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05 October 2023

The Legal 500 2024: Payne Hicks Beach ranked Tier 1 Leading Firm

The Legal 500 UK 2024 has now been published and this year Payne Hicks Beach celebrates its highest number of total rankings for individual solicitors as well as specialist practice areas.

We have maintained our tier-one ranking in ‘Family Law’, and ‘Contentious Trusts and Probate’. We rank in 21 other practice areas, two of which have achieved ranked status for the first time. New firm rankings feature in ‘Crime: General’ and ‘Charities and not-for-profit’ and are complemented with improved rankings for ‘Property Litigation’, ‘Art and Cultural Property’ and ‘Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice To Individuals)’.

35 lawyers are ranked across the categories of Leading Individuals, Next Generation Partners and Rising Stars, with a further 38 individuals recognised as ‘Recommended Lawyers’.  With over 70 lawyers listed in The Legal 500 UK 2024, we are incredibly proud that our unparalleled expertise and emerging talent has been recognised.  The law directory’s findings are a testament to the firm’s commitment to a personalised, client-centric and expert-led approach.

The Legal 500 is an independent guide to UK solicitors. Firm and department rankings and recommendations are based on various criteria and focus on the strength of the team and the consistency of quality of individuals within a team. Client feedback and interviews form an intrinsic part of the comprehensive research process.

Editorial quotes in the recently issued 2024 edition include:

‘The PHB family team has exceptional experience of the most complex international family law disputes. Very few other firms have this level of experience. Hand-in-hand with this the firm delivers a very personal service, giving clients the assurance that both their case and their welfare are being cared for with utmost attention.’

‘PHB has an unparalleled reputation in the field of family law. I have experience of their modern families practice, which is excellent.’

‘This is a long established and highly successful team with real expertise. It is in many of the high profile cases particularly in the area of trusts. It invariably achieves a good outcome for its clients’.

‘What sets PHB apart is the incredible value for money for clients. They have top tier individuals and experience with high-value and complex disputes, but they do not charge the same sorts of rates as larger firms. They are also a constantly growing practice, with new individuals at every level being introduced each year’.

‘The entire team at PHB is very smart, switched on to the issues in these areas but also easy to deal with and highly proactive’.

‘The team has vast experience in dealing with high value and complex disputes and has a deserved first-rate reputation. They have the benefit of being able to draw on the expertise of their brilliant private client team, which is invaluable where as so often happens tax considerations shape the litigation or its settlement’.

‘Small expert team with high levels of service and advice unique in a world of large firms.’

‘Professional, knowledgeable and experienced. Well written clear unfussy advice which is on point.’

‘Payne Hicks Beach has a particular niche in acting for high net worth individuals facing persecution in their country of origin and seek to resist removal from the UK. This complex asylum/human rights work is conducted by a small number of firms, and PHB does it especially well.’

‘Payne Hicks Beach has a glittering reputation in business immigration. The firm conducts the full span of work applicable to commercial immigration law. In addition, given the firm’s strength in cases involving human rights and asylum, the solicitors at PHB have particularly innovative ways of addressing problems which arise beyond the ‘tick box’ approach mandated by the Home Office.’

‘Incredibly strong immigration offering, complemented by the wider private client areas. A truly unique technical proposition, delivered with a highly personalised service.’

‘PHB takes an entrepreneurial and strategic approach to a practice area that can often be treated as a commodity by firms. The team has the insight and intelligence to serve as strategic advisors to businesses and individuals.’

‘Responsive, a pleasure to deal with and willing to give real advice’.

‘A very knowledgeable and conscientious team that always strives to go the extra mile to assist us, and make us feel valued and important. The team collaborates well, so nothing is missed, but yet, no unnecessary overlap. Very clear and concise billing. Technology excellent, particularly useful of late with online meetings’.

