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

Radcliffe Chambers
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 > Charities

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Robert Pearce QCRadcliffe ChambersRobert has admirable knowledge of charities law, and an acute sense of the right approach to take with the court in difficult situations. A widely respected and highly persuasive advocate.

Radcliffe Chambers has a stellar reputation for its charity law expertise. In a prominent case highlight, Robert Pearce QC appeared for the defendant before the High Court in the high-profile case Attorney General v  Zedra  Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd , involving the National Fund, a charity set up by an anonymous donor in 1928 with the aim of investing the income of the fund for the purpose of paying off the National Debt in full. The main issue of the case was that the donor’s heirs claimed the fund’s trust was invalid, however the High Court ruled that the fund was held on a valid charitable trust. Kate Selway QC‘s expertise in this area includes advising charities on charitable status, charity land and the validity of charitable bequests. Charity law specialist Francesca Quint is ‘just the best – straightforward, practical and extremely responsive‘.

London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

Robert Pearce QCRadcliffe ChambersExtremely calm under pressure; great attention to detail; deeply analytical.

Radcliffe Chambers has’ strength in depth across all levels of experience in the contentious trust sector.’ In a high-profile matter Robert Pearce QC was instructed by the trustee of The National Fund, a charity set up by an anonymous donor in 1928 aiming to repay the national debt in full in the virtually impossible event it becomes able to do so, in Attorney General v Zedra Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd : the Attorney General has applied to the court for the funds to be released to the National Debt Commissioners and the trustee argues that the fund should be applied for charitable purposes, and donor’s heirs argue that the trust was invalid.

London Bar > Property litigation

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Robert Pearce QCRadcliffe Chambers