Private Client

Carson McDowell provides specialised advice and assistance to our private clients. The private client team work closely with their colleagues in the commercial, corporate and litigation departments to ensure that accurate advice is given and all aspects of an individual client’s circumstances are considered.

Our team also has trusted relationships with other specialist professionals and advisors and will work closely with a client’s own accountant/financial advisor to ensure that a complete service is provided.

What we do

  • Wills
  • Probate and Administration of Estates
  • Inheritance Tax Planning/Estate Planning
  • Trusts
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Controllership Applications through the Office of Care and Protection
  • Residential Conveyances

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Carson McDowell is a "well-respected local firm" with a "talented pool of people". The private client team advises on estate administration, trusts and inheritance tax planning. A local interviewee comments on the firm's "technical excellence and breadth of services", adding that "they really are the pre-eminent firm here. They are consummate professionals and clients feel absolutely comfortable with them."

One source says the "young, dynamic team" is "extremely client-focused and responds promptly". Another highlights the team's "empathy, accuracy, speed of response, knowledge and high technical ability".

Notable practitioners

Neil Bleakley heads the private client team and is highly regarded in the market. Interviewees praise him, saying: "He ensures clients are getting the best possible level of service. He is extremely methodical, fastidious, diligent, and conscientious. He takes his time, he is very thorough and professional and easy to get along with." One market insider comments: "He is certainly approachable and knowledgeable and instills confidence in his area of expertise with clients. He talks at a level that is synonymous with the clients and doesn't use professional jargon. He keeps it simple." Another adds: "I think he seems to genuinely care about his clients. He is very sensitive, respectful and has empathy."

Fiona Wallace handles a full range of private client matters, including the administration of estates and trusts, wills, and Enduring Powers of Attorney. A market insider describes her as "very professional, very good technically and very up to date", adding that "she has a very nice way with clients." Others describe her as "excellent, very thorough and very knowledgeable", and "very personable, responsive and accessible to clients."

The Legal 500 2018

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell’s private client team provides "an excellent service and can be relied upon to address matters in a timely fashion". The group assists high-net-worth clients with non-contentious and contentious high-value estate planning, often in the multimillion-pound range and frequently involving financial provision claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (NI) Order 1979. The practice is noted for its extensive experience in representing trustees in high-profile trust administrations. Other matters handled by the team include registering enduring powers of attorney and providing tax advice.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Neil Bleakley has "a proactive approach" and displays "thorough knowledge". Associate Fiona Wallace "interacts very well with clients".

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