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Leading Silks

Francis Barlow QC - Ten Old SquareHugely experienced, very thoughtful and creative, a formidable presence in court. Good at finding practical solutions to intractable problems.
Alan Boyle QC - Serle CourtA principled and determined advocate who is willing to stick his neck out for a client facing a difficult situation. Thorough and diligent. Not easily put off course by the skill of an opposing advocate.
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced.
Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs sought after for the most important, complex international trust matters, and solicitors and clients are thrilled when they are able to persuade him to take on their matter.
Robert Ham QC - Wilberforce ChambersRobert's ability to identify the crux of the matter and expeditiously offer incisive, commercial, pragmatic solutions to complex questions means he is our first choice of silk to instruct and a trusted advisor.
Frank Hinks QC - Serle CourtHis name is one you expect to see on any big ticket trust litigation and as a result you would want his name to appear alongside your client's rather than that of your opponent!
Philip Jones QC - Serle CourtExceptional analysis of law and facts, but always focused on the practicalities of the dispute for the client. Magisterial drafting and advocacy.
Henry Legge QC - 5 Stone BuildingsHe has a fine legal brain and is very easily approachable. His advice is always of the highest standard.
Catherine Newman QC - Maitland ChambersA very clever silk.
Nicholas Le Poidevin QC - New Square ChambersIs in a class of his own when it comes to his knowledge of trust law and practice both onshore and offshore. He quickly grasps complex points and is able to dispense advice in a form which is both comprehensive and intelligible.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsIs technically exceptional, a great strategic thinker and has excellent client communication skills. One of the leading silks in her field.
Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA persuasive advocate.
Simon Taube QC - Ten Old SquareIs helpful, authoritative, logical, measured and commercial. He is attentive with clients and solicitors and directional (as opposed to abstract) in his advice.
Shân Warnock-Smith QC - 5 Stone BuildingsI couldn't recommend her highly enough for complex, difficult and important trust cases – she really adds valuable international insight and undoubted expertise.
Jonathan Adkin QC - Serle CourtImmensely accurate advice and advocacy.
Tracey Angus QC - 5 Stone Buildings ‘Is extraordinarily intelligent and a brilliant strategist. She is easily able to gain the trust of clients - a very good advocate and an excellent negotiator.
David Brownbill QC - XXIV Old BuildingsIs very knowledgeable, technical, detailed and thorough. He is a persuasive and calming advocate and a real leader in the field.
Gilead Cooper QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas an incredibly quick mind, great intellectual powers, and at the same time a wonderful capacity for creative, strategic thinking. He writes beautifully, judges clearly respect him, and he is an excellent courtroom advocate.
Elizabeth Jones QC - Serle CourtA vastly experienced silk.
John Machell QC - Serle CourtVery commercial and pragmatic.
Christopher McCall QC - Maitland ChambersAn immensely experienced silk.
Robert Pearce QC - Radcliffe ChambersComes across very well in court.
Christopher Pymont QC - Maitland ChambersOne of the leading silks at the Chancery Bar.
Eason Rajah QC - Ten Old SquareIs an excellent all-rounder: top drawer advice, advocacy and commercially savvy delivery.
Penelope Reed QC - 5 Stone BuildingsShe is so good. Her practice is on fire.
Clare Stanley QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs a silk at the top of her game - she is a master tactician and strategist and an absolute star.
David Blayney QC - Serle CourtA very smart silk.
Ian Clarke QC - Selborne ChambersIan has an extraordinary knowledge of the subject matter of his instructions. He is able to assimilate information, and factor such into his advice. His written advice is detailed, and apposite to the matter. His conclusions are clearly put and in a form that is readily understood by clients
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHumour, hard work, stamina and a very large brain - nothing phases him.
Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs technically very knowledgeable, excellent at absorbing detailed points and articulating it simply to the judge.
Dominic Dowley QC - Serle CourtExtremely hardworking.
Prof Jonathan Harris QC - Serle CourtAn incredibly clever lawyer - at home dealing with the academic and technical end of the legal spectrum.
Jonathan Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas an encyclopaedic knowledge of trust law and is hands on - he helps guide the client seamlessly through even the most complex of difficulties.
John Martin QC - Wilberforce ChambersA very experienced silk.
Fenner Moeran QC - Wilberforce ChambersIncredibly smart and easy to work with. Extremely quick on his feet and impressive in hearings. A powerful cross-examiner.
David Rees QC - 5 Stone BuildingsIs hugely knowledgeable and gives very measured and practical advice.
Tiffany Scott QC - Wilberforce ChambersJunior silk with a fantastic ability to jump in and get to grips with a case. Tiffany is a tenacious and extremely brilliant barrister. An absolute joy to work with.
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsUtterly and disarmingly charming. He has a razor sharp mind and is a brilliant barrister.
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC - HardwickeIs calm and collected; fantastic on her feet; makes clients feel at ease straight away; and straight talking when it is needed.
Christopher Tidmarsh QC - 5 Stone BuildingsIs a brilliant advocate who is always many steps ahead of his opponents and judges admire his ability to put arguments persuasively.
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe commands respect with his experience and was very impressive in court.
Richard Wilson QC - Serle CourtIs very determined, has a good memory and is an impressive advocate.

