8 July 2019

Leading charities lawyer joins Forsters to boost Charities and Philanthropy practice

Neasa Coen joins Forsters’ top ranked Private Wealth team as its first Counsel appointment.

Forsters, the leading law firm for Private Wealth advice, has recruited charities expert Neasa Coen as part of its commitment to provide UHNW clients with a high level and comprehensive private client service. Neasa joins the firm as Counsel, a new role launched by the firm earlier this year. She advises philanthropists, grant makers, operating charities, public sector organisations and commercial clients on charity law and practice.

Neasa’s recruitment to Forsters' Private Wealth practice, which is top ranked by both Chambers and The Legal 500, brings the total head count of private wealth lawyers to 131. Neasa will form part of the firm’s well established Charities and Philanthropy team, which is led by partner Fiona Smith.

The team specialises in advising a wide range of charitable bodies and not-for-profit organisations, from grant-making family trusts to national charities operating in fields such as education and social care. The Charities and Philanthropy team draws on expertise from across the firm, including Tax, Corporate and Real Estate specialists, to provide a practical and comprehensive service to charity and philanthropy clients.

Fiona Smith, Head of Charities and Philanthropy commented: “We are delighted to welcome Neasa to the team; she is a highly regarded lawyer and is considered an expert in the field. Her appointment signals a clear intention to increase our capabilities in this area and I look forward to working with her to grow the practice.”

Neasa Coen, Counsel commented: “I am really looking forward to my new role at Forsters. The firm has a stellar range of clients, for whom philanthropy is an important area of focus. As more and more individuals seek to use their wealth in a responsible and sustainable way, advice on major giving and social investment has become an important component of wealth planning. My interest and experience in advising both individuals and institutions on charity law and practice, to include a particular focus on governance, faith-based charitable activities and advice on charitable real estate projects, also fits well with Forsters’ client base, allowing me to add real value for clients.”

Paul Roberts, Managing Partner commented: “Neasa’s recruitment will add to Forsters' top tier reputation. Our strategy of investment in our Private Wealth practice has seen fee income more than double in the last four years. However, it has not been growth for its own sake. We are in the happy position of being able to attract the best talent and the addition of Neasa to our Charities and Philanthropy team is testament to this. We are delighted that she is joining us at the perfect time to help us build our practice in this important sector.”

Neasa Coen is Forsters’ first lateral Counsel appointment since the introduction of the role to the firm in November 2018. As a firm we believe in offering all of our people the opportunity to develop their careers in a way that best equips each of them to achieve their full potential. The role of Counsel is a pivotal part of the firm’s ongoing strategy to recruit and retain the best lawyers in the private wealth and real estate sectors.

Our Insights

"Dynamic, totally focused and punchy, the Forsters Dispute Resolution practice extends from complex private client disputes to multi-million pound international commercial claims. The firm is a real alternative to the Magic Circle."  
QC, Maitland Chambers