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Trusts and Probate Overview

Chambers is leading set for both contentious and non-contentious trusts and probate work.  Within the jurisdiction, the set has a very strong domestic profile, encompassing trusts and probate litigation and advice, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 and charities work.

Chambers also has a pre-eminent reputation for offshore trusts litigation and allied work.  Members of chambers act in significant cases across the Caribbean and in other jurisdictions including Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Lichtenstein, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Our clients include a wide range of City, West End, national and provincial firms of solicitors on-shore and many leading offshore, domestic and foreign law firms in relation to our international work, as well as major institutional trustees.  Members are well used, in consequence, to working within multi-national, multi-jurisdictional and indeed multi-disciplinary teams on large matters.

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”.


Directories

Chambers & Partners 2018

SILKS

Alan Boyle QC                    
Distinguished silk who has worked on some of the most high-profile trust cases in recent years. He has specific expertise in complex and high-value divorce cases which involve trusts law.
Strengths: "He is among the very best trusts practitioners and is received very well in the market. He is hugely committed, has a great brain and is a pleasure to work with." 

Dakis Hagen QC
Deals with a plethora of complex trusts cases, often international in nature, and is known for his expertise in large divorce cases which involve trusts. He also handles professional negligence cases involving defective trust structures.
Strengths: "Incredibly clever." "He is technically excellent and can deal with some very difficult fine points of law. He's also commercial and able to think strategically." 

Frank Hinks QC 
Regularly acts for very wealthy private clients and the trustees of large fortunes in complex trust disputes. He is capable in both domestic and offshore matters.
Strengths: "Has a terrific intellect and is very responsive. He has an incredibly quick turnaround time, he is very user-friendly, and he always gives practical advice. A good strategist and an effective advocate, he is meticulous in his preparation and doesn't miss a thing." 

Elizabeth Jones QC
Has a wide-ranging chancery practice, which involves an increasing focus on complex trust and probate matters. She is particularly well known for her offshore expertise and is able to deal with high-value and multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "Phenomenally clever and highly effective." "She is very direct, strong and really no-nonsense. Both impressive on her feet and in her mastery of documentation and paperwork." 

Richard Wilson QC
Handles a large volume of domestic and offshore trusts litigation and has been involved in a number of significant breach of trust disputes. His caseload includes a number of substantial disputes in the Bahamas, Guernsey, Jersey, Cayman and Gibraltar. 
Strengths: "He is highly intelligent, has good judgement and is good on the law." 

JUNIORS

James Brightwell
Highly regarded for his expertise in trusts matters and particularly for his handling of offshore trusts work. He is renowned for his detailed knowledge of complex trusts law and has co-authored one of the leading texts in the area. 
Strengths: "Technically excellent and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of trust law. He can think outside the box and you can rely on him totally." "Extremely user-friendly and flexible." "He is as knowledgeable as anyone on English trusts law, and has an instinctive feel for how trust cases will go." 

William Henderson
Very experienced trusts practitioner who acts for a range of high net worth clients. He deals with both contentious and non-contentious issues, and is also an expert on trust-related professional negligence claims.
Strengths: "A wonderful lawyer who is really helpful, bright and personable."

Giles Richardson
Handles a wide range of trusts litigation and advisory work. He has been engaged in particularly significant trusts matters in a variety of courts both in the UK and overseas.
Strengths: "Hugely knowledgeable about trusts, and very reasonable and sensible. He knows how to deal with really tricky issues." 

Legal 500 2017

David Blayney QC - ‘He is very bright, thorough and gets to the core issues quickly’ 

Dominic Dowley QC - ‘He is a great tactician, who really rolls his sleeve up’ 

Elizabeth Jones QC - ‘Recommended for fraud-relating trust matters’

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'Recommended for offshore trust litigation'

John Machell QC - ‘His advice is top-notch’ 

Alan Boyle QC - ‘An experiended tactician’ 

Frank Hinks QC - ‘The go-to silk for big-ticket trusts cases’ 

Philip Jones QC - ‘He is very accessible and enjoyable to work with’

Richard Wilson QC - ' Clever, hands-on and astute'

Dakis Hagen QC - ' He is superb and has unparalleled experience'

Andrew Francis - ‘Highly experienced and recommended’

Constance McDonnell - 'She is good with clients and fierce in court, and provides clear and concise advice

James Brightwell - 'Hardworking and technically able

James Weale - 'He is very sharp minded and a growing force in the field'