2019 Silks

Tom Dumont QC - Radcliffe ChambersHas an encyclopaedic knowledge of probate. He is a terrific advocate. He’s an incredibly nice opponent - huge integrity.
Constance McDonnell QC - Serle CourtIs an incredibly measured and astute litigator and is never ruffled and supremely cool under pressure. She is also steely and hugely determined to do the best for her clients.

2020 Silks

Zoë Barton QC - Wilberforce ChambersHuge amounts of experience and it shows, as she looks at cases as if they are living and breathing beings and has really innovative and successful ways of taking cases forwards in ways which would probably not occur to other barristers. In much demand!
Andrew Mold QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas an exceptional depth of experience in complex and high-value trusts and estates disputes. Not only is he phenomenally technically able but he is incredibly strategic. He is very sensitive to the individual client needs and is outstanding to work with.
Kate Selway QC - Radcliffe ChambersA very approachable new silk.

2021 Silks

Sarah Haren QC - 5 Stone BuildingsIs meticulous in her planning when attending mediations/hearings/trials and I have seen her perform well against QC opponents.
Alexander Learmonth QC - New Square ChambersHas a wealth of expertise in the field of contentious trusts and probate and is able to deliver technical advice in a concise and clear manner – his style of advocacy is measured and cogent.

Leading Juniors

James Brightwell - Serle CourtIs one of the top senior juniors at the Chancery Bar - he is incredibly sharp and the quality of his work and advice is top notch. Clients love him.
Judith Bryant - Wilberforce ChambersVery insightful, excellent at deciphering complicated trust documents and trust powers, user-friendly and collaborative. Specialises in trust variations and deals with some of the most valuable and complicated trusts.
Emily Campbell - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent analytical skills and intellect. Able to grasp a lot of information and assimilate it quickly.
William Henderson - Serle CourtHas an eagle eye for key details that can make all the difference in a tricky case.
Giles Richardson - Serle CourtA silk in all but name - he is so clever and his tactics are fantastic. He is exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of trusts and estates disputes particularly in the matrimonial context.
Lynton Tucker - New Square ChambersHis intellect is legendary and enables him to provide clear, calm, and measured advice on the most complex of fiduciary issues - having Lynton in one's corner is a significant advantage.
Georgia Bedworth - Ten Old SquareGets even the most difficult matters settled. She has the respect of her peers.
Adam Cloherty - XXIV Old BuildingsNever fails to impress with his incisive commentary and robust advocacy. He is a great barrister to have on one’s side in a difficult case in light of his strong and positive approach.
Richard Dew - Ten Old SquareVery responsive counsel who is easy to work with can quickly identify the issues. Very good in-depth knowledge of trusts and probate.
Piers Feltham - Radcliffe Chambers ‘Is strategically and technically brilliant on complex issues of probate and trusts law - he offers a first-class service, he is readily available, and is a team player.
Andrew Holden - XXIV Old BuildingsIs an outstanding junior, incredibly bright and very good and patient with clients.
Mark Hubbard - New Square ChambersAn encyclopaedic brain and savvy approach make him an outstanding advocate.
Susannah Meadway - Ten Old SquareThe complete package! Outstanding in every way. Well prepared, practical, highly capable and always seems to come up with solutions to thorny problems. Has developed huge expertise in Variation of Trust applications.
Barbara Rich - 5 Stone BuildingsHas an encyclopaedic knowledge of this area, she is reasoned, sensible and pragmatic.
James Weale - Serle CourtHas great attention to detail and is able to advise quickly and confidently.
Elizabeth Weaver - XXIV Old BuildingsIs a persuasive advocate with extensive knowledge and experience in contentious trust and probate matters.
Christopher Whitehouse - 5 Stone BuildingsVery experienced.
Rory Brown - 9 Stone BuildingsIs uniformly excellent across the board with client, in conference, on paper and on his feet in court. He exudes calm, is always well prepared and unlike many advocates he never falters.
Daniel Burton - Radcliffe ChambersIs great with clients and is a confident advocate. Really great with knotty problems.
Andrew Child - Wilberforce ChambersForthright, clear, very good on his feet. A real asset to have on your side.
Jonathan Fowles - Serle CourtHugely bright and superb attention to detail.
James MacDougald - Ten Old SquareVery bright, excellent drafting and advocacy. Sound advice. Very good on less common procedural issues.
