Private Client Practice: An Expert Guide

Bringing together the experience and advice of private client experts, this report considers how you can best plan for the future of your practice. It provides up-to-date insights on the latest regulations and legislation, and guidance on effective marketing and client care techniques.

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The legal services market is changing. In the face of new regulations and quality standards, clients are more demanding and have more choice regarding where to go, which means greater competition for you.
With over 200 new ABSs since 2007, increasing consolidation and deregulation of services such as wills, the legal services market today is a very difficult market to compete in.

What sets you apart from the competition?

As a Private Practice Practitioner you must make sure that you remain focused on your clients and the quality of service that you offer, with the potential to provide ‘cradle-to-grave’ services to ensure ongoing work.
This report discusses ways that private client practices and solicitors can respond to these issues facing the sector, including:

  • Compliance with the SRA’s outcomes-focused regulation to ensure the best standard of care for clients;
  • Attaining a quality standard;
  • Being alive to opportunities to offer complimentary services to your clients – either through an additional service you will provide yourself or by referring clients to a trusted professional in another sector, e.g. an accountant;
  • 'Thinking outside the (legal )box' to win more clients through accessing a new demographic (e.g. younger clients) or through client and professional referrals;
  • Learning lessons from the corporate world – introducing the 'law firm CEO’; and
  • Providing the best care for your clients (the best solution of all).

This report also tackles the latest regulations, legislation, and guidance relating to private client work, including:

  • International inheritance law: recently revised double tax agreements, court judgments;
  • Law Commission recommendations (on pre-nuptial contracts);
  • EU regulations (such as Brussels IV); and
  • The Care Act 2014 and its impact on solicitors’ advice to clients regarding continuing health care.

This is a challenging time for private client practices; you can thrive by putting your clients first.


Chapter 1: Will drafting – New professional obligations in the non-regulated world

Chapter 2: Inheritance – The foreign connection

Chapter 3: Estate planning and the opportunities for additional services

Chapter 4: Paying for care

Chapter 5: Working with elderly clients

Chapter 6: Making private client practice profitable

Chapter 7: How to build an effective marketing strategy that delivers real results for your private client practice

Chapter 8: Targeting the future

Chapter 9: Warning! Digital assets – The future is upon us

Chapter 10: Providing a holistic private client service

Chapter 11: Partnership under attack – Strategies to survive and thrive in the modern legal marketplace

Chapter 12: Guernsey innovations – New offerings for the private wealth sector

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Ruth Abernethy
Senior associate, Carey Olsen
John D. Bunker
Head of private client knowledge management, Thomas Eggar LLP
Claire Currie
Partner, Kirwans
Konrad Friedlaender
Partner, trusts and fiduciary group, Carey Olsen
Scott Gallacher
Chartered financial planner and director, Rowley Turton IFA Ltd
Elaine Gray
Counsel, litigation and dispute resolution team, Carey Olsen
Chris Mathews
Head of private clients, Vincents Solicitors
Elizabeth McManus
Partner, Development Alternatives
Douglas McPherson
Director, Size 10½ Boots
Lisa Morgan
Partner, Hugh James
Ian Muirhead
Solicitor, Norton Rose
Leah Steele
Solicitor, Hugh James
Camilla Wallace
Partner, Wedlake Bell
James Ward TEP
Partner, private client department, Seddons Solicitors
Viv Williams
Viv Williams is chief executive officer of 360 Legal Group, and is a consultant to law firms on management, practice development, and marketing. Viv is also non-executive chairman of software specialists Ochresoft Technologies Ltd. During a career spanning 20 years in marketing, and as managing director of two floated Plc companies, Viv has been able to provide practical management insight for all businesses, including professional services firms. Combining this with his time working at Hammonds and Charter & Law Group, assisting solicitors and accountants to improve their management systems and marketing and increase profitability, Viv cultivated the necessary experience to become managing partner at the 2020 Lawyers Group (now 360 Legal Group) in 2003, offering law firms marketing, management, and strategy skills, as well as innovative ideas to transform their law practices into successful businesses. Viv has written numerous articles for the legal press and writes a monthly blog for the Law Society Gazette, as well as being the key note speaker at numerous conferences and seminars. Viv firmly believes that now is the time for law firms to grasp the challenges and opportunities presented by the Legal Services Act and alternative business structures, as well as by the pressure of the continuing credit crisis. 360 Legal Group provides solutions to those law firms which are prepared to rise to the current challenges and become the modern firms of the future. It provides change management support and advises law firms which are looking to buy, sell, or merge their practices. For more information, visit the 360 Legal Group, or contact Viv via email.

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