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BDB Pitmans Ranked in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2019

The Chambers High Net Worth Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms for international private wealth. The guide covers private wealth management work and related specialisms in key jurisdictions around the world and provides objective guidance to family offices and professional advisers to wealthy individuals.

The recommendations are based on in-depth analysis provided by Chambers’ team of experienced researchers over a period of seven months.

The latest edition of the guide has been released and 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)
  • Real Estate: High Value Residential – Band 3 (UK)

BDB Pitmans received positive market feedback, with sources praising the efficiency and growth of the private wealth and will and trust disputes teams, stating ‘there is a constant exchange of information between the contentious and non-contentious department, which gives them quite an advantage representing clients’. Sources also noted the experience of the private wealth team, ‘they have vast experience and depth of expertise’. Other sources described the residential property team as ‘professional, efficient and responsive’ and were particularly complimentary of the firm’s ‘strong enfranchisement team’.

Highlights at an individual level include Sheilagh Magee being newly ranked and Lorraine Jeffery recognised as an ‘Associate to Watch’, an additional band for those who are at the forefront of their generation.

Notable practitioners:

Private Wealth Law

Helen Ratcliffe advises high net worth clients on tax and estate planning matters in the UK and internationally. She is particularly recognised in the market for her expertise in dealing with heritage property issues. A market insider notes: ‘Helen has a wealth of experience and brings a practical approach to estate planning and wealth structuring. Her breadth of experience on international matters is particularly helpful to international clients.’ Others say: ‘She is very responsive, solution-oriented and thorough,’ adding: ‘She is very clear and able to explain things in layman’s language.’ A fellow practitioner praises her, saying: ‘She has a nice way of putting technical concepts and advice across in a very digestible way. She has a nice bedside manner.’

Judith Millar works with UK and international clients on a variety of trust and estate planning matters including domicile and residency issues. One market insider comments on the depth of her expertise, saying: ‘She is very good on offshore trusts. She is pragmatic and can handle complex work, especially offshore issues.’ Another says: ‘She is very personable and empathetic but couples this with a wide range of technical knowledge and the ability to get right to the heart of the matter in question.’ Peers describe her as ‘lovely and bright,’ noting: ‘She has a very sort of understated style and is a very approachable, nice, straightforward person to deal with.’

Sheilagh Magee leads the private wealth team in Reading. Magee advises a broad range of clients on wealth protection and planning. A client says that, in a recent matter, ‘her experience was invaluable. I felt able to ask anything, nothing was too much trouble.’

Private Wealth Disputes

Geoffrey Kertesz leads the firm’s will and trust disputes team. A fellow lawyer says he is ‘a real superstar,’ and another market commentator adds that he ‘really knows his onions – technically he is a fantastic lawyer, he understands the sector and the law brilliantly.’ A barrister notes that ‘he has a very good reputation; he is very commercially aware and very bright.’

Lorraine Jeffery is a senior associate at the firm and advises on will and trust disputes for high net worth clients. A fellow lawyer says she is ‘really good; she is all over the detail, she is pragmatic and good with clients.’ Another market commentator adds that ‘she knows the cases inside out and is very on top of the law.’

Real Estate

Hema Anand advises high net worth clients on residential property transactions and enfranchisement matters. An estate agent enthuses that ‘her knowledge is the best around,’ and continues: ‘She’s very personable, very responsive and she knows the detail.’ Another interviewee says: ‘She’s so efficient, charming and capable,’ before adding that ‘her client care is second to none.’

John Stephenson advises on landlord and tenant matters and is particularly well regarded for his work on leasehold enfranchisement. ‘His knowledge of leasehold enfranchisement is unparalleled,’ notes an interviewee. A market source says: ‘He’s a first-class property litigator; he’s very personable, knowledgeable and experienced.’

Tristan Ward is ‘a landed estates specialist,’ according to a market adviser, who reports that ‘his knowledge of the law and dealing with estates is second to none.’ Another source praises his technical expertise and remarks: ‘His attention to detail is exceptional and he understands the academic side of the law much better than most.’ A buying agent enthuses: ‘He is terrifyingly technical in his knowledge, and if you want a thorny problem done properly, he’s your man.’

Read more about the guide here.