Jonathan Fowles - 'A true academic who dives right in to knotty issues'

William Henderson - 'An outstanding senior junior'

News

13.12.2017

We are delighted to be supporting the KNect365 Law Funds... more

29.11.2017

The 4th supplement to the 15th edition of Dicey, Morris... more

28.11.2017

We are delighted to be the hosting sponsor of the... more

24.11.2017

The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist has been announced and... more

16.11.2017

Serle Court hosted another very successful International Trusts and Commercial... more

27.07.2017

As we announced earlier this year, Serle Court’s International Trusts and... more

06.07.2017

The latest edition of Serle Speak is now available to... more

20.06.2017

Serle Court hosted a successful Trusts and Commercial Litigation Conference... more

23.05.2017

Richard Wilson QC and James Brightwell will be speaking at... more

16.05.2017

We announced earlier this year that Serle Court’s Trusts and... more

04.04.2017

Leading Chancery and Commercial set Serle Court is pleased to... more

28.03.2017

We are delighted to be sponsoring the Transcontinental Trusts: International... more

27.03.2017

Leading Commercial and Chancery set Serle Court is pleased to... more

21.03.2017

We are delighted to be sponsoring the Fraud, Asset Tracing... more

17.03.2017

The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more

15.03.2017

Judgment was handed down by 7 Justices of the Supreme... more

09.03.2017

We are delighted to announce that we will again be... more

02.03.2017

The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar was... more

23.02.2017

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting... more

14.02.2017

We are delighted to be sponsoring the International Trust &... more

13.02.2017

Leading Chancery and Commercial set Serle Court announces the return... more

17.01.2017

We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trust &... more

17.11.2016

Serle Court hosted a very successful International Trusts and Commercial... more

27.10.2016

We are delighted to have once again been named “Private... more

20.10.2016

The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist has been announced and... more

27.07.2016

The Citywealth Leaders List 2016 has now been published and... more

26.07.2016

We announced earlier this year that Serle Court's Litigation Conference... more

15.07.2016

We announced earlier this year that Serle Court’s International Trusts... more

08.07.2016

The 3rd supplement to the 15th edition of the leading... more

31.05.2016

We announced last month that Serle Court will be hosting... more

25.05.2016

The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more

13.05.2016

We’re delighted to announce that Emma Hargreaves won the ‘Rising... more

20.04.2016

John Machell QC and Richard Wilson QC will be speaking... more

12.04.2016

Kathryn Purkis is returning to Serle Court to practise at... more

01.04.2016

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting... more

07.03.2016

Leading commercial and chancery set Serle Court today announces the... more

08.02.2016

Leading commercial and chancery set Serle Court announces today the... more

29.01.2016

We are delighted to be sponsoring the International Trusts &... more

21.01.2016

We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trust &... more

28.09.2015

The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist for 2015 has been... more

28.07.2015

The Citywealth Leaders List 2015 has now been published and... more

11.05.2015

The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more

10.03.2015

The latest edition of SerleSpeak is now available to download... more

02.02.2015

We are delighted to be sponsoring the International Trusts &... more

01.01.2015

We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trusts &... more

01.12.2014

Serle Court hosted a second successful conference in Cayman on... more

30.10.2014

The latest Chambers & Partners directory was published on 30... more

08.10.2014

The latest edition of SerleSpeak is now available to download... more

08.10.2014

We are delighted to have been named as Private client:... more

03.10.2014

Prof. Jonathan Harris will be chairing an IBC conference on... more

03.10.2014

We're delighted to announce that at last night's Chambers and... more

01.10.2014

The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist for 2014 has been... more

