Julia Abrey

Partner | London

Julia is a partner in the private client and tax team, focusing on elder law.

She is rated as ‘incredibly capable’ in Legal 500 2017. She has a particular interest in international and cross border mental capacity issues. She was past chair of STEP’s multi jurisdictional Mental Capacity special interest group and a regular lecturer on elder law topics.

A contributor to a number of books including the Law Society’s Elderly Client Handbook, she is a consultant editor of and contributor to Tolley’s Finance and Law for the Older Client and a member of the editorial board of Lexis Nexis Elder Law Journal. She is also one of the two UK members of the US National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Inc. and a past Chair of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Other specialisms include probate, succession and post death planning.

Julia was awarded the ‘People’s Choice’ award for Trusted Advisor of the Year at 2015/16 STEP Private Client Awards. Click here to watch the winners clip and the interview with Julia.

Secretary Therese Botten

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The ‘incredibly capable’ Julia Abrey has notable expertise in representing elderly clients in mental capacity cases for the Court of Protection. She is widely considered to be ‘an expert in that field,’ and is ‘well respected for the work she does at the national and international level.’ Sources appreciate that ‘she comes to the fore with a lot of knowledge about the latest cases in the Court of Protection and a real sympathy and empathy for the clients in this area.’

Chambers UK 2017, London
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Julia ‘knows everything and gets everything right’.

Legal 500 UK 2016
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‘Her work in relation to elderly clients generally is marvellous,’ while clients speak highly of her ‘commercial but sensitive manner’ and ‘solution-driven’ approach.

Chambers UK 2018, London
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Abrey heads the elder law team, which has significant experience in dealing with international financial assets in a Court of Protection context. She is ‘very committed’ and is ‘a leading light in this area’; she gives ‘straightforward, robust and caring advice’ and is ‘plainly very experienced in this area both in terms of the law and the practical problems that can arise for people later on in life’.

Legal 500 UK, 2017
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The very pragmatic and sensitive Julia Abrey co-heads the elder law team with Stephen Richards.

Legal 500 UK, 2018

Admissions

Publications

Memberships

England and Wales, 1987

Sweet & Maxwell’s Practical Will Precedents, the Living Wills Section of Volume 42 of Butterworths Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and the Law Society’s Elderly Client Handbook

Tolleys Finance and Law for the Older Client and on the editorial board of Elder Law Journal (Lexis Nexis), consultant editor of and contributor

Julia is a contributor to International Protection of Adults published by Oxford University Press - 2015

Past chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Mental Capacity Special Interest Group

Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Inc. (USA)

Me in a minute

I became an elder client lawyer on my wedding day in 1984

I act for older people and their families, friends, advisers, trustees and carers. Many of my clients lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves. I do a lot of work with the Court of Protection which looks after the interests of people who are no longer able to manage their financial affairs or make decisions about their health and welfare themselves.

I became an elder client lawyer on my wedding day in 1984. I was waiting outside the church on a very cold December day when my aunt Mary arrived at the very last minute. In her early 60s, she was wearing a summer dress and sandals. My mother, looking at my aunt, commented ‘there’s something wrong with Aunty Mary’. She was right; it was early onset dementia and my aunt died within five years. The confusion, fear and uncertainty which her children - still all in their 20s and with no expertise in legal matters generally or mental capacity in particular - underwent over those five years in trying to set up the right legal and care arrangements was piteous to see. Realising, as I started my career, that older people needed special types of advice delivered in a special way I threw myself with a passion into developing elder law.

I advise many individual clients for whom capacity is beginning to be an issue and support their families and carers in putting the right arrangements in place for the future. I also advise families and carers where, sadly, it is too late and the person with capacity problems can no longer decide for themselves. The Court of Protection is a place where we go to find the best solution for everyone.

I have a particular interest in advising on elder law and capacity cross border. The increasing internationalism of families and wealth generally means that making sure that arrangements are in place in all the countries where people live and have their assets is really important, especially where laws may differ. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with governments in Asia and the Caribbean in helping them update their laws.

In my spare time I have two passions; the island of Barbados and singing in choirs. A member of church choirs in England and Barbados I also sing in a choir performing 17th century psalms accompanied by period instruments.

Education


Languages


  • English

Dates


Joined

1985
Partner

1993

Recognition


London

20 Old Bailey,

London,

EC4M 7AN

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