I am the Regional Managing Partner in Chichester, and I work with clients to resolve disputes about Wills, Estates or Trusts. I advise individual beneficiaries and professional trustees or executors and can offer innovative solutions enabling both private individuals or trustees with a cash poor trust to fund expert legal advice.
I have expertise in dealing with:
- Disputes between Trustees and Beneficiaries or between Executors and the Beneficiaries
- Disputes over trust assets and estate assets
- Issues over the distribution of a trust asset or estate assets
- Guidance for Trustees or Executors
- Property ownership Trust disputes
- Claims against estates or Trusts
- Disputes over the validity of Wills
I am also an expert in disputes involving the affairs of the elderly and vulnerable such as financial abuse cases. Where previous advisors, financial or legal, have made mistakes I can assist in the rectification of the situation and any claim for compensation.
"Paula is who you want on your side as she's efficient and sees straight to the issues and achieving the best results for her clients... She's very sensible. She's realistic and good at communicating with the client. She knows what's realistic and gets the client to understand why it's realistic." - Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2022 (Leading Individual - band 1)
Top Recommended Contentious Trust Lawyer, Spears 500 2021
"Paula James is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to deal with." "Paula James has the experience. I refuse to believe that there is anything Paula has not seen and dealt with before." - Legal 500, 2021 (Leading Individual)
"Paula James & Bethan Smith helped and guided me through an unpleasant dispute regarding my Mother's Will. Their good advice and endless patience has finally brought about a happy outcome for me and my nieces." -5* Trustpilot review
"Professional, friendly and accurate advice and information at all times. The case was prolonged and complicated but with the help and advice afforded me by all concerned, an acceptable conclusion was achieved. I would have no hesitation in using Irwin Mitchell as my legal representatives should the need ever arise in the future. Thank you all." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Paula James and her team have worked tirelessly and at all times professionally, throughout what was for me a difficult time. I felt confident and at ease with her and was kept informed at all times as to the progress of the case. Paula showed me compassion when I wobbled, but had the knowledge, experience and tenacity to fight my corner. I would wholeheartedly recommend Paula James at Irwin Mitchell." - 5* Trustpilot review
"The practical, approachable and sensible Paula James leads the team" and is "a very savvy litigator" – Legal 500, 2016
What inspired you to get into law?
I embarked on a career in law following a year in the USA working for law firms involved in disaster claims. I enjoyed the investigative side in the search for evidence and the testing of the opponent’s evidence and my tenacious nature propelled me into a career putting my client’s best case forward and reaching the best possible solutions to a dispute.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The success of a difficult or long fought out case is extremely rewarding particularly when exceeding our client’s expectations both in terms of excellent service levels and financial compensation.
What do you do away from the office?
I enjoy sailing dinghies in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester harbour and occasional yachting in the Solent. In the winter I love skiing.