In-house Professional Development training

Private Client Structured Training Programme

A lawyer working with private clients needs the confidence and knowledge to represent them in a variety of areas from trusts to taxation to estate planning.

Our Private Client Structured Training Programme has been designed by experts in private practice to reflect the way recently qualified solicitors develop their knowledge and skills. The eight modules can be taken together or individually and focus on the key specialist topics and core issues lawyers need to master to get their career in private practice off to the best possible start. The course is available on an in-house basis.


This structured programme of eight face-to-face modules is designed to provide junior private client lawyers with a comprehensive introduction to the core issues that arise in  private client work. Training is available on an in-house basis for organisations with a number of delegates  or through membership of our private client training consortium. All modules can be taken on a stand-alone basis or as part of a structured programme, allowing organisations to select topics to suit their specific needs.


The University of Law offers a structured training programme covering the principal areas of private client practice that solicitors could encounter during their first three years of qualification. The course will assume that delegates have taken the LPC Private Client Elective, or acquired an equivalent level of knowledge through working in practice. Delegates will find advantageous the knowledge gained from the PSC Private Client Elective.

The training programme provides progressive development of technical expertise and skills, reinforcing experience gained in the office. The modules are interactive and focus on practical tasks, such as drafting/problem solving, with a minimum of formal lecturing. The tutors’ objective is to stimulate learning that can readily be applied to client work, in a friendly and purposeful environment.

Delegates will receive concise notes covering relevant law and practice, together with any case study documents in advance of each module.

The programme is organised as follows:

Through the use of case studies and drafting exercises, this module develops technical skills in the following areas:

  • Consideration of the types of trusts and interests, structures, taxation, drafting and usage:
    • Interest in Possession
    • Discretionary
    • Accumulation and maintenance
    • Disabled / Trusts for the vulnerable
    • Protective
    • Bare
    • Contingent
    • Reversionary
    • Strict Settlements, land, heirlooms
  • Choice of:
    • trust – factors to bear in mind
    • trustees and beneficiaries
    • perpetuity and accumulation periods
  • Settlor interested trusts – their usage and implications for taxation/gift with reservation of benefit

  • Options for the family and second home
    • Review of previous tax avoidance schemes
    • Anti-avoidance measures and unraveling previous schemes
    • Gifts with reservation, SDLT and the Pre-Owned Asset Tax – traps and current planning possibilities
  • Charitable trusts
    • Main features
    • Content
    • Extent of public benefit required
    • Advantages of charitable status
    • Cy-près doctrine

This module consolidates and develops delegates’ understanding of the taxes central to all private client work, with consideration of the following:

  • Inheritance Tax
    • History and context
    • Administration and procedure
    • The main charging provisions 
    • The post FA 2006 regime
    • Lifetime transfers – potentially exempt transfers and lifetime chargeable transfers
    • Transfers on death, and effect of death on lifetime transfers
    • Gifts with reservation of benefit
    • Implications of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (effective from 5th December 2005)
    • Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief – property eligible, non-qualifying property, ownership requirements, rates
      of relief, property subject to a reservation of benefit.
    • Heritage property – property eligible, conditional exemptions, undertakings, designations and maintenance funds
    • Exemptions and reliefs
  • Capital Gains Tax
    • History and context
    • Administration and procedure
    • Disposals and part disposals
    • Calculation of gains
    • Reliefs
    • Losses
    • Husband and wife – disposals and tax planning points
  • Income Tax
    • History and context
    • Administration and procedure
    • Statutory income
    • Charges on income
    • Allowances
    • Rates of tax
    • Calculating the tax due
  • Pre-Owned Asset Tax:
    • History and context
    • Alternatives to paying the tax, elections and Inheritance Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
    • History and context

Through the use of case studies and drafting exercises, this module develops technical skills in the following areas:

