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UK Bar: Private Client 2016

This year 56 practitioners have been identified by our research as the leaders in the field.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Leading Silks
Nicholas Le Poidevin QC New Square Chambers
Christopher McCall QC Maitland Chambers
Robert Ham QC Wilberforce Chambers
Penelope Reed QC 5 Stone Buildings
Frank Hinks QC Serle Court
Leading Juniors
Dakis Hagen Serle Court
William Henderson Serle Court
Lynton Tucker New Square Chambers
John Child Wilberforce Chambers
Thomas Dumont Radcliffe Chambers



5 Stone Buildings is home to some of the “finest silks at the bar”. Penelope Reed QC is an “absolute star”. She has an “impressive breadth of expertise” and “can be relied upon to handle difficult and complex cases with a calm and measured approach”. Shân Warnock-Smith QC is an “incredibly gifted lawyer” whose practice is “first-rate” by all accounts. Peers praise her as an “effective advocate”. Henry Legge QC has been involved in some of the highest-profile trust disputes onshore and offshore. His “pragmatic approach to problem-solving” and “user-friendly manner” ensures he is “in high demand”. Christopher Tidmarsh QC is a “powerhouse of knowledge” and clients turn to him for his “first-rate drafting skills”. He has an “understated manner and can command the attention of the court”. Tracey Angus QC is “highly impressive” and “really knows her stuff”. She operates in a “commercial manner”; “always looking out for the best interests of her clients”. Mark Herbert QC is a “legendary figure” at the bar whose “expertise in trust law is unrivalled”.

Serle Court has a “first-rate” reputation for its private client work. Frank Hinks QC is “one of the best-known silks” at the bar. His international practice is “held in high esteem” and clients praise his “impressive advocacy skills” and “astute legal mind”. Alan Boyle QC is a “heavyweight silk” who is considered a “formidable opponent” in cases. He is a “great strategist” who has vast experience in trust and probate litigation. Jonathan Adkin QC has built a “great name” for himself, and clients say they “hear only good things”. His “confident manner puts clients at ease”. John Machell QC has a “solid reputation” in relation to trusts and probate and is “very active” on international matters.

Ten Old Square continues to attract leading talent in the market. Simon Taube QC is a “top name” at the bar whose “impressive breadth of expertise allows him to turn his hand to all chancery matters”. He is a “standout individual” who is praised for his “analytical mind” and “ability to get to the heart of the problem”. Eason Rajah QC provides “practical, sensible and effective advice” while being “technically brilliant”. A “truly outstanding” silk Francis Barlow QC is praised for his “smooth performances” and “ability to get the ear of the court”.

Wilberforce Chambers’ Robert Ham QC is “extremely well thought of”. His trust law practice is “second to none” and clients appreciate his “relaxed manner” and “great way with clients”. Brian Green QC is a “stellar lawyer” who is deemed a “market leader” by our respondents. John Martin QC is the “go-to silk” at chambers for contentious trust cases and is a “great tactician”.

At XXIV Old Buildings, Alan Steinfeld QC can “turn his hand to anything” and is praised for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of private client matters. Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is “extremely popular with clients” and is “meticulous” in her dealings. David Brownbill QC is noted for his international trusts practice and is praised for his “strong advocacy” and “eye for detail”.

Maitland Chambers’ Christopher McCall QC is a “standout” in the field. He has a “prestigious practice” advising on charity matters and private client work. Catherine Newman QC is described as “the barrister you want for the heavy stuff” and also comes highly recommended by peers and clients.

3 Stone Buildings’ Gilead Cooper QC is a “first-rate litigator” whose practice focuses on contentious property and trust matters. He is praised for his “sharp intellect” and “easy manner with clients”. Richard Wilson QC was appointed a silk in 2016 and has an active contentious and non-contentious practice focusing on trusts and probate.

New Square Chambers’ Nicholas Le Poidevin QC is “incredibly bright and effective”. He is particularly well known for his work in the offshore market and is a “pleasure to work with”.

On the tax side, Pump Court Tax Chambers is home to three leading individuals. William Massey QC is “one of the best private client tax silks” at the bar and is “incredibly smart”. David Ewart QC is a “standout silk” who is “exceptionally good on inheritance tax matters”. His “pragmatic and sensible advice” is highly valued. Kevin Prosser QC is a “tremendous litigator” who puts forward “well-reasoned opinions” and “has the ear of the court”.

15 Old Square Tax Chambers’ James Kessler QC specialises in trusts, wills and charities and is highly knowledgeable on the taxation of foreign domiciliaries. Robert Venables QC is lauded for his “astute mind” and “technical prowess”.


At XXIV Old Buildings, Adam Cloherty is a “great talent” in the market who is “highly sought after” for his expertise in trusts and estates litigation. John Stephens is “always brilliant” and is “very well respected” in the field. Edward Cumming is an “incredibly bright” junior who is “thorough and technically strong”. Bajul Shah is “very promising” and a “top choice” for silks. Michael King has vast experience in private client matters and is recommended for his mediation skills in the areas of trust, probate and estates disputes. Elizabeth Weaver is highly regarded and receives praise for her “strong drafting skills and impressive advocacy”.

At Wilberforce Chambers, John Child is “incredibly knowledgeable” on private client matters and acts for several of the leading family trusts and land estates. He is especially recommended for his skills in drawing up and advising on trust documentation. Mark Studer is a senior junior with a great reputation. Clients appreciate his “hands-on approach” and “helpful manner”. Judith Bryant provides “clear and effective advice” in relation to trust work. She is recommended for her advisory and litigation skills. Emily Campbell is “always upbeat” and “happy to help on short notice”. She is best known for her work on pension schemes, trusts, estates and taxation. Nikki Singla specialises in trust litigation with a strong focus on offshore matters particularly in the Caribbean, the Channel Islands and the Middle East. He is a “great operator” and is described as a “pleasure to work with”.

5 Stone Buildings’ Henry Harrod is a “distinguished name” in the market. He is a “standard bearer for drafting” and has “exceptional judgement in private client matters”. David Rees is best known for his court of protection work and clients praise him as being “calm, measured and incredibly helpful”. Barbara Rich specialises in succession, trusts and court of protection cases. She is “highly pragmatic” and “has clients’ best interests at heart”. Leon Sartin gives “well rounded advice” and is “the whole package”.

Serle Court is home to two leading juniors. Dakis Hagen is a “favourite” among silks and has a “sterling reputation”. William Henderson is an “extremely able” senior junior who is a “true specialist” in charities law.

At New Square Chambers, Lynton Tucker is “very able on trust matters” and is described as “incredibly smart”. Alexander Learmonth specialises in wills, succession and trusts and is “stellar on paper and on his feet”.

Radcliffe Chambers’ Thomas Dumont is “very popular” and is “excellent on contentious matters”. Francesca Quint is a charities law “guru” who provides “well-reasoned opinions in a timely manner”. 

On the tax front, Pump Court Tax Chambers enjoys a strong presence with four juniors recommended. Emma Chamberlain has a “fantastic reputation” for her private client tax practice. She “knows more than anyone” and is particularly noted for her inheritance work. James Rivett is highly knowledgeable on personal tax matters and peers praise his “details-oriented approach”. Richard Vallat “communicates clearly and acts fast” while Elizabeth Wilson advises on capital gains and income tax for individuals and trusts, inheritance tax, tax issues for divorce and other personal tax matters. She is a “delight to work with” and “extremely capable”. 

At Devereux Chambers, Marika Lemos has extensive experience in structuring onshore and offshore trusts as well as UK and cross-border estate planning, among other areas. She is “efficient, bright and has a no-nonsense approach”. Aparna Nathan focuses on tax planning using offshore structures for high net worth individuals and is also recommended for her expertise in tax planning for entrepreneurs. Clients praise her “diligent manner” and “ability to get to the heart of the problem”.

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