ILM breaks new ground with first RoI corporate partner

February 9, 2024

The ILM has welcomed its first corporate partner from the Republic of Ireland.

Dublin-based Gartlan Furey brings in-depth expertise in the charity legacy sector, including contentious probate, and has worked with significant estates involving charities.

Matthew Lagden, ILM CEO, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Gartlan Furey into the ILM family, the first time we have introduced a partner from outside the UK. In doing so, we have achieved a long-awaited goal of our own and we can’t wait for members to meet them in person at our conference in May.

“Post-Brexit, the challenges of charities receiving legacy donations from individuals who have been living in the Republic – or indeed, UK-based individuals who want to leave money to charities there – have become more complex.

“At the same time, we know the number of wider claims against legacies, in particular those left to charities, is rising in the Republic. The Gartlan Furey team came very highly-recommended and, having met with them a number of times, we are confident that our members will be in very good hands indeed.”

Among those providing support for ILM members will be Nora Lillis, partner and head of Gartlan Furey’s Private Client team, together with fellow partner and litigation specialist Paul McDonnell.

Nora’s areas of specialism include wills, estate planning and the administration of estates, in particular with an international dimension; as well as providing advice on charity law. She is a member of the Society of Trusts & Estate Practitioners (STEP) in Ireland.

“We are delighted to have been introduced to ILM and welcome the opportunity to assist charities dealing with any challenges that arise in relation to charitable bequests in Ireland.   ILM also came to us very highly-recommended and we have been impressed with our engagement to date and look forward to becoming more involved,” said Nora.

Paul, who focuses mainly on litigation and dispute resolution – including charity disputes – says the number of people now willing to challenge legacies left to charity is on the increase.

“There is a general knowledge that people now know they can challenge things and, whether money is going to their cousin, their sister or a charity, they are doing so,” he said. “In particular, I have come across instances where effectively the majority of the money has been left to charity and the family has challenged it.”

Paul explains Irish law includes a provision that, if there has been a failure by the deceased to make provision for a son or daughter, the courts have discretionary powers to change the will, with the result that any charity named in the will is likely to receive less money.

“In probate or litigious cases, especially where there has been a large bequest where charities are involved, there will definitely be a challenge,” he continued.

“Gartlan Furey has a very strong private client team, together with excellent relationships with judges, barristers and other firms of solicitors, and I think there is probably very little going on in the probate and litigious areas that we wouldn’t be aware of.

“I believe we are uniquely placed to advise clients on the best approach, ensuring that we come up with a resolution very quickly, while also making sure that any costs involved in defending a claim against a charity, don’t exceed the value of the bequest in the first place.”

There will be an opportunity to meet some of the Gartlan Furey team at this year’s ILM conference in May.


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