Richard is a partner in WBD's Private Wealth department, specialising in disputes about trusts and inheritance. His clients are based all around the UK and internationally, and include high net worth individuals, professional trustees, financial institutions, and insurers.

His cases invariably involve high value trusts and estates, complex asset holding structures, real estate assets, and assets held across multiple jurisdictions. As well as acting in litigation in the UK courts, Richard has been involved in trust litigation in the courts of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Richard's expertise covers the full gamut of scenarios that arise when trusts and estates become contentious, from will validity disputes and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, to complex disputes involving proprietary estoppel allegations, the removal of trustees and allegations of breach of trust. His cases include professional negligence claims, contract disputes and tax litigation for private clients and organisations involved in the private client sector.

As well as dispute resolution work, Richard is also regularly called upon to advise professional trustees and banks on the scope of their powers and duties when acting as trustee or executor of an estate.

Richard is one of only a handful of full members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Lawyers (ACTAPS) in the North. He is an Affiliate member of STEP.

Experience

Examples of experience include:

  • Advising the trust corporation of a major national bank on a range of contentious trust issues relating to the book of trusteeships they hold. The issues are often complex and can involve cross border issues, such as assets held in multiple jurisdictions and beneficiaries based abroad
  • Leading the firm’s input on behalf of a professional deputy in a contested application to the Court of Protection for a statutory will to be made. Richard appeared for the Deputy at the final hearing, with the other parties represented by experienced Counsel and succeeded in securing a statutory will in the terms sought by the Deputy
  • Representing both lay and professional executors in numerous contested probate cases, often involving complicated, high value assets and difficult family situations. Cases often involve disputes between multiple disgruntled beneficiaries and on multiple legal grounds
  • Successfully acting for individual beneficiaries who are left inadequate provision by the Deceased or who face claims from family members who feel cut out. Cases regularly involve dealing with claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, proprietary estoppel claims and claims that a will is invalid due to lack of mental capacity or undue influence
  • Successfully representing a number of private individuals in long-running High Court litigation, which involved 5 separate court actions pursued over a period of 4 years. The claims involved allegations of defamation, dishonesty and breach of contractual duty by our client, as well related disclosure applications, threatened injunctive relief.

"He is really pleasant to deal with and very efficient. You can rely on him absolutely." 

 

Chambers and Partners 2021

"Richard is absolutely lovely."

"He is really pragmatic, has a wonderful attitude and knows his stuff inside and out. He’s direct, helpful and well liked amongst his peers." 

 

Chambers and Partners 2021

"Pleasant, helpful and efficient." 

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2021

"Technically very, very good, he just understands the main issues." 

"He's very good with clients, they react really well to him." 

 

Chambers and Partners 2020

"Affable, constructive"

"Very good with people." 

 

Chambers and Partners 2020