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Call: 1994    QC: 2015

+44 (0)20 7306

Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates

Particular areas of expertise:

  • Contentious trust litigation between beneficiaries and trustees, and claims by third parties.
  • Disputes involving wills, estates and family provision.
  •  International cross-border trust litigation.
  •  Trust arbitration

Recommendations for Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates:

  • “She has a mastery of trusts disputes. She is very straightforward to deal with and very pragmatic, with a ‘no panic’ approach. She’s an excellent advocate, and is extremely thorough and well prepared.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
  • “She’s very solid and very sound. She gives a firm view and sticks to it.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
  • “Is a seasoned trusts litigator with razor-sharp technical ability.” Legal 500, 2020
  • “Clare is a punchy advocate with real gravitas in the area of contentious trusts.” Legal 500, 2019
  • “She is meticulously prepared for trials and always gives you complete confidence. She is on top of everything and is very good at dealing with witnesses. She is a firepower advocate.” Chambers & Partners HNW, 2018
  • “Judges are very complimentary about her and how she controls matters. She absolutely knows what she is doing and takes total command of the case by dint of her easy and straightforward manner.” Chambers & Partners, 2018
  • “Clare is insightful and can really help clients with overall strategy. Her turnaround time is amazing and she is very amiable.” Chambers & Partners, 2018

Recent cases (where parties are confidential, names have been anonymised):
Trustee Directions and momentous decisions

  • Re LG and others (2020): acting for trustees of two English trusts which together hold a majority shareholding in a privately owned trading company, seeking court blessing for a sale of all of the trusts’ shares to a third party.
  • Re X Trust (2020): acting for trustees of two offshore trusts. Dispute as to dispositive powers/obligations, and momentous decision to sell main trust asset which requires protector consent.
  • Re D Trust (current): acting for personal representatives of an offshore estate, who wish to compromise a claim that offshore trusts settled by or at the behest of the deceased during his lifetime were shams.
  • Re an English trust (2020): acting for complaining beneficiaries of an English trust which holds property portfolio through a corporate structure; momentous decision of trustees to appoint some of trust assets to the other beneficiaries, and thereafter to exclude them from benefiting.
  • Re A Trust (2019): advising the major beneficiary of an insolvent offshore trust, and rights against trustee
  • Re CM Settlement (2019): acting for reputed trustees of an English law trust seeking directions as to whether the proper law of the trust had validly been changed to that of the Isle of Man, and consequently as to the validity of appointments and administrative decisions taken thereafter.
  • Palmer v Boam (2018): acting for two trustees of two English family trusts which held a large property portfolio. Momentous decision to sell all the properties, wind up the trusts and distribute amongst the beneficiaries.

Contentious trusts

  • Re L Trusts (current): acting for two of the trustees of an English law trust which owns shares in a valuable family business run by a company controlled by a family member.
  • Monderer v Nevis (current): a case concerning whether beneficiaries of a trust can sue trustees who are also directors of underlying trust owned companies, where the losses were suffered both by the trust fund and the underlying companies.
  • Re R Trusts (2019): advising court appointed trustees of an offshore trust in relation to hostile proceedings between two warring factions.
  • Re N Trusts (2019): advising offshore trustees who had (before my instruction) been brought into and participated in contentious fraud proceedings alleging the trust assets were held on trust for the claimants.
  • Re M Trust (2019): acting for offshore trustees of high value trust which was sued in parallel proceedings in England and offshore alleging that the property settled on the trust was subject to a pre-existing property (tracing) claim by the claimant or the dispositions should be set aside under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Shapiro v Boam (2018): acting for trustees in relation to a hostile claim by beneficiaries that they account in relation to their management of underlying family business.
  • Smith v Smith (2018, settled): constructive trust and proprietary estoppel claim in relation to ownership of a family farm.
  • Baker v Dunne [2016] W.T.L.R. 1489: Beddoe orders in the context of enforcement of a judgment obtained by the trustee.
  • Brudenell-Bruce (Earl of Cardigan) v Moore & anor [2015] W.T.L.R. 373; high value claim for breach of trust in relation to duty to repair trust property; removal of trustees.
  • Challinor v Juliet Bellis (A firm) [2015] EWCA Civ 59 – now one of the leading cases on Quistclose / resulting trusts.
  • Preedy v Dunne [2015] W.T.L.R. 1795: scope and nature of trustees’ powers under TOLATA.
  • Freedman v Freedman [2015] W.T.L.R. 1187: trial of a Pitt v Holt claim to set aside a discretionary settlement for mistake.


  • Re Taj (Deceased) (ongoing): acting for one of two executors in a claim by beneficiaries for their removal, and parallel NCPR proceedings for an account.
  • Re Bruhl (Deceased) (2019): dispute about construction of will in a valuable Cayman estate; questions of construction of bequests and legacies, meaning of residuary estate, completion of administration.
  • Black v Purkiss (2016): trial of a claim to set aside inter vivos gift of real property for lack of capacity and undue influence.
  • Hinds v Hinds (2015) Cayman Court of Appeal: competing claims by two separate estates to ownership of valuable pieces of land in Cayman; limitation and laches, derivative claims.

1975 Act Claims

  • B v C (2019): claim by former partner claiming share of a high value estate which comprised illiquid non-majority shareholding in a family company
  • Re the Estate of R (2019): acting for the widow of a well-known celebrity in a claim to vary the provision made for her by his will.
  • Re the Estate of M (2018): acting for the former partner of the deceased in a claim for provision from his £100 million estate.