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Richard Cripps

Managing Partner - West Kent (Hadlow)

6th October 2023

Industry peers – ‘Rix & Kay is a highly capable team of lawyers offering proactive advice’ delivered with ‘personality’

Legal 500 results reveal glowing testimonials endorsing Rix & Kay’s legal expertise and client service.

Rix & Kay has, once again, been recognised as a leading firm by Legal 500 across all of its core practice areas.

Legal 500, whose latest set of annual results were published on 4 October 2023, has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world for 34 years. Regarded as one of the leading independent commentators on law firm capabilities, Legal 500 undertakes a comprehensive research programme revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market.

The rankings are based on a series of criteria that highlight those law firms who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to clients.

Rix & Kay has been recognised across 12 practice areas including Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Real Estate, Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency, and Private Client.

The latest set of results follow the results from Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide that was published earlier in the summer and saw Rix & Kay’s specialist Private Client Team recognised as leaders in Private Wealth Law

The latest Legal 500 results include peer recognition for all of the firm’s Partners who have been singled out for special praise. Testimonial highlights include:

  • Richard Cripps, Rix & Kay’s Managing Partner is said to be “always faultless”.
  • Kathryn Paisley, Head of Corporate “worked tirelessly to ensure a good outcome on the share purchase of a business” and has a “personal touch that makes all the difference”.
  • Alan Zeal, Corporate Consultant is an “exceptional lawyer dedicated to his clients and determined to achieve a great result”.
  • Bruce Clarke, Head of Private Client “has wide-ranging private client experience and advises on complex tax and estate planning work, creating and administering trusts”.
  • Ian Best, Private Client Partner is an “exceptional asset to the practice” whilst Max Wright, Private Client Partner has “extensive knowledge of capital tax planning issues, CGT, IHT, trusts and succession planning, as well as cross-border work”.
  • Victoria Regan, Employment Partner “puts her heart and soul into every case. She will do everything possible to achieve a good outcome for her clients”, whilst Elaine Abbs, Employment Solicitor is “extremely helpful, reassuring and supportive”.
  • Janet Raeburn, Family Partner “is a thoroughly professional individual who provides a deeply knowledgeable service. Her client care is very good”. Whilst Family Solicitor, Craig Yeung-Williams, is “pragmatic and calm but totally on top of his cases”.

A full review of Rix & Kay’s latest Legal 500 rankings is published below. All extracts are taken directly from Legal 500.

Corporate/M&A & Commercial

“The collaborative and diverse lawyers at Rix & Kay have expertise in corporate transactions including sales and acquisitions of share capital and management buyouts. Heading up the practice is Kathryn Paisley, who works with businesses of all sizes on sales and purchases, shareholders’ agreements and joint ventures. Alan Zeal has significant experience in advising on complex M&A matters in the IT and insurance sectors”.

“The Corporate and Commercial Team work as a collaborative and diverse unit across a number of locations in the South East of England. The team has ready access to complimentary specialists. This allows complex transactions to be completed without the need for multiple advisers from different firms. The size and culture of the firm gives all parties confidence that the matter in hand will be dealt with efficiently, competently, respectfully and with personality. The structure of the practice also allows delivery of a quality service that is good value”.

“The team comprises a range of experienced staff who deal with matters in a prompt and efficient manner”.

“We have used Rix & Kay for a number of years for our corporate requirements and at times this has crossed into personal legal dealings. We found that the collaboration between departments was seamless and they also took our own suggestions into consideration so it felt more like a partnership with them. Everything was explained clearly and professionally, and not using terminology that would be difficult to understand”.

‘My main dealings have been with Kathryn Paisley and her team. Kathryn worked tirelessly to ensure a good outcome for me on the share purchase of my business. Kathryn always came up with a solution which allowed a positive outcome for both parties. She not only provided professional advice but also was a good sounding board for me, especially when the situation became more stressful. I felt Kathryn genuinely had an interest in the case, she kept me fully informed at all stages of timescales and became a good friend during the transaction. That personal touch is what makes all the difference and I have recommended her services to other professionals since”.

“Highly capable team of lawyers offering proactive advice. They are dedicated and hard working with a strong desire to get an excellent result for their client. The team take great care to guide and explain all matters to clients”.

“Alan Zeal and Kathryn Paisley are exceptional lawyers that are dedicated to their clients and determined to achieve a great result. Great care is taken to look after the client’s best interests and ensure that a client fully understands the matter”.

Real Estate / Commercial Property

“The widely experienced team at Rix & Kay has recently acted on land developments, secured lending issues and M&A transactions, and advised on property portfolio management and landlord and tenant matters. Managing Partner Richard Cripps acts on commercial and residential developments with particular expertise in the agricultural sector”.

“The Commercial Property Team are widely experienced and have the capability to deal with all commercial property matters, whether large or small”.

“Good and dedicated individuals were assigned to my work, particularly Richard Cripps”.


“Rix & Kay provides a very personalised and bespoke service in employment law to corporates and SMEs, and clients also benefit from the responsive and easy to use GatekeeperHR service. The team is headed up by the highly praised Victoria Regan, who goes the extra mile and puts her heart and soul into every case. Elaine Abbs is also recommended”.

“The team are always polite and helpful, assisting when required. Victoria Regan has always been contactable, helpful and explained matters in full and plain English. Victoria has always gone the extra mile for our practice, alleviating stressful situations”.

“The firm offers a very personalised and bespoke service. As a growing SME we can utilise many of the services offered by Rix & Kay. Not only are they quick to respond and proactive, they also keep us regularly informed of up and coming legislation and best practice. Elaine Abbs has been particularly helpful with some complicated cases”.

