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Jonny Scholes

Manchester, United Kingdom

11 Testimonials
7 Case studies
1 Articles

Summary

Practice Areas:

  • Contested Probate
  • Dispute resolution
  • Professional Negligence
  • Private Client Litigation
  • Breach of Restrictive Covenants
  • Disputed Wills
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Contested Probate
  • Contract Disputes
Pannone Corporate LLP
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I work in the Dispute Resolution Group at Pannone Corporate LLP where I am a Senior Associate. Pannone Corporate was formed in February 2014 following the acquisition of the majority of the commercial practice of Pannone LLP. I previously worked at Pannone LLP from 2005, having completed my training contract there and worked my way up to Associate level in 2012. I became a Senior Associate in 2015.

In my work I strive to help my clients achieve positive results in their disputes in the most cost effective way possible. I act for a diverse client base of both commercial clients and private clients and I provide pragmatic advice to meet the specific needs of the individual client, whether they are a business, or an individual with no previous litigation experience.

I have been described as being “very diligent, thorough and detailed” and that I provide “constant intelligent advice on how to move forward”. My clients have commented that I am “very friendly, helpful and approachable” and I make my clients feel “comfortable and at ease” throughout the litigation process.

My practice covers a wide range of areas, including both private client and commercial work. I have a particular specialism in the field of contentious trusts and probate work and am acutely aware of the difficulty and stresses, both emotionally and financially, of being embroiled in such a dispute. I have a wide range of experience in acting in such disputes for executors, beneficiaries, trustees and also individuals bringing claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. My experience in this area also covers contested will disputes, rectification of wills, the removal of trustees and/or executors, conflicts over the construction of a trust, and breach of trust claims. I am a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the Manchester Law Society Private Client Committee and I have written a number of articles and often deliver seminars in this practice area.

I have experience in acting for clients before the issue of proceedings, and also once claims have been issued at the courts. The majority of cases I deal with settle before trial and I have been involved in a number of mediations and fully support the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Within my practice I also regularly deal with contract disputes, professional negligence cases, partnership disputes and breaches of restrictive covenant cases. I am a member of the Association of Partnership Practitioners (APP) and I am on the North West Panel of the APP.

Once instructed for my clients I adopt a collaborative approach to achieving a successful outcome. It is vital for me to understand my clients’ aims and objectives and I take great time in ensuring that I do so that I can work with the client to achieve a positive outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible. I also consider it essential that my clients are kept fully up to date on matters and I am very conscious that receiving information about their case is of paramount importance to my clients.

Previous Employment

Pannone LLP2005 - 2014

Trainee Solicitor, Solicitor, then Associate

Experience

Throughout my practice I have gained experience in a wide variety of disputes at various stages, from pre-action to trial, with the majority achieving terms of settlement at some point in between.

My experience includes advising clients prior to the issue of proceedings, guiding them through the litigation process, acting on injunction cases, attending numerous mediations and settlement meetings and preparing for trial.

The case studies set out below give a more in-depth indication of the type of work I have undertaken.

Education

Manchester Grammar School

Secondary School

1991 - 1999

3 A-Levels, Grade A and 11 GCSEs

Oxford University

University

1999 - 2002

Jurisprudence – law degree

Oxford University

University

2003 - 2004

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

LPC

Manchester Metropolitan University

2004 - 2005

Legal Practice Course, Distinction

Testimonials

Legal 500 - 2016

The Legal 500 in 2016 ranked Pannone Corporate LLP in tier 1 in the area of Contentious Trusts and Probate, being one of only two firms ranked in the top tier in the North West. Jonny Scholes was described as being "very efficient".

Mr T (breach of warranty and breach of indemnity claim)

During my commercial dispute I was referred by numerous colleagues to use the Dispute Resolution services of Nicola Marchant and Jonny Scholes of Pannone LLP as they were regarded as the leaders in this field. I can truly say that after eighteeen months of working with them I can see why. Their service was very professional, detailed and efficient throughout the entire process. They explained all procedures and costs at the outset and also throughout the process as matters progressed, thereby keeping me fully informed not only on the legal and commercial issues involved but also on costings. All matters were dealt with in a timely and cost effective manner.Nicola and Jonny were very friendly, helpful, approachable, and easy to contact at any time during the day or evening. I was also very impressed by their performance team at the mediation stage. They employed strategies which helped me to gain a successful resolution in my commercial dispute and I am very grateful for their help. In summary, they provided a very personal and professional service and I would recommend them to anybody who needs to resolve a dispute.

