Alison is a Partner in the Trust and Estate Disputes Team, specialising in all types of probate and trust disputes including will challenges, administration disputes, breach of trust issues, the removal of executors or trustees and claims brought pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Alison also deals with professional negligence claims based on estate or trust issues. Many of these matters have an international element involving domicile issues or assets based abroad.
Alison has experience in contested applications to the Court of Protection in relation to capacity issues including applications for deputyship, statutory wills and the registration of Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorneys. Alison acted for the interested party in the seminal case of Re P  EWHC 163 (Ch).
Alison works closely with the firm's French team in the context of contested French succession disputes.
Examples of her work include:
- Acting for the long term partner of Bernard Matthews in relation to a claim brought by the executors for determination as to whether French tax was payable out of the English estate. [Scarfe v Matthews & others Ch D 5 September 2012]. This case received considerable national media coverage.
- Acting for the English wife bringing a claim pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the estate of her late husband, an American citizen. Dealing with allegations that the deceased was not domiciled in England (and therefore that the claim could not be brought) and the implications of some valuable estate assets being based in the USA.
- Acting for the executors of an estate bringing a claim for an account against a previous personal representative where estate funds had been spent on renovating properties in England and Nigeria and defending a claim for remuneration from that personal representative.
- Acting for the Claimant alleging that her parents had entered into mutual wills and that consequently it was not open to the Claimant's father to transfer property other than according to the terms of the mutual wills. Dealing with the consequences of Cypriot property falling into the estate and the implications of Cypriot rules of succession.
- Acting for the French cohabitant of an English man in relation to a claim pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 where the estate included English and French assets and was to be distributed according to the terms of English and French wills. The French wills were inconsistent with French forced heirship rules as a result of which negligence proceedings had to be contemplated.
- Advising an administrator of an estate (as appointed by the Norwegian Court) in his application to step down and be replaced where an English grant of probate had been re-sealed in the Cayman Islands and where there was ongoing litigation in Norway and the Cayman Islands. The brief was to facilitate the administrator's resignation without prejudicing the Norwegian and Cayman proceedings.
- Several will disputes involving allegations of testamentary incapacity and/or undue influence and/or lack of knowledge and approval.
- Several claims pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, both bringing and defending and acting for neutral personal representatives.
- Several claims in the Court of Protection in relation to disputed deputyship appointments, Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney and Statutory wills.
Alison is a member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Solicitors), a student member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and an accredited mediator through CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution).
Alison has been described in Legal 500 (2012) as "resolute" and in Legal 500 (2011) as an "exceptional mediator". Legal 500 (2013) praises her for her 'attention to detail and tenacity' and her 'dogged approach to litigation'.
Alison joined Russell-Cooke as a trainee solicitor in 2000 and qualified into the Litigation Team in 2002. After dealing with mainstream commercial and regulatory litigation for four years, Alison began to specialise in trust and estate disputes and became a partner in 2010.