UK Bar: Private Client 2018

In this chapter we recognise 66 barristers who stand out for their excellent work in the areas of wills and succession planning, trusts and estates, residence and domicile, probate and charities.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Elspeth Talbot Rice QC XXIV Old Buildings
2. Nicholas Le Poidevin QC New Square Chambers
3. Gilead Cooper QC Wilberforce Chambers
4. Shân Warnock-Smith QC 5 Stone Buildings
5. Robert Ham QC Wilberforce Chambers
1. Constance McDonnell Serle Court
2. Giles Richardson Serle Court
3. Richard Dew Ten Old Square


WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS sees seven silks nominated this year who are recognised for their wealth of knowledge on areas including trusts, probate and estates, as well as art and cultural property work.
Gilead Cooper QC is described as “first-class all round” by peers. He is one of the top silks in our research this year and boasts particular expertise in trusts and estates litigation domestically as well as offshore.
Robert Ham QC is noted by peers for his depth of understanding of private client matters, and is described by respondents as “a star barrister”. His practice has a particular focus on trust law, an area in which he is considered a leader.
Brian Green QC is described as “a top practitioner” by sources who commend his broad practice that spans areas such as onshore and offshore trust taxation and commercial trusts work.

5 STONE BUILDINGS sees six silks achieve recognition in this chapter for their excellent work in the field.
Shân Warnock-Smith QC has an eminent and wide-ranging practice which encompasses contentious and non-contentious trust and estates matters, as well as wealth structuring. She is highly regarded by clients and peers alike and is noted for her particular expertise on trust cases involving conflict of interest.
The “excellent” Henry Legge QC is a superb advocate whose first-rate practice includes specialist areas such as pension schemes, estates, art and trusts.
Penelope Reed QC is a standout name in the private client space, recognised for her strong expertise handling a range of matters including proprietary estoppel and wills.
Tracey Angus QC enjoys a prominent reputation among peers who praise her work on trusts and matrimonial disputes. In addition to this her practice also covers areas including contentious inheritance and property disputes.

XXIV OLD BUILDINGS sees four silks nominated in this chapter.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC draws high praise from peers for her ability to provide “crisp, no-nonsense, clear advice”. She is one of the most distinguished barristers in our research this year and is commended for her work on probate and trust litigation.
Alan Steinfeld QC is “a very effective advocate” who has an exceptional reputation among peers. He is recognised for his insightful knowledge of a number of areas including fraud claims and disputes of over the gains from a partnership.

Three silks from TEN OLD SQUARE are highlighted in this chapter for their impressive work in the private client space.
Francis Barlow QC is described by peers as “extremely good on non-contentious matters” and focuses his wide-ranging practice on domestic and offshore trusts, succession disputes and capital tax issues.
The “technically brilliant” Simon Taube QC is praised by colleagues and clients alike for his trusts and estates work. He is also commended for his deep knowledge of private wealth planning.

NEW SQUARE CHAMBERS’ Nicholas Le Poidevin QC is nominated this year for his renowned private client work, most notably when it comes to trusts and estates matters.

At MAITLAND CHAMBERS Christopher McCall QC is recognised by respondents for his “excellent chancery work”. He has a widely respected practice which focuses on areas such as divorce issues and charity work.

At PUMP COURT TAX CHAMBERS, William Massey QC is described as the “go-to person” for private client matters. According to sources, his “comprehensive” approach “inspires confidence“, particularly when dealing with estate tax planning, conditional exemption and trust tax planning.

ONE ESSEX COURT has an outstanding advocate in Steven Elliott QC, recognised this year for his work involving complex issues such as multi-jurisdictional trust disputes.


SERLE COURT sees three outstanding juniors nominated this year for their private client work.
Constance McDonnell is noted by peers as “a definition inclusion for nomination” this year. She is highly regarded for her depth of knowledge on trust disputes, administration of estates and contentious probate work.
The “excellent” Giles Richardson is commended by colleagues for his impressive practice which includes matters relating to the power of trustees in trust disputes and inheritance issues.
William Henderson has a standout practice relating to the administration of estates, professional negligence and trust matters, areas in which he is considered “extremely good”.

WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS boasts a number of excellent juniors at the set whose outstanding private client work sees them recognised this year.
Judith Bryant is described by respondents as “an extraordinarily good non-contentious practitioner”. She is well known at the junior bar for her excellent work on international trusts and conflict of laws, the construction of wills and estate matters.
Andrew Child is “regularly in demand for his contentious work” according to sources. His practice includes such areas as undue influence claims and breach of trust issues.

PUMP COURT TAX CHAMBERS is home to a number of exceptional juniors, four of whom are nominated this year for their private client practices.
Emma Chamberlain is a well-known junior at the Bar who is noted for her “particular excellence on non-domiciled tax issues”.
James Rivett is noted by peers for his outstanding work on personal tax issues as well as with heritage property and landed estates concerns.

At TEN OLD SQUARE Richard Dew is described by interviewees as a junior who “immediately gets to the heart of the dispute and finds the way through very complex issues and has great attention to detail”. Sources state that he “combines a technical prowess most of us can only dream of with a truly pragmatic and client-focused approach”.

5 STONE BUILDINGSEdward Hewitt is widely recognised by sources for his strategic approach to on and offshore trust disputes and issues relating to inheritance.

At NEW SQUARE CHAMBERS Alexander Learmonth is described as “absolutely wonderful” and “as good as any silk” by sources this year. His practice covers a broad range of areas including succession and trusts, professional negligence work and issues concerning the Court of Protection.

Back to top

Follow us on LinkedIn

News & Features

Community News



Pro Bono

Corporate Counsel

Women in Law

Future Leaders

Research Reports

Practice Areas


The Who's Who Legal 100


Special Reports



About Us

Research Schedule

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

Copyright © 2019 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. |

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910 |

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK