Probate group forms to weed out dabblers

Probate and contentious trust lawyers have formed a new group in a bid to raise the standards within their specialism and act as a pressure group.

The Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists wants to attract only highly experienced solicitors, barristers and legal executives to the group and only those who have devoted at least half of their last five years in practice working in the field will be able to join.

Association chairman Henry Frydenson, who has been a partner at City firm Paisner & Co since 1984, said he had come across a number of inexperienced people working in the field and there was a need to raise standards.

“Basically the group wants to heighten awareness that this is a specialist area and that it shouldn't be dabbled in by just anyone,” he said.

Frydenson added that the group was already in talks with the College of Law about the possibility of establishing a diploma in the probate and contentious trust field in recognition of the particular skills it requires.

The association was founded by 20 lawyers from a range of firms which include Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith, Mishcon de Reya and Boddle Hatfield.

Membership of the association will be £50 a year. Those joining will be expected to follow a voluntary Code of Conduct encouraging them to secure faster and more effective resolutions of disputes.