Camilla Wallace - Spear's Magazine

Camilla Wallace

Wedlake Bell

Camilla Wallace
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She might have been working from home, but Wedlake Bell’s head of private client group Camilla Wallace has not stood still during lockdown. ‘We’re as busy as ever,’ she tells Spear’s.

‘Most of our clients have been reviewing their estate planning and housekeeping, making sure that everything is up to date and in order,’ says Wallace, who also sits on the firm’s board. A ‘tragic and heartbreaking’ aspect of lockdown has been an uptick in ‘Covid estates’ and probate work, too.

As if that wasn’t enough to fill an agenda, she’s also juggling ‘a dozen or so’ relocations in preparation for the 2021/22 tax year. ‘London may have had a high Covid rate, but it hasn’t put people off in the long term,’ she says.

The issues that clients were concerned about ‘post-Corbyn and pre-Covid’ – estate planning and succession planning – are now being looked at with a ‘lot more focus’. ‘With depressed values comes an opportunity to hand assets and wealth over to the next generation,’ she observes.

Another trend is international investors ‘coming in and making a play’ for distressed purchases. There are opportunities in industries such as hospitality, she notes. ‘For those that have the money and have a long-term view, you can pick up a bargain.’