Wilberforce has had another fantastic year in Chambers & Partners’ HNW Guide with 19 barrister rankings across three practice areas, as well as a tier one set ranking in Chancery: Traditional and a two tier set ranking in Tax: Private Client.
Wilberforce Chambers is “probably the leading brand in trust litigation” according to a disputes solicitor, and another source says that it is “the go-to set for chancery work.” It has a strong group of notable barristers who advise on high-value probate and trusts disputes, including those proceeding before courts in offshore jurisdictions. “As a set, it’s a phenomenal collection of intellects,” remarks a commentator.
“The clerks are quick to get back to you and are friendly,” says an interviewee. Nicholas Luckman is the practice director and the head practice manager is Mark Rushton.
Brian Green QC is “a stellar advocate” who has a tremendous reputation for his work on high-value, complex onshore and offshore trusts matters and pensions cases. “He is fantastic,” says an interviewee, adding: “I would describe Brian as the Rolls-Royce of the chancery Bar. He is immensely experienced, immensely knowledgeable and immensely clever. He is really approachable and funny.”
Robert Ham QC is highly regarded for his expertise in trusts law in the contexts of private client matters and pensions. He is described by one source as “the very definition of a traditional chancery silk.” Another interviewee says: “Robert is a breeze to work with, he has a delightful touch. He is easy to work with, has superb knowledge and is extremely perceptive. He gets to the answers quickly.”
Michael Furness QC is “one I’d go to with a thorny traditional chancery problem,” says a solicitor. Another source describes him as “very measured an excellent at getting to grips with detail.” He is notable for handling international work, particularly offshore cases, and regularly advises on trusts and pensions disputes and tax matters.
Gilead Cooper QC advises clients on difficult onshore and offshore trusts disputes. “He’s awesome,” says a source, adding: “I cannot recommend him highly enough. He’s incredibly intelligent, incredibly analytical and really personable. He’s a really nice guy who just so happens to be a nice lawyer.”
Fenner Moeran QC is “a clever tactician,” according to a private client litigator, who adds: “It’s always good to have him in your corner. Fenner is very impressive, you can absolutely see why he is a silk. He is robust but practical and can craft a sensible action plan.” Moeran’s broad caseload includes trusts disputes, Inheritance Act claims and pensions matters. “He’s really wonderful, one of the best of his generation. He has great judgement and he can pick things up very quickly, which is so impressive,” says an interviewee.
Clare Stanley QC is respected for her handling of significant probate disputes and onshore and offshore trusts litigation. “Clare is great on her feet and quickly gets a sense of where the judge is heading. She is very much part of the team, is great with clients and always has a fresh strategic perspective to offer,” observes an interviewee, adding: “She is completely across the finer points of trusts law but never loses sight of the clients’ broader aims. A pleasure to work with and delivers excellent results.”
Jonathan Davey QC regularly handles complex tax matters and also brings this expertise to his traditional chancery cases. “He has a really fantastic ability to make the complicated simple. His oral advocacy is great, and his written advocacy is absolutely amazing,” says an interviewee, adding: “He combines the attention to detail with the ability to do grand narrative advocacy and he has this amazing ability to make your completely unreasonable position sound totally reasonable.”
Jonathan Hilliard QC is hugely well respected by onshore and offshore lawyers for his trusts work, and is also notable for advising on matters with a family law dimension. “He has a stellar reputation, and where there is a family element he would be my first choice,” reports an interviewee. “He’s good on his fraud work, as well as his general chancery and trusts litigation,” observes a commentator, who adds that “he has been absolutely wonderful to work with.”
Tiffany Scott QC is “an excellent practitioner” who is “technically excellent and a very pleasant person to deal with,” according to market commentators. She assists clients with contentious and non-contentious trusts and estates matters, including international cases and offshore disputes.
Zoe Barton QC advises clients on trusts matters, but also handles real property and professional negligence cases. A source highlights Barton for her “candid, determined, focused approach.”
Andrew Mold QC is “building an excellent reputation in silk,” according to a fellow chancery barrister. He advises clients on fraud, pensions and trusts matters, including trusts issues arising from complex divorces. “I would highly recommend him,” says a solicitor, who also notes that he has “a really strategic understanding of this kind of litigation and a very good feel for where things are likely to go.”
Emily Campbell is “a stellar junior” who advises clients on trusts and estates matters, taxation and pensions disputes. “She has a panoramic understanding of the principles, legislation and case law, and can apply that in a commercial and directed manner for our clients,” says a solicitor, who adds that Campbell is “extremely responsive, and always willing to help.”
Andrew Child is “bright and astute,” according to one source, and another says that he is “an excellent choice for a junior – competent and reliable.” His caseload includes high-value trust and estate disputes that involve fraud elements and offshore litigation.
Wilberforce is highly regarded in the market for its private client offering. Its members are capable of handling both contentious and non-contentious tax matters. A source says: “They are an excellent chambers for offshore tax and able to do core private client work.” Another notes that “they have some fantastic barristers.”
The clerking team is led by Mark Rushton.
Brian Green QC is “an absolute superstar,” states an instructing solicitor, before continuing: “He cuts to the chase and spots the issues. He is immensely knowledgeable and fantastic with clients. He is very down to earth, approachable and client-friendly. He is very strategic and responsive. We really rate Brian.” Another market source notes: “He has an amazing ability to see through problems to the right solution for the client and solicitor. He is willing to go the extra mile, making himself available whenever needed. I find Brian approachable, easy to understand and to communicate with. He is the best of the best. I recommend him to all my colleagues.”
Michael Furness QC has a strong practice advising clients on contentious tax matters. “He has an amazing reputation,” says an interviewee, and another comments: “Michael is thoughtful, intelligent and user-friendly and particularly strong on technical matters.”
Jonathan Davey QC is widely regarded by his peers as “a wonderful advocate.” An interviewee enthuses: “He has a really fantastic ability to make the complicated simple. His oral advocacy is great and his written advocacy is absolutely amazing. He combines attention to detail with the ability to do grand narrative advocacy, and he has this amazing ability to make your completely unreasonable position sound totally reasonable. He is very charming and that flows into his advocacy style.” This interviewee continues: “He is very, very diligent and always excellently prepared. When he’s leading a case, he makes sure all of the small things are done right. He always has his eye on the ball. He is so interested, he cares so much and he has such a good manner with clients as well.“
Emily Campbell has a strong advisory practice for tax matters. “Anything that needs anybody with a huge brain goes to Emily,” says an instructing solicitor, adding: “I’ve seen her on her feet and she shoots from the hip in a hugely impressive way.” One source notes: “I am highly impressed by her. She is really knowledgeable, effective and good with clients.”