Laura Abbott has joined Shoosmiths to lead the firm’s Disputed Wills and Trusts team in Birmingham, bringing with her considerable expertise in claims using the Inheritance Act, disputes in relation to wills and trusts, claims against Executors and Trustees, proprietary estoppel and statutory wills.
Working alongside Kelly Carr, who joined Shoosmiths in August 2020, Laura’s arrival means the national law firm now has a dedicated team based in and covering Birmingham and the Midlands.
Originally with Lodders Solicitors in Stratford upon Avon, and previously with Wright Hassall Solicitors in Leamington Spa (where she worked with Kelly), Laura is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the international professional body for advisers who specialise in inheritance and succession planning. She has also completed the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) training for contentious trusts and probate practitioners and is a member of ConTra, the contentious trusts association.
The Birmingham team can deal with disputes relating to wills, trusts and estates, including seeking reasonable financial provision using the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, challenging the validity of wills, issues of professional negligence in will preparation or estate administration, resolving disputes between executors and trustees including seeking their removal, disputes about broken promises - Proprietary Estoppel Claims – and dealing with the Court of Protection and claims involving those lacking capacity.
Laura said: “Disputes arising from contentious Wills and Trusts can tear families and family businesses apart and are very demanding in terms of time, money and emotion. I’m delighted to join Shoosmiths, being part of a team that appreciates how cool and objective legal advice together with sensitivity to all the emotional and commercial implications is needed to achieve a resolution in these cases.”
Manchester-based partner Adam Draper commented:
“Disputes which arise in relation to trust and succession planning is not just the exclusive domain of the rich and famous. It’s surprising how many estates, especially those where a business interest is involved, are challenged or are subject to dispute by family members. Laura is a great addition to our team. Together with Kelly Carr, I’m sure they will prove to be a dynamic duo, giving Shoosmiths a substantial and very capable dedicated presence for clients in Birmingham and the Midlands.”