Charles Russell Speechlys’ Private Wealth Disputes team act for the successful Claimants in rare case involving a promise to make a will

Judgment has been handed down in the case of Colicci & Ors v Grinberg & Anor [2023], following a four-day trial heard in the High Court in March.

The case centred around a promise to make a will, which was entered into between the late Ernesto Colicci and his first wife Josephine Colicci by deed in 2016. By this, Ernesto and Josephine promised to make wills which left their respective shares in the family business, ECSI Limited (trading as Colicci), to their two children – Robert and Rosanna.

Recorder Mark Anderson KC found that the 2016 deed created testamentary obligations on Ernesto and Josephine and that ‘It removed Ernesto's and Josephine's freedom to dispose of their Shares on death.’

The Judge also determined that a shareholders’ agreement, entered into in 2017, did not supersede the 2016 deed.

Colicci, established by Ernesto and Josephine Colicci in the 1980s, is a highly successful family owned and run business which operates cafés, kiosks & restaurants across London, including across the Royal Parks.

The Charles Russell Speechlys team was made up of Graeme Kleiner, Partner, Robert Avis, Partner, and Lydia Kember, Associate. Penelope Reed KC represented the clients at trial.

Graeme Kleiner, Partner said:

“This was a very interesting case involving a promise to make a will. We are delighted for the clients that the judge has ruled in their favour on the ownership of the business”.

See judgment below:

Colicci & Ors v Grinberg & Anor [2023] EWHC 1177 (Ch) (18 May 2023) (

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