Jenny McKeown

Partner  |  Stephenson Harwood

England and Wales


Trust litigation, tax litigation & dispute resolution
Family business governance
Asset protection

Enhanced Q&A

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

A really big highlight has been working seamlessly with our HK private wealth colleagues. We’re seeing a large uptick in litigation for HK based clients across various offshore jurisdictions. One of the things we’ve done really well over the past 3 years at Stephenson Harwood has become a truly global practice.

How did you get into private client?

I was a litigator many years ago at Allen & Overy and worked with Robert Hunter – which inevitably meant I did private client trust and fraud litigation!

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

Keep a sense of humour and always ensure that you are on top of recent legal developments.

What is your favourite quote?

"This too shall pass."

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Keeping fit- and juggling my family!

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

Sticks & Sushi, Kings Road with my children and Scott’s with a group of girlfriends.

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

Over the last 12 months I have seen a significant uptick in trustees needing assistance to resolve complicated tax issues which have arisen because of negligent tax advice being provided by lawyers and/or accountants. This has resulted in consideration of applications to set aside the transactions giving rise to the tax consequences and negligence claims against the advisors. I have also become involved in a number of Hong Kong trust disputes, working alongside Hong Kong solicitors and counsel to set the strategy in those cases.

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

The greatest challenge to all global elite members is the current restrictions on travel which are unlikely to lift until the later part of 2021. Otherwise, whilst I can foresee the clients we act for facing a number of challenges arising out of ever increasing geopolitical risks and the inevitable tax rises which will be brought in to pay for the Covid pandemic, such challenges will lead to increased work for those who advise them.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Not to have children if home schooling is going to continue to be a part of everyday life! More seriously, to be flexible and not to be overly concerned with mapping out your future career.