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Ian Williamson


Primary Services

Disputes Probate Disputes Commercial Property Disputes Residential Property Disputes


Ian is a partner in the firm’s disputes team, based in the Bristol City Centre office. He specialises in probate and property disputes.

Examples of his expertise include:

Contentious Probate and Trusts Cases – for example cases including:

  • Acting for young children where their dead father’s estate had been concealed. This involved an alleged breach of trust and we were successful in securing a substantial payment from the executors and court approval for the sum.
  • A case where a client had been told he had lost out under a life policy because it had been varied. We established that trusts law had not been complied with, that there was a breach of trust, and secured payment of the sums he should have received plus interest and costs.
  • Acting in a large claim involving a £1million estate and where our client was not mentioned in the Will at all. A substantial settlement figure was agreed for the client from the Estate.
  • Acting for the disinherited long term partner of a deceased married man with a £25million estate. Recovering a property, settlement sum and legal costs at mediation.
  • Involvement in a Will dispute where the Will had not been correctly witnessed. We successfully recovered a substantial settlement for the client as a result.
  • Acting for a client who had lost out under a Will, where we claimed the Will had been made under undue influence and the testator lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. This was settled upon transfer of the deceased’s house to the client
  • Acting for a disinherited daughter with suspicions of undue influence against the deceased. We recovered a healthy settlement sum for her.
  • Acting for executors in large farming family dispute over the Will, and resolving the matter without going to court.

Property Disputesfor example cases including:

  • In a recently reported case, succeeded at trial and on appeal where our client wished to have the right to buy out the remaining interest in the family home in which he was the 50% owner. Issues engaged concerned the extent of the court’s powers under Trusts of Land legislation to intervene and order that the property be sold at a price to be determined by court appointed valuer, rather than be put on the open market. (Chaston v Chaston [2018] EWHC 1672 (Ch)).
  • A major property dispute where the other side attempted to build a block of flats over our client’s right of way. They were prevented from doing so and paid substantial costs.
  • Settlement of a property dispute with a complex history involving a large number of jointly owned properties, without going to court.
  • A property dispute involving a freezing injunction of a serial fraudster’s assets, where he had fled abroad. The clients won the right to keep their house plus costs.
  • Successfully winning a substantial noise nuisance case at trial where our clients were wrongly accused of causing a nuisance, because of sound-proofing/structural issues. We also recovered costs for the client.
  • Repossession of a commercial property premises on short notice where the restaurant owner persistently defaulted in paying rent.

Professional Negligencefor example cases including:

  • Working on a claim involving negligent Will-drafting. We recovered over £300,000.00 in compensation for the client, plus costs.
  • Acting for clients in a negligent conveyancing matter involving planning issues and failure to obtain adequate security for them, resulting in recovery of £322,000.00 for them plus costs.
  • Settling a claim against solicitors for failing to deal with leasehold extension matters correctly and recovering £75,000.00.

Ian says: “I bring over 20 years’ experience and a successful track record… clients tell me that they take comfort from knowing that they have a legal expert standing alongside them, through challenging times.”

Legal 500 rankings

Legal 500 2021 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Contentious Trusts and Probate.  Ian Williamson is described as ‘bright and tactically minded, very thorough and well prepared, and likewise friendly and humane.’

Legal 500 2020 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Contentious Trusts and Probate and testimonials describe Ian Williamson as ‘calm personified’ and ‘unflappable’

Legal 500 2019 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Contentious Trusts and Probate and Ian Williamson is described as a ‘determined litigator’

Legal 500 2017  Wards Solicitors is recommended for Contentious Trusts and Probate and Ian Williamson is recommended in the editorial – ‘a very astute lawyer and litigator’ who ‘genuinely invests his efforts in trying to get the best results for clients over and above generating fees’.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Humanities degree (1st Class) 1987
  • MA Philosophy 1988
  • Ph.D German Philosophy 1991
  • Qualified as a Solicitor in 1995
  • Member of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)
  • Member of the Property Litigation Association 
  • Has specialised in Disputes since 1997

Supervised by Elizabeth Fry

Satisfied Clients

My experience with Wards Solicitors was excellent, both members of your team that I dealt with were ethical and ensured I understood the process. I will use Wards again should I need?'

'Very professional and helpful at all times.'

'Ian and his team were excellent.'

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    February 2021: Covid-19 arrangements

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