Racing Home is an online portal which launched last year to provide information for those within the racing industry in a “one-stop shop” place where employers and employees can look to find out their rights, entitlements and obligations when racing and stud staff want to start a family.

This initiative was started by Women in Racing, and phase 1 of the project, the portal itself, was launched last year. Funding for the project was provided by the Racing Foundation alongside the Kindred Group, and they have kindly agreed to fund the second phase of the project, which is now underway.

Our employment partner, Gemma Ospedale, was privileged to be approached by Women in Racing to provide the text for the information on family friendly leave and pay, flexible working and self-employment. With Gemma’s background in the racing industry prior to switching horses to the legal profession, she was perfectly placed to provide detailed and informative text for the portal, phrased in such a way that those accessing it in the racing industry would be able to easily understand a complex statutory framework.

Women in Racing, in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University and Simply Racing, led by Dena Merson, identified a massive gap in information in the racing industry where staff who want to start a family largely had no idea how to go about approaching their employer or what they were entitled to. Likewise for trainers, stud owners and employers within racing who were, through no fault of their own, often unaware of their obligations as employers and the entitlements of their staff. Central to this is the mantra that working with their young staff to facilitate them having a family life alongside a career in racing builds long lasting and loyal relationships from which racing employers greatly benefit because they do not lose the skills and experience of those people to start their families. Racing Home enables all those in racing to access information and support to enable them to have a family life concurrently with a career in racing and not be mutually exclusive.

Gemma was delighted to have been able to take part in this inspirational project and remains a key part of the team developing phase 2 of the portal, where her role is to ensure that all the information on it remains up to date and relevant.

Inheritance disputes have the power to destroy families. But they don’t have to be points of conflict if they are handled with tact and pragmatic care. Amanda Noyce is one of the most highly regarded inheritance dispute solicitors in the country and has successfully worked on many high profile, and landmark cases involving inheritance disputes.

That is why she was approached to feature as an expert contributor in the television documentary series, Inheritance Wars.

In the series Amanda features as a a sounding-board, explaining the law and drawing on her own experiences to explain how things often go wrong for families, and how with the correct advice and guidance they can be resolved amicably. Here she recaps on some of the big talking points as well as explaining some common inheritance dispute misconceptions.

Can an estranged family member contest a will?

An estranged family member can contest a will in a number of ways, the main ones are ‘for lack of formal validity’. This means the will was not signed and witnessed correctly and therefore is not legally valid. Secondly for ‘lack of the requisite mental capacity’ on the part of the deceased, which means that the person who wrote the will was not of sound mind when doing so. You can also argue ‘undue influence’ on the part of a person who benefits from the final will, where that person has coerced the deceased into making his will. It is also possible to claim for “maintenance” from the estate, although if the challenger is estranged, this is often difficult.

The challenger must also benefit in the event that the final will is held to be invalid- ie under the previous will or under the intestacy rules. The intestacy rules are the position where there is no will- usually the estate passing to next of kin, although the situation is slightly more complex if there is a surviving spouse and children.

How to deal with antagonistic family members during an inheritance dispute?

It is always better to deal with antagonistic family members with respect, decorum and an air of calm. Stoking fires through aggressive correspondence is never helpful. Bridging the gap through reaching out to the lawyers acting for the opposing family members in a professional manner is the best way to forge a settlement that everyone can live with. Sometimes court action is required, but it is best to try to reach a compromise in the interests of saving legal costs and attempting to keep family relationships together if at all possible. The parties will be attending the same weddings, christenings and funerals in the future, so this is the aim- although not always the outcome.

Does a beneficiary have to share with their siblings?

No a beneficiary does not always have to share with their siblings. Often a person is left a gift in a will by a godparent, neighbour or good friend. This has nothing to do with siblings. Surprisingly often a parent will choose to favour one child over his/ her siblings. This can be for various reasons, eg that child has been the parent`s main carer in old age; that child is more financially vulnerable; or that there has been a genuine estrangement from other children. In these circumstances there may be good reasons to defend a challenge by the siblings who have received less from the parent`s estate.

