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Working with you and your clients

We understand how important it is for you to work with a legal partner you trust, who will be flexible, willing to collaborate and able to uphold the same high levels of client care you pride yourselves on.

We believe this, alongside the depth and breadth of our legal expertise, is why our enduring relationship with St. James’s Place of more than 15 years has been so successful.

When you introduce a client to us, we’ll be entirely led by you on how you’d like us to build our relationship. We’ll spend time getting to know them and listening to their concerns to ensure they receive the highest quality legal advice, and in turn, enhance your relationship with them.

Our goal is the same as yours – to achieve the best possible outcomes for your clients by providing the best possible advice.

Transparent referral fees

In most cases we pay St. James’s Place a referral fee on the instructions that we receive. This is typically 10% of our fee to the client. If you choose to waive this fee, we will discount our fee to the client by the same percentage.

View our fee schedule

How to refer a client to us

Referring a client to us is easy. Simply complete a referral form outlining your client’s situation and let us know whether they’d like to be contacted by us directly or would prefer to be introduced by you.

If you have any questions or would like a chat before referring your client, we’d be delighted to hear from you. There’s usually no charge for meetings before instructions are confirmed and we’d be happy to spend a day at your office if you have several clients you’d like us to meet.

Make a referral

What we’ll deliver to your client

After an initial conversation with your client we’ll follow up promptly with an outline of our discussion and an appointment letter setting out next steps, costs and seeking confirmation that they wish to go ahead.

Once your client has confirmed instructions and given us any additional information we need, we’ll draft the necessary documents and send them to your client for review with full explanatory notes. We’ll ensure they fully understand our recommendations and feel comfortable asking us questions throughout the process.

Once your client is happy and has what they need, we’ll:

  • Provide them with a copy of their documents, keeping the originals in our strong rooms at no extra charge
  • Contact the client periodically to ensure their documents are up to date
  • Offer, where appropriate, to have an annual review meeting as part of our ongoing retainer.

Rest assured that you’ll be copied in on all correspondence with your client unless you or your client would prefer that you aren’t.

How we can help your clients

Initial contact

To help you understand how we can support you and your client, we are always happy to have an initial chat with you on the phone. We offer this as a pre-instruction outline and it is a complimentary service.

When you are ready to formally introduce a client to us you will need to complete a referral form. This form outlines the basis of your referral and also includes details of the referral fee arrangement. We will then establish if your client would like to be contacted by us directly, via telephone or email, or if they would prefer to be introduced by you through a meeting at either your office or ours.

There is usually no charge for meetings held before instructions are confirmed. We are also happy to spend a day at your office if you have a few clients you would like us to meet.

Pricing

Our national rates are applicable to all of our offices, including London. This means we can offer your clients a city service at a competitive price.

Our costs are transparent and we offer a fixed fee pricing structure. This allows you to discuss potential costs with your clients to ensure that they are comfortable with the fees before you approach us.

Where a bespoke solution is required we will provide a fixed fee price in our engagement letter so that your clients are aware of the cost and value of our work for them.

Where it is not possible to quote a fixed fee, for instance because the work may involve input from other professionals or may change due to various decisions made during the course of the matter, we will provide an estimate based on our hourly rates. We will keep your client and you informed on the level of fees as the matter progresses.

Completion and referral fee

Completion

Once the matter has been completed, we will:

  • Provide the client with a copy of the documents. We will retain the originals in our strong rooms at no extra charge.
  • Contact the client periodically to ensure that the documents are up to date. Alterations to the documents may be needed following a change in the client’s circumstances.

Referral fee

We pay St. James’s Place a referral fee on the majority of instructions that we receive. This is typically 10% of our fee to the client. If you choose to waive the fee, our fee to the client will be discounted by the amount of the referral fee foregone.

A fixed fee will be agreed once the structure and any additional work or enhancements to the structures have been agreed.

Package or product

  • Flexible Will for a single person
  • Asset Protection Wills
  • Next Generation Protection Wills
  • Family Protection Wills
  • Exempt Asset trust bolt on
  • Property Discount bolt on
  • Right to occupy property
  • Option to buy property
  • Loan plan provisions

Guide Price to Client (plus VAT).

