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Susannah Meadway

"Her advice is very well considered, clear and concise, and she is technically excellent."
(Chambers UK 2019)

Susannah Meadway is a prominent junior within the private client arena, acting in difficult, complex and high-value matters. She is ranked at the highest level in the current legal directories and is regarded as a leading expert on the variation of trusts. Her well established practice encompasses all types of advisory, drafting and litigation work in the fields of trusts and associated taxation, wills, probate and the administration of estates, and charities.


Practice Areas

Private Client: Non-Contentious

Susannah has very extensive experience of applications to the Court under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, including for the extension of perpetuity and accumulation periods, and in relation to multi-billion pound trust funds. In the majority of such cases a judgement is not given, but those where it has been include:

  • A v B [2016] EWHC 3740 (Ch); [2016] WTLR 745: Where the Court approved the extension of the perpetuity and accumulation periods applicable to the trusts of a dynastic settlement of a very large landed estate, sanctioning an unusual procedure which obviated the need to join all possible beneficiaries to the application.
  • C v C [2015] EWHC 2699 (Ch); [2016] WTLR 223: Where the Court accepted it had jurisdiction to vary the trusts of a foreign law settlement.
  • DC v AC [2016] EWHC 477 (Ch): Where the Court approved the extension of the perpetuity and accumulation periods applicable to the trusts of a number of very large dynastic settlements.
  • Bathurst v Bathurst [2016] EWHC 3033 (Ch): A variation involving an issue on the change of the provisions for the appointment of new trustees.

She also has a specialism in the rectification and/or setting aside of trust documents, her reported cases in this area being:

  • RBC Trustees (CI) Ltd v Stubbs [2017] EWHC 180 (Ch), [2018] WTLR 1399.
  • Chisholm v Chisholm [2011] WTLR 187: Where the Court rectified two trust deeds so as to be bare trusts in accordance with the settlor’s intention.
  • Bartlam v Coutts [2006] WTLR 1165: Where the Court rectified a deed of appointment which failed to appoint accumulation and maintenance trusts complying with the relevant requirements for inheritance tax relief.
  • Re Bell [2002] WTLR 1105: Concerning the rectification of a will.
  • Re Segelman [1996] Ch 171: Concerning the rectification of a will, as well as whether the will created a charitable trust of the testator’s valuable violin collection.

More generally, Susannah advises and assists trustees and beneficiaries in achieving their objectives, ensuring that their trusts are suited to both family and fiscal circumstances, whether by the use of applicable powers in the trust documents, the agreement of all concerned or (where neither of the previous methods is available) the assistance of the Court.

Capital Taxes

Susannah has wide experience and expertise in advising on the tax implications of trust structures and trust changes. She has a particular specialism in inheritance tax, not only as it relates to trusts but also to individuals. She was for many years a contributor to Foster’s Inheritance Tax.


Susannah has considerable experience in all aspects of charity law.


Susannah “is recognised for her exceptional expertise in non-contentious technical trust questions within a well-respected traditional chancery practice. “She’s excellent – if you’ve got something complex and technical, she is incredibly thorough and gets right into the detail. She is a first-rate barrister; you have that reassurance that she’s completely on it,” reports one source. Another notes: “She’s fantastic, technically one of the brightest. She has a lovely manner and inspires 120% confidence.” “A very accomplished trusts lawyer. The way she understood the documents and produced advice was excellent, and she can give clear advice to lay clients,” comments one market insider”. “

HNW Guide 2019 - Band 1

Susannah Meadway “is”always extremely good” say peers, and she impresses with her in-depth knowledge of probate, trust taxation and charities matters”.

WWL UK Bar 2019

“Her advice is very well considered, clear and concise, and she is technically excellent.” “She is a go-to person for technical trust issues, especially on variation of trust applications. Her advice is always spot on and she always inspires confidence in both lay clients and instructing solicitors.”

Chambers UK 2019 - Chancery

“A very safe pair of hands when dealing with trust law.”

Legal 500 - Private Client: Trusts & Probate

“Incredibly thorough; she leaves no stone unturned and knows the law backwards. She is also very authoritative in court.” “She is very measured. She is one of the most intelligent barristers I know, and that is really saying something; she is in a different league.”

HNW 2018 Guide - Chancery: Traditional - London Bar - Band One

Susannah Meadway ‘regularly advises on private client issues and is seen as “a go-to person for technical trust matters.”

She deals with all elements of non-contentious and advisory work and a solicitor remarks that “I could not recommend her highly enough.” One source explains: “Everyone at our firm thinks she’s brilliant. Her advice is very well-considered, technically she is excellent and her opinions are very clear and concise.” The same source adds that “she has a very quick turnaround time and is very efficient.”

Another adviser comments: “She is extremely intelligent and will pick up on things that other barristers will miss. She is very adept at identifying mistakes and weaknesses in opposing cases and using them to her advantage.” Sources also observe that Meadway is “very strong on variation of trust matters” and note her ability to “cope with being challenged on technical points.”

Chambers UK 2018

“Technically excellent, clear in her opinions and not one to engage in esoteric language. Clients find her to be very pleasant and very reassuring.”

Chambers Global 2017

“She’s superb. She’s technically excellent, very thorough, very clear and highly practical. She has superb drafting skills and is highly efficient.” “Perceptive, helpful and thorough, she’s easy to discuss issues with.”

Chambers UK 2017 - Chancery: Traditional

“Technically excellent, clear in her opinions and not one to engage in esoteric language. Clients find her to be very pleasant and very reassuring.”

Chambers UK 2017 - Trusts

“Commended for her clarity of thought and brilliant drafting.”

Legal 500 2016 - Private Client: Trusts and Probate

“She knows her practice area ‘wall to wall’ and instils confidence.”

Chambers UK 2016 - Trusts

“Technically excellent, highly efficient and very practical”.

Chambers UK 2016 - Chancery: Traditional

“Absolutely excellent in all respects. Very technically strong indeed, she gives very thorough advice”. “Excellent at untangling complicated trust structures.”

Chambers UK 2015 - Trusts

“Clients find her to be very pleasant and very reassuring”

“Has strength in tax and structuring matters”

Legal 500 2015 - Private Client: Trusts & Probate

“A superb advocate in every way.”

Legal 500 2014 - Private Client: Trusts & Probate

“Thorough, accurate, quick and technically able”, he is “excellent at case preparation.”

Chambers UK 2014 - Chancery: Traditional

“Very competent and efficient. I think she is also very pleasant to work with. I rate her highly.”

“Susannah is absolutely first-rate – she is technically excellent, highly efficient and very practical. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

“Very clear and no-nonsense approach to the law.”

Chambers UK - HNW 2016


  • MA (Oxon), Philosophy, Politics & Economics, First Class
  • Dip Law (Distinction), City University

Associations & Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • STEP

For more information and advice

Call: +44 (0)20 7405 0758



Susannah Meadway is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. She is regulated by The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 23058] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/037] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. She is registered for VAT under the reference 524114095.

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