Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
‘When unexpected events happen, clients reach for their trusted advisers,’ Bart Peerless tells Spear’s. ‘A global pandemic makes people stop and think, “Do I need to dust down that succession plan?” It makes clients reflect and think about the future – they will very often want to talk to their private client lawyer.’
Many of Charles Russell Speechlys’ top-tier clients seek the advice of this sage partner, who has more than 25 years of experience in the business. Peerless advises HNWs, trustees and beneficiaries as well as ‘some of the world’s wealthiest’ and most complex families – a typical client has assets in the ‘multi-billion’ or ‘multi-hundred million’ range.
There is a definite trend towards more multi-jurisdictional work for complicated assets, he notes. ‘Even traditional UK families increasingly face questions about domicile and residency, not least as people marry more widely.’
Peerless has been heading the firm’s private client division for seven years, but 2021 signals an end to his term, and he welcomes the prospect of a return to more client-facing work.
‘Communication really sits at the heart of it,’ he says, when asked what is important in tax and trust advice. Alongside technical excellence, he says it is crucial that one is ‘able to reach out to people and take them with you – and understand what motivates them’.