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Private Client

Ten Old Square is universally renowned for its private client work.

We deal with all private client work, both non contentious and contentious, at the very highest level.

We are consistently ranked as one of the top private client sets of Chambers in Chambers UK, Chambers HNW and The Legal 500, and many of our members are consistently ranked as amongst the leading barristers for both onshore and offshore private client work.

We are ranked in Band 1 for Traditional Chancery in Chambers UK 2023 which states: “Ten Old Square remains a premier set for handling trusts, probate and estates matters. The bench strength at the set is highlighted as a particular asset: “The set has tremendous expertise and experience in their more senior members of chambers, combined with very capable juniors who are developing expertise in this field as well. They are very reactive,” remarks an interviewee. An impressed source echoes this, adding: “The silks and those senior juniors with whom I have had professional dealings are masters of their craft and both very responsive and very good value for money.”

Chambers HNW also ranks us in Band 1 for Chancery: Traditional

The Legal 500 2023 says: “Ten Old Square is an ‘excellent set for trust disputes’, with a ‘strong bench of highly rated and capable barristers, from silks to juniors’.

We have won Chambers of The Year at the STEP Private Client Awards twice.

Non-Contentious matters

Our collective expertise spans the full range of non-contentious private client work. Our barristers are well known for their constructive and empathetic approach to dealing with the complicated and sensitive matters that affect families and individuals.

We are one of the leading sets for non-contentious private client work, encompassing drafting and varying wills, drafting trusts and ancillary deeds and documents, capital taxation advice, variation of trusts and other non-contentious advisory work. We have a formidable reputation for complex onshore and offshore matters.

We have particular expertise in Variation of Trust Act matters. Our barristers have been involved in most of the high value variation of trusts cases including Wyndham v Egremont (extending the perpetuity period); V v TA and MN v OP (CA) (privacy and anonymity); C v C (variation of foreign trusts) and A v B (revocable partial release of power for the purpose of the variation).

Contentious matters

We are similarly renowned for our work in all disputes concerning private clients, including wills, estates, trusts, the Court of Protection, charities, property and trusts of land. Our barristers are regarded for their abilities in court, for their drafting skills and for the quality and accuracy of their advice.

We have acted in many recent high profile and high value claims both in England and Wales and offshore. Matters which we have been engaged in include: disputes over the validity of wills, the removal of trustees and personal representatives, claims in the Court of Protection regarding a person’s property and affairs, disputes over the ownership of land and claims for the sale of land. Our barristers appear at all levels of courts and tribunals and in many jurisdictions.

Please follow the links below to the dedicated pages on our website for the areas of private client work in which we specialise..

Trusts & EstatesInheritance, Probate & WillsCourt of ProtectionOffshoreTaxationProperty  – Charities

Contact our Private Client Clerks

Contact our experienced Clerks to find out which Private Client barristers would be ideal for you. They have many years of experience and will ensure that you receive a premium service and advise on the suitability, availability and cost of instructing specialist Counsel.

Call +44 (0)20 7405 0758

"He is genuinely fabulous. He has a fantastically razor-sharp mind and is incredibly crisp and clear in all of his advice. He is a Godfather of the profession at that level."

Simon Taube KC - Chambers UK 2023

"Susannah is quite exceptional, the absolute complete package. She has a practical touch and always gets to the heart of the matter."

Chambers UK 2023

"Robert exudes gentlemanly reflection and consideration. He is a masterful draftsman and is good fun to work alongside on long-running cases."

Chambers UK 2023

"Simon really has that knowledge of trust law as well as a practical knowledge of what the courts will do. He is an astonishingly clever lawyer who is terribly good at finding clever solutions to problems."

Chambers UK 2022

"Absolutely the most brilliant junior, she is measured, highly intelligent and deeply calm. She adopts a constructive, highly practical approach and knows her trust law backward and forward. She has such an incisive mind."

Susannah Meadway - Chambers UK 2022

"He is excellent as he is really technical, his attention to detail is terrific and he is very responsive too"

Robert Arnfield - Chambers UK 2022

"His intellect is phenomenal, his advice is always clear and concise, and he is incredibly practical too"

Richard Dew - Chambers UK 2022

"Calm, authoritative and bright. She truly has the ear of the court."

Georgia Bedworth - Chambers UK 2022

"Very easy to communicate with and very user-friendly. He has a very pragmatic approach."

Philip Jenkins - Chambers UK 2022

"James provides clear, practical advice within the timeframe estimated. He is always willing to talk through matters."

James MacDougald - Chambers UK 2022

"The clerks have always been very, very user-friendly and very commercial in their approach. It is a very sensible set that is easy to work with."

Chambers UK 2022

"He's such an indisputable authority that standing against him is basically impossible. Just having him there is so valuable."

Simon Taube KC - Chambers UK 2021

"She's brilliant for ancient and complex trusts. She gets through work so smoothly, and produces excellent opinions."

Susannah Meadway - Chambers UK 2021

"He is literally best practice - a measured, considered writer, whose pleadings are always so beautiful. Judges love to read his writing because he addresses everything so sensibly."

Robert Arnfield - Chambers UK 2021

"He's pragmatic and commercial. His advice is extremely well written and clear, and he is excellent in negotiations."

Richard Dew - Chambers UK 2021

"She's very practical, and happy to pick up the phone and have a conversation. She's nicely flexible in understanding the client's perspective."

