Emma Holland

+44 (0)20 7936 8070

Emma Holland

Senior Associate  |  Stewarts
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trust disputes
Probate disputes
Court of Protection

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

Our team being awarded Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year at the Chambers HNW Awards (and also being nominated as a star associate at the same).

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

Don’t worry too much about planning a career path; if you focus on doing what you have in hand to the best of your ability that will be recognised and opportunities will arise.

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

A local Italian in Battersea called Antipasto which never disappoints.


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.


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.


Jonathan Speck

+441534 676371

Jonathan Speck

Senior Partner  |  Mourant
JURISDICTION

Jersey
England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Administration of estates and trusts
Dispute resolution

Enhanced Q&A

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

Working on setting up a number of trusts for ultra-high net worth individuals from jurisdictions around the world, in bespoke structures carefully designed to manage the various risks faced by the different families involved.

How did you get into private client?

My boss from 1989 wrote the Jersey Trust Law. I was his assistant and he dealt exclusively with trusts. The rest is history (30 years of it!).

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

I wouldn't presume.

What is your favourite quote?

“Justice is open to all. Like the Ritz.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Wining, dining, travelling (when there is no lockdown).

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

Harry’s Bar in London.

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

Definitely in litigation relating to foreign tax.

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

More of the same – especially with the fall-out from Covid-19 and the inevitable tax increases which will follow.

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

(1) What will "new normal" look like if and when we start to open up after lockdown.
(2) The interplay between AI/tech and fee earners.
(3) Persuading my partners that I should resume my role as International Head of Lunch.


Laura Dadswell

+442074573158

Laura Dadswell

Partner & Co-Head of Private Wealth  |  Penningtons Manches
JURISDICTION

England & Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Family Business Governance; Personal estate and succession planning; Tax

Enhanced Q&A

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

Advising on several relocations to the UK of UHNW individuals and their entourages due to political, pandemic and good, old fashioned business reasons. We are fortunate in being able to offer full service and tailored immigration, tax and corporate structuring advice as part of our Private Wealth sector.

How did you get into private client?

I am told I was successful in my interview for training contract at Withers because I had bred my Labradors to fund my degree at Cambridge and law school – unusual entrepreneurship for applicants at that time, apparently! Private client offered intellectual puzzles to solve, unending variety (no two families are the same and the law never stops evolving) and an opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of what are, more often than not, highly successful, influential and interesting families.

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

You know you are doing a good job as advisor when you are brave enough to challenge your client’s wishes and s/he accepts your advice (whether or not they then follow it!). That sort of trust and confidence in a relationship can only come from a thorough understanding of a family’s aims and its unique dynamics and trusting your own judgment.

What is your favourite quote?

We are masters of the unsaid words but slaves of those we let slip out.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I am reasonably sporty. I used to event when I had horses. These days, I ski as much as I can get away with (or did) and play hockey every Saturday, having hung up both my rugby and football boots. This year, mountain biking seems to have replaced both skiing and hockey!.

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

We had to cancel Pollen Street Social just before Lockdown 3.0 so ….


Rachael Reynolds

+13455162001

Rachael Reynolds

Partner, Global Head of Dispute Resolution  |  Ogier
JURISDICTION

Cayman Islands
England and Wales (non-practising)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Administration of estates and trusts
Dispute resolution

Enhanced Q&A

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

Acting as a trusted adviser to a prominent HNW and finding a solution to an issue which had been unresolved for a decade.

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

Lean in and offer your view - you have something valuable to offer.

What is your favourite quote?

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do," Steve Jobs.

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

We have had an exceptionally busy year in trusts and estates disputes, with a number of cases coming before the Cayman courts which have involved the courts considering for the first time particular legislative provisions, and giving important and precedent-setting guidance to trustees facing attack from third parties, other jurisdictions or their own beneficiaries (including cases concerning the court's jurisdiction to reform STAR trusts, the test for the removal of executors, consideration of when the Cayman court has exclusive jurisdiction over Cayman trusts, and the public policy considerations in the context of enforcement of foreign decisions concerning Cayman trusts).

