Robert Arnfield has been in practice at the Chancery Bar for twenty years. His main practice areas include non-contentious and contentious private client, commercial chancery and associated taxation and professional negligence.
His non-litigious practice includes drafting and advising on trusts, wills, administration of estates, deeds of variation, deeds of appointment and shareholder agreements often with an international element. Robert’s related tax experience includes Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Pre-owned Assets Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Corporation Tax.
Robert is also regularly instructed by parties or prospective parties to litigation or mediation in the same areas. Typical matters involve Inheritance Act claims, removal of trustees, challenges to wills and the construction or rectification of wills, trusts or commercial agreements.
Private Client: Non-Contentious
Robert’s wide advisory practice involves trusts, wills, estates and tax planning or mitigation for individuals, executors and trustees. This will frequently involve nil-rate band, Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief planning for Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax deferral including several recent Variation of Trusts Act 1958 applications to extend perpetuity periods.
- A v B  EWHC 340 (Ch): Variation of Trusts Act 1958 application to extend perpetuity period. Case raised issues of confidentiality and offers guidance on the temporary exclusion of beneficiaries.
- DC v AC  EWHC 477 (Ch): Variation of Trusts Act 1958 application to extend perpetuity period. Observations on impact on existing life interest for Inheritance Tax purposes.
- Re A Settlements (2016): Providing UK tax advice on effect of Jersey variation of trust application to rectify settlement deeds.
- Re R Settlements (2016): Advice and drafting concerning availability of Agricultural and Business Property Relief for substantial landed estate largely held through settlements.
Robert Arnfield is “the grand master of drafting,” according to an interviewee, who adds: “He is literally best practice – a measured, considered writer, his pleadings are always so beautiful. Judges love to read his writing because he addresses everything so sensibly.” Arnfield has a broad practice advising clients on contentious matters involving will challenges, Inheritance Act claims and the rectification of trusts, and also assists with non-contentious tax issues.
Chambers HNW 2020
“User-friendly, responsive, practical and very hands-on, approachable and very helpful. He is focused on detail and very knowledgeable.”
“He is very client-friendly. He gives sound advice and is very thorough.”
Chambers UK 2020
“An excellent junior counsel”
Legal 500 2020
Robert ” is described as “a consistently reliable adviser” and “technical and very able” by sources. He has a wide-ranging traditional chancery practice, encompassing everything from contentious wills and trusts to advisory tax and estates work. An observer calls him “user-friendly, responsive, practical and very hands-on, approachable and very helpful,” adding: “He is focused on detail and very knowledgeable.” Another source notes: “He is very client-friendly. He gives sound advice and is very thorough” “.
HNW Guide 2019
“Absolutely knows his stuff and has gravitas. People respect what he says and listen to his advice without hesitation.” “Good at dealing with tricky technical work and meeting urgent deadlines, he always delivers clear, concise and invaluable advice.”
Chambers UK 2019 - Chancery
Legal 500 2018 - Private Client: Personal Tax
“His knowledge is good but what really stands out is how he applies the law to provide a pragmatic and practical answer. He knows all these obscure points and can provide the right solution for clients.” “Very articulate on his feet, he is completely unflappable even when judges throw some really tricky stuff at him. He handles matters coolly and very expertly”.
HNW 2018 Guide - Chancery: Traditional - London Bar
Robert Arnfield ‘has a wide-ranging chancery practice and has extensive experience dealing with private client matters, tax issues and associated professional negligence cases. Sources say that he is “really first-rate on the the technical side” and “utterly unflappable and very experienced.”
A lawyer states: “He is so good at turning around quality work under urgent time constraints. He always delivers clear, concise and invaluable advice.”
Another lawyer says: “He absolutely knows his stuff and has gravitas. People respect what he says and listen to his advice without hesitation.”
Chambers UK 2018 - Chancery (Band 1)
“His knowledge is good but what really stands out is how he applies the law to provide a pragmatic and practical answer”. “He knows all these obscure points yet he can also provide the right solution for his client and even the other parties on occasion.” “He is very articulate on his feet. He is completely unflappable.”
Chambers HNW 2017
Has notable experience in both contentious and non-contentious traditional chancery. Arnfield has key expertise in trusts, wills and estate administration. “He provides clear opinions, and does not adopt the approach of sitting on the fence. This is hugely helpful when you’re advising clients and making decisions. Obviously a balanced answer is provided, but a route forward is always known.”
Chambers UK 2017 - Chancery
“He provides clear and practical guidance and advice on complex trusts and inheritance tax issues”.
Chambers UK 2016
“He provides clear and concise guidance and doesn’t sit on the fence.”
Legal 500 2016 (Private Client - Personal Tax)
“Rated for his internationally focused trusts and estates practice, he is an expert on issues of entailment, executor powers and variation. His broader chancery practice extends to insolvency, real property and professional negligence, as well as capital gains and inheritance tax”. “He has the ability to clearly communicate issues to lay clients and his advocacy is pragmatic, appropriately structured, and covers the key points incisively”.”rated for his internationally focused trusts and estates practice, he is an expert on issues of entailment, executor powers and variation. His broader chancery practice extends to insolvency, real property and professional negligence, as well as capital gains and inheritance tax”. “He has the ability to clearly communicate issues to lay clients and his advocacy is pragmatic, appropriately structured, and covers the key points incisively”.
Chambers UK 2015
“A much respected private client junior, whose caseload focuses heavily on trusts, probate, estates and tax work. His practice is increasingly international in flavour.” “He is very approachable and always gives excellent advice.”
Chambers UK 2014
- Christ Church, Oxford University
Associations & Memberships
- Chancery Bar Association
- Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
Robert Arnfield is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. He is regulated by The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 35750] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/050] 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 701412886.