Emma is a senior associate in the trust and estate disputes team.
Emma acts for both claimants and defendants in disputes arising out of probate or trust matters, such as challenges to the validity of wills, administration and executor disputes, claims for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, domicile issues and trust disputes, such as those relating to beneficial interests in property.
She is recommended in The Legal 500 (2016) who note that she is “diligent and sympathetic, yet firm." Emma is committed to resolving disputes as cost effectively as possible and encourages the use of mediation wherever appropriate.
Emma joined Russell-Cooke as a trainee solicitor in 2010, joining the trust and estate disputes team in 2011 and qualifying into the team in 2012.
- Estate dispute - obtained settlement for a client in a long running dispute with her sibling regarding the distribution of and assets contained within their late parents’ estates. The dispute involved funds which had been transferred offshore to a trust of which the sibling was a beneficiary and which he sought to argue had been lost in a business transaction in which he was an interested party. The sibling further sought to deduct payments from the estate relating to an alleged rental agreement of which no evidence was provided
- Estoppel claim - represented a client in relation to her late mother’s estate, where the mother’s will did not leave the entire estate to our client in accordance with lifetime promises made to our client. A settlement was negotiated through correspondence with the other named beneficiaries to the will so court proceedings were avoided
- Will dispute - acted for two children of the deceased, who left the majority of the estate to his carer to the exclusion of his children. Advised clients regarding their challenge to the will on the grounds of a lack of testamentary capacity, a lack of knowledge and approval and undue influence. Achieved a settlement for the clients at a lengthy mediation
- Breach of trust - acted for two trustees of a will trust in dispute with their fellow trustee in relation to monies removed by her from a trust account and her failure to manage trust assets appropriately. Successfully negotiated the appointment of an independent trustee and obtained an agreement from the defaulting trustee that the missing funds should be returned
- Statutory will dispute - represented the cohabiting partner of P in a contested Statutory Will application which included P’s children and wife, from whom he was separated. Achieved a favourable settlement for the client following a roundtable meeting between the parties
- Defending Inheritance Act claim and trust dispute - acted for the executor and beneficiary of his mother’s estate in defence of an Inheritance Act claim being brought out of time by his younger brother. Further advised the client in defence of a related claim regarding the beneficial interest in the estate property brought by his older brother. Successfully negotiated a settlement between all 3 parties which avoided contested proceedings and the associated costs
- Resulting trust dispute - represented client in respect of a resulting or constructive trust which arose by his interest in a property in which he invested monies for the benefit of his mother during her lifetime. The property had been registered in the names of the client’s mother and brother without the client’s knowledge, before the first property was sold and the sale proceeds invested in two successive properties. A favourable settlement was reached following mediation
- Claim for an account and wilful default - obtained judgment against the administrator of an estate in relation to a claim for an account and a claim for wilful default. The defendant was ordered to return in excess of £400,000 to the estate and further ordered to pay the estate's costs
- Attorney dispute - represented a client in the Court of Protection who was objecting to the registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) which appointed his brother as his mother's attorney. The Court ordered that the EPA was not registered and appointed two deputies for the mother
- Cohabitant Inheritance Act claim - advised a client in relation to settlement of her claim under the Inheritance Act in respect of her late partner's estate, which includes assets in England and a jointly-owned property in France which passed to the deceased’s wife and children. Our client had cohabited with the deceased for over 15 years; however the deceased died without a will and had remained married to his wife, who on the intestacy would receive the whole English estate
- Member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)
- Emma has been recognised in The Legal 500 as follows:
- "diligent and sympathetic, but firm" (2016)
- “extremely hardworking and dedicated to clients", and "calm under pressure” (2015)
- "fantastically thorough and conscientious" (2014)
- "her grasp of the law, in combination with her ability to absorb information, is impressive" (2013)
- Studied at Newcastle University
- Completed her legal studies at Northumbria University, where she was awarded a Distinction in the Graduate Diploma in Law
- Graduated with Distinction in the Legal Practice Course