Our people

700 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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Katie Brassington

Partner
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Katie Brassington

Partner

Katie is a Partner in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

For over 13 years Katie has been providing private individuals, business owners and charities with advice on a broad range of tax, trusts and estate matters, including wills, guardianship arrangements for children, lifetime estate planning and asset preservation, succession planning, tax mitigation, agricultural and business property relief, the establishment and administration of trusts, powers of attorney, estate administration and disputes about wills and other post-death arrangements.

Katie also acts for vulnerable clients who lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, dealing with the Court of Protection, acting as an attorney or deputy to protect and promote her client's interests.

Recent examples of how Katie has helped clients include:

• improving a widow's financial position by unwinding a series of trusts which were complex, costly and not tax efficient;

• protecting the inheritance of our client by proving that the step-daughter of a deceased person had forged a will; and

• securing the installation of a hydrotherapy pool in a child's house to help them recover from surgery for hip dysplasia where there was no pool available locally.

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Jen Couchman

Partner
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Jen Couchman

Partner

Jen is a Partner in the Landed Estates team.

Advising on a wide range of complex tax and trust matters, Jen helps families to agree arrangements for succession planning, inheritance tax mitigation, wealth protection, wills and guardianship, life interest and discretionary trusts, settled land act settlements, overseas assets, powers of attorney and probate.

For over 12 years, Jen has worked with landed estates, agricultural families, business owners and individuals with significant personal wealth.

Recent examples of how Jen has helped clients include:

• advising the executors on the administration of a complex and high value estate, with assets in different countries and multiple beneficiaries;

• structuring the ownership of assets to maximize the availability of business property relief in regard to inheritance tax planning for a family with an owner-managed - business to ensure the safe transfer of assets from one generation to the next; and

• structuring the ownership of a client's assets to achieve the most advantageous position in relation to entrepreneurs' relief and incorporation relief.

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Jenny Hampson

Partner
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Jenny Hampson

Partner

Jenny is a Partner in the Tax & Trusts team.

For over 15 years Jenny has worked with private individuals and business owners to advise them complex tax, trust and estate matters, including wills and guardianship arrangements, the establishment and administration of trusts (including declarations of trust between co-owners), succession planning, inheritance tax mitigation, lasting powers of attorney, probate and estate administration.

Jenny also advises charities on establishing, incorporating and registering themselves, liaising with the Charity Commission, reviewing and updating governance documents (making scheme applications where needed), assisting with transactional and day-to-day issues, helping with disputes concerning charitable legacies and providing training for charitable trustees, staff and volunteers.

Examples of how Jenny has helped clients include:

• assisting a charity to sell off property and donate the sale proceeds to a local community foundation while subject to intense public scrutiny;

• supporting the trustees of a large charity through the process of incorporation; and

• leading a vulnerable widow through the administration of her late husband's estate, ensuring the money was invested wisely and tax efficiently to achieve financial security.

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Lindsey Howland

Partner
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Lindsey Howland

Partner

A lawyer specialising in tax, trusts and estates.

For over 25 years Lindsey has been providing advice to private individuals, business owners, executors, trustees, settlors and beneficiaries on a broad range of tax, trusts and estate matters.  This includes advice on normal wills, statutory wills, guardianship arrangements for children, trusts, tax mitigation, succession and post-death planning, powers of attorney, Court of Protection applications and estate administration.

Lindsey also deals with inheritance disputes, including complicated family settlements and cases where arguments arise over the terms of a will or the administration of a trust.

Recent examples of how Lindsey has helped clients include:

• helping competing beneficiaries resolve a dispute about entitlement to an estate under the intestacy rules;

• assisting in mitigation of potential future Inheritance tax by post-death planning utilising deeds of variation; and

• investigating and uncovering an alleged fraud by an attorney appointed to act on behalf of an elderly and particularly vulnerable client.

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Charles Jones

Partner
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Charles Jones

Partner

Charles is a Partner in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

For over 30 years Charles has been advising private individuals and business owners on how to ensure their hard-earned personal wealth and business interests can be preserved and passed on to future generations.  Charles advises on the terms of wills, the use of trusts, careful tax mitigation and succession planning.