‘It is rare to find a strong rural team in London and whilst the cost associated with procuring legal services in the capital can sometimes put off clients who would otherwise source their advice locally, there are times when quality of expertise and speed of response justifies the extra outlay, as here’.

‘I have been a client of the firm for nearly 40 years. They have a real understanding of trust management and the attendant legal and financial challenges. I have found them good strategic thinkers, tactically innovative, good at execution and very personable’.

‘The Personal tax, trusts and probate team of Payne Hicks Beach has quickly established itself as one of the leading practices in the UHNW and Family Office market, every bit the equal of some of the more established names. The quality of the firm’s client base is testament to this. The Payne Hicks Beach team is a pleasure to work with, and collaborate well with other service-providers (trustees/accountants etc.) all in pursuit of the client’s best interests’.

‘I find the team at PHB extremely knowledgeable, but able to get out of the ivory tower to give practical advice’.

‘A real depth a specialism in a relatively niche area.’

‘The firm’s spread of expertise in dealing with high net worth individuals means they are able to provide a bespoke cross-jurisdictional service.’

‘A broad range of client focused lawyers with a superb level of experience of handling cases across the media law spectrum. Friendly and personable to deal with and thorough in their approach’

‘One of the strongest and most established boutique firms in this sector, always involved in high profile cases.’

‘Excellent integration between the contentious and non-contentious teams, and between partners and associates – an advantage of a relatively small and close-knit firm.’

‘This is a hidden gem in the London litigation market: PHB will make a client feel taken care of, while building the best team to suit the demands of any given case.’

‘PHB is a safe pair of hands operating in this market, which is the most important thing.’

‘An excellent team that works collaboratively with clients and Counsel – adapted well to remote and hybrid working, and always ready to go the extra mile.’

‘They offer very good value for money relative to their competitors in the City.’

‘The people are dedicated, incredibly hardworking, professional and always contactable. Their professionalism, understanding and adaptability‘.

‘Friendly, discreet and lethal in litigation.’

‘As private client solicitors they offer well informed advice and guidance to families and have done so through the generations.’

‘PHB is a first-rate litigation firm. The lawyers are capable of dealing with diverse claims efficiently whilst taking a strategic approach to ensure the best possible outcome for the client.’

‘An extremely effective team able to handle complex property litigation disputes with great skill.’

‘The quality of the service provided is second to none.’

‘A strong and established boutique firm in this sector, always involved in high profile cases.’


See our Legal 500 profile here.

Payne Hicks Beach’s UK practice rankings:

Tier 1


Private client: Contentious trusts & probate

Leading Firm

Corporate: M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m

Corporate: Partnership

Crime, Fraud and Licensing: Crime: General

Crime, Fraud and Licensing: Fraud: White-collar crime (advice to individuals)

Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation: mid-market

Employment: Senior executives

Employment: Immigration: business

Employment: Immigration: Human rights, appeals and overstay

Private Client: Agriculture and estates

Private Client: Art and cultural property

Private Client: Charities and not-for-profit

Private Client: Personal tax, trusts and probate

Public Sector: Education: individuals

Real Estate: Commercial property – corporate occupiers

Real Estate: Commercial property – development

Real Estate: Property litigation

Real Estate:  Residential property

TMT: Reputation management

TMT: Sport

The Legal 500 is an independent guide to UK solicitors. Firm and department rankings and recommendations are based on various criteria and focus on the strength of the team and the consistency of quality of individuals within a team. Client feedback and interviews form an intrinsic part of the comprehensive research process.

Editorial quotes in the recently issued 2024 edition include:

‘The team at PHB is simply fantastic. They are a varied group of talented lawyers who work to their strengths, delegate well and provide a very high-quality service to their clients. They are a well-resourced, intelligent, compassionate and thoughtful group of lawyers.’

‘A dynamic clever team who deal with very high-profile litigation and have real experience and expertise in this area.’

