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Dispute Resolution

We always seek to guide our clients on the most appropriate options available when facing a dispute.
We recognise that for many being involved in litigation is often a last resort. We work with you to provide swift, practical advice with the aim of resolving a dispute quickly and effectively.

Sectors and Services
Individuals
  • 1 Will and trust disputes
    The creation, administration and winding up of wills, trusts and estates can go wrong in all sorts of ways no matter how well you plan.

    Will and trust disputes

    Whether you are contesting a Will, having difficulty with trustees or beneficiaries, or just trying to work out your options under a will or trust, this complex area of law requires professional advice as early as possible to avoid costly disputes. We believe that prevention is better than cure and pride ourselves on our approach to alternative dispute resolution.

    Areas where we can help include:

    Contesting a Will

    Will disputes by their very nature arise at a time of great stress and vulnerability for all involved.

    Each dispute is unique and our approach combines sensitivity and confidentiality with professionalism and objective advice. Where possible, we seek to achieve resolution out of court. Trial, while sometimes inevitable, is expensive, risky, and puts family matters in the public spotlight.

    Areas where we can help include:

    • Lack of testamentary capacity
    • Lack of knowledge and approval
    • Undue influence
    • Fraudulent/forged wills
    • Improperly executed wills
    • Lost or destroyed wills
    • Negligently prepared wills
    • Interpretation, construction and rectification of wills
    • Proprietary estoppel and constructive trust claims

    Inheritance Act and proprietary estoppel claims

    People are entitled to leave their estate in whatever manner they wish. However, there are two important ‘checks’ on this freedom.
    Firstly, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act – also known as the ‘Inheritance Act’ or ‘1975 Act’ – allows certain categories of people to make a claim against an estate on the basis they are financially dependent on the deceased, and the deceased’s Will does not make reasonable provision for them. We have experience in bringing and defending Inheritance Act claims and, regardless of which side we are on, we will work to achieve an agreed resolution wherever possible.

    Secondly, where property is promised to someone, that person relies on that promise, and yet the property is not left to that person, a claim of ‘proprietary estoppel’ may arise. Often nothing is in writing and these claims require a technical, detailed approach. Our team has experience in these matters; Geoffrey Kertesz has been involved in a number of proprietary estoppel claims and wrote the chapter on proprietary estoppel in the 3rd Edition of ‘Probate Disputes and Remedies’.

    Articles:

    For love(child) or money: Claims under the Inheritance Act

    I’ve been disinherited! Claims under the Inheritance Act

    UK and international trust disputes

    Increasingly, individuals and trustees face complex trust disputes involving more than one jurisdiction. Advising on these matters requires specialist knowledge and experience.

    Our work includes:

    • Bringing/defending claims to remove trustees/protectors
    • Bringing/defending breach of Trust actions
    • Seeking the court’s approval of trustees’ actions (Beddoe applications)
    • Applications to set aside transfers into / out of Trust
    • Dealing with beneficiaries’ rights to information
    • Claims as to ownership of property (TLATA 1996)
    • Trusts and divorce

    We assist professional and lay trustees, protectors / enforcers, administrators / executors, charities, and beneficiaries to resolve the most troublesome issues in Trusts and estates, both in the UK and internationally.

    We work with offshore and onshore trustees, lawyers, accountants and investment advisers. Where necessary, notably in cross-border matters, we will assemble the right professionals required to resolve your matter successfully. Our skilled and seasoned body of Trust, tax and litigation professionals stand behind our reputation as a market leader.

    We are currently able to offer a range of funding options, and are happy to talk through a no obligation consultation on your matter.

    We can also advise on:

    • Disputes regarding the administration of an estate or Trust
    • Non-contentious applications to the court
    • Professional negligence claims
    • Trusts and divorce

    Charity legacy

    Charities require specialised advice. We assist charities in achieving positive results, hopefully out of court where possible, all the time being mindful of the compliance issues that face charities as well as their reputational concerns.

  • 2 Property disputes
    Complications often arise in property. Resolving these disputes requires a quick response with specialists who understand the risks associated and give you clear, practical advice.

    Property litigation

    We always seek to guide our clients on the most appropriate options available when facing a dispute. Our experienced team covers all levels of court work right up to the Supreme Court, and are skilled at dealing with disputes in other dispute resolution forums such as the property tribunals, arbitration and mediation.

    In addition we uniquely offer advice in the high-end residential property market and in leasehold enfranchisement disputes, particularly in prime central London. We are also strong in the field of compulsory purchase, whether acting for acquiring authorities or landowners.

    Working with a wide range of clients we help them to protect and develop their property interests.

    Clients include:

    The team’s expertise covers a range of real estate disputes relating to commercial, residential and mixed-use properties including:

    • Boundary disputes
    • Claims for compensation under the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965
    • Disputed easements
    • Disputes over contracts for the sale of land
    • Insolvency
    • Misrepresentation claims
    • Noise and other nuisance claims
    • Options and rights of preemption
    • Party wall disputes
    • Property and insolvency issues, and
    • Property-related professional negligence claims
    • Restrictive covenants
    • Rights of light claims
    • Trespass/squatters/adverse possession

    We also deal with all types of landlord and tenant disputes including:

    • Breaches of covenant
    • Business lease renewal claims
    • Dilapidations and repairs
    • Disputed rent reviews
    • Disputes regarding consent to assign or underlet
    • Possession and forfeiture
    • Rent arrears
    • Service charge disputes

  • 3 Agriculture and rural disputes
    Agriculture and rural disputes involving land, buildings and leases can often be complex and involve many different personal and business interests.
  • 4 Family disputes
    When facing these difficult times navigating through the legal and practical issues can cause unwanted and unnecessary stress. Our experienced team can help offer sensitive advice on a range of legal matters to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
  • 5 Financial product mis-selling
    Our banking litigation practice advises trustees, SMEs and individuals on possible claims arising from the mis-selling of banking products.

    We are completely neutral and much of our work consists of independent, impartial advice to trustees as to whether they are obliged to pursue claims for the mis-selling of financial products. If there is a claim to pursue, then we will responsibly and diligently pursue your objectives.

    We have been involved in numerous interest rate derivative mis-selling claims and represent trustees, SMEs and others in seeking to escape from punitive break costs or to claim damages for the harm caused by these products.

    You should be aware that mis-selling claims can become time-barred and we are seeing a number of clients now that are already out of time for taking steps to protect their interests. You should act quickly to avoid this.

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