  • £1,550 to £2000 (single)
  • £2100 to £2,500 (per pair)
  • £2,400 to £3000 (per pair)
  • £2,700 to £3,300 (per pair)
  • £550 (single Will) to £800 (Mirror Wills)
  • £550 (single Will) to £800 (Mirror Wills)
  • £400 (single Will) (asset protection wills for mirror provisions)
  • £600 (single Will) to £900 (Mirror Wills)
  • £375 (single Will) to £500 (Mirror Wills) (for first loan plan, additional charges for multiple loan plans)

For over 100 years we have specialised in helping our clients and their families to organise their affairs and finances to provide financial security and enhanced quality of life in the future.

Tax and estate planning to protect your wealth for future generations

Our private wealth clients include individuals and families, landowners, businesses owners, entrepreneurs and others with interests in the UK and internationally. They trust our understanding of the law – and our expertise in putting it to work on their behalf.

Our services include:

  • Advising on and drafting different types of Wills tailored to meet clients’ personal estate planning, tax mitigation and asset protection objectives
  • Advising on and drafting Deeds of Variation
  • Business succession planning which consists of Wills and associated documents designed to maximise the benefit of business relief from inheritance tax, ensuring the inheritance tax payable on an estate, which includes business property, is minimised to the greatest possible extent
  • Reducing exposure to inheritance tax through tax efficient Wills
  • Professional executorship through Clarke Willmott Trust Corporation Limited, if required

Your Wills and Estate Planning contacts:

Wills and loan plans

Our services for Wills

Which Will

Our services for loan plans

Our team of power of attorney solicitors draw on many years of experience when advising individuals and families on making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) and their expertise extends way beyond drafting documentation to the highest standard (although that is a given).

Making a lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney (or LPA) is a document that outlines the decisions you would like your nominated attorney to make on your behalf, if you were to lose mental capacity in the future.

There are two types of lasting powers of attorney:

  • Health and welfare lasting power of attorney: this gives your attorney power to make decisions affecting your personal welfare such as where you live.
  • Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney: this gives your attorney power to manage your finances.

Why is an LPA important?

Without an LPA, your client would be unable to provide you with instructions with regard to their funds under management if they are found to no longer have the capacity to do so. In this situation, a deputyship application would be needed. This is a lengthy and expensive process and your client’s finances would be in limbo until it is completed.

Our LPA services include:

  • Detailed consideration of your client’s wishes and the drawing up of a suitable Lasting Power of Attorney to reflect these
  • The appointment of a person your client trusts to make these decisions on their behalf
  • The certification of the Lasting Power of Attorney – which confirms that the person making the Lasting Power of Attorney has the mental capacity to do so
  • Registration of the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian
  • Acting as a professional Attorney, through our trust corporation, Clarke Willmott Trust Corporation Limited. This can avoid the costs and inconvenience of replacing an Attorney if they fall ill or die

More information about our LPAs:

Your Lasting Powers of Attorney contacts:

Exclusive offer for your clients

For a limited period, our LPA (Property and Finance & Welfare) will be available at the exclusive rate to SJP Partners and their clients:

  • For a Financial or Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (for one person) – £358.33 plus vat. Plus registration fee of £82 per LPA.
  • For a Financial and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (for the same person) – £545.83 plus vat. Plus registration fee of £82 per LPA
  • For Mirror Lasting Powers of Attorney for a couple, either Financial or Welfare – £575 plus vat. Plus registration fee of £82 per LPA
  • For Mirror Lasting Powers of Attorney for a couple, both Financial and Welfare – £1000 plus vat. Plus registration fee of £82 per LPA

These fees include the registration of the LPA at the Court of Protection so that it is available for use as soon as it is needed.

Court fees of £82 per LPA (both Financial and Welfare) are not included and are payable in addition to the Court on registration.

Referral fees

If you complete the LPA questionnaire and take your fee £58.33 plus VAT
If you complete the questionnaire but decide to waive your fee (The client will receive a £58.33 plus VAT reduction in the fees shown above) Nil
If you do not complete the questionnaire (No reduction in the fee shown above) Nil

How does it work?

To begin the process, you will need to complete the LPA Questionnaire which is on the St. James’s Place intranet. Alternatively, we can arrange for the completion of this but no referral fee is then payable. You will need to be satisfied that the clients have capacity to make an LPA. If there is any doubt about their capacity a medical opinion will be needed prior to sending us the questionnaire. Once you have completed and sent us the referral form, we will then issue the client with our engagement letter and when they confirm instructions will prepare the papers and send them to the client with advice to ensure that they understand the implications of the power they are giving.

