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Magic Circle Awards Judges

Shelley Leaney
Charles Stanley

Shelley studied music at Trinity College of Music in London and moved into Financial Services in 1984 joining an Accountancy practice in Sussex. 13 years later she moved into Corporate Broking and in 1999 joined Charles Stanley. Shelley’s focus is managing Private Client Discretionary Portfolios. After 20 years with Charles Stanley and as a Director of Private Clients (2013) and member of the Executive Committee of Charles Stanley (2018) Shelley heads a team of 7 with £200m of assets under management. Shelley and her team work with all intermediaries, IFAs, solicitors and accountants, and has a client base comprising private individuals, institutions, Trusts and Charities, both national and international.

Martin Arnold
Wedlake Bell
Managing Partner

Martin joined Wedlake Bell in 1987 as a Trainee Solicitor after obtaining a degree in Law from the UEA. He qualified in 1989 into the Commercial Litigation Team and developed a specialism in insolvency and restructuring. Martin became a Partner in 1996 and was the head of the Insolvency and Restructuring team for 15 years. In 2012 he became the Senior Partner of the firm and subsequently the Managing Partner – a position he has held for six years.

Helen Clark
Dixon Wilson

Helen has been at Dixon Wilson for 27 years, training as a Chartered Accountant and then taking CTA and STEP exams. She advises high net worth individuals and families with interests in properties and trusts both in the UK and abroad, and she has specific expertise in the UK impact of offshore trusts. She looks after a number of large landed estates, and at the core of her work is capital taxes and succession planning, aiming to give practical solutions to wealth protection issues. Helen also enjoys advising on the taxes arising on property transactions. She helps a wide variety of clients, assisting in structuring their financial affairs and acting as a trusted family advisor giving long term support. She also acts for a Trustee for a number of her clients.

Paul Butel
Managing Director - Private Client

Paul has over 28 years' experience in trust and company administration for private and corporate clients, having joined Bedell Trust in 2005 and been promoted to Managing Director of Private Client in 2011. He was previously Global Head of Risk Management for the trust division of an international banking group and in that role dealt with the development of trust business within various key trust jurisdictions, alongside interaction with regulators and relevant authorities. He is responsible for a diverse business of some forty client facing staff administering structures holding significant investment, real property and business interests and luxury assets for families and individuals. Paul is also a committee member of the Jersey Association of Trust Companies and frequently participates in industry working groups and consultation processes.

Michael Lewis
Frank Hirth

Michael is a specialist US and UK personal tax adviser providing complex planning and compliance assistance to Ultra High Net worth executives. He has over 19 years of experience in this field, spent predominantly with a Big 4 firm. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser in the UK and is also licensed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service in the US (Enrolled Agent). Michael is currently specialising in clients connected to the “Private Markets” area - businesses with a high degree of private ownership including private equity executives, owner managers and entrepreneurs. He also has many clients from within Investment Banking. His specialties are US/UK interaction on personal income, capital and social security taxes. He also provides advice on US Estate taxes and UK Inheritance Tax and has a keen interest in the taxation in divorce cases and tax efficient charitable planning.

Ursula Danagher
Royds Withy King

Ursula has a wealth of experience advising on all areas of private family law from divorce and financial remedy cases to private children matters involving international couples. Much of her work involves high-net worth and ultra-high net worth clients with an international dimension, involving global asset portfolios, complex divorce and substantial financial cases. Ursula also has real knowledge and understanding in dealing with the preparation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. She has considerable expertise and experience in securing financial provision for children born outside of marriage, whilst continuing to act on a full range of private law cases involving children.

Keith Schilling
Chairman & Senior Partner

Keith has worked at the heart of reputation and privacy law for over three decades and is regarded as an eminent practitioner in his field. Credited with having created a right of privacy in England following a landmark ruling by the House of Lords in 2004, Keith works with leading international corporations and high profile individuals; providing strategic advice on reputation and privacy threats. Having seen the nature of privacy and reputation threats evolve, he is often involved in providing advice on issues that emanate from digital or non-traditional media sources using his expertise in cyber, copyright, data protection and commercial litigation. Keith also works extensively in divorce and family law where his expertise in handling consequential media issues involving threats to privacy and reputation of those involved is highly valued. Keith is ranked as one of the Financial Times' Top Ten 2016 Legal Innovators, as well as a leader in his field in Chambers & Partners, the Spear’s 500, the Spear's Reputation Management index and the Citywealth Leaders List.

Alan Hooks
Julius Baer
Head of London

Alan joined the Julius Baer in November, having begun his career at Deloitte in 1998. He has spent the majority of his career advising individuals and their families both in the UK and internationally, on issues relating to long-term strategic wealth planning requirements including efficient structuring of investment portfolios. Clients have benefited from advice on all their assets including those owned directly, through trusts, or other similar holding vehicles, including pensions and insurance structures. In April 2019, Alan became Head of London to provide a greater emphasis on our wealth-planning offering, making this service a central feature of interactions with clients. This is a leadership role that supports our RM population based in our London office. Alan studied Law at the University in Southampton and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment, Member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Paul Hunter
Group Head of Family Office Services

Paul has over 20 years’ experience in servicing the wealth management and estate planning interests of numerous UHNWIs and their families from multiple jurisdictions and has specialist knowledge and experience in dealing with clients from North America, Latin America and the Middle East. Paul began his career as a statistician for a major UK charity before joining Abacus Financial Services Group, which was later acquired by RBC Wealth Management of which he later became a Department Head. Paul is a Chartered Secretary and is fluent in a number of European languages.

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