UK

South West

Private Client


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Private Client - South West

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Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Stands among the most well-established and long-serving practices in Exeter. Handles complex cases in the fields of agricultural affairs, tax planning, succession planning and estate administration, in addition to contentious work. Clients include local landed estates and sizeable family trusts.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Horsey focuses his practice on contentious probate and trusts. Commentators characterise him as "a calming influence who doesn't get rattled."

Michael Alden handles estate planning and tax mitigation cases for clients throughout the South West. Commentators commend his ability to offer solutions, rather than simply describing options, and remark that they can "find common ground very quickly. He is very constructive."

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Retains an impressive client base consisting of landed estates and numerous private banks. Leaders in all aspects of traditional private client work, including contentious matters. Has a particular talent for handling cross-border and offshore work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We use them for anything that requires rigour. They are a top-dollar firm and the standard of work has been superb."

Notable practitioners

Sources report that Charles Wyld has a commanding knowledge of "virtually every area in the private client sphere." He works principally with UK-domiciled clients, including landed estates and new business owners.

Beatrice Puoti maintains a "truly international practice," sources confirm. She advises non-domiciled clients and has a particular affinity with Italian and French law.

John Barnett is renowned for his grasp of tax planning. Commentators note that "he has a colossal depth of knowledge and a creative intellect. He can see situations in a different light, which makes a huge difference in this field, because it allows him to be a problem solver."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Outstanding reputation for advising high net worth individuals and landed estates. Has the ability to deal with work pertaining to offshore trusts and non-domiciled clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The practice has a good understanding of clients and their objectives, and it has the strategic acumen to take the long view."

Notable practitioners

Julia Cox deals principally with business owners and younger estates on non-contentious matters, with a particular flair for tax planning cases. Clients respect her involvement in their work, noting that "our relationship is like gold dust."

Christopher Page works with a great many agricultural families and landed estates, and can turn his hand to all private client matters, especially tax and estate planning. Commentators appreciate his ability to connect with clients and understand their position, describing him as a "very sympathetic listener."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Taunton

What the team is known for Diverse team with expertise in agricultural work, trusts, probate, elderly client care and contentious matters. Advises landed estates and high net worth individuals on tax, trusts and probate, in addition to Court of Protection matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They turn around work very quickly and are willing to be very flexible with meeting clients. They are able to explain things to clients in layman's terms and are very knowledgeable. They have yet to pass over a query that cannot be answered."

Notable practitioners

Stuart Thorne specialises in non-contentious matters and maintains a deservedly strong reputation in the market. Peers recognise his talent for dealing with clients, remarking that he "adds a very human element."

Elizabeth Smithers is based in the Bristol office and advises on matters pertaining to wills, inheritance tax planning and lasting powers of attorney, in addition to handling contentious cases in the onshore market. Commentators commend her bedside manner, describing her as "compassionate and understanding."

David Maddock's practice has an agricultural focus. Commentators respect his tax expertise and his congenial manner with clients.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: St Austell, Truro, Liskeard, Launceston, Penzance, Newquay

What the team is known for Places an emphasis on elderly care and Court of Protection work, while maintaining a high standard of expertise across a range of traditional private client matters including wills, trusts, tax and probate.

Notable practitioners

Richard Pollock has a focus on trusts work and often advises on associated contentious cases in the firm. He also has expertise in tax planning and probate matters, with commentators commending his knowledge of changes in legislation, while appreciating his business acumen.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Advises high net worth individuals and farming clients from the South West. Experience handling wills, probate, estates, tax and succession planning. Particular expertise in advising elderly and vulnerable clients on capacity issues.

Notable practitioners

Steven Howells leads the firm's private client offering in Exeter and has particular strength in will and trust arrangements. Commentators remark that he "has a real understanding of the sensitivities of cases. He understands where clients have come from and how they need to be looked after."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Manages lifetime estate and tax planning for numerous trusts and elderly clients. Additional experience in Court of Protection matters.

Notable practitioners

Mike Rapps specialises in non-contentious matters relating to trusts. His reputation precedes him in the Bristol market.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Provides traditional private client advice on trusts, wills, estate administration and power of attorney, in addition to specialist expertise in the fields of elderly client care and Court of Protection matters. Clients include large corporations as well as high net worth individuals. 

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hartley has an excellent reputation in the fields of wills and inheritance tax planning. Commentators appreciate his personal approach to dealing with clients and other professionals in the area.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Key strength in contentious trusts and probate work. Experience handling all aspects of traditional private matters, including wills, probate and estate administration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very courteous and helpful, and nothing is too much trouble."

Notable practitioners

Philip Siddons leads the firm's private client offering and manages the contentious trusts and probate work handled by the practice. Clients are comforted by his "calm and precise manner," and peers describe him as "one of the most attentive solicitors around in terms of sheer attention to detail."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Torquay

What the team is known for Handles complex tax, trusts, wills and estate planning matters. Additional expertise in contentious probate and Court of Protection work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were very calm and efficient, and they were excellent at handling the client."

Notable practitioners  

Lynn Smith is a key contact at the firm.

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Capacity to deal with significant international and offshore work. Provides an excellent service across all private client law matters, including trusts, succession and tax mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their advice is balanced and considered, and always excellent."

