Private Client 2018: Analysis

Our research for this year’s edition of WWL: Private Client has identified 642 outstanding practitioners spread across 52 jurisdictions. They warrant inclusion for their work in advising individuals, families, companies and charities on matters that range from taxation to trust structuring to asset management.

Withers continues to be the leading firm in the space, with 28 standout lawyers listed from across the world, while Ogier impresses with its work in the Channel Islands, and Macfarlanes boasts a strong showing in London.


Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research. We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.
The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.


Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Jonathan Conder Macfarlanes LLP
2. Ceris Gardner Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
3. Toby Graham Farrer & Co LLP
4. Nick Jacob Forsters LLP
5. Arabella Murphy Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
6. Clare Maurice Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP
7. Jeremy Kosky Clifford Chance LLP
8. Rupert Ticehurst Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
UK Bar
1. Elspeth Talbot Rice QC XXIV Old Buildings, London
2. Gilead Cooper QC Wilberforce Chambers, London


Retains its position as the leading firm in the market, with an impressive 18 practitioners listed. The firm’s reputation in the private client field is cemented by its continuing presence in succession planning and wealth management matters.
Dawn Goodman is a seasoned litigator with experience representing clients in a wide variety of jurisdictions, including offshore cases. Her focus on estate, trust and marital disputes wins her praise from peers who note her deep expertise in the field.
Steven Kempster offers extensive experience in private client matters, drawing praise for his top-flight work on disputes relating to estates, trusts and charities on a domestic and international scale.
Philip Munro is a standout practitioner in international succession planning, with peers stating that he is “excellent for international law”, “great to work with” and “very commercial” in his approach.
Paul Hewitt is well regarded for his dedicated work in private client dispute resolution with a focus on trust and probate matters. His wide-ranging experience includes removal of trustees, inheritance claims and will rectification.
Stephen Richards excels in cross-border work relating to trust and succession disputes, advising clients on topics such as will validity and professional negligence of executors and trustees.
Jay Krause focuses his standout practice on advising clients on cross-border taxation and business structuring questions, Sources remark that Krause is “great on US issues”.
Sophie Dworetzsky handles an array of business structuring issues for international clients, with sources noting that she is “excellent on cross-border matters”. She is also well known for providing in-depth advice on complex foreign tax questions.
Julia Abrey is a highly experienced practitioner who specialises in issues relating to probate and succession planning.


An extremely strong player in the field, recognised for its specialism in private client work. Eleven of its lawyers are highlighted here for their ability in the area.
Jonathan Conder is the foremost lawyer in the field in London, according to our research. Sources describe him as an “excellent practitioner” who is “very knowledgeable in the area”, referencing his outstanding work on a range of tax and estate planning matters.
“Tremendous practitioner” Piers Barclay dedicates his practice to private client matters, providing top-tier advice on succession, tax and estate issues both for domestic and international clients.
Charles Gothard advises families, entrepreneurs and their related businesses on estate planning and asset management, regularly involving complex tax planning. Additionally, he is very experienced in cross-border work, with a particular focus on Switzerland.
Sebastian Prichard Jones is a well-regarded practitioner who focuses on providing expert advice to entrepreneurs and families on international tax planning and asset-holding structuring.
Charles Lloyd leads the group’s trust and probate litigation team, boasting extensive experience in international litigation that touches on trust and asset disputes.
Oliver Court is recommended for his work on domestic and international tax planning, in addition to trust and estate planning, structuring and administration.

Farrer & Co

This firm sees 11 practitioners recognised in our guide, reflecting its extensive presence in the private client field.
Toby Graham heads the firm’s trusts and estates team and is recognised by sources as a highly experienced practitioner who is “excellent with clients” in contentious private client matters. Sources describe him as “simply the best estate and trust litigator in the UK”.
Russell Cohen possesses vast experience in advising clients on asset management, succession planning and family governance, bringing to bear his deep knowledge of international tax regimes and immigration issues.
Jeremy Gordon is a “clever practitioner” who expertly represents clients in a wide array of contentious private client matters, focusing on cross-border trust and estates disputes.
Mark Bridges is highlighted by peers for his work in tax, trust and estate issues, where he has experience advising high net worth individuals and families on complex cross-border matters.
Sarah von Schmidt boasts a dedicated private client practice, impressing peers with her work on succession planning and family governance. Sources state that she is “one of the most charming lawyers you will ever meet – and one of the best”.
Nick Dunnell is described by interviewees to be an “excellent practitioner” who focuses on providing in-depth advice on tax planning and wealth structuring for a variety of domestic and international clients.

