David Lowe QC

Call 1965 Silk 1984

David (an expatriate Scot) is a specialist in private client and related chancery and commercial work, including property law and charities. In addition to advisory work, David undertakes contentious litigation, the devising and effecting of compromise arrangements, mediations (as mediator or for a party), and the drafting of documents as and when required in any such context. David will tackle any problem but thrives on difficult and complex cases which require, over and above legal skills and analysis, creative and lateral thinking coupled with patience and persistence and an eye for detail. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • English and Offshore trusts, including commercial trusts
  • English settled landed estates, with an emphasis on heritage property (collections, historic houses and their contents)
  • Deeds varying the dispositions under a Will or Intestacy within two years after the death of the Deceased (with any related application to the Court under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 if minor or unborn or unascertained beneficiaries are affected)
  • Applications to the Court under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Applications to the Court to obtain directions in relation to questions or disputes affecting the trusts of Wills or Settlements or the property subject to such trusts, including questions or disputes arising under “buy-to-let” purchases effected jointly by two or more persons
  • Applications to the Court to obtain approval (on behalf of minor or unborn or unascertained beneficiaries) of arrangements under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, including arrangements extending the duration of trusts and / or conferring new provisions for the accumulation of income in accordance with the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009
  • Applications to the Court to obtain approval (on behalf of minor of unborn or unascertained beneficiaries) of compromises of claims relating to the trusts of Wills or Settlements or the property subject to such trusts, including claims to set aside voluntary dispositions on the basis of mistake in equity in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court in Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26, [2013] 2 AC 108
  • Advice in relation to the actual or potential effect of recent developing legislation (in particular the Civil Partnership Act 2004, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2009 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the associated regulations) on the inheritance rights of children born as a result of an assisted pregnancy in the context of existing and future trusts (testamentary and inter vivos)
  • Recreational charities, e.g., affecting land held by a local authority for playing fields or other recreational purposes including land so held in the mistaken belief that it is held beneficially by such authority for its own purposes
  • Professional negligence and other remedial claims in relation to private client matters (including arrangements directed at avoiding or saving tax)

Many of the Applications to the Court referred to above proceed by agreement, or though initially contentious are not in the event contentious, and an Order is then made in scheduled terms and with such terms being approved by the Court in appropriate cases. Many of these Applications are of a sensitive or a confidential nature.

David is an experienced Mediator and is particularly interested in acting in relation to disputes involving trusts, wills and estates (including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 or involving properties or assets held under continuing family or other arrangements.

David is qualified and willing to undertake Public Access work.

  • Cases of interest

    Re S (2015)   Nugee J. High value and complex long running family trust dispute. Claim to set aside, on the basis of mistake, the 1988 voluntary assignment of a reversionary interest under a Will Trust (landed estate) to the trustees of a 1988 trust made by the assignors in proceedings issued in 1999. Compromise of claim effectively setting aside assignment (as part of wider arrangements covering other issues and also including variation of other trusts with related beneficiaries). Approved on behalf of minor and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries, with the Attorney General (charity) not objecting.

    Re S WT (2015)  Henderson J. High value and complex long running family trust varied by arrangements made under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 on four previous occasions and numerous later deeds. New application under the 1958 Act to introduce new accumulation provisions (under the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009) and exclude obsolete restrictions so as to enable completion of comprehensive further restructuring required to take account of increase in values and changes in family and commercial circumstances. Approved on behalf of unborn or unascertained beneficiaries.

    G v H & D (2012) Sir Andrew Morritt, the Chancellor of the High Court. Some factual similarities with Pitt v Holt. G (single, unmarried, no children) injured in motor accident in 2000 and claimed damages. Interim payments made. G advised by PI Solr to make settlement of damages to preserve entitlement to state benefits, and discretionary settlement executed by G in 2005. G’s claim settled in 2007 and G received £1m (including previous interims) and £46,000 pa index linked for life. All payments made to the Solr and dealt with thereafter by the Solr or the Trustees. After G’s liability to IHT as settlor became apparent, G advised to sue the Solr. On advice of David and with agreement (and at expense) of the Solr’s insurers, in mitigation of G’s claim to damages, G issued proceedings against Trustees to determine what as a matter of construction G had settled, to what extent the settlement was completely constituted and issues relating to the Solr’s authority in that respect, and the impact of mistake in relation to the arrangements (including Pitt v Holt in the CA). Compromise under which the subject matter of the settlement was limited to assets with an aggregate value below the IHT nil band and in terms resolving the respective positions of G and the Trustees in relation to all receipts and payments made prior to the order date. Approved on behalf of unborn and unascertained beneficiaries.

    Re W (2011) Peter Smith J. High value and complex long running family trust administered by Trustees after the death of W in 1988 on the basis that the settled shares of her sons, R and G, remained on continuing trusts after her death, notwithstanding the potential claim (then identified but not pursued and resolved) that R and G became absolutely entitled to their shares on her death: death of R (1996) and G (2007):   continuing trusts administered by Trustees on basis that R’s settled share held on R’s death on continuing trusts for R’s family and that G’s settled share accrued to R’s share on G’s death on continuing trusts for R’s family. On G’s death, his free estate passed to a Charity which claimed to be absolutely entitled to the settled share of G on his death on the basis of the 1988 claim. Compromise of the 1988 claim and all consequential and other issues relating to income and capital entitlement thereafter, with new continuing trusts for R’s family in relation to R’s settled share and part of G’s settled share, and with the balance of G’s settled share (including certain land) becoming part of his estate and thus passing to the Charity but subject to provisions whereby the land so passing was to be sold by the Charity to other family Trustees on specified terms: terms included provisions re recovery of IHT previously paid on the part of G’s share passing to the Charity on G’s death. Approved on behalf of the minor and unborn beneficiaries and authority given to Trustees of the Charity to agree to the compromise of the 1988 claim and consequential issues and to effect the dispositions of the land as provided.

    Shared Appreciation Mortgages (“SAMs”) (2010)   Mann J.   Claims by owners of residential properties (or their PRs), in relation to SAMs entered into with subsidiary companies of Bank of Scotland or Barclays Bank, for relief under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Credit Regulations 1994 and Ss 140A-140C of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (new provisions operative with retrospective effect from April 2008). Large numbers of SAMs were sold in 1997 and 1998: the loans were made on a zero interest or fixed interest basis and on redemption the lender was entitled to receive a percentage of the appreciation in value of the property over the period since the loan, in addition to repayment of the loan: in the case of zero interest SAMs, this percentage was 3 times the initial Loan to Value percentage (maximum 25%) and was thus a maximum of 75%:   in the case of fixed interest SAMs, this percentage was 1 times the initial Loan to Value percentage (maximum 75%) and was thus a maximum of 75%.   There were 189 Issued Claims and 130 Unissued Claims. A Group Litigation Order was made by Chief Master Winegarten in 2009 (with the consent of Sir Andrew Morritt the Chancellor of the High Court) and on appeal to Mann J it was ordered in 2010 that the 2009 Order be varied. The Order of Mann J was not perfected and the proceedings were dismissed under a Consent Order on confidential terms.

    Re W Decd. (2008). Dispute between Co-Executors as to entitlement to Grant. Issues re presumption of undue influence and incidence of IHT. Compromised.

    H & Anor v H & Ors (2007) Evans-Lombe J. H and W were the owners of 45 agricultural and other properties of considerable value used for the purposes of farming and other businesses carried on by H and W and their six adult children in partnership (with the childrens’ interests being in income only). In 1998, a Declaration of Trust by H and W transferring the properties to the six children (subject to the liabilities secured on the properties) was executed by all parties.   The DOT was prepared by the Solr of H and W instructed by the Accountant of H and W but at the material time both the Solr and Accountant had only dealt with H’s elderly bookkeeper/PA and had given no direct advice (oral or written) to H and W or the children. Neither H nor W nor any of the children read the DOT before execution. After execution, the DOT was never treated as effective by the parties or their professional advisers but after H instructed a different Solr in March 2004 (to bring a fresh mind to “estate planning”) it came to light and questions were raised. In October 2004, when the circumstances surrounding the execution of the DOT were being investigated and consequential action was being considered, two of the children were killed in a motor accident. Each of the deceased children died intestate leaving a surviving spouse and minor children. After the deaths of the two children, the businesses were carried on in a continuing partnership between H and W and the four surviving children. Claim by H and W against the four surviving children and the Administrators of the two deceased children to set aside the DOT on the basis of mistake (there having been a fundamental misunderstanding by the bookkeeper/PA as to the effect of the DOT and that misunderstanding having been communicated by him to H who had then arranged for the execution of the DOT). Reliance was placed on Ogilvie v Littleboy (1897) 13 TLR CA and Ogilvie v Allen (1899) 15 TLR 249 HL, and Gibbon v Mitchell [1990] 3 AER 338 and the other later authorities subsequently considered in Pitt v Holt. Under a compromise, the DOT was set aside (and a Declaration was made that the DOT was of no effect) and provision was made for substantial payments to be made (a) by H and W to the Administrators of the deceased children in respect of any claim under the DOT and (b) by the continuing partnership in respect of the shares of the deceased children in the original partnership. Approved on behalf of the non-party beneficiaries interested in the estates of the deceased children