How often do families fight over inheritance?

It is difficult to say how often families fight over inheritance. The figures in the Channel 5 documentary struck me as too high. (One-third of beneficiaries are unhappy with what they have received and 25% of them challenge the will). I have a jaundiced view because the unhappy people come to me; whereas those who are content stay quiet!

Can you stop someone from getting an inheritance?

Only if you successfully challenge a will. As mentioned, this would have to be on specific legal grounds: incorrect completion of the paperwork when creating the will; a challenge on the ground that the deceased lacked the requisite mental capacity to make the will (the legal test here is very precise); that another person unduly pressured the deceased into making the final will; on the ground that the will is fraudulent or fraudulently obtained. This is a ground called “fraudulent calumny.” This is a rare but interesting ground of challenge. Essentially a person lied to the deceased about the person disinherited and the deceased believed the lie and cut that person out in reliance upon that mistaken belief. At RWK Goodman we successfully prosecuted a famous case on grounds of fraudulent calumny but this is rare in practice because the evidence is hard to obtain. A beneficiary under a will might see his/ her inheritance reduced if there is a successful statutory claim by a third party to “maintenance” against the estate.

How likely are you to win when contesting a will?

“Winning” suggests that the case goes all the way to court. In practice less than 5% of cases go to a contested trial. So the vast majority settle by way of an agreed compromise, usually sorted between solicitors. That is always our aim. Of the remaining 5% that do fight all the way, naturally 50% win and 50% lose. At RWK Goodman we have a very slim failure rate indeed. We always strive to compromise claims and minimise risk and cost to the clients.

Who pays for contesting a will?

The challenger pays to challenge the will. Usually a compromise results in practice with the parties paying their own legal costs unless the estate is substantial, when sometimes the settlement involves everyone`s costs coming out of the estate. If it goes to trial, generally the “loser” pays the “winner`s “ costs as well as his/her own. There are specific legal exceptions when the costs might be ordered to come out of the estate.

Do I need a solicitor to contest a will?

Yes you do- the areas for challenge can be legally complex. In practice the evidence required is very specific and targeted and there might also be a need for expert evidence.

What makes a will invalid?

Lack of formal validity; lack of mental capacity on the part of the deceased; undue influence by a person against the deceased, coercing him/ her to make the final will; fraud or fraudulent calumny. There might also be grounds to challenge the will not for invalidity as such; rather there might be a claim for “maintenance” by a close family member or dependant of the deceased who has not been adequately provided for under the deceased`s will or by the intestacy rules. This is a statutory claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

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The company was founded in 1810 before it was bought by the Long family in 1920 and in whose ownership it has remained for over 100 years. The EC Group has been a client of the firm for 30 years through Greg Hamlen, who deals with the EC Group’s real estate matters.

Employee Ownership Trusts have become an increasingly popular method for small or medium, often family-run, businesses to ensure their senior managers can continue to operate the business for the benefit of the employees as a whole, offering an attractive alternative to a trade sale. Following the set-up of the EC Group Employee Ownership Trust, Nick Mackley (Chief Financial Officer) and Gavin Weekes (Chief Operating Officer) will continue to run and manage the EC Group.

Commenting on the change, Chris Long said “Letting go of the business has obviously been a big decision for me but I am sure that the EOT route is the right one. Everything we do in the business relies on working together and, with this strong sense of collaboration and teamwork, it’s entirely appropriate that everyone has a stake in the business”.

Tanya Shillingford commented: “We were delighted to be able to support Chris and the leadership team in structuring the EOT and navigating the sale process and to be part of EC Group’s move to the employee ownership model”.

Who normally attends an inquest?

An inquest is a public hearing so anyone can attend. However usually the attendees are limited to key participants (known as Interested Persons), and witnesses being called to give evidence about the events.

It is also possible for the press to attend if they consider the details of the case warrant publication.

What is an Interested Person?

An Interested Person is someone who has the right to actively participate in the inquest proceedings, whether by virtue of relationship to the deceased, involvement in the circumstances of the death or at the discretion of the coroner.

