"Peter Mark Arnstein, the disgraced former owner of Forman Welch & Bellamys (FWB) Solicitors now consulting at Baron Grays Solicitors, was found guilty by the disciplinary tribunal of "very serious" misconduct but continues practice (under supervision) despite ongoing criminal investigations."
This is an important public announcement about the closure of Forman Welch & Bellamys (FWB) Solicitors, latterly of 23 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3SX, and how to contact the successor practice responsible for assisting former clients of Peter Mark Arnstein who following several years of regulatory investigations faced disciplinary action in July 2022.
The successor practice first reported suspicions about Peter Mark Arnstein to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in late 2017, and they commenced investigations in September 2018 following a further report by an aggrieved client. The initial investigation took over three years to complete, while other investigations are ongoing.
The successor practice received confirmation from the SRA that disciplinary proceedings against Peter Arnstein were lodged with the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in March 2022. However, the referral relied on forensic investigations between 2018 and 2019 during which time the onsite forensic investigator sadly died. Her report had to be completed by a colleague which inevitably resulted in some delay, significant errors and omissions of relevant facts.
Since 2019, evidence supporting more serious misconduct, dishonesty and criminality has been unearthed none of which were considered by the SDT hearing in July 2022. These include new investigations by the regulator and the Economic Crime Unit of the Metropolitan police, which are ongoing.
Members of the public who may have information that could be helpful to investigations are invited to make contact with representatives of the successor practice in the first instance, with a copy to to the regulator's report team by email to [email protected] marked for the attention of Mr Soheal Malik. The successor practice has assigned the responsibilities of succession to Fairchild Greig & Company who are also charged to assist clients with general enquiries.
For more information please explore this website, call 0203 916 5995 or send us an email using the online form at the bottom of this page.
This will be a public hearing. If you would like to attend the hearing, please contacts us ASAP to make appropriate arrangements.
21 July 2022
27 July 2022
These breaches relate to circa 4 will Trusts that the successor practice first informed the SRA about in 2017. In December 2019 the regulator wrote to the successor practice confirming that Peter Arnstein has admitted to holding a further 32 Will Trusts at his home, but purported to doing so on the request of the successor practice and that he would hand the files to the successor on request.
The SRA did not include details of such dishonesty in its referral to the Disciplinary Tribunal, nevertheless the Tribunal regarded the misconducts of Peter Arnstein as “very serious" in its findings.
17 August 2022
23 August 2022
In amongst other work, a review of claims by a former employee that was first reported in September 2021 is underway. The employee is recorded as having said they were "not surprise at all" that Peter Arnstein was under investigation.
One such named person was the barrister from Gatehouse Chambers who is now helping Peter Arnstein to dissolve the successor practice to whom he owes £multiple millions in respect to liabilities arising from the client assets he still controls, as well as costs and damages due to suppliers and members.
7 September 2022
A number of aggrieved former clients of Peter Arnstein and their relatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the findings of the SDT against him, which they deem to be too lenient and lacking in relevance to their suffering or the loss of £millions due to charitable organisations. They have also expressed dissatisfaction with the SRA and its appointed legal representatives.
Please contact us to express your interest to join this or future meetings.
Fairchild Greig & Company is administering the storage and retrieval of Wills and Deeds formally held by FWB Solicitors. As part of this work, Wills are being digitally scanned and indexed before the originals are stored with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) Probate Registry on behalf of the testator. Documents other than Wills, such as property Deeds, are held by Peter Arnstein in his personal capacity.
Please contact Fairchild Greig & Company with your request. They will refer your request for papers other than Wills to Peter Mark Arnstein and liaise with him on your behalf. Requests for Wills will be handled in accordance with the relevant regulatory requirements depending on the purpose of your request. These include the need to verify your identity, your entitlement to have sight and/or access to the Will, and proof of address. If the Will is being requested on behalf of a testator who has died, they will need sight of an original death certificate. A nominal file retrieval fee of £30 + VAT (£36 inclusive) may be applicable. Fairchild Greig & Company will explain full details of the relevant policies, procedures and processes when handling your enquiry.
UPDATE: As of December 2021, the SRA has confirmed that Peter Arnstein has admitted to retaining 32 Wills and Deeds at his home but lied to claim he was doing so at the request of the successor practice and that he would send the files to them on request. The successor practice, Coplexia Collaborative LLP, has provided evidence to the SRA and police that the in fact Peter Arnstein had denied holding any Wills and when internal investigations and/or client reports proved that he was withholding files from the successor practice, he had refused to hand them over - enlisting the help of his friends at the firm of Ince Gordon Dadds LLP to do so. The admission to the regulator came after investigation officers questioned him following reports by the successor practice who holds evidence that in fact he retains many more than just 32, according to digital lists obtained by the successor Peter Arnstein is withholding well over 300 wills and evidence suggest he intended to "trade them" with a large reputable firm of solicitors in Twickenham which, for legal reasons, cannot be named at present.