    Re J S Trust (2005) Supreme Court of Bermuda. S. 47 of the Trustee Act (Bermuda) is wider than S. 57 of the Trustee Act 1925: it is a hybrid section, combining elements drawn from S. 57 of the Trustee Act 1925 and S. 64 of the Settled Land Act 1925, and an Order under S. 47 is capable of varying beneficial interests under a trust if there is a sufficient nexus between the particular “transaction” authorised under S. 47 and the variation effected. See Article by David in The Lawyer 13 June 2005.

    Re N Slt (2004) High value Bermuda trust. Appointment benefiting one child to the exclusion of the other two and their issue and subsequent action in Bermuda by one excluded child to set aside Appointment on the basis of the rule in Re Hastings-Bass. Beddoe application by Trustees in Bermuda seeking leave to defend action. Instructed by third child excluded by Appointment (and all prior Appointments) and sought direction that a mediation should precede ruling on Beddoe application. Subsequent three day mediation (by agreement of all three children) conducted by retired law lord in London resulting in compromise benefiting all three children and their issue, approved thereafter by the Court in Bermuda on behalf of the minor and unborn beneficiaries.

    Re G Deceased (2004) Hedley J. Application by widow under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in relation to a high value estate. Raised question of the correct approach in an application by a widow after the decisions in White v White and Lambert v Lambert. Compromise (complex structured scheme using then available IHT exemptions) approved on behalf of minor and unborn beneficiaries.

    Bath and North East Somerset Council v Attorney General (2002) Hart J. [2002] EWHC 1623 (Ch): [2002] WTLR 1257: (2002-03) ITELR 274: [2002] NPC 111. Charitable Trust: public recreation (sport): resulting trusts. Concerned Bath Recreation Ground (“the Rec”). Important case on approach to be adopted when deciding whether trusts are or are not exclusively charitable (the Charity Commission had previously indicated that their view was that the trusts were not charitable and this view had been acted on for a number of years before David advised that this was unlikely to be correct and that the point should be determined by the Court). Also analysis of resulting trust position in the context of a situation where a trust was created in a conveyance for value.

    Re Pollen Estate (2002) Hart J. Acted for the Church Commissioners in relation to the negotiation preparation and approval of the new arrangements made affecting the trusts of the Pollen Estate.

    Re E Slts (2001) Lawrence Collins J. Two Settlements, Slt No 1 (for the H family) holding the majority and Slt No 2 (for the C family) the minority of the shares in a property investment Company. The four claimants (all H family beneficiaries) were the Trustees of Slt No 1: two of the four claimants were the Trustees of Slt No 2 and the directors of the Company. The defendants were minor representative beneficiaries of each Slt. Authority under S. 57 of the Trustee Act 1925 to the Trustees of the two Slts to implement a transaction necessarily involving conflicts of interest and self dealing (a sale of the shares in the No 2 Slt to the Company under a scheduled Purchase of Own Shares Agreement in consideration of the payment by the Company of a capital sum to the Trustees of the No 2 Slt) as part of a composite arrangement effecting a clean and clean financial break between the two Slts and families and resolving prior differences and claims, with consequential ancillary provisions.

    Capital Cranfield Trust Corporation Ltd v Sagar (2000) Neuberger J. [2000] AER (D) 212. Pension Scheme – trustees’ powers exercisable notwithstanding the absence of a principal employer to concur in their exercise.

    In the matter of the Y Trust (1999) (Cayman Grand Court) Smellie CJ, Reasons 17 August 1999. Trust – multiple causes – approval of compromise.   Acted for the Defendant representing beneficiaries and heirs. There were later proceedings in relation to this compromise, commenced in 2005. Acted in these proceedings initially as Counsel for the same Defendant in the same capacity and later involved (only) as a witness at the trial before Smellie CJ (April and May 2012).

    Re the Estate of Diana, Princess of Wales Deceased (1997) Sir Richard Scott, V-C. Acted for Princes William and Harry in relation to the problems arising in respect of the Estate and the Will of the Princess, and the ensuing application made by them (Guardian ad Litem John Major) against the Executors of the Princess to vary the trusts of her Will, approved on behalf of Princes William and Harry on 19 December 1997.

