really stellar, literally everyone knows him."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Buzzoni has deep experience advising wealthy clients on structuring, trusts and tax planning matters. "He's excellent, a top, top, top professional," says an interviewee, adding: "The thing I like in particular is that he is short, succinct and to the point. When you tell him something he goes to the nub of the issue and how that should be dealt with. He's a very clear thinker and takes things that might be complex and breaks them down. If I had a substantial client, he's just the guy I'd go to." Another source comments that "he's very empathetic and understands the needs of the clients - he's a good listener and he's able to analyse complicated plots rather quickly."

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Band 1

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Conder is considered "one of the absolute stars" of the private client market. "For someone of his standing and ability, he's remarkably straightforward, no airs and graces," says an interviewee, adding that "he's one of the handful of individuals in London right at the top of the tree." "He is articulate, he provides intelligent, practical advice and he's incredibly easy to work with," comments a market insider. Another reports that "he's a bit of a legend in the market now, he's very client-friendly and he is one of the top tax lawyers. He's technical but able to explain things clearly,"

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Band 1

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "excellent"Ashley Crossley is well regarded for his highly international private client practice. Sources note his technical expertise, describing him as "very knowledgeable and impressive." Crossley has extensive experience working with clients from the Middle East and Russia on complex wealth structuring matters and the establishment of family offices. A market insider says that "he's clearly got a lot of expertise in the ultra-high net worth area," adding that "he's very practical, pragmatic and good on his advice." "He's wonderfully vibrant, very pleasant to work with, very connected in the industry," says an interviewee; "he's exceptional at dealing with complex matters with high-profile individuals."

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Band 1

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ceris Gardner draws praise from all corners of the market, with peers and clients recognising her as a leader in high-value private client work. "She's totally wonderful - everyone thinks she's wonderful," enthuses an interviewee, adding: "She's incredibly calm, she exudes confidence. She gives confidence to everyone around her. She's incredibly personable." "Ceris is just very practical, very down to earth and brilliant at building rapport," says a market insider. Another states: "She's a very good thinker and listener, very wise and she cuts through a lot of stuff." "She is much loved and admired, she's someone you'd go to with a problem. She's excellent," explains a source.

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Band 1

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Lucy Gibson"is absolutely brilliant, completely first class, one of the absolute top, top lawyers and very nice and very personable with it," reports a barrister. Gibson is experienced in advising high net worth clients and trustees on  domestic and multi-jurisdictional matters. "She's a superb lawyer," enthuses a commentator: "She's extremely clever, very creative and what really stands out with her is that she uses her wit and sense of humour very effectively in delivering advice and in contentious matters." Another source says: "She's extremely bright, really great with clients, she offers practical advice. She's very efficient, very pleasant to work with - she can be tough when there's points to be negotiated. She's a real talent."

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Band 1

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Charles Gothard is a well-respected private client practitioner with extensive experience dealing with complex, high-value matters. His clients range from international families and entrepreneurs to trust companies, family offices and institutions. Sources highlight his expertise in international matters, particularly those involving Switzerland, for which Gothard is the firm's country partner. "He's a very fine thinker and strategist," says an interviewee, adding: "He is a thought leader in private client matters and in assessing complex matters. He always puts together the best team for a client and knows how the case will unfold based on his experience."

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Band 1

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nicholas Jacob is highly respected for his wealth of experience advising international families on complex estate planning matters. "He's one of those incredibly impressive calm people - very thoughtful and generous with his knowledge and a good person to have as part of a team of advisers," states an interviewee. Sources highlight his expertise in the Asian market. A commentator says: "He's a very experienced practitioner, I'm envious of his Asian practice - he has a fantastic practice."

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Band 1

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "very impressive" Clare Maurice is senior partner of the firm and is highly respected internationally for her work. "She is lovely and a pleasure to work with," states a commentator, adding: "She has a very good sense of humour, which is keenly required when dealing with what we are dealing with. She is excellent and always extremely technical and practical in her approach." Another says: "She is authoritative, very knowledgeable and provides excellent technical advice."

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Band 1

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bart Peerless is highly regarded for advising high net worth individuals and families on complex estate planning matters. He is experienced in working with domestic and international clients on a range of cross-border issues. "He's absolutely first class," says an interviewee, explaining that "he's very personable, a very nice person - he gets on well with clients. He's very level-headed and no problem is too big." Another says that "he's a very sensible guy and a very safe pair of hands." Sources also describe him as "phenomenally hard-working" and highlight his "very good bedside manner."

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Band 1

Sebastian Prichard Jones

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sebastian Prichard Jones"remains first class - he's extremely bright and extremely good," enthuses an interviewee. "He is one of the best lawyers I've ever seen, if not the best," says an international private client lawyer, explaining that "he's brilliant, practical and he has superb judgement, which is an unusual combination." Another source says: "I've been practising law for more than 30 years and rarely come across somebody who is as engaged in the practice of law, who is as clever, smart, personable, funny and user-friendly as Sebastian. He's tireless, very bright and exceedingly helpful."

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Band 1

RMW Law

From the Chambers HNW guide

Described as "obviously fantastic,"John Riches of RMW Law has an excellent reputation among interviewees. "He has an unrivalled depth of knowledge in the field from some of the most obscure and complex topics. His ability to get to answers quickly is remarkable," says a market insider, adding that "he is very up to date with current developments. He plans with the future changes in mind." Riches is highly experienced in advising family offices on cross-border structuring for personal and business assets. A tax specialist remarks that "John must be one of the smartest private client lawyers in the industry - he's so technically sharp and you can tell he has an absolute passion for what he does."

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Band 1

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Basil Zirinis of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is an extremely popular figure in the London private wealth market. Zirinis is a renowned expert in complex international estate planning matters and his clients include fiduciaries and closely-held family businesses, as well as wealthy individuals. "He's absolutely first-rate," enthuses an interviewee, explaining: "He has the technical background but he is absolutely awesome in front of the clients." "He's spectacular in his judgement and his advice," comments a peer, adding: "He's able to engender confidence with all sorts of clients. He's one of the few that you could put in front of any type of client and he would develop a personal rapport very quickly. He does get into understanding the detail and technical side once a matter is underway - he really grips the issue quickly."