Once all of the documents are complete and have been signed by all parties, we will submit the LPA to the Court for registration. The registration process usually takes around three months.

Probate (or administration if the person died without a Will) is the process of obtaining the legal right to manage a deceased person’s estate. The executor must apply for a Grant of Probate, a legal document giving them the authority to deal with the deceased’s finances, assets and possessions. The probate process ends once the estate has been identified, all taxes and debts have been paid, and the inheritance has been distributed.

When is a specialist probate solicitor required?

Many people deal with probate on their own, particularly if they have the skills and time. But more complex cases may require the services of a specialist probate solicitor. Dealing with probate carries obligations and personal liabilities for those involved who may not be fully aware of what is required of them.

We work on a flexible basis to meet your client’s needs either doing the full service for them or on a fixed price, grant only basis.

Your Estate Administration contacts:

Our services include:

  • Full administration of the estate from registration of death to final distribution
  • A tailored estate administration taking into account stages of the estate which may be dealt with by family or lay-executors
  • A ‘Grant Only Service’ for smaller estates where professional help is available to obtain the Grant of Probate but with the lay-executors dealing with ascertaining and valuing the estate and distributing it to the beneficiaries
  • Advising on tax mitigation in the estate administration for capital gains tax
  • Advising on Deeds of Variation
  • Full estate accounts and tax compliance for the administration period
  • Links to other professionals for valuations, overseas assets, asset and beneficiary tracing and executors’ insurance

Helpful links

Probate solicitors

Trusts can play a valuable role in wealth and succession planning. But along with opportunity, they can also bring complexity. That’s why it’s so important to have the right expertise in your corner. And this is especially true in litigious times, when trusts and trustees are increasingly scrutinised and questioned, both by beneficiaries and third parties.

Why choose Clarke Willmott for trusts advice?

  • We have experience in establishing and managing private trust companies, purpose trusts and foundations, including all associated issues such as relevant tax and regulatory regimes in other jurisdictions
  • As we’re independent, we can work with the right firm for your specific concern, every time – whether it’s one of our trusted contacts, your preferred law firm or another with specialist knowledge
  • Our Private Client team is one of the largest in the UK and has been advising individuals and their families for over a hundred years
  • Our service is discreet and highly personalised. We work closely with you to deliver advice that meets your individual needs, while giving you flexibility and control.
  • We are committed to acting as your long-term adviser, combining first class technical legal advice with a wider perspective.
  • We can act as professional trustee through Clarke Willmott Trust Corporation Limited

Your Tax and Trust Administration contacts:

Our services include:

  • Advising on and drafting trusts for a range of inheritance planning, tax mitigation and asset protection measures
  • Advising on available reliefs for inheritance tax and capital gains tax
  • Trust administration including the management of the trust assets and preparation of the trust accounts and tax returns
  • Advising on the appointment and removal of trustees
  • Professional trusteeship through Clarke Willmott Trust Corporation Limited, if required

At Clarke Willmott, we’ve been advising clients with international roots and overseas interests for many years. What’s more, we do so at a refreshingly competitive price considering our credentials in this complex area – especially when compared to City law firms.

International Wills and Probate

Whether you are a UK client with international assets or an overseas client with UK assets, we can advise you on how best to structure and prepare your Will to be both tax-efficient and valid in all relevant jurisdictions. We can also prepare your lasting powers of attorney.

Our team also has considerable expertise in obtaining probate across borders, dealing with assets within the UK and other jurisdictions in a way that avoids potential conflict. This includes obtaining probate in the UK for foreign nationals who die with assets in the UK.

Your International Estate Planning contacts:

We advise on:

  • Will Structures to deal with both UK and overseas assets
  • Residence and Domicile issues
  • Excluded Property Trusts for non-domiciled clients
  • Potential conflicts of succession law in different jurisdictions
  • Taxation for those coming to or leaving the UK
  • Obtaining Grants of Probate for UK assets of overseas estates

Clarke Willmott’s private client and farming solicitors have an established reputation in the agriculture sector and are specialists in helping farmers, landowners and their families plan and manage all aspects of their finances, including wills and probate, trusts and tax matters.

Our expertise in agricultural wills, trusts and probate

We are specialists in advising farming clients and their families on how best to organise their affairs and finances to ensure financial security and enhanced quality of life in the future. Our expertise includes advising the owners of family farming businesses about how to seamlessly hand-over the business to the next generation, or how to wind-down a business so as to provide the greatest benefit and the least trauma to those involved.