    Royal Heritage Life Assurance Ltd v Pensions Ombudsman (1997) Lloyd J. Acted on appeal to High Court when determination by Pensions Ombudsman quashed.

    McDonald & Ors v Robert Fletcher & Son (Greenfield) Ltd & Ors (the Melton Mede cases) (1997) Robert Walker J. Acted for the Imperial Trustees at the trial of the action when the proceedings were compromised on confidential terms.

    Re S WT (1997) Rimer J. High value and complex long running family trust varied by arrangements made under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 on three previous occasions and numerous later deeds. Notwithstanding earlier advice from (other) Leading Counsel received by Trustees (to the effect that no further material variation was possible), new application effecting further comprehensive variation (of interests vested absolutely in two brothers in equal shares but subject to partial defeasance on the birth of any further sibling) on the basis that the existing trusts had in the events which had happened since the preceding variation ceased to be a settlement subject to the Settled Land Act 1925 and had become a trust for sale subject to the Law of Property Act 1925 and accordingly with the benefit of the statutory power of advancement under S. 32 of the Trustee Act 1925. Judgment on legal point and application approved on behalf of minor and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries.

    Re Macmillan Slts and other Instruments (1996) His Honour Judge Paul Baker QC sitting as a High Court Judge of the Chancery Division. Composite Order including approval of compromise of problems arising as a result of perceived possible defects in earlier trust documentation (on behalf of minor Defendants), approval of Arrangement under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 (on behalf of minor Defendants and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries) and under S. 57 of the Trustee Act 1925 conferring power on the Trustees to effect certain transactions.

    Von Knierem v Bermuda Trust Co Ltd (1994) Supreme Court of Bermuda, Meerabux J. Butterworths Offshore Cases and Materials, Vol 1, 116-125, “the Star Trust Case”. In the context of a power struggle on the board of a company in which the trust had a substantial shareholding, the Protector (the lawyer and personal friend of the director whose directorship was in issue) purported to remove the Defendant as trustee and appoint another trustee in its place: held that the Protector’s power to appoint and remove trustees was a fiduciary power but that an exercise of the powers could only be avoided if a corrupt purpose on the part of the Protector could be proved.

    Re Chandless Slt (1994) Blackburne J and (1989) Browne-Wilkinson V-C. Breach of trust and recovery of compensation. Proceedings over many years arising from loss of trust fund after its realisation and investment by Trustees in a company manufacturing arms. Application for security for costs dismissed in 1989 as Plaintiff-Beneficiaries’ lack of funds attributable to breach of trust complained of and compromise on recovery and applicable trusts approved in 1994 on behalf of minor and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries.

    Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council v Attorney General (1992) CA, reversing Chadwick J. [1993] Ch 210: [1993] 2 WLR 224: [1993] 2 AER 432: 91 LGR 71. Charity: land held by local authority for the purpose of providing playing fields: application by local authority to court for authority to sell the land to developer and use the proceeds to provide new playing fields with better facilities. Held by Chadwick J that the sale of the land would involve an alteration of “the original purposes” of the charity and that since this did not fall within any of the circumstances in S. 13 of the Charities Act 1960 (cy-pres schemes), the Court had no power to authorise the sale of the land. Held by the CA that the sale of the land and the reinvestment of the proceeds to be held for precisely the same charitable purposes did not involve an alteration to the “original purposes” of the charity and did not require a scheme and thus that the Court had power to authorise the sale of the land if appropriate.

    Re Lemos (1992) Mervyn Davies J. Dispute re grant of Probate.

    Re redundant GNR land at King’s Cross (1991)   CA, reversing Hoffman J. Instructed by the Church Commissioners in proceedings against British Railways Board and National Carriers to enforce 19th Century pre-emption rights over redundant railway land. Parallel proceedings by St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Held enforceable by Hoffman J (1990) but reversed by CA (1991). Appeal to the HL compromised.

    Rahman v Chase Bank (CI) Trust Co Ltd (1991). Instructed by Chase Bank (CI) Trust Co Ltd subsequent to the judgment [1991] JLR 103 and in relation to the compromise of the litigation.

    Re Dan Air (1991) Scott J. Approval obtained by Trustees of shares to terms of involvement of Company Doctor, David James.

    Compaq Computers Ltd v Abercorn Group Ltd (1991) Mummery J. [1991] BCC 484. Retention of title and priorities.

