Stephen Appleton advises on all aspects of Private Client work including Wills, Trusts, Tax, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and Estate Administration. He specialises in advising those with business interests and have a particular interest in advising the owners of family businesses on their succession planning strategy. Steven has a number of clients who want to make a difference through philanthropy (strategic charitable giving) and works with them to develop a strategy for doing so. He is also a trustee of a grant-making charity. He is a co-founder and the co-chair of The Philanthropy Network which aims to empower professionals to have conversations with their clients about the benefits of philanthropy.
John D. Bunker is Co-Editor of new Law Society IHT Planning Handbook, published in December 2020, 1/3 of which John has written. He is a Consultant Solicitor & Chartered Tax Adviser in Tax Trusts & Estates, Irwin Mitchell. John has over 30 years’ experience as a solicitor, 25 as a CTA, specialising in wills, trusts, estate and tax planning. He chairs CIOT’s Private Client (UK) Taxes Committee, serves on HMRC’s Capital Taxes Liaison Group & the new TRS Sub-group for 5 MLD & represents STEP on HMCTS Probate Users Forum – since April 2020. After 23 years as a partner, he moved in 2012 to a technical & training role for Thomas Eggar, now developed within Irwin Mitchell’s national team.
Simon Cleaver started his career in banking, and an MBA from Manchester Business School enabled him to enter the world of equity investment with venture and growth capital specialist, 3i plc. This gave him a thorough grounding in investment principles and how businesses function, and he was subsequently able to add experience of quoted markets through a senior analyst role with Charterhouse plc. This was extended through several years as a regional manager for the London Stock Exchange, after which he gained his first experience of managing AIM investments through ten years with YFM Equity Partners, managers of the British Smaller Companies VCTs. He joined the AIM division of Investec in 2014 which has enabled him to bring all of this broad range of experience to bear on generating the best outcomes for clients. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the CISI.
Professor Lesley King is a Professional Development Consultant at the University of Law. She is Co-Author of Wills, Taxation and Administration: A Practical Guide; A Modern Approach to Wills, Administration and Estate Planning (with Precedents); A Practitioner’s Guide to Wills; Wills: A Practical Guide and Editor of The Probate Practitioner’s Handbook. Professor King is the wills and probate Columnist for the Law Society Gazette and writes extensively on wills, taxation and related matters.
Ruth Hughes is described in Chambers & Partners 2014 as “a focused, bright, effective barrister who is tenacious on her feet” and is often instructed by the Official Solicitor in statutory gift and statutory will cases where her experience advising on capital taxation issues, and in drafting wills and trusts, is particularly helpful. She has a busy Traditional Chancery practice accepting instructions for both contentious and non-contentious work. The core of her practice is contentious probate and family provision claims including claims involving mutual wills and proprietary estoppels. She is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel.
Stephen Lawson is a Contentious Probate Solicitor at Fdr Law. He is the joint author (with Frost & Jacoby) of the book “Testamentary Capacity” OUP. Stephen is a current member of the Law Society Wills & Equity Committee – he is a former member of the Law Society Civil Justice Committee, the STEP England & Wales Committee and the STEP Worldwide Council.
Louise Scholes advises high net worth individuals and trusts and deals with a broad range of private client work including Will drafting, Inheritance Tax Planning, administration of estates, Elderly client, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Trust work including acting as a professional Trustee. She has considerable experience in Court of Protection work and acts as a Professional Deputy. Louise qualified in 1993 and is a Senior Associate in our Private Client team. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is chair of Liverpool STEP branch.