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Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates
Simon has a specialist trusts and estates practice. He is frequently instructed in his own right, although he has also been led on several larger cases. He is a mixture of contentious and non-contentious work, both onshore and offshore. His instructions span the whole spectrum of Chambers’ work including: advising trustees in relation to the administration of a trust (including charitable trusts as well as commercial and private trusts), appearing as sole and junior counsel in breach of trust claims and claims challenging trustees’ decision-making generally, acting in probate disputes and Inheritance Act claims and advising in relation to TOLATA claims and family trust disputes.
Notable instructions include:
- Appearing (with Emily Campbell) for the professional trustees in Labrouche v Frey; Re Olga Martin-Montis Will Trusts  EWHC 268 (Ch). This was a seven-week trial in which a beneficiary of English will trusts alleged numerous breaches of trust by the trustees over a period spanning the 1980s to 2010. The claim raised a number of questions of Liechtenstein, Swiss and English law.
- Acting for the purchasers of an apartment in a dispute against their conveyancing solicitors for failing to advise in relation to the increased liability to Stamp Duty Land Tax as a result of a proposed variation to the transaction following exchange of contracts but before completion.
- Advising the trustees of an accumulation and maintenance trust as to whether a proposed distribution would comply with the requirements of section 71 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 and thus allow the settlement to remain subject to favourable tax treatment.
- Acting for several heirs under Saudi Arabian law, who sought to have restrictions entered against the titles of UK properties as beneficiaries of an English resulting trust.
- Advising the settlor of a charitable trust of steps to take where the terms of all the trustees had expired without new trustees having been appointed.
- Appearing in the High Court to seek the removal of a co-executor because of his alleged fraudulent activities and to make related specific disclosure and third-party disclosure applications.
- Advising trustees of a charitable trust as to their powers in relation to the upkeep of a public recreation ground.
- Appearing in the High Court on behalf of a co-executor in relation to a specific disclosure application and directions for the administration of an estate.
- Appearing in the Court of Protection in relation to the disputed appointments of
health and welfare attorneys, and property and financial affairs attorneys.
- Advising as to whether an inter vivos sale of property at an undervalue would be treated as an advancement under the deceased’s will.
- Acting for the executors of an estate in relation to potential rectification claims arising out of conveyances of land containing mistakes as to the description of the parcels conveyed.
- Acting for the beneficiary of two will trusts in professional negligence proceedings brought against the solicitors retained to draft the wills of the testator and testatrix.
- Acting (with Andrew Child) for the father of a family who was being sued for alleged breaches of trust in relation to the management of the family’s extensive property portfolio which was owned through various offshore entities.
- Acting for the trustees of an employee benefit trust in relation to the proposed sale of the shares in the company which formed the principal asset of the trust.
- Advising outgoing trustees of a large investment fund in relation to the vesting of onshore and offshore trust assets in incoming trustees.
- Appearing in various claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, including acting for claimants, defendants and executors.