Katherine McQuail - Radcliffe ChambersIs an extremely gifted lawyer.
William Moffett - Radcliffe ChambersIs incredibly bright and a good strategist who always goes the extra mile for clients. He is an absolute pleasure to deal with and makes litigation more enjoyable as a result. He is one to have on your side.
Michael O'Sullivan - 5 Stone BuildingsHis advice is clear and concise and written in a fashion easily understood by clients. Has a very good knowledge of contentious trusts and probate and applies it very well to think ahead and formulate strategies from the outset.
Miranda Allardice - 5 Stone BuildingsHas a very good bedside manner and is very helpful to her instructing solicitors - she works very much as a team with them and her written word and drafting skills are excellent.
Luke Barnes - 3 DR JOHNSON'S BUILDINGSIs very meticulous and his attention to detail is excellent.
Toby Bishop - 5 Stone BuildingsBrilliant strategically and gets to the heart of the matter - he is great with clients and remains calm and unflappable under pressure.
Aidan Briggs - New Square ChambersBright, articulate and authoritative. Grasps complex points and finds highly effective solutions: both legal and practical.
Sarah Egan - 3 DR JOHNSON'S BUILDINGSIs always extremely well prepared for every hearing and her communications skills with clients have always been reassuring and well received with matters being explained clearly.
Marcus Flavin - Radcliffe ChambersA very experienced junior.
Thomas Fletcher - Maitland ChambersA hardworking junior.
Andrew Francis - Serle CourtA highly regarded junior.
Michael Gadd - XXIV Old BuildingsHas an excellent grasp of the detail.
Helen Galley - XXIV Old BuildingsStraight to the point, very good with clients, fast turnaround with work.
Emma Hargreaves - Serle CourtEmma is one to watch. Her incredible tactical nous and technical ability belie the fact that she is still relatively junior. She is meticulous in her approach and provides clear advice.
Edward Hewitt - 5 Stone BuildingsIs always on hand to provide practical yet commercial advice in the most tricky cases whilst keeping the clients' objectives at the forefront. On his feet he a quick thinker and excellent advocate.
Edward Hicks - Radcliffe ChambersHas a forensic eye for detail and is excellent in getting into a judge's mind, assessing a claim dispassionately with unerring accuracy.
Charles Holbech - Radcliffe ChambersVery bright.
Jordan Holland - 5 Stone BuildingsA very talented lawyer who exudes confidence and has one of the best legal brains I have worked with. He is excellent on his feet and a real expert in trusts, wills and estates.
Justin Holmes - Radcliffe ChambersEncyclopaedic knowledge of trusts and probate; good paper turn around time; good with clients in con; a tough negotiator in mediations.
Ruth Hughes - 5 Stone BuildingsShe takes on work without blinking. Her turnaround speed is excellent. I trust her practical feel for outcomes.
Charlotte John - HardwickeIs considered and careful in her approach; she is calm with clients and makes well-reasoned arguments to tricky opponents.
Stephen Schaw Miller - New Square ChambersHas a mind the size of a planet - his knowledge of the law is excellent and he has a great deal of common sense.
Adil Mohamedbhai - Serle CourtHas a brilliant strategic and legal mind, and gels wonderfully with the large and complicated teams formed to fight massive trust cases. He has a peerless understanding of trust law and will be a star of the future in this field.
Roger Mullis - Radcliffe ChambersMakes himself readily available and is very user-friendly.
Francis Ng - Selborne ChambersHas a very strategic mind which is very helpful in the lengthy and complex cases on which he is instructed. His advisory work is excellent and always very detailed - often raising issues which were not considered by the parties to date.
Elaine Palser - Outer Temple ChambersElaine is very thoughtful and thorough with her work. She has a very calm manner which was great when dealing with very forceful bullish opponents as she appeared unflappable. She also has a deep understanding of the law in this area and gave very clear an succinct advice.
Oliver Phillips - Maitland ChambersA very diligent junior.
Mathew Roper - 5 Stone BuildingsMathew has excellent attention to detail and is thorough and systematic in his approach.
Leon Sartin - 5 Stone BuildingsHe is very bright and has a fantastic feel for cases and clients alike. In short nothing is too much trouble for him. I will always put him on my short list of counsel for the next matter.
Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsVery knowledgeable.
Rodney Stewart Smith - New Square ChambersA highly respected junior.
Daniel Warents - XXIV Old BuildingsA very experienced practitioner.

