Robert Pearce KC > Radcliffe Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Radcliffe Chambers


Main practice areas include: real property disputes, landlord and tenant, contentious trust and probate litigation, private client, charities, partnership, lending and security, business and commercial litigation, tort claims in property or business contexts, professional negligence, particularly of solicitors, barristers, surveyors and accountants, and claims for injunctions and equitable remedies. Illustrative cases: University of London v Prag [2014] EWHC 3564 (Ch) – charities, university governance; Human Dignity Trust v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2015] WTLR 789 – charities, charitable purposes, human rights; Marwaha v Singh [2013] EWCA Civ 1878, [2014] PTSR 1166 – charities, litigation costs; Re Wedgwood Museum Trust Ltd (In Administration), [2011] EWHC 3782 (Ch), [2012] WTLR 913 – charities, liability of charitable assets for pension scheme liabilities; Shergill v Khaira [2012] EWCA Civ 983, [2012] PTSR 1697 – charities, justiciability of religious issues; Faidi v Elliot Corp [2012] EWCA Civ 287, [2012] HLR 27 – landlord and tenant; claim between lessees; Attorney General v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2012] UKUT 420 (TCC), [2012] WTLR 977 – charities, relief of poverty and public benefit; Howard v Howard-Lawson [2012] EWCA Civ 6, [2012] 3 All ER 60 – trusts; name and arms clause; R (on the application of Independent Schools Council) v Charity Commission for England and Wales) [2011] UKUT 421 (TCC), [2012] Ch 214 – charities, advancement of education, public benefit, judicial review of statutory guidance; Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) v Charity Commission (Chancery Division, [2010] 4 All ER 1041) – equality legislation; ability of charitable adoption agency to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation; Power v Open Text (UK) Ltd Group Life Assurance Scheme Trustees (Chancery Division [2010] Pens LR 89) – group life assurance scheme, trustees’ powers and duties; Various Claimants v Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (St William’s Group Litigation)(Queen’s Bench Division, 2009) – Class action, vicarious liability of religious organisations, Seevaratnam v Charity Commission (Charity Tribunal, 2009) – removal of trustee of charity; Guignabaudet v Scott-Moncrieff [2009] All ER (D) 239, Court of Appeal – landlord and tenant, consent to alterations; Father Hudson’s Society and Catholic Care v The Charity Commission for England & Wales (Charity Tribunal, 2009) – Charities, equal opportunities legislation; Dorrington Belgravia Ltd v McGlashan [2009] 08 EG 116 – Landlord and tenant, development of airspace; R (on the application of the Governors of Hockerill College) v Hertfordshire County Council (Administrative Court, 2008) – Judicial review, public rights of way; Seray-Wurie v Charity Commission (Chancery Division, 2008) – Appeal to High Court from order of Charity Commission removing charity trustee; Rysaffe Trustee Co v Ataghan Ltd (Chancery Division 8/9/06) – landlord and tenant, surrender of quarrying lease by operation of law – real property, implied acquisition of easements; Montrose Court Holdings Ltd v Shamash (Court of Appeal [2006] EWCA Civ 251) – real property, easement of parking, derogation from grant; Latchman v Pickard (Chancery Division 12/5/05) – medical partnership, rights to use of surgery premises following dissolution; Adams v Schofield (Court of Appeal [2004] WTLR 1049) – family provision, extension of time for claim; Re R (Chancery Division [2003] WTLR 1051) – Court of Protection, statutory will; Luckies v Simmons (Chancery Division [2003] 2 P & CR 30) – land law, restrictive covenants, stay of High Court proceedings to allow application to Lands Tribunal; Re Barton dec’d (Chancery Division [2002] WTLR 469) – administration of estate of testator domiciled abroad, variation of will – conflict of laws Recognition of Trusts Act 1987; Rodway v Landy (Court of Appeal [2001] Ch 703) – medical partnership, whether surgery premises partnership asset or separate property – NHS, restriction on disposal of goodwill of medical practice – real property, division of property under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; Re E (Enduring Powers of Attorney) (Chancery Division [2001] Ch 364) – Court of Protection, agency, conflicting enduring powers of attorney; Varsani v Jesani (Court of Appeal [1999] Ch 219) – charities, jurisdiction of court to make charitable scheme; Norwich Union Life Insurance Society v Low Profile Fashions Ltd (Court of Appeal [1991] 64 P & CR 187) – landlord and tenant, whether duty of care owed by landlord on granting consent to assignment of lease; Lloyds Bank v Duker (Chancery Division [1987] 1 WLR 1324) – administration of estates, treatment of majority shareholding in private company; Essex plan v Broadminster (Chancery Division [1988] 56 P & CR 353) – landlord and tenant, lease or licence; Layton v Martin (Chancery Division [1986] 2 FLR 227) – administration of estates, claim by partner of deceased to interest under constructive trust; Tabarrok v E D C Lord & Co (Court of Appeal, The Times 14/2/97) – professional negligence, limitation of actions; Property Discount Corporation v Lyon Group Ltd (Court of Appeal [1980] 1 All ER 334) – company, priority of changes; Manchester City Council v Greater Manchester Metropolitan County Council (House of Lords [1979] 78 LGR 71) – local government, powers of local authority to set up educational charity.


Called 1977; Middle Temple; Lincoln’s Inn; Standing Counsel to the Charity Commission 2001-06; silk 2006; Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn 2013; contributing editor to ‘Butterworth’s Civil Court Practice’.


STEP; Chancery Bar Association; ACTAPS; Property Bar Association; accredited mediator (ADR Group).


Christ Church, Oxford (BA Jurisprudence); (BCL).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Robert Pearce KCRadcliffe Chambers ‘Robert is exceptionally intelligent and extremely thorough. His drafting is clear and concise. He is very well prepared and persuasive in the court.’

Radcliffe Chambers is ‘a helpful, well-organised and competitive chamber with an excellent strength of barristers at all levels of call’. Robert Pearce KC is ‘an exceptionally intelligent and thorough’ individual whose recent practice has involved a lot of work in offshore jurisdictions, as well as with the ‘passionate and pragmatic‘ Daniel Burton representing the trustees in Attorney-General v Zedra, concerning the fate of the National Fund, a 1920s bequest by a member of the family which created Farrer & Co in order to pay off the United Kingdom’s entire national debt, and if its £500m value should be used to pay off less than a four thousandth of the debt, or for some other purpose. Kate Selway KC is ‘incredibly well prepared with great attention to detail’ and is currently representing defendants in a probate fraud claim in the High Court. ‘Formidable advocate’ Thomas Dumont KC ‘exudes confidence and comes up with great strategies’. Rising star Matthew Mills is ‘a very capable and knowledge advocate’.

London Bar > Charities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Robert Pearce KCRadcliffe Chambers

Radcliffe Chambers‘ clients span the charities sector, including multi-national charities, clubs and housing associations. In a standout highlight, Robert Pearce KC acted for Zedra Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd in Attorney General v Zedra Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd, a long-running High Court matter involving The National Fund, which was set up in the 1920s to pay off the United Kingdom’s sovereign debt in full, a now-impossible task. Kate Selway KC has extensive High Court litigation experience. Other key names to note include Francesca Quint, who has a mainly advisory practice.