From a rising China and rocky relationships with Russia, to concern among Latin American families about their local trends, Macfarlanes’ senior partner Charles Martin has his finger on the pulse. ‘Global uncertainty is a very important driver of private client activity,’ as he has said previously. ‘All of it drives private clients to think very carefully about how and where their assets are held, and whether they’re optimising their structures. That’s been a very strong story, given that our private client practice is overwhelmingly international.’ In 2013, Martin advised Verizon on its $130 billion buy-back of Vodafone’s 45 per cent stake in America’s largest mobile network. Clients praise his gravitas and negotiation skills, describing him as ‘extraordinarily competent’.