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Steven Kempster

Partner  |  Withers

England and Wales


International trust disputes
Cross-border probate disputes
Asset protection advice


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

Over the past 12 months I have resolved some fascinating and very challenging cases out of court, much to the clients' satisfaction of having avoided a long and public family dispute, but unfortunately this means I cannot say anything about them! Particular highlights have included a number of cases where I have been working with our private client and litigation colleagues around the world, from our offices in California to Asia and also back in Europe (and in one case this involved joining up a team in the US, Hong Kong and Switzerland).

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

If you are on the private client advisery side, try to get some trusts and estates litigation experience. It will hugely improve your skills and advice to clients in both areas.
Vice versa, trusts and estates litigators should make sure they have some experience of advisery work and setting up structures, so that they understand how and why they are set up in different ways, which can be very relevant when litigating or preventing litigation over a trust.

What is your favourite quote?

"The floggings will continue until morale improves". Attributed to Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty I think, but I had it on a poster I brought back from a visit to a prison in Australia. It was framed and hung in my office, which may have caused some concern for the trainees who sat with me.