Angus qualified as a mediator in 2017 with the London School of Mediation. Since that time, he has mainly specialised in mediations concerning all forms of will and trust disputes, including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
His focus on this area of work as a mediator reflects his initial training in specialist London Chancery Chambers, and 25 years of experience acting for clients in will and trust disputes. He has been involved either as mediator or Counsel in many hundreds of mediations, and for more than 15 years has been ranked in the legal directories as a leading specialist in his field (see the directory comments below). In addition to his legal expertise, Angus has a First class degree in Psychology and a particular interest in counselling skills and techniques.
Angus’s commitment to mediation stems from observing over many years the very particular stress, unhappiness and financial cost caused by disputes of this nature, associated as they usually are with bereavement and family discord. On the occasions when these cases go to court for a final decision, the financial and emotional damage is hard to overstate, whatever the outcome.
Angus therefore aims in mediation to create a confidential, safe, and empathetic environment to allow the parties to explore potential solutions to the individual issues they face. He obviously works impartially, but more importantly collaboratively and with humour to help them find a realistic alternative to going to a court hearing.
In short, Angus sees the purpose of mediation as giving the parties a properly informed choice about the best path for them to follow. Sometimes the right choice will be to proceed to court at least with the comfort that all has been done to avoid it. Often however the outcome is a negotiated resolution of the dispute and the chance to consign it (and all that goes with it) to the past.
There is a lot at stake, and it is always difficult to decide who to select as your mediator! However, whoever you choose, it is wise to pick someone who not only understands the legal technicalities of the case and has experience of the ebb and flow of negotiation, but perhaps more importantly someone who also recognises that disputes are less about dry legal tests, but more about people, their values and their aims.
Angus is always happy to have a brief initial free of charge zoom meeting with Solicitors and their clients if it will assist in making a choice.
Either way, good luck.
High Net Worth 2022: Chancery: Traditional – Chambers and Partners
Angus Burden of No5 Barristers' Chambers in Birmingham advises clients on contentious trusts and probate matters, including will challenges, fiduciary claims and Inheritance Act 1975 cases. "Angus is, and has been, one of the best contentious trusts and probate in the Midlands for a number of years. He is extremely strong technically and very collaborative. He has a very nice manner in dealing with clients and gains their trust very quickly," says an interviewee. Another source says that "he is very well thought of in Birmingham," and adds that "he has a really strong brain, offers careful analysis of the case, and has a nice, careful way about him at trial. He really gets his point across well."
Chancery - Chambers and Partners
‘Angus is a superb intellect, very strong on detail and technical issues and a skilled advocate. He is able to explain complex issues to clients in a very straightforward manner. He is undoubtedly one of the best contentious trust and probate barristers in the regions.’
"He is an exceptionally gifted barrister; he's very easy to deal with, has real attention to detail and is a tremendous advocate too."
Angus Burden is a pure traditional chancery barrister whose practice focuses on contentious trusts and probate. He has an excellent reputation for his technical skill and advocacy, as well as for his approachability and client care. Burden also advises clients on non-contentious trust and estate administration matters.
Comments from Leading Law Firms in contentious probate disputes:
Lucy Howard - Partner at Mills & Reeve (2021)
“Angus is an excellent mediator. His approach is well suited and makes clients feel at ease”
Michael Henry - Senior Lawyer at Debenhams Ottoway (2021)
“Angus is professional and an excellent mediator”
Official Solicitor (2021)
“Angus is professional and an excellent mediator”
Tom Russell - Barrister/Mediator at KCH Garden Square (2021)
“Angus has was chosen to mediate a multi-jurisdictional technical dispute involving Court of Protection capacity and estate planning issues with the most complex of dynamics and high values. This included the Official Solicitor amongst the parties. Angus mediated this matter to the satisfaction of all parties, which saved significant sums to those involved”
“I have been involved in two cases in which Angus has been instructed as mediator. Both were property disputes involving family members, which required a sound grasp of legal principles but also sympathetic handling of emotional issues. On both occasions, the parties were able to reach compromise. I found Angus to be extremely professional, combining detailed knowledge of the law with a sensitive grasp of the clients' needs. I would recommend Angus as a mediator without hesitation”
“I was extremely impressed with Angus. He was alive to, and managed the tricky dynamics between the parties extremely well; without his firm yet sensitive style I doubt the common ground that eventually led to an agreement being made in this case would have been reached. At the key moments in what was a very long day he read the mood of the parties extremely well.”
“I genuinely thought Angus is an excellent mediator. His approach is well suited to these sorts of family disputes, he was firm when he needed to be, yet also made the clients feel relatively at ease in what was a difficult and rather stressful process for them. We were very pleased with him, including our client for whom it was a very difficult and emotional day. His calm approach helped us keep negotiations on track”
“It’s the first time I have used Angus on a mediation and I was very impressed with him. He had a good knowledge of the papers and had a very calm, yet firm, mannerism in what was a very difficult and emotional family dispute. His handling of both sides was appropriate and I would definitely use him again.”