Georgia Bedworth - Chambers UK 2021

"Approachable, down to earth and flexible - an excellent barrister"

Philip Jenkins - Chambers UK 2021

"He's one of the most efficient and enthusiastic juniors"

James MacDougald - Chambers UK 2021

"Clerking at Ten Old Square is always a pleasure to deal with"

Chambers UK 2021

"He has a huge forensic ability to dissect complex matters of trust law and discern a pattern that is not always immediately obvious to the rest of us. He pilots you through a complex maze of trust issues - where you get yourself into a technical knot, he will untie it."

Simon Taube KC - Chambers UK 2020

"She has a lovely manner, and inspires 120% confidence"

Susannah Meadway - Chambers UK 2020

"User-friendly, responsive, practical and very hands-on, approachable and very helpful. He is focused on detail and very knowledgeable."

Robert Arnfield - Chambers UK 2020

"He is very responsive, very clear in his advice, and commercial as well – he understands what the clients need"

Richard Dew - Chambers UK 2020

"Someone who catches you by surprise with brilliant points"

Georgia Bedworth - Chambers UK 2020

"Extremely good - clients love him, he sees the bigger picture and he takes a very good, strategic approach"

Philip Jenkins - Chambers UK 2020

"His cross-examination of witnesses and thoroughness is admired. He quickly gets to grips with the key issues and advises pragmatically and strategically. He has a very personable touch with clients who are just as impressed with his advocacy. He is easy to deal with."

James MacDougald - Chambers UK 2020

"Some of the nicest clerks in Lincoln's Inn! They keep fees sensible and are top clerks. Keith Plowman, senior clerk, and Mark Schofield, deputy senior clerk, are great."

Chambers UK 2020

"Ten Old Square offers a broad expertise in property and affairs matters, drawing on the set's recognised strength in private client work."

Chambers UK 2020

"Ten Old Square ‘excels from top to bottom.’ The chambers is ‘the go-to place for trustee applications involving rectification, variation of trusts and other administrative court proceedings."

Legal 500 2020

"Extremely strong and provides a first-rate service."

Legal 500 2018

"Members offer a broad array of chancery expertise, and are particularly adept at trusts and succession disputes."

Chambers UK 2018

"A deep bench of expert traditional chancery practitioners, including a number of strong juniors who support three hugely well-regarded silks in Simon Taube, Francis Barlow and Eason Rajah. Its members excel in private client work, including matters relating to wills and probate, trusts, private client income and inheritance taxation."

Chambers UK

"The go-to chambers for private client lawyers. The best advocates in terms of cross-examination. They are very academic and do very high-powered trusts work."

Chambers UK HNW 2016

"The barristers are efficient and charming, and they generally bend over backwards to accommodate my work"

Chambers UK 2016

"A very specialist and a really friendly team with lots of really good barristers."

Chambers UK 2016

Our Private Client Experience

Chambers is home to one of the highest ranked Chancery KC’s in Simon Taube  (“sheer knowledge of technical trust law” – Chambers 2020). It has numerous highly ranked and highly rated juniors including Susannah Meadway (“personable, technical and really helpful” – Chambers 2020), Richard Dew (“very responsive, very clear in his advice, and commercial as well” – Chambers and Partners 2020), Georgia Bedworth (“ brilliant technical trust lawyer” – Chambers 2020) and James MacDougald (“super bright, willing and never lets me down” – Chambers 2020). In Keith Plowman, Marc Schofield and Fay Bennett the barristers are supported by one of the best regarded Chancery clerking teams in Lincoln’s Inn.

In addition, members of Chambers are authors and contributors to leading practitioner texts in the non-contentious field, namely Williams on Wills, Parkers Modern Will Precedents, Foster’s Inheritance Tax, Mellows Taxation of Executors and Trustees, Rossdale on Probate and Administration of Estates. All are frequent contributors to journals and to seminars and conferences.

Private Client Frequently Asked Questions

What do we mean by non-contentious private client work?

Advising private individuals on their private affairs, particularly including their Wills and the administration of estates, as well as advising trustees and beneficiaries regarding the establishment, administration or variation of trusts. We can provide technical, skilled and knowledgeable advice on all of these matters including on capital taxes and capital taxation planning.

What is the focus of Chambers’ work in this area?

We are private client specialists. We are able to provide advice, assistance and representation in all of the areas referred to above and you will find all members will have considerable knowledge and experience from dealing with many similar or related matters.

Why instruct Ten Old Square?

All members, at whatever level have a wealth of experience in non-contentious private client work. You will find that all members will have considerable knowledge and experience from dealing with many similar or related matters.

What trusts and estates can you advise upon?

We are all qualified to advise regarding trusts and wills established in England and Wales. We will also provide expert advice regarding trusts and succession in countries around the world, including the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas the BVI, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

How do I select a barrister for a non-contentious Private Client matter?

This website contains details of the barristers at Ten Old Square to assist you.  You should speak to one of our clerks who are highly experienced in matching the right barrister to the matter.

What are the fees for instructing a barrister in a non-contentious Private Client matter?

We aim to provide a cost-effective service and will strive to ensure that our fees are competitive. Our Clerks will advise you of the hourly rate applicable to any barrister in Chambers and for any piece of work and this will be agreed in advance taking into account the nature of the case and its complexity, and the experience of the barrister instructed.

Areas of Expertise in Private Client

  • Variation of Trusts Act Applications
  • Applications under s. 57 Trustee Act 1925
  • Beddoe applications
  • Applications by Trustees or personal representatives for directions
  • Drafting wills
  • Drafting trusts
  • Drafting deeds of appointment
  • Drafting deeds
  • Capital taxes planning
  • Capital taxation advice
  • Advising on the administration of estates
  • Advising on the administration of trusts
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