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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.

Louise Bracken-Smith
Fairway Trust

Louise Bracken-Smith is the Chief Executive Officer, co-founder and shareholder of Fairway Group and has been working within the offshore finance industry since 1993. Her responsibilities include the business development and overall strategy of Fairway Group and she specialises in providing services to private and corporate clients. Louise sits on the boards of the group managed trust and fund services businesses, which include Emirates NBD Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (a subsidiary of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC). Through the combination of fund directorship appointments and responsibilities to the managed trust and fund services businesses, Louise has significant experience of a broad range of asset classes, including real estate and private equity/venture capital investments. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), holding a Diploma in International Trust Management.

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.

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