Charles Russell Speechlys

Continues to be a major figure in the market, with nine outstanding lawyers listed.
Piers Masters is a “very talented technical lawyer” who is well regarded for his work advising high-net-worth individuals and families across the world. Sources say that he “leads by impeccable example” and is “excellent” with clients thanks to his “great bedside manner”.
Graeme Kleiner leads the firm’s contentious estates and trusts group, representing clients on a wide variety of disputes with complex cross-border and offshore elements.
Suzanne Marriott is a widely known in the market as an expert in domestic and international tax planning, as well as for her advice on a broad range of estate and asset management matters that include probates, inheritance claims and art holdings. 
Roberta Harvey draws praise from peers for her work in contentious private client matters, with a focus on trust disputes in domestic and offshore proceedings.
The “very impressive” Henry Fea boasts significant experience in a wide variety of private client matters, ranging from the creation of trusts to UK residency questions.
Catriona Syed has extensive experience of advising domestic and international clients on issues relating to asset-holding structures, tax planning and documentation, with sources highlighting her “great experience in cross-border wealth planning”.

Maurice Turnor Gardner

This leading firm in the UK market has seven leading practitioners highlighted here.
Ceris Gardner advises clients on a broad range of private client matters, including tax and succession planning and trust creation and administration. Her experience and talent are recognised by peers who affirm that she is “one of the best-regarded lawyers around”.
Arabella Murphy leads the firm’s private wealth team and is highly regarded for her work in advising individuals, families and financial institutions on wealth planning and asset-holding structures.
Clare Maurice is described by sources as a “very formidable performer who is at the top of her game”, a reference to her outstanding private client practice, which provides advice on domestic and international succession planning matters.
Ed Powles focuses his strong practice on providing in-depth advice on trust, taxation and estate matters as they relate to both domestic and international clients.


The firm achieves seven listings in this edition.
Nick Jacob is a leading figure in the private client market who advises clients on wealth management and family succession planning. Sources note that he is “at the top of the game” and is “truly exceptional, especially when it comes to family governance”.
Patrick Harney has extensive experience in tax and trust planning, with a focus on UK, US and Irish proceedings. Interviewees state that Harney is a “fantastic speaker who is very well known in the dual US/UK space”.
Emily Exton is highlighted for her skill in contentious matters, with sources describing her as a “very experienced litigator”. Her practice features notable expertise in matters such as wills, professional negligence of executors and trustees and inheritance claims.
Rupert Mead is an “extremely reliable” and well-regarded private client lawyer who is highly experienced in advising family businesses and land-holding individuals on tax and succession planning.

Boodle Hatfield

Seven practitioners from this well-known boutique are recognised.
Simon Rylatt is highly experienced and knowledgeable in domestic and international estate planning for high net worth individuals and family businesses, with peers noting that he is a “very clever and sharp practitioner”.
Hayden Bailey is a specialist in UK tax planning, advising domestic and international clients on the relevant UK tax regulations. Impressed sources describe him as “extremely knowledgeable” in the area.
Sue Laing is well known for providing outstanding advice on asset management and protection matters for high net worth clients, who benefit from her extensive knowledge of tax, trust and estate matters.
Andrea Zavos leads the firm’s private client and tax team and is highly regarded as a sophisticated and knowledgeable practitioner in the area, with notable expertise in complex cross-border disputes.

UK Bar

Serle Court

Continues to be identified as a leading set in the field, boasting eight practitioners listed, of whom five are silks.
Dakis Hagen QC focuses his practice on disputes relating to asset-holding structures, such as fraud and professional negligence. His ability in the field leads sources to note that he is “super bright and a real asset to any team”.
Dominic Dowley QC has notable experience of representing clients in a wide range of proceedings, impressing sources with his work on contentious trusts and asset tracing.
Alan Boyle QC is a highly experienced barrister and “very effective advocate” who is particularly recognised for his work on trust and probate cases, including trust matters.
Constance McDonnell is a prominent junior who specialises in trust, probate, inheritance and estate disputes, including the removal of executors and trustees. She is highlighted by peers as “meticulous, ferocious when she needs to be and a fabulous practitioner”.
Richard Wilson QC has a broad practice spanning traditional and chancery litigation with a focus on trust and probate work, in addition to inheritance, tax and fraud proceedings. Sources say, “Richard has a great reputation and is a delight as an opponent.” 

