The committee supports the development of the future strategy of the section and enhancement of the services already offered to members. Committee members and their brief biographies are below.

Sarah Murphy (chair) is a partner at Brabners LLP. Sarah has always dealt with private client work and advises clients on a daily basis on matters including estate administration and probate, estate planning, wills, trusts, taxation, powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. She leads the Lancashire Private Client team at Brabners, which was recognised as ‘Solicitor Firm of the Year – North’ at the 2021 British Wills & Probate Awards, and is a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500. Sarah has particular expertise in advising elderly and vulnerable clients and is a full professional member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Alberto Perez Cedillo (vice-chair) set up his own firm five years ago in Lincolns Inn, London, after practising as a dually qualified Spanish lawyer and English solicitor in London-based English firms for 20 years. He is the president of the British Spanish Law Association and council member of the International Bar Association.

Stuart Adams is a partner at Mishcon de Reya. He specialises in UK and international tax planning, in addition to general private client matters. He advises individuals, entrepreneurs, families and corporate entities, as well as the family offices, trust companies and other institutions supporting them.

Melinda Giles is a partner at Giles Wilson LLP, a small high street firm with two Essex offices. She has worked in property and private client since 1987, has represented clients at mental health tribunals, has been a Court of Protection panel deputy for over 10 years, and is on the Mencap list of specialist solicitors providing wills and trust advice to parents of children with learning disabilities. She represents the Private Client Section on the Law Society Council.

Fiona Heald is a partner at Moore Barlow LLP in the South. She specialises in dealing with older clients and their issues, especially with regards to mental incapacity, any applications relating to property and financial affairs at the Court of Protection including contested matters and advises on care fees planning and adult services funding.

Gareth Marland  is a legal director at Clarion Solicitors Limited. Prior to retraining as a solicitor, Gareth was a manufacturing engineer. He is particularly interested in family businesses, succession planning, and agricultural clients. He is a member of STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly.

Charlotte Crawford is a senior associate at Hugh Jones Solicitors and a full member of STEP. She specialises in wills and estate planning for clients looking to provide for vulnerable family members as well as the administration of trusts and estates.

Paul Clark is the managing director of Spall Clark Solicitors. He deals with all aspects of private client work but has a particular focus on complex estates (often involving an international element) and advising vulnerable clients. He is a full member of STEP, a director of a local law society, and a trustee of a charity for adults with learning disabilities.

Chris Claxton-Shirley is an associate solicitor at Tees, based in Cambridge. Chris deals with all aspects of wills, trusts, tax and probate work, including Court of Protection applications. He is an associate member of Solicitors for the Elderly and due to undertake a STEP diploma shortly.

Sophie O’Connell is a senior associate at Wilsons LLP. She specialises in mental capacity law and supports clients to manage their property and financial affairs. Sophie is also a member of the Capacity Law and Rights Information to You (CLARiTY) project which aims to improve the access to justice for disabled people and family carers through enhancing understanding of mental capacity law and human rights.