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Contentious Trusts and Probate Litigation

Thursday, Sep-21, 2023

Contentious Trusts and Probate Litigation

It is a fact of life that disputes will arise. Some arise because mistakes are made, or people do the wrong thing - but often it is due to the validity or interpretation of a document that causes the disagreement.

Trust disputes quite often arise between family members and therefore litigation is not always the most appropriate action. There are many other forms of dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration and McCormicks can help you choose the most effective manner for resolving any dispute.

Tax can be a minefield and this can be made even worse if a dispute arises - our comprehensive knowledge and expertise in this field enables us to guide you through the process to ensure that the best settlement is reached whatever the circumstances.


In the field of litigation, McCormicks is ranked as one of the leading firms in the region with a growing and significant number of high profile instructions as well as retaining a very impressive client base.

The areas of law surrounding trusteeships and tax have become more complex placing greater responsibilities upon trustees. When things go wrong, whatever the cause the relationship between trustees and beneficiaries can soon break down. Increasingly the parties are adopting a litigious approach and we can offer the required combination of trust law and litigation expertise.

Comments from McCormick’s clients emphasise the firm's pragmatic skill in mediating an effective result to a dispute, whilst remaining always prepared if necessary to resort to the courts.

"McCormicks advises various trustees and estate owners on issues such as rationalisation, extension of property portfolios and tax planning. Clients include the Outward Bound Trust." The Legal 500

McCormicks advises wealthy clients on complex and technical tax planning matters and has seen a growth in referrals from clients across the business community. The firm also handles special trust and probate litigation.” Legal 500

This full service firm has a growing presence in the region for its estate work. Clients say ‘A small enough unit that it provides a really personal service, which is not dissipated as it goes down the line.” Chambers UK

This Harrogate firm has established an enviable reputation in estate management and rural property transactions. A particular specialism is the diversification of estate lands for commercial, development and sporting uses, including advising on niche shooting rights. It also acts for Estate Trustees and farming families on complex tax, trust and succession matters.” Chambers UK

McCormicks provides commercial advice to trusts, landowners and estates. The ‘excellent’ team is ‘very efficient.’ It includes a number of ‘sound’ and ‘reliable’ commercial property and private client lawyers.” UK Legal 500

Landed estate owners and successful business people regard McCormicks as a go-to group. The group is praised for its ‘all-round efficiency.” Chambers UK

McCormicks’ ‘brilliant’ practice has an emphasis on tax planning, and is led by associate Elaine Lightfoot.” - Legal 500

Peter McCormick leads McCormicks’ growing portfolio of contentious work, for clients such as Strutt Family Trusts.” - Legal 500

"Elaine Lightfoot's practice runs the gamut of private client work. Clients say: 'She gives you a precise and very definite resume of how she sees the problem and how to get round it.'" - Chambers UK - Private Client

"You get good advice; it's very clear so you know exactly where you are." - Chambers UK - Private Client

"McCormicks is certainly the most efficient firm I have ever had dealings with." - Chambers UK - Private Client

“McCormicks’ private client offering encompasses wealth disputes. Yorkshire families, businesspeople and organisations turn to the firm for advice on the Inheritance Act, attempts to overturn wills on the grounds of capacity and duress and disputes between executors and trustees. The firm also advises on cases with cross jurisdictional elements, as well as handling more modest family cases for local clients which require rapid settlement at proportionate costs.” - Legal 500