Tuesday 27th February 2024

Stone King was delighted to host our annual Legacy Conference back in November 2023 at The Conduit in London, where the firm’s Legacy Team and a number of prominent independent experts explored snags and challenges in legacy administration, at home and abroad.

The conference featured a lineup of knowledgeable speakers, including Stone King’s Alison Allen, Dan Harris, Luke Watson, Matthew Graham, Alice O’Mahony, and Elle McDonald, as well as Ellen Radley of The Radley Forensic Document Laboratory.

We were honoured to have St John’s Chambers as sponsor of the conference drinks reception and to have their experts, Alex Troup KC and Oliver Wooding, also join us as speakers.

The event covered various important topics: 

  • Dan Harris, Stone King Partner and Head of the International & Cross-Border Team as well as the firm's Private Client Sector, covered foreign Wills and validity issues, conflicts of succession law and the application of foreign laws, claims against foreign estates, delivering assets to the correct foreign charities, and foreign tax in his talk on the five key questions charities must answer when collecting foreign legacies.

  • Alice O’Mahony, Associate Solicitor in Stone King’s Charity Team, explored some of the practical challenges encountered when dealing with restricted legacies, including the creation of permanent endowment. She also discussed the importance of getting the charity name and number correct in Wills.

  • Matthew Graham, Head of Stone King’s Criminal Law Team, teamed up with Elle McDonald, a solicitor in the firm’s Dispute Resolution Team, to deliver a talk on charity legacy fraud from both a civil law and a criminal law perspective. The aim of this session was to instil confidence in attendees to do the right thing to prevent, identify and beat fraudsters.

  • Ellen Radley, Principal of The Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, then delivered a fascinating talk on forensic document examination in testamentary cases.

  • After lunch, Luke Watson, Stone King Partner and Head of the Charity Legacy Team, discussed how and why charities should seek to settle claims challenging the legacies they are due to receive from estates. 

  • Stone King Chair, Alison Allen, considered the circumstances that may make a client vulnerable when making a Will, the legal test for mental capacity to make a Will, and aspects that can potentially impact on a Will’s validity, such as coercion, mental disability and mental illness.

  • The final talk of the day came from Alex Troup KC and Oliver Wooding of St John’s Chambers. Together, they covered recent cases where challenges to claims based on undue influence have succeeded, as well as why the principles are different for undue influence claims concerning mutual Wills.

The Stone King team was thrilled to welcome all participants to London for this day of meaningful discussion. The event not only provided a platform for networking but also served as a valuable opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field.

Dan Harris said, “This year’s Legacy Conference was a remarkable gathering of legal and charitable professionals, where we explored some of the key challenges facing legacy officers as well as crucial but slightly unusual legacy administration issues, including criminal and fraud detection topics.

“It was a privilege to share insights with such a distinguished group of speakers and attendees and to showcase the truly unique blend of legacy expertise available in the Stone King Legacy Team.

“It was also a pleasure to transfer the leadership of Stone King’s Legacy Team to Luke Watson, and to confirm that my team and I will continue to be available to help with international and cross-border legacies.”

The 2024 Legacy Conference will be taking place in autumn. With a wealth of topics to discuss, it promises to be another valuable day of knowledge sharing and networking. More details will be released soon.