Who? Clarissa Coleman, partner at Addleshaw Goddard, London.
Why is she in the news? Acted for Charlie Wooldridge, who won an inheritance battle with his stepmother over the contested estate of a construction tycoon killed in a helicopter accident.
Thandi Wooldridge claimed she was entitled to an extra £3.75m from her late husband’s will, which she said failed to give adequate financial provision for what her barrister described as an ‘extraordinarily luxurious lifestyle’. She had been left the family home worth around £4.24m and assets worth £1.6m.
Charlie Wooldridge said the family business, which he and his brother were left, would be in jeopardy as a result of her claim.
Thoughts on the case: ‘It is one of the only claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 where the wife has been given nothing. The judge rightly considered that Thandi had enough financial provision to meet her needs and therefore did not need to break into the business to give her more.
‘The case raises the question of how far we should move away from a will that someone has put together. We felt the father’s wishes should be respected.’
Dealing with the media: ‘After the trial there was quite a lot of coverage, but that’s not surprising because it is an interesting case and the people involved were quite high-profile.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘My parents divorced when I was five and I felt at the time that the judge did a very good job. After that I wanted to become a lawyer.’
Career high: ‘Coordinating my client’s response to an SFO dawn raid and related investigation, including judicial review applications that led to search warrants being quashed, the return of seized material and the dropping of all charges.’
Career low: ‘The start of that case when I got a message saying my client had been arrested.’