Pump Court Tax Chambers

A standout set for tax work in the private client sector, achieving seven listings in our guide.
Emma Chamberlain is a highly skilled and knowledgeable trust and tax barrister, focusing her work on capital tax planning for clients. Peers describe her as a “fount of knowledge” who provides “extremely sophisticated advice”.
William Massey QC is “one of the go-to people” in the field, according to interviewees. He offers highly experienced representation in personal and corporate tax matters, with expertise in issues such as estate and trust tax planning and property concerns.
James Rivett focuses his practice on providing assistance in contentious and non-contentious proceedings to clients on personal, corporate and indirect taxation questions.
Richard Vallat QC boasts extensive experience in revenue and taxation matters, with interviewees affirming that he “has an encyclopaedic knowledge of revenue law, is very approachable and gives clear and comprehensive advice”.

5 Stone Buildings

Seven highly experienced barristers are recognised here.
Shân Warnock-Smith QC is “a highly respected advocate with great knowledge and experience”. Sources highlight her as “skilled for offshore trust litigation”.
Penelope Reed QC “has a great reputation at the Bar, and is a firm but fair opponent, according to interviewees. She focuses her top-flight practice on matters that include estate, trust and inheritance disputes.
Henry Legge QC draws praise for his work in the private client field, as he excels in matters relating to estate and trust disputes, often with a cross-border element.
Tracey Angus QC stands out for her work on trust, inheritance and property disputes, representing a wide variety of clients in domestic and international proceedings.

Wilberforce Chambers

Continues to be a strong set in the market, with five top practitioners highlighted.
Gilead Cooper QC impresses peers and clients alike with his standout work in trust fiduciary duty disputes, with sources noting that he is “extraordinarily bright with a keen sense of strategy”, as well as being “creative, agile intellectually and someone who uses his wit to his advantage”.
Robert Ham QC is a highly experienced silk, boasting expertise in offshore, pension and trust disputes. Interviewees describe him as a “giant in the field” whose “knowledge and experience really is unparalleled”.
Jonathan Hilliard QC focuses his standout practice on trust disputes, ranging from private to commercial trusts and extending to fraud and family law elements. His talent is recognised by sources who call him a “clever, most hard-working, ferocious young silk, who gives you 100 per cent”.

XXIV Old Buildings

This set sees six strong practitioners recognised in this edition.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC impresses peers with her work in domestic and international proceedings, with a focus on offshore jurisdictions. Peers state that she is “very well known and respected as a practitioner” and “never leaves you in any doubt on what you should do”.
David Brownbill QC is identified by peers as an “excellent practitioner” who draws praise for his work on international trust proceedings, with a broad jurisdictional focus.
Alan Steinfeld QC boasts wide-ranging experience working on proceedings in offshore jurisdictions. Sources comment: “Alan is quite understandably rated – he’s a very effective advocate.”

Other Leading Individuals

At Clifford Chance, Jeremy Kosky is a "properly good" lawyer who has "been involved in trusts disputes for years and years". He represents a variety of clients in complex, cross-border cases that often involve international trust matters.
“Great lawyer” Maxine Mossman is a sophisticated trusts litigator, working for clients including trustees, individuals and financial institutions on matters that often involve international elements.

Rupert Ticehurst of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is once again named as a Global Elite Thought Leader for his standout expertise. He brings extensive experience of working on contentious and non-contentious proceedings, centred around trust, estate and tax disputes.

Sullivan & Cromwell's Basil Zirinis III is described by peers as an "outstanding practitioner" for his work in matters such as family governance, estate and trust advisory work and litigation. One peer highlights his experience in transatlantic issues, calling him "my favourite in US/UK matters".

Anthony Poulton of Baker McKenzie is an experienced and “highly recommended” litigator who focuses his top-flight practice on family governance issues and trusts disputes.

Nicola Saccardo at Maisto e Associati is well versed in a wide range of private client matters with an emphasis on tax issues relating to trusts and estates. His skill in the area prompts sources to assert that “he is excellent, definitely a leader in his field”.