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Band 2

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Piers Barclay heads the firm's private client department and is well-respected for tackling domestic and international matters. "He is outstanding, a real quality lawyer," enthuses an interviewee. "He's easy to work with, he's smart and has a terrific bedside manner with clients generally," says a commentator, adding: "He's also very experienced in family office work and working with trustees and beneficiaries. He's excellent all round."

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Band 2

Keith Bruce-Smith

Harcus Sinclair LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Keith Bruce-Smith has a "long-running and well-deserved reputation on the private client side." He assists clients with tax and trust matters, advising landed estates and acting as a professional trustee for family trusts. "He's extremely bright, a tower of strength," says market commentator, adding: "He's a very clever man and extremely hard-working. He has a vast client base." "He's really very knowledgeable, conservatively creative on tax and he knows it so well he usually has an idea of a solution fairly quickly, even if it needs further research," reports an interviewee.

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Band 2

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Burt is described as "one of the best tax solicitors in London." Formerly a partner at Harcus Sinclair, Burt moved to Harbottle & Lewis in May 2018. "He's incredibly bright, he's got a brain that runs faster than most," says an interviewee, adding: "I had a matter in which, two minutes after a long conference call, I received a very detailed attendance note, and he did it all by himself while leading the call - I would need two brains to do that. He's really outstanding." Burt advises wealthy clients with international connections on matters relating to tax, trusts and wealth structuring. "He's a very plain-speaking person and very, very direct. He's extremely good with clients as a result - he will want a very clear answer and will get to a very clear answer. He is extremely impressive," reports a barrister.

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Band 2

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Russell Cohen"is a very good lawyer, technical but not lost in the details. He's at the top of his game," says an interviewee. Cohen has an excellent reputation in the market for his international private client expertise, as well as his work on charity law matters. "He's very personable, responsive, he builds rapport quickly," reports a market insider. "I think highly of him in terms of his expertise and analytical skills," says another source.

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Band 2

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers HNW guide

Described as "one of the leading gurus of the cross-border world,"Richard Frimston is renowned for his international private client practice. "Richard's reputation has been enduring over a number of years - he's one of the first names tripping off the tongue for experts," says a peer. Frimston leads the firm's private client group and is also a notary public. "He has the calm, reassuring air that only a real expert in his field can convey," comments an interviewee.

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Band 2

Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Hine is "an archetypical private client lawyer" and is "one of the key people in this industry." He heads the private client group in the UK and has extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious matters. "He is very well-established and has been around for a long time," notes one lawyer. Another source says: "He is highly respected for being sensible and is seen as a problem-solver who will actually makes things better." One peer reports that "he is regularly asked to act as a guardian or a trustee as people can see he is exactly the sort of level-headed and intelligent mind you want in that role." A barrister explains: "He is the go-to person if you need an independent trustee. He has a highly sought-after combination of being a technically excellent non-contentious lawyer, while also having the ability to be put in a contentious situation."

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Band 2

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Described as "fantastically good,"Sue Laing has a stellar reputation for her private client practice. She acts for large family estates, and is experienced in complex, multi-generational matters. Laing advises on succession planning, tax planning and trusts. An interviewee praises her as "very clever, direct, empathetic and knowledgeable."

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Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Piers Master draws praise from a wide range of interviewees for his work with both UK and international clients with substantial assets. "He's delightful - he's such a lovely individual and certainly in terms of putting him before my own clients he demonstrates real confidence in his subject matter and he's also an extremely pleasant person," comments an interviewee. Another says: "I think he's fantastic, he is technically extremely able, he really, really is." Master is also recognised for his specialism in Middle Eastern work: "I've done a lot of Middle Eastern work with Piers, he's good. The Middle East has some idiosyncrasies and he's very intellectual, very clever, very responsive. I really enjoy working with him," reports a source. "He's the go-to for the Middle East in that firm," states a market insider, adding that "he's brilliant, proactive, technically extremely able and he knows how to deal with Middle Eastern clients."

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Band 2

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "fabulous" Arabella Murphy is well regarded for her private client expertise and heads the firm's private wealth department. She works with affluent families, private banks and trustees on a wide array of wealth structuring and planning matters. "I love working with her," says a fellow private client lawyer, explaining that "Arabella is extremely bright, she's got great intelligence, great expertise, super practical judgement. She's very creative." "She's very easy to talk to and very sensible," observes another interviewee.

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Band 2

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alice Palmer advises wealthy clients on tax planning and trust matters, with a focus on working with entrepreneurs and clients with business interests. "She's acknowledged to be one of the best private client lawyers of her generation," says a peer, adding that "she is someone who will always speak her mind and be very direct and clear." Sources praise her as "someone you can have a very sensible discussion with on a difficult scenario" and "very tactful." Palmer is noted for her Scandinavian expertise, with one interviewee commenting that "she understands the Nordic way of thinking" and "her advice is top quality."

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Band 2

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "exceedingly bright"Edward Reed is experienced in advising clients on international estate planning matters, including wills and tax issues. Sources highlight his expertise in European work, with one noting that he's "very good on Italy" and another stating that "he's got an extremely good reputation and he does lots of French work." Reed has a focus on trusts, advising trustees as well as acting as a trustee himself for private and charitable trusts.

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Band 2

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Simon Rylatt is respected in the market for his dual practice in contentious and non-contentious private client work. "He's great, accurate but relaxed. He's clear, robust, caring and he has pretty good technical skills. He's personable and he cares about people," comments a source. "He's outstanding," says a peer, adding that "he's pragmatic but aggressive when necessary." "He's very sound and has a really good knowledge base - it helps to have an opponent who knows his stuff," reports a fellow litigator.

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Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Catriona Syed is highly respected for advising individuals, trustees and banks on structuring, estate planning and succession matters. She is experienced in dealing with both domestic and international issues. "She's very discreet, but technically excellent. She's a pleasure to work with, very responsive, very available. She gives very clear advice and goes straight to the point," says an interviewee. Sources highlight her strong reputation for Swiss work and praise her as "very able and very engaging."