An ‘Interested Person’ is defined in section 47(2) of the Coroners and Justice Act (CJA) 2009. This includes a long list of people who may be deemed an Interested Person in an inquest, including the deceased’s spouse or family members.

What is Section 47 of the Coroner’s and Justice Act?

S.47 of the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009 sets out the legal definition of what an Interested Person is and who it may apply to.

Generally, there is unlikely to be any issue in the immediate family securing direct involvement in the inquest hearing. Problems can arise in certain situations, for example where a family is divided and there is acrimony; where the deceased has no known family; or where the family are obstructive to an inquest taking place but thankfully this is relatively rare.

Other Interested Persons listed under the Act include:

  • personal representative of the deceased’s Estate (i.e. the Executor of their Will);
  • a beneficiary under a policy of insurance issued on the life of the deceased;
  • a person who may have caused or contributed to the death of the deceased;
  • any other person who the coroner thinks has a sufficient interest.

Occasionally, an organisation with no direct involvement may be permitted to ‘intervene’ in an inquest if the coroner deems it to be appropriate, for example, the Care Quality Commission may be present at the inquest of a death in a care home or the Health & Safety Executive may be involved in an industrial accident inquest.

The rights of Interested Persons at an inquest

Interested Persons have important rights during an inquest including:

  • to be notified by the coroner about key aspects of post mortem or toxicology analysis;
  • to be notified of the dates of post mortem and the release of the body;
  • to be notified about the inquest hearing within one week of the date being set;
  • to receive disclosure of documentation held by the coroner and which the coroner considers is relevant to the inquest (subject to certain exceptions);
  • to make submissions to the coroner about key case decisions during the inquest;
  • to question witnesses at the inquest hearing.

These are significant rights conferred on Interested Persons during an inquest with a view to them being able to participate fully in the process and to assist the coroner’s inquiry.

How do you prepare for an inquest?

It can take many months, or sometimes even years, before the coroner is ready to hold the final inquest hearing. The intervening period is used to gather in relevant evidence for the hearing, such as witness statements, records and expert reports.

The Coroner will often hold a pre-inquest review hearing to hear from the Interested Parties about their views on key decisions to be made in preparation for the final inquest hearing.

An Interested Person may choose to represent themselves at an inquest. However, we always recommend obtaining specialist legal advice at the outset and seeking representation for the hearing if possible.

The inquest process involves technical legal and medical terminology and can be challenging to navigate without specialist experience in this area. It can be very difficult to put questions to witnesses in an inquest, particularly for family members while they are grieving for the loss of their loved one. This can be heightened if other Interested Persons, particularly those who are thought to have caused or contributed to the death, have legal representation at the inquest.

Without representation there can be an ‘inequality of arms’ with the grieving family members being put at a disadvantage. My colleagues and I regularly represent families as Interested Persons at inquests, such as where the death occurred in a hospital or a prison, and can advise on the possible methods of funding available for representation.

Contact our inquest specialists

Get in touch with our enquiries team to see if our expert inquest solicitors can help you.

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guide to inquests

Find out more about the inquest process

Read our in-depth guide to inquests for more information about the process and terminology.

Our specialist inquests team has written a comprehensive guide to inquests, including information on pre-inquest reviews, the inquest process itself, and the terminology used in the process too.

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B.T. Batsford is a niche illustrated publishing business and its subsidiary, Pitkin Books, partners primarily with cathedrals and UK-based heritage sites. Scala specialises in producing illustrated books for museums, galleries and heritage sites around the world, and in the US under the wholly owned subsidiary Scala Arts Publishers Inc.

B.T. Batsford was advised by RWK Goodman corporate partner Edward Hoare, assisted by corporate associate Hector Freyne.

Polly Powell owner of B.T. Batsford, commented:

“Once again, RWK Goodman has handled a transaction for us with the utmost professionalism. We are grateful for the calming hand of RWK Goodman at a time when things are traditionally very stressful.”

