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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Contentious trusts and probate clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is 'extremely good in terms of its response times, efficiency, accessibility, subject knowledge, advice and understanding'. Craig Ridge  leads the team and is 'excellent at cutting through the family wrangling' and 'able to distill complicated factual situations into a succinct case'. Another key figure is the Telford-based family law specialist Philip Cowell , who is 'extremely efficient' and 'quick to respond' . Also recommended is associate Kimberly Mears and STEP practitioner Margaret Rowe .

MFG Solicitors LLP provides a service that is 'second to none' and specialises in probate disputes. Robert Weston  leads the team and 'is very reassuring with clients', and 'is someone who looks to find a resolution to problems'. Litigator Suzanne Lee  is 'very understanding' and provides 'a truly excellent service'. Also recommended is Robert Pearce , who is an expert in inheritance claims, and Andrew Chandler, who is 'very diligent' and has 'a good knowledge of this area'.

The 'driven' and 'professional' Sydney Mitchell LLP is led by Kamal Majevadia who is a 'caring, straight-to-the-point person' who 'tells it like it is' and 'manages your expectations'. He is particularly known for disputes on estates with a cross-border or commercial aspect. Shirley-based Tracy Creed  is also a key figure, with notable strengths in probate, trusts and estate planning.

Higgs & Sons  'very well regarded across the Midlands', with 'a team boxing well above its weight with the high quality of work being undertaken'.Julia Lowe  leads the team and specialises in contentious matters. Another key figure is Beth King-Smith , who focuses on will, trust and executor disputes, and is 'technically very good', 'smart', 'commercial', 'practical', 'savvy' and 'well-connected'. 

The 'superb' Thomas Horton LLP  is 'extremely professional and polite', focusing predominantly on probate claims and civil litigation. James Sommerville  heads the practice and is 'professional','timely','efficient','polite',' respectful' and 'very restrained'.

Irwin Mitchell  is an 'excellent practice' working on claims pertaining to will validity, construction of wills and redemption. Gavin Faber is 'an outstandingly good litigation solicitor', with 'great confidence' and 'a good eye for detail'.  He is assisted by associate solicitor Ashleigh Carr, who is 'a truly smart cookie' with 'kindness coupled with sheer brilliance'. Also recommended is Michelle Chapman who is also experienced in will,trust and estate disputes.

Knights plc is led by Jessica Neyt , who is an expert in will, trust and inheritance disputes. Other noteworthy names include: Lindsey Howland  who advises on estate and trust-related disputes and property specialist Richard Jones.

Lanyon Bowdler is led by associate Claire Vale who has a strong reputation in probate disputes, financial provision claims, applications to remove executors and rectification claims. Other key figures include assistant solicitor Jemma Land and litigation assistant Mandy Brookfield.

The 'excellent' Mills & Reeve LLP has strong expertise in will validity and inheritance claims. David Catchpole specialises in trusts and probate disputes and is known for his 'first class knowledge' and ability to 'explain things simply'.

The 'well organised' and 'forward thinking' Thursfields Solicitors¬† is led by¬†Mark Pittaway¬†¬†, who is 'approachable' 'honest' and 'uses clear English' and 'tries to keep the ‚Äúlegal jargon‚ÄĚ to a minimum'. He recently advised on a fraudulent will as well as a breach of duty against a family member. Tim Lawrence¬†advised on an inheritance act claim, estate dispute¬†and the challenging of the capacity of an individual to make a will. Civil litigation solicitor Pam Deol¬†is also recommended.

Wright Hassall LLP has an 'excellent grasp of the subject legally', 'a highly developed and successful approach to evidence gathering' and is 'utterly committed to its clients'.  Practice head Martin Oliver specialises in inheritance disputes whose 'tactical ability and commitment to achieving the optimum outcome for his clients is second to none' and his clients 'always know he is in the battle with them, shoulder to shoulder every step of the way'. Gemma Carson has extensive experience in both disputes involving  inheritance and wills. Senior associate Anna Sutcliffe focuses on contentious probate and inheritance relating to estates, and has 'an excellent analytical mind and a strong deep understanding of the law'.

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