"Jak is tenacious at fighting his client’s corner and has a thorough understanding of the law. He is well respected by his peers."
"Jak was just fantastic for my claim, he gave the best advice and was supportive throughout."
"Jak was empathetic to my situation and really approachable, a patient lovely kind gentleman who put me at ease immediately."
"We would highly recommend the company and in particular, Jak Ward, who was excellent. We are convinced that our case would not have been successful were it not for someone as tenacious as Jak."
Jak has dedicated his practise to contentious trusts and probate work, and is a full member of the Association of Contentious Trusts & Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) and the Association of Lifetime Lawyers. Before specialising, Jak gleaned a wealth of experience in general commercial and civil litigation. He is recognised by the Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner in the East Midlands region for Contentious Trusts and Probate work. His clients describe him as an “able and resilient litigator”, with “strong expertise”, and is “tenacious at fighting his client’s corner and has a thorough understanding of the law”.
Jak has particular experience in matters relating to:
- disputes regarding the interpretation, construction, rectification or validity of a will;
- disagreements or inquiries into the administration of an estate or trust;
- financial provision claims (as claimant and defendant) under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975;
- disputes over co-owned property and trusts of land, especially those with an agricultural aspect;
- professional negligence actions, particularly concerning the drafting of wills and proper administration of an estate;
- applications for the removal of executors and trustees; and
- contentious Court of Protection matters, including revocation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, financial abuse applications, and deprivation of liberty damages claims.
Jak regularly appears in the Business & Property Courts division of the High Court of Justice, and has handled reported cases appearing in the Court of Appeal. Jak acts for private client individuals, companies and charities. Jak has also been appointed by the court as a deputy in Court of Protection cases, and as professional estate administrator in cases of extreme disagreement. Jak receives instructions nationally and from overseas.
Jak will aim to give thorough and robust legal advice, as well as pragmatic advice and practical tips on ultimately achieving his client's objectives. He is a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a means of settling disputes, but if such platforms fail then he is equipped with the know-how to litigate cases through the court system.
Career highlights include:
- negotiating a settlement of a complex family trust concerning three farms worth a combined £4.3m in the South Derbyshire area;
- acting in the Court of Appeal case, Begum v Ahmed  EWCA Civ 1794, which concerned an application for permission to bring an IPFDA claim after the expiry of the section 4 limitation;
- successfully representing the claimant in the High Court case of Sismey v Salandron  Lex 209, which is the first England & Wales High Court case to consider the interplay between section 11 anti-avoidance applications under the IPFDA and contracts to leave property by will;
- successfully defending a claim in want of capacity and presumed undue influence relating to a lifetime gift of £200,000, in the case of Blythe v Blythe  EWHC 1085 (Ch);
- achieving an order for the removal of a recalcitrant executor of an estate worth in excess of £1m; and
- defending at trial a will challenge based on lack of testamentary capacity, relating to an estate worth £1m.