Dentons’ private client team joins Shepherd and Wedderburn

2 February 2021

Dentons’ private client team joins Shepherd and Wedderburn

Dentons’ Scottish private client team is joining Shepherd and Wedderburn, creating one of Scotland’s largest private client practices and expanding the specialist asset protection, personal tax planning, trusts, executries and succession planning support available to clients.

The arrival of the 20-strong team, led by partners Eleanor Kerr and Alexis Graham, both of whom are regarded as leaders in their field, will increase the size of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s private client practice to 46.

The team, which joins Shepherd and Wedderburn on 1 April, and will continue to be based primarily in Glasgow, has a strong client base and reputation in the market. It is ranked in the independent legal directory Chambers and Partners, with clients praising the team as “superb”, “approachable” and “very professional with a high level of expertise”.

Eleanor Kerr, who currently leads the Dentons team, specialises in a wide range of private client matters with particular emphasis on trusts and succession law, tax and estate planning. She has over 30 years’ experience in private practice and is extremely well respected in the field. Eleanor is frequently recommended for her technical capabilities, pragmatic outlook, highly collaborative approach and sensitivity in navigating delicate client matters.

Alexis Graham advises high net worth individuals on all aspects of personal estate planning, including wills, powers of attorney, trust formation and administration, succession planning and charity formation. She has 15 years’ experience in private practice, with particular expertise in charity law, regularly advising charity trustees on the administration of charitable organisations.

Andrew Blain, Managing Partner of Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “We have been looking at opportunities to invest in and grow our private client practice for some time and are delighted to be acquiring Dentons’ private client practice in Scotland. Attracting a team of this calibre adds further strength and depth to our existing and highly regarded private client practice. Eleanor and Alexis are recognised as leaders in their field and together have over 45 years’ experience. Their clients, who value their expertise, technical skills and their practical, accessible approach, will also benefit from the support of our other specialists with relevant expertise in areas such as rural property, family businesses, and contentious wills and trusts.”

Malcolm Rust, Head of Private Client at Shepherd and Wedderburn, added: “Operating across Scotland and the UK, the team will greatly enhance our existing capabilities, working in close collaboration with our existing private client team and specialist lawyers across our offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London. The arrival of the Dentons team will allow us to extend our service to clients nationally and internationally, and also to offer private client services of a scale, quality and reach that we believe is unrivalled in Scotland.”

Eleanor Kerr, who will lead Shepherd and Wedderburn’s private client team in Glasgow, commented: “Like Shepherd and Wedderburn, the Dentons team has a long history, going back to Maclay Murray & Spens and, before that, McGrigor Donald. The combination of what are two well established, heavyweight private client practices is a game-changer in the provision of private client services in Scotland, presenting new and exciting opportunities for our clients and for us.”