Robert Gardner

+44 (0)1534 814690

Robert Gardner

Partner  |  Bedell Cristin
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Jersey

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Insolvency & Restructuring
Litigation & Dispute Resolution


Jennifer Jordan McCall

+1.650.233.4020

Jennifer Jordan McCall

Partner  |  Pillsbury Law
JURISDICTION

United States (CA, FL, NY)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning
Private Wealth

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

There have been several highlights -growing our trusts and estates department at Pillsbury, including substantial revenue increase and addition of strong personnel, winning three trust and estates litigation proceedings simultaneously in California courts, advising on dozens of trusts at year end to save federal and state estate and income taxes and to take advantage of current high exemptions with sophisticated and cutting edge planning.

How did you get into private client?

My father was a trust and estates attorney for approximately 60 years; he served as a wonderful mentor. He worked at Cravath and Cadwalader and was second in his class at Harvard Law School. He was instrumental in breaking the Japanese Co. during WWII. Similarly, I have always loved math – I went to Princeton to major in math and I love tax law. It must be genetic.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

There are no shortcuts. Every case must be handled extremely carefully, as this is highly technical. Double check your work and talk to your colleagues to develop innovative and correct tax strategies. Be patient with your clients, as their needs are highly personal and sensitive. If you follow these steps, you should develop a strong practice.

What is your favourite quote?

“The people who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of the people who are doing it.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I love to make ceramics on the wheel – I actually had a Fulbright grant to make Ceramics in Copenhagen, Denmark after Princeton. I still have a studio. I also love to play golf – my favorite golf course is Royal County Down in Northern Ireland.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Café Benoit in Paris.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

The international environment involving tax regulations and recent changes to US tax law. Some of the rules that have led to growth include: new controlled foreign corporation constructive ownership rules; GILTI, CRS, FATCA, and repeal of the 30-day rule.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

Generation Skipping Tax (GST). With the new administration in the US, federal GST exemptions are likely to go down. They are at historic highs at present. The current GST exemption can exempt assets in a trust for an unlimited number of generations, however, to take advantage of that, clients would need to set up a trust in a jurisdiction that allows for long term trusts such as WY or DE. Currently, the limitation of the deduction is causing more high-net worth clients to relocate to FL and to use a FL resident as trustee of very large trusts, greatly increasing our FL business.

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

We have recently been coordinating more formally with our partners on Pillsbury’s award-winning Litigation team. Our team has successfully resolved conflicts, in trial and out of court, at home and in jurisdictions around the globe. Our team focuses on the various litigation-related needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families and family offices bringing a seamless and holistic legal approach to resolving unique disputes and creating tailored solutions for our clients.


Werner Jahnel

+41 58 105 2100

Werner Jahnel

Partner  |  Lalive
JURISDICTION

Switzerland
Austria
Spain

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate and trust litigation with a strong international focus, (international) estate planning, trust arbitration, arbitration in estate matters; international divorce proceedings and family issues, adult protection, art law.

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Several new international estate litigations for UHNWI and high profile mandates as arbitrator

How did you get into private client?

Our firm has a long tradition in private international law and dispute resolution in complex international inheritance matters and family disputes. Due to my great interest in this area of practice, I have volunteered to work on those cases from the very beginning and have been able to build up an expertise and my own client base.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

To go out for drinks as often as possible, without having a drink and being back at work the next day at 8am; networking, personal contacts and hard work are key in this practice area; it is also important to have interests outside in order to be able to maintain an interesting conversation with our very demanding clients;

What is your favourite quote?

I cannot tell you what my favourite quote is, however most of my client’s favourite quote seems to be the following: “I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I do not function without sports, culture and investing time for my family and friends

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Le Pont de Brent, close to my house in Montreux

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

International divorce and estate litigation

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

I see an increasing need and interest for arbitration in different areas of my private client practice

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1. Do not suggest zoom or other calls with camera, unless the client asks for one; 2. if you are in a video call, make sure that privacy and confidentiality is absolutely guaranteed (avoiding family members appearing on screen); 3. make sure to reach out to your clients on a regular basis; they shall remember you after the pandemic


Dionne Gilbert

+44 (0) 1534 601733

Dionne Gilbert

Partner  |  Collas Crill
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Jersey


Paul Hewitt

+44 20 7597 6197

Paul Hewitt

Partner  |  Withersworldwide
JURISDICTION

England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE


Stephen Richards

+44 20 7597 6276

Stephen Richards

Partner   |  Withersworldwide
JURISDICTION

England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE


Steven Kempster

+44 (0)207 597 6196

Steven Kempster

Partner   |  Withersworldwide
JURISDICTION

England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International trust disputes
Cross-border probate disputes
Asset protection advice

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Over the past 12 months I have resolved some fascinating and very challenging cases out of court, much to the clients' satisfaction of having avoided a long and public family dispute, but unfortunately this means I cannot say anything about them! Particular highlights have included a number of cases where I have been working with our private client and litigation colleagues around the world, from our offices in California to Asia and also back in Europe (and in one case this involved joining up a team in the US, Hong Kong and Switzerland).

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

If you are on the private client advisery side, try to get some trusts and estates litigation experience. It will hugely improve your skills and advice to clients in both areas.

