Wilberforce Chambers

Chancery: Traditional Department

London (Bar)
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Wilberforce Chambers is a leading chancery set that provides expertise in a wide variety of domestic and international disputes. It is acknowledged for its strength in traditional chancery matters, with one legal expert reporting that "it is a powerhouse for private client work." Sources further praise it as "a 21st century operation" and note that the barristers there are "technically brilliant but also highly commercial." Members are well-known for their work in trusts, tax and probate matters and are also acknowledged for their familiarity with key offshore jurisdictions. One market insider enthuses that "this is a top chancery set with people who are intellectually streets ahead of almost everybody else." Another adds that "the set has really good quality which goes down deep." Recent cases handled include Freedman v Freedman, and the major Hong Kong case of Tang v Tang.

Client service

"The clerking team is just fantastic. The combination of practice director Nicholas Luckman and head clerk Mark Rushton is really stellar. They are a great team." "The set is service-orientated. It is a very slick operation and is the antithesis of your old-school barristers chambers."

Strengths

Andrew Child
Leading junior in the field of traditional chancery, who often handles many of the most important cases concerning estate and trust litigation both domestically and offshore. He is noted for his expertise in breach of trust claims and specialises in disputes with an element of fraud or undue influence.
"A sharp-witted and tough litigator, who is persuasive in court and knows how to construct a neat and concise argument." "He is brilliant at working out the best strategy in a case and helping the instructing solicitor implement it."
Recent work: Represented the trustees in bankruptcy of the estate of Brinsley Black in connection with various claims brought against them by the estate of his late wife.

Strengths

Andrew Mold
Junior with a broad chancery practice who regularly appears against silks. He has particular expertise in breach of trust matters, and is excellent at handling the trust elements of high-value divorce proceedings. He also advises on pensions, fraud and partnership matters.
"Extremely clever and someone who is very good at dealing with both solicitors and lay clients." "He has good intellectual capacity and is exceptional on paper. He can dissect really complex points in a way which the court can readily follow."
Recent work: Advised in follow-up proceedings to the high-profile Estrada v Juffali divorce case. Mold advised in relation to enforcement against offshore trusts and overseas assets.

Strengths

Brian Green QC
Highly rated silk who is a leading practitioner in trust and estate law. He is further praised for having wide-ranging experience in other chancery matters, and is a noted expert in offshore disputes. His expertise also extends to pension and family disputes.
"An extraordinarily brilliant man and one of the best advisers and advocates at the Chancery Bar. He is very good with clients and inspires confidence." "Incredibly intelligent, he deals with huge cases in a down to earth and sensible manner." 
Recent work: Acted in Tang v Tang, appearing for the respondent in an appeal to Hong Kong's most senior court on the limits of the remedy of account of profits in a constructive trust case.

Strengths

Clare Stanley QC
Focuses her practice on contentious trusts and probate litigation on both a domestic and international scale. She has significant experience of handling offshore disputes and numerous 1975 Act claims. Stanley has in-depth expertise in cases involving fiduciary duty and major fraud allegations.
"Meticulously prepared for trial and someone who always gives you complete confidence, she's a big gun whom you bring in for tough cases." "Advocacy-wise, she is really good at judging the courtroom and how judges will react."
Recent work: Represented beneficiaries of a large trust, which included a portfolio of properties, who are suing their uncle and aunt, acting as trustees, for misappropriation of funds.

Strengths

Emily Campbell
Has a practice encompassing a broad range of chancery work. She is particularly experienced in litigation and advisory work relating to trusts, estates, pension schemes and taxation. Campbell also has expertise in international matters and is known for her ability to deal with technical trust issues with considerable mathematical content.
"Very responsive, very practical and very clear-minded, she gives really solid advice on complicated trusts matters. She provides detailed and well thought-out advice you can always rely on."
Recent work: Instructed in a long-running dispute concerning the conversion of a Liechtenstein establishment into a foundation. The allegations included breaches of trust, wilful default and the wrongful distribution of significant trust assets.

Strengths

Fenner Moeran QC
Specialises in complex family disputes and frequently handles sensitive and high-profile trust cases. He has developed a substantial offshore disputes practice and is noted for his expertise in cases concerning complex property issues arising out of matrimonial breakdown. He often acts for large financial institutions as well as wealthy individuals and families.
"Incredibly clever and very bright, he provides very practical and commercial advice. He is good on strategy and absolutely superb in court." "Fenner really delves into the academic nuances which arise in this area of law. He is really committed to cases and always wins the client's confidence."

