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United Kingdom > London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Private client: trusts and probate - Leading sets
  2. Leading Sets
  3. Leading Silks
  4. 2018 Silks
  5. 2019 Silks
  6. Leading Juniors

Leading Sets

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    • David Rees QC - 5 Stone BuildingsHis strengths are strategic direction, strong advocacy, and a very approachable and genial personality that is so good with clients.

Leading Silks

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2018 Silks

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2019 Silks

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    • Tom Dumont - RADCLIFFE CHAMBERSHis strategic thinking is second to none and his commitment to achieve the best possible outcome for the client is unrivalled.
    • Constance McDonnell QC - Serle CourtIs one of the most intelligent barristers at the Chancery Bar and identifies key points of law and factual issues which would be missed by other counsel.

Leading Juniors

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5 Stone Buildings is an ‘outstanding chambers for contentious probate and trusts' thanks to it having 'a broad range of barristers who have varying levels of call.’ One client said: 'All of the barristers we have dealt with have been knowledgeable, efficient, approachable, and good advocates.’ In one recent case of note, Henry Legge QC acted for the trustees in a contested removal of the trustees of a series of very large settlements.

Serle Court is a ‘highly-rated’ set in the trusts and probate arena with members acting in the largest, high-profile, and most complex disputes, both onshore and offshore, as well as in smaller-scale litigation which often gives rise to the most interesting and novel of issues. Recent examples include Elizabeth Jones QC acting in the high-profile fraud case of  Kea v Watson. The judgment was obtained in July 2018 and the matter has now moved to enforcement. Elsewhere, Frank Hinks QC has been advising on proceedings in relation to the construction and effect of the will of a wealthy woman in Asia.

The 'impressive' Wilberforce Chambers is a ‘strong set for Chancery advice’ with its ‘top-notch lawyers' who have 'a lot of offshore experience'. Members are instructed by many of the UK's major private wealth firms, as well as those internationally, to act in some of the leading trust cases. In one example, Brian Green QC led in Safeway v Newton on a successful reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The fundamental issue at stake was the interaction between domestic law and EU law on trustees powers. In another significant instruction heard before the Court of Appeal, Robert Ham QC  successfully acted for the second defendant in a case whereby a registered charity sought approval to make a grant of $360m to a new charity that had been established by one of its trustees.

XXIV OLD BUILDINGS is a ‘high-quality set of chambers’ with an established reputation in the areas of trusts, private client, and probate work, as well as Chancery and offshore disputes. In a recent instruction of note, Alan Steinfeld QC advised the trustees of a Cayman trust about potential claims against a third party and in relation to obtaining Beddoe relief from the Cayman Court.

New Square Chambers has an ‘excellent reputation for private client, trusts, and probate work.’ This 'excellent Chancery set' is praised by clients for having ‘skilled people who do not charge the earth and who are responsive and available’, and is routinely instructed on the full range of traditional Chancery work and is particularly strong on trusts litigation. As an example, Nicholas Le Poidevin QC led the advice to the trustees in a case where the court had to consider if it could order the removal of a trust company's directors.

A 'leading set in contentious trusts and probate work, with great expertise at all levels', the 'excellentRADCLIFFE CHAMBERS is praised by clients for 'always having very good quality and bright counsel available when needed, even at short notice' who are 'friendly, approachable and form a real team with instructing solicitors.' Members work across the full range of traditional Chancery matters from Court of Protection issues through to tax, trusts and probate matters. In recent news, chambers added Charles Holbech to its ranks from New Square Chambers.

Ten Old Squareexcels from top to bottom.’ The chambers is ‘the go-to place for trustee applications involving rectification, variation of trusts and other administrative court proceedings.’ In Investec Trust (Guernsey) v Glenalla Simon Taube QC successfully persuaded the Privy Council to hold that the trustee was not personally liable for losses. This was as a result of the terms of Jersey trust law and the adoption of a new rule of private international law that affected trusts. Overall it is an ‘excellent set of chambers.

Members of Maitland Chambers  are involved in some of the most complicated and high-value disputes, including all aspects of trusts and other fiduciary relationships, as well as wills, probate, and estate matters. In one example, Christopher Pymont QC acted in a complex claim for a breach of trust by a beneficiary of a private family trust.

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