Executor Disagreements Architect Of Zaha Hadid Probate Dispute

Civil war has erupted in the £67 million estate of world famous architect, Zaha Hadid, that could see a number of executors replaced.

Following her death in March 2016, four executors were appointed to oversee Hadid’s estate.

Architectural patron Peter Palumbo, artist Brian Clarke, Hadid’s niece Rana Hadid and long-time business partner Patrik Schumacher were all named as joint executors and trustees, becoming directors of Zaha Hadid Holdings last year.

Through their roles, the four also became directors of Zaha Hadid Foundation, an arts and culture charity that also provides education and training as well as conservation and heritage work, in 2013. Interestingly, Schumacher resigned from the role on 12th June this year.

It has now been revealed that Schumacher has issued a ‘part 7 claim’ at the probate court under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. When there is a perceived breakdown in communication between executors, that is to the detriment of the estate, the section allows a replacement to be made.

Hadid bequeathed £500,000 to Schumacher, Rana Hadid, her brother and nephew. The rest of the fortune, worth £67 million after debts were removed, was placed in trust for up to 125 years. The trustees were then given philanthropic rights to distribute the money to various causes at their discretion.

A clause in the probate wishes meant that any surplus would automatically go back into the Zaha Hadid Foundation. It is speculated that disagreements in how this money was used could have led to the current disharmony amongst the creative executors.

The joint statement from the three executors said: “The attempt to remove these three executors is totally unjustified and misconceived.

“They were appointed personally by Zaha Hadid because she trusted them to act in her best interests.

“All three were known to Zaha for decades; one was a close family member, and the other two were very good friends… They have at all times acted properly and in good faith with the desire to do their best for the estate given their friendship with Zaha Hadid.”

Whilst it is unclear why Schumacher is looking to replace the three executors, it is unfortunate that such contentious issues are clouding the positive impact that the proceeds of Hadid’s estate have created.

How will this process be resolved? Are you aware of similar issues concerning warring executors?