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Company

Fladgate

Position

Partner

Index

Legal

Tax & Trust Advisers

Tax & Trust Lawyers

Advice type

Succession planning

Tax, wills & trusts

Inter-generational tax

Client types

Entrepreneurs

Families

Business owners

HNW

Sector focus

Accounting

Business and Consumer Services

Profile

Helena Luckhurst

Description

A partner in the private capital department of Fladgate, Helena Luckhurst recalls making the decision to pursue estate planning law as a trainee solicitor not long out of university. ‘It was seeing the momentous difference that excellent estate planning advice can make to families – the impact on family wealth and relationships can be quite staggering,’ she says. ‘That realisation was sobering, challenging and tremendously exciting.’ She adds that she still feels a sense of ‘immense privilege’ to be working with such interesting clients.

Her practice focuses on structuring and managing family wealth, including using trusts, companies, powers of attorney and other forms of succession planning. As well as tax advice, Luckhurst advises on the administration of trusts and estates, with a particular interest in inheritance tax planning for both UK and non-UK domiciled clients.

‘If something matters to my clients, it matters to me,’ she says. ‘It’s at the heart of what I do and I hope it transforms my clients’ experience of engaging with a trusted lawyer.’ Rather than merely dispensing legal advice, she hopes her clients – who include individuals, families, trustees and personal representatives – will see her as a trusted adviser, capable of engaging with complex and personal estate planning issues.

Inspired by Fladgate’s 250 year track record in private client service involving entrepreneurial and often international individuals – including, most famously, Winston Churchill – she remains passionate about the changing nature of wealth. She writes a blog, Wealth Lawyer UK, which provides legal insights for wealth managers, with recent entries addressing succession planning for new entrepreneurs and cryptocurrencies in estate planning.

She draws insights from her own practice. One big change she has seen in recent years is a decline in what practitioners might have once regarded as the classic English trust. Once a staple of estate law, Luckhurst says that, faced with ever-stricter reporting rules, more clients are choosing to drop trusts in favour of more tax-efficient options. ‘That’s something I routinely advise on,’ she says.

Other changes come out of the blue. ‘The coronavirus pandemic has been a great stress test for our clients’ wealth planning,’ she says. The unprecedented upheaval has been a wake up call, she adds, for clients who have suddenly realised that they aren’t fully confident in their future planning – or who are keen to update theirs in light of changing circumstances in the family. ‘There really is no better time to get things sorted out,’ she says. ‘I suspect the Chancellor dreams about raising taxes most nights now, so don’t delay!’

Rank: Recommended

Recommended 2020, Tax & Trust Lawyers

Email

hluckhurst@fladgate.com

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