Paul Hewitt

Partner | London

Client Services Contact Emily Williams


Track record

Withers Trust Corporation v Estate of Goodman

Paul and Alexandra Dix acted for Withers Trust Corporation in the estate of Adrian Berry, securing full relief from the forfeiture rule.  Mr Berry had assisted in the death of his terminally ill wife, before tragically taking his own life.  As a result of the relief granted, Mr Berry's estate receives the benefit of his wife's estate, such that all their assets pass to their intended charity, free of inheritance tax.  Click here to read the judgement and here to read our briefing note.

Klein v Adler and Klein

In Klein v Adler and Klein [2021] EWHC 2503 (Ch) Paul and Alexandra Dix acted for the successful claimant, Mrs Klein, in an action to replace the executor with an independent administrator, the Deputy Master holding that there had been a ‘real failure to progress the administration’ resulting in part from her lack of modern technological ability which served to emphasise why she was ‘not a suitable person to carry through the administration of the estate’.

Sightsavers residuary beneficiary

Paul and Alice Tomlin acted for Sightsavers under its formal name in the decision on appeal of Sir Anthony Mann Beasant v Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind [2022]. The charity, acting as representative for twenty other charities, was defending its success in Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind v Beasant and others [2021], an application to determine that a legacy expressed to be equal to the maximum passing free of tax has a nil value where there are already gifts to non-exempt beneficiaries exceeding the tax free element.  Click here to read our briefing note on the case and click here to read the appeal and here to read the orginial judgment.

Zaha Hadid Ltd Schumacher v Clarke and others

Paul Hewitt and Sarah Aughwane advised the nominated representative of the former employees of Zaha Hadid Limited in Schumacher v Clarke and others [2020] in which the executors and trustees of Dame Zaha Hadid's estate sought the Court's blessing of a decision to pass significant assets to an Employee Benefit Trust. The Court accepted submissions made on behalf of the former employees and other representative parties that the decision should not be blessed. Click here to read the Judgment.

Prince Mukarram Jah frozen funds

Paul, Deborah Nicholls-Carr and Olivia Turner represented Prince Mukarram Jah, His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, in a dispute over funds frozen at Natwest Bank for over 70 years (the subject of a 1958 House of Lords decision Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad), involving the governments of India and Pakistan. Pakistan issued a new claim in 2013. The High Court decided in Pakistan v Natwest and Ors [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch) that the Nizam's claim to the funds should be allowed to proceed. The Judge upheld the Nizam's claim (along with those of his younger brother and India) to his grandfather's funds. Read the Judgment here. The case was one of The Lawyer's ‘Top 20 Cases of 2019'.  In July 2020 we succeeded in ensuring applications to set aside the Judgment and seeking disclosure of various documents were dismissed. See the Times of India's report here.

Mrs Bhusate's claim

Paul, Alexandra Dix and Alice Tomlin acted for Mrs Bhusate in her claim for financial provision from her late husband’s estate more than 25 years after her husband passed away. Despite the lengthy delay (the previous record of just under six years was set in 1993) Chief Master Marsh ordered that Mrs Bhusate’s claim should be allowed to proceed. Click here to see his judgment. In January 2020 the High Court upheld Chief Master Marsh's decision (the appeal judgment here) meaning Mrs Bhusate's claim could proceed. Shortly after the defendant stepchildren conceded the claim. Click here to read our briefing note.

Mrs Cowan's claim

Paul and Sarah Aughwane represented Mrs Cowan in her claim for reasonable financial provision from the estate of her late husband. In July 2019 the Court of Appeal unanimously gave her permission to bring her claim notwithstanding it having been issued out of time. Here is a link to the Court of Appeal Judgment and to our article. The defendants subsequently conceded her claim and settled.

Wells v Chorus Law and Others

In Wells v Chorus Law and Others [2018], Paul and Alexandra Dix acted for the successful defendant in the first 'child of a single parent family' 1975 Act claim, ensuring that the Judge was not persuaded the claimant was ever part of a family and therefore was not able to bring a claim. Click here to read our briefing note on the case.


  • Contentious Trust and Probate Ceremony - James v James - 8 February 2018

  • The Law Society Private Client Cross Border Conference 2016, Cross Border Contentious Probate

  • Law Society, Will drafting post Illot v Mitson(2015) - 9 October 2015

  • Contentious Trust and Probate Conference, Removal of Personal Representatives - 8 October 2015

  • Institute of Fundraising, Legacy Fundraising Summit, What happens when your legacy gift is under dispute? - 14 September 2015

  • IBC's UK & Cross Border Contentious Wills & Probate Conference, Examining the Role of the Personal Representative in Probate Litigation - January 2015

  • Legacy Labyrinth, Chattels as a source of discord - January and February 2015

  • Law Society webinar, Contentious probate - September 2014

  • Legacy Labyrinth, Deathbed Gifts - January and February 2014

  • Law Society webinar, The latest on contentious probate - September 2012

  • Jordans Wills Trust and Probate Update 2011 - Contentious Probate - the Golden Rule revived? - November 2011

  • STEP Cheshire Charities as beneficiaries - friend or foe? - September 2011

  • Surrey Law Society 2011 Private Client Conference Construction of wills - when words don't always mean what they say - September 2011

  • Solicitors Group Wills and Probate Trustee Errors - Hastings Bass and other remedies after the Court of Appeal - May 2011

  • LexisNexis Webinar Charities as Beneficiaries under wills: drafting, administering and litigating - April 2011

  • STEP Cross Border Incapacity Conference The Case of Re MN - December 2010

  • STEP Norwich and Norfolk Family disputes: pre and post death - November 2010

  • Surrey Law Society Private Client Conference The Court of Protection in Practice - September 2010

  • Solicitors for the Elderly Putting Tax Mistakes Right - June 2010

  • STEP Lakes and Lancaster Confusion in Wills - the modern approach to construction - May 2010

  • Advising The Elderly Conference 2010 Court of Protection Issues including Lasting Powers of Attorney - April 2010

  • Jordans Wills, Trusts & Probate Seminars Autumn 2009 No Contest Clauses

  • 4me Convention Nationale des Avocats 2008 Reformes des tutelles: La protection en Common Law, Illustrations transfrontali√®re (France/Grande Bretagne)

  • Contributor to Legal Network Television programmes including Private client: troublesome trustees, executors and beneficiaries; Will and Trusts: Mistakes; Private Client: Contested Legacies and Trusts and Mistakes