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James Wallace Profile Picture
Legal   Recommended Lawyer    

James Wallace

Contested Wills, Trusts & Estates Partner

  01244 405 588
  07817 551 272
  Email Me


About James Wallace

James Wallace is a Partner in the firm and leads the dedicated Contentious Wills, Trusts and Estates team.

James deals with complex and high value estate and trust disputes including those with a cross-border or overseas element. His practice focuses particularly on will challenges, estate administration disputes, claims to remove executors, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and disputes involving lasting powers of attorney and the Court of Protection.

James has successfully settled dozens of disputes on behalf of clients utilising various strategies, achieving particular success at mediation. James has also been appointed by the court as an independent administrator where executors have been removed and there are particularly challenging issues to be resolved in the administration.

Clients appreciate James’ ability to understand their issues, to see the bigger picture and to understand the commercial realities of litigation, with a focus on achieving his clients’ objectives as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

James is featured as a recommended specialist in trust and estate disputes in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners High Net Worth industry guides. He is a full member of both the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) having completed both diplomas.

James’ specialist knowledge also encompasses traditional wills and estates work. Given his 13 years of experience working within the field of wills, tax and estates, he is well placed to advice in relation to complex wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, tax planning and estate administration on a national and international level.

Examples of cases in which James has acted are:-

  • Successfully obtaining an order from the High Court for the removal of an obstructive executor with costs recovered for the client
  • Resolving a complicated cross border estate dispute involving Spanish inheritance laws, the validity of deeds of variation in Spain, limitation for Spanish inheritance tax and Spanish gift tax
  • Advising clients in a high-profile dispute about the misuse of a lasting power of attorney with potentially serious consequences for the future of a significant heritage property in North Wales
  • Representing a client in the High Court defending a claim for delayed payment of a legacy with interest
  • Acting for beneficiaries seeking to set aside a will believed to be invalid on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence
  • Advising beneficiaries in an action against executors for losses suffered by the estate during the administration including the mismanagement of a family business
  • Representing a spouse bringing a claim against her husband’s estate for financial provision under the Inheritance Act
  • Assisting the executor of an estate in settling a long running and complicated matter involving disputed lifetime financial transactions between the deceased and one of the estate beneficiaries
  • Advising on the right to insist on a DNA test where paternity of a beneficiary was disputed and there were cross border issues involving Moldova and Canada
  • Achieving a settlement for a client seeking provision from an estate for care services provided to the deceased on grounds of promissory estoppel
  • Advising trustees with regards to the removal of a trustee where the trustees could not agree a course of action
  • Assisting beneficiaries with the interpretation and validity of a poorly drafted homemade will
  • Pursuing a claim on behalf of an estate for a greater beneficial share in the matrimonial property where the deceased made the majority of the financial contributions

Reported Cases

James played a key part in achieving a successful outcome for the client in the reported case of Morton v Morton, 2022 EWHC 163 Ch which involved multiple complex issues including a disputed will, proprietary estoppel, declarations of trust and the dissolution of a farming partnership.

Commentary

  • “James Wallace is an expert in contentious private client matters, including will challenges and Inheritance Act claims. “He is very easy to deal with and gives clear, practical advice. I have always been impressed with his clarity of thinking,” says an interviewee, who adds: “He is also able to assist very promptly when there is an urgent need.” – Chambers and Partners 2021 High Net Worth Private Wealth Disputes
  • “He is a very knowledgeable practitioner who was able to explain our options clearly and unambiguously whilst still being prepared to listen to our concerns and answer all questions patiently and empathetically.”
  • “professional, thorough and considerate”

In our dealings with James Wallace, we found him to be a sensitive, considerate person, always willing to listen in order to appreciate the complexities surrounding a particular situation. He has a sympathetic and supportive approach which is very helpful in enabling an individual to process possibilities for action, particularly under difficult circumvent stances.
The judgement made by James are balanced and fair, clearly embedded in an extensive knowledge and experience of legal matters. His work is undertaken with the highest level of expertise and skill, imbuing complete confidence within the client. His professionalism is outstanding and has been greatly appreciated.

Client

After a long and emotional process dealing with the Estate of a close family member, where the solicitor initially instructed was not progressing the matter effectively, I sought the services of James Wallace. He intervened and took control of the situation on behalf of our family. After the first phone call with James, I felt as if I had come across someone that genuinely wanted to help. His personable approach put me and my family at ease as he professionally managed and facilitated everything for us.

Client

During an extremely dark and difficult period of my life I was faced with having to deal with my late husband’s probate. I contacted Aaron & Partners’ James Wallace to oversee this emotional process for me. From day one I sensed an extreme level of professionalism through his calmness, manner and empathy. Throughout the process of dealing with the complex probate, my opinion on James was enhanced by every interaction I had with him.

James radiated a feeling of total professionalism and is the epitome of a compassionate and effective solicitor. I was vulnerable emotionally and financially and James was able to efficiently deal with my matter, whilst showing a great deal of empathy towards my personal situation. I cannot endorse him at a higher level.

Mrs J Welland

We would have no hesitation in recommending James Wallace of Aaron and Partners.  The work carried out for us and on behalf of our clients in respect of difficult trust and estate disputes during the past two years has been exemplary.  Aaron & Partners are efficient, accessible and completely transparent with regard to fees and costs before commencing the assignment.

Nick and Victoria Randall - Alington Ruthin Stockbrokers

I’ve worked with James on several occasions, and found him to be professional, friendly and extremely knowledgeable in his field of expertise. He is a great asset to Aaron & Partners and his clients alike.

Richard Medlicott - Chartered Financial Planner

Having dealt with James during the very sad and stressful legal management of a close member of my families’ last Will & Testament, I found James to be an extremely competent, understanding and empathetic Solicitor during the sometimes very complex dealings of the estate.

Tony Dilks - Senior Partner, Balance Partnership

I cannot recommend James highly enough. From the initial meeting, to advice on setting up a will for my terminally ill uncle, through to dealing with probate issues etc. At a time when we were emotionally vulnerable, James made sure that my late uncle’s wishes were courteously and professionally provided for. James, from all the family, thank you.

Peter Lewis

Very neat re navigating taxes, capital gains, IOUs, estate, trust and existing ownership. You have served my parents, my brother and myself well. Thank you.

Client

Thank you for your hard work and yes, we are pleased.  R feels our case has been proved and therefore cleared his good name. We do appreciate all you have done and agreeing to continue when we were expecting to have to give up.

Client

James was extremely knowledgeable, approachable and a pleasure to deal with. As a solicitor myself I understand how important it is to provide the highest possible level of client care – and James did that!

Client

Thank you for all the effort you put into sorting my husband’s estate. The way you dealt with things made the worst time in my life a just a little more bearable.

Client

We can only thank you again for your steady and sensitive handling of this painful matter – it has been a bruising experience, but I personally am enormously grateful to you for steering us all carefully to this ‘maximum’ outcome.

Client

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