Phyllis Townsend

Phyllis Townsend

Baker & McKenzie Services Limited


Phyllis Townsend is a senior associate in the Global Wealth Management practice in London. Phyllis joined in 2012 from Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust where she was legal counsel in London and Zurich. Phyllis works with clients on a broad range of wealth management matters. Phyllis has been listed in Private Client Practitioner "Top 35 under 35". Phyllis has been recognised in Legal 500.

Practice Focus

Phyllis' main practice is advising trustees, family offices and high-net worth individuals (particularly entrepreneurs) on cross-border tax, asset protection and trust planning, including establishing family office and private trust company structures. Phyllis frequently advises on pre-UK arrival planning and provides ongoing advice to UK resident non-UK domiciled individuals. Phyllis provides ongoing advice to several contentious trust structures, including advice on restructuring. Phyllis has experience of UK and foreign tax investigations. Phyllis also advises financial institutions on regulatory and compliance issues and in relation to their wealth management offering.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised a client based in the Middle East on high-value acquisitions, a complex restructuring of private and investment assets and exchange of information/disclosure requirements.
  • Advised a client on establishing a private trust company structure and family offices for US and global investments.
  • Advised on two restructurings in the last year of complex contentious trust structures (worth approximately GBP 500 million), which own operating businesses, investment portfolios and other assets including real estate.
  • Represented a client in a large tax investigation by a foreign tax authority, including advice around the enforceability of foreign judgments.
  • Provided VAT and structuring advice in relation to significant maritime assets.
  • Advised on changes to the taxation of UK residential real estate and structures for UK residential real estate.
  • Advised an international private bank on their wealth management offering.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Law Society of England & Wales


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2010)


  • BPP Law School, London (Legal Practice Course) (2008)
  • University College London (LLB) (2007)
  • University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) (Masters I in Business Law) (2007)
  • University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) (Bachelor in European and International Law) (2006)


  • English
  • French
  • German


Author, "The World Stage: Planning for the Wealthy Brazilian", STEP Magazine, March 2013


Speaker, "Baker McKenzie Annual Tax and Trusts Conference (London)", (Annually)

Speaker, "Tax for Trust Litigators", Transcontinental Trust Conference (Geneva), April 2018

Speaker, "Tax and Estate Update for Multi-jurisdictional Families", Family Office Exchange, March 2015

Speaker, "Family Office Dynamics and Objectives", Tolley's Family Office Wealth Management conference, December 2013