Hunters’ success in The Legal 500 UK 2022

  • September 29, 2021
  • By Hunters Law LLP

We are delighted that six of our departments have been ranked in The Legal 500 UK 2022:

  • Art and cultural property – Tier 2
  • Charities and not-for-profit – Tier 3
  • Contentious trusts and probate – Tier 3
  • Family – Tier 2
  • Family: mediation – Tier 2
  • Personal tax, trusts and probate – Tier 2

Read Hunters’ full The Legal 500 UK 2022 rankings here

Hunters’ Art and Cultural Property department is ranked in Tier 2, with Gregor Kleinknecht highlighted as a Leading Individual, along with Julia Richards, who is recognised for her work on tax and trusts matters in this area, and Anastassia Dimmek noted as key lawyers.

‘Gregor Kleinknecht is the partner at Hunters in this area that I know best. He has built a a good reputation in the area (eg board member of PAIAM), is pragmatic and good to deal with as an opponent‘.

‘Hunters has a very strong art and cultural property team covering both advisory and contentious work, led by Gregor Kleinknecht. They have recently been joined by Anastassia Dimmek‘.

Gregor Kleinknecht has established himself as one of the leading practitioners in the field of art and cultural property. He is an exceptionally able lawyer, with an in-depth knowledge of the art market and all aspects of art-related litigation‘.

Both Henry Hood and Richard Kershaw are highlighted as Leading Individuals in the Family category. Amy Scollan is highlighted as a Next Generation Partner. Jo Carr-West and Nicole Derham are also recognised as key lawyers in this practice area.

‘Henry Hood was so incredibly personable and quite simply…nice. I knew in advance he was a highly regarded divorce lawyer so began our relationship slightly daunted but from the offset he was reassuring and whilst his knowledge and experience may easily be assumed – he was able to predict outcomes accurately, foresee how the ‘other side’ would react and prepare me in advance and set best and worst scenarios so that I knew what to expect from a certain situation. The divorce process went on for almost 2.5 years and I can never recall not being able to reach him – text/email/or phone were always an option‘.

‘It offers the best value for money legal advice in the country. And it is the very best advice as well. The client care is also second to none. The lawyers are exactly what a law firm should be: highly skilled, at the forefront of the law and brilliant with clients. Richard Kershaw. He is one of the best family solicitors in the country. However, he does not court publicity. He is immensely busy, successful and nice, but also a great lawyer. He has it all in spades and his clients know that. Amy Scollan is also exceptionally good. Hardworking, determined and very personable‘.

A classy, thoughtful firm with wonderful client care that delivers top notch service. Adopts a holistic approach to families and family problems – capable of seeing the big picture without losing sight of litigation goals. Richard Kershaw is a fantastically reassuring solicitor. He is a ferociously bright solicitor with a sure touch: measured and calm when appropriate, tenacious in the defence of his clients when needed‘.

‘A top quality upper end family law firm with a strong team on both children and finances. The partners and associates are excellent, providing outstanding client service and working collaboratively within the team and with counsel. The team has particular expertise in international and domestic relocation disputes. Jo Carr-West (Partner) – a particularly able and nuanced lawyer, Jo is technically excellent while being able to give clear and, if necessary, frank advice to clients. Henry Hood (Partner) – an excellent all-rounder with particular experience of managing difficult clients, giving clear advice and managing complex issues with ease.’

The Team at Hunters is rock solid. The communication within the organisation is second to none so that if necessary another partner or associate can deal with an important matter if your allocated solicitor is not available. I think this is key – as you do not feel abandoned in what is already a rather traumatic process.’

‘Very helpful in explaining legal terms and concepts. Nicole Dernham was very helpful and always available to speak‘.

‘One of the unsung star firms of the family law firms. Discrete yet mega-effective. At partner level, Richard Kershaw is as sharp as nails, with shoulders broad enough for any fight, while Henry Hood has seen it all and is a rock for his clients‘.

In the Family: mediation category, both Jo Carr-West and Henry Hood are ranked as Leading Individuals, and Nicole Derham is recognised as a key lawyer.

