Tara McInnes

Senior Associate

Contentious Probate

I joined Shoosmiths in November 2017 as a senior associate from Gardner Leader Solicitors in Newbury where I was a partner.
Tara McInnes contentious probate solicitor

I am experienced in trust and succession disputes on behalf of high net worth individuals, trustees and charities.

I specialise in:

I was listed in the 2017 Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation Lawyer’. I am a full member of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.

Major Achievements

My major achievements include:

Acting for the claimant in Elliott v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 732 (Ch) (Substantive) 

This case concerned a challenge brought against a will under which my client was the main beneficiary. The defendant lodged a caveat against the estate and the executor was forced to issue proceedings. The defendant initially argued that the will was not valid as the deceased lacked capacity but did nothing to bring a claim. We were successful at trial in proving the will.

Elliott v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 962 (Ch) (Costs)

Following our success at trial in proving the will we made an application to court for costs in our client’s favour. Despite the usual ‘no costs rule’ in these types of claim I was successful in arguing that the defendant had acted unreasonably and accordingly obtained a cost award in our client’s favour. This set a legal precedent and there was interest in this case from both the national and legal press.

Acting for the Trustees in the case of Brooke v Purton & ORS [2014] EWHC 547 (Ch)

This High Court Claim was the first case to consider the ruling of Marley v Rawlings in relation to the rectification of Wills. The claim involved complicated issues over the construction and interpretation of a Trust in a Will for an estate worth over ₤7 million.

Acting for a husband left out of his late wife's will

Acting for a husband left out of his late wife’s will and challenging the will on the grounds of a lack of capacity and knowledge and approval. The client also brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Defendants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision.

Acting on behalf of national charities

Acting on behalf of national charities in protecting their legacies against potential claimants.  Charities are extremely cost sensitive and subject to reputational concerns so special care is always required.

Acting in a proprietary estoppel concerning a substantial farm

The claim involved an alleged promise from a father to leave his farm to his daughter which was not included in his will. The daughter brought a claim for the farm and the beneficiaries defended. The claim involved extensive documents and lengthy witness statements. The matter was successfully resolved by mediation.