    Golden Bay Realty Pte Ltd v Orchard Twelve Investments Pte Ltd [1991] 1 WLR 981, JC, affirming decision of the CA in Singapore affirming the decision of the trial Judge in favour of the purchaser. Contract: penalty: contract in statutory form for sale of a commercial property: provision for payment of liquidated damages by vendor for delay in completion: relief against penalties held inapplicable. Acted for purchaser in test case taken to trial in Singapore in 1985 and thereafter to final appeal to determine a very large number of similar cases relating to the sale of units with Strata Titles.

    Re Carmel College (1989) Hoffman J. Education: independent school offering full and weekly boarding arrangements: held on application by representative parents that governors had power to terminate weekly boarding arrangements on one term’s notice.

    Marius Goring v Equity (No 1) (1986) Browne-Wilkinson V-C. Acted for MG contesting validity of amendments to Rules of Equity and held to be invalid.

    Turner v Turner (1983) Mervyn Davies J. [1984] Ch 100: [1983] 3 WLR 896: [1983] 2 AER 745. Deeds of Appointment made by Trustees set aside under Rule in Re Hastings-Bass.

    Re Leigh’s Settlement Trusts (1980) VC County Palatine of Lancaster. Noted [1981] CLY No. 2453. Trustees have power to effect an appropriation (if they so choose) by reference not to the cash value of the assets appropriated but to their value as a proportion of the trust fund as a whole.

    Manchester City Council v Greater Manchester County Council (1980 – 1979). HL, CA and Smith J. (1980) 78 LGR 560, HL affirming CA (1979) 78 LGR 71, reversing Smith J. Trust established by local authority for the purpose of providing free or assisted places at independent schools:   proposal to provide for seven year period of schooling: power of local authority to incur immediate expenditure (to cover the seven year period) under S. 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 and to create a trust (to provide the financial assistance over the seven year period) as incidental to or consequential on that expenditure.

    Re Earl of Strafford (deceased), Royal Bank of Scotland Ltrd v Byng & Ors (1979 – 1978). CA affirming Megarry V-C [1980] Ch 28; [1979] 2 WLR 459: [1979] 1 AER 513: (1978) 123 SJ 50. Megarry V-C [1978] 3 WLR 223: [1978] 3 AER 18: (1978) 122 SJ 472. Scope of Trustees’ power to effect a compromise under S.15 of the Trustee Act 1925. Leave to appeal to the HL refused by the Appellate Committee. Subsequently conceived and negotiated unorthodox terms of compromise in relation to the subject matter of the dispute, “the Colebrooke Chattels”, approved by Megarry V-C (1979)

    Re the B Trust (Mountgarret) (1979) VC County Palatine of Lancaster. Application by Trustees (conflict of interest and duty) for directions re exercise of dispositive discretion between brother and sister.

    Prudential Assurance Co Ltd v Newman Industries Ltd & Ors (1979) Vinelott J. [1979] 3 AER 507. Minority shareholder action.

    Re Northern Developments (Holdings) Ltd (1978). Megarry V-C (judgment 6 October 1978, unreported): referred to by Lord Millett in Twinsectra Ltd v Yardley & Ors [2002] 2 AC 164: [2002] 2 WLR 802: [2002] 2 AER 377 HL. Constructive Trust – Quistclose Trust.

    Yates Building Co Ltd v Pulleyn (RJ) & Sons (York) Ltd (1975) CA and Templeman J. (1975) 237 EG 183: CA reversing Templeman J. Exercise of option: purported exercise by notice sent by first class post and received in due time: the requirement in the option that notice be sent by registered or recorded delivery post was “directory” not “mandatory” and thus did not need to be complied with. Leave to appeal to HL refused by the Appellate Committee.

    Re Mackelden (1975) Oliver J. Order for removal of Trustee.

    Re Wood Deceased (1975) Rees J (Judgment 21 April 1975). Claim by former wife (short wartime marriage and divorce without financial order) under S. 26 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1965 against the estate of former husband given by his Will to two female legatees.

    Gunn v Maskell (1975-74) Brightman J. Disputed agreement for sale and purchase of company.

    Watts v Waller (1972) CA [1973] QB 153. Land Registration: registration by wife, not in occupation of matrimonial home, of rights under Matrimonial Homes Act 1967.

    Epps v Ledger (1972) Templeman J. (1972) 225 EG 1373. Oral agreement for agricultural tenancy.

    Re Edmondson’s WT (1972-1971) CA and Goulding J. CA reversing Goulding J in part and affirming him in part [1972] 1 AER 444 CA: Goulding J [1971] 3 AER 1121. Class closing rules: exclusion of rules.

    Re Shaw Deceased (1971) Ungoed Thomas J. Claim by widow under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938 against the estate of deceased husband to recover the property and the bicycle business transferred by her to him at his request and given by his Will to the children of his first marriage.

    Re Meadows (Thomas) & Co Ltd and Subsidiary Companies (1960) Staff Pension Scheme Rules (1970) Goff J. [1971] Ch 278: [1970] 3 WLR 524: [1971] 1 AER 239. Pension Scheme: Benevolent Fund: Rule against Perpetuities: the first reported case on the application of the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964.

    Re Bramblevale (1969) CA reversing Megarry V-C [1970] Ch 128: [1969] 3 WLR 699: [1969] 3 AER 1062. Civil contempt: the standard of proof required is that required for a criminal contempt, i.e., beyond reasonable doubt and not on the balance of probabilities.

  • Qualifications & appointments
    • ADR Chambers Mediation Panel (2002)
    • Bencher of Middle Temple (1992)
    • Queen’s Counsel (1984)
    • Supervisor, Land Law and Equity, Cambridge University, St John’s College, Fitzwilliam College and Corpus Christi College (1964-1968)
  • Memberships

    Middle Temple

    Lincoln’s Inn (ad eundem)

    Chancery Bar Association

  • Education & awards

    Middle Temple (Harmsworth Exhibitioner and Scholar)

    MA (Cantab), Law, First Class

    St John’s College Cambridge (History Exhibitioner, Law Scholar and MacMahon Law Student)

    Pocklington School York

  • Previous chambers

    Thirteen Old Square Chambers (2008-2016)

    Wilberforce Chambers (1966-2008)

  • Languages

    French and a smattering of Italian

  • Personal interests

    Antiques and Fine Art, Historic Buildings and Architecture, Opera and Theatre, Travel in Italy and France, Professional Cycling (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España), National Hunt Racing

  • Other pertinent information

    Prior to taking silk in 1984, David’s practice covered all aspects of property law and the law of trusts (and also involved extensive work as an arbitrator). It was during this period that David developed his experience in dealing with English settled landed estates and heritage property and advising families and their trustees in this connection. In addition to the drafting work associated with settlements and their variation, this included the preparation of arrangements for the transfer of houses and estates and other assets to charitable Preservation Trusts with Maintenance Funds (initially with Stoneleigh Abbey, Lamport Hall and Firle Place), an arrangement later widely adopted, and arrangements for the sale (or acceptance in lieu of tax) of high value chattels then or thereafter in this connection. For a number of years David was a member of the tax committee of the Historic Houses Association.

    As a silk, David was involved in the trust aspects of the sale of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection to the Kingdom of Spain (acting for the Protectors), and he was subsequently similarly involved in matters affecting the Art Collections retained by the Thyssen-Bornemisza family.

    David’s advice has also been frequently sought in relation to the trust aspects of commercial transactions and in relation to commercial trusts. He was involved in a number of major takeovers (Wellcome by Glaxo, Forte by Granada, and Savoy Group by Blackstone) where the key votes were held by trustees (private, public or charitable) where issues arose as to their powers and duties and Court directions were sought. He was also involved in a comprehensive range of matters affecting Lloyds Syndicates arising in connection with Reconstruction & Renewal. He has also dealt with miscellaneous matters involving incentive and other funds held on trusts for executives or other classes of employees.

    Over the years, David has also been extensively involved in property and trust and inheritance-related matters in Singapore and Hong Kong.

    David’s advice has also been sought in a series of cases (by insurers of professional advisers involved or by participants) in relation to the legal effect and other consequences of complex arrangements entered into with the intention of avoiding or saving tax.

    David’s trust work also embraces all areas of charity law and practice, and has included advice to national collections.

    David is prepared to tackle any challenging problem and will endeavour to approach it with objectivity and detachment. He has given advice in relation to property and commercial aspects of water, electricity and rail privatisations: in relation to the structure of new developments (including Canary Wharf and Battersea Power Station) and schemes (e.g., relating to the construction of power stations) intended to benefit from tax reliefs or incentives: unusual property cases with obscure historic issues (e.g, the Great Pool at Lincoln, Seacoal Lane in the City, and coastal drift and shingle in Pevensey Bay):   and in relation to housing associations (the structuring of staircasing arrangements). He was even instructed by the BMA in 2002 in the context of aspects of their re-negotiation of the current GP’s contract.

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