It has always stood out to me that Hunters Law cares about families. The lawyers invest their time (including their lunch hours) to learn and hear from other professionals who they can collaborate with in order to offer the best possible help to their clients. They have always been incredibly professional regarding cases and they would be my first choice when recommending a Family Law service. Jo Carr-West is extremely approachable, passionate, professional and caring. Jo works incredibly hard to ensure her clients have the option of engaging with trusted additional external support, alongside the legal support she offers. Henry Hood is open minded and encourages other professionals in his team to hear about resources that may help the clients‘.

Good all round team with a good private client department‘.

‘It is a technically excellent, but approachable team. All of the partners are strong family lawyers. Henry Hood – very adept at navigating the money cases. Nicole Derham – highly numerate and pragmatic in her approach‘.

Jo Carr-West is an excellent mediator. Firm and fair, she inspires confidence in clients and steers through the trickiest of situations‘.

Jo Carr-West is very personable and easy to work with. I am happy to refer my clients to her for mediation because she is a very pragmatic mediator who really knows her stuff, and I know that she will treat my clients with kindness and respect‘.

The team responds and replies very quickly. The lawyers keep up with current training practices and informed research. They go for mediation and settlement by preference but are capable of displaying a strong hand when needed. They know the law and use it as their guiding star but are able to show compassion, understanding and a children first philosophy. Henry Hood leads with all of the above. He is available in times of trouble. He treats all clients, rich and poor with equal professionalism. I believe that this is helped by the voluntary work he does for destitute families at a city charity. He displays empathy for the troubled situations that his clients bring to him but when needed he brings the full force of current laws to court for the sake of fairness and a good outcome for his clients. I trust him completely to turn up, be thoughtful, be fair and if necessary be tough‘.

‘Hunters has a strong team and compares well to other firms in the sector. Jo Carr-West is a very good mediator with a strong reputation. I am happy to recommend clients to her and have had good feedback‘.

‘Jo Carr-West is an excellent mediator and one to whom I have referred clients on a number of occasions, with the utmost confidence in her ability to assist. She is firm and directive as a mediator and I would feel confident sending a client who feels potentially “outgunned” by their partner to Jo, in the knowledge that she would quickly ensure that there was an even playing field for both parties and that any power or knowledge imbalance were not exploited. I have come across many mediators who, with the best of intentions, are not able to do that successfully and where the more vulnerable client has left feeling bullied or overpowered by their more dominant partner – with Jo, I know that will not happen‘.

Alexandra Sarkis is highlighted as a Leading Individual in the Personal tax, trusts and probate category, along with Lucinda Tite, Wilfrid Vernor-Miles, Mary Elliott and Julia Richards recognised as key lawyers.

My experience of the Hunters private client team is one of continued excellence and thoroughness. Alexandra Sarkis is a highly competent and thorough lawyer with many years’ experience – which shows. I have worked with her in regards to a highly complex estate where she balances the interests of the trust, the recipient charity, as well as the professionals involved, in processing the estate administration (foreign lawyers, accountants and bankers). What’s more, she is directional, by which I mean she knows her field of practice and the laws involved in that well enough to cut through distracting information/opinions and to go straight to the key points that need addressing‘.

Good solid and reliable legal practice with very good private client team. Give robust advice in a timely and proactive manner. I work with Mary Elliott (partner) who is very accomplished. Mary is very empathetic and gives timely and value for money advice‘.

The Hunters team comprises both experience and efficiency. Billing arrangements have been clear and simple and within the estimates provided. Both the partner involved and the associate allocated have been extremely effective. Discussion of options available to me as an executor has been full and informative. When action has been decided on, the execution has been extremely efficient. On occasions when either member of the team assigned to us has been absent, the other has always stepped up to ensure continuity of service. Overall the right balance has been struck between the requirements of the law, the complexities of the family and the desire of the executors to expedite the administration of the estate’.

‘Hunters’ history, quality of service and quality of client in the UK is second to none. The firm does not appear to rest and rely on this though. There are no weak divisions at Hunters but the private client, charity, property and estate planning/services divisions are exceptional. Hunters’ strength is not in its long history. It is the other way round. That long history was made possible by its strength in services, capabilities and impeccable reputation‘.

