Dawn Goodman - Spear's Magazine

Dawn Goodman


Dawn Goodman
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Top Six Contentious Trust Lawyers

Coming from a background in family law, Dawn Goodman was one of the first to specialise in private client work in the arena of succession and probate in
the Eighties.

‘At law school I would have thought of it [succession and probate] as rather dusty and esoteric,’ she says. ‘I was so wrong. You’re constantly having to apply tried and tested principles to new situations. It’s intellectually challenging, there’s an international element, and it’s highly strategic.’

With experience of litigation in most offshore jurisdictions, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Goodman advises all parties in intricate matters relating to trusts, foundations, professional negligence, fraud or succession. When asked about her most memorable case, she cites a dispute between the Earl of Durham and his five sisters. The Earl had spent many years living in Italy, and there was a question over whether his estate was governed by Italian or English law.

‘We were looking at unravelling 50 years of transactions. It was a very stark example of how the two legal systems just don’t fit together,’ she says. ‘What is fascinating is that usually you’re dealing with a difficult dynamic within a family, or a breakdown in a relationship between the trustees and the family – I relish the challenge, but emotions can run high, and the lawyer needs to be the one with a cool head.’