Downie & Gadban Solicitors - Simon Acworth

Simon Acworth

Head of Wills and Probate

I am a solicitor, Senior Partner and Head of Wills and Probate at Downie & Gadban, with 48 years’ experience in private client work. I trained as a solicitor in London, qualified in 1971 and have since spent nearly 50 years in private practice in Hampshire. I specialise in Wills, probate and trust matters, helping my clients deal with their private affairs, offering them practical and straightforward advice. I am also a Notary Public, able to authenticate and certify documents for international use, often at short notice.

Areas of Expertise


Simon is a vastly experienced private client solicitor, and a trusted advisor to a wide range of individuals, families and trustees, many of whom have instructed him for decades.

Simon’s primary areas of expertise include advising on estate planning and preparing and updating Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. He also has a wealth of experience in administering complex estates involving extensive property, business and agricultural interests, as well as overseas assets. Simon also handles conveyancing and other transactional work related to his probate matters.

Simon has been an authorised Notary Public since 1983. This highly specialist and internationally recognised public office enables him to prepare, attest, authenticate and certify deeds and other documents intended for use anywhere in the world.

Simon’s depth of knowledge and experience, together with his calm and approachable style, puts his clients at ease even when they are dealing with highly sensitive or confidential issues, or coping with difficult times.



  • Preparing Wills for individuals and couples.
  • Preparing Wills for a married couple who are British citizens living in Hong Kong to deal with their assets in Hong Kong and England.
  • Preparing Wills for a married couple who are British citizens living in England with a young family, where the husband required a Will to deal with his assets held in Italy and England.

Administration of Estate

  • Regularly acting as Executor of Wills.
  • Regularly administering estates.
  • Dealing with the administration of an estate of a surviving spouse who died leaving a Will. Prepared the full Inheritance Tax forms, which included bringing in her late husband’s estate and nil-rate residence band so that no Inheritance Tax was payable.
  • Acting as a trustee of a Life Policy Trust where the investments for the life tenant are managed by stockbrokers.

Residential Conveyancing

  • Selling properties where both registered proprietors were deceased.
  • First registrations of unregistered titles where the owners have died, before marketing the property concerned.
  • Selling and buying houses for clients with accessibility issues.
  • Selling a property for a deceased client over nearly a three-year period, the beneficiaries being two charities.
  • Acting for trustees of an organisation in selling land, including woodland, and ensuring the reservation of rights for the benefit of the organisation.


  • Member of Notaries Society
  • Member of Hampshire Law Society

“Thank you so much for all your help and guidance that you have given me over the last months. I have been happy and contented that you have dealt with my affairs very professionally. Also, you have been so kind and considerate at all times.”

– Mrs F