Vice versa, trusts and estates litigators should make sure they have some experience of advisery work and setting up structures, so that they understand how and why they are set up in different ways, which can be very relevant when litigating or preventing litigation over a trust.

What is your favourite quote?

"The floggings will continue until morale improves". Attributed to Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty I think, but I had it on a poster I brought back from a visit to a prison in Australia. It was framed and hung in my office, which may have caused some concern for the trainees who sat with me.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

A significant number of cases in the last 12 months involve families in Asia. And these have been coming from a wide range of jurisdictions, not just the usual - Hong Kong and Singapore. I think this is partly a reflection of us having significant offices in the region with local qualified lawyers and also that it is a region of the world that has been growing and has been less adversely affected by the pandemic in terms of economic activity than certain other parts of the world have been.

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

The possibility of trusts disputes being submitted to arbitration (ad hoc or mandatory) is an area I have been promoting by speaking at conferences and working with arbitration bodies (for example the ICC) and trustees. Many clients – whether its families or trustees - are interested in how to avoid court processes and deal with disputes more quickly and confidentially. It's an area that raises various legal and practical questions and so always stimulates a lively debate amongst trust lawyers and professionals!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always look on the bright side, even if a pandemic ever comes along.


James Price

+442079368090

James Price

Heads of Trust and Probate Litigation Department  |  Stewarts
JURISDICTION

United Kingdom

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Dispute resolution
Family business governance
Other, contentious trusts

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

We have had some great new instructions on high value matters over the last 12 months but I think my highlight has to be the nomination of Emma Holland as Star Associate and the team as Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year at the Chambers HNW Awards. We went on to win the team award which only 4 years after I set the department up has been a real feather in our cap.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

We’ve seen a notable increase in contentious probate matters and have brought in partner Geoff Kertesz, along with two additional associates, to add further strength and depth to this part of our practice. We have also seen a very significant growth in contested trust restructuring matters.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

We predict continued growth in our involvement in large scale, international contentious trust restructuring, whether in the UK or as co-counsel with firms we know well and use in a number of offshore jurisdictions.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

Although Stewarts has significant experience in remote hearings (having dealt with the first fully remote trial back at the start of the first lockdown), my team is instructed on an offshore matter which will go to trial for 19 weeks in 2021. As there is a 12 hour time difference between the jurisdictions where most of the witnesses are and where the legal teams will be, I am anticipating some late nights, early mornings and other logistical challenges!!


Russell Cohen

+442033757144

Russell Cohen

Partner  |  Farrer & Co
JURISDICTION

England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International structuring
UK tax planning
Knowing when to involve other lawyers!

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Seeing clients come to us with a very broad brief rather than asking narrow questions.

How did you get into private client?

I started my legal life at Slaughter and May and got a taste for private client work with a tax case which went to the Special Commissioners. I was hooked! Which was lucky, as I was close to packing it all in and becoming a teacher!

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Do the work you enjoy most with the professionals you like most, and everything else will follow.

What is your favourite quote?

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit” [Harry S Truman]

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I enjoy running (slowly!) and photography (I like to think I show promise….). I enjoy sports but have to re-think now my teenage sons can beat me.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Anywhere, so long as it’s with good friends.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

1. Mentoring juniors in a virtual environment.
2. Deciding whether face-to-fact meeting and international travel is safe as (hopefully) the world begins to return to some kind of normal. We will have to balance the interests of clients and duty of care to other employees.
3. Learning to make the London Underground (which is noisy and smelly) part of my everyday life again.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you respond to them, and learn from them, which defines you.

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1. Persuade them to use video technology. It makes a difference to the rapport you can establish.
2. Pace meetings. You wouldn’t expect to have a 3 hour meeting in person without comfort breaks and food; factor these into virtual meetings. The worst decisions are made on low blood sugar!
3. Remain in contact. It may be just to drop them an email asking how they are. They will be grateful you are thinking of them.


Helen Ratcliffe

+442077833657

Helen Ratcliffe

Senior Partner  |  BDB Pitmans
JURISDICTION

England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Tax and structuring for international families
Personal and estate planning
Residency and domiciliation

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

The sheer variety of work – moving between two Variation of Trust Act applications, a tax mediation with HMRC, a piece of difficult trust litigation, estate planning and other aspects for international families and individuals has been challenging and interesting.

How did you get into private client?

I loved tax and dealing with people. At Freshfields, I wanted to have a career which combined both of these and this career did that for me.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

I am not sure I can – if you like people and problem-solving, you will find your niche and everyone has their own style.

What is your favourite quote?

“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tomb." George Eliot.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

My interests are my family, history and gardening at our house in France. I’m a church warden and a trustee of lots of charitable trusts outside of work.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

We missed having a large 40th wedding anniversary this year – so we are going to The Goring to celebrate.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

Continuing increase of work on residence for individuals, trusts and companies both because of involuntary change (pandemic restrictions) and voluntary change (response to the pandemic), clients wishing to simplify affairs and to bring long-running projects to a conclusion (again a pandemic catalyst), and tax planning triggered by tax changes to meet the costs of the pandemic.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

Keeping in touch with clients, contacts and colleagues if remote working continues, then, if restrictions ease, balancing the team’s agile working wishes and needs with providing client services, and continuing to cope with tax and regulatory changes.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

You will never stop learning.