Andrew Holden

Andrew Holden

Call: 2007

"Technically excellent but also robust, a barrister you want if you are running a novel argument." "Commercial, intelligent and approachable." "Very technical, capable and user-friendly."

Chambers & Partners 2021 (UK and Global)

Andrew is a chancery and commercial specialist, whose highly-regarded practice encompasses trusts, fraud and asset tracing, probate and estate administration, and commercial litigation and arbitration.

Chambers & Partners recommends Andrew as top-ranked (band 1) practitioner in his fields of expertise, with recent editions praising him as "one of the best of his generation": a "great strategic thinker", “incredibly tenacious and creative”, an “accomplished advocate”, and “a master of highly technical areas of law.”

Andrew is lauded both as "a clear draftsman who produces well-reasoned opinions" and as a highly effective courtroom advocate, with clients praising him as a "wonderful junior who is very good on his feet." His focus on the client's commercial outcomes is also the subject of consistent praise in the directories: he is “very responsive”; “a hit with clients”; “really user-friendly”; "very approachable, accessible and practical"... a "very commercial" barrister who "puts his legal knowledge into practice in a fantastic way." Andrew is similarly recommended in the latest editions of Chambers GlobalChambers High Net WorthLegal 500, Citywealth, and Who’s Who Legal.

In the United Kingdom, Andrew enjoys a busy and broad-based commercial and chancery practice. He is well known for his trusts, probate and estates work, with Chambers and Partners praising him as "a sought-after junior for his broader traditional chancery expertise". Andrew is also a sought-after practitioner in relation to complex fraud, asset-tracing and commercial and company/shareholder disputes, particularly where they engage principles of equity.

Andrew also has an extensive international practice. He has deep international trusts expertise, including acting for the settlors, trustees, beneficiaries and protectors of private trusts, as well as for the institutional custodians, directors and professional advisers of trusts, funds and companies. Client feedback in Chambers and Partners is that he is an "outstanding trusts specialist", with one client saying that "there is nothing in the trusts world that he is not familiar with." Andrew also enjoys a highly-regarded practice in the field of international commercial litigation and arbitration, including international fraud and asset-tracing and connected matters engaging principles of international jurisdiction and enforcement. His briefs in this area demonstrate that he is well equipped to navigate clients through the legal and factual complexities inherent in high value international litigation and arbitration.

Andrew is the author of Trust Protectors, the first specialist practitioners' text on the subject of protectors, and writes and publishes regularly in his fields of expertise. He is an Academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law (TIAETL), a full member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and the draughtsman of several pieces of international trust legislation, including the Trustee Amendment Act 2014 and the Trusts (Special Provisions) Amendment Act 2020 of Bermuda.

The following is a selection of Andrew's recent reported cases:

  • Hamersmith-Stewart v Cromwell Trust Company Ltd (2022): Acting for Plaintiff in major trust litigation, including important judgment on privacy of trust proceedings. Led by Eason Rajah KC.
  • Volpi v Volpi [2022] EWCA Civ 464: Successfully resisting an appeal on issues of fact. Unled.
  • Richards v Kulczyk [2022] EWHC 863 (Ch): Acting for the defendant trustee in proceedings claiming c.£7 million under an alleged oral contract and/or in restitution. Unled.
  • Re Piedmont & Riviera Trusts [2015] JRC 196; [2016] JRC 016; [2018] JRC 210; [2021] JRC 248 (Jersey): Acted for the applicant beneficiary in this groundbreaking multi-year trust litigation in Jersey, involving (i) setting aside appointments of fiduciaries for irrationality; (ii) setting aside deeds of revocation for undue influence; (iii) the proper role of a protector in consenting to/vetoing a trustee's decision; and (iv) fiduciary costs in trust proceedings. Assisting Advocate Robertson.
  • AB v Line Trust Corporation Ltd [2022] GSC 002 (Gibraltar): Appeared for the trustees of a nine-figure trust structure. The litigation gave rise to important judgments concerning the privacy of trust proceedings. Unled.
  • Dawson-Damer v Grampian Trust Company Ltd (ongoing); Dawson-Damer v Lyndhurst Ltd [2019] SC (Bda) 8 Civ; (2022)  (Bahamas, Bermuda): Acted for the Plaintiff/Claimant in an action in the Bahamas to set aside distributions from a nine-figure trust structure. Led by Richard Wilson KC.
  • Re X Trusts  [2018] SC (Bda) 56 Civ (Bermuda): Acted for a group of beneficiaries in respect of a novel application in Bermuda to remove the directors of Private Trust Companies from office. The matter involved a breakdown in relations concerning a trust structure worth in the region of £5 billion and gave rise to an important judgment concerning the breadth of the court's supervisory jurisdiction. Led by David Brownbill KC.

