A North East solicitor has become one of just a handful in the region to win professional recognition for her expertise in dealing with contentious wills and probate issues.
Lucy Gray has been appointed as an associate member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), a national organisation which aims to promote best practice amongst solicitors, barristers and legal executives who handle trust and estate disputes.
Lucy, who is a partner in the Dispute Resolution team at Hay & Kilner Law Firm in Newcastle, obtained the qualification after completing a two-year course run by The University of Law in London which covered a range of different topics, including trust and probate actions, mental capacity, Inheritance Act claims and asset tracing.
She will qualify for full membership of ACTAPS after two further years’ working in this area of the law.
While practicing across all areas of commercial law, Lucy Gray has a particular specialism in agricultural issues, an area in which estate claims regularly occur, and has previously acted on disputes for a number of landowning and farming clients.
She says: “Disputes over the estates of loved ones come at the most difficult of times for those involved, and can present a unique set of challenges for the legal professionals charged with resolving them, as well as the clients themselves.
“Working towards this qualification has broadened my appreciation of different aspects of probate and trust law, and learning from the practical experience of the course tutors in how they have approached difficult cases has been especially valuable.
“Trust and probate disputes are becoming more common and can be extremely complex, particularly those with an agricultural aspect to them, but this qualification has given an even greater insight into the ways in which they might be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner Law Firm, adds: “We place a great deal of focus on ensuring our team’s skills and knowledge are kept fully up-to-date, and it’s good to see Lucy’s commitment to professional development making her just one of a very few North East practitioners to hold this accreditation.”
Established in 1946, Hay & Kilner is one of North East England’s leading independent law firms and provides a comprehensive legal service to clients both within and outside the region.