Partner & Joint Head of Oxford Trusts, Estates and Tax Team
‘Louise Lewis, an outstanding, highly articulate and dedicated lawyer who is passionate about supporting her clients and providing solutions and value, is a thoughtful and a collaborative problem solver, generous with her time, and very approachable in her working style. Louise is a complete pleasure to work with and a stand-out lawyer working in a very strong partnership.’
(The Legal 500, 2024)
Louise is a Partner and joint head of the Oxford Trusts, Estates and Tax Team. She is a highly regarded private client lawyer who advises on a variety of matters. Louise qualified in 2005 and joined our firm from Penningtons Manches Cooper in June 2019.
Louise drafts Wills, sets up and administers trusts, administers estates and drafts and registers powers of attorney. She has expertise in the field of mental capacity and advises on disabled persons’ trusts, deputyships for children reaching adulthood and other welfare-related issues. She prepares lasting powers of attorney and Wills for clients with mental capacity issues and complex applications to the Court of Protection and High Court for mentally incapacitated people. These include applications for statutory Wills, for gifts and trusts, for removal of incapacitated trustees and for welfare decisions. Louise is the Deputy Chair of the steering committee for STEP’s mental capacity special interest group and she Chaired a session on mental capacity and welfare issues at STEP’s global congress in London in summer 2022. She regularly speaks on mental capacity topics and has presented for the Brain Injury Association and the Alzheimer’s Society among others. Louise is a Dementia Friend. In 2020, she completed an advanced STEP certificate in advising vulnerable clients, receiving a distinction.
In addition, Louise is a member of the firm’s private wealth initiative and is able to provide advice to business clients on estate planning at all stages of the business cycle. This includes tax advice and trusts for people exiting their businesses, advice on Wills and the interaction of Wills with corporate structures, advice on suitable structures for start-up owners and new partnerships and advice on trusts to hold company shares. Louise also administers business interests following death of business owners and advises on available tax reliefs for estates.
Louise has considerable experience of working with international clients and advises on residence and domicile and cross border estate planning.
In June 2023, Louise completed an advanced STEP certificate in UK tax for international clients, receiving a distinction.
Louise Lewis is a Recommended Lawyer and a Next Generation Partner in The Legal 500 (2024 edition).
Probate Application Solicitors
- Setting up lifetime and complementary trusts in a Will for a client to make provision for a second spouse and children from his first marriage. The inheritance tax saving as a result of this planning was approximately £70,000.
- Advising on a lifetime trust for parents with a mentally disabled child and assisting with financial planning. This included liaising with mental health professionals and financial advisers in order to ensure that the child’s ongoing financial and practical needs were catered for.
- Advising a family on discussions with charities over the provisions of a deceased relative’s Will and negotiating with the charities and the Attorney General to save a potentially failed charitable legacy.
- Writing a toolkit for lawyers covering all aspects of the law on digital estate planning, including privacy, intellectual property, data protection, contract law (ISPs terms of business) and licensing, as well as providing guidance on this field through the STEP digital assets special interest group.
- Working with a family whose disabled child had died young, securing a retrospective gratuitous care claim for the family in the order of £700,000 thereby saving the estate approximately £280,000 in inheritance tax.
- Raising funds for two Oxfordshire-based charities through legacy donations and preparing documents for those charities to facilitate donations. Other charitable work has included speaking at an event hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society on the tax benefits of donating to charity and hosting a Wills clinic at an Oxfordshire based charity so that charity donors could receive advice on estate and tax planning
- New Leadership and Team Expansion for Freeths’ Highly Regarded Oxfordshire Private Client Practice
- Essential Estate Planning
- Property Valuations for Probate – What do you need to know?
- Mental capacity: re-gaining capacity
- Safeguarding and the Court of Protection
- What is mental capacity?
- The benefits of lasting powers of attorney and how to make one during this crisis
To contact Louise or for more information…
- Full member of STEP (“TEP”)
- Deputy Chair of STEP’s global steering committee for mental capacity
- Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (“FRSA”)
- Dementia Friend
‘I feel that Louise Lewis and her team are immensely supportive and caring about the position that their clients are in and incredibly kind. She is an exceptional person and that radiates through her team. All very smart and diligent practitioners who make sure that the work is explained and gets done with sympathy and speed.’(The Legal 500, 2024)
‘Louise Lewis clearly has a strong academic interest in the law she practises and I am aware that she has spoken at and led conferences. She will say if she wants to consult a colleague on a particular question and will tell me if she has new advice to offer as a result. Perhaps above all she brings to what are often difficult topics great human sympathy and understanding of family life.’(The Legal 500, 2024)
Louise is a highly intelligent and committed professional who cares passionately about obtaining the optimum outcomes for her clients. She has a razor-sharp grasp of her materials; she is inquiring and creative and extremely diligent”(Chambers & Partners, 2023)
Louise invokes a lot of trust with the people she works with. Combined with her high technical skills, it makes her the perfect package.(Chambers & Partners, 2023)
Louise is a hugely committed lawyer with great empathy and a brilliant grasp of detail. She is highly intelligent and works closely with her clients to find the best possible solutions,” enthuses a source, who adds: “She is a skilled listener and excellent at handling difficult situations. She is able to find pragmatic solutions and has a terrific command of her brief. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.(Chambers & Partners, 2022)
Louise is a highly professional, approachable and empathetic legal practitioner. She has helped me and my elderly mother, firstly with financial affairs following the death of my father and then again with setting up lasting powers of attorney. Louise helped my Mum to feel less anxious and empowered her to make her own well-informed decisions. She was very patient and explained things very clearly. I would recommend Louise to anyone who needs help with wills, probate or any other aspect of managing their estate. She is particularly skilled at working with vulnerable and/or elderly clients.(Louise Wheeler )
“I honestly could not have endured it without your support and kindness. The absolute relief of having you representing us will be immense. These are very sad times for us as a family but what a difference a trusted and truly sympathetic voice makes”.
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
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Contact: 03301 001 014