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Thomas Lowe QC

Call: 1985    QC: 2008

+44 (0)20 7306 0102tlowe@wilberforce.co.uk

Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates

Tom has frequently been instructed to act on behalf of clients in contentious well-known trust matters mostly offshore and high value probate cases. Although the cases or his involvement is often confidential, he has appeared in a number of important reported cases on trust matters such as Walker v Stones (UK the test for dishonesty in exoneration clauses), Re Circle trust (status of protectors and duties of trustees) and Re BIO Trust or A v N (duties of trustees and effect of forfeiture clauses).

Much of his probate work involves cross-border disputes with complex estates such as Al Bassam v Al Bassam in which the English Court of Appeal considered how it would deal with human rights objections to a trial of a probate claim under sharia law. He spent several years, until its final conclusion, acting as a junior for the ultimately successful defendant in the long running Hong Kong case of Wang Din Shen v Nina Wang in which the Court of Final Appeal gave a definitive explanation of the differences between the defences to probate claims.

He has also acted successfully on behalf of purveyors of tax loss schemes in cases such as Freshwater v KUH and developed an expertise in the human rights aspects of cross-border enforcement of tax obligations, a subjective on which he has spoken at international conferences. He is currently instructed in ongoing judicial reviews in the Cayman Islands in MHI Investments v Cayman Islands Tax Information Exchange Authority, a case arising from challenges in Australia and the UK to tax avoidance structures.

Chambers & Partners, 2016 note that he is renowned for the strength of his offshore practice, which has a particular emphasis on matters proceeding in the Cayman Islands and BVI. He is often instructed in major litigation concerning the failure of substantial investment structures and also regularly appears in professional negligence and shareholder disputes. “He is absolutely calm when everyone else is running around like headless chickens. He is never intimidated and is a great believer that clarity of strategy is key.”

Tom regularly writes papers and lectures on trust law issues and is currently involved in promoting offshore trust arbitrations.