Rising Stars

Michael Ashdown - Wilberforce ChambersHas extraordinary technical knowledge and a keen eye for detail - he has an exceptional understanding of trust law in particular and is able to grasp and advise upon extremely complex matters quickly.
James Goodwin - Wilberforce ChambersIs very intelligent, commercial and sensible. He goes the extra mile and is very good with clients. He has a meticulous attention to detail and is very thorough.
James Poole - Ten Old SquareHas an excellent bedside manner with clients. His research and advice is spot on. He is a safe pair of hands. He will always go the extra mile.
Timothy Sherwin - XXIV Old BuildingsHas an excellent nose for the way in which judges are likely to approach cases instinctively. He is tough, tenacious and charming.
Cameron Stocks - HardwickeHe is excellent both in terms of capability and client relationships.

Private client: trusts and probate in London Bar

5 Stone Buildings

5 Stone Buildings is ‘excellent and one of the leading Chancery sets,’ according to clients. It is a ‘fantastic set that offers an excellent range of counsel with a broad range of experience. It possesses great strength in depth and has a really strong set of juniors, in particular. It is ever-present at events in the trusts and estate disputes world.’ In one major and complex case of note, Tracey Angus QC and Penelope Reed QC were both instructed in Cowan v Foreman, which related to a claim brought by Mary Cowan against the £29m estate of her late husband,  well-known businessman Michael Cowan. The 'very thorough and empathetic' mediator Miranda Allardice, 'star of the futureToby Bishop, 'technically strongRuth Hughes, 'thoughtful and passionateEdward Hewitt, and 'really expert' Jordan Holland all join this year's junior rankings.

Serle Court

The barristers at Serle Court are ‘universally high quality from bottom to top. It is striking how well they work together as a cohesive team and they really care about their clients. They fight cases with real tenacity but without taking bad points.’ All the barristers are ‘incredibly capable in this area – you really can’t go wrong using this set. One of the very best Chancery sets out there with terrific strength in depth.' Members act in the most complex and high-value cases in this area both onshore and offshore. A recent case of note is Alan Boyle QC acting in Gany Holdings v Zorin Khan which centred on issues regarding a discretionary trust in the BVI. Also of note among the highly accomplished juniors are Emma Hargreaves, Adil Mohamedbhai, and James Weale, all of whom are new additions to this year's junior rankings.

