We are all adjusting to life during the Covid-19 pandemic and the numerous challenges it presents. At Wedlake Bell our focus has always been on meeting the needs of our clients, and it is times like this that serve as a reminder of the importance of having the appropriate measures in place to protect not only yourself and your family, but also your property and any business interests. The Private Client team is available to help with any questions you may have concerning your affairs, and can provide the usual first class legal advice and personal service to which our clients are accustomed. Our bulletin ‘Covid-19 – Wealth protection and Planning in times of distress’ sets out some essential legal housekeeping tips to help keep on top of your affairs.
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.
Ann Stanyer raises fraud flag with LPA consultation
Today’s Wills & Probate have published Ann Stanyer’s comments raising concerns about proposals to reform Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), specifically that the digitisation of the LPA process opens to… Read more →
How would HMRC know? Automatically
Partner Antoaneta Proctor looks at how HMRC’s extensive information gathering powers together with increases in data sharing and the introduction of uniform reporting rules for online marketplaces, underline the importance… Read more →
The non-resident stamp duty land tax surcharge
Partner Matthew Braithwaite and Associate Andrew McIntyre discuss the non-resident stamp duty land tax surcharge and how the test for this must not be confused with the statutory residence test… Read more →
Edward Fennell’s Legal Diary
Daniel Craig has recently said during an interview that he would not let his two daughters inherit the estimated £116 million that Craig has earned from playing James Bond. Partner… Read more →
Taxing Times: Potential tax reforms to cover government Covid borrowing
We all know that tax rises are on the cards to help the UK government pay for billions of pounds of Covid-related borrowing – but what form might these take?… Read more →
Can we reclaim overpaid stamp duty?
Private Client Partner Oliver Embley has answered a reader’s question in the Financial Times concerning overpaid Stamp Duty. A 3% surcharge is applied on the purchase of a second property,… Read 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 giving… Read more →
Meeting the 2021 eprivate client 50 Most Influential – Camilla Wallace of Wedlake Bell
Head of our Private Client Group Camilla Wallace has been ranked by eprivateclient as one of their “50 most influential”. Read their interview with Millie here.
The murky world of unregulated heir hunters
Head of the Private Client, Jenny Cutts has been quoted in The Times, discussing her response to new research that shows local authorities are entering into anti-competitive and unaccountable contracts… Read more →
Tatler Experts’ Corner: I’m clashing with family over our investment strategy, I favour sustainable investing, whereas they want pure financial return. How can we agree?
As part of the Tatler SOS Experts’ Corner, Camilla Wallace delves into the subject of investing sustainably and ethically and shares her advice on how to reach a consensus with… Read more →
THE RISING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR FAMILY OFFICES
It was recently reported in the British press that bragging rights could be earned amongst ultra-wealthy families and their family offices by paying more tax, not less. For the last… Read more →
As Art Market Becomes More “Intangible,” How To Prove Ownership?
In an article for Wealth Briefing, specialists Camilla Wallace and Jack Martin examine the fast-changing art marketplace, where digital works are in high demand and the new patrons are wealthy… Read more →
THE BILLIONAIRE, HIS FAMILY, END OF LIFE PLANNING AND COVID-19
The Covid-19 lockdown and quarantine restrictions are causing real practical problems for those who have terminally ill family members. What can you do if you want to visit such a… Read more →
Clashing Rights – Covid-19 vaccinations and the rights of care home residents
This article was first published by the Solicitors Journal on 25 February 2021: Solicitors Journal – Clashing Rights The Court of Protection has just heard the first case involving a… Read more →
Tax day: What does the future hold for IHT?
In the first government “Tax Day” yesterday, more than 30 different publications were issued by the Treasury in relation to the government’s tax policy. It had been expected that these… Read more →
Oliver Embley provides an overview of tax and family considerations when planning for the succession of a family business in the UK
Senior Associate in the Private Client team, Oliver Embley, writes for STEP Journal Plus on the tax and family issues to consider when planning for the succession of a family… Read more →
INHERITANCE TAX: RELIEFS, RATES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR FAMILIES- CampdenFB
Statistics from the UK government’s tax office show the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) families are paying has soared from £2.9 billion($3.9 billion) in 2011-12 to £5.2 billion ($7.1 billion)… Read more →
Emergency wealth tax ‘could wipe out UK’s pandemic bill’
The Wealth Tax Commission’s Report is extensive, thoroughly researched and well-argued but will not be well received by the majority of high-net worth individuals and many Conservative voters. The proposed… Read more →
Remote witnessing of Wills – what could possibly go wrong?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted issues with some of the more archaic parts of the law surrounding the creation of Wills. Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 requires a… Read more →
Review of Capital Gains Tax – Major Reforms Proposed
Against the backdrop of much speculation over the combination of tax hikes that will be introduced to pay for the government’s Covid-19 spending, the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) published… Read more →
Home And Away: Working From Home, Abroad – Tax, Legal Implications- WealthBriefing
Partner Matthew Braithwaite and solicitor Jack Martin in the Private Client team have co-written an article with trainee solicitor Olivia Ufland in the Employment team for WealthBriefing. Together, they discuss… Read more →
Tatler Experts’ Corner: I’m about to inherit a stake in the family business, what should I be thinking about?