Recent examples of how Charles has helped clients include:

• reducing sometimes significant capital gains tax liabilities for executors of estates by ensuring that for tax purposes sales are treated as being made by beneficiaries rather than the executors;

• creating trusts for parents to purchase property for occupation by children, enabling family wealth to be protected and resulting in inheritance tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty land tax savings; and

• reducing the amount of inheritance tax payable by up to 40% by carefully structuring clients' wills to maximize the benefits of agricultural and business property relief and surviving spouse exemption.

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Jessica Neyt

Partner
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Jessica Neyt

Partner

Jessica is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.

She advises on contentious property matters including commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, breaches of covenants, injunctions, possession claims, rent review and land ownership disputes. Clients include individuals and blue-chip companies such as Prudential Assurance and Paddy Power.

Jessica also resolves will, trust and inheritance disputes relating to the validity and construction of wills, trusts and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.  She acts for families, beneficiaries, executors and trustees.

Recent examples of how Jessica has helped clients include:

• ensuring that an illegitimate child, whose father committed suicide and excluded her from the will, benefited from a share of his estate;

• enabling the owner to sell a valuable London property following a long dispute with freeholders; and

• enabling the Prudential Assurance to undertake a large volume of contentious and non-contentious lease renewals by advising on dilapidations claims, lease consents and repossession claims.

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Kate Smith

Partner
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Kate Smith

Partner

Kate is a Partner in the Landed Estates, Agriculture and Wills & Estates teams.

Kate advises on succession and capital gains tax planning, inheritance tax, setting up of trusts and family charters or constitutions, settled land act settlements, heritage property issues, wills and probate.  She often works in a multi-disciplinary team of trustees and accountants.

Kate advises many landed estates with diverse rural businesses, including a number of prominent families and owners of historic properties.

Recent examples of how Kate has helped clients include:

• enabling a landed estate comprising numerous trusts with interests including farming, development and leisure to enjoy inheritance tax relief and minimise stamp duty land tax by re-structuring the business model;

• preserving the assets of a landed estate and meeting trustee objectives by extending the life of a trust for a further 125 years with the ability to accumulate income throughout that time; and

• enabling a landed estate to benefit from entrepreneur's relief and incorporation relief on development land by structuring as a trading business, rather than an investment business.

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Rachel Watkinson

Partner
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Rachel Watkinson

Partner

A wills and estates lawyer with expertise in care funding.

Rachel advises clients on their wills, lasting powers of attorney, asset protection and estate administration.

Rachel is experienced in mental capacity issues in relation to property and financial affairs, health and welfare matters, and applications to the Court of Protection.  She also deals with long term care funding disputes, particularly regarding eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare funding, including appeals and interpretation of the mental capacity act 2005.

Acting for private individuals, executors, trustees, attorneys and beneficiaries, Rachel also offers talks on the importance of making a will and a lasting power of attorney.

Recent examples of how Rachel has helped clients include:

• creating a power of attorney for a lady with early onset alzheimer's during one of her rare lucid moments, avoiding a costly application to the Court of Protection;

• preventing a lady being evicted from a care home and ensuring she kept her entitlement to NHS continuing healthcare funding; and

• acting as professional trustee to ensure fairness between beneficiaries with conflicting interests due to a difficult family dynamic

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Julian Chadwick

Consultant
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Julian Chadwick

Consultant

Julian is a Consultant in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Julian has a wealth of experience in private client matters including the complex aspects of wills and trusts drafting, estate planning and family succession issues.  Over the years he has advised successive generations of families on most aspects of their legal affairs.

Julian has also advised trustees of charities on a variety of issues-including managing a dysfunctional charity on behalf of the Charity Commission, and advising a charity throughout a long drawn-out investigation by the Charity Commission.

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Sian Jeffrey

Consultant
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Sian Jeffrey

Consultant

Sian is a Consultant in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Sian is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and she advises individuals, business owners, trustees and executors on a range of wills and estates matters.

