Private Client Services


Many high net worth individuals share similar concerns: ever-changing tax rules, succession issues and asset protection, to name but a few. At Gowling WLG, we understand this because our leading Private Client Services team advises the world's wealthiest families and the family offices, banks and offshore trustees who work with them.

To guide you through this ever-changing maze, you need a legal team that's:

  • Experienced: Acquired over many generations, our depth of experience in advising wealthy individuals enables us to avoid the learning curve that can cause delays and add costs. If a problem arises, we'll find the answer. You can expect timely solutions tailored to your specific circumstances, but based around what we know has worked for other families.
  • Commercial: Technical excellence is a given, but acting for some of the world's wealthiest individuals and families demands commercial rigour. Many own large enterprises and require expertise on innovative wealth structuring.
  • International: Our international offices and network of contacts in the "offshore world" mean that wherever you're based, you'll be working with a team fully versed in local tax and succession laws. We have particular expertise in the Middle East and Far East, where we have offices in Dubai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Singapore. With offices across Europe and Canada, we also have strong links with the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Switzerland, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and South America.

Our team is best known for its international work and advice on: cross-border, tax efficient asset holding structures for high net worth individuals, family governance and succession planning; UK and Canadian tax-planning; international estate planning; contentious trusts and estates issues; immigration; international estate administration; and high-value residential conveyancing.

Bespoke solutions for high net worth individuals

How do I transfer my business to the next generation? What's the best structure to put in place before selling my company? Whatever your concerns or objectives as a high net worth individual, our internationally renowned lawyers will find the best solution for your personal and business needs. It's why global clients - including 35 billionaires - choose to work with us.

Wealth management institutions and trustees turn to us for expert advice on implementing robust international tax and succession planning structures. We also help private banks' clients and other philanthropically minded individuals to meet their philanthropic objectives by establishing charitable structures.

Fighting in your corner

Our team also offers specialist trust and estate expertise in both onshore and offshore conflicts. The team helps clients avoid litigation through the formation of secure trust structures, family constitutional arrangements and providing advice on marital property regimes. Specialist advice on administrative risk and regulatory rules are also relevant in avoiding and managing clients' exposure to potential disputes.

When litigation is unavoidable, we are highly experienced in project managing cross-jurisdictional court actions, negotiating situations where different laws conflict and managing reputational damage.

To find out how we can support your needs, please contact any member of our team.


Few practice areas demand the high level of sensitivity, far-sightedness and cognizance required for estate and business succession planning for high-net-worth individuals. Gowling WLG's Private Client Services Group delivers on all counts by offering a diverse range of services in estate administration, litigation and mediation.

Immersed in all areas of succession planning and estates, our team of experts is keenly aware of the often difficult - and sometimes contentious - decisions our clients have to make.

Our expert team provides creative, effective solutions in the following areas:

  • Wills and powers of attorney
  • Personal tax and estate planning for high-net-worth individuals, including family trusts, estate freezes, cross-border estate planning, and immigration/emigration planning
  • Succession planning for entrepreneurs and family businesses, including corporate reorganizations, shareholder agreements, the effective use of life insurance and tax-advantaged sales
  • Private company taxation
  • Charitable donation planning
  • Administration and variation of trusts
  • Estate administration, including post-mortem tax planning
  • Passing of accounts for trusts, estates and attorneys under powers of attorney
  • Removal and replacement of executors, trustees and attorneys
  • Mental incapacity matters
  • Estate litigation

​We assist our clients in developing comprehensive estate plans that are sensitive to their needs. This typically includes the drafting of wills, powers of attorney and family trust agreements. Depending on a client's situation, more sophisticated estate planning might include estate freezes, probate planning and private foundation planning.

Effective tax minimization strategies

Whether you're an entrepreneur or family-owned business, we can help develop and implement tax-effective business succession plans, maximizing the use of tax advantages, such as the capital gains exemption, eligible dividends, capital dividends and the small business deduction.

We also excel in estate administration, including probate matters, transfer of assets, post-mortem tax planning and personal and estate tax filings. Interpretation of wills and trust agreements, contested wills, lost wills, and testamentary capacity issues are handled with discretion and compassion. Our experienced estate lawyers also manage mediation and litigation of estate disputes.

Learn more

To find out more about how we can support your private client service needs, please reach out to any member of our team.