Alison is head of the trust, will and succession litigation team advising on all types of succession, probate and trust disputes, ranging from domicile, succession and administration disputes to breach of trust issues, rectification and construction applications and the removal of fiduciaries.
She also acts in an advisory or risk management capacity as part of a larger team in advising on the succession of wealth and pre and post nuptial agreements.
Alison is a member of ACTAPS, STEP and Resolution and is also a CEDR trained mediator. Alison is also Russell-Cooke's Training Partner.
Alison is a ranked lawyer in Chambers HNW (2019) for private wealth disputes and as a leading individual in The Legal 500 (2020).
With experience in mediation as well as litigation, Alison is known to try and resolve disputes as quickly and cost efficiently wherever possible, but is also a tenacious litigator where she needs to be.
Alison qualified in 2002, dealing with mainstream commercial and regulatory litigation for four years until she began to specialise in trust and estate disputes in 2006. Alison became a partner in 2010.
- Successfully defending a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 brought by the two minor children of the deceased. The matter was the subject of a three day trial in January 2018 and we were successful in reducing the quantum of the claim from £2 million to £386,290. This is one of the few (if not only) judgments on a claim by minor children. Ubbi & Anori (Minors) v Ubbi -  EWHC 1396 (Ch).
- Stevanovic v Knyvett  214 (Fam)  EWHC 381 (Fam). Successfully defending a claim under the Inheritance Act and opposing an application for interim maintenance under section 5 of the Act as well as an application for relief from sanctions. This is the first reported case to consider the merits requirements of an application for interim maintenance (Mrs Justice Lieven).
- Cohabitees and beneficial interests - acted for the administrator of an estate in the Court of Appeal case Graham-York v York  EWCA Civ 72 involving disputed family property interests and a succession dispute.
- Court of Protection - acted for the interested party in the Court of Protection case (statutory will) of Re P  EWHC 163 (Ch) where the best interests test in relation to statutory wills was introduced.
- French tax - acted 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.
- Cross-border - acted for a 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.
- Domicile dispute - acted in a domicile dispute where an English wife brought a claim pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the estate of her late husband, an American citizen.
- Inappropriate use of estate funds - advised in claim for an account in an estate where a previous personal representative had inappropriately used estate funds and claimed remuneration.
- Two wills - advised an executor on her obligations where she was named executor in two successive wills, but where the first amounted to a mutual will.
- Mutual will - acted for the claimant in a dispute concerning the binding nature of a mutual will and its applicability to Cypriot assets and succession.
- Tax and property dispute - advised the independent administrator of the estates of husband and wife in a dispute concerning possible property interests of offshore companies, the consequent impact on inheritance tax obligations and risks to the administrator.
- Forgery - acted for the administrator of an estate in bringing a claim to set aside a will on the grounds of forgery.
- Interment of ashes - acted for the independent administrator in a dispute regarding the interment of ashes.
- Member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists)
- STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
- One of the few Private Client members of Resolution in recognition of the significant overlap in skills and experience with family litigation matters.
- Accredited mediator through CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution)
Alison grew up in South Africa and did law at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg before converting her degree at the College of Law, London.
Alison was admitted as a solicitor in 2002.