A further selection of cases of note can be viewed by clicking on the link to each practice area.

Areas of experience

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  • Commercial Litigation
    • Perrucci v Orlean Invest Limited [2022] EWHC 2038 (Comm): Commercial dispute including successful defence of strike out/summary judgment application in commercial. Unled.
    • LCIA Arbitration (2021-2022): Commercial arbitration concerning alleged breaches of $150 million of loan notes. Led by Michael Black KC.
    • Volpi v Volpi [2021] EWHC 2143 (Ch): Acting for claimant on successful trial to recover a CHF 6 million loan. Unled.
    • Volpi v Delanson Services Ltd, 2020/APP/sts/00013 (Bahamas): Challenge and appeal against arbitral award on grounds of serious procedural irregularity and error of law. Led by Michael Black KC.
    • UNCITRAL Arbitration (2019-2021): Acted for settlor in a very high value trust arbitration concerning a dispute the distribution of the whole of a trust fund to the settlor. Led by Elspeth Talbot Rice KC.
    • Akhmedova v Akhmedov [2018] DIFC CFI 011; [2018] DIFC CA 003; [2018] EWFC 23 (Fam); [2018] 3 FCR 135: A major asset tracing exercise arising out of the largest divorce award ever granted by the English High Court. The claim involved in particular steps to enforce that award against MV ‘Luna’, a superyacht valued at in excess of $450 million. Led by Michael Black KC (in the DIFC) and Dakis Hagen KC (in England).
    • Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority v Bestfort Development LLP [2015] EWHC 3197 (Ch); [2016] 2 CLC 714 (CA); [2018] 3 WLR 1099 (CA): Acted for one of the United Arab Emirates in claims arising out of an alleged multi-million dollar fraud in the Republic of Georgia. The matter gave rise to important judgments in the Court of Appeal concerning the availability of security for costs and the proper test for the making of freezing injunctions. Led by Stephen Moverley Smith KC and Richard Millett KC.
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates
    • Re A & B Trusts [2022] JRC 086 (Jersey): Acted for protector of very high value trust structure defending an unsuccessful removal action. Assisted Advocate Speck.
    • YM v NM [2020] EWFC 13: Proceedings to set aside a Consent Order in matrimonial proceedings involving complex structure on the grounds of duress. Led by Jonathan Southgate KC. Andrew also appeared unled for H in successfully opposing an application by W for a freezing injunction.
    • Re Klein Family Settlement (2018) (Gibraltar): First rectification application in Gibraltar. Unled.
    • Line Trust Corporation Ltd v W (2017) (Gibraltar): Acted for the trustee of a Gibraltar trust structure in relation to hostile matrimonial finance proceedings in the UK. Trustee successfully resisted a jurisdictional challenge by W. Led by Elspeth Talbot Rice KC.
    • Henchley v Thompson [2017] EWHC 225 (Ch); [2017] WTLR 1289: Acted for one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs in respect of a dispute over the administration of a family trust structure. Important judgment relating to trustee’s duty to account. Led by Elspeth Talbot Rice KC.
    • Macmillan Cancer Support v Hayes [2017] EWHC 3110 (Ch); [2018] WTLR 243: Successfully obtained full relief from forfeiture for the beneficiaries of a man who had unlawfully killed his wife as a ‘mercy killing’. Unled.
    • Re K Trust [2016] WTLR 1225 (Guernsey): First successful application in Guernsey for the removal of a protector from office. Assisted Advocate Wessels.
    • IFG International Ltd v French [2013] WTLR 251 (Isle of Man): Acted for the former protector of a series of Isle of Man trusts established by billionaire Wyly brothers. Andrew’s client sought an indemnity from trust assets in respect of his defence of New York proceedings brought by the SEC alleging, inter alia, that the trusts were shams established as a vehicle for securities fraud. The High Court of the Isle of Man provided valuable new guidance on the role of the trust protector, and in particular on the circumstances in which a protector will be entitled to an indemnity out of trust assets. Assisting Advocate Wild.
    • Schomberg v Taylor [2013] EWHC 2269 (Ch); [2013] WTLR 1413: Undue influence claim. Unled.
    • Fischer v Diffley [2013] EWHC 4567 (Ch): Acted for a well-known charitable residuary legatee of a substantial estate. The charity defended a challenge to the validity of the deceased’s will based on lack of testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval. Unled.
    • Re A Trust [2012] JRC 169A (Jersey): Landmark action in Jersey to remove a protector from office. For the first time in any reported case, the Royal Court of Jersey confirmed that the jurisdiction to remove a protector is analogous with the jurisdiction to remove a trustee and operates on the same principles. Assisted Advocate Robertson.
    • D v M & M & M Limited (2011) (Isle of Man)Acted for the English trustee of a complex, multi-jurisdictional trust and corporate structure, which became embroiled in divorce litigation in the Isle of Man. Also acted on successful Beddoe applications before the English High Court.