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Band 2

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Anthony Thompson wins praise from peers for his technical expertise and client-handling skills in private client matters. "He's one of those people who is incredibly good with clients; he is a very reassuring presence for them," comments an interviewee. Another describes him as "technically excellent" and "a pleasure to work with." A fellow private client lawyer says: "He's very calm, very quiet, always provides good advice and he's very active in international matters."

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Band 2

Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Warr"is very good at international structuring and tax. He really has a very broad practice," states a commentator. He heads the firm's international private wealth group. "He's brilliant with clients - he's proactive, he talks their language, he's extremely knowledgeable, he's got top-drawer technical skills," says an interviewee, adding: "He can take complicated tax matters and explain them in a language that a non-tax person can understand."

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Band 2

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Emma-Jane Weider advises clients on estate planning and tax matters and has experience working with high net worth families as well as trust companies and banks. She also has significant expertise in assisting with philanthropic giving. A source praises her as "strong technically" and highlights her "great relationships with clients."

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Band 3

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Experienced private client practitioner Damian Bloom attracts praise from clients and peers alike for his technical skills and client manner. "Damian's very good, very energetic, enthusiastic - he wants to get under the bonnet and see what's going on with the family. He's technically very good on the tax side," says a fellow private client practitioner. An impressed client says: "He's very available to me at any moment. I couldn't be happier - he's very open and really is helpful." Another interviewee reports that "we would not hesitate in introducing Damian to any of our clients in need of advice. He's excellent at presenting to clients and a very established speaker. He provides clear advice and is a pleasure to work with." Bloom heads the firm's private client group.

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Band 3

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Robert Blower advises wealthy clients on estate planning, tax planning and trust matters. He has expertise in dealing with landed estates, heritage property and offshore assets. "He's a highly impressive individual," says a source: "He's very quiet, very level-headed; he has a very good, dryish sense of humour. He clearly is very brilliant, and very, very well liked and well respected by the firm. I'm certain he's very well respected by the very wide client base that Charles Russell Speechlys have."

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Band 3

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Robert Brodrick assists clients with tax, trust and estate planning matters, and frequently acts as trustee. His clients range from landed estate owners to entrepreneurs and he is experienced in handling cross-border issues, particularly involving the US and the Middle East. "I was impressed with his knowledge of trust law and tax law," says an interviewee, who also mentions his "very good style with clients."

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Band 3

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

An interviewee describes Oliver Court as "truly, truly outstanding," and a "light in the market in London." Court handles complex international estate planning and structuring matters for individuals, families and trustees. "He's remarkable," says an interviewee, who also describes him as "smart, business-minded, helpful, hard-working and pleasant." Another source praises him as "a very good technical lawyer." "He's very, very good, thoughtful and mature," says a lawyer: "I'm very impressed by him."

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Band 3

Sophie Dworetzsky

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sophie Dworetzsky has a "very strong reputation as an international private client lawyer," according to a source.She advises clients on a range of matters, including the establishment of family offices and tax planning. "She is meticulous in her approach and extremely responsive - she's extremely accessible and available even at inconvenient times," says an interviewee, adding: "She applies the appropriate level of caution. Her input and advice are hugely beneficial."

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Band 3

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Patrick Harney heads the firm's private client practice and has deep experience in domestic and international trust and tax matters. "He's excellent, a very good mixture of technical tax knowledge, the awareness of impact in other jurisdictions, taking appropriate advice and being practical as well," says a source. Harney is recognised for his significant expertise in US work. "One of his main strengths is his general knowledge of US tax law and how it integrates with UK tax law," remarks a commentator, adding: "Patrick is steady, reliable and insightful. He communicates very clearly to clients and is excellent at managing projects and expectations."

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Band 3

Christopher Lintott

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Christopher Lintott is a senior counsel at the firm and has extensive experience advising clients on cross-border estate planning and trust matters. He has particular expertise in assisting family businesses with tax planning and succession planning.

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Band 3

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sara Maccallum advises clients on tax planning matters, particularly in relation to family businesses. She also assists trust companies, entrepreneurs, property developers and investors with transactional and tax planning advice. "She's absolutely brilliant - she's got that fantastic ability to present difficult things very clearly. She's phenomenally commercially astute and technically brilliant. She's also fantastic in dealing with clients," enthuses an interviewee. Maccallum is also the firm's senior partner and leads the commercial tax group.

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Band 3

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Suzanne Marriott is regarded as a "safe pair of hands" in the private client world. She advises clients on tax planning, trusts and estate and succession planning, as well as mental incapacity and Court of Protection matters. "She's clever, endlessly helpful, she loves to share knowledge and she's very supportive if you've got a tricky case," says a fellow private client lawyer, adding: "She will answer questions, she's very generous in that sense, she's wonderful with clients - clients are so loyal to her. She instils confidence in people."

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Band 3

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Filippo Noseda attracts praise from a wide range of sources for his knowledge and client handling skills. As a dual-qualified UK and Swiss lawyer, Noseda's practice has a distinctly international focus. An interviewee mentions his "significant understanding on the international side," while another explains that "he's very good - he has an unusual quality in that he's a trust lawyer who completely understands the European civil law system." He is also praised for his "very commercial and friendly approach" as well as the clarity of his advice and his responsiveness. Multiple sources highlight Noseda's interest and active involvement in the research of international transparency initiatives. "He's amongst the best non-dom lawyers I have ever dealt with," comments an interviewee, summarising his strengths as "technical wizardry delivered with a reassuringly cheerful practicality."

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Band 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

From the Chambers HNW guide

Helen Ratcliffe is "very bright, a first-class lawyer," reports a barrister. She works with UK and international clients on tax and estate planning matters, and has additional expertise in handling heritage property issues. "She's very good, she works incredibly hard, she's very serious about doing a good job," says a peer. Another source describes her as "very responsive, knowledgeable, thoughtful and a kind person to work with."

