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Private Client

Outer Temple "adopts an ‘innovative’ approach and is ‘the perfect example of a modern set’".

Legal 500 2017
David Smith

More information?

Please contact David Smith (+44 (0)20 7427 4905).

Our experienced clerks will be pleased to provide you with more details of our expertise in this area.


Members of the team have extensive expertise in Private Client work. This includes family asset and governance structure planning, estate planning, probate, inheritance disputes, the administration of estates and trust disputes. They receive instructions to advise, conduct proceedings and draft documents (for both contentious and non-contentious work) in these areas.

Particular areas of work include the following:

  • Contentious probate disputes concerning the validity of wills on the grounds of lack of capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence.
  • Disputes arising in the context of obtaining probate of a will.
  • Disputes in the administration of estates.
  • Fiduciary duty claims by commercial co-venturers and employers.
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and corresponding international provisions.
  • Disputes concerning the interpretation of wills and trusts and rectification.
  • Issues around the powers and duties of trustees.
  • Variation of trusts and applications to extend trustee powers under s.57 Trustee Act 1925.
  • Re Beddoe and Benjamin orders on behalf of trustees. Trusts of land (including proprietary estoppel claims), Charitable trusts.
  • Claims for North Shore Ventures disclosure orders relating to offshore trusts.
  • Claims against personal representatives and trustees.
  • Advising on trusts in the context of large personal injuries awards following OH v Craven.
  • Advising on and acting in cases involving wills and trusts which have a foreign element, including giving expert evidence of English and foreign law.

Private Client Barristers

Our barristers have also appeared in some of the leading cases in the Private Client field such as Marley v Rawlings [2014] UKSC 2 (the leading Supreme Court case on the validity, construction and rectification of wills) and Futter v HMRC [2013] UKSC 26 (the leading Supreme Court case on the existence and limits of the principle known as the rule in Re Hastings-Bass and the law of equitable mistake). We have a number of barristers who hold key appointments and memberships, and are highly regarded in the private client field:

  • David Russell QC is Deputy Chair of STEP Worldwide (commencing January 2018), Chair of STEP’s International Client Special Interest Group, a member of the Worldwide Council and former Chair of STEP Australia. He also co-edits the OUP publication Trusts & Trustees.
  • Teresa Peacocke is a member of STEP and ACTAPS and an experienced mediator in trust and probate disputes.
  • Claire van Overdijk is a member of STEP, a correspondent for the Private Client Business Journal (Sweet & Maxwell) and sits on the STEP Mental Capacity Global SIG Steering Committee.
  • Jennifer Seaman is a member of ACTAPS and a STEP Affiliate Member and is recognised as being “particularly knowledgeable on trustee powers” (Chambers and Partners, 2018).

Our practitioners undertake private and charitable trust work for individuals and trustees, often in the cross-border / international context (whether in Dubai, Guernsey, Caribbean or US jurisdictions), and our foreign associates in France, Russia, US and UAE are able to advise on Private Client matters. Some of our practitioners also have expertise in Islamic law.

Members of the team are also able to offer extensive expertise in Pensions and Court of Protection matters where they cross over with Private Client work.

Our Private Client Barristers

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