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Hugh MacDougald

Position: Partner

Core Areas: Private Client

Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer 2017  Citywealth Leaderslist 2015 - Winckworth Sherwood

Hugh heads the Private Client department and specialises in estate planning, capital preservation, private and charitable trust administration, family equity issues, resolution of disputes over wills and trusts, capital tax advice and compliance, probate and related residential property services. The department represents high net worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs, landed estates, UK and foreign domiciled trusts and individuals, executorships, charities, and a range of agents acting on behalf of incapacitated individuals, such as attorneys and deputies.

Unusually for a London law firm, the department also handles specialist matrimonial services, divorce and disputes relating to children (Amanda Andrews and Katie Spooner) and also specialist residential and agricultural property work (Mark Vinall).

Recent experience

  • Advising UK beneficiaries of a Swiss Anstalt on the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility and tax considerations relating to the termination and distribution of a Liechtenstein anstalt to a UK resident beneficiary
  • Advising UK resident trustees of a discretionary trust on the merger of two classes of shares in a well-known private company and the accompanying consequences for the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Implementing and advising on an estate planning programme involving the gift into various settlements of a substantial portion of a country estate
  • Provision of advice for a widow and beneficiary of a will trust of business assets on the trust law and inheritance tax consequences of her disclaiming her interest
  • Providing fiduciary services for a substantial residential and agricultural estate with responsibilty for all accompanying advice, accounting and tax compliance
  • Considering the implications of marriage breakdown with a UK resident and domiciled life tenant of a non-resident settlement of valuable private company shares
  • Advising non-resident trustees of a substantial trust based in Geneva on their powers of appointment and the creation of transitional serial interests under the Finance Act 2006
  • Managing the expectations of a diverse group of resident and non-resident beneficiaries of an estate and aggregable settlement during the recession, and advising on IHT issues created by falling asset values
  • Considering with prospective testators, executors and beneficiaries the implications of the new rules for the aggregation of the nil-rate band for married couples
  • Acting for the beneficiaries of an estate containing heritage property of national interest on which conditional exemption from inheritance tax is being claimed

Professional memberships

Law Society of England & Wales
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
Country Landowners Association

Work history

1986 to present, Partner, Head of Private Client, Winckworth Sherwood
1980 to 1985, Solicitor, Macfarlanes
1977 to 1979, Articled Clerk, Lawrence Graham


Hugh and the Private Client team at Winckworth Sherwood are responsible for a large number of briefing notes designed for existing or prospective clients which appear on the firm's website.  Please browse these in the right hand navigation.

Personal interests

Hugh has diverse extramural interests.

He is a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Paviors and Chairs on its Finance Committee.

He is a Director of the English Chamber Orchestra Foundation - a charity which actively supports the orchestra.

He also lends support to the Crown & Manor Club in Hoxton - a Boys Club managed and largely financed by the Old Wykehamist community.

He is actively involved with the Exeter University Development Board, with special responsibility for legacies and the investment of the University's endorsement funds.

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Upcoming Events :

Social Housing Annual Conference 2017

Thu 09 Nov 2017

200 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4HD

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The work is extremely high-quality.

Chambers and Partners UK