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James Lister, Senior Associate

James is a specialist trust and estates litigator.


James is a specialist trust and estates litigator. He has particular expertise in domestic disputes, particularly focussing on UK trust and probate claims, in addition to his extensive experience in Court of Protection work. He acts for lay and professional trustees in disputes both between trustees and between trustees and beneficiaries, dealing with allegations of breach of trust, trustee negligence, hostile beneficiary claims and applications for directions. He also acts for beneficiaries in similar disputes.

James also advises on contested probate matters, acting for claimants and defendants in relation to challenges to wills on the grounds of testamentary capacity, undue influence, lack of knowledge and approval and improper execution. He also advises on disputes concerning estate administration, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

He has particular expertise in Court of Protection work, acting for Deputies, Attorneys and other Applicants in relation to a range of matters including disputed deputyship applications, applications to confirm or remove attorneys and applications for statutory wills.

James is also heavily involved in advising on pension litigation matters, where he acts for trustees and employers in relation to their obligations and contested issues. Linked to his contentious trusts' practice, James also advises on professional negligence claims, mostly arising from trust administration, will drafting and tax planning/structuring advice.

James is admitted to practise in England and Wales.

Experience highlights

  • Advising discretionary beneficiaries of a multi-million pound UK trust concerning their rights on disclosure of trust documents in addition to potential claims for removal of trustees
  • Advising the principal employer of a pension scheme in relation to a claim for rectification of the pension scheme trust deed
  • Defending claims against attorneys appointed by P regarding historic transactions, management of P’s affairs and the threatened removal of the attorneys
  • Pursuing an application to the Court of Protection for an urgent statutory will to be made for a seriously ill patient