With a strong background in commercial litigation, Emily's focus is now private client disputes where her experience includes acting in relation to cases involving challenges to the validity of wills (including lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence claims), rectification claims, removal of executors, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, breach of trust claims, trustee fees disputes and professional negligence claims arising in the context of trust and estates work. She also acts in Court of Protection matters including applications for statutory wills and for the appointment and removal of deputies.
Consistent with Forsters' personal, partner led service, Emily shows great discretion and professionalism when working on what are often sensitive family disputes for high net worth (often high profile) clients. She and her team are widely recognised for their intelligent and practical approach to matters and are committed to ensuring that their clients' objectives are achieved in the most cost-effective way possible. The team have handled a number of trials (including reported cases) but also regularly achieve the right result for clients without the need for Court proceedings e.g. by mediation.
Emily is a regular speaker at conferences, including 2014 Legal Week Trust & Estates Litigation Forum in Provence and the 2015 Mourant Ozannes International Trusts and Private Client Forum in Cayman. In addition, Emily is recognised in a number of independent directories including Chambers, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and CityWealth.
Emily trained at Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, qualifying in 1995. She moved to Forsters in 1998 and was made a partner in 2010.
The Court of Appeal recently overturned the High Court judgment in Lomax v Lomax, confirming that the courts can order early neutral evaluation even without the parties' consent. The decision – which was made in the context of a claim by a widow under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and which was strongly resisted by her stepson – will be of particular interest to private client practitioners because of the court's endorsement of early neutral evaluation in the context of family disputes.
The Court of Appeal recently overturned a first-instance decision and confirmed that the plaintiff can make a claim out of time for reasonable provision from her husband's estate. The court disagreed with the first-instance decision that to allow this claim would amount to forced spousal heirship, as each case depends on its own facts and the specific application of the factors set out in the inheritance act.
Shortly after rejecting a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act outside the statutory six-month time limit, the High Court of Justice allowed a claim to be brought 25 years and nine months after the deadline. As the statutory deadline had passed, the court exercised its discretion in favour of the claimant based on, among other things, the merits of her claim and the fact that refusing the application would leave her with no benefit from the estate and effectively homeless.