A high-calibre practitioner with an enviable client base, Jane Keir became Kingsley Napley’s senior partner in May 2013 after 23 years at the firm. Unlike most senior partners, she’s hardly winding down, instead splitting her executive and legal roles 50/50 and continuing to specialise in complex cross-border financial and children’s cases. She explains how she puts legal jargon and ‘fancy terms’ to one side with clients: ‘I say, “If I could wave a magic wand, what would you like to do?”’ This, says Keir, releases their inhibitions and can make clients think about their needs from the start. She’s noticed a generational shift: ‘It’s really interesting watching them try to protect the wealth that dad and the immediate family have built up — and that’s why I think prenups are becoming more and more common. It’s not about tax any more, it’s about wealth protection.’ Clients appreciate her calm and collected manner, as one wrote to her: ‘Worth every penny. Thanks again for every little bit of sympathy and patient advice. I maintain my sanity in no small part because of your efforts on my behalf.’ A horseracing fan and breeder, Keir fancies her latest prospects outside the court room: ‘This is a Derby winner coming,’ she says. Her firm ought to be grateful too: Kingsley Napley was at No 23 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work this year, making it the top-ranked London law firm on the list.
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