James Aspden


Legacy, Wills & Trusts Disputes Principal Contact

“ Aspden is highly regarded in this space.”

Chambers HNW, 2023

“James Aspden is an excellent lawyer and a very tough litigator.”

Legal 500, 2024

“I would like to particularly recommend James Aspden. James is highly effective, and focused on attaining a great outcome for the client.”

Legal 500, 2024

“James Aspden is an excellent lawyer who has taken cases for charities to the Supreme Court. He is good with clients but pragmatic and sensible about trying to settle matters. Charlotte Watts is also excellent-a really steely litigator”

Legal 500, 2023

“Simply one of the most impressive legal minds I have had the pleasure to work with.”

Chambers HNW, 2022

“He is a fantastic lawyer. He is really, really smart, very very good, he's great.”

Chambers HNW, 2021

“The firm made headlines when it advised in the Supreme Court case of Melita Jackson, a success for Wilsons’ James Aspden, who represented the charities.”

The Times Best Law Firms, 2019

James is a partner in our Will & Trust Disputes team, and specialises in resolving trust and probate disputes.  James read Law at Somerville College, Oxford then trained at Sharpe Pritchard in London.  He joined Henmans on qualification in 2002, and moved to Wilsons in June 2004.

James' work ranges from claims concerning the validity and effect of wills, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, undue influence and equitable claims, to actions by or against trustees of landed estates and international trust disputes. He regularly acts for clients in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

James is recommended in The Legal 500, Chambers and Chamber HNW, in which he is consistently ranked as a leading individual. He is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the Charity Law Association.

Recent highlights

  • Ilott v Blue Cross and others – James represented the successful charity appellants in this seminal case.  This is the first and only decision by the Supreme Court regarding claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and as such is the leading legal authority.
  • Rubin v Eurofinance – James acted for the successful intervenor in this Supreme Court decision concerning the enforcement at common law of foreign bankruptcy orders.
  • A dispute concerning a landed estate in Oxfordshire, concerning unfulfilled promises, alleged breaches of duty by trustees and a range of technical problems that needed to be resolved.  This was resolved on confidential terms.
  • A collection of several claims against solicitors for failing to include provisions designed to capture future development value, when selling land – all settled on confidential terms.


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