Trusts, probate and estates: non-contentious
Wilberforce Chambers has a history of excellence in the field of private client work. Our specialist team of barristers assist private individuals, trustees, and beneficiaries in the range of technical areas listed below:
- Non-contentious litigation such as applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, under section 57 of the Trustee Act 1925, section 48 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and applications by trustees or personal representatives for permission to administer on certain footings;
- Drafting of trusts, wills and supplemental documentation such as appointments, advancements, deeds of variation, indemnities and releases;
- Advice on technical questions relating to trusts and estates such as perpetuities and accumulations, the treatment of income under section 31 of the Trustee Act 1925, uses of statutory and express powers of advancement, the operation of engrafted trusts and questions regarding reversionary interests; and
- The tax treatment of trusts and estates, including inheritance tax and related capital gains tax, income tax and SDLT issues.
- Advising on conflict of laws questions relating to trusts and estates where there is a foreign element.
- Advising, undertaking drafting and appearing in non-contentious proceedings concerning trusts and estates in foreign jurisdictions whose systems of law are based on English law principles, as well as providing UK tax advice in relation to trusts and estates in offshore jurisdictions.
Rankings and recognition
Wilberforce is ranked as a tier 1 set in Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for Traditional Chancery and Private Client (Trusts & Probate) work.
Chambers & Partners 2024: Wilberforce Chambers has an impressive group of barristers who handle complex disputes surrounding trusts and estates, and demonstrate multi-jurisdictional knowledge of the law. “The team here is tried, tested, battle-hardened and excellent,” comments a source. Recently, members of the set have appeared in a number of significant matters including Halabi v Equity Trust, which looked at fundamental principles of trusts and insolvency and their interrelationship. As one interviewee said: “Wilberforce is the go-to set for tricky cases that sit at the interface between different areas of law. They are the set to go to when you need someone really skilled and you’re seeking out the best advice.”
The Legal 500 2024: Wilberforce Chambers is ‘a leading set on all matters relating to trusts’ and ‘a real powerhouse in private wealth work’. ‘Trusts expert’ Clare Stanley KC is ‘a persuasive advocate’; she represented Simon Halabi in the Halabi v Equity Trust case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, an appeal from the Jersey courts concerning if trustees have priority over other creditors of an insolvent trust. In addition, Jonathan Davey KC represented HMRC in Levack v Bay Trust International test case concerning the doctrine of mistake, and trustees placing themselves at risk of mistakes as applied to tax structures, in this case one established by the practice of struck-off solicitor-turned-pornographer Paul Baxendale-Walker. Turning to the set’s juniors. Simon Atkinson represented the trustees in Goodrich v AB – a case concerning if provisions in a trust deed drawn up in 1990 should, in the light of subsequent legislation, should be interpreted as including stepchildren as children and civil partners as spouses.
The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022: Wilberforce wins Chancery Set of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2022: Clare Stanley KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2021: Thomas Grant KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year
Chambers High Net Worth Awards 2020: Wilberforce wins of Set of the Year
The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2020: Wilberforce wins Private Client Set of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2018: Wilberforce wins Chancery Set of the Year
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