‘Hunters blends the old and the new,’ says Henry Hood, partner and head of its family department. ‘We are the fifth oldest law firm in the country and have acted for some families for generations. However, we aim to provide a modern, one-stop service for all clients of sophistication – whether their means are commercial or more personal.’
Hood’s HNW clients have also continued to offer challenges both new and old. He says news is positive ‘from a fee earning point of view, but one’s best work, of course, is often not done on the highest earning matters. The most difficult matters are often those where money is tight.’
Hood has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months and, for him, two cases stand out. He cites his work in ‘kick-starting discussions in a high value case, which ended up in a favourable negotiated settlement where a full-blown trial seemed inevitable’ as a particularly significant moment, and reaching ‘a very inventive deal’ to settle an HNW matter (involving a long-term lease of commercial warehouse premises with a high rental covenant) as another. These cases sound highly technical, but Hood is also known for seeing the human story at the end of a relationship.
So how do most HNWs tend to hear about him? ‘Someone wanting my services will probably have been told about me by former clients, professional contacts or friends of friends, and their relationship has either just broken down, or they suspect it is about to,’ he says. ‘There is always tragedy in the collapse of a part of their lives in which so many years and dreams had been invested. The possession of wealth, in my experience, makes no difference to that. Happiness is a relative concept.’
And why turn to Hood and Hunters as your trusted advisor? Hood feels lucky that the technical excellence and long experience of the practitioners in the Hunters family team is complemented by the skills and knowledge in the rest of the firm, which is committed to wealth management. ‘Expertise in areas such as tax, land and commercial is readily available to us – where the more boutique family firms would have to outsource,’ he explains. Hood enjoys the variety of his practice (‘We are the last general practitioners. One day, one might need a working knowledge of share options, and the next freehold reversions’), as well as the academic element involved in keeping abreast of it.
Hood is also well aware that not every rule of the game is written in stone. ‘There is much that arises where there is no law or authority at all, which means it is down to you and your powers of reason and negotiation,’ he concludes. ‘Most of all, it is an area of law where your advice and guidance can make a real difference to your clients’ lives.’