Senior Associate

This position exists for a technically strong, personable and ambitious private wealth disputes specialist, to join one of the leading dispute resolution and private client practices outside London. You will join a growing team, with substantial experience in dealing with a range of trust, estate and family disputes. We are also able to draw extensively on the firm’s well-recognised dispute resolution capability to deliver advice and expertise to trustees/executors (both individuals and trust companies), private banks, individuals and charities across a wide range of trust, family and will/estate disputes. We are ranked in The Legal 500 South East as well as London, and the head of the practice is top ranked in Chambers HNW for Private Wealth Disputes.

Private wealth disputes has experienced substantial growth over the last few years. The team sits within the wider litigation team, and consists of one partner, one managing associate, two associates and a trainee.

The team focuses on:

  • Advice to private banks, trust companies and high net worth private individuals;
  • Trustee disputes including breach of trust and directions claims;
  • Estate disputes involving capacity, 1975 Act claims and undue influence;
  • Court of Protection disputes; and
  • Asset tracing and freezing injunction disputes concerning trust claims and allegations.

In addition to the above the team:

  • Support the Commercial Litigation team and gets involved in litigation matters which have a private wealth disputes element.
  • Works closely with the private wealth team providing litigation support on non-contentious court applications (including Variation of Trust Act applications), advising clients on risk avoidance strategies and mechanisms and helping them to avoid disputes in the future by stress-testing their structures.

Representative cases include:

  • Advising the independent administrator of an estate worth over £50m concerning the disputed administration of the estate and the estate’s claims against various third parties
  • Acting for one of the representative beneficiary defendants in Schumacher v Clarke [2020] EWHC 2281 (Ch)
  • Advising the beneficiaries of a substantial UK estate worth in excess of £20m on claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Advising the professional executor of a heavily disputed estate concerning both claims against the estate by third parties, and claims within the estate by different beneficiaries.
  • Advising the trustees of a substantial property-holding trust in relation to disputed issues concerning sales of property and distributions to discretionary beneficiaries.
  • Advising the beneficiaries of two separate offshore trusts concerning their rights and claims against the offshore trustee


Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should have drive and a real interest in and enthusiasm for private wealth dispute matters.

We are looking for a strong team player with good inter-personal skills, strong academics and high quality experience – typically with a major City or leading national/regional practice.  Excellent communication skills are a must.  An appetite for business development and developing your own key contacts would be a definite advantage.

Candidates should have a proven track record of working directly with clients and helping to build long term relationships.  We offer excellent supervision, coaching and training within our friendly team, but we expect all team members to take responsibility at an early stage.  The right candidate should be able to work with initiative to provide the highest quality advice and service. 

Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage your own workload are a must, together with a willingness to develop the technical expertise of junior members of the team.

The Opportunity

We recognise that lawyers value the ability to work flexibly - we have agile working policies to facilitate flexible working and we are happy to consider both full time and part time working.

We offer all of this in the context of a competitive salary and bonus scheme. We also offer a comprehensive benefits package including a contributory pension scheme, private medical insurance, and 25 days holiday with the option to buy and sell days. In addition, you will have access to a range of other benefits which include a cycle to work scheme, dental insurance, discounted shopping and membership to a critical illness scheme. With our flexible hybrid approach, you will have the opportunity to balance your time between working remotely and from our newly refurbished and innovative offices, which are easily accessible in the centre of Guildford (where we provide parking) but within striking distance of the beautiful Surrey countryside.

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