As part of the Tatler SOS Experts’ Corner, we delve into the tricky waters of trust and inheritance. Here Camilla Wallace from Wedlake Bell LLP weighs in on what to do ahead… Read more →
How to choose the right legal structure for your charity
If you are planning on starting up a charity, or changing your charity’s structure, then it is important to give consideration to the type of structure you choose, as this… Read more →
Episode 17: The Importance of Making a Will
In this podcast, Caroline Miller discusses the importance of making a will and keeping it up to date.
Prime London Property – Rebalancing Priorities for Work and Home
Residential Property partner Jonathan Achampong and Private Client partner Camilla Wallace join Jeremy McGivern of Mercury Home Search to discuss why London remains an attractive location for high net worth… Read more →
How families can get the wealth transfer right and avoid things getting messy – EPrivateClient
Head of the Private Client Disputes Team, Caroline Miller, and solicitor Sarah Turner comment and discuss a number of key steps that you can take during your lifetime to help… Read more →
Tax and estate planning when moving to the UK
In the past 12 months, growing political turmoil and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents to look for an exit… Read more →
Remote witnessing: no longer a remote possibility for Wills- Today’s Wills and Probate
Head of the Private Client Disputes Team, Caroline Miller, and solicitor Katie Turney comment and discuss the Government’s recent landmark announcement that it will be introducing temporary legislation to allow Wills… Read more →
The Office of Tax Simplification – Capital Gains Tax review – Call for Evidence Consultation Response: Wedlake Bell LLP
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has asked the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS“) to review capital gains tax (“CGT“) and their ‘Call for Evidence’ was published on 14 July 2020. The… Read more →
Tax Changes for Purchasers of UK Property
There have been several recent developments regarding the tax payable when UK property is purchased: Stamp Duty Land Tax, commonly referred to as SDLT. SDLT Holiday For residential properties, the… Read more →
New Online LPA Service
In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, many organisations have realised the ever increasing importance of using technology to manage processes which were previously dealt with by postal correspondence. One… Read more →
Immigration to the UK from Hong Kong: Preparatory Legal and Tax Steps
Julia Jackson and Matthew Braithwaite discuss issues related to immigration with Hong Kong lawyer, Alfred Ip a founding partner of Hong Kong law firm Hugill & Ip . The preparatory… Read more →
UHNW estate planning during a market crash – Transferring wealth to the next generation- ePrivateClient
Head of the Private Client Team, Jenny Cutts, discusses whether the impact of a market crash and lower asset values provides opportunities for ultra-high-net-worth individuals to carry out estate planning… Read more →
Video witnessing of Wills to be made legal
After months of speculation as to whether the rules regarding the witnessing of Wills would be relaxed during the pandemic, the government has announced that it is introducing legislation in… Read more →
How to plan for a potential UK wealth tax- EPrivateClient
Partner in the Private Client team Camilla Wallace writes about the possibility of a wealth tax being introduced by the government as a result of Covid-19 and record levels of… Read more →
The Chancellor’s Capital Gains Tax review: is a tax hike around the corner?
After announcing a further £30bn worth of policies and tax cuts in his summer statement, it seems logical to assume that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is looking for ways to… Read more →
CORPORATE RESIDENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19
Under the UK tax code, companies that are not incorporated in the UK (non-UK companies) may be resident in the UK for tax purposes if their “central management and control”… Read more →
Emily Minett explores common issues that COVID-19 poses for grant-making charities.
