Mary Butler, Senior Partner at Bell & Buxton
Bell & Buxton Solicitors reputation as leading experts in the field of Trust and Probate litigation (also known as Contentious Probate) was further enhanced after Mary Butler and Alex Watkinson successfully represented three individuals on an application heard before the High Court in London to remove their clients as Executors of an Estate valued at approximately £3,000,000.00.
Mr Justice Newey delivered the judgment on Friday 12th February 2010 following a substantial amount of coverage of the case in the Sheffield press.
The opponent was also ordered to pay the legal costs of Bell & Buxton’s clients.
The following articles were published about the case in The Sheffield Star
Sheffield family’s dispute over mum’s estate
Published Date: 11 February 2010
A WEALTHY Sheffield family are at war at London’s High Court over the valuation of their mother’s estate.
Lawyers for John Kershaw claim his sisters, Julia Micklethwaite and Jennifer Barlow, have significantly underestimated how much Adrienne Kershaw was worth when she died.
Barrister Andrew Child, for Mr Kershaw, told Mr Justice Newey that how Mr Kershaw gets depends on the probate value of the estate – and a lower valuation benefits his sisters.
The net probate value of Mrs Shaw’s estate has been put at £2.9m, but Mr Kershaw insists it is much higher.
He claims his mother’s farm, High Greave, in Dore, Sheffield, could go under the hammer for as much as £3m, while he says a block of flats is also worth up to £3m.
Mrs Kershaw, who was married to solicitor Frank Kershaw, the founder of law firm Kershaw Tudor, also owned a string of other properties and land, including some in Birchover, Derbyshire. She died on July 22, 2008.
Mr Kershaw, who lives in France, wants his sisters, as well as his mother’s accountant, removed as executors of the estate, and says they should be replaced by an independent professional.
Under Mrs Kershaw’s will, Mr Kershaw will receive two fifths of her fortune in cash, while former magistrate Mrs Barlow will get one fifth and Mrs Micklethwaite will get two fifths – both in property.
That, explained Mr Child, was why the valuation of the estate is so crucial.
He argued there was a “conflict of interest” in having Mrs Micklethwaite, of Whitelow Farm, Whitelow Lane, Dore, and Mrs Barlow, of Old Hay Lane, Dore, stay as executors.
Neither had acted in a way that “inspired confidence”, said Mr Child, while Mr Kershaw had been “painted” as a “troublemaker” in the hope his concerns would be “given little credence by the court”.
But Francis Barlow QC, for Mrs Micklethwaite and Mrs Barlow, insists their removal as executors would be “detrimental” to the administration of the estate.
Mr Justice Newey has now reserved his decision in the case and will give his ruling at an unspecified date.personal campaign against Mrs Micklethwaite”.
Son fails in court bid to alter mum’s will
Published Date: 16 February 2010
A WEALTHY Sheffield woman contemplated cutting her son out of her multi-million pound estate because of a family rift, London’s High Court heard.
The revelations came as judge Mr Justice Newey refused John Kershaw’s bid to have his sisters, Julia Micklethwaite and Jennifer Barlow, removed as executors of their mother’s estate.
Adrienne Kershaw’s estate has been valued for probate at £2.9m, but her son insists the true value is more like double that. How much he gets depends on the probate value – and a lower valuation will benefit his sisters.
The day before she made her will Mrs Kershaw – who was married to solicitor Frank Kershaw – told a lawyer she felt “a bit cruel” not naming her son as an executor, but added: “I know jolly well he would rule the roost, and that’s not right.”
Mr Kershaw argued his mother’s farm – High Greave, in Dore – could go under the hammer for as much as £3m, and said a block of flats is worth the same.
They have been valued for less, and Mr Justice Newey said there was no reason to find fault with the lower valuations as they were made by professionals.
Mr Kershaw, who lives in France, wanted his sisters as well as his late mother’s accountant removed as executors, and replaced by a neutral party.
Under Mrs Kershaw’s will, he will receive two fifths of her fortune in cash, while former magistrate Mrs Barlow, of Old Hay Lane, Dore, will get one fifth and Mrs Micklethwaite, of Whitelow Farm, Whitelow Lane, Dore, will get two fifths, both in property.
But Mr Justice Newey concluded: “I have not been persuaded there is good reason for anyone to be removed as executor. The matters on which Mr Kershaw relies don’t provide any real basis to suppose the estate will not be administered properly.”
Bell and Buxton Solicitors Sheffield Tel: 0114 2495969