‘For its size, the firm is a powerhouse in contentious trusts and probate and more than holds its own with the other big names in the area. It also has a very strong and well-established expertise in areas such as private client/tax and family, upon which the team can draw where cases involve some element of cross-over in these fields.’

‘There is no firm that has made greater strides in developing their reputation in contentious trusts and probate work than this firm in my opinion. That is largely due to the strength of several core individuals who are total specialists in this work. They also benefit from a very strong non-contentious private client team, so they do provide an all-service offering to clients.’

‘Highly competent at a technical level. Very much a partner-led practice.’

‘Provides a brilliant service.’

‘PHB’s immigration and human rights team provides a bespoke service to high net worth individuals who have exceptionally complex affairs, often defending multiple legal proceedings. The team know the law inside out and have strong strategic and tactical judgment.’

‘PHB’s business immigration team provides a bespoke service to high net worth individuals and businesses. They know the law inside out and have strong strategic and tactical judgment in dealing with the Home Office. The team are particularly good at collaborating within the firm, taking advantage of the firm being smaller than others in the marketplace.’

‘One of the top firms in the UK for complex and high profile asylum work.’

‘The team has evident strength in its depth of knowledge and contacts within the sector. It also can draw on highly experienced colleagues in other departments of the firm when required to give concise advice to clients.’

‘Quick, knowledgeable and personable. Prepared to put the work in.’

‘PHB is one of the few London firms with a dedicated agricultural and estate property practice.’

‘The team are pragmatic, fast thinking, agile and most of all superbly able.’

‘The team are extremely professional and courteous and are always on hand to offer guidance, especially on matters of a potentially complicated nature. They provide updates on workstreams and the expected timeframe for them, so you never feel like any matter is forgotten.’

‘The team I work with at PHB have been professional and personable at all times. They are always contactable and available for calls/meetings, even those that are often called at short notice.’

‘As good as it gets. PHB have a vast wealth of top-notch lawyers, who know all there is to know, and can do all there is to do. Their clients – rightly – love them. Undoubtedly at the top of the tree, but don’t waste time that could be spent on clients blowing their own trumpet.’

‘A blue chip Private Client firm that is a one-stop shop for wealthy families seeking a discreet first class service. While maintaining their client base of Landed Estates. They are equally excellent attending to the needs of non-UK families.’

‘The team are very professional, very efficient, and very knowledgeable. The team are able to respond to the challenges presented, whether time restricted acquisitions or the complexities of the matter.’

‘PHB are generally well known as being a private client firm that punches above its weight.’

‘A strong team with vast experience of media and reputation management issues, and of high-profile litigation.’

‘PHB offers a highly personalised service from a team for whom nothing is too much trouble. They are empathetic at times of challenge and tactically very astute in their handling of sensitive personal affairs with a view to achieving a good outcome.’

‘A niche firm, which has the ability to generate interesting and high-profile work and to deliver it with great effect.’

‘The best boutique practice in London. Wonderfully collaborative and technically superior to all its rivals.’

‘Good service and commercial nous.’

‘PHB operates at the intersection where a law firm steeped in history meets an innovative and dynamic team with bucketloads of commercial acumen.’

‘The team at PHB have a great client list who own art or are thinking of buying art.’

‘They provide the highest quality professional advice in the field of art and cultural property legislation, and their knowledge within this field is unparalleled.’

‘The team is well-resourced and innovative, at the top of their game.’

‘One of the go-to firms for property work.’

‘The team is well-known for private client work and has a good range of resources from residential and commercial landlord and tenant work, to tax and wills work so that he can provide good all-round advice.’

‘They are very tenacious and knowledgeable litigators. Their quality of work is tremendous given the size of the team, and they are able to collaborate to great effect with the exceptional family law team at the firm.’

‘Long experience in the field. Good, strong individuals.’

‘This firm is a pleasure to deal with. They are responsive, thorough and very professional.’

‘The team are always willing to help and go the extra mile. ’