Richard Crocker is the Head of the Private Client team at Taylor Walton and works with a growing team that offers a high quality service in the local area, as well as further afield. He offers specialist advice on a wide range of issues including Wills, lifetime tax-planning and probate, to an extensive and long-standing client base.
Richard graduated from Newcastle University with a history degree and his first career was with British Telecom where he was involved in developing overseas networks and negotiating international agreements. He then decided on a change of career in favour of the law and attended the College of Law in London between 1985 and 1987 where he completed the conversion course. Richard was articled with London firm Beale & Co and joined the well known Private Client Department at Withers LLP as a qualified solicitor in 1990.
He joined Taylor Walton in 1997, having decided that he would like to work more locally, and became a Partner in 2000. Richard has been Head of the Private Client team since 2004 and is based in the Harpenden office. Since his arrival, the department has expanded significantly in the size and expertise reflecting Richard’s ambition to create a team capable of providing the level and quality of service generally considered to be the natural territory of London firms (rather than regional practices). He places great importance on winning and retaining clients and providing an outstanding client service.
Richard also works closely with the firm’s Commercial Litigation team through his knowledge and expertise of contentious trust and probate claims, dealing with claims to challenge the validity of Wills and Codicils and disputes between executors and trustees and beneficiaries. An interesting recent case included a challenge by a disaffected family member to the validity of a Will on the grounds that the testator was illiterate.
Advising on Wills and related issues of succession planning, inheritance tax planning and family protection forms a major part of Richard’s practice with many clients being particularly keen to put in place flexible and protective arrangements as a result of the current economic climate, which has undoubtedly had an impact on personal relationships as well as financial matters.
Richard also deals with the administration of estates (often complex and valuable) and he regularly acts as an executor, as well as a trustee and attorney for existing clients. In this context, Richard works regularly with other departments in the firm, and particularly the Residential Property department in connection with property disposals by estates and trusts.
Following recent changes to the taxation of trusts, Richard has been involved in advising clients on existing trust structures and implementing changes to those arrangements to take advantage of the “window of opportunity” offered by the new legislation. He is particularly keen on complex technical drafting! Richard also advises on trust structures created by Wills, often with associated family issues.
Richard has a good working relationship with both professional referrers and clients and has consistently been recognised as a leading practitioner by the Legal 500, an independent guide to the best law firms and lawyers in the UK.
Choral music, hill walking, holidays.