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Our specialist tax, trust and estate lawyers form one of London’s longest established and most experienced Private Client practices dating back to 1780.
We provide first class legal advice on tax and estate planning, however complex. More than that, we never forget that decisions made today impact well into the future and early planning is essential to protect assets for the lifetime of the owner and for the generations which follow. This is particularly the case with our Landed Estate clients who often feel that they are merely “stewards” or “custodians” of inherited wealth.
We currently administer trusts that are now benefitting second, third and fourth generations of the same family and we often manage the probate for Wills that we helped to draft lifetimes earlier. Probate work has been the cornerstone of our practice since the firm started. That is why families and executors rely on us to guide them through what can be a burdensome administrative process – doing what we can to get things completed as quickly as possible.
Our size and team based structure allows us to get to know our clients well and therefore build a close working relationship so that we are able to offer a flexible, personal service with a high degree of partner involvement. Clients can therefore be confident that our advice is bespoke and that every detail has been considered with their specific circumstances in mind.
We provide trust and tax advice to individuals, offshore, onshore and charitable trustees, executors, personal representatives and Court of Protection Deputies. As regards the latter, specialists in our team advise on how to provide for, and protect the interests of individuals who may lack mental capacity to manage their affairs and make decisions for themselves.
Using our experience and in-depth knowledge of personal UK taxation we can assist with careful and sensible lifetime tax planning, tax planning through Wills and post-death tax planning, to help preserve wealth, meaning it can be passed down generations avoiding the payment of unnecessary taxes over the years.
We act for clients who are domiciled in the UK as well as many non-UK domiciliaries who are either resident in the UK, spend part of the year in the UK, have assets located in the UK or have family interests here. As members of the legal networks Trans European Law Firms Alliance (TELFA) and USLAW, we are well positioned to advise such international clients on cross-border issues whether that is as regards succession and estate planning, asset protection or structuring UK or global investments.
Government reintroduces probate “death-tax”
The Government announced in November that it is reintroducing its controversial proposals to increase the costs of applying for grant of probate that they originally tried to get through Parliament… Read more →
Why make a will?
A Will is a legal document in which a person declares their intention as to what should happen to their assets after their death. You are not legally obliged to… Read more →
The Latest on the deemed Domicile Rules (2018) Webinar
Income Tax and Capital Gains tax have been affected by changes to the deemed domicile rules in force from 6 April 2017. This webinar will provide you with a guide… Read more →
Wedlake Bell have been shortlisted for the STEP Private Client Awards 2018/19 as Finalist
Congratulations to our Private Client team who have been shortlisted in the ‘STEP Private Client Legal Team of the Year (midsize firm)‘ category of the 2018/19 Private Client Awards. Good… Read 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 of… Read more →
Wedlake Bell’s Private Client team respond to government consultation on Inheritance Tax (IHT)
On 19 January 2018, the government requested that the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS“) carry out a review of inheritance tax in order to identify simplification opportunities. The scoping document… Read more →
“How a common law partner can go against your will” – Andrew O’Keeffe and Jemma Goddard write for Spear’s Magazine
The recent case of Thompson v Ragget and others  offers a stark reminder that a ‘common law’ husband or wife may be entitled to receive a substantial proportion of… Read more →
Andrew McIntyre responds to a readers’ question on a complex probate issue for Choice Magazine
Q: My wife is a beneficiary of the Will of someone who died in February 2009. One of the other beneficiaries predeceased this person and no clause was inserted in… Read more →
Lawyers welcome publication of consultation on Entrepreneurs’ Relief for Capital Gains Tax – Camilla Wallace comments for The Times’ Brief
Britain is likely to have to “press ahead on its own” with attempts to force technology giants to pay more tax in the jurisdictions where value is created, lawyers predicted… Read more →
Inheritance tax to be reviewed
The Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) on 19 January 2018 to ask them to carry out a review of inheritance tax (“IHT”). A scoping document for… Read more →
Ministry of Justice Power of Attorney Fee Refund Scheme
If you applied to register a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) during the period 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, you could be… Read more →
“Is my grandmother being defrauded?” – Ann Stanyer responds to a readers question in the Financial Times
Partner in our Private Client team, Ann Stanyer, has responded to a reader’s question on financial abuse of the elderly in the Financial Times. Ann, who authored a book entitled… Read more →
Autumn Budget 2017 – Key Points for Private Clients
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his first Autumn Budget on 22 November 2017. The main headline was the abolition of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for first-time buyers for properties… Read more →
Making a Will
Consultation Response: Wedlake Bell LLP On 13 July 2017, the Law Commission launched a major consultation project on the law of Wills. The law in this area has not been… Read more →
Navigating HMRC’s non-dom net
Although many non-doms are more likely to be worse off with the government’s tax reforms, there are practical measures to cushion the impact, writes Camilla Wallace. Non-domiciliaries (‘non-doms’) have been… Read more →
"For me it is their empathy and emotional intelligence that stands out,'They take care to understand what the client wants and make them comfortable with their engagement with the law. Their advice is practical and comprehensible and properly targeted to the client's needs. 'Responsiveness and the ability to communicate complex matters in a way that the man off the street can understand."
— Chambers HNW 2018
"The team is also described as 'very practical and communicative.' The firm's lawyers assist with the administration of trusts and probate, as well as with the preparation of wills. They can call on litigation services within the firm for inheritance, trust and probate disputes."
— Chambers HNW 2018
"They provide a personal service that is bespoke and reliable.' They have broad experience available within the partnership."
— Chambers HNW 2018
"With a number of excellent practitioners, Wedlake Bell LLP delivers ‘a reliable and professional service. It excels at trying to understand the needs of clients and has a diverse range of talent within the firm which can be called upon’."
— Legal 500, 2017
"The ‘very responsive and reliable’ Camilla Wallace provides a service that is ‘second to none, and she is better than most at communicating complex tax issues to clients’. She has a modern approach to old family problems. She is very aware of the costs of the service and what is considered good value’."
— Legal 500, 2017