Lawyer’s cat saves a will from the shredder

It appears that a solicitor in the UK was storing, on behalf of their client, a will which had in fact gone missing (but they believed it did not exist). The will was crucial evidence in a dispute. There were five players: Venetia Murray and her sibling brothers, Dean and Dale Brunt (and the solicitor plus their cat). The three siblings had inherited a farm from their grandfather valued at £6 million.

Cat finds a lost will stored by a lawyer
Cat finds a lost will stored by a lawyer. Image: PoC. This is not the cat in the story!
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Complications arose because Dean died young in 2007 at the age of 35. It was thought that he had left no will. In fact they couldn’t find his will and as a result his 2 million share of the farm that he had inherited went to his 82-year-old mother.

This is where the British solicitor’s cat comes into the story. In effect the cat found the will by knocking over some papers that were heading for the shredder. Because the will was found the 2 million inheritance that went to the 82-year-old woman was overturned. The judge was satisfied that Dean had made a will and he ordered it to be carried out by dividing up his £2 million estate as to 50% Dale and 50% to his sister Ms Murray.

Comment: we don’t know whether the solicitor had his cat at his office or whether he was working from home. The interesting outcome is that the initial litigation over Dean’s will would have been avoided if it had not been lost apparently by the solicitor. I wonder, therefore, whether the parties to that litigation could recover the monies from the solicitor because after all it was his error. I don’t know whether he’s a tidy or untidy person but a lot of solicitors are untidy and they file their work badly. This might, and I stress might, be an example.

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