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Trusts, probate and estates: non-contentious

Wilberforce Chambers has a history of excellence in the field of private client work. Wilberforce was awarded Set of the Year at the Chambers High Net Worth Awards 2020 and Private Client Set of the Year at The Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.

Our specialist private client 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.


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Related Barristers:

Brian Green QC

Jennifer Seaman

Daniel Petrides

Robert Ham QC

Simon Atkinson

Lemuel Lucan-Wilson

Michael Furness QC

Michael Ashdown

Ram Lakshman

John Child

Elizabeth Houghton

Benjamin Slingo

Emily Campbell TEP

Jia Wei Lee


Rankings and recognition

Wilberforce was awarded Set of the Year at the Chambers High Net Worth Awards 2020 and Private Client Set of the Year at The Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.

Chambers is ranked in Band 1 in Legal 500 (2022) for Private Client: Trusts and Probate and in Band 1 for Chambers UK Bar Directory (2022) in Chancery: Traditional. We are also proud to have individual barristers ranked highly in the private client categories of the directories.

Quotes from the Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates / Chancery: Traditional 2022 sections of Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 include:
“This is a pre-eminent set with some legendary members in this world.”
The Chambers is made up of great talent and there is always help at a high level when needed.
“Fantastic set with quality throughout.”
“Excellent, top of the market, with a price tag to match, but worth every penny!”
“Wilberforce is undoubtedly the top set in the trusts and probate world. Its strength in depth is second to none.”
“The set as a whole has an extremely strong profile in the area with some really stellar performers.”

Chambers & Partners UK 2022:

Wilberforce Chambers is “the go-to set for chancery work,” says an interviewee who explains: “The set has excellent barristers who are all very approachable and a pleasure to deal with as well.” The set’s respected silks and juniors are regularly instructed in complex pensions, wills and trusts matters, and often act in cross-jurisdictional and offshore cases.

The Legal 500 UK 2022:

Wilberforce Chambers ‘obviously is one of the top sets for offshore trusts’ and is a ‘set that excels in this field.’ The ‘highly intelligent’ Brian Green QC is acting for the defendant (a major bank) in £450m Hong Kong proceedings concerning the alleged breach of trust and other consequential issues. In another major case Gilead Cooper QC (an ‘intellectual giant’) is acting for Paul Nicholls (guardian of the infants) in Kea v Watson & Ors, a long-running dispute between two New Zealanders before the Jersey courts, concerning the validity of an interim arrêt (a form of seizure) of interests in three trusts to enforce payment of UK judgments.