Private Client

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.

News

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.

Legal Podcast

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.

Legal Podcast

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.

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