Mr R (contract dispute which settled at mediation)

Of Jonny Scholes – “I would like to thank you for yesterday and in particular for all of your very diligent, thorough and detailed work over the last few months.  This really helps us have a good grasp of what we were involved in.

Mr T (long-standing business client dealing with contract disputes and breach of restrictive covenant cases)

We have worked with Pannone Corporate for numerous years and during my tenure I have worked very closely with Jonny on numerous cases.Jonny has always approached our cases in an extremely professional manner providing his expertise and advise. He has always made time should we have any legal questions and will always offer an honest opinion/advice.We have achieved great success within my team because of the assistance provided by Jonny and his team. It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with him to better our business.

Mr G (complex contractual dispute)

Jonny Scholes of Pannone Corporate was swift to react and demonstrated a strong understanding of the commercial issues involved, which enabled us to cut through a complex dispute

Mr and Mrs H (complex contractual dispute involving a public limited company)

We have successfully used Pannone Corporate in the past and found them to be extremely attentive and diligent in achieving the best result for us so had no hesitation in returning to them when we found ourselves with a difficult business situation.We did however have some reservations because people outside the industry we are involved in have very little understanding of the intricacies, rules and pitfalls within it.We were introduced to our solicitor, Jonny Scholes and after the initial discussion at our first meeting, he quickly put our minds at rest and gave us the confidence he was the right person to help with our challenge.He was honest with us and said he will have to work hard on understanding our business problem because he had never had to deal with something as intricate but he was true to his word and he meticulously researched everything we provided about our business and our contracts and he quickly came up with a plan of action.Throughout the case he carefully negotiated in our best interest and this resulted in successfully securing our financial future. A security that will see out the rest of our days and a result we didn’t think possible.We say a massive thank you to Jonny for achieving this and would not hesitate from using him again or recommending him to others.

Mrs C (Longstanding Probate dispute in which other solicitors had previously been acting)

After a 5 year battle I was recommended to Jonny Scholes and Nicola Marchant and within just over a month my case was sorted and a settlement agreed.  Meetings were relaxed, I felt comfortable and at ease and everything was explained very clearly in a professional but caring way.  I was kept informed throughout the proceedings and felt very confident they were doing the very best they could for me.  I cannot thank Nicola and Jonny enough. 

Mrs L (professional negligence claim arising from negligent divorce advice by solicitors)

Of Jonny Scholes: “Thankyou so much for your hard work, support and also for making me feel less anxious on the day of the meeting.  The outcome meant so much to me both personally and financially… The service I received was first class, both personally and proffessionaly!”

Mrs M (Inheritance Act Claim and subsequent professional negligence claim)

Deciding to go with Pannone Corporate - namely Nicola Marchant,  Jonny Scholes and their team was the best thing that I ever did. My first contact with Nicola was on speaker phone with my sisters and best friends listening in and supporting me in a state of catatonic shock as a result of the dreadful situation in which I found myself. Nicola's voice alone (plus the energy that went with it) immediately gave us all the confidence that we had chosen the best company for what was evidently the difficult task ahead. A relationship of trust was established at the first meeting where not one iota of condescension was evident. I was simple told how the team planned to go about solving my problem, the part that I was to play and how we were to proceed. Over the following months, but we did just that.  I was never made to feel that I was calling too much, asking a ridiculous question ( which I probably was!) or wasting time. I was made to feel that they had all the time to give me that I needed and that the matter demanded. Of course it was not easy, sometimes I was despairing but we did get to the end of the very long tunnel and it was as Nicola had predicted - there was light! There was no drama of unnecessary court cases or appearances - although we would have certainly gone down that road if it had been called for - rather there was immaculate preparation on my behalf as their client - a preparation and delivery which made the other party consider very carefully and settle out of court.I  will never be in such a unique situation again, but I will never forget Nicki and Jonny's intelligence, stalwart endurance and good humour. On that basis I would fully recommend anyone else who needed representation to go straight to them and as the famous quiz shows says - I would do this without hesitation, deviation or repetition. I just love them!

