Paul Hewitt

Partner | London

Paul is a partner in the trust and succession disputes team.

He is described as a ‘star litigator’ and ‘a formidable opponent’.

Paul specialises in all types of trust and probate disputes. This includes claims about the validity, construction and rectification of wills and trusts, Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims, removal of executors and trustees, and contentious estate and trust administrations.

The Court has appointed him administrator in a number of contentious estates. A barrister interviewed by the leading independent legal directories commented: ‘if I were a client with a contentious trusts or probate claim, I would, without hesitation, go to Paul’.

Paul also advises on contentious Court of Protection matters, both financial, and health and welfare, involving those unable to manage their own affairs. These include statutory will applications and disputes over the appointment or conduct of attorneys and deputies. Occasionally he acts as a ‘litigation friend’.

He also advises on professional negligence claims arising out of trust and estate administration, and failed estate and tax planning.

He heads the firm’s work for charities and not-for-profit organisations on legacy income with Stephen Richards.

Secretary Abigail Joyce

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Paul provided clear, intelligible advice and answered questions readily and accurately, and the trustee body was content that he be our lead contact throughout the months of this contentious issue. The Royal Society is grateful for the assiduous work that Paul and Katie Emerson put in to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

Dr Julie Maxton, Executive Director - The Royal Society
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The ‘outstanding’ Paul Hewitt is widely regarded as a ‘brilliant and innovative litigator’ with a particular focus on legacy and trustee disputes. One impressed source calls Hewitt ‘effervescent and full of ideas.’

Chambers UK 2018, London
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‘He’s incredibly experienced and knowledgeable over a broad range of probate issues and he’s a very good negotiator.’

Chambers UK 2018, London
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The ‘very talented’ Paul Hewitt, is ‘a master tactician committed to his clients’.

Legal 500 UK, 2017
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As a New Yorker newly resident in London, I have found Paul Hewitt of enormous assistance during the challenging time after my husband’s passing. Paul’s expertise, high morals, and absolutely peerless work ethic were a strong foundation and comfort during an extremely difficult and unsettling time. He and his team worked tirelessly to ensure my well-being and future on all levels when faced with hostile and aggressive opposition. I am deeply, deeply grateful to all of them.

Paulina Moggach
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Over the years we have come to rely on Paul Hewitt and his colleagues for their proactive and value-added legal advice deeply rooted in their thorough understanding of our work. I have always found their style and approach to be responsive, effective and efficient with the expertise and experience to provide the highest level of legal service allowing us to make informed decisions.

Miss Mojdeh Zand, Head of Legacy Administration - RSPB
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I went to Withers because I was told they were the best in this field. I was not disappointed. It’s not just about good lawyering, although that of course is vital. It’s about working with us and listening to find out the full circumstances of the issue. I found Paul Hewitt and Natasha Stourton to be sympathetic and practical. They didn’t over promise and gave us a fair and realistic view of our chances. I felt like we were all a team with a common goal.

Peter Burgess
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Paul Hewitt handles a variety of trust and probate disputes and is described as a robust litigator who knows how to get the best for his clients. He is an excellent lawyer who is particularly strong on the domestic probate side. He is a calm and reassuring presence for many HNW clients.

Chambers HNW, 2018, London
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Paul is a well known star of the contentious private client arena. There are very few solicitors in this field who can match his experience, depth of knowledge, tactical insight or judgment. He is one of my favourite solicitors to work with.

Citywealth Leaders List 2015
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Hewitt is noted for his work on international disputes, and is praised for his ‘very down-to-earth approach, as well as his great commercial instincts.’ ‘He is very impressive and he always has a great grasp of his cases. He is always well prepared and handles sensitive clients very well.’

Chambers HNW 2017

Clients

Track record

Admissions

Publications

Memberships

Talks

In Wells v Chorus Law and Others [2018], Paul Hewitt and Alexandra Dix acted for the successful defendant in the first ‘child of a single parent family’ 1975 Act claim, ensuring that the Judge was not persuaded the claimant was ever part of a family and therefore was not able to bring a claim. Click here to read our briefing note on the case.

Paul and Deborah Nicholls represent Prince Mukkaram Jah, His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, in a dispute over funds held at Natwest Bank for over 50 years (the subject of the House of Lords decision Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad [1958] AC 379), involving the governments of India and Pakistan. The High Court decided in Pakistan v Natwest and Ors [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch) that the Nizam’s claim to the funds may proceed. The trial is due to be heard in June 2019.

In Macmillan Cancer Support v Hayes and Another [2017] EWHC 3110 (Ch) Paul and Julia Schtulman succeeded in ensuring that relief from forfeiture was granted by the Judge notwithstanding that the husband killed his wife in tragic circumstances. Click here to read our briefing note on the case.

England and Wales, 1997

‘Inheritance Act Claims’, Law Society - second edition, co-author, 2017

‘Probate Disputes and Remedies’, Jordans third edition - March 2014, co-author

‘Strength of Will’, Law Society’s PS Magazine - May 2013, co-author

Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

Law Society Private Client Section

Charity Law Association

International Association of Young Lawyers

Solicitors for the Elderly

Contentious Trust and Probate Ceremony - James v James - 8 February 2018

The Law Society Private Client Cross Border Conference 2016, Cross Border Contentious Probate

Law Society, Will drafting post Illot v Mitson - 9 October 2015

Me in a minute

I love the challenge of my specialist area

I wanted to be a lawyer since I was about ten even though I don’t think we knew any lawyers. As my wife and colleagues know only too well I enjoy a good debate and if I hadn’t gone into the law, I would most probably have pursued a career in politics.

I love the challenge of my specialist area. Disputes about wills and trusts require detailed knowledge of the law but they also require strategic planning, detective work and understanding of the family emotions that often drive discord, as well as commercial common sense.

Probably my highest profile case is acting for His Exalted Highness the VIII Nizam of Hyderabad over the ownership of £35 million his grandfather deposited with NatWest bank in 1948 (the money is also claimed by the governments of India and Pakistan).

The case I am proudest of is Burgess v Hawes - a finely balanced probate dispute where our preparation tipped the balance in a winner takes all scenario.

I act for a whole variety of charities, as well as individuals, some high profile. I am very proud of my record in resolving the vast majority of disputes without putting clients through the risk, stress and expense of going to court.

Education


Languages


  • English

Dates


Joined

1998
Partner

2003

Recognition


London

20 Old Bailey,

London,

EC4M 7AN

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