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Michael Furness QC

Call: 1982    QC: 2000

+44 (0)20 7306 0102mfurness@wilberforce.co.uk

Practice Overview

Michael’s practice has three main strands:

  • Contentious trust litigation
  • Advice and litigation concerning occupational pension schemes
  • Tax litigation

He also undertakes professional liability litigation in areas related to the three main areas of his practice.

Michael has wide litigation experience, at all levels and in a variety of jurisdictions.

In this jurisdiction he has appeared several times in the House of Lords and in the Supreme Court (in the revenue case of DCC Ltd v HMRC). His appearances in the House of Lords include the leading tax cases of Ingram, McNiven v Westmoreland Investments and Arctic Systems, and the important pensions case of National Grid v Mayes.

Overseas, he has a substantial contentious and non-contentious trust practice mainly in Bermuda, and involving large family trusts. He also appears regularly in the courts of Hong Kong, including three appearances in the Court of Final Appeal.

The recent 2019 edition of Chambers & Partners describes him as “a superb advocate” and ”a very thorough and thoughtful counsel who provides extremely clear and helpful advice. One of his great strengths is his knowledge of both trust law and tax issues. He has the ability to combine the two to provide sensible and practical advice and solutions”.

Michael handles occupational pensions work and trusts and tax litigation to a very high standard. He regularly appears in offshore jurisdictions. Michael is said to be “very good at knotty, intellectually demanding trust matters. The more complex it is, the more likely he will be the only person who can deal with it in a reasonable and effective manner”. He “has a very nice manner with both the client and the court and possesses impressive gravitas”.

He is an experienced litigator, who has a strong focus on work relating to both onshore and offshore trusts and is well equipped to deal with matters concerning clients from overseas. ”Michael is an expert at handling legal issues which require detailed and painstaking analysis.” Chambers & Partners, 2019