As of 1st October 2017, Coplexia Collaborative LLP became the successor to the former sole practice of FWB Solicitors. Its members have since assigned all successor responsibilities (including Executorship of Wills and Trusteeship of estates) to Fairchild Greig Will Trusts Ltd of Fairchild Greig & Company LLP. Fairchild Greig Will Trusts Ltd is a non-profit private company limited by guarantee without share capital (company number 1382991) incorporated in England & Wales as a non-trading company (category code SIC 74990). Its purpose is to enable continuous succession of professional Executor and Trustee responsibilities on behalf of solicitor practices, lay executors, end clients and named beneficiaries of the estate.
Possibly. The following extracts are from Wills appointing a member of the firm as professional Executor and Trustee with wording that appoints the firm or its owners as professional Executors (which is best-practice) and will result in a successor practice being appointed:-
"I APPOINT Peter Mark Arnstein or one other of the partners at the date of my death in the firm of Forman Welch & Bellamys Solicitors of 23 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3SX or in whatever firm may have succeeded to that practice to be the sole Executor of this my Will [...]"
"I APPOINT Peter Mark Arnstein of Forman Welch & Bellamys Solicitors of 23 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3SX or the Partner or Partners of that firm or their successors in business who at the date of my death has succeeded to and carry on its practice to be the Executors and Trustees of this my said Will [...]"
"I APPOINT the partners at the date of my death in the firm of Forman Welch & Bellamys Solicitors of 23 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW 3SX or of the firm which at the date has succeeded to and carries on its practice to be EXECUTORS AND TRUSTEES (hereinafter called my "My Trustees") of this Will [...]"
Conversely, the following examples use wording found on many of the Wills prepared by firms associated with Peter Mark Arnstein which appoint Peter Mark Arnstein as Executor and Trustee in person:-
"I APPOINT PETER MARK ARNSTEIN of 23 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3SX to be the Executor and Trustee of this my Will [...]"
"I APPOINT my friend FIRSTNAME SURNAME of 3 Friends Address, Town, Postcode and PETER MARK ARNSTEIN of 23 London Road Twickenham TW1 3SX to be the Executors and Trustees of my Will [...]"
This would mean that Peter Arnstein can apply for a Grant of Probate or Representation for the estates in his name so as to administer the estate himself with complete discretion over how the estate assets are to be used. The investigations into his conduct have all related to this level of control over the estate which he obtained either through a Grant of representation in his own name or by way of Deeds of Appointment through which he took over control from one of his associates.
If you are concerned about the wording of your Will, it can be revoked with the execution of a new Will that replaces Peter Arnstein with any trusted friend or family member of your choice (or Fairchild Greig Will Trusts Ltd) as your Executor and Trustee.
So far as we know, Peter Mark Arnstein was first associated with Devanes of 3 Friars Lane, Richmond Green, Richmond, TW9 1NL which we think evolved into Bellamys Solicitors of the same address before moving to various offices in Twickenham, including 41 York Street, and later 23 London Road where the firm merged with Forman & Welch & Co. to form Forman Welch & Bellamys Solicitors (commonly known as FWB Solicitors). Bellamys was owned by Frank de Lattre (now deceased) and had absorbed the firm of Stollard & Limbrey Solicitors from its principal Peter Jeremy Roche (now retired). There is also an association with Michael Bittison (Accountant) dating back decades.
In the same week that the regulator confirmed it had filed proceedings against Peter Mark Arnstein with the Disciplinary Tribunal, enquiries by a former client of his made to Michael Bittison revealed that Peter Mark Arnstein has been working with Baron Grey Solicitors of Langtry House, 441 Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 2EF. His association there went public soon after the chance discovery.
It is important to point out that until various hearings are concluded and orders made to the contrary, Peter Arnstein is not prevented from working; and that no explicit or implied accusations are being made against any of his associates mentioned above.
Fairchild Greig & Company meet clients at their homes or at their head office address of 4 Longwalk, Stockley Park, Uxbridge, UB11 1FE and by prior appointment in one of over 50 other serviced offices across the UK. However, unless otherwise agreed, all postal enquiries should be sent to their centralised sorting office at 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE.