Associate/ Senior Associate

PQE: 2 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full time/Part time
Practice area: Private Wealth Disputes
Location: Guildford
The Role

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

Jack Bailey, managing associate, comments: “There are many great qualities to life at S&B and, in particular, within the Private Wealth Disputes Team. The quality of work is exceptional and on par with the work carried out by the London firms. You are surrounded by a talented and fully supportive team which strongly values being friendly, inclusive and promoting flexibility and a great work-life balance. As a niche practice area, everyone within the team is fully invested in the team’s success and works so positively together to keep driving the team forwards.

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.

The Firm

Stevens & Bolton – making a positive difference to your career

Stevens & Bolton is a UK law firm with over 200 staff. Of those around 150 are lawyers, approximately a third of them partners, many of whom chose to join us from City law firms. Our office is based in Guildford and our staff work from here and also flexibly.

We’ve made excellence the hallmark of our firm: in the clear advice we give, in the enduring client relationships we build and in our proactive and highly responsive service.  We seek to recruit people who will help us maintain and build on this, and in return we offer excellent long-term career and development opportunities.

You’ll work with people who listen, and who actively and willingly support one another within a collaborative and engaging environment.  We genuinely care about our people and strive to build and maintain a diverse, inclusive and happy workforce.

We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I). This drives a strategy which focuses on constant promotion of an inclusive culture that encourages everyone to realise their full potential and be themselves at work. In 2020 we were shortlisted for “Best D&I Initiative” at The HR Awards and for “Best Talent and Inclusion Initiative” at The Lawyer Awards.

Our vision is to be one of the UK’s most successful law firms, offering excellence beyond the city, a supportive culture and the best client experience. Always making a positive difference. We were proud to be named Law Firm of the Year: The Independents at The Lawyer Awards 2020.