Emma Holland is a senior associate in the Trust and Probate Litigation department. She is recognised by Chambers High Net Worth 2019 as an ‘Associate to watch’, by Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation’ lawyer, by Spear’s as a ‘Young Turk’ and has previously been ranked in ePrivateclient’s ‘Top 35 under 35’ private client practitioners. Here she shares her career story.
I act for high net worth individuals, as well as trustees, companies and charities where disputes arise involving trusts or estates. I also do Court of Protection work. I joined Stewarts in May 2017 after eight years at Withers.
I had intended to be a non-contentious private client lawyer until the last seat of my training contract when I sat in the trust and probate litigation team and realised that I have a natural tendency to be argumentative!
I spent a year in Italy as part of my degree, and then six months in Milan during my training contract. Consequently, I had a lot of exposure to matters with an Italian aspect, which I think led to me doing a lot of offshore trust work at a relatively early stage in my career. Such matters are often coordinated from London despite involving lawyers in various other jurisdictions. In addition to dealing with proceedings here in London, our team is currently dealing with issues which are before the courts in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Gibraltar and Jersey.
Since joining Stewarts, I have joined AIJA, the International Association of Young Lawyers, which is a brilliant forum for exchanging ideas and widening your network of foreign contacts. Having completed an advanced Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) certificate in trust disputes, I am now undertaking the essay route to full STEP membership so that I can use the ‘TEP’ designation.
Previously, I was working for a relatively large team, but when I joined Stewarts James Price had only joined to establish the team the previous summer. I have really enjoyed the challenges of helping to contribute to the direction and infrastructure of a small but growing team. It feels like a big achievement that after such a short period of time our team is band 3 listed in The Legal 500 and band 4 listed in Chambers, as well as having been nominated at the Chambers High Net Worth Awards for the Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year in both 2018 and 2019 (and for the Emerging Practice award in 2018).
To someone getting involved in trust and probate litigation, I would advise not to lose sight of what truly matters to the client. Although the issues arising in these cases often require a cerebral approach, because of the highly personal nature of the disputes, emotion is often the main driver for the people involved. Helping your client to stand back from these emotions and see the bigger picture (and the risks involved) is where you can really add value.
To view Emma’ s profile, please click here.
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