Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
Clare Stirzaker spearheads PwC’s ‘growing’ private client legal practice, where she looks after UHNW clients with complex estate planning, cross-border inheritance and tax matters.
She is lauded for combining financial nous acquired at Barclays’ international wealth arm with legal knowledge honed at Baker McKenzie. As a result, she is known for helping families design the right long-term structures. She joined PwC to ‘work within a broader consultancy firm where I could develop both my legal and non-legal skills’.
Stirzaker says lockdown has pushed succession matters ‘up the agenda’ for families, resulting in an influx of enquiries. ‘Families are starting to recognise that you can’t necessarily have one will to deal with all the different assets in different countries,’ she says, and there have been ‘a lot more virtual workshops and one-on-one discussions’ with families.
Next-gen discussions are popular too, she adds, citing a recent case where a family made the children directors of various companies but then discovered that they ‘don’t really understand what it means to be a director’. She guided them on how to create more control over the situation.
‘The families are really welcoming that because they’re conscious that they don’t do that sort of work. The risk is something happens to the parents and the children are not ready to take over, and the wealth isn’t stable.’