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Freeths LLP

Work 01865 780 1000
Fax 01865 778504
45418 COWLEY

Sarah Foster

Work 01865 781055
Freeths LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Sarah is the managing partner of the Oxford office of Freeths. She has a broad based practice, but with particular emphasis on professional indemnity claims and contentious trust and probate disputes. Sarah heads the private client probate litigation team in Oxford, dealing with disputed wills, estates and trusts for individuals, executors/trustees and charities. She also has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with claims made against professionals including legal, construction and financial professionals. She specialises, in particular, in claims involving a trust or probate background. She also advises insurers on coverage disputes to include dishonesty issues and successor practice issues. Notable reported cases include: [Chinnock v Veale Wasbrough [Court of Appeal, 2015] (solicitors/”wrongful birth”/ breach of duty and limitation); Marley v Rawlings [Supreme Court, 2014] (solicitors costs); Re Smith deceased [High Court, 2014] (lifetime undue influence); Tom Hoskins PLC v EMW Law [High Court, 2010] (recoverability of trading losses); Kenyon Brown v Desmond Banks [House of Lords, 2001] (solicitors in “Etridge” case/ duties/ undue influence).


Trained Lovells; qualified 1994. Wansboroughs (now DAC Beachcroft) 1994-97; Crutes (now DWF) 1997-99; Henmans Freeth 1999 to date; managing partner 2003; partner 2013


Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS); affiliate member of Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners (STEP); Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA); Law Society.


Whitley Bay High School; University of Nottingham (1990 LLB Hons 2(:1)); College of Law, York (1991).


Triathlons, reading and walking.

South East: Insurance

Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence

Freeths LLP's professional negligence practice is praised for its 'clear understanding of facts and legal issues, sensible legal advice, and well-drafted legal documents'. Practice head Duncan Crine 'clearly knows his stuff in this field; he is attentive to time pressures and deals with matters promptly and effectively'. Crine has more than 25 years' experience handling high-value and complex professional negligence disputes for claimants and defendants, with particular strength in cases where there is a fraud element. He leads a team that includes Sarah Foster, whose track record includes acting for insurers in defending professionals in claims against local authority employees, and Clare Bellis, who handles professional negligence cases alongside her property litigation practice. The team acts for corporates, individuals, insurers and professionals in professional negligence claims and related insurance policy coverage matters.

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South East: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Freeths LLP is 'a very personable firm that does not baffle clients with legal terms and always has their interests in mind'. The charities team is praised for its 'strong breadth of experience', with team head Robert Nieri singled out for his 'well-rounded knowledge, good understanding of clients and ability to always meet expectations'. The practice acts for more than 260 charities and not-for-profit organisations, including Cancer Research UK, Oxfam and RSPB, on matters ranging from formations and registrations, property work and employment, to contentious and non-contentious legacy work. Issues arising from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have been a key theme throughout 2017, with the firm acting for RSPB on its GDPR compliance programme and opt-in campaign. Nieri's expertise covers governance issues, commercial agreements, fundraising and disputes. Also recommended are contentious trust and probate specialist Sarah Foster , Lesley Pollock, who handles charity property matters, and Nigel Roots. Angela Bowman joined Shoosmiths LLP in December 2017.

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Contentious trusts and probate

Within: Leading individuals

Sarah Foster - Freeths LLP

Within: Contentious trusts and probate

'A top-flight firm with a national profile', Freeths LLP's team is 'a really good option for serious contentious litigation'. The practice covers the full range of contentious trust work, including Inheritance Act claims, challenges to the validity of wills, Court of Protection matters and estoppel claims. Sarah Foster heads the practice and is noted for her 'wealth of experience in the field, which she can draw on to secure good results for clients'. Other key figures include Sally Goodger, who is 'highly experienced, always communicates clearly and remains calm under pressure'; Rosalyn Shephard, who 'always fights for the clients' best interests'; and Paul Brown, who is 'very thorough and able to take a good tactical view of a dispute'. Angela Bowman joined Shoosmiths LLP.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Within: Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Freeths LLP has a ‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable team, but without the expense of a London firm’; it is renowned for its advice on trusts and tax for HNWIs, complex probate and trust administration, and Court of Protection matters, among others. National private client practice head Nigel Roots ‘runs a team of excellent individuals who deliver great results’, with his time split between the firm’s Oxford and London offices, acting for major educational institutions, landed estates and clients requiring multi-jurisdictional advice. Oxford office private client head Jane Maitland ‘is experienced and gives sound practical advice’, acting for HNWIs, company directors, farmers and academics on estate planning, as well as acting as executor and trustee of estates and trusts and as a court-appointed administrator in contested estates. Managing partner Sarah Foster is highly recommended for contentious trust and probate work.

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