By Meir Linzen, Herzog, Fox & Neeman
For practitioners who deal with private clients in Israel, 2016 has been a very significant year – there have been major changes in the legislation and the case law affecting many private clients. This article summarises the main developments on both the tax and the family law side.
In this year’s edition, over 500 private client specialists are listed from over 200 firms across 51 jurisdictions.
Private client specialist Withers leads our research with 17 leading lawyers listed in its London office alone and a further 10 across Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the US.
Baker & McKenzie’s 10 listings are spread across London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and New York – the second largest onshore network in our research.
McDermott Will & Emery has a strong transatlantic offering with 10 individuals listed. Other leading outfits in the US include Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig.
London-based Macfarlanes' 11 listings illustrate its position as a world-class centre of legal advice on wealth management. Other standout outfits in London include Charles Russell Speechlys with nine listings, Boodle Hatfield and Harcus Sinclair both with six leading names and Maurice Turnor Gardner with five.
Top Swiss firms include Schellenberg Wittmer, Walder Wyss and Lenz & Staehelin who have five listings each.
Across the offshore jurisdictions, Mourant Ozannes leads with 12 listings, closely followed Ogier and Appleby both with nine, Conyers Dill & Pearman with eight, and Maples and Calder with six.
The most highly regarded individuals are also recognised in this section.
In this section, we have identified over 140 of the leading trustees, private bankers, accountants and investment managers that service the private client industry worldwide.
Top outfits include Butterfield Trust with 12 listings covering Geneva, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
Rawlinson & Hunter is also widely recognised with 11 listings covering its offices in London, Geneva, Zurich, Cayman Islands, BVI, Jersey and Guernsey.
Other leading firms identified in this section for their strong presence in our research include Rothschild Trust, Summit Trust International, Vistra and Elian.
As tax avoidance and transparency remain prominent in both the social and political consciousness, a number of issues remain for international clients and their legal counsel. The stream of international regulatory structures introduced in the past few years has given rise to an abundance of compliance work. While issues of transparency threaten to undermine the very essence of private client work in some senses, regulation remains a hoop that must be jumped through and clients are striving to ensure that their tax and estate structures meet any and all new regulations. Contentious matters and philanthropic concerns still take up a great deal of time for many lawyers in this area, ensuring that the practice area is sufficiently diverse and busy.
The third edition of Who’s Who Legal: Private Client lists 492 leading practitioners from 247 firms across 51 countries, ensuring that it is one of the most comprehensive resources for expertise in this field.
For the trust and advisory services section of our research, we take a look at the leading trustees, private bankers and accountants serving the private client industry.
RBC Wealth Management, Rawlinson & Hunter and Butterfield Trust are among the leading names in the field.
The continued “internationalisation” of high net worth families has led to several new issues being faced by clients, and as a result their legal counsel. The introduction of new regulatory frameworks by the OECD and US revenue regarding tax avoidance has seen an increase of compliance work in the last year, while changes to EU inheritance and UK domicile laws have also been significant sources of work. The sustained high level of disputes is keeping litigators busy, and industry players expect that the coming year will be as fruitful as the last.
This year, we single out 440 lawyers and 117 private client trust and advisory professionals across 50 countries. Several firms perform particuarly well in our research, with Withers once again achieving the highest number of listings. Baker & McKenzie performs strongly with practitioners from its offices across Asia, Europe, the US and Latin America selected, as does Macfarlanes. Several offshore firms also stand out with Mourant Ozannes, Ogier and Conyers Dill & Pearman all earning an impressive number of inclusions. On the advisory and trust services side RBC Trust Company, Rawlinson & Hunter and Rothschild Trust all perform exceptionally well.
We also select the most highly regarded individuals in the world, including the top five lawyers in the London market and the five leading offshore practitioners.
“Internationalisation” is the word of the moment in private client circles, but what does it mean in practice for the legal industry? According to those we spoke to, the global spread of families’ members and fortunes, the emergence of new wealth in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and increased inter-governmental cooperation and extraterritorial legislation have generated new challenges and demands as well as establishing a “new norm” in which an integrated, global approach to succession or estate planning has become essential for law firms in order to remain competitive.
Who’s Who Legal is pleased to present the first edition of The International Who’s Who of Private Client Lawyers, which features the 318 most highly regarded practitioners in the world from 170 firms and 39 different countries. Withers is the best represented firm in our research, fielding a total of 17 lawyers from its “market-leading” private client practice. Next is Baker & McKenzie, which fields 10 individuals from seven of its offices and following closely behind is Macfarlanes, which has nine of its practitioners singled out. Holland & Knight, Ogier and Appleby all boast eight inclusions.
We also highlight the 10 leading private client lawyers in the world.
Private client work is a time-honoured practice with some of today’s leading firms dating back to the 18th century. However, what was once seen as a sideline business for corporate firms has become a lucrative practice largely dominated by medium-sized firms and boutiques. While other practice areas have been negatively impacted by the worldwide recession, the two certainties of life – death and taxes – have ensured that private client lawyers have not only maintained an active practice, but have seen considerable growth too.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.