James specialises in private wealth disputes, dealing with trust, estate and succession matters within the UK and internationally. James also deals with disputes where trusts and private wealth issues are involved in wider commercial disputes, such as fraud and asset recovery.
James joined Stevens & Bolton in 2017, having trained and qualified at a Top 50 firm. He became a partner in 2019.
James acts predominately for private clients or for those who advise private clients, such as corporate trustees, private banks and other law firms.
James advises on claims by or involving estates and trusts, most commonly involving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. He acts for executors, trustees and beneficiaries, and also specialises in advising on claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
James also has a substantial practice advising on claims overlapping the trusts and family court jurisdictions, dealing with trustees and beneficiaries who have become involved in divorce proceedings and on issues arising from the enforcement and implementation of ancillary relief orders made in divorce proceedings.
Recent highlights include:
- Securing a substantial payment from an offshore trust to a disappointed beneficiary
- Advising several minor beneficiaries in a claim against their parent’s estate
- Acting for the trustee of a substantial offshore structure concerning claims alleged against the trustee by the settlor and one of the beneficiaries
- Advising several investors in a fund concerning their claims against the directors of the fund and third parties
- Advising a spouse in her claims to enforce the terms of her divorce order against assets held by her husband in the UK
- Acting for the beneficiaries in a successful claim to remove the executors of their parent’s estate
- Acting for the successful claimant in a claim to set aside a deed which removed the claimant’s interest in her father’s estate
James has been named as a “Rising Leader” in Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite directory 2023 and named “One to Watch” for the last four years. James has been listed in the Citywealth “Top 100 Private Client Litigators List 2023” and is ranked as a “Top Recommended 2023 Contentious Tax & Trust Lawyer” in the Spears 500.
He is ranked as a Band 1 individual in the Chambers HNW directory 2023 and as a “Next Generation Partner” in The Legal 500 2023.
James is a co-chair of ConTrA, the Contentious Trusts Association.