(L-R) Farrer & Co senior associate Adam Carvalho, partner Rachel Mainwaring-Taylor and senior associate Elena Hinchin with Legal Week director of strategic project development Amy Glover

Finalists: Baker McKenzie; Bircham Dyson Bell; Burges Salmon (highly commended); Charles Russell Speechlys (highly commended); Irwin Mitchell; McDermott Will & Emery; Withers.

Farrer & Co was awarded the private client team of the year title for helping a large UK family-owned business in the food and drinks industry devise and implement a succession plan that would allow the current owners to gradually cede control to the next generation.

The plan had to ensure the business would continue to be managed successfully, that the family could benefit economically, and that business would be protected against any potential family conflict in the future.

Farrer & Co’s private client department therefore put in place a number of solutions, such as the creation of a private trust company to act as a trustee to all the family trusts and to help consolidate the shareholdings in the underlying business. It also created bespoke articles of association that allow certain family members rights of veto on particular business decisions, a new charity to meet the family’s philanthropic goals and drafted a family constitution – an agreement that is still quite rare among British families.

The plan has already been deemed a success, with the original shareholders stepping back from active involvement in the business to allow the next generation to take over. “They advised very confidently on intergenerational succession issues,” noted a judge.