STEP Private Client Awards 2014/15

Posted: 18/09/2014

Four leading trust and estate industry figures and 17 firms have been honoured at the 2014/15 STEP Private Client Awards, which were held last night in a dazzling Awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Seven hundred private-client professionals attended the ceremony, which was hosted by Hugh Dennis of Mock the Week and Fast and Loose fame.

Sir Michael Birt QC was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating almost 40 years of service to the Crown and community in his home of Jersey, including in his current role as Bailiff of Jersey.

In this year's Peoples' Choice category, voted for by STEP members, Ceris Gardner TEP of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP was voted Trusted Advisor of the Year for the second time (having also won the award in 2012) recognising her internationally well-regarded expertise in tax, trust and succession. The presiding judges described her as ‘thorough and academic, but also very commercial and adored by clients’. 

Richard Frimston TEP received the Geoffrey Shindler Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession for his ‘ceaseless’ work on behalf of STEP’s members to achieve changes to proposed public registers of beneficial company ownership in the UK.

In an evening highlight, Farrer & Co collected both the Contentious Trust and Estates Team of the Year and Legal Team of the Year – large categories.

The full list of winners this year was:

  • Private Client Advisory, KPMG — Accountancy Team of the Year
  • The French Law Practice — Boutique Firm of the Year
  • New Square Chambers — Chambers of the Year
  • The Turcan Connell Group — Charity Team of the Year
  • Farrer & Co — Contentious Trust and Estates Team of the Year and Legal Team of the Year - large
  • Mary K Duke TEP — Family Business Advisor of the Year
  • Close Brothers Asset Management — Financial Advisor Team of the Year
  • Nerine Fiduciaries — Independent Trust Company of the Year
  • Appleby — International Legal Team of the Year
  • Odey — Investment Team of the Year
  • Cripps — Legal Team of the Year - midsize
  • Smith & Williamson — Multi-Family Office Team of the Year
  • J.P. Morgan — Philanthropy Team of the Year
  • C. Hoare & Co. — Private Banking Team of the Year
  • Capital Generation Partners — Private Investment Office of the Year
  • RBC Wealth Management — Trust Company of the Year
  • Catherine Grum TEP, Salamanca Group — Young Practitioner of the Year
  • Ceris Gardner TEP, Maurice Turnor Gardner — Trusted Advisor of the Year
  • Richard Frimston TEP, Russell-Cooke LLP — The Geoffrey Shindler Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession
  • Sir Michael Birt QC — the Lifetime Achievement Award

Now in their ninth year, the PCAs set the standard for excellence in private client practice, with a record 240 entries this year from 21 countries. Chair of the Presiding Judges Paul Stibbard TEP commented: ‘The Private Client Awards are the premier awards event in our industry and I feel honoured to have been able to act as Chair of the Presiding Judges again. The superb quality of this year’s entries, combined with the broad range of categories, made determining finalists and winners especially challenging. This year’s winners should feel immensely proud of the top-tier services they provide their clients.’

STEP’s Chief Executive David Harvey said: ‘For nine years we have acknowledged outstanding work by our peers in the industry and, as challenges and priorities in the field evolve, it is heartening to see practitioners and firms consistently demonstrate excellence.'

A full list of winners and photos of the night are available at

Next year's Private Client Awards will take place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 8 September 2015.

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