Notable practitioners

Bristol-based Sandra Brown is a trusted adviser to a great many high net worth clients and trusts, particularly on matters pertaining to the mitigation of tax in both offshore and onshore settings. Peers recognise her as a "leading light in private client law."

Jonathan Riley is a leading expert in the fields of tax and offshore trusts, with particular expertise in the law of the Channel Islands. He advises trust companies and other financial institutions, in addition to their clients. Clients praise his "international expertise and business acumen."

Adrian Miller focuses his practice on the administration and planning of estates, and advises landed families and other private individuals in the South West. Market commentators admire his attention to detail and nuanced people skills.

Will Michelmore serves as the head of the private client department and advises on a broad range of matters. Clients describe him as a "superb family trust lawyer, with genuine clarity of thought."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bath

What the team is known for Experience advising farming clients, retired business owners and directors, and elderly or vulnerable clients. Handles tax planning, trusts matters and estate administration, in addition to a significant amount of Court of Protection work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their knowledge of the legal system is exceptional and they provide regular updates on changes."

Notable practitioners

David Hill handles complex estate administration and issues pertaining to inheritance tax planning, wills and lasting power of attorney. He is also well versed in matters of mental capacity. Commentators remark that he acts "very quickly and vigorously" when faced with challenging and new cases.

Nicola Owen has a growing reputation in the field of later life support and handles matters in the Court of Protection concerning power of attorney, deputyships, and capacity for elderly and vulnerable clients. Commentators particularly appreciate her "ability to go on a one-to-one basis personally and emotionally. She doesn't detach you or treat you at arm's length."

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers  
- Office locations ranked: Yeovil

What the team is known for Long-standing presence in the local rural and professional community. Capacity to deal with traditional private client work associated with wills, tax, trusts and estate administration. Increasingly instructed in contentious matters.

Notable practitioners

Stephen Wray focuses his practice on contentious trusts and probate disputes. A lot of his work falls within the ambit of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and is dealt with in the Court of Protection.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter, Truro

What the team is known for Sizeable footprint in the South West. Clients include families from the local farming community and high net worth individuals. Particular focus on work pertaining to contentious probate and the Court of Protection.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They take a genuine interest in a client rather than force a fit on them. They are not a factory line firm."

Notable practitioners

Graham Murdoch is both the head of the firm's private client department and the team leader of its Truro offering. Graham serves the practice's high-value clients in the Cornish market, providing counsel on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Phil Gregory specialises in contentious probate matters and advises clients who feel that they have not been adequately considered in the administration of an estate. Commentators value his friendly and knowledgeable approach to their deeply personal cases, remarking that he "has been a great support over the time I have known him."

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bath

What the team is known for Offers market-leading advice on a broad range of private client matters, including cross-border estates and contentious work. Provides an impeccable elderly care service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are commercially minded, but still recognise that service is all-important. The private client team consistently goes the extra mile in looking after a client."

Notable practitioners

Alison Allen is the head of the private client team and is responsible for the establishment of the later life team at the practice, advising on all planning and legal matters for the elderly. Speaking of her expertise in this sector, commentators remark that "if you or your family required advice, you could not wish for a more capable team than Alison’s."

Rachel Curtis is a key member of the practice's elderly client team, and also offers advice on typical trusts and estate work. Commentators predict that she will have a "bright future."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their advice is well structured and never overcomplicated. It's genuine, decent advice."

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Wooddisse is the manager of the private client department. He has experience in domestic and international trust and tax planning, and focuses on cross-jurisdictional work, particularly with clients who have interests in the USA, India and Pakistan. Commentators describe him as "highly commercially and technically experienced and skilled."

  

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Strong reputation for handling contentious matters and Court of Protection issues. Advises on traditional tax planning, and estate and trust administration, often with international aspects. Clients include high net worth individuals, inherited wealth and private banks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They take the bull by the horns and get things moving." 

Notable practitioners

Michelle Rose specialises in dispute resolution, including complex cross-border cases. Commentators familiar with her skill in litigation and negotiation are "very impressed by her approach and wise counsel."

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Boutique practice places a heavy emphasis on offshore and non-domiciled work. Fields a number of expert partners, who advise on matters pertaining to international tax planning and trusts.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Osborne is a key contact at the firm.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bath

What the team is known for Handles Court of Protection disputes and trust, tax and estate planning matters for high net worth individuals and wealthy landed families, including those domiciled overseas. Highly regarded elderly care and capacity team.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are masterful with tax relief matters." 

Notable practitioners

James McNeile focuses his practice on estate, trusts and tax planning, working with wealthy individuals as well as landed families in the region. Commentators appreciate his management of deeply personal cases, remarking that he "navigates with great sensitivity balanced with business acumen, making sure to get the economics and the law right."

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Chris Kerr-Smiley of Bond Dickinson advises on all matters concerning estate planning. His works with local as well as non-domiciled individuals and trustees.

Anne Minihane of QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day is described by commentators as a "driving force in the team" in Bristol. She manages wills, probate and tax planning on behalf of private individuals.

Ruth Baker of Willans leads the firm's private client practice, managing wills and powers of attorney for individuals in and around Cheltenham. Commentators describe her as "open, friendly and diligent."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.