Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
I have been a partner at GLS since 1986 having qualified in 1984. My initial years of practice were typical of a litigator in what was then a provincial High St practice, undertaking a mix of general litigation to include crime, family (high and low value) and personal injury work. As the demands of practice required specialisation, it became impossible to continue to work over a broad range of practice areas. However, I have been able to specialise in all these different areas at various times. The experience I have gained in all these disciplines are directly relevant to the issues that routinely arise in Will disputes and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Employment Law Specialist
A familiarity with fraud and the requirements of document examination have stood me in good stead in many Will disputes as has a familiarity with medical notes, conditions and terms used, which have a major evidential role where testamentary capacity is in issue. An understanding of competing financial demands on a defined pool of assets often comes into play in 1975 Act disputes.
I understand what preliminary evidence is needed to make an early assessment of the viability of a claim, enabling clients to make an informed decision as to whether to commit personal resources to claims that are often demanding, both financially and personally. I am able to offer a variety of funding options and have a good relationship with litigation funders to provide a number of different alternatives to the client to enable them to pursue the matter to trial if necessary.
I have regularly obtained and acted on the removal of caveats and citations, undertaken a variety of administrative actions to include the removal of personal representatives and applied for and obtained limited grants particularly grant pendente lite and grant ad colligenda bona.
1978 - 1982
Successfully defended a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 on behalf of a widow against a claim brought by a the deceased’s girlfriend who was resident in Thailand
Successfully acted in a 1975 Act claim on behalf of a cohabitant where the issue was whether the deceased and cohabitant were living “in the same house hold” at the time of the deceased’s death.
Advised Trustees where trust fund subject to a life interest trust where there was a dispute with remainder men over the operation of the trust.
Acted in several cases to include Burgess v Hawes (2013) EWCA Civ 94 where there are challenges to the validity of a will, particularly in respect of testamentary capacity.
The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) specialises in contentious trust and probate work.