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Band 3

Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alexandra Ruffel is an experienced private client practitioner, with a particular focus on cross-border tax and estate planning matters. "She has a very good understanding of the international side and the associated tax complexities," reports an interviewee. Another source praises her "extraordinary technical expertise." "Alex is a great credit to the firm, she works to tight deadlines," says a source, adding: "She is willing to listen to other people's views and expertise and works well with our firm."

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Band 3

Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sanjvee Shah works with high net worth individuals and families on a range of estate, succession and tax planning matters. She also advises family offices and professional trustees. One interviewee praises her as "interpersonally fabulous" and highlights her "great following of Indian clients." Another notes her "great intellect" and "superb client care," and describes her as "very pragmatic in dealing with complex issues."

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Band 3

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Rupert Ticehurst is "one of the elite lawyers in this field" and is recognised as being "very strong on contentious and non-contentious matters." He leads the firm's private client litigation team and has considerable experience in trust and estate planning. "He is a very smart lawyer and knows the industry inside out from both a litigation and a private client perspective," says a London source, who adds: "He is very savvy and intelligent. He is a very solid lawyer and a really brilliant communicator." His legal abilities are highly regarded and an offshore adviser reports: "He has an innovative approach which he balances with sensitivity to the clients. He is good at delivering commercial solutions and is an impressive lawyer who always has an interesting angle on cases." He is also highlighted specifically for his litigation skills. "He is extremely tenacious and has a good strategic approach to cases," says a commentator: "He is very hands-on and happy to deal with issues himself."

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Band 3

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Richard Turnor is described as "absolutely lovely" and "delightful to work with" by one source. He assists trustees and beneficiaries on complex structuring matters, regularly working with individual and institutional clients. "He's obviously so experienced, incredibly sharp and a very, very good lateral thinker," comments an interviewee. Another describes him as "helpful, well respected and a go-to for the most complex offshore trust matters."

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Band 4

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jeremy Arnold is "a lovely guy to work with, really personable," states a source.He has extensive private client experience, both working directly with wealthy individuals and families, and working in-house at a private bank. He advises clients on tax, trusts, wealth structuring and estate planning. "He's an absolute trusted adviser for his principal clients - he works closely with his clients and third parties to ensure all advice is followed and the resulting structures are robust," says an interviewee, adding: "His clients are his priority - he has an eye for detail and he's a safe pair of hands."

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Band 4

Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Badcock leads the firm's tax and estate planning group and is experienced in advising high net worth families and individuals, as well as banks and trustees. He frequently handles international matters, including those concerning tax and succession planning. "He's technically excellent, very considered in his approach with clients - he gets on with people easily," says a private banker. "He's very measured and resourceful, a really, really good solution finder," observes an interviewee, adding: "He established a really good relationship with the parties involved, he was always very good at co-ordinating things." Badcock is also praised as "always very prompt in getting to the right answers" and "terribly efficient."

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Band 4

Burges Salmon LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

John Barnett heads the private client department at Burges Salmon LLP and advises wealthy individuals on tax planning matters. He works regularly with entrepreneurs and frequently handles cross-border work. "He's extremely technically able but also a very nice and decent person," says an interviewee, adding: "He's able to communicate very effectively, he's very strong on non-dom issues and private client tax matters." Barnett splits his time between the firm's London office and its Bristol headquarters.

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Catharine Bell is a well-known private client practitioner with extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious matters. A litigator says that "she's tenacious and always on the ball. She is very reliable and she deals with clients well." Sources also praise her cross-border expertise. "She's somebody who's very international in her outlook," says a commentator; "she has an uncommon understanding of foreign legal systems. She can understand very quickly foreign law concepts even when they're quite different from English law." Another interviewee says: "She's hugely experienced in onshore and offshore work - she is a major addition to the team."

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Band 4

Alison Broadberry

Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alison Broadberry heads the firm's private client group and advises clients on tax and estate planning matters. Sources acknowledge her previous experience in the financial services industry as a particular strength. "She is a very competent private client lawyer with exceptional knowledge of the wealth investment world," reports an interviewee, adding that "she is also a strong presenter and well-liked by clients."

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Band 4

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Cameron is an experienced private client practitioner and advises wealthy individuals and families on a variety of estate planning and wealth structuring matters. He frequently acts as trustee for both private and charitable trusts, and has particular expertise in working with clients with connections to Russia and India. An interviewee highlights his ability to "see risks and advise accordingly."

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Band 4

Jennifer Chambers

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jennifer Chambers"is very practical, very calm, and she takes a very common sense approach to things," reports a market commentator.  She helps wealthy clients with tax, estate planning and succession matters, and also advises on charitable giving strategies. "I can only use superlatives," says one interviewee, adding: "She is immaculate, everything she presents is well thought through and very well presented." Another source states: "I trust her completely to not only give us good advice, but advice that is accurate and technically correct."

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Carole Cook assists wealthy clients with a range of tax, estate and succession planning matters, often with cross-border elements. She has experience working with entrepreneurial clients, those with landed estates and offices. Sources praise her as "extremely capable and nice" as well as "efficient, modest, practical and thorough."

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Band 4

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bryony Cove is well regarded for her work with wealthy UK clients on estate planning and succession matters. "She is pragmatic and gives clear advice, always with the client’s best interests at heart. She can cut through the complexities to reach a solution and is always responsive," says an interviewee. "I love her, she's so commercial, pragmatic and she's a pleasure to work with," enthuses a well-known tax professional, adding: "She's a very collegiate lawyer who respects our business model and absolutely gets that there'll be a crossover in the work we do. She's very good with clients, very calm, reassuring."

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Band 4

Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

David Goepel leads the firm's charity practice and assists wealthy clients with philanthropic matters, including the establishment of charitable foundations and international charitable gift tax planning. He also advises on trust and tax matters. "He's really clever in a really difficult area of law," says an interviewee, adding:  "I have every confidence in him to give advice on all client issues. He has that way of explaining things in a really comprehensive and digestible way." "He's very intelligent and he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of trust law," says a barrister, who adds that "he guides his trustees with consummate professionalism through what is very difficult territory."

