We are delighted that seven of our departments have been ranked in The Legal 500 UK 2019:
- Agriculture and Estates – Tier 2
- Art and Cultural Property – Tier 2
- Family – Tier 2
- Family: Mediation – Tier 2
- Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate – Tier 2
- Charities and Not-for-Profit – Tier 3
- Contentious Trusts and Probate – Tier 3
The Agriculture and Estates department is ranked in Tier 2, with Peter Robinson and James Vernor-Miles noted as key contacts. Jonathan Godwin-Austen is highlighted as ‘extremely able and thorough’, and well-regarded for his work in trust, estate and tax law.
The Art and Cultural Property team moves up to Tier 2 in this year’s rankings, and is highly recognised as a ‘professional and capable’ team under the leadership of Hetty Gleave who has an ‘excellent track record in this area’. ‘The team also has a nice human touch’. Hetty has a ‘wealth of knowledge’ and the ‘very responsive’ Gregor Kleinknecht ‘has a great eye for detail and is very well-informed in this area’. Senior associate Petra Warrington is ‘very patient and is building up considerable experience in this field’ and all three make a ‘great team’. The skilled team has a ‘very good ethos and range of clients’ such as artists, dealers, galleries and collectors as well as public and private institutions. Hetty is a Leading Individual in this practice area.
The Family department remains steady in Tier 2, highlighted for being a ‘calm team that provides intelligent and cost-effective advice – in a word it is ‘classy’. Henry Hood heads the department, which includes the ‘tactically superb’ Richard Kershaw, who is a ‘force to be reckoned with’. Hetty Gleave is ‘charming, efficient and a very strong lawyer’ and Jo Carr-West ‘leaves no stone unturned; she has a great eye for detail and approaches each case with sensitivity’. Hazel Wright is ‘sympathetic and a wonderful mediator’. The team is ‘strong’ across the board and is regularly involved in high-value financial cases and complex children work. Senior associate Amy Scollan is a ‘rising star of the future – she is clever and extremely thorough’. Henry is a Leading Individual and Amy is a Next Generation Lawyer.
Family: mediation also maintains its position at Tier 2, recognised for being a ‘very strong in and committed to the field of family mediation whether children finances or all issues by either sole or co-mediation’. It has a ‘very solid practice in mediation’ and Henry Hood ‘in particular has an extremely effective style as a mediator and he is going from strength to strength with a high success rate. He has a natural air of authority which imbues clients with confidence’. Hazel Wright is ‘bright, quick, empathetic and calm’ and Jo Carr-West is ‘always focused on getting a good resolution for her client’. Senior associate Vanessa Friend is also well-regarded. Henry, Jo and Hazel are Leading Individuals.
The Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate department also remains strong in Tier 2 and ‘brings to its work a very personally tailored approach. It has a reputation for complete technical competence and fair dealing’. The practice is led by the ‘very experienced’ Alexandra Sarkis, who ‘handles what can be delicate family issues arising out of a trust and its complexity with great skill and tact’. Sarkis along with Julia Richards ‘both take the time to really get under the skin of their very different clients and their needs and then tailor their approach accordingly. Jonathan Godwin-Austen is ‘extremely able and thorough’. The ‘diligent and helpful’ Robert Wright is ‘never too busy to pick up the phone or answer an email’. The ‘charming, knowledgeable and efficient’ Matthew Yates is ‘highly recommended for anyone wanting top quality assistance in this field’. Newly promoted partner is the ‘simply exceptional’ Molly Wills who provides an ‘exemplary service’. The ‘first-class’ team acts for an impressive array of high-profile clients, from celebrities to titled individuals with a mix of domestic and international work. Jonathan and Alexandra are Leading Individuals, whilst Molly is a Next Generation Lawyer.
Charities and not-for-profit remains strong in Tier 3, well-regarded for being an ‘established firm with strong ethical standards and a very loyal client base which is founded on its depth of expertise in this field’. Both Dominik Opaliński and Wilfrid Vernor-Miles are ‘highly knowledgeable and technically excellent with strong client skills’. Practice head Paul Almy is also recognised for his expertise in all aspects of charity law, such as employment matters for charity clients.
The Contentious Trusts and Probate department is ranked in Tier 3, and praised for its ‘high level of success in difficult cases’ with the ‘fantastic, very savvy’ Richard Kershaw at the helm. Richard ‘can see the answer straight away and can then get there with the minimum of fuss’. Newly promoted partner David Draisey adopts a ‘calm and methodical approach to his work and is a rising star in contentious trust litigation’. Richard is a Leading Individual in this practice area.
This has been a very successful year with all departments rising and remaining strong in their rankings.