- The recoverability of success fees in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (Bullock v Denton and H (Deceased))
- What are the practical implications of these cases?
- What were the backgrounds?
- What did the courts decide?
- Case details
- Bullock v Denton
- H (Deceased), Re
Private Client analysis: In two recent cases involving claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (IPFDA 1975), the respective judges were directed to consider whether the claimants’ success fee under a conditional fee agreement (CFA) should be paid from the estate as part of what constitutes reasonable financial provision. In both Bullock v Denton  Lexis Citation 191 and H (Deceased), Re  EWHC 1134 (Fam), the judges allowed the claims and further determined that a success fee is rightly regarded as a debt for which the claimant alone is liable, and should therefore be considered as part of the review of the claimant’s financial needs and resources under IPFDA 1975, s 3(1)(a). In this respect, the judgments are notable for contradicting the long-held position of contentious probate practitioners that the recoverability of success fees was precluded by the Jackson Reforms of 2013. Written by Adam Draper, partner at Shoosmiths, and Hollie Richardson, paralegal at Shoosmiths.
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