UK Bar: Private Client 2019

In this chapter 44 silks and 25 juniors are recognised 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. Gilead Cooper QC  Wilberforce Chambers 
3. Jonathan Hilliard QC  Wilberforce Chambers 
4. Richard Wilson QC  Serle Court
1. William Henderson Serle Court
2. Richard Dew  Ten Old Square 
3. Alexander Learmonth New Square Chambers 


Serle Court Chambers performs very well with eight private client silks listed.
Richard Wilson QC is “incredibly well known” and “highly recommended” for his private client work. Sources note he is “very smooth, impressive and good on his feet”.
Dakis Hagen QC is “very clever and great in court” say peers. He is frequently involved in complex trusts and probate cases, and “does a lot of offshore trust work”.
Alan Boyle QC is “a great litigator” and a key name in the private client space. His practice spans trusts and probate disputes as well as matters relating to a number of offshore trustees.
Frank Hinks QC has a wealth of experience in the private client sphere and stands out for his strong international practice, with a particular focus on Bermuda.
John Machell QC is “a sound strategist with excellent client communication skills”, say sources who consider him a “very good tactician with excellent advocacy skills”.

Wilberforce achieves seven listings for its silks.
Jonathan Hilliard QC is “an excellent private client silk” who is applauded by peers for his “very thorough and straightforward” approach. His expertise spans several areas within the field, including trusts and family law.
Gilead Cooper QC “has an incredibly quick mind” say peers who add he has “a wonderful capacity for creative, strategic thinking”. They note he is “excellent in writing and on his feet” and commend the “strength of his analysis and promptness in responding to instructions”.
Robert Ham QC is recognised as “outstanding” for his private client work, which spans matters relating to tax, pensions and professional negligence. One source effuses: “I would unhesitatingly recommend him.”
Clare Stanley QC is “superb on her feet” according to respondents who say she “unfailingly identifies the correct legal analysis at the outset”. They note she is “not afraid to tackle the difficult issues”.
John Martin QC is “an extremely good advocate” with a wealth of experience handling a high number of complex trusts disputes.
Brian Green QC is a “huge name” when it comes to private client-related issues, including trust and estate issues as well as pension schemes.
Michael Furness QC gains recognition for his impressive work in the private client arena, and his extensive experience handling sophisticates trusts disputes.

Seven private client lawyers from 5 Stone Buildings are mentioned in this chapter.
David Rees QC is an “extremely clever” private client silk, who is “always very sensible and a pleasure to deal with”, say market commentators.
Tracey Angus QC is “very highly thought of” among peers in the private client market who consider her “a great litigator” and a “very clever” advocate.
Penelope Reed QC is “really up there at the top” say sources who note she “will fight her corner extremely hard”. She is “increasingly well known for offshore work” and is highlighted as “top rate”.  
Christopher Tidmarsh QC is an “extremely good” private client silk who is “very sensible and pragmatic”. He has considerable experience in both onshore and offshore trusts matters.

XXIV Old Buildings sees five silks recognised in our private client research.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is one of the foremost private client silks at the Bar. She receives high praise from peers who describe her as “phenomenal” and a “great advocate” who is “always a very hard-hitting opponent”.
Alan Steinfeld QC is “an amazing advocate” with a “huge presence in this area” according to peers. He has extensive experience of working on international trusts and pensions.
Edward Cumming QC is a “brilliant young silk” who will “go very far” in the field, say peers. He is well versed in handling a wide array of trusts and probate matters.
David Brownbill QC is a “go-to person for international trusts work” and has considerable experience in several areas of private client law.
Stephen Moverley Smith QC is gains recognition for his impressive private client work involving civil fraud, insolvency, trusts and corporate and partnership law.

Ten Old Square achieves three listings here.
Eason Rajah QC “is the finest trust barrister of his generation” say sources. He performs a range of contentious and non-contentious private client work, and is very well regarded in the field.
Simon Taube QC is a “fantastic” private client silk and an “elder statesman of this world”. He is an expert in trusts taxation and estates matters.
Francis Barlow QC is recognised for his impressive private client practice, as well as his specialist knowledge of trusts and succession disputes.

Nicholas Le Poidevin QC of New Square Chambers has “huge knowledge and experience in private client” matters according to peers who “rate him highly”. He is known for his strong offshore practice.


5 Stone Buildings performs well this year with five juniors recognised.
Edward Hewitt is a “rising star” who is recognised by peers as “brilliant in court”. His practice includes complex trusts and estates disputes.
Sarah Haren is a “very intelligent and robust litigator” who is frequently engaged in matters relating to claims to remove trustees, as well as breach of duty claims.
Barbara Rich has “encyclopaedic knowledge of this area” and stands out for her in-depth knowledge of the interpretation, validity and rectification of wills.

Serle Court sees four juniors listed here.
William Henderson is an “extremely accomplished” private client junior who is highlighted as “the expert on charities”. His work spans estates, offshore trusts and probate matters.
Giles Richardson is “extremely smart and a very smooth operator” with considerable experience in both onshore and offshore disputes.
James Weale is a “superstar” in the private client field. He is “very analytical and good at identifying discrepancies in documents and witness statements”.
James Brightwell is an “intelligent barrister with bags of knowledge” in the field of private client. He stands out for his work on trusts and offshore matters.

XXIV Old Buildings also achieves four listings in this chapter.
Andrew Holden is “gaining a huge reputation” in the private client space, say peers who highlight him as “extremely clever and great in court”.
Adam Cloherty is recognised for his impressive private client practice, and comes highly recommended for his work on trusts and estates issues.

Ten Old Square sees three private client juniors listed here.
Richard Dew is highly praised in this year’s research, and is considered a leading junior in the field of private client. He is a “very good technician but also sees the bigger picture”.
Georgia Bedworth is a “very, very clever” advocate who performs complex contentious and non-contentious work in trusts and estates matters.
Susannah Meadway is “always extremely good” say peers, and she impresses with her in-depth knowledge of probate, trust taxation and charities matters.

Alexander Learmonth of New Square Chambers is “a top-notch junior” with a very impressive practice, and particular expertise in succession matters.

Emma Chamberlain of Pump Court Tax Chambers is an “inheritance tax guru”. She is “extremely good” in the field of private client, with one source commenting, “If you have a difficult tax issue you go to Emma.”

Andrew Child of Wilberforce Chambers does “excellent” work in the private client space and is noted for his work on onshore and offshore trusts and estates matters.

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