12th May 2021

Mr Thomas Roe QC for the Defendants (instructed by Duffield Harrison LLP)


  1. The Claimant solicitors of Crane & Staples are the executors of the estate of the late Sheila Jessie Coleman who died unexpectedly on 20th May 2015 aged 81 in Spain where she had lived since 2012 leaving her last will dated 13th October 2014 dealing with her English estate and her Spanish will dated 21st April 2015 for her Spanish estate. She was survived by her two children Lynn Engledew, then aged 62, and her two children Jos and Mac, then aged 40 and 37 respectively, and her son the Fourth Defendant (“Ray”) then aged 58 and his three children Craig, the Sixth Defendant, Lee, the Fifth Defendant, and Ryan then aged 40, 38 and 33 respectively.
  2. Mother survived her husband of 53 years Joseph Henry Coleman by just under ten years. He died on 25th October 2005 aged 75 also unexpectedly after a short illness. By his last will dated 31st March 2004 he left his one-third shares in the family businesses colloquially referred to as “Lantern” to Ray and a specific legacy of the prevailing £275,000 nil-rate band (“NRB”) to Lynn, the residue being bequeathed to mother who, together with David Taylor, were appointed co-executors. By the time of father’s death, Lynn and Ray’s relationship was fraught, not having spoken to each other since 1999 when Lynn left the family business to set up her ow business having joined it in around 1986.
  3. Because much of father’s liquid assets were held jointly with mother so devolved to her by survivorship and the Lantern shares took priority over Lynn’s gift, it then appeared that there was only sufficient to pay Lynn £20,000 of her bequest, leaving £255,000 unpaid. This caused great upset to Lynn, ultimately causing or contributing to her three-year estrangement from mother (September 2010 to September 2013) during which time there was no, or virtually no, contact with Lynn’s family save for a meeting in the Salisbury Hotel in Hertford in November 2010 albeit that mother continued to send Christmas and birthday cards and cheques, which were not encashed, notwithstanding that at one point Lynn was cut out of her English will.
  4. By her last English will, mother gifted her one-third shares in Lantern to Ray, her residuary estate passing to Lynn having gifted £5,000 to each of her five grandchildren. By her last Spanish will, she left her Spanish estate, principally the flat in Estepona which she had owned with father and had been used for many years for family holidays and where she had moved in 2012 to live with her new partner Norman White, to Lynn having by previous wills gifted it equally to Ray and Lynn.
  5. In the last five years of mother’s life, at a time when largely in Spain, estranged from Lynn leaving Ray to look after her English financial affairs having put him on her bank mandate shortly before leaving and to whom her mail was re-directed (December 2011), she sold her former matrimonial home Kingsdale for approximately £1.2 million, £1 million of which was loaned via Ray to Lantern, the other £220,000 being withdrawn by Ray using his mandate and paid into Lantern’s bank account. Also in those last five years, mother is said to have waived £847,200 dividends from Lantern.

Continue reading this judgment here

Interested in our News & events?

Please subscribe here

Related People

Thomas Roe QC

View profile

For Help or Advice…

Please contact us either by telephone: +44 (0)20 7415 7800 or email: clerks@3harecourt.com




Portfolio Builder

Select the legal services that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)