Strengths

Gilead Cooper QC
Specialises in contentious trust and property matters on both a domestic and international basis. He is highly regarded for his expertise in offshore matters and regularly appears in overseas courts on high-profile cases. His expertise in art and cultural property matters is also acknowledged by the market.
"He's a great creative thinker who's a great one for pulling a rabbit out of the hat in a case where no one else knows what to do."
Recent work: Involved in a dispute between the Dowager Countess Bathurst and the current earl who is her stepson. The dispute relates to the Dowager's intended use of £13 million worth of family heirlooms.

Strengths

John Martin QC
Exceptionally experienced barrister with specific expertise in contentious trust cases. He also has plenty of experience in offshore disputes and regularly appears in court in a variety of overseas jurisdictions. His practice also includes ADR and he is a qualified mediator.
"Very wise and very sensible, he is good at suppressing the emotion in a case." "Very forceful in court, he is a good barrister for nasty disputes when the other side is taking potshots."

Strengths

Jonathan Davey QC
Regularly involved in complex and high-value traditional chancery disputes, he is noted for his experience in significant tax litigation and has acted in several high-profile cases relating to that area. He also has expertise in pensions and charity matters. He is further noted for his extensive familiarity with arbitration and other forms of ADR.
"Demonstrates real in-depth knowledge and a full understanding of all the issues in a case." "Even when immersed in the detail, he can cut though the nonsense and find the most relevant issues."
Recent work: Dealt with a multimillion-pound trust dispute regarding the ownership of a nationally significant property portfolio in Central England.

Strengths

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Often involved in matters relating to complex offshore structures, he acts in various jurisdictions. He is also noted for his recent experience in dealing with highly lucrative trust and divorce cases in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions. His practice also encompasses significant pensions work.
"Has a phenomenal appetite for work and has massive brainpower. Out of all the younger QCs, he's the real rising star. His work is tremendous and nothing fazes him."

Strengths

Judith Bryant
Well-experienced junior who specialises in advisory and litigation work involving trusts. She often advises on trust variation matters, trustees' applications and disputes over the interpretation of complex trusts documentation. She also acts as a mediator in a broad range of private client disputes.
"Brilliant with clients and has a sure touch when dealing with sensitive cases in which parties may be quite adversarial. She is very calm and demonstrates very good judgement."

Strengths

Michael Furness QC
Noted for his work in onshore and offshore disputes, he often deals with trust and tax litigation as well as associated professional negligence matters. His cases often involve complex, multi-jurisdictional issues and he is recognised for his experience of dealing with matters in the Hong Kong courts.
"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 combines careful attention to detail with an incisive ability to get to the nub of the problem."

Strengths

Robert Ham QC
Hugely experienced practitioner who specialises in trusts and taxation matters, handling both contentious and non-contentious work. He also deals with pensions and professional negligence matters. His expertise extends to offshore disputes for wealthy families and trust companies.
"His knowledge of the law is encyclopaedic, his experience is unrivalled and he is trusted to give the right advice. He is one of the all-time greats."

Strengths

Tiffany Scott QC
Recent silk who advises on all aspects of trusts and estates work, both on a contentious and non-contentious basis. She is also noted for her expertise in offshore and multi-jurisdictional matters. Her clients include major financial institutions as well as high-net-worth families.
"Her advice is always very detailed and thorough. She demonstrates impeccable judgement and has some excellent experience for a new silk." "She is very smart, very responsive and very bright."
Recent work: Represented the Hayward family in a trust dispute in the Bahamas which was worth over USD100 million.

Strengths

Zoe Barton
Her practice primarily encompasses a wide range of property, professional negligence and trust work. She also has experience of dealing with large-scale disputes which give rise to fiduciary duties.
"Really good in court, she is tenacious, thorough and forthright." "Zoe demonstrates clear thinking and is strategic. When you have conferences with clients, she is very adept at making them understand the pitfalls and risks in a case."
Recent work: Instructed by the son in a dispute relating to parts of his mother's will. He alleged undue influence on behalf of her neighbours who were gifted the estate in her will.