Slee Blackwell Solicitors
I am a registered member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) and an experienced civil litigator.
As Head of our Estate & Trust Dispute Team, I specialise in all forms of inheritance and trust disputes which also include co-ownership disputes in relation to property (TOLATA claims).
My expertise in inheritance claims includes claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975, challenging Wills on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, want of knowledge and approval and fraudulent calumny as well as claims setting aside lifetime gifts/transfers on the grounds of lack of capacity/undue influence together with disputes between Executors/Beneficiaries (to include applications to remove Executors/Trustees) and complex Trust Disputes to name a few examples.
I have developed excellent client care skills and am popular with clients for my caring and empathetic approach to claims which often come at the most difficult period of time for clients who are also grieving their loved ones.
I am a keen advocate of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and particularly mediation. I have participated in countless mediations with a high success rate for settlement. I consider it a process which is extremely useful in resolving often very emotive claims where issues of sentimental importance can be incorporated into the settlement terms, whereas a judge would not have the power to do so at trial.
If ADR is refused (or on the rare occasion that it fails) I am an extremely tenacious lawyer fighting for my clients to the bitter end at trial and I have multi-track trial experience on more than one occasion and am adept at trial tactics.
I am a thorough and hardworking lawyer and my attention to detail has often made the difference at both mediations and trial. My most successful example of this was during a case when my thorough search for documents with my client led to tracking down a document dating back to the 1960s which evidently made the difference in the eyes of the judge. This led to a particularly intransigent defendant finally seeking to settle on the fourth day of the five-day trial resulting in securing the client's home plus a cash settlement and payment of legal costs.
A further example is when I was a trainee working on a professional negligence case where my page by page knowledge of a solicitor's file resulted in me being able to locate a document which defeated the defendant's position on a key issue in dispute. This resulted in the settlement of a case which had been ongoing for many years.