Richard Dew’s practice is focussed on Wills, Estates and Trusts and related professional negligence. His practice is predominantly litigation, and he is frequently involved in large and complex claims. He also advises and represents in Court of Protection matters and provides expert advice in respect of tax and tax planning (principally capital taxation).
He is a member of STEP and ACTAPS, and is on the committee of the STEP Contentious Trusts and Estates SIG and of the Chancery Bar Association. He was ACTAPS’ Contentious Barrister of the Year for 2016.
Richard is an editor of Rossdale’s Administration of Estates and Parker’s Modern Will Precedents and regularly writes and lectures on chancery and private client matters.
Richard has been shortlisted by Chambers UK for the (Chancery) ‘Junior of the Year’ award.
The majority of Richard’s practice consists of litigation in the private client area, including challenges to Wills and trust, the administration of estates, trusts of land disputes and related professional negligence claims (including tax negligence). He has wide experience of litigation at all levels and considerable expertise in ADR and mediation.
- Thornton & Ors v Woodhouse & Anor  EWHC 769 (Ch) Richard successfully defended a probate challenge following a lengthy and tragic court battle.
- P v P  WTLR 1039,  Fam Law 773 (at first instance AB v CB  2 FLR 25: At first instance Mostyn J varied a trust so as to award the wife a lump sum award from the trust. This would have necessitated the sale of the property, which the settlor had always intended to remain unsold and to the prejudice of the other beneficiaries. Richard appealed on behalf of the trustees. The Court of Appeal gave permission to appeal, considering these points had not properly been considered. On appeal the court was highly critical of Mostyn J.’s judgment but the decision was upheld.
- JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank v Pugachev: Richard acted for a director of a trust company caught up in the litigation and provided substantial assistance in the (intense) process of providing disclosure required by the Court. He then represented her in court in resisting orders for further disclosure and in obtaining back her passport.
- Tadros v Barratt  EWHC 2860: A substantial cross-jurisdictional probate dispute, the reported case involves an attempt to prevent parallel litigation in Holland.
- Goodman v Goodman  3 WLR 1551: Concerning whether an executor can be removed by section 50 AEA 1985 prior to a grant of probate.
- Shovelar v Lane  4 All ER 669: A decision by the Court of Appeal regarding a costs order following a trial of a mutual Wills claim
Richard regularly provides expert tax and tax planning advice, principally related to capital taxation. He is regularly instructed to advise and represent in applications to vary trusts and for the approval of compromises, often involving very substantial trusts. He is an acknowledged expert on the EU Succession Regulation.
- M Family Trusts: An application to approve trustees entering into very substantial transactions to re-organise the trust holdings and to vary the terms of the trusts. Richard acted for the minor beneficiaries.
- P Settlement Trusts: An application to vary trusts, Richard acted for two of the beneficiaries.
- A Trusts: An application to vary very substantial trusts for the benefit of a minor
Richard is an acknowledged expert in Court of Protection matters, acting and advising in both contentious and non-contentious matters. He has recent considerable experience in establishing (and ratifying) personal injury trusts.
Richard acts in capital taxes matters in onshore and offshore jurisdictions.
“Someone to instruct if you want a really serious understanding of trusts law; he is often selected instead of a silk.” “A real heavyweight, who doesn’t mince his words. He ensures the client and solicitor know the best course of action and the importance of taking it. He is worth his weight in gold.”
HNW 2018 Guide - Chancery: Traditional - London Bar - Band One
‘ Market sources praise Richard Dew as “a top-level practitioner” who is “a go-to person when you need an experienced junior who can handle a big case.”
He deals with a plethora of trust and estate matters and also has a strong focus on Court of Protection work. “He is extremely knowledgable on trust and probate matters,” observes a source, while another says: “Technically, he is very good while he is absolutely brilliant on his feet and performing in court. He is an outstanding litigator and he knows how to approach cases tactically as he is very experienced at achieving results in court that are beneficial to the client.”
His legal acumen is further praised by a solicitor who states: “He is very succinct, gets to the point, and has a real confidence about him which reassures clients. He is very good in how he articulates his advice.” ‘
Chambers UK 2018 - Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)
“A clever and tenacious lawyer.” “He is very commercially-minded and very good both in court and with clients.”
Chambers UK 2018 - Court of Protection: Property and Affairs
“Someone to instruct if you want a really serious understanding of trusts and also someone who is particularly good on litigation disputes.” “He is a real heavyweight and doesn’t mince his words. He ensures the client and solicitor know the best course of action and ensures they go ahead and take it. He is worth his weight in gold.” “He is very highly respected at the Chancery Bar.”
Chambers HNW 2017 - Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)
“He is incredibly commercial, effective and efficient. When you have a problem that is complicated he is very good at untying the Gordian knot.”
Chambers UK 2017 - Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)
“Richard has a well-deserved reputation in the area of chancery litigation. He instantly impresses with his intellect, is excellent with clients and is just as capable on his feet as on the papers. I have no hesitation in recommending him to others looking for top-quality advice.” Other lawyers are also quick to praise him, drawing attention to his willingness to offer help in difficult situations: “He is not afraid to join the difficult calls or meetings. He understands the solicitor’s position. I like that, it is important.”
He is “an acknowledged expert on tax issues and professional negligence claims”, “he is extremely passionate about his work. There is nothing he doesn’t know, and he is brilliant with the clients. He is also very pragmatic and commercial”
Chambers UK 2016 - Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)
“Very bright operator and particularly knowledgeable on Inheritance Act work.”
Legal 500 2015 - Private Client: Trust & Probate
He “excels in traditional chancery work, especially in relation to professional negligence and taxation work. He couples this with considerable knowledge of capacity questions and inheritance tax matters and has notable expertise in Court of Protection cases”. Richard is “very incisive and very clear in his advice”. “He takes a pragmatic and commercial approach and has excellent client-handling skills”.
Chambers UK 2015
Chambers UK 2014 describe him as having “superb powers of analysis,” and that he “instantly impresses with his intellect. He is excellent with clients and is just as capable on his feet as when handling the paperwork.” Previous editions say he is a “superb junior,’ who combines strong academic credentials…with a flair for litigation and ADR”.
Chambers UK 2014
- LLB (Hons)
Associations & Memberships
- Chancery Bar Association
- Parker’s Modern Will Precedents (Eighth edition)
- Rossdale’s Administration of Estates (Fifth Edition)
- Tolley’s Inheritance Tax Planning
- Ranking, Spicer and Pegler’s Executorship Law, Trusts and Accounts
- Lexis Nexis: The Registration Act 2002
- Injunctions: in International Trusts Disputes.
- Brewster and the future for unmarried cohabitants, Lawskills (Feb 2017)
- Trusts & Disclosure (2011) PCB 241
- Can TLATA be interpreted as a fiscal bill? (2009) TELTJ 106
- A Wasted Opportunity (2007) 83 TELTJ 23
- Extrinsic Evidence Rreturns (2006) 80 TELTJ 17
- The Claimant’s share of blame (2006) 73 TELTJ 7
- Attacking Trusts in Divorce (for the Chancery Bar Association in London, the Cayman Islands and Guernsey).
- Acting for the PR in contentious litigation
- Insolvent Trusts
- Setting Aside Trusts
- The European Succession Regulation
- ACTAPS Contentious Barrister of the Year 2016
Richard Dew is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. He is registered with The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 40317] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/053] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. He is registered for VAT under the reference 761309146.