Janette Cattell

Special Counsel | London

Janette is special counsel in the private client and tax team.

She has extensive experience in acting for UK and offshore clients with complex trust and corporate asset-holding structures. One of her specialities is finding a way through the minefield of the UK tax anti-avoidance provisions as they apply to offshore structures and also the taxation of non-domiciled UK residents. She also thrives on solving difficult drafting and interpretation issues in relation to wills, settlements and supplemental documents and the exercise of trustees’ and executors’ powers and duties. Janette also advises charities and philanthropists and, in this connection, she acts as the secretary to a major grant giving charitable trust.

Track record




Headed up a team tasked (within a matter of weeks) with re-structuring the classes of beneficiaries in around 85 offshore and UK settlements.

Working with clients who are not UK resident but will be affected by the changes relating to the payment of inheritance tax on UK residential properties held through offshore structures and wish to maximise their assets for the benefit of UK charities. I am advising on a corporate re-structuring in order to achieve this.

England and Wales

Sweet & Maxwell’s Practical Trust and Precedents and Practical Will Precedents, contributor

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

The Charity Law Association

Me in a minute

Private client law gives me far more opportunity to interact with real people

When I qualified as solicitor at Slaughter and May more years ago than I care to remember, I was regarded as slightly weird because I did not want to be a ‘hard hitting’ corporate lawyer. Several of my colleagues have also expressed surprise that I did not want to be a barrister or at least a litigator as I love singing and generally performing on stage.

However, private client law gives me far more opportunity to interact with real people and to find solutions to their endlessly varying estate planning and tax issues. The constant legislative changes (not just on Budget day) can be frustrating, but at the same time exciting.

I also enjoy passing on my knowledge, not only in a client-friendly form, but also to more junior lawyers and I am therefore much involved in drafting precedents and training, thus playing to my natural inclination to ‘show off’.

A rewarding part of my practice is being involved with trust and other planning solutions for parents with disabled children, particularly where there are cross-border tax implications and I have been instrumental in working with US lawyers to produce trusts for disabled persons which are UK and US compliant for tax and State benefits purposes.



  • English





20 Old Bailey,



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