Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth has recruited two partners to its growing and highly respected Wills, Trusts and Estates Disputes team in its London and Leeds offices making the national team one of the largest specialist teams in the UK.

Claire-Marie Cornford joins the firm’s London office from Mishcon de Reya, where she gained a reputation as an expert in high-value trust and estate disputes, often involving an international element. Irwin Mitchell’s Private Wealth team in London now includes all four strands of Private Wealth, Tax Trusts and Estates, Family Law, Wills Trusts and Estates Disputes and Residential Property.

Claire-Marie has a large client base that includes individuals, trustees and beneficiaries among others, and has a background in commercial litigation as well as experience in banking and financial services disputes. Claire-Marie also specialises in advising on luxury goods and assets for high-net-worth individuals.

In Leeds, James Laycock joins Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth from Gordons. James’ expertise lies in will validity claims, multi-million pound estate disputes, mismanagement allegations against trustees and executors, and financial provision matters for a wide range of clients including families, trustees and private individuals. James’ substantial experience in commercial litigation also means he is adept at advising on disputes involving family businesses.

Independent legal directory, The Legal 500, describes Claire-Marie as ‘very talented’ in its 2017 guide while James is also a recommended lawyer in the latest edition and in 2016 was described as ‘a very able litigator and incisive tactician’.

Claire-Marie and James’ arrivals make Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team one of the largest in the country, with five partners and 12 full time fee earners. Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth has now added five partner hires since May 2017.

Paula Myers, national head of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Disputes at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, said: ’We are one of the largest specialist will dispute teams in the UK and the addition of Claire-Marie in London and James in Leeds helps further our reputation as a market-leading practice.

’Claire-Marie and James both have a background in commercial litigation as well as being highly regarded experts in all manner of trust and estate disputes, which means we can utilise their experience in this area to better advise our clients who have business assets. As well as this both are already well-regarded in the legal industry, so we’re very pleased two partners of this calibre have chosen to join Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth.

’These appointments confirm our commitment to providing the vest best service to our clients both in the north and south throughout the life-cycle of a trust or estate dispute. I’m confident that they will soon make their mark and produce some great results for our clients.’