  • Consideration of types of Will, structures, taxation, drafting and usage:
    • Fixed interest Wills
    • Discretionary – full form, 2-year and Nil Rate Band Legacy
    • (Flexible) Life Interests
  • Wills for particular circumstances, including (second) marriage, (second) families, outside of marriage, Civil Partnerships, separation and divorce.
  • Nil Rate Band Trusts in greater detail
    • Provisions in the Will
    • Implementing on the death of the first spouse
    • What property should enter the trust, and the pitfalls of using the home
    • Debt and charge scheme, SDLT, and s103 Finance Act 1986
    • Running the trust and calling in the debt 
  • Assets requiring particular attention
    • Business property
    • Agricultural property
  • Intestacy
  • Domicile

  • Forced Heirship
    • Community of property
    • Restrictions on testamentary freedom
  • Capacity
  • Attestation
  • Secret trusts

  • Post death planning
    • Use of post death planning as an alternative to Will planning and its dangers 
    • Post FA 2006 restrictions
    • Disclaimers and Variations – usage, procedure and taxation implications
    • Introducing a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust by Deed of Variation
    • Altering spouse’s life interest, to make the most of planning opportunities
    • Curing Will defects by Deed of Variation

  • The introduction to the connecting factors to the UK tax regime: residence, ordinary residence, domicile in the wider context (including succession) and deemed domicile
  • income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax (and SDLT) for individuals, companies and trusts where there are offshore connections
  • Leaving the UK and coming to the UK;
  • Dual contracts;
  • Credit cards;
  • Situs of assets;
  • Double tax relief;
  • Overview of tax on the transfer of assets abroad and the remittance basis.

  • Transfer of assets abroad in more detail: section 720 and section 731 (with a comparison of section 624 ITTOIA and 720 ITA);

  • Double taxation issues;

  • Transfer of assets into trust;
  • Taxation of offshore trusts;
  • Transfer of assets between trusts;
  • Dismantling structures;
  • Looking at the difference between the pre and post 6 April 2008 position;
  • Summary of non-doms' position in the post April 2006 regime

Topics covered comprise:

  • Administrative provisions:
    • Trustees powers and duties – Trustee Act 2000
    • Investment
    • Delegation
    • Land
    • Remuneration
  • The role of Trustee:
    • Choice, control and how appointed
    • Retirement, removal and vesting property in the new trustees
    • Indemnities
  • Events during a trust:
    • Income payments
    • Appointment and advancement of capital
    • Appropriations
    • Trust variations/rectification
  • On-going administration:
    • Dealing with beneficiaries
    • Investment policy
    • Tax returns and obligations
    • Accounts – why, format and content
    • Trustee meetings
    • Exercise of discretion
    • How to simplify the administration – loans to beneficiaries, mandating income and non-income producing assets
  • Winding up:
    • What triggers it
    • Practical, tax and administrative issues

The aim of this module is to familiarise the private client solicitor with possible claims against an estate or trust, and ways in which they could be prevented. It does not cover running an action. Issues considered are:

  • Probate actions – challenging the validity of wills on the basis of:
    • Lack of capacity
    • Lack of Knowledge and approval
    • Undue influence
    • Inadequate execution
  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 
    • Who is eligible?
    • Court and consent orders
    • Taxation effects
    • Changes due to Civil Partnerships Act 2004 (from 5th December 2005)
  • Proprietory estoppel
    • Constructive trusts
    • Resulting trusts
    • Capacity
    • Undue influence in relation to lifetime gift
  • Breach of Trust 
    • Liability
    • Indemnities
    • Defences
    • Remedies and tracing
  • Unsatisfactory Personal Representatives
    • Action to remove
    • Alternatives
  • Use of Caveats
  • Avoiding negligence and litigation
  • Rectification of documents

Issues dealt with during taxation days 1 and 2 will be revised and the learning reinforced by the use of exercises requiring the completion of computations (supplied in outline and with full answers distributed)

