Simon Stevenson

Simon Stevenson Profile

Simon was called to the Bar in 1999 and is a Member of Lincolns Inn.

Specialisations

Chancery:

  • Agriculture, Planning, Compulsory Purchase, Footpaths
  • Constructive Trusts, TLATA, Charities, Estate Planning
  • Land Law, Boundaries, Rights of Way, Options, Covenants, Greens and Commons
  • Wills, Trusts, Probate, Inheritance Act Claims, Intestacy

Qualifications

  • BA, MA (Cantab), MA DPhil (Oxon), PGDL (City)

Profile

Simon was previously a university lecturer and practised in London before moving to Leeds in 2000.  His specialism is Chancery work and he focuses on property disputes of every kind.  Simon also undertakes non-contentious work, including advising and drafting. 

Simon acted for the defendant adult stepchildren in two recently reported cases brought by bereaved partners under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. In Barron v Woodhead and Waite [2009] 1 FLR 747, a separated husband of the deceased was made provision limited to a small flat and removal costs, while in Webster v Webster & Others [2009] WTLR 339; [2009] 1 FLR 1240, the bereaved cohabitee of many years standing was given the quasi-matrimonial home outright but the children received the deceased's large shareholding in a successful business.

In another case involving family conflict, Simon appeared for the successful first defendant in Veitch and Veitch v (1) Buxton and (2) Buxton (Chancery Division, High Court at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 8thApril 2014).  In this case elderly parents (one of whom was now unable to give evidence) had claimed £105,000 from their daughter and her ex husband, the parents alleging a loan or interest in the marital home which arose in 2006-7 when the parents had paid to extend the defendants’ property in exchange for a licence to occupy.  The defendants said the parents had always intended a gift so as to avoid care home fees and/or inheritance tax.  Falling out, the parents bought another mortgage-free home where they had earlier lived in 2007, left abruptly after arguments but told their daughter to forget the money.  A parental loan was first alleged much later (in 2010) during negotiations for the defendants’ divorce - which to the knowledge of all parties was being concluded on the assumption of parental gift.  Another 2 years passed before parental proceedings were commenced pleading proprietary estoppel or constructive trust, while the facts showed that parents regularly wintered abroad and seemed to suffer no material detriment from their earlier course of action.  Dismissing the parents’ claim, the Vice Chancellor found there had been no exclusion of the parents, that they had left voluntarily and that a gift intended out of love and affection for their daughter had been made in 2006/7, albeit that the parents or one of them later sought to change their minds.  

Simon has also acted for the claimants in two boundary and rights of way disputes of 2010: Waggott v Palin (Land Registry Adjudication - indemnity sought from the Land Registry), and Jollands v Ashton (referred to the Court of Appeal from Lincoln County Court before settlement), and an appeal from HMLR to the High Court in a case of alleged right of way (Davis v Bailey and Tibble, 2013).

Simon is an accredited mediator (Alternative Dispute Resolution).

Simon accepts work under the Public Access Scheme for direct instructions.

Publications

Westlaw Insight Articles :

  • Boundaries
  • Curtilage
  • Footpaths
  • Outline Planning Permission
  • Disseisin

Lecturing

  • Exercise of trustee discretion
  • Professional negligence
  • Business tenancies
  • Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning

Other Notable Cases

In Cunningham -v- Armitage (Sheffield County Court, 2006) Simon appeared for the successful Defendant when an 88-year old who for 14 years had lived rent-free then sought (in reliance on Goodman v Gallant) to sever the joint tenancy in a former council house so as to leave sale proceeds to his son by a first marriage; the court refused sale, finding that there had been undue influence and that the intending testator was bound by a prior oral agreement made with the funding stepdaughter, that she should have the house upon the testator's death. There was a different outcome in Adekunle v Ritchie [2007] WTLR 1505 where the court applied Stack v Dowden, bypassing the doctrine that equity should follow the law.

Disputes as to expectations under Wills have formed a large part of Simon's recent caseload. Significant cases include Brown -v- Blackburn (High Court, 2005), a case involving disappointed sons who might have been entitled on intestacy, sought (but failed to achieve) revocation of probate on the basis of the deceased's failure to complete a will in accord with s.9 (c) of the Wills Act 1837; Simon appeared for the beneficiaries named in the will, citing the CA case of Sherrington v Sherrington (2005) in the course of argument.

In a 4-day trial, Burgess, Newton, Hough -v- Lloyd (High Court, 2005), Simon appeared for the successful Claimants (the beneficiaries under a will), seeking to overturn sale of a piece of land made by a testator in his mid-80s who, as the court found, was suffering from moderate to severe Alzheimer's at the time of the transaction and received no sufficient independent advice from his solicitors; psychiatric experts were called by both sides.

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Charity Law Association
  • Statute Law Society
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