Resealing probate

If you have obtained Letters of Executorship in South Africa it is possible to arrange for it to be resealed in the UK, as a very expedient and cost effective alternative to proving the Will in the UK probate courts.

The arrangement is conducted under the Colonial Probates Act, which makes provision for probate obtained in a former Commonwealth nation to be recognised in the UK.

Applications ordinarily take between three to five weeks and once completed assets in the UK can be released.

If the deceased was born or ever lived in the UK, a full form of Inland Revenue Account must be lodged together with a Statement of Domicile; if not, then a short form only need be submitted.

At Carter Lemon Camerons, our experienced Private Client team in London can provide expert advice to executors, administrators or attorneys on the resealing process.

We can advise as to the documents that will be required to make an application, assist at every stage of the process and make you aware of any Inheritance Tax (IHT) implications.

At Carter Lemon Camerons, our experienced team of solicitors is available to provide English law services to clients in South Africa. Our head of litigation and arbitration, Seamus Smyth, graduated and qualified as an attorney in South Africa and has for many years maintained a close working relationship with South Africa’s legal profession.  He receives referrals and instructions from South African clients direct and from attorneys throughout South Africa, large and small, on behalf of clients who need assistance with an English matter. Seamus Smyth visits South Africa regularly and welcomes the opportunity to meet clients and attorneys face to face (with a preference, at the weekend, for meeting on a golf course!).  When asked he will deliver a short, light-hearted overview of the ins and outs for South Africans of instructing English solicitors.

Meet the team

Partner - Private Client

Neil Acheson-Gray is a partner and head of the private client department. He has specialised in matters including contentious probate for more than three decades.

He trained at a leading firm in Holborn, qualifying as a solicitor in 1983 and then spent 25 years as a partner in the family firm with offices in Marble Arch and Richmond. This gave him a wealth of experience in estate planning, Wills, estates and trusts and carrying out the role of Executor and Trustee.

Neil has subsequently spent 6 years with a firm in Fetter Lane where he successfully developed the firm’s contentious probate capability, bringing his wealth of experience of private client work to the cut and thrust of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 and contested Wills.

Notable cases:

  • Acting for the family of an elderly lady seeking to prove the validity of an allegedly forged or fraudulent Will in her favour
  • Acting for several children of a lady whose other daughter was alleged to have forged her mother’s Will
  • Acting for a widow whose stepchildren were claiming provision from his estate
  • Acting for a widow whose own son inherited all her late husband’s estate
  • Representing a child whose siblings were seeking her removal as Executor
  • Acting for the beneficiary of an estate in the removal of one of the Executors
  • Acting for the surviving partner of the man she lived with who remained married to his wife and left his entire estate to her and he children
  • Acting for a surviving husband in relation to a claim made by a friend he had allegedly maintained
  • Opposing a Will made by someone who took her own life whilst suffering from serious mental illness
  • Advising a daughter whose stepmother left her share in a family property to her nephew contrary to her late husband’s wishes

Alongside this, Neil has continued his established practice in the field of Wills and Probate, dealing with a variety of interesting estates and meeting a wide range of clients from all walks of life, with estates large and small, complex and straightforward.

Neil looks forward to the next challenge in his career and the opportunity to continue to represent those he has met along the way.

Neil is married and lives in Surrey. Outside of the office he enjoys all forms of sport, travel, cookery, photography and the arts. His greatest inspiration and his greatest critics are his wife, three children and above all his grandson who together provide all the distraction needed from an absorbing and rewarding career which he is pleased to continue as a Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP.

020 7406 1000 -
Partner - Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

The Legal 500: Recommended lawyer 2020Seamus Smyth is head of litigation and arbitration. His practice is primarily commercial with an emphasis on arbitration, financial services and work for South African and Italian clients.


His reported cases include RH Green & Silley Weir v BR (limitation period against 3rd party), de Bry v Fitzgerald (security for costs), Hartt v Newspaper Publishing (libel concerning a work by Michelangelo), Pearson v Sanders Witherspoon (valuation of loss of chance), Siebe Gorman v Pneupac (status of consent orders), Senate Electrical v NTL (liability of an employee for acquisition warranties) and Bendell v Smith & Others (a successful recovery action by a lender on a shared appreciation mortgage equity release – the only such case to go to trial).

Recently involved in enforcement of foreign arbitration awards, claims arising from the banking upheavals since 2007, a successful claim against a high street bank resulting from a banking error and a successful claim against estate administrators and their solicitors for wasting the estate funds on irresponsible litigation.


Educated (BA, LLB, Wits) and first qualified as an attorney in South Africa, he requalified in England in 1977, took an LLM at UCL and a Diploma in International Arbitration at QM, and became an FCIArb. He is chairman of the British South African Law Association (for the second time), chairman of Michaelhouse UK Trust, a trustee of Global Leadership Foundation (UK), a former President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and Trustee and President of Town Malling Cricket Club (established in 1827!).  He was until 2012 a Visiting Senior Lecturer in International Commercial Arbitration at London Metropolitan University.  When work and domesticity permit he plays some cricket and more golf (but – which is immediately obvious – not nearly enough).

020 7406 1000 -

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