Succession Planning for Modern Families

14 Jun 2021

Location: 1.00pm - 2.00pm UK Time Virtual Event (Zoom)
Members: FREE - Book by 14 Jun
Non Members: Become a Member above and Register for FREE - Book by 14 Jun

Succession Planning for Modern Families


With modern science advancing at great speed, our expert speakers will discuss what this means for succession planning. Complexities over legal relationships and inheritance are pure examples of some of the challenges thrown up by surrogacy and fertility preservation. Chaired by Sarah Williams of Payne Hicks Beach, areas to be covered will include:

  • The law surrounding surrogacy – introduction to, and update on, the position in the UK and key jurisdictions
  • The complex web of parental rights flowing from surrogacy
  • Why private client practitioners and trustees need to be up to date on the issues
  • The role of the Human Rights Act
  • Fertility preservation
  • Modern Family dynamics and trusts
  • Settlors’ wishes and public policy

Succession planning must keep up with the changes, and practitioners need to know what to expect and predict and plan for the unexpected. 

Our Expert Speakers

Sarah Williams
Legal Director
Payne Hicks Beach

Sarah is a Legal Director in the Payne Hicks Beach Family department, and the Head of the Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility and Modern Family law practice. In addition, Sarah has a Court of Protection practice focused on health and welfare disputes concerning vulunerable and incapacitated adults. She has a wide range of experience including disputes concerning end of life care. Sarah spent the first decade of her career as a practising Family Barrister at a leading set of chambers representing parents, children, guardians and the Official Solicitor in both public and private law. Sarah was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown by the Attorney General after a highly competitive selection process.

Prior to joining Payne Hicks Beach, Sarah was in-house Counsel for a US firm where she worked extensively on an ultra-high net worth Californian divorce and contested children proceedings. Thereafter she joined a specialist family law firm where she developed her expertise in complex international surrogacy, fertility and modern family law, representing internationally famous clients from the fields of sports and media.

“Possessed of that winning combination of intelligence, capacity for hard work and charm”, Sarah is adept at handling her cases with the utmost discretion and sensitivity. She is “a true fighter in pursuit of her clients’ interests” and determined to get the very best outcome for them. She is often called to comment on the latest legal developments by the national press and makes regular contributions to specialist family law journals.

Sarah is a member of the Family Law Bar Association, Association of Lawyers for Children and both the Adoption Committee and the Assisted Reproduction Technology Committee of the American Bar Association. She is the Vice Chair of the Bar Liaison Committee and sits on the Executive Committee of Inner Temple. She is an active member of the Mentoring Scheme for pupil barristers at Inner Temple.

Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams Legal Director
Payne Hicks Beach
Clare Usher-Wilson
Deputy Managing Director
Summit Trust International

Clare is a graduate of History and Politics (BA Hons) at Royal Holloway College, University of London. She began her trust career in Guernsey in 1998 and then moved to Liechtenstein, before settling in Geneva in 2004. Clare has a wide range of experience in trust and company management, including private trust companies, charitable trusts and employee benefits trusts, within which a wide range of assets are managed, including fine art and automobile collections, private equity and commercial and residential property. Clare manages an administration team that is focused on larger, more complex structures where a family office or private investment office is involved. In May 2006, Clare was awarded the Society of Trust and Estate Practictioners (STEP) Suisse-Romand prize for excellence in the Foundation Certificate. Clare is on the executive committee for the STEP Suisse-Romande Association.

Clare Usher-Wilson
Clare Usher-Wilson Deputy Managing Director
Summit Trust International
Jessica Henson
Payne Hicks Beach

Jessica is a private client partner specialising in risk and disputes in relation to trusts and estates.

Jessica has accrued extensive trust litigation experience both in England and offshore. Her cases have included both seeking and defending the removal of trustees, protectors and executors; rectification and variation of trusts; setting aside and defending trusts on the basis of sham allegations; challenging trustees’ decisions and advising trustees on making decisions in contentious circumstances; challenging trustees’ fees; claims for breach of fiduciary duty; and associated professional negligence proceedings against tax and legal advisors. 

Equally, Jessica frequently advises on probate and estate disputes, including invalidity claims, capacity and construction issues, as well as claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

Jessica has also built up particular expertise in advising trustees and beneficiaries on issues of trust law in the context of divorce proceedings – both in relation to proceedings in the Family Division and in the corresponding offshore trust jurisdictions. 

Jessica Henson
Jessica Henson Partner
Payne Hicks Beach


Audience Log On
Chair's Welcome
Sarah Williams - Legal Director - Payne Hicks Beach
Succession Planning for the Modern Family
Sarah Williams - Legal Director - Payne Hicks Beach
Clare Usher-Wilson - Deputy Managing Director - Summit Trust International
Jessica Henson - Partner - Payne Hicks Beach
Closing Comments and End
Sarah Williams - Legal Director - Payne Hicks Beach


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