James Aspden


Legacy, Will & Trust Disputes Principal Contact

“"His advice is excellent. He looks at the PR implications as well, especially with contentious issues."”

Chambers 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 both the Legal 500, Chambers and The Times Best Law Firm, 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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