Jonathan Burt at Harbottle & Lewis is an "excellent lawyer" with an "immense intellect", say market commentators. He has significant experience in private client matters, in particular concerning UK regulations and their implications on foreign assets.

At McDermott Will & Emery, Nicholas Holland is "a very personable" practitioner who "charms the courts" as well as providing "very creative solutions" on contentious issues.
Ziva Robertson is a "high-end practitioner" who excels in dispute resolution and delivering solutions in trust and estate matters.
Astrid Owen focuses her top-flight practice on providing in-depth advice to family businesses. Sources say: "Astrid has an enviable book of clients and is incredibly driven in the pursuit of their goals."

Helen Ratcliffe of Bircham Dyson Bell boasts a highly developed practice that spans a wide range of jurisdictions, expertly advising on matters that touch on estate and tax planning, governance and trust issues. Peers note her as a “very efficient and client-oriented” lawyer.

James Price at Stewarts leads the firm’s trust and probate litigation group, adeptly representing clients that range from high-net-worth individuals to charity trustees on an extensive range of trust matters.

Nicholas Le Poidevin QC at New Square Chambers is a top-notch silk and “a huge name in private client litigation”, according to respondents. He specialises in trust and estate work, representing and advising clients in offshore and onshore jurisdictions.



For the purposes of this editorial, the following jurisdictions are considered “offshore”: Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Mauritius. This definition is to enable the grouping of multi-jurisdiction offshore law firms who would otherwise have to be covered across multiple geographical regions.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Carlos de Serpa Pimentel Appleby, Grand Cayman
2. Morven McMillan Maples and Calder, Grand Cayman
3. Steve Meiklejohn Ogier, St. Helier
4. Henry Mander Harneys, Grand Cayman
5. Jonathan Speck Mourant Ozannes, St. Helier

Mourant Ozannes

Remains a leader in offshore markets, seeing 14 excellent practitioners listed in various offshore jurisdictions.
Jonathan Speck is a long-standing figure in the field, working particularly in a contentious and advisory role in trust proceedings. Peers describe him as an “established name in Jersey”, who is “excellent on his feet in court”.
Edward Devenport heads the firm’s international trust and private client group. Peers highlight various of his skills, stating that he is “excellent technically and takes a practical approach to problem solving”.
Giles Corbin provides top-flight advisory work in non-contentious matters relating to trusts and foundations. Peers affirm that “engaging Giles is always a good decision; he is invariably excellent”.
The “highly talented” Matthew Guthrie is a “thinking man’s lawyer” who is “very bright”, comment impressed sources. He expertly advises wealthy individuals, families and trusts on structuring asset protection vehicles while boasting an in-depth knowledge of the Guernsey regulatory regime.
Robert Shepherd is a seasoned lawyer with extensive knowledge of trust matters, including fraud, disclosure and litigation proceedings. Peers also highlight his client relationship skills, stating that he is “great with clients; a real people person”.
Bruce Lincoln draws praise for his work in contentious matters with an emphasis on trust disputes in addition to his advisory work on trust administration. Peers state that Lincoln “really knows his stuff - he’s clever and has excellent judgement in difficult matters”.
“Excellent practitioner” Eleanor Morgan is a “top name in the BVI”. She has extensive experience in litigating trusts and funds.


A standout offshore firm with 11 practitioners highlighted in our guide.
Steve Meiklejohn impresses peers and clients with his standout work in the private client space, with sources describing him as “the most technically gifted and knowledgeable trust practitioner in Jersey, with excellent judgement based on a wealth of experience”.
Sources note Rachael Reynolds’ ability and standing in the private client field, stating that she is “one of the best” with a “superb reputation amongst her peers”.
Marcus Leese is well regarded as a highly experienced practitioner in private wealth management matters, with sources noting his “excellent all-around knowledge”, his “ability to be available 24/7” and his advice “that is prompt, learned and, most importantly, useable”.
Sally Edwards advises trustees, beneficiaries and settlors on a wide variety of trust matters. Sources highlight her “intelligence, in-depth understanding of the law and clarity of thought”, in addition to her “incisive and cutting-edge legal advice that has a high degree of practicality”.
Anthony Partridge is a dedicated private client practitioner with extensive knowledge in matters such as cross-border succession planning, funds and probate issues. Peers recognise him as an “excellent practitioner” as well as describing him as “extremely likeable and knowledgeable”.
Gavin Ferguson is an “excellent lawyer" who is very well known in the space. He leads the firm’s private client and trust group and excels in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Carey Olsen

