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Disputes Team


Jonathan Copper

For many years I predominantly practised family and civil law. I qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 1997 and in 1999 qualified as a solicitor.

I have experience of all types of litigation including housing, commercial, dispute resolution, disputed wills and probate, insolvency and debt recovery.

I have successfully concluded a case in the Supreme Court, which clarifies the law surrounding harassment: Hayes v Willoughby.

I am a member of ACTAPS which is the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.

My main area of practice now is contentious probate advising upon the validity of wills, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for family and dependants) Act 1975 and disputes in relation to trusts.


Nastassia Khilkevich

My legal career started in 2007 as an in-house debt recovery officer, which in 2009 was followed by a promotion to an in-house legal adviser specialising in court litigation. I completed my formal legal qualification as a Legal Executive in 2013 and in 2016 additionally qualified as a Solicitor. From 2016 I have worked in several private legal firms as a dispute resolution solicitor before becoming a consultant in 2021 and joined the disputes team with Sharmans in 2023.

My passion is resolving disputes in the most pragmatic way and finding solutions that are not only legally sound but make business sense too. I seek to employ negotiation skills and smart strategies to avoid or shorten expensive litigation wherever possible.

In addition to my legal qualifications, I have a first-class degree in economics and exceptional business acumen.


Alivia Usher-Harris

I studied Business Law at Nottingham Trent University, where I stayed and completed my LPC LLM, graduating in March 2022. I started working at Sharmans as a paralegal in the Dispute Resolution department in May 2021 shortly before my final exams on my LPC. I was then offered a training contract, commencing in April 2022.

In my training contract I completed seats in the Dispute Resolution, Family, Private Client and Commercial Property departments, working alongside the Partners.

I qualified as a Solicitor on the 2nd April 2024, I am now working in the Dispute Resolution team. Through my career with Sharmans I have worked in many areas of litigation, including and not limited to, landlord and tenant disputes (both residential and commercial), contentious probate, debt recovery and contract disputes.

I have lived in Bedford all my life. Outside of work I enjoy keeping active through various sports including playing rugby for the Bedford Blues Women.