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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The 'absolutely outstanding' contentious trusts team at Irwin Mitchell is considered to be 'one of the biggest players' in this area. The practice handles a full range of wills, trusts and estate disputes for individual clients, banks, executors, trustees and beneficiaries, The group also benefits from being able to leverage its 'top-drawer' national practice, which is headed by Leeds-based Paula Myers. The 'tactically astute' Myers is singled out as 'one of the nationally known, big names in this area', and is currently instructed by a trustee and beneficiary of a £13m trust in a breach of trust claim and a potential claim for misrepresentation. The group has been bolstered with the addition of James Laycock, who joined the Leeds officefrom Gordons LLP, and, with 'excellent technical knowledge', has been considered as 'one of the leading people in this area'.

The 'professional, approachable and knowledgeable' disputed wills and inheritance team at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP  attracts praise for its 'widespread expertise' and 'sensible approach to getting matters resolved as quickly and comprehensively as possible'. The 'pragmatic and unflappable' Peter Duffus heads up the litigation and dispute resolution department and regularly represents individuals in contentious trust and probate matters. The group has particular expertise acting in relation to disputed wills involving medical issues,  Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 cases and matters involving estoppel arguments. Duffus is able to draw on the expertise of the firms wills, trusts and tax planning specialists in complex matters.

'Combining large firm expertise with small firm service and friendliness' Bell & Buxton's contentious probate and inheritance disputes practice offer a 'genuine boutique service'. The 'knowledgeable and experienced' team is regularly instructed by individuals, trusts and estates in complex and high value disputes. The 'experienced and talented' Mary Butler heads up the team, and 'combines technical knowledge with a real streetwise, practical sense of how to crack a difficult case'. Butler is ably supported by the 'very helpful' John Breeze who is acknowledged for his 'prompt and thorough responses'.

The 'approachable, sensitive and practical' private client litigation team at Clarion has'a good reputation' for wills, trust and probate disputes. Practice head Lynsey Harrison has been considered 'a leading probate litigator' in the region, and has significant experience handling Inheritance (Provision of Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims, and disputes regarding the validity of wills. Other key names to note are associates, Louise Dodds - who is highlighted as being 'exceptionally able technically' - and the 'meticulous' Liam Brooke who recently joined the group from Irwin Mitchell. The team's clients include individuals, trusts and building societies.

Jones Myers LLP  have a 'very strong' contentious trusts and probate team, boasting 'good experience' and 'a practical and commercial approach'. The 'tenacious' and 'very amiable' Laura Short previously headed up the practice but recently left to join Freeths LLP. The group acts for private individuals in high value Inheritance Act claims, validity disputes, propriety estoppel, constructive trust claims, administration and trust disputes.

Lupton Fawcett's disputed wills and trusts team handles a full spectrum of contentious matters spanning from validity of wills disputes to estoppel claims. Howard Rutter heads up the team which also includes the experienced Jonathan Cripwell and senior associate Matthew Morton. The team is instructed on a variety of contentious matters involving issues such as validity of wills, breach of trust, and claims under the Inheritance Act.

The contentious trusts and probate department at Taylor & Emmet LLP receives referrals from accountants, financial advisers and other professionals, and acts for charitable organisations and local authorities, as well as private clients and trustees. The team is led by Alex Watkinson who is acting for Sheffield City Council which, by care order, has parental responsibility over a four-year-old beneficiary of a £1m estate. This complex matter involves an inheritance claim brought by a former spouse of the deceased. In another work highlight, the team is advising a beneficiary of £3m estate with overseas assets in complex dispute. The group also represents genealogists to assist on matters where beneficiaries or assets cannot be traced or located. 

With ‘business acumen and industry knowledge’ LCF Law‘s contentious trusts and probate team attracts praise for its ‘accurate and realistic’ advice and ‘good value for money’. The ‘very experienced’ Ragan Montgomery is singled out for her ‘technical ability and engaging personality’ and heads up the practice. Montgomery handles a full range of matters ranging from validity claims and capacity issues to court of protection proceedings. The team successfully negotiated a £1m settlement arising from a dispute involving issues of undue influence in addition to an Inheritance Act claim. The department is based primarily in Bradford with individuals in the firm’s Harrogate and Ilkley offices in addition.

McCormicks' contentious tax, trusts and estates team regularly represents both families and professionals in complex disputes. Peter McCormick heads up the practice and has significant expertise acting for executors, trustees and potential beneficiaries of very significant estates and trusts. Other key names to note in this area include litigation department head Philip Edmondson and Elaine Lightfoot, who leads the private client group.

Highlighted for its ‘remarkable ability, paired with true integrity’ Ridley & Hall’s contentious trusts and probate department provides an ‘outstanding service’, particularly in matters concerning missing persons. The ‘exceptional’ Sarah Young leads the practice and specialises in handling Inheritance Act claims, in addition to regularly representing clients in disputes between executors and beneficiaries. Young is ably supported by the ‘up-and-coming’ Helen Dandridge who has been highlighted as being ‘technically excellent, with fantastic manner with clients’.

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