This includes the drafting of wills and lasting powers of attorney, the creation and management of trusts, business succession planning, personal inheritance tax mitigation, the availability of tax reliefs for business and agricultural property, varying a will, obtaining probate and general estate administration. She also advises on double home loan trust schemes.

Recent examples of how Sian has helped clients include:

  • recovering inheritance tax paid on an estate by transferring assets out of a discretionary trust and gifting them to charity within two years of the donor’s death;
  • reducing the capital gains tax liability on the transfer of a property for a private individual by establishing a trust arrangement to qualify for holdover relief;
  • supporting the family of a recently deceased individual who had used a double home loan scheme to transfer property during their lifetime which was subsequently investigated by HMRC; and
  • guiding a business owner through the process of creating a will which enabled one of their children to succeed to the business while ensuring an equal distribution of wealth among the other siblings.
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Diane Beardmore

Senior Associate
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Diane Beardmore

Senior Associate

Diane is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Diane covers all aspects of trust and estate administration from the technical to the practical.  Her expertise includes the administration of complex estates including the production of the estate accounts. She handles trust registration, all forms of trust compliance including the Trustee Act 2000, and monitoring of trust funds and investments.

Diane provides practical assistance in the management of trust funds to meet clients' everyday financial needs, and ensures key dates are adhered too. On their behalf, she liaises with financial advisors and other professionals to provide long term continuity and accuracy.

Diane's clients are individuals and family members seeking guidance in the creation, registration and settling of trusts, beneficiaries as they come of age, and vulnerable clients requiring ongoing fund management, as well as financial advisors and professionals.

Recent examples of how Diane has helped clients include:

• assisting a beneficiary of a trust at coming of age by informing them of their entitlement and ensuring specialist advice needed for ongoing management of the assets was available to them;

• assisting a vulnerable beneficiary with professional financial advisors and ensuring their daily financial needs were still met; and

• taking over the management of a trust, streamlining the administration and reducing the costs to the client by 35%.

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Ann Danson

Senior Associate
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Ann Danson

Senior Associate

Ann is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Ann advises on succession planning and wealth protection for those with an interest in a landed estate.  This includes providing advice on business structures, trust arrangements, property ownership rights and tax mitigation - particularly on death, and specifically where business property or agricultural property relief may be available to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable.  She also advises on wills, probate and general estate administration where there may be a need to tailor or vary arrangements to ensure business continuity and maximum tax efficiency.

Ann acts for private individuals and their families, many of her clients have commercial as well as residential property interests or are farming families with complex partnership or corporate arrangements to consider.

Recent examples of how Ann has helped clients include:

• advising the owners of a large estate on the reorganisation of their property ownership arrangements to enable them to regain possession of tenanted land needed to develop their tourism-based business;

• spotting a mistake in the way a trust had been organised which, if left unaddressed, could have resulted in the trust being exposed to a significant and unnecessary tax liability;

• restructuring ownership of an estate to ensure the competing income and capital needs of three generations of the same family could be met; and

• seeking permission from the High Court to extend the lifespan of a trust, following an earlier failed attempt to do this by the client's previous professional advisor

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Nelissa Hicks

Senior Associate
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Nelissa Hicks

Senior Associate

Nelissa is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

For over 15 years Nelissa has been advising private individuals and business owners on a variety of tax, trust and estate matters, including the preparation of wills, ways to minimise tax liability, the creation of lasting powers of attorney and their registration, the establishment and management of trusts, succession planning and general estate administration.

Nelissa advises international clients with property and investments in the UK on inheritance tax implications.  Nelissa also advises UK-based clients with assets abroad who need specialist inheritance tax advice, working with a network of foreign lawyers and other professionals.

Recent examples of how Nelissa has helped clients include:

• creating commercial lasting powers of attorney for business owners to ensure continuity, should any one or more of them become incapacitated and facilitating the amendment of  the company's articles of association;

• structuring a client's affairs to mitigate their inheritance tax liability;

• effectively utilising the capital gains tax allowances available to estates and beneficiaries; and

• advising on how to make provision for vulnerable beneficiaries through the mechanism of a trust.

