A core discipline of any chancery chambers, trusts work – both advisory and litigious – is a mainstay of the practices of a number of Serle Court’s members. Chambers' expertise in this area includes domestic and international trusts and allied work, such as probate, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 and charities (in which field William Henderson is an eminent name).
Serle Court is, and has for many years been, recommended by both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading set for such ‘traditional’ chancery work, often characterized as Private Client. Of our many members with considerable experience in this field, Frank Hinks QC is one of the leading lights, turning his hand as readily to trust litigation as to drafting and advice. His article on 'Executors de son tort and the limitation of actions' was quoted at length by the Court of Appeal in James v Williams.
In 2011 Serle Court was awarded the Chambers of the Year award at the STEP Private Client Awards. The judges said “Serle Court has appeared, with honours, in probably the most significant private client cases not just of the last 12 months but of the last several years”.
Our trust practitioners advise and appear across the common law world as well as in England. Cases on domestic trusts and probate include Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter, Brown v Executors of HM Queen Mother and HRH Princess Margaret (unsealing of Royal Wills), Wight v Olswang (trustee exemption clauses), Re Pagarini (validity of oral gift to trust), Re Variation of Trusts of Duke of Bedford; Re Trusts of Marquis of Exeter and Re Trusts of the Duke of Hamilton.
International trust work includes expertise in a number of jurisdictions, in particular the Cayman Islands (Re Akram Ojjeh Trust and the Jahre litigation), Bermuda (Re Q Trusts - rearrangement of trusts of one of Canada's largest commercial fortunes and the long-running Thyssen-Bornemisza litigation), Jersey (Mackinnon v Regent Trust and the Alhamrani litigation), Bahamas (Lady Henrietta St George et al v Sir Jack Haywood) and Anguillla. Members of Serle Court have also acted as expert witnesses in USA cases on the validity of trusts governed by overseas jurisdictions.
To see what the legal directories have to say about us in this practice area, please click on the directories link to the left.