Emma Saunders

Dispute Resolution, Personal and Family

Title: Senior Associate

Tel: 0191 226 3293

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Emma is a Senior Associate specialising in Contentious Probate and disputed Court of Protection matters. She advises on disputes arising from trust and probate issues including will challenges, administration disputes, the removal of executors and trustees and disputes relating to beneficial interests in property.

Emma has considerable experience in both bringing and defending claims against estates under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. She further has specialist expertise in contested applications brought in the Court of Protection, such as those for Statutory Wills, deputyship applications and disputes regarding the registration of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Emma is committed to resolving disputes in a cost effective manner and sensitive to the issues that arise in disputes in this specialised area, which often involve family members.  She is a full member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and an affiliate member of STEP.

 Experience:

  • Inheritance Act claim by cohabiting partner – Advised a client in relation to her claim against her late partner’s estate, which included assets in England and a jointly-owned property in France which passed to the deceased’s wife and children. The deceased died without a will and had remained married to his wife
  • Will challenge – Acted for the children of a deceased man who had died excluding them from his will and leaving the valuable family home to his paid carer. Settlement was achieved at a lengthy mediation
  • Statutory Will dispute – Represented a client in proceedings relating to a Statutory Will for her cohabiting partner, which included his children and his wife, from who he was separated. Achieved a favourable settlement following a round table meeting
  • Breach of trust – Successfully negotiated that a trustee step down and restore funds to the trust following allegations from the other trustees that she had misappropriated trust funds
  • Claim for an account and wilful default – Obtained judgment against the co-administrator of an estate in relation to a claim for an account and for wilful default. The Court ordered that a substantial sum be returned to the estate
  • Trust dispute – Obtained a favourable settlement for a client relating to a trust which arose by his interest in a property in which he had invested monies for the benefit of his mother during her lifetime, which was then registered in a sibling’s name

 Client/professional quotes:

In the Legal 500 2018 Guide Emma was praised as being “very knowledgeable“, she is also singled out for her ability to “keep an eye on the detail of the matter while at the same time keeping the bigger picture and the client’s best interests in mind she leaves no stone unturned when preparing a case“.

“no-nonsense” and “identifies and deals effectively and efficiently with the issues and the other side” (Legal 500 2017)

“diligent and sympathetic, but firm” (Legal 500 2016)

“extremely hardworking and dedicated to clients”, and “calm under pressure” (Legal 500 2015)

The Chambers UK 2019 Guide ranked the Dispute Resolution team as ‘recognised practitioners’.


Key Practice Areas

  • Will challenges
  • Inheritance Act claims
  • Administration disputes
  • Court of Protection
  • Beneficial interest disputes
  • Removal of executors