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Home / News and Insights / News / BDB Pitmans recognised in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020

The Chambers High Net Worth guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms for international private wealth management work and related specialisms.

Family offices and professional advisers to wealthy individuals refer to the annual guide for objective guidance on an international scale. These recommendations are based on in-depth market analysis carried out by Chambers’ team of experienced researchers.

In the Chambers High Net Worth 2020 guide, BDB Pitmans is ranked in the following areas:

  • Private Wealth Law – Band 4 (London) and Band 2 (Reading and surrounds);
  • Private Wealth Disputes – Band 4 (London); and
  • Real Estate: High Value Residential – Band 3 (UK).

The market feedback praised BDB Pitmans for its ‘highly responsive and professional’ private wealth team which provides domestic and international wealth planning advice to high net worth individuals and families, with a source stating ‘they’re really great and have a good team of talented lawyers’ and ‘it’s a well-respected and user-friendly firm. They can cover all aspects of legal advice in a proactive and helpful way’. In the Thames Valley, BDB Pitmans is well-respected and sources praised the private wealth team for being ‘incredibly professional, highly knowledgeable and very efficient when it comes to delivering on timescales’, adding that ‘the output of the work always exceeds expectations and the feedback from clients has been excellent too’.

Sources also noted BDB Pitmans’ respected will and trust disputes practice, noting ‘even on a challenging case, it’s pleasant to deal with them’ and the team were described as ‘sensible and easy to work with’. The residential property team’s reputation for handling high-value property transactions for domestic and international high net worth clients, particularly in leasehold enfranchisement and refinancing matters, was also recognised. In the 2020 guide, one property lawyer stated ‘if they are on the other side you are really happy as you know they are good at the work and are a quality firm’, and another source remarked: ‘I’ve been impressed; they are responsive and have some good people there’.

Notable practitioners:

Private Wealth Law

Helen Ratcliffe advises on domestic and international tax and estate planning matters. Her clients include wealthy individuals and families as well as trustees and beneficiaries. A barrister says Ratcliffe is ‘really good; very thorough and really calm,’ adding that ‘she has great intellectual ability and I would highly recommend her.’

Judith Millar regularly acts for high net worth clients on trusts and estate planning, and one interviewee reports: ‘She is very personable and empathetic, but couples this with a wide range of technical knowledge and the ability to draw out the key issues in any scenario.’ Another source notes: ‘She is hugely experienced and a master at grasping very complex cases.’

Sheilagh Magee is described as a ‘safe pair of hands’ by a fellow solicitor. She assists individuals and families with estate planning, the establishment and administration of trusts, and wills. ‘She is very knowledgeable, but also has a good rapport with her clients, which is extremely important,’ says an interviewee.

Private Wealth Disputes

Geoffrey Kertesz is considered to be an ‘absolutely smashing’ practitioner. ‘He’s an incredibly articulate bloke who is on top of what’s happening in the contentious trusts space,’ says one interviewee, while another says he is ‘excellent – proactive, practical and he keeps me informed.’

Lucinda Brown joined BDB Pitmans in Spring 2020, having previously been a partner at Hewitsons. She has experience in the full gamut of private client disputes, including contentious trusts and probate matters. She is described by one peer as a ‘very practical, sensible and capable pair of hands.’ The peer adds: ‘I am happy to have her on the other side.’ Another industry source says: ‘She is very helpful, logical and measured and considers matters fully, discussing any options with me before putting pen to paper. Her letters are brilliant and she conveys the points that need to be made in a very tactful and helpful way in order to make progress.’

Lorraine Jeffery is building a strong reputation as a senior associate handling high-value private client disputes. Jeffery is said to be ‘efficient and good to work with,’ as well as being ‘focused, careful, a good team player and great on the detail.’

Real Estate: High Value Residential

Hema Anand handles high-value residential property matters for a broad range of individual and institutional clients in this market. She is recognised by sources for her expertise on enfranchisement matters.

John Stephenson is highly regarded for his expertise in leasehold enfranchisement matters, with one peer praising him as ‘the star of the enfranchisement world who is the godfather of this world.’ The peer adds: ‘It is always a pleasure when I find him on the other side as he can handle complicated cases excellently.’ Another source notes that ‘he is very nice to work with, commercially-minded, responsive and practical.’

Tristan Ward is ‘a really big name in this space’ and is ‘one of the top individuals in this area.’ Ward advises a range of clients on high-value property matters, with a focus on rural and agricultural property. One peer notes that ‘he is a real academic, very intelligent and bright,’ before adding: ‘He is very strong for country houses and estates.’ A buying agent comments: ‘He is incredibly bright, very good with clients and always contactable, day or night.’

Read more about the guide here.

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