Edward Reed

Partner  |  Macfarlanes

England and Wales


Personal and estate planning
Succession planning
Private international law and tax planning


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

Acting for a prominent international statesman with assets in over 30 countries on a coordinated estate plan, working with the family office, lawyers across Europe and the FO Director of Legal, who was previously the foremost expert in France on the subject. It involved juggling questions on formalities, enforcement, asset-holding, detailed questions of tax, competing family priorities, sensitive privacy issues leading to an innovative testamentary format designed to compartmentalise knowledge.

How did you get into private client?

I joined Macfarlanes as it had the ability to do trust work in the early 1990s, which was unusual. Interestingly, I actually found trusts difficult at university – but it turned out to be everything and more when I started.

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

Have an open mind to what other legal systems you are less familiar with may have to offer, that your own does not. Be prepared to be creative but don’t be tempted to test governments’ patience on tax.

What is your favourite quote?

“Omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset." Roman historian Tacitus (of the Emperor Galba.) Translates as: “In the opinion of all he was capable of ruling, if he had never ruled.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Principally interested in gardening and reading (in different languages).

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

We tend to go out abroad more than in London, typically in Italy!