PQE: 3 years +
Term: Permanent
Practice area: Contentious Trusts
Location: Guildford
The Firm

Stevens & Bolton is one of the largest teams of lawyers in the South outside London. Independently recognised as one of the UK's leading national law firms we build deep relationships with our clients, whose satisfaction with our services is the true measure of our success.

Our single office approach ensures excellent communications and efficient co-ordination of our resources. We handle complex and strategic work for our clients, but appreciate the importance of value for money, commercial awareness and flexibility. International work is as important to us as our domestic practice and we regularly work with many carefully selected law firms around the world.

We want enjoyment to be a primary driver in the working day - and a key 'reason to be here' for our employees. It's a philosophy that comes from the top and cascades through the organisation. It is upheld through a combination of factors: delivering quality in everything we do; securing stimulating, challenging work that stretches and rewards; employing truly distinctive, diverse people who willingly engage, collaborate and support; committing to continuous development for everyone; and providing a sustaining environment in which people can learn and grow.

The Role

This position exists for a technically strong, personable and ambitious contentious trust specialist, looking to pursue a career with one of the leading dispute resolution and private client practices outside London.

The firm recruited a contentious trusts specialist in 2017 to build the practice which is now thriving, with one partner and sited within the wider litigation team including three other partners. The firm sees contentious trusts as a substantial area of growth for the future and is looking to expand the existing offering. 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 contentious trust team:

•supports the Commercial Litigation team and gets involved in litigation matters which have a contentious trusts 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.

The team is recognised as a market leader in the legal directories, with James Lister ranked as a Tier 1 individual in Chambers HNW 2019, and the team ranked as a leading practice in Legal 500.

The contentious trusts team is part of the dispute resolution group which is one of the main lawyer groups within the firm.

The dispute resolution group as a whole is market leading – it is the only top tier-ranked team in Chambers to have a contentious trusts specialism is also top ranked in Legal 500, winning the Legal 500 Firm of the Year (Outside London) Award for 2020. The private wealth team is top ranked in both Chambers and Legal 500, and in 2017 was crowned Legal 500’s Regional Private Client firm of the year.

Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should have drive and a real interest in and enthusiasm for contentious trust matters. Strong experience of contentious trusts will be a definite advantage as will an appetite for business development.  The successful candidate will be a strong team player with good inter-personal skills, have strong academics and high quality experience (typically with a major City or leading national/regional practice) and possess excellent communication and negotiation skills.  First-class support and learning and development opportunities are provided and early responsibility is offered, including an expectation that team members run appropriate cases with minimum supervision.

The Opportunity

Stevens & Bolton is one of the most profitable firms in the south of England, and provides excellent long term career opportunities for ambitious candidates who aspire to partnership. We aim to reward associates with market leading salaries (outside London), and a comprehensive package of benefits.