Our Lawyers

There are nine qualified lawyers in our Contesting Wills team, all practicing exclusively in this highly specialised area of law. We are one of the largest such teams in the country, and our expertise has been recognised by our inclusion in the ‘Contentious Trusts and Probate’ section of the Legal 500, the independent guide to the legal profession.

Our team of specialist lawyers includes the following lawyers, who are all partners in the practice:

  • Naomi Ireson

    Naomi heads up the team. She is recommended by The Legal 500, which described her in its 2024 edition as ‘knowledgeable, experienced and thorough’, and said she is noted for her ‘exemplary’ attention to detail.

    Naomi has a particular interest in legacy law, dealing with disputes involving charitable legacies.

    She is also highly experienced in handling beneficial interest claims arising from resulting trusts, constructive trusts, or estoppel, as well as related TOLATA proceedings. She represented the victorious party in the well-known Court of Appeal case of Ely v Robson, 2016 EWCA Civ 774.

    Naomi is frequently instructed in claims under the Inheritance Act and challenges to the validity of Wills, acting on behalf of both claimants and defendants.

    A firm advocate of mediation, Naomi has an exceptional record of success in resolving the most difficult and protracted disputes.

  • Hayley Bundey

    The 2024 edition of The Legal 500, referred to Hayley as ‘excellent’, and ‘a prolific adviser on contentious probate work’. She is a member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) and has specialised in contested Will disputes throughout her career.

    Hayley is particularly experienced in dealing with complex challenges to the validity of Wills on grounds such as lack of capacity, undue influence and want of knowledge and approval. She also has expertise in challenging lifetime gifts and transfers of property, as well as beneficial interest claims (including constructive trusts, estoppel and TOLATA claims.

    Hayley has an excellent track record for resolving even the most entrenched cases. She is passionate about this area of law and ensuring that justice is done for those who didn’t have the strength to stand up to pressure, influence, or lack of understanding in their final years. She has a very high success rate at settling cases through mediation but is not afraid to fight all the way to trial when required.

  • Christopher Holten

    Chris has specialised in contested Will claims, inheritance disputes and contentious probate law since qualifying as a solicitor in 2014. He is experienced in all aspects of contentious probate law and has a particular interest in dealing with disputes where the validity of a Will is challenged on the grounds of testamentary capacity, having trained at a firm which specialised in mental capacity law.

    Chris is popular with clients, who appreciate his sympathetic approach. He is always happy to consider No Win – No Fee funding and will provide a free assessment of any potential case.

  • Lee Dawkins

    Lee qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and has been a litigation partner for over 30 years, specialising in Inheritance Act claims and executor disputes. He is a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association and is highly experienced in dealing with claims against solicitors and other Will writers for negligence in relation to Will preparation and estate administration.

    He looks after the Contesting Wills website, keeping the content right up to date with the very latest developments in this complex area of law.

Other qualified solicitors specialising exclusively in contentious probate are:

  • Helen Clegg

  • Sarah Coombs

  • Jack Dray

  • Anya Hoyland

  • David Lees

  • Bronte Pettifer