The British Wills and Probate Awards 2021

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We are delighted to announce that Broomhead & Saul have won a prestigious national award for our innovation, both in our controversial interpretation of case law and also in developing novel Covid-19-safe procedures and precedents to enable our clients complete their Wills in safety during this national crisis.  

In 2020, we went the extra mile for a self-isolating client who wanted to make a Will during the first national lockdown.  The universally accepted view within the legal profession was that the Wills Act 1837 required a witness’ physical presence for a Will to be validly executed.  Our ground breaking research established that video conferencing was not only a safe and reliable means of witnessing the testator’s signature, remotely online, but that this was consistent with numerous judicial decisions spanning several hundred years. 

We were the first law firm in the country to execute a Will using this technology and in doing so we defied the Law Society guidance and the mistaken assumption of our peers.  Dr Bevan, who is a partner of Broomhead & Saul, openly disputed the Law Commission’s erroneous research on this point by publishing his independent research paper and sharing his findings widely throughout the profession.  He then successfully campaigned for the Government to intercede, which it did: first by issuing official guidance sanctioning this practice and later by passing emergency legislation that clarified and confirmed our interpretation of the common law that we had relied on to vindicate our actions.

The judging panel made the following comments both at the award ceremony in Birmingham in October and when we were shortlisted in September

“Necessity breeding invention and the story of their persistence is fascinating”

“Fantastic – driving innovation in the sector by forcing change to improve client service”

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