  • Heritage Property and Maintenance Funds, IHT, CGT and income tax
  • IHT on death, how it works including FA 2006 issues
  • IHT lifetime planning, options and issues following FA2006
  • IHT on trusts, IIPs and relevant property particularly following FA 2006, 10 year     and exit charge
  • CGT the general rules
  • CGT rollover, holdover
  • CGT trusts
  • CGT and death
  • Gifts with reservation of benefit
  • Pre-owned asset tax
  • Comparison of corporate and non-corporate ownership of assets/business

This brings all preceding modules together through the use of various case studies. Topics covered are:

  • Estimating the potential tax bill
  • Transfers between husband and wife
  • Other transfers/lifetime giving
  • The matrimonial home
  • How to keep value out of the estate
  • Life assurance
  • Payments under pensions
  • Death in Service benefits
  • Gifts to Charity
  • Planning the Will
  • Developing an investment strategy for clients
  • Portfolio planning

Further information

For further information about the programme, please contact the Professional Development Division on +44 (0)1483 216 663 or e-mail 

  • Choose from the eight modules available to build an incremental learning programme to meet your needs
  • Provides a thorough grounding in the key areas of private client practice and builds confidence in advising clients, managing trusts and estates, and estate planning
  • Designed and delivered by practitioners with high-level experience in the field
  • Highly interactive small group learning, with a focus on practical tasks and realistic case studies – to ensure learning is directly applicable in the workplace
  • Training is supported by comprehensive study notes and working documents where relevant
Find out more

Call +44 (0)1483 216 663

Organisations select a relevant programme from our list of eight face-to-face modules, which can be attended individually or as part of a structured programme. Modules are then delivered by our highly experienced trainers at a time and location to suit you.

The programme has been structured to reflect the way solicitors develop their knowledge and skills in the early years of qualification, but the modules can be taken in whatever order is preferred. All modules blend tuition with group discussion, drafting exercises and case studies.

The modules available are as follows, with further information on each module listed above:

  • Trusts (two days)
  • Taxation (two days)
  • Wills and Post-death Arrangements (two days)
  • Foreign Element (two days)
  • Management of Wills and Trusts (one day)
  • Contentious Trusts and Probate (one day)
  • Advanced Taxation (one day)
  • Estate Planning (one day)

Attendance will enable participants to:

  • Understand the core issues that arise in the private client practice area
  • Focus on key specialist topics
  • Develop confidence in advising clients, managing trusts and estates, and estate planning
  • See issues from the point of view of all parties concerned
  • Use the experience gained in practice to understand the importance of the topics covered
  • Identify the context within which advice from specialist colleagues is given/required

Modules can be delivered throughout the year to meet your requirements.

In-house training can be delivered either at one of our centres, your premises or an appropriate third party venue nationwide. Consortium training can be delivered either at one of our centres, a consortium member’s premises or an appropriate third party venue nationwide.

In-house course fees vary according to requirements. Consortium course fees are split between the organisations attending according to delegate numbers. Please contact us directly for a personalised quotation to meet your needs.

To discuss how we can meet your organisation's requirements and for more information, please call our Client Contact Centre on +44 (0)1483 216 663 or e-mail

Important information

We go to great lengths to ensure that the information provided is correct at the time of publication. However, we reserve the right to withdraw or change, for any reason and without notice, any of the programmes and/or to alter tuition fees, locations, entry requirements and/or the facilities and/or services available from or provided by or on behalf of the University. Please note that the choice of subjects may be limited by considerations of timetable, staffing and/or available places on a course.


Each day of training is accredited for six CPD hours.

Private Client Training Consortium

We also offer our Private Client Training Consortium (PCTC). To find out more about our Consortia training programmes please contact our Client Contact Centre on 0800 289997.

For legal employers

To maximise profit and potential…give your lawyers an edge with our Professional Development training courses. Contact us to discuss your training requirements at 

Access our training by practice area

From tax to trusts, we have quality training covering all the major practice areas - more information on practice areas.