Call +44 207 306 0102 or contact us

Gilead Cooper QC

Call: 1983    QC: 2006

+44 (0)20 7306

Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates

Trusts and estates litigation, both in the UK and offshore, has formed the mainstay of Gilead’s practice since he took Silk in 2006. He specialises in contentious trial work.

Gilead has also been involved in numerous Cultural Property cases, including disputes falling within the jurisdiction of the Spoliation Panel.

Ranked among “Most Highly Regarded Silks” in Who’s Who Legal 2017, Gilead is described as “a specialist in heavy-duty litigation involving breaches of trust and fiduciary duties”.

“‘Class Act’ Gilead Cooper QC is always in demand for his prowess at bringing trust and succession disputes to a swift and satisfying resolution for his clients. A regular fixture in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, he is appreciated for the quality of his ‘straightforward, commercial advice’ and the forcefulness with which he puts his case.”

“Charming and a free thinker who is not afraid of putting forward controversial perspectives.”

Cases include:

  • In the Matter of the C Trust [2016] SC [Bda] 53 Civ. The first case to extend the perpetuity period under the new section 4 of the Bermuda Perpetuities and Accumulations Act. Concerned a US$2 billion trust.
  • Cotton v Earl of Cardigan [2015] W.T.L.R. 39. Appeal against trustees’ application under Public Trustee v Cooper for approval of the sale of Tottenham House.
  • Brudenell-Bruce v Moore [2014] EWHC 3679 (Ch). Removal of trustees and claims for breaches of trust and repayment of unauthorised remuneration.
  • Khan v Gany Holdings BVIHC (Com) No. 10 of 2012. Claim for an account against trustee of a BVI trust.
  • Al-Sadi v Al-Sadi [2013] EWHC 2379 (Ch). Costs on the claimants’ discontinuance of their action.
  • Slutsker v Haron [2013] EWCA Civ 430 (CA). Challenge to a Cayman trust of real property in London by the husband of the settlor claiming rights under Russian family law.
  • In the Estate of Mong Man Wai William [2012] CACV 34/2012. Hong Kong Court of Appeal decision in Beddoe proceedings directing executors not to use estate funds to oppose the interests of the beneficiaries of the estate.
  • Scarfe v Matthews [2012] W.T.L.R. 1579. Will construction; the application of the doctrine of election where rights of forced heirship are asserted under French law.
  • Cripps Trust Corp Ltd v Sands [2013] W.T.L.R. 579. Beneficiaries successfully oppose a Beddoe application where the trustees sought permission to use trust funds for arguably unnecessary litigation.
  • Al-Sadi v Al-Sadi [2011] EWHC 976 (Comm). Whether claimant can rely on amended pleading when defendant applies to set aside service out of the jurisdiction.
  • Howell v Lees-Millais [2011] EWCA Civ 786. Court of Appeal decision on CPR Part 36 offers.
  • Re Servoz-Gavin, Deceased [2011] Ch 162; [2010] 1 All ER 410. Nuncupative Wills: Validity of an oral will made by a merchant seaman in service with a foreign vessel.
  • Jones v Firkin-Flood [2008] EWHC 2417 (Ch). Removal of trustees for breaches of duty including failure to supervise business assets controlled by the trust.
  • Sharp v Adam [2006] WTLR 1059 (Court of Appeal). Testamentary capacity of testator with advanced multiple sclerosis.
  • Abacus Trust (Isle of Man) Co v Barr [2003] Ch 409. Application of the Rule in Hastings-Bass. The origin of the principle that the court would only intervene where there had been a breach of fiduciary duty, which was subsequently upheld in Futter v Futter in the Supreme Court.
  • Schindler v Brie [2003] WTLR 1361, [2003] EWCH 1804 (Ch). Power of attorney granted to pursue claim in Germany for War reparations; whether power was revocable; whether claimant should continue as personal representative.

 Art, Antiquities and Cultural Property

  • Re Claim for Beaching a Boat [2014]. Claim before the Spoliation Panel for the restitution of a painting.
  • Schoyen v UCL. A case concerning disputed antiquities.
  • Trustees of the Natural History Museum v Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. A dispute about a collection of human remains in the custody of the Natural History Museum.
  • Humblestone v Martin Tolhurst Partnership [2004] P.N.L.R. 26, The Times, 27 February 2004, [2004] EWCH 151 (Ch). Claim by disappointed beneficiary against solicitors where testator failed to sign will.



  • Re St Andrew’s (Cheam) Lawn Tennis Club Trust [2012] 3 All ER 746. Gift of land intended to provide tennis club for members of Presbyterian Church; trust deed held void for perpetuity; land held on resulting trust for estate of the settlor.
  • Re Horley Football Club [2006] WTLR 1817. Validity of gift to unincorporated association. Construction of rules of amateur football club.