Penningtons Manches partner and co-head of the firm’s private wealth group, James Stewart, has won the coveted Family Lawyer of the Year category at the inaugural Chambers High Net Worth Awards. The event was held at the historic British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in Piccadilly, Central London, on 22 November 2018.
By bringing together the most influential and successful lawyers and advisers to private wealth in the UK and offshore, the new awards aim to celebrate notable recent achievements including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service. Nominations were based on extensive research for the 2018 edition of Chambers High Net Worth and reflect firms’ and individuals’ pre-eminence in key practice areas. The full shortlist can be viewed here.
In the words of an eminent family QC, ‘James is undoubtedly one of the leaders in family law globally. Not only is he highly respected by his peers, he is loved by his clients and has amazing interpersonal skills in the most difficult of situations. He is also someone who gives back and, despite being extremely busy, finds time to support a number of charitable causes’. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and General Editor of the ‘blue book’, Family Law: A Global Guide (2018, Thomson Reuters), the definitive comparative text in the field of international family law.
The Chambers High Net Worth award is reflective of James’ and his team’s achievements over the last year. He acts in some of the most complex UHNW cases in London, many of which have an international dimension. His recent reported cases include R v K (financial remedies: company assets: add back) (September 2018) and AB v AC (financial remedies: property: pre-acquired wealth) (February 2018). He has also successfully acted for a Middle Eastern family office in the widely reported case of NN v AS & Ors (Part III MFPA: financial remedies: family wealth: joinder of third parties) (November 2018) where family property with a value in excess of £8 million was recovered.
Over the last two months alone, James has co-chaired the IAFL European Chapter education programme which recently took place in Stuttgart, has presented a paper on matrimonial property regimes at the STEP Europe conference in Luxembourg and, most recently, has spoken on a panel on family governance, ‘How not to make a family crisis a business crisis’, at the IAFL regional conference in Dubai.
Outside his day to day practice, James chairs the annual Legal Dinner, which takes place at The Dorchester and has become one of the highlights and best attended charitable events in London’s legal calendar. The 2018 event raised over £70,000 for Ireland’s leading peacebuilding charity Cooperation Ireland.
Congratulating James on his success, Jane Craig, who heads the family law team at Penningtons Manches, said: “I am thrilled at the news of James’ award. It is thoroughly deserved and reflects his dynamism, warm personality, unparalleled expertise in international family law matters and contribution to the wider community. It is also a testament to the strength of our family law team as a whole and the firm’s comprehensive private wealth offering.”