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John Breeze is an Associate Solicitor and specialises in inheritance disputes, Court of Protection and Trusts & Estates. He is a Legal 500 recommended lawyer for his expertise in this often complex area of law. The 2020 edition of the Legal 500 recognises John as a Rising Star and praises him as the 'clear-headed and conscientious' head of our Will, Trust & Inheritance Disputes team.
John is an Associate Solicitor at Bell & Buxton in the Contentious Probate Department. He specialises in disputes involving Wills and inheritance matters, he also handles litigation in the Court of Protection, when individuals sadly lack the mental capacity to make important financial and personal welfare decisions for themselves.
John is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). He is also responsible for maintaining and developing Bell & Buxton's involvement as a member of the Sheffield Dementia Action Alliance (SDAA).
Before specialising, John enjoyed representing all manner of individuals, families and business clients with a wide-ranging civil litigation caseload, including disputes involving the law of property, contract, torts and negligence. John prides himself on providing clear advice and in guiding clients through what are often complicated and emotionally charged legal proceedings. Whilst always aiming to resolve matters amicably and swiftly, with pragmatic, common-sense, cost-effective solutions, John is also able when necessary to pursue disputes to resolution through the civil courts to enforce clients’ rights.
Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, John graduated from the University of Sheffield (LLB Hons; 2:1) and has worked in legal practice since 2005. John qualified as a solicitor in 2009 within a medium sized South Yorkshire firm and has previous experience of family law and general civil litigation.
Since joining Bell & Buxton in 2013, John has specialised in Contentious Probate. He is keen on mediation and settling cases with the least financial and emotional cost to the client, yet he is prepared to fight client’s causes all the way through the Courts where necessary and has never lost a trial.
His background in family work and general civil litigation gives John a broad base of knowledge of the law and procedures both within and outside of his specialist field, which has enabled him to develop a pragmatic and common sense/commercial sense attitude to his work.
His role involes:
Advising on the validity of Wills and representing those challenging or defending Wills (including Executors, beneficiaries, family members).
Advising on claims for “reasonable financial provision” from a deceased person’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 and representing applicants, estate Executors or beneficiaries in such cases.
Advising on the duties of Executors, Trustees or Attorneys and representing them or those challenging their actions and/or seeking their removal, in proceedings in the County Court, High Court or Court of Protection.
Advising on the proper construction (i.e. the legal meaning) of unclear Wills and assisting with applications to Court for judicial interpretation or for the rectification of Wills under Section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to correct drafting errors to give effect to a deceased testator’s intentions.
Representing estates and beneficiaries in claims against professionally negligent Will writers and solicitors.
Representing parties in the Court of Protection where there is a dispute about what is in the best interests of a person who lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions.
Representing Attorneys, Deputies or Executors in claims against third parties to recover money or property taken from a vulnerable or incapacitated person by undue influence.
Representing parties in disputes involving broken promises for an interest in a property or a person’s assets, known as estoppel.
Assisting anyone involved in any of the above disputes to resolve their differences by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including representing parties at mediation as a way of avoiding litigation.
Recent success in a claim in the High Court brought on behalf of a deceased lady’s estate, to recover a property purchased by her daughter using mother’s money, acquired by undue influence, and which she tried to hide by registering it in a false name.
Recent successful outcome at mediation for a widow seeking reasonable financial provision from her late husband’s estate. As a result of the terms of settlement she was able to take over the running of his successful family funeral director’s business, which otherwise she would have had to sell.
Recent successful defence of a claim made against an estate for a large sum of cash found in a deceased’s house, whereby a third party claimed to be the true owner. Thorough investigations led to proof of the origins of the money.
Associate Member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)
Affiliate Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
"John Breeze is very approachable and professional. I was kept well-informed with regular updates and clear explanations as my case progressed. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to him for guiding me through each step of the legal process...I would not hesitate to approach Bell & Buxton should I require legal advice again."
- Mrs Stokoe
"I have nothing but admiration for Bell & Buxton, they have been very supportive, caring and always ready to listen and help. John Breeze was my rock during a very difficult time, I would not have got through this battle without him, he was my advisor and my friend. Thank you John Breeze and Bell & Buxton."
- Mrs Forster
"As ever, John proffered excellent advice and guidance in this matter. Bell & Buxton are now my 'go-to' for any legal requirements. I can (and do) rely on Bell & Buxton to provide an outstanding service. Bell & Buxton does not disappoint."
Excellent work relating to the sale of my property & good value, I have used Bell & Buxton before with Mr John Breeze who was extremely efficient in handling my affairs.
- Mr W
"We were all highly satisfied with the service we were given and John Breeze was excellent in all the dealings and explanations."
- Mr Richardson