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Duncan
Accolades
Chambers and PartnersLegal 500
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Duncan Maxwell-Stewart

Called 2007

Duncan is Head of the Family Property & Finance Team. He has a specialist practice exclusively based upon the financial consequences of relationship breakdown (whether following marriage/divorce or unmarried cohabitation).

Duncan's practice is centred on complex financial remedy or trusts of land proceedings usually involving one or more of: businesses, farms, inherited wealth, family trusts, assets held abroad, complex pension arrangements, significant Personal Injury awards, third parties claiming beneficial interests in matrimonial assets, set aside applications and annulment of sham bankruptcies designed to defeat the other spouse's claim. This includes having a strong understanding of the application within the Family Court of the chancery principles.

Listed in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a leading barrister for matrimonial finance and TLATA. The 2020 guides say of him: "Specialises in high-value matrimonial finance disputes arising out of divorce and separation. His ability to grasp facts and get a hold of the case is phenomenal." 

The guides in previous years have said of Duncan: "A born advocate who makes his presence known in the courtroom. He takes a firm but sensible approach to his cases and goes the extra mile", "An excellent all-rounder who is persuasive on his feet", "A creative thinker with a confident demeanour", "an excellent advocate - quick thinking with a keen intellect", "he is very technical and very pleasant to work with. He is great in court and excellent with clients" and "Duncan is a great advocate [who] puts the clients at ease with his calm manner. His client care skills are excellent".

The guides have noted: "He is always a very sensible advocate. He always tries to find a solution but won't take the easy option, he takes the appropriate option", "we try to get Duncan on board, especially on TOLATA cases, with which he is particularly good. The technicalities and procedures can get difficult and it's good to have someone you can rely on", and "clients love him and I'm really impressed by him".

"A rising star at the Leeds Bar." "His ability to grasp facts and get a hold of the case is phenomenal."

Chambers & Partners 2020
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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Family: Property & Finance
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Duncan's family finance practice is focussed on cases involving businesses, farms, inherited wealth, trusts, assets held abroad, large pensions, third parties claiming beneficial interests in matrimonial assets, strike out applications and annulment of sham bankruptcies designed to defeat the other spouse's claim. This includes have a strong understanding of the application within the Family Court of the chancery principles in third party interest cases. He has particular experience of cases where a large part of the asset base has arisen from a significant Personal Injury award with subsequent management through a professional Deputy in the Court of Protection

Duncan advises in writing and conference on all aspects of family property and finances, including on the terms of marital agreements whether pre-nuptial (ante-nuptial), post-nuptial or separation agreements.

His practice in financial work extends to complex cohabitation disputes between unmarried couples under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 ('TOLATA'), financial provision for children pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act, and Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act applications.

A niche part of Duncan's practice is representation within applications brought by the Queen's Proctor for the setting aside of decrees for divorce (nisi or absolute) when obtained by fraud.

Recommendations
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Chambers & Partners 2020

"A rising star at the Bar." "His ability to grasp facts and get a hold of the case is phenomenal."

Legal 500 2020 - Tier 1

"Good with detail and preparation, great with settlement negotiations."

Chambers & Partners 2019

"A born advocate who makes his presence known in the courtroom. He takes a firm but sensible approach to his cases and goes the extra mile." "An excellent all-rounder who is persuasive on his feet."

Legal 500 2018/2019

"A creative thinker with a confident demeanour."

Chambers & Partners 2018

"He is very technical and very pleasant to work with. He is great in court and excellent with clients. We try to get Duncan on board, especially on TOLATA cases, with which he is particularly good. The technicalities and procedures can get difficult and it's good to have someone you can rely on." "Duncan is a great advocate and puts the clients at ease with his calm manner. His client care skills are excellent."

Legal 500 2017

"An excellent advocate - quick thinking with a keen intellect."

Chambers & Partners 2017 

"Clients love him and I'm really impressed by him."

Chambers & Partners 2016

"He is always a very sensible advocate. He always tries to find a solution but won't take the easy option, he takes the appropriate option."

Notable Cases
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H [2012] EWCA Civ 913, in which the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against the first instance decision of Mostyn J on the basis that it had been the product of misunderstanding, mismanagement and misinformation.

Articles & Publications
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Lectures
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Duncan provides lectures for solicitors, mediators, expert witnesses and other interested groups. His lectures are CPD accredited.

Personal Details
Education

BA (Hons) Politics (University of Leeds: 2005), Graduate Diploma in Law (BPP, Leeds: 2006), Bar Vocational Course (BPP, Leeds: 2007), Duncan was awarded a scholarship by Gray's Inn to come to the Bar.

Professional Associations

Family Law Bar Association (FLBA). Duncan is Direct Access qualified.

Duncan Maxwell-Stewart is employed by and works on behalf of Duncan Maxwell-Stewart Ltd.  Duncan Maxwell-Stewart Ltd is a limited company with registered number 09448536 and VAT number 948112031.  The registered address is Duncan Maxwell-Stewart Ltd, Parklane Plowden Chambers, 19 Westgate, Leeds, LS1 2RD.  Duncan Maxwell-Stewart and Duncan Maxwell-Stewart Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Bar Standards Board, for more details visit: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk

Duncan's Latest News
Awards &
Accreditations

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