Southampton: Law firm launches private wealth team

National law firm Foot Anstey has announced the addition of a new private wealth team to its Southampton office.

The appointments include partners Rachel Brooks and Douglas Smith, who have both moved from Thrings. They join legal director Carolyn Butland-Beazley and senior associates Carol Ward and Bonnie Ward, who also arrived from Thrings earlier in the year.

Brooks’ specialism is inheritance advice to rural and landed estates, while Smith is an expert in heritage property and onshore and offshore tax. Both have experience in tax planning and estate administration for family businesses.

The new arrivals signal the firm’s ambition to grow its share of the South Coast legal market and support individuals and families with their estate management needs.

Martin Hirst, partner and board member at Foot Anstey said: “We’re delighted to be growing our private wealth practice as part of our overarching offer to clients on the South Coast. Rachel, Doug and their team will use their experience and expertise to advise families and business owners on their legal and tax affairs, which is even more important during challenging times.”

A rise in asset values, notwithstanding the Covid economic dip, means many families need help with inheritance and succession planning to avoid having to foot a hefty tax bill by selling treasured homes and businesses.

“Business shares, land and property have risen in value over the past ten years,” Brooks explained. “As a result, many family-owned companies, farms and estates are discovering that if they do nothing, the tax bill could force their executors to sell assets rather than pass them on to the next generation.

“This is uncharted territory for a lot of families, and they need clear advice to understand the legitimate tax strategies available to them as well as the more dubious options to avoid.”