01.10.2014

The 2014 Legal 500 directory was published on 1 October... more

22.09.2014

Serle Court hosted a very successful litigation conference in London... more

01.09.2014

Professor Jonathan Harris is an editor of the leading work... more

29.04.2014

The Citywealth Leaders List 2014 has now been published and... more

12.02.2014

We are delighted to sponsoring the International Trusts & Private... more

03.02.2014

We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trusts &... more

22.07.2013

The Citywealth Leaders List 2013 has now been published and... more

01.07.2013

We are very pleased to announce that Serle Court is... more

07.12.2012

  Serle Court hosted a very successful conference in Cayman... more

07.12.2012

We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trusts &... more

06.11.2012

Professor Jonathan Harris is one of the editors of the... more

01.11.2012

The 2013 Chambers & Partners directory was published on 1... more

21.09.2012

  We are delighted to be sponsoring this prestigious conference... more

20.09.2012

We have had another excellent set of results in the... more

06.09.2012

  We are delighted to be sponsoring the Butterworths’ Trust... more

28.02.2012

Now in its seventh edition, the Citywealth Leaders List is... more

16.01.2012

Serle Court is sponsoring the prestigious Trusts & Estates Litigation... more

25.10.2011

The 2012 Chambers & Partners directory was published on 25... more

21.09.2011

In the new edition of the Legal 500 directory, Serle... more

15.09.2011

We are delighted to announce that Serle Court has been... more

22.08.2011

We are delighted that for the fourth year running Serle... more

07.08.2011

On Wednesday 28 September 2011 Jonathan Harris will be speaking... more

09.05.2011

Jonathan Harris is the editor of the May issue of... more

30.12.2010

Now in its sixth edition, the Citywealth Leaders List is... more

01.12.2010

Serle Court is proud to be sponsoring the prestigious Trusts... more

07.09.2010

In the new edition of the Legal 500 directory, Serle... more

13.07.2010

We are delighted that for the third year running Serle... more

31.05.2010

We are delighted that the May 2010 edition of the... more

18.03.2010

James Corbett QC contributed precedents on Trusts to this volume... more

14.12.2009

In December 2009, the third supplement to the 14th edition... more

25.11.2009

For the third year running, Serle Court is proud to... more

09.09.2009

In the new edition of the Legal 500 directory, Serle... more

01.05.2009

Serle Court is delighted to announce that Professor Jonathan Harris,... more

03.04.2009

James Corbett QC has been invited to speak at the... more

11.03.2009

Citywealth, the guide to the most highly regarded figures in... more

02.01.2009

For the second year running, Serle Court is the only... more

Notable Cases

Thursfield v Thursfield [2012] EWHC 3742 (Ch) [2012] EWHC 3621 (Ch) [2011] EWHC 3539 (Ch)

Involves the enforcement of a US$5.7m judgment of the Michigan... more

Wooldridge v Wooldridge [2016] Fam Law 451

Richard Wilson QC acted with James Weale for the claimant,... more

AF v MF [2016] EWFC 65

Emma Hargreaves acted for the Husband and Jonathan McDonagh acted... more

Miles v Miles

Successful appeal concerned with the correct approach to the divorce... more

Grupa Ozarow v Clean Energy Trading CL [2016] EWHC 2322 (Comm)

Acted for the defendant company trading in Carbon Credits in... more

Moreno de la Hilja v Lee [2017] EWHC 634 (Ch)

Acting for widow and estate of Sir Christopher Lee to... more

Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees SA (Trustee of the Tchenguiz Settlement) v ITG Ltd and Bayeux Trustees Ltd (Trustees of the Techenguiz Discretionary Trust) [2015] EWHC 1664 (Ch); [2015] EWHC 1924 (Ch)

Successfully opposing the claimant's application for permission to serve proposed re-amended... more

Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26

Will represented Mrs Pitt in the High Court, Court of... more

Joint Stock Company Aeroflot - Russian Airlines v Berezovsakaya [2014] EWCA Civ 431

Administration of estates; Confidential information; Confidentiality agreements; Court-appointed receivers; Creditors'... more

Attorney General v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2012] WTLR 977

Attorney General’s reference in respect of trusts for relief of... more

Gudavadze v Kay [2012] EWHC 1683 (Ch) (Sales J)

Summary judgment on basis that alleged testamentary documents were forgeries. ... more

Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd v Equity Trust (Jersey) Ltd

Acted for Barclays as as trustee and manager in c.50m Euro proceedings... more

Re Tadros

Acted for and advised the second defendant, a multi-million probate... more

Lemos v CIBC

A claim alleging gross negligence by professional trustees in the... more

Manjeet Rai & ors v Jog Ahir & ors

Powers of trustees of charitable unincorporated assocation; and indemnity costs on... more

Khan v Crossland [2012] WTLR 841

Application for sale under section 14 of the Trust of... more

Trilogy Management v YT

Serle Court members also advised various parties which concerned the... more

CR v MZ [2014] WTLR 233

A sham trust/forgery case relating to the ownership of a... more

Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2014] WTLR 145

In an important decision, Moylan J overrode the wishes of the... more

L v K (Freezing Orders: Principles and Safeguards) [2014] 2 WLR 914

Clarified freezing injunction principles in a case involving trusts and... more

Stiftung Salle Modulable v Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Limited [2013] SC (Bda) 47 Civ

