Luke Watson
Partner - Head of Charity Legacy

Luke is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Team and specialises in contentious trust and probate disputes. Luke is a member of ACTAPS. Luke has considerable experience in deal with property disputes (Luke is a member of the Property Litigation Association) and commercial disputes. Trusts and Estates routinely contain property and companies and this means that Luke’s broad experience enables him to deal with complex and high - value disputes relating to such trusts and estates.

During his recent career Luke has acted for trust companies, Executors, Trustees, Attorneys, educational establishments, companies, partnerships, unincorporated associations, high-net-worth individuals, landowners, property developers, commercial landlords charities and Multi-Academy Trusts. Luke routinely advises in cases with an international element. The disputes Luke deals with regularly involve 7 figure sums and are predominantly High Court cases.

Professional Experience


Contentious Trust and probate practice

  • Challenges relating to the validity of wills;
  • Claims for reasonable provision out of an estate under the Inheritance (Provision of Family and Dependants) Act 1975;
  • Claims involving Executors, Trustees and Attorneys for alleged breaches of their duties including their removal and/or substitution;
  • Disappointed beneficiaries claiming for shares of assets based on promises (proprietary estoppel);
  • Professional negligence claims relating wills, trusts and estates;
  • Seeking directions from the court regarding the administration of estates;
  • Advising Trustees, Executors and Attorneys regarding their duties.

Property litigation

  • Commercial property disputes regarding possession, renewals, breaches of lease terms and dilapidations;
  • Real estate disputes including private rights of way and nuisance;
  • Commercial Landlord & Tenant.

Commercial Litigation

  • Shareholder disputes including winding up on the just and equitable ground in cases of deadlock;
  • LLP disputes;
  • Director disputes;
  • Partnership disputes;
  • Commercial contract disputes including breach of warranty claims;
  • Unfair prejudice petitions.

Case studies / Accomplishments

Recent work highlights include:

  • Acting for Executors in relation to the contentious aspects of a multi- million-pound estate in which property was held in eight jurisdictions across Asia, Europe and Australasia. The deceased’s sons intimated a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and/or a claim alleging undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.
  • Acting for a company in the hospitality industry in relation to a disputed property/business sale for c£15 million. The claim alleged breaches of warranties in the sum of c£1.5 million.
  • Acting for a disappointed beneficiary in High Court proceedings regarding the interpretation/construction of a will. The residuary beneficiaries were two national charities and both charities and the Executor, a partner in the alleged negligent firm, were defendants to the claim.

Luke is a regular speaker at contentious trust and probate seminars.


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What our clients say

‘Luke Watson is a top-rate lawyer and I cannot speak highly enough of him. A delight to work with and superb with clients.’

What our clients say

‘Luke Watson has years of experience as an estates and trusts specialist. He has first-rate knowledge and tactical awareness. A safe pair of hands.’