Zahra Kanani is an experienced private client solicitor specialising on wills and inheritance tax planning for individuals in the UK and abroad. She advises regularly on the Sharia rules of succession and how they relate to UK inheritance tax.

Zahra supports high-net-worth families and individuals with their lifetime UK tax and estate planning. Her focus is on helping clients mitigate inheritance tax and protect assets for future generations by using available tax reliefs and exemptions. Such planning can include the preparation of complex wills and the use of trusts (and advising on their tax implications).

Zahra has a varied caseload of general private client work, such as powers of attorney, probate and the administration of estates with a particular focus on cross-border estates and those which include business assets. She also advises, on the creation and administration of trusts.

Zahra is interested in working with charities and has significant expertise in charity registrations and advising on suitable structures. She also offers ongoing advice to charity trustees about their legal duties.

She has developed an effective reputation in her faith community when it comes to advising on the interaction of the Sharia succession rules and UK inheritance tax. She is regularly invited to speak at events and conferences on this topic across the UK.

Zahra’s empathy, technical strengths, drafting skills and eye for detail allow her to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients. She has proven herself to be a trusted adviser to the individuals and families she represents who approach her repeatedly for advice and recommend her services to others.

Zahra is a full member of The Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and the Private Client Section of the Law Society. She has also recently qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser, and is now admitted as a full member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Recent work
  • Acting for a married couple, both of whom had been married previously with children, on the optimum will structure to mitigate inheritance tax, protect each other financially and provide for their respective children.
  • Advising a married couple in relation to their inheritance tax planning where both have links to different jurisdictions such there is a domicile mismatch; advising on how the inheritance tax due can be mitigated by use of the domicile election. Also advised on the implications of making a Brussels IV election for the clients’ assets in Europe.
  • Advising a family who run an online publishing business on the appropriate will structures to maximise the availability of business property relief; the use of cross-option agreements; Keyman insurance; and the implementation of business lasting powers of attorney.
  • Administering an intestate estate and reducing the IHT liability through efficient use of Deeds of Variation.
  • Noted in Legal 500 UK (2021): “Senior associate Zahra Kanani also acts in a variety of areas, and is particularly specialised in advising on Sharia-compliant wills.”
  • Noted in Legal 500 UK (2022) for expertise in Sharia Compliant Wills.
  • Noted in Legal 500 UK (2023): “The team…includes recently promoted partner Zahra Kanani, who has a notable reputation in providing advice on the issue of Sharia law and its interaction with UK inheritance tax”.
  • Nominated for the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards 2022.
Did you know

Zahra is an active volunteer in her faith community. She enjoys cooking and is currently studying colloquial Arabic in her spare time.

Father and son using a laptop.

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