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James Austen

Senior Associate  |  Charles Russell Speechlys
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Family business governance
Tax

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Securing the rectification of a defective (home-drafted) Deed of Variation in the Chancery Division at 48 hours’ notice, avoiding a significant tax charge on the original beneficiary. As originally presented, the client’s application was deficient and stood no chance of success. Being familiar with the relevant authorities, I updated the claim and applied to rectify the procedural issues. Following oral submissions, the Court was persuaded to make the rectification Order sought.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Study hard, and make an effort to make friends everywhere: you never know where your next referral will come from. Good technical skills and a wide network of contacts are essential. But, fortunately, the work is fascinating and the profession very sociable, so neither should be too difficult!

What is your favourite quote?

“No, no, no,” Margaret Thatcher, Amy Winehouse.