Richard Denton

My areas of expertise include Wills, trusts, estate planning and the administration of estates.

I also regularly advise high-net-worth individuals on the options for asset protection through Wills, linking with any nuptial agreements that may be in place.

Many of my clients are entrepreneurs or have substantial wealth and I am able to link Will-writing services and the organisation of assets to tax planning, helping to advise on all the options available for limiting Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. I take pride in being able to think “outside the box” when approaching such matters.

I have extensive experience of advising on international matters, including the laws relating to non-doms and cross border estate planning (both of which can be notoriously complicated.)

I also have a wealth of expertise advising more elderly clients.

Education/background

I graduated from UMIST with a degree in Management Sciences before taking the CPE and LPC at York College of Law.

Starting my legal career, I trained with the national firm Eversheds before working with Addleshaw Goddard for five years. I joined Stock Fraser Denton in August 2006 from the West End and became an equity Partner in November 2008.

Client testimonials

“Thank you so much for all of your time, advice, support and assistance over the past year – and for putting up with all of our non-stop communications. You’ve been amazing.”

Memberships

Solicitors for the Elderly

Additional languages

Swedish

Leisure interests

I am a keen cyclist (regularly riding to work) and also enjoy skiing.

Priti Shah

Business owners, property investors, overseas clients and high-net-worth individuals seeking to mitigate their Inheritance and Capital Gains Tax liabilities benefit from my 20 years’ experience as a Solicitor and Chartered Tax Adviser.

I am committed to providing the most suitable solutions, enabling clients to minimise their tax exposure whilst ensuring the protection of their assets. To this end I work very hard to understand the client’s objectives and ensure our advice is tailored to their individual needs.

I believe in a proactive approach and will explore possible tax planning opportunities with executors, trustees and beneficiaries through the use of deeds of variation, trusts and by making gifts to charities.

Non-resident clients also benefit from my extensive experience advising on the use of double tax treaties, forced heirship rules and the legislation affecting foreign domiciliaries.  I also hold the STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients.

In addition I prepare and register Lasting Powers of Attorney covering both property and affairs and health and welfare issues and make applications to the Court of Protection for family members to be appointed as a deputy.

Education/background

Having previously worked at Deloitte I subsequently used my specialist tax experience to set up my own practice for a number of years. I later joined OGR Stock Denton’s Private Client department.

Client testimonials

“Pleasant, patient, intelligent, very helpful and quick to understand our needs.”

"I am writing to thank you for the excellent service you have shown me recently. Your work ethic is totally unselfish and it is always very clear that you only have your client's best interest in mind. Your knowledge of your industry is phenomenal which gives me great confidence in your product. I called on your services as i needed a Will. I thought that the one I had was sufficient for my needs but after giving it to you to look at, it was clear that it was totally useless. Your patience with me and my situation was second to none and you did everything to help me achieve the correct will which is very important to me. You explained to me in great detail all of my options and you always put my mind at rest. I would not hesitate to refer you to any of my friends and colleagues"

"Thank you for your conscientious, impartial and sensitive handling of our meeting with you...it was a pleasure to meet you both, for what was an informative and constructive discussion about the steps Michael, Helen and I need to take to ensure Roger's continued wellbeing - It would be a privilege if you were to use my words in a testimonial"

"Thanks for your help with everything over the last couple of weeks - he told me he was very happy with your clear explanations and the advice you were able to provide him and my mother-in-law."

Recent notable cases
  • Advising property owners on ways to divest themselves of the asset but retaining the rental income.
  • Advising business owners on the use of trusts for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children and other family members.
  • Advising overseas clients on the structure of their investments to reduce their potential tax liability.
  • Advising clients on the reduction of the rate payable by beneficiaries of the estate by making gifts to charity.
  • Advising high-net-worth individuals on the use of their surplus income to make gifts to family members in a tax efficient manner.
Memberships
  • STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
Speaking engagements

I regularly present seminars at business breakfast meetings and stress the importance of Will and estate planning.

Publications
Additional Languages

Gujarati and Hindi

Leisure interests

I am married with two children and in my spare time I enjoy watching cricket, keeping fit and travelling.

Graeme Fraser

Graeme has specialised in family law throughout his career of over 20 years. Formerly a Partner at Hunters, he joined OGR Stock Denton LLP,  as a Partner in October 2017. Graeme is well-known in the legal community and beyond not simply as an experienced specialist family lawyer, but also as a commentator, writer and trainer. His practice covers, divorce, financial settlements, involving complicated assets and substantial wealth, children issues, marital agreements, cohabitation, intervenors, insolvency related settlements, European Family law, relationship breakdowns, tax rules on divorce, use of experts, corporate and family law strategic advice and multi-ethnic law.

He has considerable experience in advising on financial settlements involving complex assets and substantial wealth, and on cohabitation, for which he holds the Resolution specialist accreditation. He also belongs to the Law Society Family Accreditation Scheme. His work often involves international aspects, including working with foreign lawyers on pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements involving competing jurisdictions in the European Union and worldwide. Graeme has been trained by Resolution and subsequently developed part of his practice to include resolving disputes using the collaborative process. 

Graeme is renowned for having dedicated his career to improving protections for cohabiting couples through his practice, through his work with Resolution and through commentary in the media. He is particularly concerned about the impact that the law currently has on women, who tend to be the lower-earning partner and who take on the bulk of caring duties within families. He has repeatedly highlighted in articles and interviews that women who give up their careers to look after children and the family home can find themselves destitute, and with little recourse, should their cohabiting relationship break down. Graeme has been a relentless campaigner on an issue that continues to cause a great deal of harm. His campaigning has contributed to raising awareness of the lack of rights cohabitants enjoy and helped increase the pressure on the Government to introduce reforms. Graeme’s practice has given him the insights that inform his commentary in both the specialist and nationalist press. He is a spokesperson for Resolution in conveying the importance of revising family law reform to achieve better outcomes for modern families. In recognition of this body of work, Graeme received the prestigious Family Law Commentator of the Year Award in 2018.

