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Home / News and Insights / Insights / Private wealth team news

We are delighted to report that Owen Byrne, who originally trained with the firm, and Sophie St John have been made partners in private wealth, and in addition to the Portrait team arrival, to announce a number of arrivals and promotions across the teams that assist individuals and trusts.

Owen Byrne (Partner)

Owen advises UK domiciled clients on wills, trusts, powers of attorney, tax planning and the administration of estates. He specialises in the long term protection of wealth between generations, merging technical advice as to tax efficiency with each family’s differing circumstances. Many of the families he acts for, or their trustees, own private family businesses, landed estates and significant chattels collections or heritage property, leading Owen to focus on maximising the availability of agricultural and business property reliefs and IHT heritage schemes.

Owen’s work involves a lot of interaction with colleagues across the firm including those in the family, private real estate, charities, corporate and commercial, and employment teams.

Sophie St John (Partner)

Sophie re-joined the private wealth team after an eight-year absence. During her absence Sophie was lead in-house legal counsel for a bank owned global trust business and more recently led the private client legal services team within a top 10 UK audit, tax and consultancy practice.

She has a particular focus and interest in advising entrepreneurs and family business owners in connection with pre and post-sale estate planning opportunities and internationally mobile individuals and families with a global footprint in connection with the issues they face in the context of cross border estate and succession planning, wealth holding and preservation structures. Sophie regularly works collaboratively with professionals from other disciplines and / or jurisdictions coordinating advice to achieve a clients aims and objectives.

Lorna du Sautoy (Legal Director)

Lorna is a member of the private real estate team. She has a wide-ranging practice incorporating prime and super prime London residential property and other luxury property assets including country mansions and estates, racing stables, vineyards, country house hotels, golf clubs and more. She also advises on the legal aspects of construction, design and development of property and secured lending transactions.

Her international client base includes high net worth individuals and their companies, overseas and institutional investors, family offices, charities, banks and trusts. Lorna works closely with agents, brokers, planners, developers, lenders and other bodies and is passionate about providing practical, responsive and quality advice.

During the past year we have also been joined in the London office by Cheryl Gayer as an associate (will and trusts disputes) and in private wealth by Rebecca Harridge as a solicitor and Madeleine Swanepoel as a trust manager.

Alice Balcombe (family) and Sarah Giles (private wealth) have been promoted to senior associate and Annie Wogel (family) has been promoted to associate.

Many congratulations go to Annmarie Forster and Rebecca Harridge who both passed the STEP advanced certificate in the taxation of trusts and estates with distinction.

Chambers High Net Worth ranks the leading lawyers and law firms for international private wealth and is based on in-depth analysis carried out by a dedicated team of experienced researchers. In the 2022 edition of the guide, BDB Pitmans has once again been ranked in the categories private wealth law (in both London and Reading and surrounds) and real estate: high value residential (London). And we are delighted to report that eight partners and consultants, Lucinda Brown, Helen Ratcliffe, Jonathan Colclough, Judith Millar, Sheilagh Magee, Hema Anand, John Stephenson and Tristan Ward have also been personally recognised as notable practitioners and Alexander Morgan has been listed as an ‘associate to watch’.

We are pleased to report that Annmarie Forster has been named as one of Citywealth’s Top Recommended 40 Under 40 for 2022. This is a research-led editorial feature highlighting the ‘need to know’ people in the wealth management and private client industries in that age bracket.

The Citywealth Magic Circle Awards has brought together leading professionals from the UK’s top firms in recognition of the industry’s achievements for over 16 years and this year we have been recognised in three categories. The firm secured silver in the ‘Art Advisory Law Firm of the year’ category. Our arts team is headed by Hugo Smith and Susan Johnson. Hema Anand took home bronze in the ‘Lawyer of the Year’ category and Helen Ratcliffe received the prestigious ‘Editor’s Choice Award’.

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