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

● The constantly changing regulatory landscape and compliance fatigue is a significant challenge for our clients. The need to keep abreast of all relevant directives and obligations is leading to a large amount of innocent non-compliance with serious consequences.
● The universal level of uncertainty and the dramatic economic effects of the pandemic is leading to the need for clients to rethink well established business models and strategies, and is leading to increased litigation as our clients are facing increasing scrutiny of their management of assets. Whilst that is good for the litigators amongst us, it is a continuing stress point for our clients who are facing unprecedented pressure and levels of uncertainty.
● Virtual meetings work very well for the most part, and Cayman practitioners are well used to working on a day to day basis with clients in all parts of the world and with all time zones - but there are certain circumstances where there is no substitute for face to face meetings, particularly where contentious and sensitive issues need to be discussed and resolved, or where capacity is an issue. The inability to meet is a challenge we are all resigned to dealing with for months to come but we very much look forward to the time we can see our clients in person again.

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

1. Where possible, make time for a video conference rather than just relying on a call or an email. I have found many clients appreciate, and are more comfortable with, a face to face discussion. Speaking by video goes some small way to compensate for being unable to meet in person.
2. Make the most of the technology that is available – whether that is secure document sharing on data rooms, utilising electronic signatures or having virtual meetings on screen.
3. Unmute!


James Campbell

+441534514230

James Campbell

Partner, Global Service Line Head of Private Wealth   |  Ogier
JURISDICTION

Jersey
England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trust, foundation and estate planning
Asset holding structures

Enhanced Q&A

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

In the past 12 months, I have done significant work for clients on Middle East structures using private trust companies and Jersey trusts. I am also the service line head – trying to bring all of the offices together so that we have one cohesive service line across Cayman, BVI, Jersey, Guernsey and Hong Kong. We have also set up lots of family offices over the past year – normally involving private wealth, fund and regulatory advice – so it has kept us busy.

How did you get into private client?

Initially, I started out at Payne Hicks Beach in London. I wanted to come back to Jersey, so worked in trust litigation, later moving into the non-contentious side. I found that non-contentious was more for me – the people side attracted me. I think in pure trust litigation it needs a certain type of personality to do it. I found non-contentious was more interesting, varied and gave me the opportunity to meet lots of different families and people.

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

Get straight to the point and keep advice pragmatic and simple. Clients for the most part do not want an "academic" analysis.

What is your favourite quote?

"The harder I practice, the luckier I get." Gary Player (Golfer).

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Skiing and golf. You get to see different parts of the world with these sports. I used to play lots of tennis, too – but less so now.

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

The Oyster Box, Jersey – I love the beach there and the food is fabulous.

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has given ultra-high net worth families the time and opportunity to consider where and how they want to structure their assets. We are seeing a good flow of instructions from international families looking to establish new structures in Jersey or re-structure existing structures. Political uncertainty remains high as a risk factor and there remains a strong desire for families to structure their assets in a safe harbour like Jersey which has the benefit of political stability, a reputable court and over fifty years of experience in structuring trusts and other entities. The spectre of new wealth taxes is also causing many wealthy families to consider physical re-location and a restructuring of assets.

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

I predict and am seeing an increase in the number of private trust companies being established in Jersey for ultra-high net worth families. Further existing private trust companies in other jurisdictions moving to Jersey as a safe harbour with a sound reputation.

I am also seeing a rise in structuring coming out of South East Asia and notably Hong Kong. The pandemic coupled with political uncertainty is driving clients to structure their assets.

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

(1) Families becoming increasingly mobile;
(2) New wealth taxes being introduced to pay for the pandemic; and
(3) A desire for ultra-high net worth clients to contribute more to society as the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen exponentially.