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Phyllis Townsend

Senior Associate, Wealth Management  |  Baker McKenzie

England and Wales


Personal tax
Asset protection structures


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

The highlight for me has been acquiring big new relationships and building those during the last 12 months. I enjoyed working with these clients, as well as my existing client base. Entrepreneurs have been in acquisition mode. They had capital to deploy and were able to take advantage of low valuations. We have been busy helping them. The team was delighted to win the Private Client Legal Team of the Year in the British Legal Awards 2020.

How did you get into private client?

I envied my friends training at private client firms and the stories they told. On qualification, I spent two years in-house as legal counsel at Rothschild Trust.

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

Don't make the client's problem your problem. This advice was given by a former partner of the firm. It is about addressing any issues when you become aware of them. The client also will not thank you for an issue discovered later (and will say you knew about it).

What is your favourite quote?

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo Da Vinci.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Water and winter sports, pilates, dog walks in the countryside and art.

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

Daphnes, London.