Can we use video or telephone conferencing to hold trustee meetings? The first step is to review your charity’s governing document to see if it contains any express provisions enabling… Read more →
Acting as an Executor during Covid-19
Acting as an Executor for a deceased loved one is hard enough at the best of times, but the Covid-19 crisis and resulting lockdown have made many aspects of administering… Read more →
FAMILY OFFICES AND CROSS-BORDER SUCCESSION PLANNING DURING COVID-19 Campden FB
Family offices increasingly have to navigate the complexities of cross border legal issues: a necessary side-effect of globalisation. The family office will consequently need advisers on issues such as tax,… Read more →
Making a will during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to a rise in the number of people making or updating their Wills. Although lockdown measures are starting to loosen, concerns about the risk of… Read more →
Episode 15: Health and Welfare LPAs
Ann Stanyer’s recent podcast about Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) highlights the importance of making these documents, and keeping them under review, especially during these challenging times.
Covid-19: Update on court hearings and mediations
As of 20 April 2020, there were 159 open courts in England & Wales dealing with essential face-to-face hearings. Telephone and video hearings are increasingly being used for non-essential face-to-face… Read more →
COVID-19 – WEALTH PROTECTION AND PLANNING IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
The coronavirus pandemic has pervaded all aspects of life, both personal and professional, without discrimination. Below are some essential legal housekeeping tips to keep on top of your affairs and… Read more →
Fifth Money Laundering Directive and Trust Registration Service
We have responded to H M Treasury’s further consultation on the proposed changes to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) which was published last month in order to test whether the… Read more →
Three tips to lock in Entrepreneurs’ Relief (whilst you still can!)
It has been widely reported in the financial press that the Chancellor will heavily restrict or even abolish Entrepreneurs’ Relief (‘ER’) in the Budget on 11 March 2020. ER is… Read more →
Brexit and Spanish Inheritance Tax
Now that Britain has left the European Union, UK nationals with relatives in Spain might welcome a Spanish Supreme Court ruling, confirming that non-EU residents will not have to suffer… Read more →
Private Client Team Awards and News
Awards Ranked in Tier I of eprivateclient’s Top Law Firms 2019 Private Client team shortlisted for STEP’s ‘Private Client Legal Team of the Year – mid size’ Camilla Wallace, Head… Read more →
Transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive – Consultation Response: Wedlake Bell LLP
In April 2019, H M Treasury published its consultation concerning the government’s approach and its plans for the implementation of the EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into national law.… Read more →
Capital Gains Tax: Private Residence Relief: changes to the ancillary reliefs -Consultation Response: Wedlake Bell LLP
On 1 April 2019, HM Revenue & Customs published its consultation concerning the changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Private Residence Relief. Briefly, Budget 2018 announced that the final… 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 →
Wedlake Bell LLP acts for an array of major clients who range from prominent UK families to internationally mobile wealthy individuals. The team predominantly acts for serial entrepreneurs, landed estates as well as public personalities. The practice has a strong focus on cross-border succession planning and has also experienced considerable growth in advising on the establishment of new charitable structures. Camilla Wallace, Jenny Cutts and Matthew Braithwaite are among the key members of the team. Andrew O’Keeffe is another recommended individual along with Antoaneta Proctor.
— Legal 500, 2022
The private client team is first and foremost strongly client focused. The approach is always very pragmatic so as to address the client’s issues and set out an action plan which is clear and comprehensible. Overall the practice feels very approachable, and clients would enjoy that they can voice their concerns with approachable partners. Every interaction is very clear, be it in terms of next steps, billing etc.
— Legal 500, 2022
Technically strong with a good understanding of family dynamics and commercial issues. The team at Wedlake Bell works together to deliver to clients. Matthew Braithwaite, Camilla Wallace and Jenny Cutts – each with their own style; all three are technically excellent and provide solution driven advice.
— Legal 500, 2022
'The team is going from strength to strength. It is establishing itself as a growing force in this area. Andrew O'Keeffe brings a huge amount of experience to the team and Caroline Miller is steadily building a reputation as a significant player in this field'.
— Legal 500, 2020
The team has grown and developed its reputation under the leadership of Andrew O'Keeffe. He has a great ability to spot the right strategy for the right type of dispute'.
— Legal 500, 2020
'The private client team is extremely competent across a range of legal disciplines, but for me it is their empathy and emotional intelligence that stands out. They are quite unlike many firms. they take care to understand what the client wants and make them comfortable with their enggement with the law. Their advice is practical and comprehensible and properly targeted to the client's needs.'
— Chambers HNW 2019
They've got a good team of people'. 'They are a pleasure to work with.' The team is 'always helpful and responsive and takes a very practical approach to problem solving.'
— Chambers HNW 2019