James Aspden


Legacy, Wills & Trusts Disputes Principal Contact

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

Chambers HNW, 2021

"Simply one of the most impressive legal minds I have had the pleasure to work with."   Chambers HNW, 2022

"James Aspden is a cerebral litigator, who is always keen to get stuck into the legal detail."   Legal 500, 2022

"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 Firm, 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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