Overview

Our private client services team is nationally recognised for providing clear and practical legal advice to clients in the UK and abroad. We work with a wide variety of clients including entrepreneurs, landowners, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), trustees and family offices, both onshore and offshore.

With one of the largest private client law teams in the UK, we have an expert pool of knowledge, helping our clients to mitigate tax, structure their affairs, preserve their property and pass it on to their successors. We have extensive experience of cross-border estate and succession planning, international tax and property structuring, and settling family disputes. We also advise global financial institutions on the provision of trust and tax planning services.

We are renowned for our open and pragmatic approach, basing our service around the needs of our clients to deliver straightforward solutions to what are often complex matters. The quality of our private client services was recognised at the STEP Private Client Awards 2015/16 and 2017/18, at which we won the Legal Team of the Year – Large Firm award.

Areas of focus

We have expertise in all areas of private client law including the following:

  • Trust management – accounts, tax returns and annual compliance service.
  • Wills, trusts and estate planning – passing wealth down through trusts and alternative structures including Family Investment Companies (FICs).
  • Family law advice – divorce, separation and marital agreements.
  • Family businesses – succession planning, structures, governance and family charters.
  • Specialist probate services – administering estates often with technical inheritance or cross-border issues.
  • International tax and trust advice – including property structuring, residence and domicile issues, succession planning and immigration and visas.
  • Tax and trust advice to global financial institutions.
Experience

We are the retained advisers to many estates and rural land owners around the country. The extent of our involvement depends upon the complexity of the clients' affairs and the clients' preferences.

Drafting family charters to set out the principles on which family businesses will be run and how ownership and control will pass.

Working with single and multi-family offices for international families and advising on strategies for holding their wealth and businesses and passing them on to the next generation.

Advising non-UK resident individuals and families wishing to move to the UK on their immigration options and pre-arrival tax planning, including the creation of suitable asset holding structures.

Advising a variety of clients on the changes to the UK tax treatment of UK residential property held within offshore structures and on the available restructuring options.

Providing detailed advice and a tax opinion to an international private bank in relation to investment products being a new stream of preference shares in an offshore company to act as a wrapper for structured note and other derivative products.

Advising a major international bank on the use of purpose trust to act as security for private equity portfolio valued at $300 million.

Advising on pre and post marital agreements and asset protection.

A £55 million landed estate involving the death of a husband and wife in quick succession, heritage relief claims, re-financing and a negotiated settlement of potential claims against the estate and claims from potential beneficiaries of discretionary trusts.

Day-to-day management of a large number of private and charitable trusts including the preparation of accounts and annual tax returns as well as periodic and exit IHT returns.

Meet the team
John Barnett

John Barnett Partner

  • Head of Private Client Services
  • Head of Partnerships
  • Tax
Jim Aveline

Jim Aveline Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • Family Offices and Family Businesses
  • Food and Farming
Suzanna Harvey

Suzanna Harvey Partner

  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax
  • International Trusts
Tom Hewitt

Tom Hewitt Partner

  • Private Wealth
  • Head of Estates and Land
  • Head of Food and Farming
Beatrice Puoti

Beatrice Puoti Partner

  • Head of Private Wealth
  • Private Client Services
  • International Tax and Trust
Sarah Woodsford

Sarah Hoskinson (Woodsford) Partner

  • Family Law and Divorce
  • Private Client Services
  • Private Wealth
Alison Hawes

Alison Hawes Consultant

  • Family Law and Divorce
catherine-de-maid

Catherine de Maid Senior Associate

  • Head of Philanthropy
  • International Tax
  • Succession Planning and Wills

What others say...

Exceptional team capable of handling complex and sensitive matters. Particularly strong on offshore and cross-border work, providing traditional private client services to high net worth individuals, private banks and trustees.

Chambers UK 2016

Non-dom tax changes from April 2017

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