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Bellann Hollingbury

Senior Associate
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Bellann Hollingbury

Senior Associate

Bellann is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Bellann handles all aspects of private client work relating to the preparation and drafting of wills, probate and estate administration, often for vulnerable clients - adults or minors.  She advises on and drafts lasting powers of attorney, decisions relating to mental capacity, applications to the Court of Protection for removal of an incapacitated trustee, appointing a deputy where there is no power of attorney, statutory wills for individuals who lack capacity.  Bellann also advises on planning for care fees, inheritance tax planning by way of lifetime gifts and she liaises with advisors with respect to estate financial affairs.

Bellann acts for high-net-worth individuals and lawyers overseas who handle the assets of English clients abroad.

Recent examples of how Bellann has helped clients include:

• enabling the joint owner of a property to avoid selling the asset for care fees by arguing that co-ownership meant the market value of the property was negligible;

• reducing inheritance tax payable on an estate by demonstrating to HMRC that the property's sale price, greater than its probate value, was an anomaly; and

• minimising inheritance tax payable on a husband's estate by drafting a statutory will to redirect the estate of his incapacitated wife to other beneficiaries.

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Stewart Jordan

Senior Associate
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Stewart Jordan

Senior Associate

Stewart is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Stewart provides advice on wills, trusts, lasting powers of attorney, probate and domestic and international estate administration.  His specialism lies in personal tax advice, particularly around capital gains tax and inheritance tax planning and specifically in advising UK residents who live abroad or non-UK residents currently living here.

Stewart acts for private individuals, executors, administrators, trustees and private charitable trusts.  He also works with private client lawyers and tax specialist in other countries.

Recent examples of how Stewart has helped clients include:

• advising a long term resident (but non-domiciled) client on the impact of recent changes to the UK tax regime applicable to UK resident/non-domiciled individuals, and to advise them of the optimum strategy for funding both his and non-UK UK expenditure;

• carrying out a detailed review of a corporate structure from the inheritance tax perspective to assess whether the client’s shares in its holding company were likely to qualify for business property relief ahead of a proposed transfer of the shares into a trust;

• advising the owner of a family farm on her succession plan for the farm, including whether to deal with this during her lifetime or on death, how best to compensate the children who are not involved with the farm, and what to do with the farmhouse; and

• negotiated with HMRC to reduce the UK inheritance bill on the estate of a non-UK domiciled UHNW individual who had inadvertently become “deemed domiciled” in the UK for inheritance tax purposes following a long period of residence in the UK.

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Jane Lynch

Senior Associate
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Jane Lynch

Senior Associate

Jane is a Senior Associate in the Tax & Trusts and Wills & Estates teams.

Jane advises on all aspects of planning for later life including making a will or a lasting power of attorney, the establishment of trusts, succession and inheritance planning.  This can include liaison with the Court of Protection if a client or trustee develops mental health problems and loses the capacity to make their own decisions.

Jane supports the family through the administration of the estate and grant of probate.  This may include drafting a deed of variation, dealing with capital gains tax, setting up trusts and inheritance advice for the surviving spouse or partner and their dependents.

Jane's clients include individuals and families in and around Oxfordshire including farming families, business owners and property investors.  The international nature of the community in Oxford means that she also acts for bereaved families overseas when the deceased person's estate includes property in Oxfordshire.

Recent examples of how Jane has helped clients include:

• preparing new wills for a couple after discussing of the merits of nil rate band discretionary trusts in wills following a change in inheritance tax rules;

• minimising the capital gains tax liability on an estate in Oxford where the property value had risen significantly since the date of death;

• establishing a discretionary trust to enable a client to pass on their wealth to the next generation in a tax-efficient way;

• redirecting the assets in a family farm to the next generation to ensure that agricultural reliefs and business reliefs were not lost; and

• establishing a multi-million-pound trust on behalf of an independently wealthy widow who wanted her husband's wealth to be passed directly to her children.