This leading offshore firm achieves nine listings in this year’s guide.
Russell Clark advises clients on complex trust, succession and estate matters, with sources highlighting him as “excellent on trust work” and describing him as “Mr Private Client in Guernsey”.
“Outstanding lawyer” Keith Robinson is a seasoned private client litigator and a “top performer” in the space. He represents clients on an array of intricate trust restructurings and disputes
Alexa Saunders is a “great lawyer” with a “strong profile” for trust matters. She provides top-quality advice on the trust creation and administration and also represents clients in trust dispute proceedings.
Konrad Friedlaender is well regarded for his work spanning the lifecycle of a wide range of trusts, including pensions, employee benefit schemes and private trusts, with sources describing him as an “excellent and approachable lawyer”.
Victoria Connolly is a dedicated private client lawyer with extensive experience advising on trust matters.

Conyers Dill & Pearman

Nine lawyers from firm’s Bermuda and Cayman Islands offices are recognised.
Alec Anderson is described peers as an “excellent” and “outstanding lawyer” for his work on private client and trust work. He is particularly focused on trust and estate planning as well as liability and structuring issues.
Paul Smith is a highly talented litigator who heads the firm’s Cayman Islands litigation group. He draws praise for his work in commercial litigation with an emphasis on trust and restructuring disputes.
Anna Bruce-Smith impresses sources with her emphasis on private client matters, expertly advising clients on issues that range from the creation and structuring of international trusts to advising trustees on their professional duties.
“First-class lawyer” Robert Lindley is described by interviewees as having a “strong grasp of what matters to the client, allied with a forthright and direct but charming manner”.
Helen Cooper boasts significant expertise in a wide variety of matters relating to trusts and property concerns, acting for clients that include charities, individuals and trustees.


Remains a highly present offshore firm, seeing seven practitioners recognised.
Carlos de Serpa Pimentel is a standout practitioner and the leading name for offshore work in this year’s research. Peers describe him as “one of the best” and “an impeccable client communicator who is exceptionally well-experienced”.
Vanessa Schrum leads the firm’s Bermuda private client and trusts team and boasts extensive experience and ability in a broad range of trust matters, prompting peers to state that she is “arguably Bermuda’s best trust lawyer”.

Other Leading Individuals

British Virgin Islands

Arabella di Iorio of Advocates BVI is a highly experienced and talented practitioner with significant expertise in trusts and related litigation. Peers praise her as an “outstanding practitioner” with an “excellent attention to detail and to clients’ needs”.

Cayman Islands

Morven McMillan of Maples and Calder is a highly regarded practitioner with expertise in contentious and non-contentious trust issues. Sources highlight her “steely determination” and state that her “contentious trust experience really adds value to non-contentious planning”.

Henry Mander at Harney Westwood & Riegels is a sophisticated lawyer in the private client area, offering extensive expertise in trust and estate planning. Interviewees noting that he is “one of the finest Cayman trust lawyers out there”.


Alasdair Davidson at Bedell Cristin is a sought-after litigator with “a wealth of experience and a real depth of knowledge” in private client disputes.

Collas Crill’s Angela Calnan is a dedicated private client lawyer with a focus on offshore trusts. Peers highlight her as “personable and professionally top-class”.


At Matheson, John Gill is a well-respected private client lawyer who draws praise from peers and clients alike for his “encyclopaedic knowledge of Irish succession law and associated tax rules” as well as his “strong technical ability”.
Paraic Madigan leads the group’s private client team and wins praise for his “very broad experience and skill in international work”. He advises on a range of matters in the field that include trust and estate disputes, tax planning and wills.

Isle of Man

Independent practitioner John Rimmer is an “expert in private client work” with extensive experience in the field. His practice covers issues such as trusts, estate and wealth protection vehicles.


Zillah Howard at Bedell Cristin is an expert in private client matters, with a particular focus on the creation and administration of trusts, foundations and charities. Sources are quick to highlight her “excellent technical knowledge in both trusts and charity law”.


