Lincolnshire Wolds gains dispute resolution team, headed by new partner

Lincolnshire Wolds gains dispute resolution team, headed by new partner

Katherine Marshall has been promoted to partner to head up a new team offering dispute resolution and Will dispute expertise to clients across the Lincolnshire Wolds.

The newly formed team, based in Wilkin Chapman’s new offices at Oxley House in Louth, represents the first time the firm has offered these services in the Lincolnshire Wolds area.

Wilkin Chapman is the largest law firm in the Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire region and Katherine Marshall has become a partner four years after joining. She said:

“It’s an exciting time as we’ve just moved into our new Wolds office in Louth and we have a fantastic opportunity to establish a dispute resolution and Wills disputes presence in the Wolds area. We now have a dedicated team that can deal with those disputes and we have a good foundation from which to grow those two areas.

“There’s a team of three of us at the moment here in the Wolds, and we’ve only been working together for four months. It’s already working really well and we’re a very close knit unit. I’m looking forward to growing the team, growing the Will disputes offering and having a permanent dispute resolution presence in the Wolds to help those in the local area.”

Qualifying as a solicitor in 2009, Katherine undertook her training with a large regional firm. Following qualification she joined a niche litigation firm, dividing her time between its Lincolnshire and London offices. After the founder of the firm decided to end the business and become a barrister, Katherine joined Wilkin Chapman in 2018 and has now progressed into the role of partner. She said:

“Before joining, I already had a good working relationship with the various partners at Wilkin Chapman from when I had worked opposite them. So I just picked up the phone, had a few interviews and here I am now!

“Becoming a partner is always something I’ve wanted to do. When you start out as a trainee solicitor that is always the thing that you’re ultimately aiming for. My family has farmed on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds for several generations, and I attended school in Horncastle and so I have a strong link to the local area and to the agricultural sector in the region too.”

One of Katherine’s key focuses will be on growing the Will disputes offering in the Louth office. She said:

“Will disputes is a growing area of law and there are two fundamental enquiries we get. One is in relation to challenging the validity of a Will – someone may claim that a Will isn’t valid as the person making it lacked mental capacity, it wasn’t validly signed or they were subjected to undue influence when it was made. The other area is under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. The act says that if someone has been left out of a Will, for example a child who’s been left out in favour of a new partner, they may seek to bring a claim for reasonable financial provision from the estate.

“There are many reasons why this area of law is growing. We have an ageing population; the Covid-19 pandemic brought in a whole new raft of regulations for the witnessing of a Will, which were extremely cumbersome. The average family model is also very different to how it used to be with remarriages and stepchildren. For farming families that are generally asset rich and cash poor, it is very difficult to achieve equality between their children so they may bring about claims. It’s a huge, growing area of work and we’re here to help people who may feel there is a claim to be made.”

In order to avoid disputes over Wills happening in the first place, Katherine has the following advice:

“Some people see Wills as a one off document, but really they should be seen as living documents that should be reviewed regularly – particularly if your circumstances change as you get married, divorced or have children.”

With more than 40 partners and over 400 members of staff located across a network of legal offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and Louth, Wilkin Chapman ranks as the 111th largest firm in the UK. Wilkin Chapman provides trusted legal and insolvency advice to both private and commercial clients who are based locally, nationally and internationally. For more information visit www.wilkinchapman.co.uk.

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