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Wards Solicitors’ contentious probate Partner becomes full member of prestigious legal body

Wards Solicitors' Partner, Ian Williamson, has been made a full member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), reflecting his expertise in probate and property disputes.

He is a key member of Wards Solicitors' Contentious Trusts and Probate department, a team praised in the latest edition of the prestigious Legal 500 guide for 2018/19 as 'diligent and persistent' and 'skilled and effective'.

Ian himself is described as a 'determined litigator' in the Legal 500 guide, an independent publication which uses feedback from satisfied clients as one of the key means of determining its rankings.

Benefits of ACTAPS membership

ACTAPS, as well as ensuring that its members are specialists in dealing with contentious probate cases, has also produced a Code of Conduct which requires members to consider alternative dispute resolution, governs early disclosure, and makes sure clients are aware of the cost advantages of this to ensure court proceedings are seen as a last resort.

The main aim of ACTAPS is to provide clear guidance for solicitors dealing with contentious probate cases, whichever side they are acting for.

Ian says: "Contentious probate has grown massively in the last ten years and with it the realisation that it is a specialised field in its own right. ACTAPS is now the benchmark qualification for competency in this area of the law."

Wealth of experience

With more than 20 years' experience and a proven track record, Ian brings a wealth of expertise to his role. Examples of his work include:

Contentious Probate and Trusts Cases

  • 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;
  • Various Inheritance Act claims acting for disinherited adult children, co-habitees and indeed defending such claims for the Estate.

Property Disputes:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Various landlord and tenant disputes;
  • Trusts of Land disputes between co-owners.

Professional Negligence:

  • A claim involving negligent Will-drafting. We recovered more than £300,000 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 plus costs;
  • Settling a claim against solicitors for failing to deal with leasehold extension matters correctly and recovering £75,000.

For help and advice, please contact Ian Williamson or any member of Wards Solicitors' Disputes team or pop into one of Wards Solicitors' 11 local offices.

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