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Band 4

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Goldstone advises wealthy individuals and families on a range of private client matters, including tax planning, trusts and succession planning. He also provides advice on philanthropic giving. "He's commercially minded, hard-working, responsive, and he always has the client’s best interests at heart. He has an excellent bedside manner," comments a leading tax professional. "Andrew is a logical person who has the ability to see the big picture and give solid and practical advice," says an interviewee.

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Band 4

Osborne Clarke LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Andrew Goodman of Osborne Clarke LLP advises clients on tax and estate planning matters, including the use of trusts for wealth structuring purposes. His clients include international high net worth families as well as offshore trustees. "We consider him an excellent tax lawyer who is thorough, prompt, efficient and has a good way of communicating with private clients," says a source. Another commentator describes him as "very personable and technically very proficient."

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Band 4

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nicholas Harries advises clients on estate and succession planning, as well as tax planning and trusts. Harries draws on his past experience as a barrister and continues to hold higher courts rights of audience. His clients includes international high net worth individuals and families, including those from the Far East. "He was a very cool head - he was very reassuring and had all the qualities you want in a trust lawyer," says an interviewee, adding that "he could bring people together and bring all parties to the table. It was an extremely good experience working with him. He was excellent all round."

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Band 4

Osborne Clarke LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Stuart Janaway of Osborne Clarke LLP advises on tax planning and wealth-structuring matters. His clients range from international families and landed estates to trust companies, private banks and non-profits. "His technical expertise is very good," says an interviewee, adding: "He's very approachable and he has a very good rapport with clients. He has an ability to understand the client and communicate with them. His private client manner is very, very good - I've seen him adjust that to the person he's talking to. I certainly felt his ability to flex his style, which is very important."

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Band 4

Salpy Kouyoumjian

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Salpy Kouyoumjian focuses on international private client matters, advising clients on tax planning, asset protection and structuring. Sources note her "impressive practice in the Middle East," where she assists wealthy clients with family business succession planning and governance issues. Fluent in Arabic, Kouyoumjian is also experienced in Shari'a-compliant wealth structuring. "Salpy's very technically strong, really commercially astute," says a tax professional, adding that "she really cares for her clients, she goes above and beyond to look after their affairs."

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Band 4

Catherine McAleavey

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Catherine McAleavey advises wealthy families and individuals on tax and succession planning matters, and has experience dealing with businesses and landed estates. "She's brilliant, she's very, very good and very consistent - she always gets it right. She's got a good instinct for getting complicated matters put on the right footing and an advantageous footing. She's really very good," enthuses a barrister. McAleavey is also lauded for her detail-oriented approach and her ability to make clients "feel safe and well looked after."

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Band 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

From the Chambers HNW guide

Judith Millar advises high net worth clients on trust and estate planning matters and is experienced in both UK and international work. She also assists clients on domicile and residence issues. Millar is praised by sources as "very good, very thorough and very pleasant to deal with" and "very experienced on the international side."

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Band 4

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Patricia Milner advises clients on tax, trust and estate planning matters, including Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax planning. She acts for clients with international connections, particularly with Europe and the US. Sources praise her as "an extremely good thinker," "very pragmatic," and "a good operator." "She has an attention for detail and at the same time she's always looking for a strategic position and a way forward if there are family issues," reports an interviewee.

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Band 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Astrid Owen advises on international trust, tax and estate planning. Her clients include wealthy individuals, family offices, private banks and trustees. Owen is described by a source as "phenomenally detailed" and "brilliantly scary in her attention to detail." Owen also assists clients with the structuring of family businesses. "She combines the very best of what you want in a private client lawyer," says an interviewee, adding: "She knows clients, businesses and tax issues back to front, but she can also see around corners and see where the land mines lie in the trust and tax sphere. She's also very available - she's someone who works collaboratively very well."

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Band 4

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Simon Phelps leads the firm's Asia private client group and has deep experience assisting clients in the Middle East and the Far East. Phelps provides advice on estate planning, trusts, and tax planning matters, as well as on UK property investments. He frequently works with business owners and family offices.

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Band 4

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ed Powles handles estate planning, tax planning and philanthropic matters. "He's extremely sharp, very good natured, very calm," says an interviewee, adding: "You can tell he has a genuine interest and passion for law. He likes thinking through questions very carefully - he's brilliant." Another commentator highlights his international expertise, saying: "He is very well-versed with the Middle East and has the necessary relaxed manner to succeed in that environment."

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Band 4

Burges Salmon LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Beatrice Puoti divides her time between the Bristol and London offices of Burges Salmon LLP. Greatly experienced in international tax, trusts and estate planning matters, Puoti has particular expertise in advising on Italian matters. "She's very, very bright - all her clients love her. She is a genuine trusted adviser," says an interviewee, adding that "she has a unique relationship with so many of them, they really depend upon her, trust her completely; she's phenomenal in that context. She's very commercial, very bright, but just has very strong emotional intelligence."

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Band 4

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Quarmby"epitomises professionalism. He is incredibly knowledgeable, confident and decisive," says a commentator, adding: "His measured, no-nonsense approach is brilliant with clients and he speaks in clear language without jargon. He works collaboratively and efficiently and is a pleasure to know and work with." Quarmby advises clients on tax planning and wealth structuring matters, with both domestic and international elements. A wealth manager highlights his ability to look for alternative solutions and says that "he's adaptable to a lot of individuals - he takes that personal interest in the relationship and is really involved in the relationship." "He's outstanding," says an interviewee, adding: "He can deal with very complex topics in a very understandable way and he's also very good on lateral thinking."

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Band 4

Michelmores LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Riley heads the private wealth team at Michelmores LLP and is well regarded in the market for his private client expertise. Riley spent many years in the firm's Exeter office but has moved to London to further develop the firm's private client offering. An interviewee says that he is "technically very competent, polished and has excellent interpersonal skills," describing his style as "professional, pragmatic and commercial." "He's a really nice guy, very straightforward, extremely personable," reports a source, adding: "The thing I like about Jonathan is that he's commercial - he doesn't go into chapter and verse, he says things in plain English. He's a breath of fresh air."