Your Agricultural Tax and Estate Planning contacts:

Our services include:

  • Wills and estate planning but with a particular focus on landed families
  • Advising on succession issues and taxation for farming families
  • Capital Taxes planning
  • Agricultural and Business Relief audits and advice

Our team of Court of Protection solicitors has an exceptional reputation for expert, efficient and sensitive support to families having to make important decisions for a vulnerable person through the Court of Protection.

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection makes decisions for people who lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs for any reason, such as an injury, dementia, a disability or learning difficulty. The decisions the Court of Protection can make include who should manage the person’s finances.

Your Court of Protection contacts:

Our services include:

  • Advising on the Court of Protection application process or applying to the court on your client’s behalf
  • Acting as a professional Deputy if a suitable friend or family member is not willing or able to fulfil the role
  • Providing practical support and advice to help Court of Protection Deputies fulfil their duties
  • Resolving disputes between the Deputy and other family members about decisions concerning property, finance, welfare or medical treatment
  • Providing support and advice to those acting as Attorney
  • Advice in relation to welfare disputes

Clarke Willmott’s specialist Residential Conveyancing team acts for individuals, partnerships, trusts, companies, overseas investors and financial institutions.

Comprehensive support for residential property transactions

Whether you are buying or investing in property for the first time, selling a Grade II listed building or looking to remortgage, we understand that every transaction brings its own challenges and we do all we can to support you.

We provide a bespoke and flexible service to ensure that your sale and/or purchase is completed thoroughly and as smoothly as possible. As well as drafting, reviewing and negotiating all the necessary documentation, we will conduct the relevant in-depth searches on your behalf to minimise the risk of your transaction.

Our team has particular expertise in advising on high value landed estates, rural and agricultural properties and working with major housing developers and high net worth individuals.

Your Residential Property contacts:

We advise on:

  • Buying and selling a residential property, including property investments, new build, and buy to let transactions
  • Joint ownership, transfer of ownership or equity and partition of ownership, including matrimonial transfers
  • Rural property
  • Freehold, leasehold and lease extensions
  • Landed estates
  • Re-financing / Re-mortgaging
  • Stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
  • Probate sales
    • Auction sales
    • Land registry applications

Our dedicated team of divorce and family lawyers will help you protect what matters to you and secure the future for yourself and your loved ones.

Experienced, compassionate family law solicitors here to support you

Whether you are splitting up with your partner, agreeing the terms of your current relationship, or looking after your children’s interests, it’s vital to find a solicitor with the right expertise to support you through the process. Our family law solicitors can help you plan ahead, formalise arrangements and resolve conflicts, however convoluted and complex.

Our highly experienced divorce lawyers can help you at any stage of the divorce process. We have expertise in the many sensitive areas that can make negotiations difficult and complex, such custody of your children, settling conflicts about your money including business interests.

Our clients come from throughout the UK and abroad. Our team of family law solicitors includes international divorce specialists who can advise you on overseas marriage, multi-jurisdiction divorce, relocating children and cross-border disputes.

Your Divorce and Family contacts:

We advise on:

  • Divorce and separation
  • Family business agreements
  • Child maintenance, custody and access
  • Mediation and collaborative law
  • International family law
  • Cohabitation agreements and legal advice for unmarried couples
  • Prenuptial and post nuptial agreements.
  • Intervenors and third party claims

Helpful links

Family law

Running a business brings many challenges and opportunities. Some will be relatively simple to manage in-house, but others will be more complex and it is these transactions that can benefit from sound legal advice and an expert, external viewpoint. Clarke Willmott’s team of highly experienced commercial and corporate solicitors act for businesses of all sizes to make things as straightforward as possible.

Family businesses

Combining business and family is a delicate balancing act. As well as facing the same challenges as other businesses, family run businesses must also manage the complexities of personal and professional life being closely linked. This can be challenging, particularly when it comes to communication, conflict and the expectations of individuals. Having a trusted legal adviser looking out for your commercial and personal interests can prove invaluable.

Your Corporate and Commercial contacts:

In relation to private capital, our corporate lawyers regularly advise on:

  • Family Investment Companies
  • Partnerships, joint ventures and shareholders agreements
  • Private equity investments
  • Corporate tax
  • Family business agreements

Our employment solicitors and HR consultants provide employers with practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. We are an adaptable, solutions-focused team with a proven track record in delivering flexible and innovative solutions.

