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It matters to us that you feel you can trust us. That you get a service to meet your specific needs, but which makes the most of the breadth of our experience.

We help those involved in disputes relating to inheritance, trusts, probate or lack of mental capacity get to the right solutions. We ask the right questions and tailor every piece of advice we give to make sure we resolve your dispute in a timely and cost effective way.

Increasing financial pressure on family members and dependants as well as a greater willingness to hold executors and trustees to account for their actions can mean a higher than usual level of complexity in disputes of this nature.  You are not alone in wondering how to navigate the challenges to secure a resolution.  Managing complicated personal or financial issues, high value estates and trusts, and cases with an international element -is what we do best. 

With clients ranging from high net worth individuals, professional and corporate trustees and financial institutions through to professional intermediaries (accountants and other solicitors) and insurers, we’re proud to hold a reputation as one of the leading contentious trust and probate teams.  But we don’t act alone either. Our specialist litigators work closely with our colleagues across the Private Wealth team, one of the largest private client practices in the country including lawyers, independent financial advisers, tax experts and accountants.

Whether we’re using Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques (such as mediation) or heading for court proceedings, your team will be drawn from the industry’s leading experts in this field. That includes members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Association of Corporate Trustees (TACT) and the Office of the Public Guardian panel of approved deputies. This, combined, guarantees you expertise you can trust and rely on to provide clear, practical solutions to your dispute, at every step.

Get in touch

Partner
T:+44 (0)207 788 2414

What we do

We have particular experience in the following areas:

  • Breach of trust claims
  • Claims against executors and administrators
  • Challenges to Wills (for example based on lack of capacity, undue influence or fraud)
  • Claims by dependants under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Issues concerning real estate owned by the Deceased or belonging to a trust
  • Issues arising when an individual loses their mental capacity, including disputes about powers of attorney and applications to the Court of Protection.

Sector expertise

We have expertise across a range of sectors including:

Examples of work

  • Acting for the trust companies of major banks in a wide variety of litigation affecting trusts and estates where the trust company had been appointed as executor or trustee. Issues included litigation involving beneficiaries and applications to court relating to the interpretation of trust documents. We work with the trust company to ensure a cost effective solution to the various issues they face, which include resolving the complaints of disgruntled beneficiaries
  • Acting for the executor of a particularly complex estate worth in the region of £5m and its related pilot trusts dominated by contentious issues. Seven separately represented beneficiaries were involved with claims mainly under the Inheritance Act. The client relied on our expertise to guide him through difficulties concerning the potential tax treatment of the estate, the fact that a lot of the value was tied up in unsold real estate and major disagreements over the level of financial support required for minor beneficiaries
  • Advising the beneficiaries of an estate worth in excess of £20m who faced a challenging Inheritance Act claim from the Deceased’s second wife. We assisted the client in minimising the damage done to the estate from a claim which was successfully resolved prior to the costly stages of litigation via a mediation
  • Advising a professional trust corporation as executor of an estate where there was a dispute as to the interpretation of a will. The Deceased loaned money to one of his three children and the issues included whether that loan was made jointly by the Deceased and his wife and whether interest was payable. The recipient was also subject to a Confiscation Order so our role included advice on its effect
  • Advising the executor of a significant estate in relation to both estate administration and the resolution of an Inheritance Act claim intimated by the Deceased’s second wife. The widow made a claim under the Inheritance Act and after some negotiation, the claim was settled on reasonable terms for our client. However, very shortly after settlement, the widow died and it transpired that the widow had failed to disclose that she might be terminally ill. We were instructed to appeal / undo the consent order via a type of application used to appeal matrimonial court orders, which is untested in the context of Inheritance Act claims. The appeal resulted in a favourable out of court settlement for our clients.