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.
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: Lasting Powers of Attorney
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 →
Wedlake Bell’s Camilla Wallace recognised as Citywealth’s Woman of the Year
City law firm, Wedlake Bell, is proud to announce that Camilla Wallace, Head of Private Client Group at Wedlake Bell has won Woman of the Year at Citywealth’s prestigious Magic… 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’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 →
'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