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Caroline van Zyl, Senior Associate at Penningtons Manches

Caroline van Zyl

Senior associate



Caroline heads the private client and tax team in the Oxford office. She specialises in all matters relating to estate planning, succession, tax and trusts and counts among her clients entrepreneurs, academics, businessmen and women and wealthy families seeking to optimise estate planning opportunities. She also assists families with irregular structures, complicated affairs and those dealing with difficult personal circumstances. Caroline takes on the full range of private client work including trusts, wills, lasting powers of attorney and related capacity issues, probate and estate administration and related tax implications, working with members of Penningtons Manches Cooper’s specialist teams where appropriate. 

After graduating from the University of Oxford where she read Jurisprudence, Caroline undertook the BVC and is a member of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple. She qualified in 2008. Following several years of litigation, Caroline found her home in the private client practice and transferred her qualification from the Bar to join the Solicitors’ Roll while at another leading UK law firm. She joined Penningtons Manches Cooper in 2015.

Caroline has achieved recognition in The Legal 500 for her estate related advice. She regularly delivers presentations, most notably at the Oxford Literary Festival, and has contributed to in-house legal publications.

Recent work highlights

  • Advising and assisting executors in an estate with private company shares, charity beneficiaries, a foreign minor legatee and a discretionary trust of residue between charities.
  • Providing advice relating to issues of vulnerability and perceived undue influence over an elderly relative who, nonetheless, has capacity, where an LPA is not in place.
  • Accepting referred instructions from a foreign professional attorney administrator to deal with the estate of a foreign national who died intestate with assets in the UK and overseas, and beneficiaries based overseas.
  • Assisting executors with the administration of an estate in which the deceased had assets of her own and was both a life tenant and in the pool of discretionary beneficiaries of her late husband’s will trusts on inheritance tax, winding up of the trusts and dispositive matters.
  • Advising the newly appointed trustees of an established trust with substantial periodic charges on the horizon under the relevant property regime on tax reporting and fiduciary duties.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP