Carl Islam

(Door Tenant)

Called: 1984

Inn: Lincoln's Inn


Qualified for Direct Access 





Carl is a registered Public Access practitioner who can be instructed directly by members of the public (including executors and trustees) without the involvement of a solicitor, and specialises in will, trust, and inheritance disputes.

Carl principally appears in will, trust, and inheritance disputes in the Business and Property Courts and Central London County Court. Carl is currently acting in several cases involving breach of fiduciary duty, and is developing his practice to include minority shareholder disputes, and civil fraud litigation. His article ‘Breach of Fiduciary Duty and the Quiet Fiduciary’ was published in ‘Trusts & Trustees’ (Oxford University Press) in February 2019.

Carl’s Practising Certificate has been extended by the Bar Standards Board to authorise him to conduct litigation. In an appropriate case, this permits Carl to carry out day to day case management activities (including the issue of a Claim Form in any court in England and Wales) which are reserved to Solicitors, and in effect, to offer a one stop shop litigation and advocacy service to members of the public, from evaluation of the merits, evidence, and remedies, through to trial or settlement of the claim.

In June Carl appeared in the High Court in London as counsel for the claimant in Clark –v-  The Trustees of the Victor Hugo Fund (A Trust of Balliol College in the University of Oxford) & ors [2016] (which was a successful claim for rectification of a will that involved multi-jurisdictional issues).

Carl is the author of the first edition of the ‘Contentious Probate Handbook’ (published by the Law Society on 1 October 2016), and was a guest speaker at the annual one day seminar of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) in the City of London on 7 April 2016.

To download a copy of his paper (which is being serialised in the ACTAPS monthly Newsletter) please visit the ‘Publications’ page at

Carl has been commissioned by the Law Society to write a new book for practitioners entitled the ‘Contentious Trusts Handbook – Practice and Precedents’ which is scheduled for publication in October 2019. For more information please visit



Chancery Bar Association.
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (I am a fully qualified TEP).
Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates (I am a SCMA accredited mediation advocate).

Skills & Interest


Cooking, music, reading, swimming, cycling, and tennis.

2010 - present

2010 - present

Practice Areas

Carl specialises in will, trust, and inheritance disputes.

Privacy Policy


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King's College London, U. of London

(part time MPhil/PhD student)




Qualified as a Solicitor (and remains on the Roll as a non-practising Solicitor)




University of Exeter

LL.M, International Business Law


1984 – 1985 

Inns of Court School of Law

Barrister-at-Law, Bar Finals Course


1980 – 1983 

Keele University

B.Soc.Sc (Joint-Hons), Law and Political Science


1974 – 1980 


Uppingham School


He is also a fully qualified TEP and a SCMA accredited mediation advocate.




“I had instructed Carl on an exceptionally acrimonious dispute which was subject to proceedings. Carl was able to analyse issues of law that were relevant and always provided comprehensive and detailed advice. His specialist knowledge in contentious probate proceedings is exceptional in my view and I would have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending him.”

Faizal Essat C.F.Inst.L.Ex, Legal Executive Advocate, Consultant,  Walters Solicitors, Leicester, 15 September  2017.

“I instructed Carl as a direct access client in my capacity as Executor of my mother’s Will, whose drafting appeared to conflict with her known intentions. Carl’s detailed analysis of the will file provided by her solicitors identified significant procedural errors and omissions in the most recent updating of her will, showing how a critical clause had been removed without instruction. Carl was able to identify relevant precedent and articulate compelling arguments that led to a successful application for rectification, resulting in re-insertion of the wrongly-removed clause to achieve my mother’s original intent.

As a direct access client, instructing Carl without a solicitor and without legal knowledge on my own part, I was extremely reliant on his expertise and guidance through each step of the process. Carl’s case management and communication is exemplary. He set out a process in defined stages to research, prepare, and present the case, with defined times and costs for each stage; every deadline was met, and costs were precisely as agreed. I was kept fully informed throughout development of the case, and given enough information to understand the choices and decisions I needed to make. Carl’s enthusiasm for the law is evident, as are the depth of his knowledge, and his skills as an advocate.

I am pleased to recommend Carl without hesitation.”

Paul Clark, Toronto, Canada

“Carl has an innate ability to get to grips, rapidly, with the issues that he is asked to consider and to identify the case law and legislation that are relevant. His powers of communication are commendable, as is his analysis of the situation that he is asked to advise on, the possible outcomes and the most efficient method of taking matters forward. I have found his insight into the law, and his guidance in assisting the client to secure the best possible result, an invaluable tool in my helping the client with advice that can be relied upon, without hesitation. He has a real flair in his fields of expertise.”


    Peter W Marsh, Peter W Marsh & Co Solicitors.


"Carl Islam is a hostage to detail and preparation. His preparation for a mediation day is meticulous. In addition to thorough research of the relevant law and cases, he can prepare a Statement of Options, Litigation Risk Analysis, Commercial Analysis, and a Proposed Settlement Methodology. These documents simplify the issues and provide a basis for opposing parties to evaluate the merits of their cases, and consider their options. This speeds up negotiations in a mediation. Carl has a wealth of experience, and is conscientious and knowledgeable in his areas of expertise. In my personal opinion, whilst capable of arguing his client's case Carl also has a practical no-nonsense approach that sits well with mediation."                              

Kay Hewitt, Solicitor.



“I have referred clients to Carl Islam in respect of Trust matters, safe in the knowledge that he has a thorough grasp of the law as it affects my clients’ transactions and is especially capable of appreciating my clients’ needs.”


          Chris Smith – Palmer Smith

Tax Services - Leicester


"I have worked with Carl on a number of client cases and innovative planning for clients, trusts and businesses for many years.  He is an original thinker in the fields of trusts law and estate planning, and his planning for clients is superb. Carl is able to meld the practical with the theoretical in coming up with solutions for saving and mitigating inheritance and other taxes, and is highly thought of in the legal community."


     Tony Granger Independent Trustee Adviser and Certified

  Financial Planner- Mentor  Professional


“We engaged Carl on behalf of clients to complete a complex IHT planning exercise. The problem with the client estate, amounting to about £5 million, was that it was largely comprised of the principal residence, which in the present climate was difficult to deal with. The entire exercise not only resulted in the clients having Wills which satisfied many of their requirements but also established a plan which would ultimately economise on their IHT liability.

Carl handled the issues very efficiently and with great knowledge of his subject and we would have no hesitation in recommending his services to other clients.”


        Andrew Taylor, Managing  Partner, Kemp Taylor LLP Chartered            Accountants, Business and Tax Advisers


"A complicated world made easy with a professional, enthusiastic and down to earth approach and clear charge structures from the outset.


Helen Mence - British Theatre Dance                                         Association


" We have instructed Carl for the last five years on a wide range of commercial matters and have found his service exemplary – fast, responsive and very effective. "


   Paul Armstrong - Director - Christison Particle Technologies Limited


"I have worked with Carl Islam on various intellectual property, copyright licensing, data protection, and competition law matters and have always been impressed by his practical and commercial advice and technical expertise."


              Susan Singleton - Singletons