Alison is a partner in the trust and estate disputes team, specialising in probate and trust disputes including will and 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.
Many matters have an international element involving domicile issues or assets based abroad and in particular many matters involve the firm’s French team in the context of contested French succession disputes.
Alison also deals with professional negligence claims based on estate or trust issues.
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.
Some examples of work:
- acting for the successful Respondent in the Court of Appeal case Graham-York v York  EWCA Civ 72 which involved a property dispute between an administrator of an estate and a cohabitee.
- acting for the interested party in the Court of Protection case of Re P  EWHC 163 (Ch) w
- 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  WTLR 1579
- acting for the longstanding Finnish wife bringing a claim pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the estate of her late husband, involving cross-border issues involving the jurisdictions of Cyprus and Hungary.
- 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.
- advising an executor on her obligations where she was named executor in two successive wills, but where the first amounted to a mutual will.
- 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.
- 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.
- advising the professional administrator of two linked estates spanning two jurisdictions in relation to an application for directions where there was a dispute concerning residence and deemed domicile (with inheritance tax consequences) and the ownership of three properties.
Alison is a member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Solicitors), STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and an accredited mediator through CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution).
Alison has been mentioned in The Legal 500 (2011) as an “exceptional mediator”, The Legal 500 (2012) as being "resolute", The Legal 500 (2013) praises her for her “attention to detail and tenacity” and her “dogged approach to litigation”, The Legal 500 (2014) notes that she “grasps the key points” and “impresses” and The Legal 500 (2015) describes her as a “superb leader” and that she as “an excellent way with clients”. Alison is a recognised practitioner in Chambers & Partners.
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.
Alison is responsible for trainee recruitment at Russell-Cooke.