“Victoria Regan puts her heart and soul into every case. She will do everything possible to achieve a good outcome for her clients”.

“I have dealt with Elaine Abbs and I have found her to be extremely helpful, reassuring and supportive. The team help guide us through processes step by step, I am very impressed by them all”.

“A very approachable, friendly and professional team that is supportive. A good mix of disciplines which means that our business needs can all be met by the broader team”.

“Our primary contacts are Elaine Abbs and Victoria Regan. Both are very knowledgeable and understand our business. The advice received is pragmatic and professional. Victoria has the ability to communicate in an engaging way about sometimes complex and dry matters”.

“Rix & Kay have been able to provide a very professional and effective service in a very complex and emotive area of the law”.

“Victoria Regan always provides calm, effective and highly specialised advice relating to areas of employment law that are often highly emotive. Her calm and informed guidance has proven vital to our organisation”.

Dispute Resolution / Commercial Litigation

“Operating out of the firm’s Sussex and Kent offices, the team at Rix & Kay has expertise in commercial, restructuring, insolvency and construction disputes. The team’s client roster features SME businesses and professional services companies, particularly in the accountancy space. Heading up the team is commercial disputes and restructuring and insolvency expert Richard Ludlow. Alistair Rustemeyer has built the firm’s contentious probate practice, acting for high-net-worth individuals”.

Insolvency and Corporate Recovery

Rix & Kay handles a myriad of insolvency issues for trustees in bankruptcy, distressed companies and directors. The team is led by Richard Ludlow who has broad experience in representing liquidators”.

Private Wealth Law / Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate

Rix & Kay’s core offering involves advising high-net-worth individuals and families on tax, specialist trusts and succession planning matters. The Private Client Team, which spans the Kent and Sussex regions, collaborates with the corporate practice to act for business owners, directors and shareholders. Team leader Bruce Clarke has wide-ranging private client experience and advises on complex tax and estate planning work, creating and administering trusts, and advising on powers of attorney and mental capacity law. Clients praise Ian Best as an exceptional asset to the practice; he has specialist expertise in will drafting, probate and trust tax compliance work. Member of STEP Max Wright has extensive knowledge of capital tax planning issues, CGT, IHT, trusts and succession planning, as well as cross-border work”.

“Ian Best has looked after us for many years now. We have worked through inheritance tax issues, house gifting, wills, powers of attorney and have at all times been met with friendly, supportive, in-depth, knowledgeable support and guidance. Ian is an exceptional asset to the company”.

“Max Wright has in-depth knowledge of personal legal affairs helping with wills, powers of attorney and inheritance tax planning”.

“Good coverage of specialism for a non-London firm, with some excellent experience among the team and a can do approach to new enquiries”.

Contentious Trusts and Probate

“Rix & Kay works in conjunction with the firm’s corporate lawyers to advise business directors and owners with assets and personal wealth. The skilful litigator Alistair Rustemeyer is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists”.

Family and Matrimonial

“Well-established firm Rix & Kay fields a very personable, friendly and approachable Family Team that regularly acts for high-net-worth clients, business owners and directors in divorces, separations, civil partnership dissolutions, financial settlements involving company assets and inheritance, and litigation. Member of Resolution Janet Raeburn is well versed in assisting with matters involving children and the safeguarding of personal and business assets for future generations”.

“Rix & Kay is a very well-established firm that I was recommended by an acquaintance who had similar issues to my own that required legal advice. I have found all the team members to be very professional at all levels and roles. I am kept up to date regularly with the current progress and situation of my case”.

“My principal solicitor and contact at Rix & Kay is Janet Raeburn. Janet is a thoroughly professional individual and has provided a deeply knowledgeable service from the beginning of our work together. I have every confidence that Janet will achieve positive results for my case. Her work is to be highly commended”.

“The people at Rix & Kay are very personable, friendly and approachable. They are quick to respond and efficient in all my dealings with them”.

“Janet Raeburn’s client care is very good. Craig Yeung-Williams is very personable and has a good grasp of the law”.

“I know Craig Yeung-Williams who is excellent. The firm certainly has an excellent reputation in East Sussex”.

“Craig Yeung-Williams is pragmatic and calm but totally on top of his cases. I have only done financial remedy cases with him where he has shown a towering command of the figures and is very impressive and quick to identify solutions”.

Agriculture, Estates and Rural Affairs

“Frequently handling the sale and development of farming land throughout Kent and Sussex, Rix & Kay is led by the faultless Richard Cripps. Ian Best is adept in tax reliefs. Bruce Clarke assists clients with probate and estate administration”.

“I would recommend Rix & Kay to any fellow farmer, they are up to speed and understand the life of a farmer. They are well equipped to guide you through your legal queries”.

“We can’t fault the team – always excellent service with a great breadth of experience”.

“Richard Cripps is always faultless”.

“Ian Best has been a great help in guiding me though my legal problems and advice with my will and other inheritance issues. Ian has always been available or quick to reply to me whenever I have had any questions or queries”.

Charities and Not-for-Profit

“Led by Richard Cripps, the multi-disciplinary team Rix & Kay handles commercial, employment, in addition to governance property issues. Alan Zeal assisted an assortment of rugby football clubs in their transition to community interest companies”.

“They are always very approachable and collaborate well with other partner organisations”.


“Recently engaged in stadium development projects, the excellent team at Rix & Kay acts for a spectrum of professional and grassroot clients. Richard Cripps leads the department and is often handling strategic development matters, while Alan Zeal is adept in constitutions and governance”.