Other information

  • Recommendations

    Chambers & Partners 2023: “Andrew is very knowledgeable and is easy to work with He delivers.” “A fine advocate with strong legal and advocacy skills.” “He turns work around very quickly and has a great work product.” “He does a good and very sensible job for his clients.”

    Legal 500 2023: “Andrew is an absolute go-to counsel for trust matters. He has encyclopedic trust knowledge in several jurisdictions and provides his counsel and advice pragmatically and commercially. He is very responsive and a great person to have on your side.” “Andrew is absolutely brilliant. A wonderful mix of being super intelligent, commercial and a great strategist. He is great to have on your team and solicitors trust his judgement on matters. His written work is first-rate.”

    Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2022: “Andrew is a top trusts lawyer,” says a source, adding: “He is an extremely agile thinker about issues and an extremely good lawyer, he works very hard. He is top of the bunch for juniors.” Equally impressed interviewees also note that Holden “is one of those barristers who is old beyond his years of call” and that “his care, dedication, legal knowledge and tactics are rare qualities to find combined in one person.”

    Who’s Who Legal 2022: Andrew Holden is an outstanding counsel who is recommended by interviewees for his “substantial private client contentious experience”.

    Legal 500 2022: “Andrew offers the full package. His written work and communication skills are first rate.”

    “He is someone you want on your team and is a pleasure to work with. He is very responsive an easy to work with.”

    Chambers UK Bar & Global 2022: “He is very intelligent, awesome on strategy and great at working with clients.”

    “A good, strategic thinker whose knowledge of offshore trust law is just phenomenal. He does a lot in Bermuda and Cayman and has written a lot on the subject of protectors.”

    Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2021: Andrew is described as “an immensely respected senior junior” and an “excellent advocate”. “He is my first call on international trust matters. He’s very senior and very intelligent and, awesome on strategy and working with clients.”

    Legal 500 2021: “A strategic thinker and a good communicator.”

    “Is an outstanding junior, incredibly bright and very good and patient with clients.”

    Chambers UK Bar & Global 2021: “Technically excellent but also robust, a barrister you want if you are running a novel argument.” “Commercial, intelligent and approachable.” “Very technical, capable and user-friendly.” 

    “Has an incredibly astute mind and a very very busy practice for a junior. He adopts a lovely down-to-earth approach.”

    Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2020: “He is fantastic to work with, an exceedingly brainy man and he grasps legal concepts very quickly, makes himself available and is very impressive on client calls… his written and oral advice are both excellent.”

    Legal 500 2019: “A silk in waiting – he has incredible technical knowledge combined with a very dry sense of humour… an accomplished advocate and equally at ease onshore and offshore – he gives concise and clear advice promptly.”

    Chambers UK Bar 2019: “Wise beyond his years and very knowledgeable, he is one of the best of his generation and a great strategic thinker… Very approachable, accessible and practical, he knows everything you need to about trust law and really inspires confidence… He identifies the instrumental points in a case and his advice is always on the button.