Wilberforce Chambers

Wilberforce Chambers is ‘one of the standout top sets in the field of trust and estates disputes. It has a depth of exceptionally skilled junior barristers and exceptional talent at the senior end which means that it always has the right counsel available at the right level to meet each client’s needs.’ It is regularly instructed by many of the leading private wealth firms. It is a 'remarkable set' with 'top drawer Chancery silks' including  Brian Green QC who is leading senior Hong Kong counsel in the defence of a major bank in £450m Court of Appeal proceedings over an alleged breach of trust. Fenner Moeran QC and Tiffany Scott QC enter this year's leading silk rankings, while Zoë Barton QC and Andrew Mold QC further strengthen the set at the senior end after taking silk. At the junior end has rising stars Michael Ashdown and James Goodwin.

XXIV Old Buildings

XXIV Old Buildings is an ‘excellent set for traditional Chancery work and one of the 'go-to' sets for trust and probate litigation matters. It has  a real depth of experience in this area, with specialists of differing years call.’ The set has been described as  ‘one of the premier contentious trusts sets, offering a host of high-quality QCs and junior counsel.’ Its established reputation in this area is exemplified by Alan Steinfeld QC who, in Gerald Metals v (1) Safeguard Management Corp (2) The Trustees of the Timis Trust, advised the trustees of a Cayman trust in a major case about potential claims against a third-party and the obtainment of Beddoe relief. This year sees Edward Cumming QC enter the silks rankings, Daniel Warents join the junior list, and Timothy Sherwin recognised as a rising star of the Bar.

New Square Chambers

New Square Chambers is a ‘well-known and highly regarded set’ with a ‘small but impressive cadre of specialist traditional Chancery barristers who are among the leading practitioners in this area.’ In Lutfi Talib in British and Malayan Trustees Ltd v Talib Nicholas Le Poidevin QC advised on the terms of an old settlement in Singapore that had made complicated provision for the settlor’s family to share in its income. The Singapore court ruled in favour of the brothers following the terms of Le Poidevin’s advice. Also of note, Mark Hubbard's practice goes from strength to strength as he ascends the junior rankings.

Radcliffe Chambers

Radcliffe Chambers has a ‘long-standing reputation for outstanding private client service.’ ‘With a broad range of barristers who can deal with this work type, we are sure to find counsel appropriate for any case. The set provides excellent value for money and turnaround times are generally very good.’ As part of a large team of lawyers from several jurisdictions, Robert Pearce QC is currently acting in Re Wang for the trustees of several major trusts established in Bermuda and subject to complex litigation. The case is believed to be the largest piece of trust litigation in the common law world and raises important questions over the scope of trustees’ powers and the validity of non-charitable purpose trusts. Kate Selway QC has strengthened the set after taking silk, while William Moffett and Daniel Burton climb this year's junior rankings.

Ten Old Square

Ten Old Square is a ‘smaller excellent set’ that is often described as a ‘go-to chambers for trust and general private client work. The barristers give rounded and practical advice and are very user friendly’ and are 'extremely responsive.' Simon Taube QC acted for the estate in a claim by an equitable tenant in common for the partition of approximately 250 acres of trust land on Teeside. The case is particularly complex as it raises interesting issues about the valuation of land with hope value, residential values, and on Red Book definitions of market value. The 'reliable and perceptiveJames MacDougald climbs this year's junior rankings, while the 'pragmaticJames Poole is recognised as a rising star of the Bar.

Maitland Chambers

Members of Maitland Chambers are frequently involved in leading trust and estate cases particularly those with tax, company and civil fraud elements. Various members of the set are also qualified and regularly appear in the courts of a number of offshore jurisdictions. Christopher H McCall QC has been busy advising on numerous cases involving the reorganisation of substantial family trusts and on trust disputes. A 'highly effective advocate', Oliver Phillips climbs this year's rankings.