EMEA (excluding London and offshore jurisdictions)

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Daniel Bader Bär & Karrer, Zurich
2. Manuel Liatowitsch Schellenberg Wittmer, Zurich
3. Marnin J Michaels Baker McKenzie Zurich, Zurich
4. Alon Kaplan Alon Kaplan International Law Firm, Tel Aviv
5. Meir Linzen Herzog Fox & Neeman, Tel Aviv

Leading Firms 

Schellenberg Wittmer

A leading Swiss firm in the area, achieving six listings.
Global Elite Thought Leader Manuel Liatowitsch is a "sharp and bright practitioner" with "deep knowledge" in the field. He represents clients in contentious estate proceedings in addition to his advisory work on succession and governance matters.
David Wallace Wilson is a "smart and very elegant practitioner" who is "up to date with any trust-related matter". His expertise includes working closely with individuals and families in estate planning and wealth structuring issues.
Andrea Dorjee-Good "really stands out" as a "great thinker who provides solutions" in relation to "cross-border" estate and trust planning, structuring and litigation matters.
Bernard Vischer wins praise for his experience in the financial elements of private client issues, expertly advising on banking and enterprise succession questions, as well as on trust and estate matters.

Walder Wyss

Continues to have a strong presence in the market, with six practitioners highlighted.
Philippe Pulfer adeptly advises clients on international estate planning and wealth management, in addition to his top-flight trust and succession dispute work. Peers assert that he is "a pleasure to work with".
Philippe Nordmann is commended by interviewees as a "down-to-earth, cooperative, knowledgeable and reasonable" practitioner with superb expertise in estate and tax planning.

Lenz & Staehelin 

This leading Swiss firm achieves five listings here.
Jean-Blaise Eckert is an "extremely good" practitioner who is widely respected for his tax and wealth management prowess.
Mark Barmes is described by sources as "sharp and dedicated to his clients", proficiently handling a wide range of private client issues for them.

Other Leading Individuals


Niklas Schmidt at Wolf Theiss leads the firm’s tax group, deploying his extensive experience in domestic and international tax planning for private clients.


Alain Nijs at Argo Law impresses peers and clients alike in the space, with sources noting that he “has the technical skills, but more importantly he has a client approach that allows him to look for pragmatic, client-focused solutions”.


Line-Alexa Glotin of UGGC Avocats is an expert in taxation, advising clients that include families, investors and high-profile individuals on business structuring and asset management.

At Tirard Naudin, Maryse Naudin is a well-known player in the space, who draws praise from sources for her "excellent knowledge in trust matters" in addition to her expertise in tax issues.
Jean-Marc Tirard is an outstanding private client practitioner who offers clients extensive experience in advising on domestic and international tax and estate planning.


Andreas Richter at P+P Pöllath + Partners is highlighted for his outstanding knowledge of tax issues and their intersection with private client work. He efficiently advises individuals and families on trust and succession planning.


Alon Kaplan of Alon Kaplan International Law Firm is a seasoned practitioner with vast experience and “excellent expertise” in the field, advising clients on trusts and their most complex estate planning issues.

Meir Linzen at Herzog Fox & Neeman is praised by clients and peers alike for his outstanding expertise in trust and tax matters, with sources highlighting the "depth of his knowledge and experience" as well as his "total commitment to the client".


Maxim Alekseyev at ALRUD Law Firm is a “highly valued” lawyer who is “great to work with”, according to peers. He has a plethora of experience in advising high-net-worth individuals on issues including asset management and family governance.


Sonia Velasco at Cuatrecasas is a highly experienced tax practitioner with an emphasis on domestic and international wealth and succession planning. She has deep expertise in US trust and tax matters.


At Bär & Karrer, Daniel Bader is described as "excellent for private client work" for his expert advice on taxation matters relating to succession planning and wealth management issues.
Tina Wüstemann is a "very knowledgeable and energetic" practitioner who is regularly seen in trust and estate planning and litigation matters by impressed peers.

Marnin Michaels at Baker McKenzie is a seasoned practitioner in tax and cross-border wealth management and banking who possesses near-unrivalled experience advising clients with US connections.

Tobias Somary of CMS Legal Services impresses sources as an "intelligent, experienced, very practical and responsive" lawyer who "really digs deep in terms of ensuring the client gets the best advice possible".

