Kate Johnson


Private Client
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Kate advises domestic and international clients on personal tax, trust, estate planning and succession issues. Her clients include individuals, trustees and charities often with multi-jurisdictional assets owned via complex offshore trust and corporate structures. Kate works closely with her clients and their advisors to mitigate tax and plan for the future.

Kate advises clients on the use of lifetime gifts, tax-efficient Wills, trusts and charitable foundations. Kate has particular experience advising on exiting family businesses, charity formation, succession and legacy planning for artists, onshore and offshore tax planning and trust structuring, and planning for moving to or returning to the UK. Kate frequently advises clients with charitable or valuable art interests.

Relevant Experience

  • Advising family shareholders on tax and estate planning in advance of the sale of the family business.
  • Advising on the formation and administration of charities as charitable incorporated organisations, companies limited by guarantee or trusts.
  • Drafting Wills for testators with overseas assets.
  • Advising on cross border succession planning for clients with assets, business interests and charitable interests in multiple jurisdictions.
  • UK tax and remittance planning for individuals moving to or returning to the UK.
  • Advising trustees and family members of large and diverse landed estates on trust law issues, succession planning and tax planning.

Career History

Kate qualified as a private client solicitor in 2011 and joined Wedlake Bell in 2013. Kate has a degree in Economics from The University of York, she also completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP London.

She is a STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) member, having obtained a distinction in her exams.

Kate was named as one of eprivateclient’s 2016 Top 35 Under 35 and as Tax and Estate Planning Lawyer of the Year in the Women in Law Awards in 2016. In 2019 she won Citywealth’s Gold award as “Lawyer of the Year – Senior/Managing Associate”.  Kate has also been named in Citywealth’s Top 100 Private Client Lawyers 2021 and in the Legal 500 2024 as a key lawyer for Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate.

Kate Johnson is extraordinary. Her insight brings order to chaos, promptly recognising the practical impact of complex rules. She inspires confidence.

Legal 500, 2024

Kate Johnson has an equally keen mind, designing succession and managing global projects. She is a pitch-perfect point person among clients and multiple advisors.

Legal 500, 2023


Wedlake Bell announces six Partner promotions in 2023 round

City law firm Wedlake Bell has promoted six lawyers to its partnership in its latest promotion round. The promotions span the breath of its practices from Commercial Disputes to ResidentialRead more


Kate Johnson comments on Jeff Bezos’ plans to give away fortune

“We might now see him focusing on his own foundation to ensure ongoing involvement and to develop a framework which will outlive him.” Senior Associate Kate Johnson’s comments discussing JessRead more



In January 2018, the Government suggested in its 25 Year Environment Plan that conservation covenants could be used to enable landowners to make agreements with responsible bodies creating legally bindingRead more


Scientist’s Tax Offset Delivers Cultural, Family Value

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, a pair of his glasses, scientific bets signed with a thumbprint, papers on theoretical physics and even his scripts from The Simpsons are amongst the items thatRead more

Globally Speaking

International family businesses remain agile during the Covid-19 pandemic

Whilst we have all stayed put in recent months as a consequence of swathes of restrictions on global travel that have been in place at various times during the COVID-19Read more


Tax Relief for Landed Estates and Heritage Assets

In April 2021, Samsung announced that, following the death of its chairman last year, his heirs will be facing one of the world’s largest ever inheritance tax bills – aRead more


What Banksy teaches us about art ownership

Think the elusive artist has automatic rights to their famous murals? It’s a bit more complicated than that. Jack Martin and Kate Johnson break it down. In law, land includes buildings and fixtures. OnceRead more

Globally Speaking


6 April 2019 brought in the start of the new tax year and with it yet another change to the taxation of UK property – namely, a widening of theRead more


New Capital Gains Tax for Non-UK Residents

Background In 2013, George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that a new capital gains tax (CGT) charge would be introduced from April 2015 in relation to non-UK residents whoRead more


The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on charitable giving in Wills

Many clients wish to include charities in their Wills, either to receive legacies or as main beneficiaries. Senior Associate Kate Johnson has written about the upward trend for charitable givingRead more


Changes to offshore loans for UK property

Background Back in 2008 the Finance Act introduced sweeping changes to the way non-UK domiciled individuals resident in the UK were to be taxed.   The Government’s principal objective was toRead more


Declaring Offshore Assets? Tick it off your summer check list…

H M Revenue and Customs (“HMRC“) has launched a new regime to encourage UK taxpayers to disclose undeclared offshore assets before 30 September 2018. This also applies to trustees ofRead more


Kate Johnson’s article was published in Professional Adviser

The article was orignally published by the Professional Adviser on 22 August 2018. Kate Johnson: HMRC’s Requirement to Correct rules explained Time is running out… “Clients should be encouraged to make useRead more


Planning to achieve certainty in uncertain times

Irrespective of political views, most people agree that we are living in uncertain and changing times. Might immigration rights change? Will we see changes to the rates of personal andRead more