Instructed on behalf of the Plaintiffs in a high value... more

Earl of Durham v Lady Lucinda Lambton & Ors [2013] EWHC 3566 (Ch)

Instructed by the claimant in a dispute between siblings as... more

Finch v Hall [2013] All ER(D) 92 (Oct)

Proceedings under section 14 of the Trust of Land and... more

Ullah v Ullah [2013] EWHC 296 (Ch)

Andrew Bruce successfully represented the Defendants in a substantial High... more

C v D Supreme Court of Bermuda, 3-4 December 2012

Certain beneficiaries of a civil law Foundation and a Bermuda... more

Re Nina Wang Dec’d [2012]

Acted for a charitable foundation in proceedings brought by the... more

Re The F Trust [2012] JRC 201

The corporate trustee of a Jersey trust decided that the... more

Labrouche v Frey [2011] EWHC 3854 (Ch)

A Claim for an account and for breach of trust... more

Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] EWHC 3627

Jersey trustees faced with a hostile variation of trust claim... more

AB Jnr v MB

Acted for the Plaintiffs in the Grand Court of the... more

North Shore v Anstead [2012] EWCA Civ 11

Acted for the appellants on two occasions. The first hearing concerned... more

Credit Suisse Trust Ltd v Nemni

Acted for the prinicpal beneficiaires of a substantial Guernsey Trust,... more

Re: Williams Fam D, 9 December 2011

The claimant sought to challenge a will over 10 years... more

Spread Trustee Co Ltd v Hutcheson & Ors [2011] UKPC 13

In a landmark decision, the Privy Council has upheld a... more

BQ v DQ [2011] WTLR 373

Ground CJ accepted that two inter vivos trusts were void... more

Pitt v Holt [2011] EWCA Civ 197

The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal by HMRC against... more

Re Q Trusts [2010] Ground CJ

After the death of his first wife a businessman declared... more

Lady Henrietta St George et al v Sir Jack Hayward et al 2006 - 2010

Edward St George and Sir Jack Hayward owned and ran... more

Re: Q Trusts Supreme Court of Bermuda, 2009-2011

The trustees of a Bermuda trust made an application to... more

Cawdron v Merchant Taylors’ School [2009] EWHC 1722 (Ch)

Members of Chambers appeared for all the various parties in... more

Van Dalfsen v Caversham

A seven figure breach of trust claim in relation to... more

Stow v Stow [2008] Ch 461

The trustees brought a claim for declaratory relief to which... more

Organ and another v McKechie and others [2008] All ER (D) 329 (Feb)

The deceased testatrix had three sons and one daughter. The... more

Brown v Executors of HM Queen Mother and HRH Princess Margaret [2008] WTLR 425

A Jersey accountant, Mr Brown, believes that he is the... more

Alhamrani v Alhamrani

The case revolved around a very substantial family trust and... more

Barnes & Ors v Tomlinson & Ors HC (Chancery Division) 15 January 2007, Kitchin J

The claimants claimed against former trustees for breach of trust.... more

Re C Trust [2006] Smellie CJ

Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, the principal beneficiary was excluded... more

Mackinnon v The Regent Trust Company Limited & Ors [2005] W.T.L.R. 1367

A plaintiff beneficiary tried to set aside three family settlements... more

Shuck v Loveridge, Re Lamb (deceased) [2005] EWHC 72 Chancery Division

The claimant executrix (S) sought to prove the 1996 will... more

Cromwell v Copley [2004] All ER (D) 339 (Feb)

The settlor claimed rectification of a declaration of trust made... more

Driver v Yorke and another 7 April 2003, Ch D, HHJ Bowsher QC

This was a claim that the principle asset of the... more

Fazio v Rush [2002] AER (D) 392 (Jul) Sir Andrew Morritt V.C.

Successful defence of an action by a child of Caitlin... more

Re: Carapiet [2002] AER (D) 98 Jul. Jacob J

Successful action to determine that a trust for the establishment... more

Topham v Charles Topham Group Ltd [2003] 1 BCLC 123 Blackburne J

The claim was brought to save a tax freezer scheme... more

Re: Shelton - Agar [2002] AER (D) 16 May Hart J

Highly contentious will construction (part of a long running family... more

Wight v Olswang [1998] TLR 564

Validity and effect of trustee exemption clauses more

Jahre

The estate's claim that the defendants had dishonestly misappropriated assets... more


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