Stephen is a partner in the trust, estate and inheritance disputes team.He advises a range of clients (private individuals, beneficiaries, trustees, executors, deputies, attorneys and charities) in relation to trust, succession/inheritance and Court of Protection disputes, often involving international and crossborder issues.
He regularly advises on challenges to the validity of wills, issues of construction and rectification of wills and deeds, constructive trust and proprietary estoppel claims, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and professional negligence claims involving estate planning, trust and succession issues.
He has particular expertise in proceedings before the Court of Protection, where he frequently acts for both applicants and respondents in applications for statutory wills, lifetime gifts, contested registrations of powers of attorney, deputyships and health and welfare decisions. Stephen regularly advises in relation to investigations by the Office of the Public Guardian.
Stephen has spent time at the Official Solicitor's Department on secondment.
Throughout our dealings with him, Stephen proved himself to be extremely professional, knowledgeable and efficient - and it was his expertise that ultimately enabled us to recover from a messy situation, which had rumbled on for years [with another law firm], and to wrap up in a matter of weeks.
Withers' service and advice has been faultless. From the start of Stephen's involvement we felt in completely safe hands. He guided us through the process very well and more importantly, communicated with us regularly.
Stephen and colleagues guided us gently and efficiently through the process...it felt like at each stage there was a new legal issue to learn about, but having expert and understanding support from Withers meant that we took the best courses of action open to us and reached an amicable and fare outcome without having to go to court.
We could not possibly hope to have been better advised. I had dinner with my parents afterwards, who looked as though the weight of the world had been removed from their shoulders. It was lovely to see. No client could have asked for more than you gave us.
It was a great comfort to know that we were not only being advised by an expert with excellent technical knowledge of the specific legalities in our case, but someone who had the humanity to offer the best and quickest way to reach a settlement, saving us time, anguish and cost.
He knows the area really well and has a real feel for what a judge is or isn't going to be interested in, and the best way of getting points across to the judge.
His dedication to the client and their aims and needs is second to none, he really goes above and beyond the call of duty in getting the best possible result for his client.
Stephen Richards is great with clients and really knows his stuff. He is incredibly well liked, genuinely wants to resolve disputes to move matters forward, forward thinking, very commercial and very analytical.
Stephen is a very strong litigator and acts for a range of affluent clients on major trust and succession disputes. He also deals with Court of Protection matters and is recognised as good when you need someone to build bridges.
Stephen Richards is at the top of his game’; ‘if you want a solicitor who will put you in a strong position to settle your dispute with minimum publicity and get you a great financial deal, he is the person you want’.
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