Our employment law clients

We work with owner-managed businesses, SMEs, charities, large listed companies and other organisations across a wide range of sectors, including international businesses with employees in the UK. We have particular sector expertise in agriculture, education, social housing, renewable energy, retail and manufacturing, professional sport and healthcare.

Your Employment Law and HR Consultancy Services contacts:

Our services include

  • Employment law & HR consultancy services
  • Employment contracts and service agreements
  • Employment disputes
  • Enforcing restrictive covenants
  • Family business agreements
  • HR consultancy & support
  • Redundancy
  • Settlement agreements

If you’ve been left out of a Will or think the Will may not be correct, you may be able to challenge it. Deciding whether to contest a Will is a big decision especially if it could put you at odds with other family members, but our expert contentious probate solicitors are here to guide and support you through the process.

What grounds do you need to contest a Will?

Grounds for contesting a Will include:

  • lack of testamentary capacity.
  • undue influence or coercion.
  • lack of knowledge and approval.
  • non-compliance with Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837.
  • forgery and fraud.

Your Contentious Probate contacts:

How our contentious probate solicitors can help

  • Contesting a Will – If you believe that the Will was fraudulent or the deceased was under undue influence when making their Will.
  • Inheritance Act claims – if you or a member of your family thinks they should benefit from a person’s estate, we can advise on the type of claim which could be brought to try and secure your inheritance.
  • Defending a Will – we can advise executors and trustees about how to continue dealing with an estate if such a claim is brought against the estate by another person.
  • Intestacy – we can help you make a claim where there was no Will left so the deceased died intestate.
  • Invalid Will – we can advise in cases where the Will is invalid. For example if the Will was not signed.
  • Family Will disputes – If you have been promised assets but have been left out of a Will, it can be possible to force the beneficiaries of the estate to honour the promises made, as long as there is proof. This is a complex area and sometimes involves negotiating both with other family members and HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Cross border disputes – we can act advise you on challenging or defending a Will or an inheritance dispute involving assets in other jurisdictions.

Helpful links

Will disputes

The size, complexity and regulatory environment of the financial services sector make disputes inevitable. We are specialists in resolving disputes in this area and have experience of acting on many high profile and complex cases.

Examples of financial services disputes that we can help with

  • Financial mis-selling claims, including in relation to investments, bonds, insurance, loans, mortgages, pensions, tax mitigation vehicles and other financial products such as interest rate swaps and other complex derivatives.
  • Contractual disputes
  • Regulatory disputes

Your key contacts:

Who we can help and how

Our team of experts assist FCA authorised clients in dealing with customer complaints, defending formal complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or litigation in the courts.

We also assist individuals, other private sector businesses, sole traders, and family businesses in resolving financial services disputes.

Our approach to dispute resolution is measured, pragmatic and tenacious when called for. It relies on strong teamwork and careful preparation to devise the best strategy and to implement it cost-effectively and efficiently. As a case progresses, we are fully prepared to adapt and respond swiftly without losing focus on the desired outcome.

Protecting our clients’ best interests, reputation and bottom line is always our top priority.

The team were very capable and dealt with the matters in a very timely fashion.” – Chambers, 2024

Real litigation expertise combined with sensitivity to costs.” – Legal 500, 2024

Clarke Willmott has significant experience in advising charitable organisations with a broad range of aims. Our Charities team is made up of specialists from across Clarke Willmott and we provide a cost-effective, full-service and tailored offering to our clients.

Expert legal advice for charitable organisations

Whilst charities must operate under specific rules to maintain their charitable status, they face many of the same challenges as profit-making businesses in addition to reputational pressures. We have the commercial expertise to help your charity run as efficiently as possible, helping you to maximise the funds you have available for charitable work. In addition, our lawyers have the knowledge and understanding of the complex regulatory environment charities operate in to ensure you meet all your reporting obligations and promote public trust in your work.

We also work with charity trustees, beneficiaries and executors and our specialist charitable giving solicitors can advise on all aspects of tax effective giving and realising a legacy entitlement.

Your Charities contacts:

Our expertise in working with charitable organisations

Our services include:

  • Corporate structure and governance
  • Legacy management and protection for charity beneficiaries and executors
  • Protecting commercial interests
  • Employment and HR
  • Property, land and the environment
  • Debt recovery

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