Bircham & Co wins client a Lords seat

Westminster law firm Bircham & Co has won a seat in the House of Lords for its client.

The firm has proved its client's barony, which comes with a seat in the upper chamber, after a 50-year gap in the Arlington line. But it is likely to be a short-term tenure since hereditary peerages are due to be scrapped.

The parliamentary and public affairs arm of Bircham & Co, Dyson Bell Martin, proved Jennifer Forwood's peerage through a female line of descent.

Forwood's mother and aunt had equal claims to the Arlington title. But neither wished to claim precedence over the other. So the title fell into abeyance when their brother, the Duke of Grafton, was killed in a car crash in 1936.

After a direct line of descent was proved, her lawyers presented a petition to the Home Office. The Queen, advised by the Solicitor General Ross Cranston QC, granted the writ on 28 April.

The firm says it was a one-off job for the client, won on the back of other similar claims.