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 2022Clare Stanley KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year

Chambers Bar Awards 2021Thomas 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

Wilberforce Chambers publishes a regular Private Client eBriefing update – if you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email marketing@wilberforce.co.uk.

Insights View all thought leadership

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    News

    Wilberforce nominated in multiple categories including Set of the Year for third year running at Legal 500 Bar Awards

    Wilberforce Chambers is pleased to share that we have been nominated in multiple categories at Legal 500’s 2024 Bar Awards. Wilberforce Chambers has been nominated for ‘Set of the Year’ for the third year in a row as well as ‘Chancery... Read more

    Wednesday 10 July 2024

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    Articles

    Co-ownership in the business context: the odiousness of survivorship in equity

    Article by John Grocott-Barrett, 27th June 2024 To read or download this article as a PDF, please click here. The co-ownership of property is a question that vexes all private client lawyers. The recent judgment of Nugee LJ, a former member of... Read more

    By John Grocott-Barrett
    Friday 28 June 2024

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    Recent Cases

    Upper Tribunal decides tax and trusts appeal in respect of gilt strips

    Tax, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious, Trusts, probate and estates: non-contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Friday 14 June 2024

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    Articles

    Trust me, I’m a dolphin!

    Joseph Steadman has written an article in which he considers McHale v Dunlop, a recent claim for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, arising from the loss of pension assets transferred into a SSAS and invested in an overseas investment... Read more

    By Joseph Steadman
    Thursday 13 June 2024

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Upcoming events View all events

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    Events / Webinars

    Private Client Breakfast Briefing: Wills, probate and capacity – the latest updates

    Tuesday 16th July 2024 | 8.30am - 9.45am
    Wilberforce Chambers, Lincoln's Inn, London, WC2A 3QP

    Free to attend | 1 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Guernsey Conference 2024

    Wednesday 25th September 2024 | 3.30pm - 6.20pm, followed by a drinks reception
    The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, St Peter Port

    Free to attend | 2.0 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Jersey Conference 2024

    Thursday 26th September 2024 | 3.30pm - 6.20pm, followed by a drinks reception
    Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Jersey

    Free to attend | 2.0 CPD

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Past events View all past events

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    External Conferences

    Junior Litigators’ Forum

    Thursday 9th May 2024
    The Grand Hotel, Birmingham

    Speakers:
    Simon Atkinson

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    External Conferences

    ACTAPS South East Seminar

    Tuesday 12th March 2024
    Charles Russell Speechlys, Guildford

    Speakers:
    Fenner Moeran KC | Tiffany Scott KC | Elizabeth Houghton

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Trusts Litigation Day 2024

    Monday 29th January 2024 | 9am - 5.35pm, followed by drinks and dinner
    InterContinental Park Lane, London

    £299 - £360 + VAT | 5.5 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Fraud, Trusts & Asset Recovery Conference 2023

    Wednesday 8th November 2023 | 12.45pm - 5.30pm, followed by drinks
    Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, London

    £120 + VAT | 3.5 CPD

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