James McNeile RWK Goodman

James McNeile


Agriculture | Private Client | Wills, Trusts and Estates

About James

James is a partner with over 20 years experience of UK and international private client work, especially relating to estate planning and trusts.

James has been noted by Chambers and Partners UK (2018) for his extensive experience advising a range of clients on private client law. In the 2017 edition, he is described as a “Leader in his field.” Their independent source comments that James is a “very well-regarded estate planning partner”, who is acclaimed for his “deep knowledge” of UK and international trusts and estates matters. Commentators appreciate his management of deeply personal cases, remarking that he “navigates with great sensitivity balanced with business acumen, making sure to get the economics and the law right.” The Legal 500 UK Directory describes James as a solicitor with “expertise in estate planning, trusts and tax planning, [who] acts for a range of high-worth families and non-UK individuals.”

James is an expert on estate planning for families with a particular interest in tax planning for non-UK domiciled individuals who have a tax exposure here either through UK residence or through ownership of UK assets.

He heads the firm’s private client services which includes protecting wealth as assets, probate and estate administration, elderly and incapacity and inheritance and trust disputes.

He is also a member of the firm’s Agriculture and Rural team advising farm and landed estate owners on lifetime issues such as the most tax efficient business ownership structures as well as succession and trust planning.

His specialisms include:

  • advising on the creation of UK and international trusts
  • estate and trust planning for individuals and families
  • advising farm and estate owners on estate and tax planning, as well as efficient business structures
  • creating structures, involving both onshore and offshore elements, for the protection and efficient transfer of wealth.

James’s specialist knowledge is highly regarded throughout the industry. He has written for Lexis Nexis and Butterworths legal publications, including chapters on “Planning and Administration of Offshore and Onshore Trusts” and “Trust Drafting and Precedents”. He is a regular speaker at UK and international conferences on the UK residence and domicile here.

He joined RWK Goodman as a partner in 2006 having previously been a partner in the international private client team at Farrer & Co in London.


  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Holborn Law Society revenue Committee

"It’s never easy understanding UK tax law at the best of times let alone for non-UK domiciled individuals. My aim is to minimise their tax exposure and to protect their interests both during their lifetime and on death. It’s surprising how many people are paying significant amounts of tax unnecessarily because they’re unaware of the best ownership structures or tax reliefs available to them."

James McNeile

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