Edward Hoare, Corporate Partner, commented:

“We were delighted to support Polly and her dedicated team on this transaction and are confident that the combination of these two historic publishing businesses will be a great success.”

Paul Dorrans joins RWK Goodman as a Partner in the dispute resolution team, based in their London office.

Paul has been a litigator for over 15 years, with a strong focus on complex financial services disputes, contentious regulatory investigations, fraud, and financial crime.  During his career Paul has been seconded at a senior level to financial services firms in London and Hong Kong and was previously a partner at Payne Hicks Beach in London and a managing associate in the financial markets litigation group at Simmons & Simmons in both London and Hong Kong.  Paul has an established track record in advising clients on disputes and investigations in the UK and Asia, often with an international element.

Paul comments: “I am thrilled to join RWK Goodman and its outstanding Dispute Resolution team. I look forward to contributing my expertise to our clients’ success and working with the talented professionals at the firm.”

Dan Dodman, Head of the Dispute Resolution at RWK Goodman, expressed his enthusiasm about Paul’s arrival, stating, “We are excited to welcome Paul Dorrans to our team. His extensive experience and unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional results align perfectly with our firm’s values. We are confident that Paul will play a pivotal role in our continued growth and success.”

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RWK Goodman strengthens firm’s Employment team with four key appointments

RWK Goodman is pleased to announce a series of new appointments in London that will enhance the firm’s Employment law offering and are in line with the firm’s sustainable growth plans.

Marta Mendiondo, Martin Pratt, Holly Freuchen and Sudipta Dey join the firm this week, from Ince & Co.

Marta Mendiondo has been appointed Head of Immigration London, with Sudipta Dey joining the team as an Associate (Senior Immigration Advisor). Marta has 18 years’ experience in immigration and nationality law, having previously worked as a visa and passport officer for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office, and in the British Embassies in Moscow, Rome and Madrid.

Sudipta is an Indian qualified Lawyer and has 12 years’ experience dealing with both Corporate/Business and Private Immigration matters. She has advised on all major areas of Immigration and Nationality law – including Innovator and Startup Visas, EU Applications, Sponsor Licences and compliance training.

The Immigration team will be able to advise on all aspects of UK immigration law. The majority of their recent work has revolved around post-Brexit migration routes for EEA nationals, companies seeking to obtain licences to sponsor foreign nationals, Investors, Skilled workers, Global Talent, Student and Family visas.

Martin Pratt joins RWK Goodman as Partner, specialising in advising organisations and senior professionals on employment and partnership law matters. He acts for employers from a variety of sectors, including law, construction, logistics, media and the arts, to resolve any employment law issue. He also represents professional private clients, like public company directors, LLP members, lawyers, bankers, hedge fund managers and tech entrepreneurs, in a variety of complex issues.

Holly Freuchen joins RWK Goodman as a Senior Associate. Her practice focuses on Employment Tribunal and High Court employment litigation where she is experienced in acting for the Claimant and the Respondent.

Martin Pratt comments: “It’s fantastic to be joining such a pedigree outfit with deep roots in both the City and nationally. It’s the firm base the team and I were looking for. For us, workplace relationships and those between employers and employees are some of the most important in anyone’s life. I really enjoy dealing with the human issues that arise from that and dealing with the challenges they pose.”

Marta Mendiondo comments: “We are very excited to join RWK Goodman to expand the existing Immigration and Nationality offering, both for corporates and private clients. We understand the challenges that the current immigration landscape poses for employers and individuals, and we are committed to providing the best support for them to achieve their goals”.

Malcolm Gregory, partner and head of Employment comments: “We are delighted to welcome Marta, Martin, Holly and Sudipta to the firm and wish them every success. The team have a leading reputation and will be a huge asset to our Employment clients in London and further field.”

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Kim has been a family lawyer for 14 years, specialising in International Child Abduction and Children Law and she joins RWK Goodman from Brethertons LLP Solicitors where she led a child law team.

