Michael O'Sullivan > Chambers of Penelope Reed > London, England > Barrister Profile

Chambers of Penelope Reed
5 Stone Buildings
Michael O'Sullivan photo


Barrister whose current practice incorporates: trust litigation and advice both onshore and offshore, contentious and non-contentious probate applications, Inheritance Act applications (often in relation to high value estates worth several millions), professional negligence (particularly in relation to claim against solicitors and accountants and tax consultants) in relation to negligent conveyancing and tax advice, Court of Protection applications, capital gains tax and inheritance tax planning, real property litigation (particularly in relation to easements, restrictive covenants and contracts for the sale of land), pensions litigation. He has been involved in a number of important and notable cases, including: Naylor v Barlow [2019] EWHC 1565 CH (will construction and conditions subsequent) : Re Jones [2014] EWCOP 59 (will claim); Khan v Crossland [2012] WTLR removal of executor under 5116 SCA 198; EB v RC [2011] EWCH 3805 (CoP) Removal of Deputy; Re P [2009] EWHC 163 (Ch) [2009] 2 All ER 1198 (the leading modern case on statutory wills in the Court of Protection); Carr v Ennals [2008] EWHC 2859 (Ch) (probate challenge on grounds of lack of capacity); PEER v EMC [2007] E.C.D.R 1 [2006] EWHC 2883 (succession issues relevant to claim to UK copyright in various jazz compositions by Cuban artists (as featured in ‘the Buena Vista Social Club’); Allardyce v Roebuck [2004] 3 All ER 754 (time limits for testamentary options to purchase property); Tchillingrian v Ouzounian [2003] WTLR 709 (probate challenge to will on grounds of mental incapacity, lack of knowledge and approval and undue influence); Asylum Seekers Management Ltd v Adelphi Hotels Ltd (CA) [2003] EWCA Civ 1892 (construction of break clause in commercial agreement relating to management of properties occupied by asylum seekers); Shirley v D J Freeman [2002] 01 EG 74 (CS) (successful striking out of a negligence claim where solicitors were alleged to have failed to advise client competently in relation to rights of way over common land and highways issues); Banks v Cox [2001] (CA) Estates Gazette 2001: Comm Law Journal 2001 (fraudulent misrepresentation on sale of a business and test for admission of new evidence on appeals under the Civil Procedure Rules); Re Lady Price [2000] (construction of gift of chattels in will and meaning of word ‘furniture’ and whether it included pictures, porcelain jade and other objects d’art in context of an estate that included chattels worth £5m); DPR Futures Ltd (In Liquidation) [1993] (approval of a compromise among various classes of creditors in relation to the infamous collapsed futures trading company that had been involved in fraudulent trading); Denetower v Toop [1991] (CA) 1 WLR 945 (Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 – first Court of Appeal case dealing with construction of the provision relating to the tenants’ right to buy the freehold);


Called 1986, Lincoln’s Inn; author of ‘Asset Protection’ Butterworths 2000; contributor to Tolleys’ ‘Trust Drafting and Precedents’; co-author ‘A Practitioner’s Guide to Trustee Investment’ (2004); qualified mediator (ADR) 2013.






Magdalene College, Cambridge (1985 MA Cantab); St Catherine’s College, Oxford (1987 BCL).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Michael O’Sullivan – 5 Stone Buildings

London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Michael O’Sullivan5 Stone Buildings ‘Michael is technically brilliant and delivers an excellent, timely service.’