The Curious Case of Langley V Qin; When Marriage Saves the Day

Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, discuss the curious case of Langley v Qin; when marriage can save the day

What are Will dispute and Will contest claims?

Will dispute and Will contest claims are very generally claims involving Wills or estates of deceased’s persons where you believe or anticipate there is likely to have been some illegality or manipulation leading to your removal as a beneficiary or a much reduced entitlement to a share of the estate.

In most cases, Will dispute and Will contest claims can only be brought after the person over whose estate you considered you should have some right or entitlement to, has passed away. In an earlier blog post, we provide eight examples of typical cases which we would consider taking on under a no win no fee agreement:


Our top ten tips to success in no win no fee Will dispute or Will contest claims

1. Always provide an honest account of the background

It is in everyone’s interest to be as honest and open as possible. These cases are likely to be carefully scrutinised as they run their course – so providing an exaggerated or embellished account in the hope that your no win no fee lawyer is persuaded to take on the claim in the first place, is likely to lead to frustration and in the worst cases, to a substantial costs order against you.

2. Try and establish that you are likely to have a right to a substantial share of the estate

Your no win no fee Solicitor is unlikely to act for you unless you have an interest in the estate if your claim is successful (and in fact might not be able to bring the Will Contest or Will dispute claim if you have no such entitlement). Against this background, we are often surprised by enquiries from persons (such as well-meaning neighbours) who have no conceivable interest at all.

3. Make certain it is worthwhile to bring a Will contest or Will dispute claim

This is broadly speaking distilled down to the size of the deceased’s estate. Quite simply if the estate is of a modest value or has already been dissipated (although in some instances that can be unravelled), it is unlikely to be worth your while bringing the Will dispute and/or Will contest claim. There may well be a “principle” or the question of “doing justice” to the memory of the deceased at stake; however, this on its own won’t pay the very expensive experts and Barristers bills likely to be incurred in bringing the claim to trial (or which are otherwise deployed to persuade the defending party to settle).

4. Provide as much assistance and support to your no win no fee lawyer during the course of the claim as you can

It is simply not the case that you can engage the very best lawyer to bring your no win no fee Will claim, Will contest and/or Will dispute and then stand back and expect him/her to get to work and win. On the contrary, it is often the case that the most engaged client (the one that energetically assists and keeps providing papers and information – whether asked for or not!) will enable the lawyer to get the best possible result. If you do nothing and you don’t respond to your lawyers requests for information and papers then you cannot expect to win your claim.

5. Keep challenging your no win no fee lawyer during the course of the claim

Whilst frankly it can be a little annoying to a busy lawyer, if you are writing questioning this and that or suggesting alternative approaches and persons to speak to, it is actually incredibly helpful. Don’t be afraid to keep pushing the buttons no matter what he/she responds with.

6. Understand that your no win no fee lawyer is focused on winning your Will dispute or Will contest claim but may not always be working on your case

Yes your claim is not the only Will contest or Will dispute claim your lawyer is working on at any one time. In fact, if he/she mainly works on such claims under no win no fee arrangements then he/she is likely to have a heavier caseload than a lawyer who works on a pay as you go basis (to account for the cases he/she doesn’t win). Expect there to be “gaps” in communications!

7. Listen to your no win no fee lawyers advice to you about your prospects of success and what that is likely to look like

Your no win no fee lawyer will advise you (often at the start – we usually do) what you are likely to win. In fact, he/she is likely to tell you at some point, that you have reached the limit of what you are likely to achieve – let’s be clear, sometimes that can be a little disappointing. You must take account of what he tells you. If he/she is (in effect) risking his/her resources (or their company’s), then he/she is unlikely to go beyond what he/she regards is a reasonable outcome unless you are prepared to pay for this.

In some instances your no win no fee lawyer might recommend a premature or grossly inadequate settlement figure – we have certainly come across this. Your contract for legal services with your lawyer does provide a framework for dealing with this situation enabling you to take advice from another lawyer which you would have to pay for yourself (this is what the standard Law Society Conditions provide). If you cannot afford to do this THEN APPROACH ALTERNATIVE NO WIN NO FEE LAWYERS SUCH AS OURSELVES FOR ADVICE!

8. Try and avoid taking your case to trial to get justice!

You need to be clear that from a business perspective your no win no fee lawyer is unlikely to be willing to take your case to a trial except in exceptional circumstances – that said, we were engaged in two last year! There are two key reasons:

a) cost – it is incredibly expensive

b) risk – even the best claims have a (in our estimation) 35% chance of loss

By way of one particular example, we dealt with a claim against the legal validity of a Will, where the key witness (who was also a witness on the Will itself) claimed he hadn’t seen the testator (the person making the Will) actually sign it. However, when about a year later he couldn’t remember who the writer was notwithstanding he had spoken to him a day or two before to organise his attendance at trial, it became very clear that he had a memory deficit which hadn’t revealed itself during the original interview with him.

9. Don’t bring your no win no fee Will contest and Will dispute claim in the expectation that you will win all of your own costs in addition to your claim

This simply won’t happen. Firstly, you will only get some of your costs back if you win at trial (possibly less than 50%). Secondly, and as mentioned above, you are unlikely to end up at a trial anyway. Whilst your lawyer might try and dress it up in a more palatable way, the reality of these claims is that your costs will come out of the “estate pot” and more often than not, the money or property that you recover.

10. Always keep control of the process

Your lawyer should do this for you. Don’t rely on the Court to cast a “clear light of truth and justice”. It is unlikely to happen and/or you could end up with a hybrid or unexpected outcome and a massive costs bill which substantially reduces your estate share in any event.

If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat and/or visit us at

We provide details about our no win no fee arrangements at