The stand out partner is Wilfrid Vernor-Miles. His sharp legal mind complements his affable character. Attention to detail, industry knowledge and delivery of service ensures top quality execution at a price well worth paying. There are more and less aggressive lawyers around the UK but none strike the correct balance of approach required for each individual case/project quite like Wilfrid’.

One of the best private client firms around. Great calibre of people, outstanding presence in high value estates and trusts. Very long-standing but better than ever as the merger with May, May and Merrimans has bedded in over the years. Recommended without hesitation or qualification. Key contact recently is Julia Richards. She is a consummate private client solicitor well capable of handing the most complex trust and estates. Thoroughly recommended‘.

In the Charities and not-for-profit practice area, Paul Almy, Dominik Opaliński and Wilfrid Vernor-Miles are recognised.

The Charities and Not-for-Profit team at Hunters is extremely experienced having represented a large number of charities and religious organisations for decades. The team covers the whole spectrum of advice that charities need, from tax issues all the way through to handling the litigation and dispute resolution problems that such institutions face in the present day and age. This is a bespoke team of lawyers for a specialist service and those that I have dealt with have great client-handling skills‘.

James Vernor-Miles has a wealth of experience in providing advice across the whole spectrum of charity law and is a skilled adviser who has sound judgment. Dominik Opaliński is in constant demand in relation to issues pertaining to safeguarding issues and has a substantial case-load dealing with child welfare matters. This involvement extends to claims brought against charitable institutions both in this jurisdiction and abroad’. 

‘Dominik Opaliński is currently involved in setting up a very important alternative dispute resolution scheme in East Africa to enable claims of misconduct by a charitable organisation to be adjudicated there. This has necessitated delicate approaches involving the Chief Justice of one of the East African countries where misconduct by a representative of a charity has allegedly taken place. Devising and establishing this scheme has required a considerable amount of inventive planning and the production on a structure within which the Adjudicators will operate. All this Dominik Opaliński has achieved with great diplomatic skill and energy. The scheme he has devised may well prove to be a standard for other countries in Africa where religious institutions have been operating and which wish to continue their mission in Africa‘.

Good charity knowledge. Good relationship with partner Paul Almy‘.

‘Hunters is a friendly, niche firm which takes care to look after its clients’ interests. It has a traditional approach but refreshingly modern ways of working. Dominik Opaliński is an enthusiast for the law, the Catholic faith, charities and his clients and a strong feeling against injustice. He is never cynical or bored’.

Richard Kershaw is also highlighted as a Leading Individual in the Contentious trusts and probate category. Additionally, both David Draisey and Polly Atkins are recognised as key lawyers.

‘Focus on finding practical solutions for the clients. I have worked with Richard Kershaw – I have found him to be a very effective lawyer and very good to work with.

‘It has a first-class “private client” client base established over many decades, and excellent technical proficiency in the field of trusts and taxation.’

‘A high-quality smaller firm in the heart of Chancery London with excellent practitioners and good work. David Draisey: personable, capable, calm and reassuring to clients. Richard Kershaw: strategically astute and experienced litigator in family and private wealth disputes.’

The team handles a broad range of disputes, making it absolute masters of litigation, capable of bringing skills from different fields of litigation together. That allows the lawyers not just to concentrate on the essential feature or features of their cases, but gives them a richer arsenal to call upon than many of its competitors. They do not just fight, they deliver. At partner level, Richard Kershaw is as adept with the sabre as with the stiletto, while David Draisey is a remarkably effective litigator who does not miss a trick. New associate Polly Atkins has been well-trained in the team, is completely unflappable when the heat is on, and hugely sympathetic to her clients. A star for the future.’

‘Strong private client (contentious and non-contentious) team. Richard Kershaw – hands on, great engagement with clients.’

‘A well-established and consistently excellent private client team. David Draisey is a young partner who is a pleasure to work with. He is organised, calm and diligent – the case will always be in good order when counsel is updated or brought back in.’


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