Mrs C (Probate dispute)

Nicola Marchant and Jonny Scholes handled a probate matter for me. Their advice and timing was excellent and resulted in a most satisfactory conclusion.They will be my first port of call should I require legal assistance in the future. Jonny was a star!!  Well done and what a great firm to deal with.

Mrs K (Probate dispute involving complex matters surrounding the location and value of assets of an estate, issues of fraud and whether purported gifts made by the deceased prior to his death, but were not completed, should be perfected)

Jonny Scholes and Nicola Marchant unravelled a particularly difficult and long-standing inheritance problem for our family and brought it to the best possible conclusion. They were professional at all times, but still managed to be friendly, patient yet flexible. Once they had ascertained and understood the desired outcome we wished for, they gave us constant intelligent advice on how to move forward.

Case Studies

Contract dispute – a complex contract dispute concerning a large development project

I acted for a company in a claim against a company incorporated in the Isle Of Man. The claim related to sums my client claimed were due to it under the terms of a Development Management Agreement (DMA) with the Isle of Man company in which our client was the development manager of a project involving the development of a Hotel in London.

The other side alleged that it terminated the DMA in accordance with its terms. My client denied such termination took place and sought to recover unpaid development management fees in excess of £130,000, together with an Incentive Fee which was calculable as 40% of the net profits (being open market value less the project costs involved). The Incentive Fee was estimated as being worth over £1 million.

Substantial pre-action correspondence was exchanged and an early settlement was agreed on satisfactory terms to the client.

Contract dispute with a large PLC

I acted for a couple in a claim against a large Public Limited Company, which was a multi-utility supplier listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company is said to supply over 500,000 customers in the UK, working with 40,000 independent distributors, who operate on a multi-level marketing model. The PLC’s results for 2014 showed revenue of £658.8 million.

My clients were an independent distributor of the PLC whose claim was for losses suffered by alleged breaches by the PLC of its own Business Manual and Compensation Plan. The matter required the understanding of the complex network marketing model and the terms of the Compensation Plan and I was able to negotiate a pre-action settlement directly with the Executive Chairman of the PLC which enabled my clients to retire from their position as a distributor with the PLC on good terms and with a financial settlement package which the clients described as “successfully securing our financial future”.

Trust dispute

I assisted in acting for the widower of the deceased in a dispute that concerned the deceased’s brother.

The deceased’s last Will and Testament appointed our client, her brother a business colleague as Executors and created a discretionary trust in respect of the deceased’s Business Property, being predominantly her shares in family business incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The family operated a successful group of companies, the parent company having net assets of approximately £11million, with the shares held by the deceased being valued for probate at approximately £4.7million. The executors were also the trustees of this trust.

Following his wife’s death in 2011, our client had been denied access to any significant financial information regarding the family company. The beneficiaries of the Trust had also received no income on the shares since the deceased’s death. This has led to a dispute between our client and his co-trustees. The issues which arose concerned the validity of the deceased’s letter of wishes, and in particular whether one page of the letter of wishes, was amended after her death.

A further issue arose between our client and his brother-in-law relating to a Life Assurance Policy and the proper application of funds arising from that policy. Proceedings were issued in respect of the Life Assurance Policy and successfully concluded in our client’s favour.

Following extensive pre-action correspondence and the threat of proceedings the trustees also all agreed to retire from the Trust and a professional trustee was appointed as the independent trustee.

Estate dispute concerning a challenge to the validity of a will which was notable given the large number of beneficiaries who would benefit on an intestacy

I acted for Mr and Mrs P who were the executors under the Last Will and Testament of a late Aunt of Mrs P. The deceased had no children and her husband pre-deceased her. The Aunt was an eccentric personality who suffered from agoraphobia. Her husband died in November 2009 and, following his death, the Aunt decided she wished to make a will and asked Mr P to assist her, the Aunt having a dislike of dealing with professional people. Mr P prepared a will in accordance with the Aunt’s instructions, which she signed on 6 December 2009. The Aunt died on 25 December 2009, with the main beneficiary under the will being Mrs P. The value of the estate was just under £500,000.

After the Aunt’s death, various caveats were lodged by a number of first cousins once removed. The will was disputed by a group of these relatives, who had little or no contact with the Aunt in her later years, on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval. In the event of an intestacy, because the Aunt had no children and a wider extended family, the number of beneficiaries stood to be at over 40.

