22 Jan 2016

Top lawyer under fire in Longleat Estate trustee row

One of the UK's most esteemed family lawyers, Richard Parry, may be forced by a High Court judge to step down from his trusteeship of the Longleat Estate.

Longleat House in Wiltshire, England. Matthew Collingwood

Longleat Estate heir Lord Weymouth is seeking to a court order to 'remove unconditionally' Mr Parry from his position as the family's head trustee, arguing that the relationship between the two men has become so hostile as to be unworkable. At a preliminary hearing in London, Mr Justice Newey ruled that a trial of the issues should take place in May, but urged Lord Weymouth and Mr Parry to settle the disagreement privately. 'It will be a tragedy if enormous amounts of money are wasted and dirty linen is aired because these issues proceed to court,' he commented.

Stalemate

The court heard that Mr Parry, who is head of family law at Farrer & Co, agrees that the relationship between himself and Lord Weymouth has reached levels of such animosity as to require his retirement from the trusteeship. However, Mr Parry is insisting that a suitable replacement trustee be found and approved by Lord Weymouth's father, the 83-year-old Marquis of Bath, prior to his exit. Lord Weymouth's application to the court is seeking to break the tense stalemate that has developed between the two men in the absence of a suitable replacement for Mr Parry. Andrew Mold, representing Mr Parry, has indicated that Lord Weymouth's complaints against his client are very serious in nature, but that Mr Parry would not hesitate to pursue the issues at trial in May. 'Mr Parry is prepared to address those allegations. If it means that the family's relationships and goings-on are aired in public so be it,' Mr Mold commented. Sources:BBC; The Telegraph

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