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Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) LLP and Pitmans LLP merged on 1 December 2018 to become BDB Pitmans LLP. More details can be found here
25 September 2018

Private client team news

We are delighted to announce a clutch of promotions and arrivals across the teams that assist individuals and trusts.

Helen Ratcliffe – Helen was delighted to be appointed as the first female senior partner of BDB in June of this year – it seems very appropriate, in the centenary year of Women’s Suffrage, to see another glass ceiling disappearing. Helen becomes one of a select group of female senior partners at leading London law firms. With an international client base, Helen acts for clients from offshore trust jurisdictions, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the US. She balances structuring and planning advice with more contentious matters and works closely with advisers in other jurisdictions.

Patrick Lynam – Paddy has been promoted to legal director and now heads the country house team. He advises individuals, trustees and institutional landowners on matters relating to the management of their rural property holdings and also assists with a substantial amount of development work, including the preparation of promotion agreements, options and overage deeds. As part of BDB’s integrated service he works closely with the tax, trusts and estate planning team in relation to the capital tax planning and administration of estates for landed portfolios. He has a particular interest in advising those with equine interests and enterprises.

Hamish Frost – Hamish has been promoted to trust director. He joined BDB in 2002 and now heads up the trust management team whilst also managing his own large and diverse portfolio of trusts. He deals with the UK tax compliance aspects for all relevant taxes affecting UK resident trusts as well dealing with the day to day management of trust assets, with a particular focus on trustee investing. As well as assisting UK trustees Hamish also advises a number of offshore trustees where they have UK resident beneficiaries.

Paul Gallagher – Paul has been promoted to tax director. He joined the firm in 2000 from a national accountancy practice, having previously trained with HMRC. Over the years he has helped a wide variety of both resident and non-resident individuals navigate the many changes to the tax legislation and the associated tax compliance / reporting requirements.

Harpreet Dehal – We’re delighted to announce that Harpreet Dehal recently joined us as a senior trust manager. He is an FCCA-qualified accountant and will be dealing with all aspects of trust administration, concentrating on the preparation of trust accounts and tax returns. He will also deal with charity accounts.

The tax team has been further boosted at grass roots with Ollie Lawson (Trust and Tax Assistant) and Emma Crudgington (Trust Assistant) joining it as junior members.

Russell Newman – Many readers of Individual Matters will have trusts whose day to day taxation and trust management needs are cared for by our trust and tax team and some will have had regular contact over a long period with Russell Newman, a stalwart member of that team for an impressive 28 years. We are both sorry (for our sake) and delighted (for his) to record that Russell retired earlier this year. His pleasure in analysing a set of accounts is a rare quality and one that we fear he may not have enough opportunity to indulge in a retirement where he hopes to spend more time travelling by bike and enjoying real ales and fine wines.

We are also delighted to announce the arrival of David Thompson as a partner in our family team. His practice encompasses a broad range of matrimonial disputes with a particular focus on complex financial and international matters, and he has a wealth of experience in family law instructions with jurisdictional, cross-border trust and company dimensions. He is also an enthusiastic and experienced mediator.

We have little space left here for the many awards that the team has garnered over the last year, both individual and team-based. But our commitment to developing talent means it is always good to see younger members gaining recognition so we want to squeeze in at least a couple. Alexandra Parris has been shortlisted for the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards 2019, awards that champion women in the wealth sector and highlight the female leaders of today and tomorrow. Sabrina Underwood is one of eprivateclient’s ‘Top 35 under 35’ 2018. Sabrina is particularly interested in art and heritage law and, as a member of our art and cultural property team, has recently assisted consultant Susan Johnson in updating the section on heritage property in Tolley’s Administration of Estates Looseleaf.


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