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

David Robinson frequently advises high net worth clients on the preservation and transfer of wealth. He has particular expertise in working with the owners of landed estates and assisting with tax exemptions relating to artwork. Robinson often acts as trustee or executor for clients.

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Band 4

Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Rucker heads the firm's national tax, trusts and estates team. He draws on his previous experience of corporate law to assist clients, and advises on investment structures, succession planning and family office matters. Rucker is praised as a "strong tactician" and is recognised for his "good name in the market." "Nick is supremely professional in his manner and approach to clients and working with like-minded professionals," says another interviewee.

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Band 4

Jonathan Shankland

RadcliffesLeBrasseur

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jonathan Shankland heads the firm's international private wealth team. "He's incredibly good to work with, he's been fantastic. He's very pragmatic, straightforward and business-like about things," says a commentator.Another source describes him as "approachable and willing to seek out and suggest the most simple solution to a complicated problem." "Jonathan is a fountain of knowledge in the tax and planning sense, and he is innovative while maintaining a sensible and traditional approach," explains an interviewee. Shankland handles a wide range of private wealth matters for UK and international clients.

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Band 4

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Christopher Sly is a consultant at the firm and has deep experience in private client matters, often with an international element. His clients range from businesses and institutions to high net worth families and individuals, including non-UK domiciles. Sly has particular expertise in working with entrepreneurs, and assists with the establishment and restructuring of trusts, as well as advising on family constitutions. "Christopher brings gravitas and strategic overview," says a tax expert.

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Band 4

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Fiona Smith is experienced in multi-jurisdictional private client matters, advising clients on trusts, wills, probate and tax planning. Her clientele includes trustees and wealthy individuals, ranging from entrepreneurs to high-profile members of the sports and entertainment industries.

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Band 4

Winckworth Sherwood

From the Chambers HNW guide

Tim Snaith of Winckworth Sherwood advises clients on succession planning, trusts and estate planning matters. He also handles the establishment of charitable structures for philanthropic giving purposes. "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. He is very responsive and a pleasure to work with," explains a barrister. Another source describes him as "suave, discreet and charming" and "technically excellent and very quick to see the key points."

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Band 4

New Quadrant Partners Limited

From the Chambers HNW guide

Louise Stoten advises landed estates, entrepreneurs and multi-generational families. An interviewee comments that "she understands a case very quickly - what you're trying to do - and will find the best way of doing it." Stoten is praised for her ability to understand family dynamics and work well with all generations. "She's technically strong, a good tax lawyer," says a peer, describing her as "robust" and "innovative."

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Band 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

An interviewee praises Andrew Vergunst as "fantastic, a really trusted adviser - very technical as well as personable." He advises wealthy families on estate planning and tax matters, often with international elements. Vergunst is especially notable for his specialisation in cross-border work involving South Africa. "His client-handling skills are second to none," enthuses an interviewee, adding: "He's also very good on details when working behind the scenes. He's very good at ensuring the key issues are addressed when acting for clients."

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Band 4

Sarah von Schmidt

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sarah von Schmidt assists clients with tax planning, trusts and succession planning. She also works with private banks, wealth managers and family offices. "I'm very impressed with her," says a fellow private client lawyer, who also describes her as "very creative" and "very thoughtful." An interviewee explains: "She's a nice combination of the very personal with the very professional. She has very high technical skills and manages to give highly technical advice in a nice, friendly, unthreatening way, which in family circumstances is very helpful."

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Band 4

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Widely recognised for his expertise in landed estates work, Rhoddy Voremberg advises clients on tax, trusts and succession planning. "He has very great authority generally - he often chairs meetings of private client lawyers," says a barrister, adding that "he's respected in the heritage property area."

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Band 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Camilla Wallace is "an excellent private client lawyer, with fantastic technical knowledge combined with a clear, down-to-earth style that clients really appreciate," says an interviewee. Wallace heads the firm's private client group and is experienced in advising wealthy individuals on estate planning and lifetime tax planning. A source comments that "she is an excellent communicator, technically very competent and demonstrates flawless professional integrity."

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Band 4

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Paul Whitehead assists wealthy clients and family offices on tax and wealth structuring issues, including the use of trusts and other structures. He is experienced in cross-border matters and has particular expertise in work relating to Russia. "He's very commercial in his advice - he's very quick to advise and he gives a concise answer to questions you put to him. He's quite good at looking more broadly and pointing out areas you didn't know you needed to look at," says an interviewee. Whitehead is also praised as "technically strong" and "very likeable."

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Band 4

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Penny Williams assists clients with domestic and international estate planning, with a particular focus on UK/US matters. She previously spent a number of years working in the US and has clients in Latin America, as well as those based in the UK with US connections. "Penny inspired in me absolute confidence in her knowledge and legal ability. Her style is very direct and plain-spoken and personable. She is not afraid to raise or respond to difficult issues," says an interviewee.

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Band 5

Howard Kennedy LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

John Annetts is "calm, unflappable, intelligent and practical," according to an interviewee. He focuses on the administration of complex estates and is experienced in handling estates with business assets and offshore elements. He also advises clients on trust and taxation matters, as well as estate planning. "He's got a very easy-going manner - he's able to adapt to whoever the individual is and I'm happy to put any client in front of him," says a wealth professional, adding: "He has an ability to connect with the individual across the table and he has good technical skills."

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Band 5

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Clare Archer advises on the administration of estates, wills, trusts and capital tax planning. Her clients include landed estates and family businesses. A source praises her as "very responsive, very personable, very calm and knowledgeable." "She's brilliant, fabulous," enthuses an interviewee, explaining that "she's wonderfully sensitive, terribly calm. I know from working with her that she's technically superb."

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Band 5

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

William Begley assists clients with tax and estate planning matters and is experienced in working with both UK and non-UK domiciled clients. "William is a pleasure to work with and he takes a very personal interest in all the needs of the client and the family at all times," says another source, adding: "He is a gentleman, approachable, practical and has the ability to explain complex legal issues in a way which is easy to understand. He instils great confidence and is not afraid to have difficult conversations when the need arises." An interviewee praises his collaborative approach, saying: "We get on extremely well; he's very good at being co-operative and working together. There's no battle over who does what, we agree the best way forward and it works extremely well."