Memberships/Associations

Throughout his career, Graeme has been  motivated to engage with the wider profession and public discourse on family reform.

He was recently appointed to the Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC). The selection process is exceptionally rigorous, as members need to demonstrate not only a solid working knowledge of Court and administrative proceesses within the family jurisdiction, but also a commitment to valuing diversity and an understanding of the impact of the Family Procedure Rules and Practice Direction amendments.

He is also Chair of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee and am serving the Resolution National Committee (NC) for a term of 7 years, working with colleagues to improve outcomes for families and children involved with the family justice system. This includes his role on the Family Law Reform Group, a sub-committee of the National Committee, with an agenda to promote and progress family law reform. He is also an immediate past member of the London Regional Committee where policy and practice issues were regularly discussed; including regular dialogue with leading judges, barristers and solicitors.

Graeme has contributed towards formulating Resolution’s response to various government consultation papers and discussing other policy issues. His committee work has involved contributing to the strategic direction of Resolution, often in relation to highly complex matters.

This includes:

Resolution (2021) : Response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the rights of cohabiting couples launched by the Women and Equalities Committee.

For Family Law Reform Group (2017 to 2019): FPRC Calderbank consultation; Private Law Children; Public Law Consultation; Review of how the Courts treat parents and children in case of domestic abuse (Ministerial Statement); Resolution response to Reducing Family Conflict (Divorce Law Reform); Approach to Private Members Bills (a) Divorce (b) Divorce Financial Provision (c) Cohabitation Rights Bill; Resolution’s role and co-ordination with other organisations ; and Domestic Violence Evidence Requirements for Legal Aid

For Cohabitation Committee (2008 to 2019 and which I have chaired since 2015): Responses to government and other consultations in relation to Law Commission report in respect of proposed financial provision on death and intestacy; Government Consultation prior to introduction of Equal Civil Marriage; Lord Lester’s Cohabitation Bill; Matters arising from the Law Commission’s Report on Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown

Recent notable cases

Graeme’s practice comprises complex divorce and cohabitation matters, including transactional and litigation work, sometimes involving assets between £10M and £20M.

Over the past year, Graeme has worked on High Court litigation involving a highly successful property developer was successful in asserting an agreement reached in 2012 should be upheld to the extent that the claim made by his wife was limited to £600,000, roughly one tenth of the amount claimed, thereby saving him approximately £5M. Mr Justice Holman complimented the attention to the case by all the lawyers, including Graeme.

He has also worked on a case instructed by the Official Solicitor concerning a high earning spouse in the Central Family Court Remedies Unit. At trial, his client was awarded a considerable capital award as well as a joint lives maintenance order in the face of strenuous attempts to cap her award.

He was very recently involved in a one day CEDR style mediation focusing on the mechanics of sale in respect of a Cohabitation TOLATA property worth around £4M which resulted in settlement on all issues. The mediator described Graeme as one of the foremost family practitioners in cohabitation law.

Graeme has seen a notable increase in nuptial agreement transactions involving offshore trusts with international dimensions. He has also observed an upsurge in cohabitation agreements, with instructions coming not only locally, but also nationally. During the Pandemic, there has been an increase in older couples living together in bubbles who wish to enter into cohabitation agreements as a matter of asset protection and creating financial certainty.

Awards

LexisNexis Family Law Commentator of the Year Award in 2018 - Winner

LexisNexis Family Law Firm of the Year (London) 2020 - Shortlisted

Public speaker events

In 2015, Graeme helped organise and chaired a national debate on Cohabitation Reform at the Law Society. Speakers included Mr Justice Potter, past President of the Family Division, Lord Marks, Baroness Deech and Jo Miles, lecturer at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Over 150 people attended, and included contributions from the floor from notable guests including Sir Paul Coleridge and Professor Rebecca Bailey-Harris.

In 2017, Graeme helped spearhead a campaign to raise cohabitation awareness, which was adopted at national and regional level, leading to regular mentions in Parliament and the news media. In recognition of the quality of my media commentary on topics relating to family law he was named as Family Law Commentator of the Year at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Awards in 2018.

His engagement with the profession has extended to working with the Law Society of Ireland and the Chair of its Family & Child Law Committee, Keith Walsh. He was able to deliver talks on Brexit and on the Divorce and Family Law processes in England and Ireland.

In May 2021, Graeme lectured at the Chartered Institute of Taxation on the impact of the automation of family law processes, and the anticipated adoption of  artificial intelligence in the coming years, and how this may reduce the sizeable court backlogs.

Graeme works with barristers to deliver focused family law webinars on Cohabitation, Divorce and the Wider Family and Private Children Law, that have attracted interest from family law professionals nationwide. He has also regularly hosted and spoken at National Conference through biennial workshops.

Publications

Graeme is consultant editor and author for LexisPSL Family on cohabitation. Additionally, he is the editor of Resolution’s Cohabitation Claims, which was published in April 2020 and which assesses the complex concepts emerging from the case law relating to property claims by cohabitants. His work has helped develop the Cohabitation Agreement Precedents as an online tool widely available to Resolution members which enables Agreements to be simply and quickly prepared and in a cost efficient way.

Most recently, Graeme wrote a Chapter on Cohabitation for the Resolution Family Law Handbook published in the autumn of 2021. In the Foreward to the Handbook, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, describes the authors as “household names in their respective areas of work”.