18 St John Street Chambers is a 'very good set all-round' with in-depth expertise in the Chancery, probate, and tax fields. Christopher McNall is a specialists in disputes about agricultural tenancies, the taxation of farms and land, and proprietary estoppel and Inheritance Act claims relating to farms. He acted for the successful appellants in their appeal against the refusal by HMRC to allow Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief against a farm on the basis the deceased was no longer a farmer and the dwelling was no longer a farmhouse. Elsewhere, Wayne Goldstein is acting for an inheritance claim totalling approximately £500,000; the claimant, his client, has learning difficulties and is bringing the claim against his mother and sisters for provision out of his late father’s estate. Oliver Caplan has 'an understanding manner with clients supported by tenacious advocacy', and is a go-to junior for trust disputes.
Chancery, probate, and tax in Regional Bar
23 Essex Street is an experienced set with a number of leading Chancery counsel and has particularly expertise in the area of contentious probate. Known for building 'excellent rapport with clients' and for being 'accessible and easy to work with', Tom Gosling's practice covers contested probate, claims, promissory estoppel, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. He successfully secured an award for financial provision with life-changing benefits for the claimant in a claim against the estate of his late adopted mother and the sole beneficiary under her will, a Buddhist temple. Praised for providing opinions that are 'detailed, well researched and provide the client with pragmatic advice', Jonathan Smith was recently instructed in a constructive trust/proprietary estoppel claim between father and son over a property valued at approximately £350,000; he also acted in a claim to set aside a will for want of knowledge and approval with possible claims for forgery and family provision.
Deans Court Chambers
Deans Court Chambers' Sebastian Clegg impresses with 'his thoroughness and grasp of the core issues often in very complicated' Chancery and commercial matters. Clegg's practice includes probate, trust, and Inheritance Act claims. He recently acted in a dispute between father and son concerning the sale of a family farm; the case was significant because of the argument as to whether, and what extent, any proprietary estoppel could impugn the written farm partnership agreement.
St John's Buildings
St John's Buildings is a 'standout set in the North'. Elis Gomer is 'very approachable, has an eye for detail, and is a skilled advocate'; he has particular expertise in contentious probate, trusts, and inheritance disputes, as well as contentious trusts issues within matrimonial finance proceedings, and advising on non-contentious estate administration issues. A recent case of note was a probate dispute involving issues of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and probate fraud. The 'confident and articulate' Simon Charles has developed a practice that focuses on indirect taxation, predominantly instructed by HMRC, as well as probate work for private clients.
Kings Chambers is 'an exceptionally strong set in Chancery matters, with a number of excellent barristers over a range of years of call, from junior to QCs'. and 'continues to push forward in the Manchester legal market'. 'It is by far one of the best sets in the country and can keep up with any London set'. One instructing lawyer says the set provides 'a great service and I've always found them cooperative and supportive to the firms of solicitors', while another described its counsel as 'the equivalent of the class of '92'. Members are instructed in claims across the gamut of complex contentious and non-contentious Chancery-related work, probate, trusts and estates, and tax. The set has a strong cadre of senior silks, recently supplemented by the elevation to Queen's Counsel of the 'fast-thinking' Andrew Grantham QC and the 'very approachable' Louis Doyle, as well as strength in depth at the junior end from the 'incisive and detailed' Neil Berragan and 'tireless' Tina Ranales-Cotos through to the 'fabulous brain' that is Ben Harding , the 'highly gifted advocate' Eleanor Temple and Fay Collinson, who is a 'first choice for trusts and probate work'.
9 St John Street
A 'good set', 9 St John Street has 'a strong reputation' in the Chancery, probate, and tax arenas thanks to 'a large number of barristers that have acted on well-known cases' and a selection of 'up-and-coming juniors'. James Fryer-Spedding focuses on traditional business and property work, including inheritance disputes, real property litigation, and partnership dissolution; the 'technically excellent' Andrew Clark is a go-to for a range of contentious Chancery matters; Richard Price has acted in defence of several contentious probate claims of late. In the tax sphere, Joanna Vicary was instructed as sole counsel for HMRC in relation to four joined appeals in respect of the revenue's decisions that a company and its directors had acted in breach of the Money Laundering Regulations.
A 'strong set', Exchange Chambers has a number of specialists available for Chancery and tax disputes, and instructing solicitors praise the training offered by the set which is described as 'first class and highly relevant'. At the senior end, Mark Cawson QC and David Mohyuddin QC are go-to names for a range of Chancery and commercial disputes. In the tax arena, Scott Redpath is instructed in tax disputes and planning involving companies, employment, incentives, national insurance, pensions, share schemes, trusts and estates, residence, domicile, indirect tax, VAT, IPT, and duties; George Rowell has experience of tax disputes involving penalties, avoidance schemes, VAT, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, and employment-related taxes.