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Band 5

VWV

From the Chambers HNW guide

Judith Cuxson of VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) assists clients with a wide array of private client matters, including wills, trusts, estate administration and Inheritance Tax planning. She also can advise on Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief, as well as the establishment and ongoing management of trusts. A market commentator describes her as "very efficient with excellent attention to detail."

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Band 5

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Laura Dadswell assists high net worth clients with their tax, trusts and wealth-structuring needs. "She's excellent - I find her absolutely brilliant," enthuses a source: "She's good with her advice, sometimes she says stuff you don't want to hear but it's good advice. She's very easy to get along with and can talk through everything." Dadswell's practice has an emphasis on international work, particularly US/UK cross-border matters. "She's extremely empathetic, she goes the extra mile," says an interviewee, adding: "She spends time getting to know the client, what the client needs, before suggesting the solution."

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Band 5

Moon Beever

From the Chambers HNW guide

Paul Davidoff heads the private client team at Moon Beever. He advises UK and international clients on tax planning, succession planning and trust matters. "I'm always impressed by his technical expertise - he's clearly knowledgeable in his field and the area in which he specialises is one of the more complex areas of private client law. His real skill is being able to explain that in a way that is accessible and easy to understand but at the same time not being patronising," says a wealth manager, adding: "He has quite a strong empathy with both clients and other advisers, that's something that sets him apart. His knowledge and technical abilities are exceptional."

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Band 5

Alexander Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson UK LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alexander Dickinson of Womble Bond Dickinson UK LLP advises clients on personal tax planning and the preparation of wills and trusts and is recognised for his expertise in dealing with landed estates. "He's absolutely great, meticulous - he's incredibly switched on financially and has a genuine love of the markets as well, which is a strong differentiator," says an interviewee, adding that "he's hugely involved with his clients, he always goes the extra mile." Another comments that "he has a very relaxed style but he has very significant experience in the area - he has come across almost all of the issues already and can deal with them."

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Band 5

DMH Stallard LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Lorna Fairbairn heads the private client group at DMH Stallard LLP and advises clients on trust and estate administration, as well as the drafting of wills and powers of attorney. One interviewee praises her as "a great communicator" and "really pragmatic." Another commentator says that "she uses simple language to explain complex concepts" anddescribes her as "super-friendly."

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Band 5

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers HNW guide

Rebecca Fisher advises clients on estate planning, trusts, the administration of estates and wills, with a particular emphasis on assisting family business owners and entrepreneurs. One interviewee comments that she is "enthusiastic, very empathetic and works very hard for her clients." Another praises her as "easy to communicate with" and notes her "good and reliable service."

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Band 5

Edwin Coe LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Nick Giles assists high net worth individuals, the owners of family businesses and charities. Alongside his role as managing partner of the firm, Giles also deals with complex probates. "He's very, very personable, very approachable," says an interviewee: "I like his pragmatic approach to innumerable problems that arise. He guides his department effectively and gets the job done."

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Band 5

VWV

From the Chambers HNW guide

Michael Knowles of VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) assists clients with the full spectrum of private client matters. He advises on the administration of estates, the establishment of trusts and the preparation of wills and Powers of Attorney. An interviewee describes him as "a person of some considerable ability which he applies with great humility" and reports that he "induces confidence with his knowledge which he applies to good effect." Knowles is also praised as "very quick on the uptake."

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Band 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Emma Loveday focuses her practice on advising wealthy clients on tax planning and trust matters. She has particular expertise in US/UK planning, and handles issues relating to wills and probate as well as charitable giving. A fellow lawyer describes her as "an always helpful point of reference for inheritance and trust-related matters." "She's an outstanding private client lawyer, with absolute command of the resident non-domiciled regime, abundant common sense and a genuine commitment to her clients," enthuses an interviewee.

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Band 5

Howard Kennedy LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Simon Malkiel acts for international and UK clients on a range of matters, including estate planning, succession planning, asset protection and tax planning.  He wins plaudits for his technical expertise as well as his client handling. "He is very personable and is diligent and has strong technical expertise, but is practical and understands clients’ needs and implements on a practical basis," says an interviewee. "He is a tech whiz-kid; he is so great in the way he thinks - he really is fantastic," enthuses a barrister, adding: "He is very measured, his soft skills are great - he is very quiet and dignified and I get the feeling that clients really take confidence in him. If you suddenly found yourself in a tax mess you would take real confidence in the way he presents himself."

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Band 5

Rosamond McDowell

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Rosamond McDowell"has considerable litigation skills and is also very good on planning," says an interviewee, adding: "She speaks several languages and is very good on the international scene has a result - she speaks both fluent German and Arabic. She has a rare combination of skills and a very interesting background. She is very competent and a real consummate private client lawyer with strong dispute-handling skills." A fellow litigator reports that "she is very bright and great to work with. She is a sensible lawyer and she advises her clients sensibly. She is an original thinker who is good at strategy tactics."

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Band 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Eleanor Metcalf provides tax and estate planning advice to international and UK clients. She assists with the preparation of wills and trusts for succession planning purposes, as well as the ongoing administration of structures. Metcalf also advises on charity law matters, including tax-efficient philanthropic giving.

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Band 5

Taylor Wessing LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ryan Myint assists clients with trust matters, succession planning and wealth structuring, as well as tax planning. Myint previously worked in the firm's Singapore office and is recognised as "somebody who's created an impressive clientele in Asia." He also advises Middle Eastern clients with interests in Asia. "He's really very able to utilise his huge knowledge, especially when it comes to trusts - he's good at describing the issues related to trusts," says an interviewee.

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Band 5

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Martin Paisner has a wealth of experience in private client matters, advising both UK and international clients on estate planning and trusts matters. He has particular expertise in charities law, and acts as a trustee for many charities, as well as for multi-generational family trusts.

