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HNW Guide 2020

Wilberforce has had another successful year in Chambers & Partners’ HNW Guide with 18 barrister rankings across three practice areas, as well as a tier one set ranking in Chancery: Traditional.

 

Art & Cultural Property

Gilead Cooper QC of Wilberforce Chambers “certainly has a very serious interest in this area,” according to one of his peers. He is well regarded in the art and cultural property law market, with one lawyer stating: He is lovely and has a brain the size of Britain.” Other sources say that he is “very clever and bright” and “always thorough and impressive.”

 

Chancery: Traditional

Wilberforce Chambers are “my go-to set for lots of chancery matters,” says an interviewee, who explains: “They have such a lot of good barristers, and the level of service is so high. The clerking is excellent and they are very commercial in their approach.” The set’s group of respected silks and juniors are regularly instructed in complex pensions, wills and trusts matters, and often act in cross-jurisdictional and offshore cases. “The team are very knowledgeable and thoughtful, and their strengths are in technical expertise and the robustness of the advice,” states a source. Another commentator describes Wilberforce as the “first choice of set for trust work” and adds: “To my mind, it’s the top set for trust work.”

“The clerks are completely first class, the best in the City without a doubt. They really commit to their client service and make the effort to respond very quickly,” explains an interviewee. The practice director is Nicholas Luckman and the head practice manager is Mark Rushton.

 

New Silk, Zoe Barton QC is building on the strong reputation she earned as a junior in this field. “She’s very pragmatic and very well liked by clients. She explains complex things in a really straightforward way,” says a source. Her practice includes real property disputes as well as trusts and professional negligence matters.

Gilead Cooper QC is frequently instructed on the most complex, high-profile and high-value contentious trusts matters. We went to Gilead because we needed an experienced and hard-hitting trial lawyer. He clearly relishes getting his teeth into cases,” says an interviewee. Another commentator states that “he has an incredible mind,” and adds: “He knows his stuff inside and out, he gets it right first time around.”

Jonathan Davey QC handles trusts and property cases, but he is also notable for his ability to advise on tax matters. He’s a real pleasure to work with,” says a commentator, who adds: “He has particular expertise in both tax and property, which is so helpful. He relates to clients in a very positive way.”

Michael Furness QC advises clients on trusts disputes and pensions litigation, but also “has a real strength on the tax side,” according to a fellow barrister. “He’s a lovely team player and a fantastic technical lawyer. He’s very, very clever,” observes an interviewee.

Brian Green QC offers a huge depth of experience in traditional chancery matters, including trusts and pensions cases. He is an excellent choice for offshore matters. “He has a great eye for detail. He’s so well known and well regarded in this area,” says one source.

Robert Ham QC is described as a titan of the chancery Bar” by an interviewee, who adds: “We love working with Robert, he’s one of the leading practitioners at the Bar on trust law issues.” “He’s absolutely top drawer. I go to him for that reason – he has this incredible ability to make the complex simple, which is so helpful,” says a solicitor.

Jonathan Hilliard QC has built a formidable practice focusing on trusts, fraud and pensions cases. “He’s on another planet when it comes to detail,” observes a commentator, adding: “He is so responsive, and night and day you very rarely have to wait very long for a response from him. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a barrister who has a greater appetite for hard work and the law.”

Fenner Moeran QC is praised by a source for being so strategic” and “brilliant at pulling the strings.” He handles a wide array of traditional chancery matters, including trusts and pensions cases. “He gave very clear advice which was consistent throughout. He was rock solid from the outset,” states an interviewee.

Andrew Mold QC is described as “very impressive and very pleasant” by a source. “He gives first-class practical advice and his drafting skills are excellent,” comments a market insider, and another says that he is “a safe pair of hands.” His work includes pensions, fraud and trusts cases, and he also advises on trusts aspects of high-value divorce matters.

Tiffany Scott QC is “immensely clever,” according to an interviewee, and another source describes her as “very intelligent, very user-friendly and very responsive.” Her practice includes advising on contentious and non-contentious trusts and estates matters, property disputes and professional liability cases.

Clare Stanley QC has an excellent reputation for her work on complex onshore and offshore trusts disputes. “She is fantastic,” enthuses a solicitor, adding: “She gives clear, confident advice, and you can tell that the lay client has complete confidence in her.” Another source describes Stanley as “so approachable” and says that her “advice is always spot-on.”

Judith Bryant is highly respected by clients and peers alike, both for her expertise and her approach to working on matters. “She’s incredibly user-friendly, helpful, proactive, thoughtful and approachable. She’s very good at untangling knotty trust documents,” says a source. “I really like her,” remarks an instructing solicitor, who adds that “she’s very user-friendly and very collegiate in the way that you get to work with her.”

Emily Campbell is a first-rate junior,” according to a commentator, who adds: “She has a superb intellect and a highly impressive, logical manner. She is very sharp and tough, although courteous in court. She is very hard-working, and prepared to be intensely involved when necessary. She is a friendly and approachable counsel.” Her work includes pensions matters, as well as trusts and estates cases.

Andrew Child handles contentious trusts and estates matters, including those involving a fraud element. He is also experienced in handling offshore cases and multi-jurisdictional litigation. “He is really, really good,” remarks an interviewee, adding: “He is really good at the drafting and explaining. He is just a brilliant lawyer.”

 

Tax: Private Client

Wilberforce members handle tax matters for private clients including advisory and litigation work. One instructing solicitor comments: “The team are very knowledgeable and thoughtful. Their strengths are in their technical expertise and robustness of advice.”

Mark Rushton leads the clerking team.

 

Jonathan Davey QC is well regarded in the market for his trusts and tax practice. “He is an extremely good advocate,” says a source, adding: “He is very measured, very calm and you would put your trust in his judgement.” One barrister notes that “he is superb with clients,” and another states: He is very knowledgeable. He is a good advocate, always well prepared and incredibly conscientious.”

Michael Furness QC is “certainly a name you would recognise in the field,” according to one interviewee. Alongside his traditional chancery practice, Furness has a respected private client tax offering. “He is well known in the tax world,” says one source, while another notes that “he is brilliant for trust matters.”

Brian Green QC is well known for his private client tax practice. “He is highly thought of for trusts work,” says one barrister, while another adds: “He is an offshore trusts specialist. He is very, very good.” Another source comments: “He is very good, concise and gets to the point quickly.”