Recorded Webinar: Succession Lawyers - 3 CPD Compulsory Topics


Date:  23rd February 2018
Duration:  3 hours

This webinar comprises 3 one-hour sessions covering each of the compulsory CPD subjects for succession lawyers.

Session 1: Ethics:  Solicitors as Executors: Ethics and Commission

Presented by:  Carolyn Sparke QC, Victorian Bar, Melbourne

For solicitors named as executors, the issue of commission is a tricky one.  This session looks at issues around solicitors acting as executors, your rights to commission and what obligations of disclosure you have.  It covers:

  • The solicitor executor – what ethical issues does this raise?
  • What costs can a solicitor executor ethically charge?
  • Managing beneficiaries from an ethics perspective
  • Disclosure to beneficiaries and disclosure to the court
  • Executor decision-making – the importance of considering all claims
  • Ability to claim for professional fees and charging clauses in wills
  • Determining commission
  • Solicitor executors who are also beneficiaries

Session 2: Practice Management & Business Skills:  Navigating the Cost Conundrums in Your Wills and Estates Practice

Presented by:  Mike Dudman, Principal & LIV Accredited Specialist in Costs Law , Blackstone Legal Costing, Sydney

This session looks at the billing and costs issues facing succession lawyers. It shows how you can meet the challenges head on and how you can ensure your legal practice thrives in today’s highly competitive market. It includes:

  • Costing estate files – pitfalls and opportunities
  • Limiting write offs – risk management and pro?t control
  • Alternative fee models and impact on pro?tability
  • The use of uplift fees
  • Monthly retainers and other tips to manage cash flow in estate litigation
  • Understanding the Court’s recent attitudes towards costs

Session 3:  Professional Skills: Mediation in Wills Disputes:  When is a Deal not a Deal

Presented by:  John Armfield, Barrister, Second Floor Wentworth Chambers, Sydney   

Private mediation has become popular in all forms of litigation including disputes over wills and family provision matters.  Mediation which is court ordered is usually easy enough to enforce.  But what if a deal which has been brokered through private mediation falls over?  This presentation considers the risks and the related and preventive strategies:

  • The risks:
    • change of mind generally
    • undue influence and coercion in family disputes - can this vitiate settlement agreements?
    • mistake and misrepresentation
  • NSW only - unfair contracts legislation
  • Case review - Tomac v Papp, Dark v Dark, Di Marti, Angius v Salier, Boardman v Boardman, Jennings v Jennings
  • Risk mitigation:
    • agreements to agree generally - Masters and Cameron in the context of mediation
    • procedure when parties do the deal
    • processes the mediator should follow to minimize risk
Our presenter

Carolyn Sparke QC, Barrister, Victorian Bar, Melbourne

Carolyn Sparke Specialises in Equity/ Wills and probate law. Practice in general commercial work, including superannuation disputes, property law, insolvency, corporations. 

Carolyn has appeared in a number of cases involving testator’s family maintenance claims (for executors and for children and various other claimants) and testamentary capacity and other estate and trust-related matters.

Carolyn is also Co-author of Butterworths loose-leaf service "Wills Probate and Administration Service Victoria". 

Mike Dudman, Principal, Blackstone Legal Costing, Sydney

Mike Dudman leads Blackstone's Sydney practice and brings both a client- and results-oriented approach to the legal costs arena. Mike's extensive commercial experience is complemented by a broad education that includes business, psychology and the law.

In 14 years as a costs lawyer Mike has worked on more than 700 matters and has developed a high level of acumen in this increasingly complex legal area.

Mike has been involved in challenging or pursuing party/party costs claims across all major jurisdictions in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and federally.

John Armfield, Barrister, Second Floor Wentworth Chambers, Sydney

John specialises in estate litigation.  He regularly advising and appearing for plaintiffs and estates in relation to matters in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, John has extensive experience also representing clients at mediations and informal settlement conferences.

He has also acted as a court-appointed mediator with respect to family provision claims.His practice has a strong emphasis on probate, family provision applications and will construction. He has also appeared in applications seeking a review of orders allowing commission to executors.

John regularly presents papers at legal conferences in relation to wills and succession law.


This webinar is suitable for succession lawyers - Australia wide and it has been designed to deliver the 3 compulsory subject CPD units for the CPD year ending 31st March 2018.

If you need assistance or have an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our Webinar Coordinator, Lisa Tran on (03) 8601 7709 or email:
Product Code: WB4FEB18
 Price:  $352.00 (Inclusive of GST)
© 2018 Television Education Network Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. The program for this webinar is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.