The "excellent" and "highly recommended" Natalie Peter at Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law is widely respected for her work in cross-border taxation involving private clients.

Patricia Guerra of Meyerlustenberger Lachenal is "well known in the community", with a "strong reputation" for private client work. She is particularly experienced in Latin-American jurisdictions, boasting extensive experience in international and cross-border proceedings.


North America and the Caribbean (excluding offshore jurisdictions)

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. G Warren Whitaker Day Pitney LLP, New York
2. Joshua Rubenstein Katten Muchin & Rosenman LLP, New York
3. Paul Gibney Thorsteinssons LLP, Toronto

Leading Firms

McDermott Will & Emery 

Possesses a strong presence across the USA with six practitioners recognised.
Leigh-Alexandra Basha is a “very strong” practitioner in trust and estate planning for both domestic and international clients, with nearly 30 years of experience in the space.
Read Moore is a prominent and long-standing name in the field who advises both US and international clients on a wide range of estate and trust planning and tax issues.
Ellen Harrison is a seasoned practitioner with experience advising on a wide variety of tax, trust and estate matters. Impressed sources describe her as “absolutely superlative and one of the best US lawyers there is”.
Carlyn McCaffrey is a well-known and highly experienced practitioner who focuses her work on domestic and international tax and estate planning, as well as advising on matters relating to the administration of charities.


The leading private client firm in Canada in this year’s research, achieving five listings.
Elena Hoffstein is a highly rated private client lawyer in the Canadian market.  She advises on a wide range of estate planning and family succession matters with experience in domestic and international spheres.
Edgar Frechette is “strongly recommended” by interviewees for his standout practice, proving top-tier advice to high net worth individuals relating to succession planning, trust and estate management and taxation issues.

Other Leading Individuals


Higgs & Johnson’s Heather Thompson is recognised as "among the best" in the market by interviewees for her trust-related work, including trust creation, structuring and administration.


Paul Gibney at Thorsteinssons is highlighted by peers as “literally the go-to guy for Canadian private client matters”. They also note his “excellent technical ability and knowledge of tax planning both domestic and internationally”.

Marilyn Piccini Roy of Robinson Sheppard Shapiro is “an excellent lawyer” ,who expertly advises clients on a wide range of private client matters on both domestic and international levels.

Elie Roth at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg is a top name in Canada for sophisticated private client advice. He offers a variety of tax planning and international investment and trusts advice.

Margaret O’Sullivan at O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers is a highly experienced lawyer in the area, focusing her practice on providing top-notch advice to clients across a range of issues including estate, trust and will planning.


Warren Whitaker of Day Pitney is highlighted by peers for his “excellent reputation” in the space. They note that his “contributions to the trust and estate planning industry in the US are incomparable”.

Katten Muchin Rosenman’s Joshua Rubenstein leads the group’s trusts and estate team, advising a wide variety of clients that range from high net worth individuals to artists on a vast array of private client matters, with sources noting that he is “the most recognisable face of US wealth planning”.

Eric Fort at Arendt & Medernach advises on domestic and international tax planning in the context of private wealth management, boasting extensive in the market. Sources highlight him as “excellent for Luxembourg tax law”.

Alan Halperin at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is a seasoned and sophisticated practitioner who impresses sources with the depth of his knowledge in estate planning, tax and trust matters for family businesses and charities.

Stanley Barg at Kozusko Harris Duncan is “highly thought of in the market” thanks to his extensive experience in matters relating to tax, trusts and the US regulatory landscape in the area.


Latin America

Leading Individual


Humberto de Haro Sanches at Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra - Advogados is praised by sources as an "excellent practitioner" in the private client space who stands out for his international experience and skill in cross-border matters.



Hong Kong

At Withers, Katie Graves is the top name in Hong Kong in this year’s research. A talented private client lawyer, she advises clients on trust, estate and tax planning for high net worth families. She has notable expertise in UK tax matters.

Erik Wallace of Stephenson Harwood provides top-tier advice on succession planning issues for families and related parties on asset management vehicles and tax issues, with sources stating that he is “one of the best in his field in Hong Kong”.


Pinsent Masons MPillay’s Valerie Wu is a well-regarded expert in tax and asset management vehicles in the succession planning space, providing individuals and families with comprehensive tax and wealth management advice. 

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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.

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