Roman Kubiak > Hugh James > Cardiff, Wales > Lawyer Profile

Hugh James
Two Central Square
CARDIFF
CF10 1FS
Wales
Roman Kubiak photo

Work Department

Contested Wills, Trusts and Estates

Position

Roman Kubiak is a partner and head of the contested wills, trusts and estates team.

Roman is responsible for formulating and implementing the department’s business strategy and day-to-day operations, in line with the firm’s overall strategy, alongside running a core caseload of complex, high value and cross-border will, trust and estate disputes.

He has been integral to the growth and development of the department and his initiatives have seen it gain recognition as a top-ranked department for this type of work in the UK’s leading legal directories.

Roman acts for high profile and high net worth individuals, financial institutions, professional trustees and executors and charities.

Roman also manages the relationships with a number of our key clients, partners, introducers and professionals in the industry.

He advises across the whole spectrum of private client litigation, with a particular focus on high value, complex and cross-border disputes including: trust disputes, breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees; will disputes, particularly those with an international element; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and claims for equitable relief under proprietary estoppel, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.

Roman has played a key role in developing the firm’s offering within the charities sector. He has experience of advising charity clients on contentious trust and probate matters including will disputes and claims for financial provision, construction claims and ex-gratia payment requests.

Roman has advised the partner of a high profile celebrity with an estate valued at £100m+ in relation to a claim under the Inheritance Act, and associated application to seek interim relief, and to prove a lost will.

He has also acted for the beneficiaries of a £120m Jersey-based trust with underlying companies in various jurisdictions, in claims for undue influence, breach of trust and to set aside transfers of overseas assets.

Roman secured a positive settlement for a spouse in claims under the Inheritance Act, to set aside a will by reason of lack of capacity, lack of knowledge and approval and undue influence and by reason of a constructive trust involving assets split across England, France, Switzerland, Austria and Jersey.

He has also acted for the claimant in a breach of trust claim valued at circa £2million in which the breaches span over 20 years.

Roman successfully represented a farmer in relation to a claim over land under proprietary estoppel all the way to trial.

Roman is a full member of STEP and ACTAPS, having successfully completed both diplomas. He is also a member of the Institute of Legacy Management and the Charity Law Association.

He holds the STEP Advanced Certificates in Trust Disputes and Cross-Border Estates, receiving a distinction for the latter.

Roman regularly comments on leading issues within the field of contested wills, trusts and estates. As well as providing seminars, webinars and legal updates to professionals, he authors a regular contentious probate update for the Law Society’s Private Client section.

He has been quoted in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, CityAM, The Telegraph, This is Money and yourmoney.com and has also appeared on radio.

Career

Career history

  • Trained: Martin Smalley & Co. Nottingham
  • Moved to Withy King LLP on qualification as a solicitor into the Inheritance and Trust Disputes Department
  • Joined Hugh James: 2012
  • Associate at Hugh James: 2013
  • Senior Associate at Hugh James: 2015
  • Partner: 2016

Languages

Polish

Memberships

Education

  • Keele University – Law with English (Dual Honours) – 2:1 LLB (Hons)
  • Nottingham Law School – LPC
  • ACTAPS – Diploma (CTAPS)
  • STEP – Diploma (TEP)
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes

Leisure

Mountain biking, cooking, listening to music, guitar-playing.

Lawyer Rankings

Wales > Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate

At Hugh James, the ‘technically astute and commercially awareMatthew Evans heads up the firm’s overarching private wealth group which has the strength-in-depth to handle a significant range and volume of work in the space and is noted for its ‘professionalism, empathy and fantastic approach to their clients’. Eleanor Evans is ‘approachable and friendly‘ and spearheads the firm’s thriving trusts and estates administration sub group which continues to grow its client base and includes a raft of institutional clients, including high street banks. Gareth Wisdom also handles probate work although he is principally focused on developing the firm’s volume will writing service, and in this regard he has successfully secured some notable mandates for a number of high street and private banks. The ‘knowledgeable, hardworking and tough’ Roman Kubiak provides clients with a market-leading contentious probate offering which transcends geographical borders and includes a considerable flow of work form outside of Wales. Senior associate Austin Gill  is ‘efficient, resourceful and compassionate’ and has a particular focus on helping clients structure lifetime gifts in an IHT efficient manner.

Wales > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate

(Leading individuals)

Roman KubiakHugh James

Technically very able’ and appreciated for its ability to ‘handle difficult and emotional issues with ease’, Hugh James retains its position at the pinacle of the market for contested estates and trusts in Wales. Much of the credit for the success of the firm in the area can be attributed to ‘knowledgeable and hardworking’ team leader Roman Kubiak  who leads by example and has effectively broadened the scope of the practice to include specialisms in offshore disputes, as well as an increasing amount of mandates for celebrities and high-net-worth individuals. As well as handling core contentious probate work, an area that ‘technically astute and commercially-oriented’ private wealth head Matthew Evans  is also noted (including in relation to proprietary estoppel work), the firm also continues to grow its presence in relation to charity-related legacy disputes. At an associate level, although he is still relatively junior, Oliver Black  is already impressing clients ‘with his comprehensive knowledge of the facts’, including on cases relating to a lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.

Wales > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

A sizeable and increasing amount of Hugh James‘ work in the space, directly flows from the firm’s market-leading private wealth and wills/trusts offering, with both Matthew Evans  and Roman Kubiak  regularly engaged for charities as beneficiaries in legacy administration and disputes. On the non-contentious front, under the guidance of Gareth Wisdom, the firm is one of the partners to Macmillan Cancer Support providing supporters of the cancer charity to  receive a “free” writing service. Leveraging the firm’s vast roster of housing association clients, the team also remains very active in the social housing space, with work touching on pure charity-related guidance, in addition to advice on their development and employment needs.

London > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate

(Firms to watch)

Hugh James is a ‘very impressive firm, recently established in London and doing great things there’ under the leadership of Roman Kubiak who ‘combines strong and confident technical skills with a friendly and personable nature that makes him stand out from many of his competitors’.