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Band 5

Howard Kennedy LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Liz Palmer advises clients on tax and trust matters, with a particular focus on working with clients with US connections. She also heads the firm's private client and family group. "She is very practical, and she has a good way with difficult clients," comments an interviewee; "she just does it with such humour, kindness and so beautifully, so it isn't a shock to the client." Palmer is also described as "approachable, warm and charismatic" and "seriously intelligent" by interviewees.

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Band 5

Winckworth Sherwood

From the Chambers HNW guide

Dhana Sabanathan of Winckworth Sherwood advises on tax and estate planning matters, often with international elements. Her clients include family offices and owner-controlled businesses, as well as high net worth individuals and families. "She's very strong technically," says an interviewee, adding that "she's a very, very nice person to deal with who's got bags of integrity. She's very commercial and able to relate to people from different backgrounds."

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Band 5

Hunters

From the Chambers HNW guide

Alexandra Sarkis has a wealth of experience advising high net worth clients on estate planning, trusts, probate and wills. She heads the firm's private client team and works with trustees and charities as well as wealthy individuals. "She's very, very impressive, she holds her place as a top lawyer," says one barrister.

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Band 5

Kingsley Napley LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jim Sawer advises wealthy families on a range of tax and trusts matters. "He's very personable, he's got a great sense of humour," observes an interviewee, adding: "He doesn't fog one with technical legalese - he interprets the law for the layman extremely well. He's very savvy, very commercial. He's excellent."

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Band 5

Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Daniel Simon works with wealthy clients on tax, trust, estate planning and charity matters. Simon's practice has an international focus, particularly on cross-border UK/US planning, as well as on European work. "He's an all-round excellent lawyer," enthuses an interviewee, who says that his "excellent technical skills" and "very good client interaction skills" are particular strengths. Another source states: "He's very good technically and he's easy for clients to engage with, he gets on with people very well," adding that "he's great on the US/UK interaction."

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Band 5

Blake Morgan

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Spash of Blake Morgan draws praise from peers and clients alike for his private client expertise. "He is experienced, reassuring, charming, technically strong and he delivers good reliable work for a reasonable price," reports an interviewee. Another comments that "he's able to explain complex rules in plain English, which is very helpful." Spash advises domestic and international clients on tax and succession planning matters.

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Band 5

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Geoffrey Todd advises wealthy individuals, family businesses and trustees on estate planning and tax issues. He is experienced in cross-border matters, particularly between the US and the UK.

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Band 5

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Trafford is a trusted adviser with deep experience advising wealthy clients on a range of tax and trust issues. "He's fantastic, very straightforward, enthusiastic, he knows his stuff and he's relentlessly positive. He's a really good person to work with," comments an interviewee. Another highlights his "excellent personal skills and bedside private client manner," as well as his "good all-round advice."

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Band 5

Fieldfisher

From the Chambers HNW guide

Penny Wotton heads the private client team at Fieldfisher and is experienced in advising wealthy clients on tax and estate planning matters. Her client base is varied, ranging from entrepreneurs and business owners to fiduciaries, and she frequently handles international work.

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Up and Coming

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Hayden Bailey assists family business owners, entrepreneurs and executives with tax planning, wills and trusts matters. An interviewee describes him as "a young and dynamic lawyer, with a very wide knowledge base and who is able to think parallel to the problem rather than just trying to address a single issue." Bailey is also praised for his "hands-on, personal approach" and described as "sympathetic and understanding."

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Up and Coming

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers HNW guide

Frederick Bjørn advises wealthy clients on a range of matters, including estate planning, tax issues, wills and trusts. He also assists with family business succession planning and regularly handles matters involving a Scandinavian element. "Freddie is professional in a very relaxed and friendly way," says an interviewee, adding: "He is responsive and able to analyse complex matters clearly and in a concise way. He's patient and empathetic towards the client."

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Up and Coming

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Emily Osborne"is technically a very good lawyer, and I definitely think she's an asset to that team," observes a source. She advises clients on tax planning and trust matters, as well as residency and domicile issues. "Emily is technically brilliant. She has a detailed understanding of tax law and explains things in a clear, concise manner," says an interviewee: "Emily is friendly, approachable and extremely efficient." Osborne was made up to partner in April 2018.

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Up and Coming

Jennifer Smithson

Macfarlanes LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jennifer Smithson is an "absolute star among advisers," says a commentator. "Her knowledge and application are second to none and her advice is impeccable. As a trustee, I find her written advice among the best I have seen. In addition, she is personable, client-centric and supportive." Smithson advises clients on tax and succession planning matters and specialises in work with US or French elements. "She's got a very incisive understanding of highly complicated bits of new law," observes a commentator; "the new tax law gets more complicated every year and there's a vast new amount of law that came in in 2017, which I heard her give an absolutely brilliant lecture on - it was really a very, very impressive and authoritative piece of work."

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Up and Coming

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Charlie Sosna advises wealthy families and individuals on an array of private client matters, including tax, trusts and asset protection. He also assists clients with residency and domicile issues. "Charlie's attention to detail is always apparent in his dealings and his ability to produce work not only timeously but speedily is greatly appreciated. His charm and approachability make him easy to talk to," says a client. Another interviewee describes him as "highly personal and technical" and highlights his "can-do attitude." Sosna was promoted to partner in April 2018.

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Up and Coming

Forsters LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Daniel Ugur assists clients with tax planning, trusts matters and succession planning, including family business successions. Sources note that he is "very technically sound" and highlight his focus on working with families based in, or moving to, Asia. His clients also include trustees, beneficiaries, family offices and private banks.

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Associates to watch

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Eesha Arora advises clients on international tax and trust matters, including pre-arrival planning. Her clients range from wealthy individuals and beneficiaries to trustees and financial institutions. She also provides assistance with probates.

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Associates to watch

Mackrell Turner Garrett

From the Chambers HNW guide

Natalie Payne of Mackrell Turner Garrett assists clients with a wide array of private client matters, including wills, Powers of Attorney, the administration of estates and tax planning. "She is a very professional, down-to-earth lawyer with a wealth of knowledge," says a source: "Her explanation and handling of quite often complicated and sensitive matters is a breath of fresh air. She works closely with her clients, listens attentively and acts with thought and precision."

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