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UK law firms move to regrow private wealth practices

By Neasa MacErlean

06 March 2015 at 06:55 BST

The first detailed survey of lateral partner moves in the UK tax and private client area shows a growth of interest in developing private wealth and tax litigation teams - partly reflecting increasing complexity of the law in this sector.

Private wealth is a growth area for UK law firms Stuart Miles

Commissioned by Withers, the executive search practice Wilkinson Partners analysed 65 lateral moves which took place in 2014. Whilst it was not surprised to find that the bulk - 50 per cent - related to corporate tax specialists, Wilkinson was intrigued to see that private wealth specialists accounted for 23 per cent of the moves and that tax litigators accounted for 14 per cent. Tom Wilkinson, managing partner of Wilkinson Partners, said: 'We are seeing many firms which scaled back their private client practices, or cut them altogether, recognising that there is significant demand for these services and trying to rebuild teams.  Tax litigation experts are also in demand as HMRC [Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs] gets increasingly active and powerful in its anti-avoidance measures."

Disproportionately female

Women made up just over a quarter (26 per cent) of the movers - meaning that they 'proportionally moved more than men last year', according to Withers employment law partner Daniel Isaac. Only 15 per cent of law firm partners are women. Source: Withers


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