The Law Society
Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPs)

Kelly Noel-Smith

Partner, Private Client

Kelly specialises in advising wealthy families and their family offices on tax, governance and succession issues. Most of her work has an international dimension. She advises on the creation and operation of asset-holding structures to ensure wealth preservation, tax mitigation and to deal with succession issues.

She contributes regularly to tax journals and is a frequent speaker in Switzerland and the Channel Islands advising professionals there on the UK tax regime for asset holding structures.

Kelly heads our Senior Executives Advisory team, which specialises in providing holistic advice to internationally mobile senior executives on tax, employment and immigration issues commonly experienced when moving to or from the UK.

She worked at Slaughter and May, where she qualified, for 4 years and then Lawrence Graham before becoming head of tax and private client at Radcliffes. She has been a partner at Forsters LLP since 2009.

Kelly is recognised in the Legal 500 directory as an "exceptional lawyer" who is "very competent and is involved in some high value and complex work – which she handles with aplomb". The Citywealth Leaders' list comments: "Kelly is one of the best private client lawyers in London. She is a pleasure to work with, very responsive and her advice is always clear and cuts through complexities." Legal 500 2020 describes Kelly as "very approachable and provides excellent, timely service. She is involved in high value complex structures and is very effective in the advice she provides". Chambers HNW Guide 2020 states "She is brilliant. She is technically incredibly strong and charming to deal with". Kelly is ranked in the Chambers HNW Guide 2023 for her work in private wealth law and has been named in Legal Week's 'Private Client Global Elite' list each year from inception.

She has an appreciation of the sometimes complex psychodynamic issues that arise within families surrounding wealth and has explored these in a literary context through a PhD and subsequent academic publications.

The Life Cycle of Family Wealth

From growing a business to starting a family or handing over control of that business to the next generation, every individual has their own goals to aspire to. Our Private Wealth lawyers advise our clients throughout this family life cycle, providing the legal advice required for specific transactions such as purchasing a home or selling a business, whilst also advising on the long-term opportunities for succession and estate planning.

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Awards and recognitions


T: +44 207 863 8518
M: +44 7920 204 356

“Kelly is very technically able and very good on international matters.” The Chambers HNW Guide, 2023
“Kelly's ability to put herself in the shoes of her client is something that really stands out about her. She is really good at putting the client first.” Chambers HNW Guide, 2021

My Insights

"The partners are always willing to get their hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of a case, and are very well supported by a stellar team of senior associates and associates."
Chambers HNW Guide, 2021