The matter involved lengthy pre-action correspondence, followed by the issue of proceedings to prove the will in solemn form. Matters were settled pre-action on very favourable grounds to my clients and their position was protected by making complex applications to the court for permission to serve notice on the claim on certain non-parties and for an application for a representation order to ensure any other relatives were bound by the settlement.

Estate dispute involving complex issues over the location and value of assets in the estate, issues of fraud and whether purported gifts made prior to death, but were not completed, should be perfected.

I acted for the daughter of the deceased and her aunt. The deceased separated from my client’s mother in 2003, but never divorced. He was in a relationship from that date with another lady until his death in February 2007. His estate comprised of a half share in a property, savings with Northern Rock, and numerous shareholdings.

Under the will, made days prior to the deceased’s death, the half share in the property was to pass to his new partner and the residue of the estate to my client (his daughter). One of the partners of the solicitors who were managing the administration of the estate was also a co-executor. The deceased’s new partner alleged that the deceased instructed his investment managers and stockbrokers to arrange for the transfer of certain shares to her in the days prior to his death. Our clients did not accept the shares were gifted and issues of forgery and dishonesty arose in respect of the matter with forensic handwriting experts being instructed.

Substantive correspondence was sent to the solicitors acting for the estate and to the investment managers and stockbrokers who managed the deceased’s shareholdings. Significant pre-action correspondence was exchanged with the deceased’s partner and proceedings threatened. This enabled matters to eventually be concluded following extensive without prejudice correspondence on positive terms for my clients.

Inheritance Act Dispute involving dispute issues over the value of estate assets

I acted for Ms H in respect of a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the estate of her late long-term partner of over 10 years. The executor of the estate is the Deceased’s brother and the beneficiary appointed by the Deceased’s last will and testament is the Deceased’s daughter. The estate had a net value of over £1.4 million. The parties to the dispute were all based in Yorkshire.

The Deceased died on 1 January 2013. My client was ejected from the property she co-habited with the Deceased by the executor shortly afterwards. After significant pre-action correspondence, court proceedings were issued and were vigorously defended by the executor and beneficiary of the estate. Significant dispute arose in respect of the value of the estate. The opponents were reticent to produce any documentation at all relating to the size and extent of the estate (and specific disclosure applications were required).

The matter was complicated by the fact the Deceased operated a cash business (dealing in window fittings and repairs) for which expert valuation reports were required. These reports identified that a significant number of sales had been under-recorded in the accounts. Expert valuation reports were also obtained in respect of a portfolio of rental properties.

The matter was settled at mediation with a good result for my client both in terms of settlement value and costs.

Trust/estate dispute – a complex trust dispute between family members, where the trustees cannot agree the exercise of their discretion. The case also involves disputed lifetime gifts made by the deceased and is particularly delicate due to concurrent mul

I act for a father (the husband of the deceased and a holocaust survivor), and two sons of the deceased and the father. The other side to the dispute is the other son.

The father and all three sons were all named as executors in the will of the deceased who died in January 2014. The will was made in 2006 and created a nil-rate band discretionary trust, which the full value of the net estate (which is of limited value) fell within. A non-contentious firm of solicitors was instructed to administer the estate, and prepared draft probate forms for the brothers with power reserved to the elderly father when a dispute arose over certain items of jewellery of the deceased which, on my clients’ case, were gifted to female relatives of the two brothers who I act for in 2006.

The other brother obtained a grant of probate in his sole name necessitating an application for a double grant of probate, which was obtained. All three sons and the father remain trustees of the trust. Agreement as to how the discretion under the trust is to be exercised cannot be reached and substantive pre-action correspondence was exchanged with solicitors acting for the other brother.

A mediation took place in October 2015, but was unsuccessful and the parties are still attempting to reach a resolution in respect of the matter. The position is complicated by ongoing concurrent litigation concerning a company within which the three brothers are all shareholders, within which a search, freezing and property preservation order has been made against the other brother. This litigation forms much of the backdrop to the probate dispute and is a material consideration in respect of correspondence and attempts to resolve the dispute.

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Associations & Memberships

Professional Negligence Lawyers' Association - since 2017

Association of Partnership Practitioners (currently sitting on the North West Panel) - since 2015

The APP was set up in 1998 as a multi-disciplinary organisation of partnership and professional service firm practitioners as a source of information and debate. It currently has over 400 members.

Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists - since 2014

ACTAPS was established in 1997 for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work.

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