She has a distinguished track record in advising and representing victims of domestic abuse, honour-based violence, FGM and abandoned spouses in foreign jurisdictions as well as specialising in complex family disputes involving international child abduction, relocation, Child Arrangements proceedings and cross-border adoption and surrogacy arrangements. She has been involved in some of the leading cases in her field, in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Kim’s appointment now makes RWK Goodman one of only 48 firms in the UK with an accredited specialist in international child abduction, enabling the firm to work directly with the Ministry of Justice via the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU).

Kim comments:

“RWK Goodman have not previously had a presence in the international children world – which is incredibly niche and therefore, I am excited about growing the firm’s reputation in this area of the law.

“I am passionate about this area of the law  because I am interested in the human aspect of law and how the law can help people at the some of the most vulnerable times of their lives concerning the most important people in their lives – their children. The work is complex yet interesting, varied and fast-paced, where the stakes are high. The law in this area is also constantly evolving with changes in society.”

Commenting on the appointment, Ursula Danagher, Partner and Head of Family (London) said:

“We are delighted to welcome Kim to the firm. She is recognised as a leader in her field, and we look forward to her leading in the growth of the International Children area of family law at RWK Goodman. Kim works closely with charities who specialise in supporting vulnerable people as well as ex pats, parents seeking the return of children,  parents who remove children across borders and are facing legal proceedings and people who are seeking to start a family. She will continue to work closely with these people and organisations at our firm.”

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Kim Lehal RWK Goodman
Partner | Head of International Children
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Edward Hoare and Bharti Moore, partners in RWK Goodman’s corporate team, played a pivotal role in this transaction, supporting FMC’s founder and majority shareholder Ken Finlayson, underscoring the firm’s commitment to supporting businesses in their growth endeavours.

FMC has long been a trusted name in the field of dentistry media, connecting dental professionals to their industry through a diverse array of channels, including popular websites like, esteemed publications like Dentistry and Private Dentistry, engaging exhibitions, and prestigious awards. With an extensive audience of over 98,000 dental professionals, FMC offers an invaluable platform for its media partners to connect and engage.

Ken Finlayson, Founder and Chairman of FMC, commented:

“Ed Hoare has advised me and FMC on numerous transactions over the years. RWK Goodman provided invaluable support and guidance throughout the process and I could not have had a better team to guide me through the complexities of this deal.”

Edward Hoare, Corporate Partner at RWK Goodman, commented:

“We are delighted to have been involved with this transaction. The management buyout marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for FMC. It has been a privilege assisting Ken Finlayson and his dedicated team over the years, and we are confident that the partnership with Coniston Capital will lead to a prosperous future for FMC going forward.”

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Will writing solicitors, here to help you

Everybody should have a will, but it is particularly important if you have reached a life milestone. It is the safest way to make sure that your wealth and assets are protected for future generations following your death. With a Will in place you can be confident that your assets will go to the people you intended – without leaving them any unnecessary burdens, worries or unwanted surprises.

The scheme includes updating a current straightforward Will. As experts in Will writing, we can help you check whether your Will still reflects your wishes and lifestyle, and can suggest quick and cost-effective ways to keep it up to date.

If you’ve become wealthier since you wrote your Will, we can help you make sure your additional assets are properly taken into account. We may also be able to make sure your Will is sufficiently tax efficient to save your loved ones an Inheritance Tax burden in the future.

If you already have a Will in place, you need to make sure it’s still in line with current legislation – for example changes in the rules on Inheritance Tax. We recommend reviewing your Will regularly. So if you just need a small update, or need to give it a complete overhaul, we’re here to help.

You can learn more about writing a will and find some answers to FAQs on wills over on our main page here.

Our involvement with RUH will month 2023

We are offering our full service for preparation of a straightforward Will at a reduced amount which is all donated to the charity RUHX with our time given free.  It includes a meeting with one of our lawyers specialising in Wills who will then prepare and send out draft Wills for review and approval, followed by a second meeting to sign the Wills according to legal formalities with two witnesses from our team.  RUHX suggest a donation of £195 for a single or £295 for a couple.

To book an appointment please contact us by phone or email:

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