    Has incredibly deep knowledge of trusts law.

    Legal 500 2018: “Both academic and user friendly, which is a rare combination… very clever and practical.

    Chambers High Net Worth 2018: “a leading junior… one of the best of his generation… He can deal with incredibly complex and obscure matters in such an efficient way. He can break down and resolve the most difficult and complex issues… He cuts through the faff and makes everything so clear. He has just got experience and expertise beyond his years.” 

    Very skilled, very talented and very bright. He is very academic while also being very commercial in outlook. He puts his legal knowledge into practice in a fantastic way.

    Chambers UK Bar 2018: “Incredibly bright and reassuring for clients. Thorough, approachable and very responsive, he is very good with clients and wins them over with his arguments.

    Imaginative, tenacious and clever, and has a lovely crystalline mind…A wonderful junior who is very good on his feet… A superb practitioner and a real rising star, who is phenomenally bright and articulate.

    Legal 500 2017: “Very bright, quick and easy to work with.

    Chambers High Net Worth 2017: “His young age belies his wisdom and gravitas… He is a superb practitioner and a real rising star. He is phenomenally bright and articulate. He is a really talented advocate and is very good on his feet.

    Chambers UK Bar 2017: “His power of reason and depth of knowledge are very good. He is confident and good on his feet, and he’s also got an engaging personality.

    An outstanding trusts specialist… very intelligent and really gets on top of the evidence… hugely talented and impressive with a masterful command of both the facts and the law… Provides very succinct and very good advice.

    Legal 500 2016: “Has a real depth of understanding in fiduciary matters.

    Chambers High Net Worth 2016: “Very bright and hardworking and produces written work of great clarity. I respect and rely on his advice.

    Chambers UK Bar 2016: “He is so brilliant. Of all the people of his generation he is the brightest.

    Technically highly proficient, reliable, responsive and a pleasure to deal with… very impressive for his level of call and able to hold his own in very senior company.

    Chambers Global 2016: “He is fantastic and a clear draftsman who produces well-reasoned opinions. He is a rising star and his work is excellent.

    Chambers UK Bar 2015: “Technically excellent beyond his years and sees a clear way through knotty problems… Very industrious and tactically astute, and produces first-class written documents.

    Chambers UK Bar 2014: “Equally accomplished at both commercial and private client cases… Very quick to get to the detail and good on his feet… technically excellent and does work beyond his year of call.

    One of the very good things about him is that in addition to his intellect he is very commercial and pragmatic. He knows that the legal answer might not be the right answer for his client.

  • Academic History
    • BA (Hons.), Oxon., Philosophy and Theology – 1st Class (top of year)
    • M.St. (Research), Oxon.
    • CPE, City University – Commendation
    • BVC, Inns of Court School of Law – Outstanding
    • TEP, Qualified Practitioners’ Route, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Scholarships and prizes
    • Elfan Rees Scholarship, Mansfield College, Oxon.
    • Gibb’s Prize in Philosophy and Theology, Oxon.
    • Rebecca Flowers Scholarship in Theology, Oxon.
    • EU Essay Prize, City University
    • Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship, Inner Temple
    • Major Scholarship, Inner Temple
  • Publications
    • Trust Protectors (2011, Jordans)
    • Probate Disputes and Remedies (2014, Jordans, third edition) – contributor
    • Atkins Court Forms – Company Insolvency (2015, LexisNexis) – editor
    • A trustee by any other name: who is a ‘trustee’ for limitation purposes? [2014] 5 JIBFL 334 (with Elspeth Talbot Rice QC)
    • Freezing orders and company assets: the net widens: Corporate Rescue & Insolvency, October 2014 p.181 (with Stephen Moverley Smith QC)
    • Letters of wishes and the ongoing role of the settlor (2014) 20(7) Trusts & Trustees 712 (with Stephen Moverley Smith QC)
    • The arbitration of trust disputes: theoretical problems and practical possibilities (2015) 21(5) Trusts & Trustees 546
    • The trust supervisory jurisdiction: how broad is it really? How far can it be stretched? (2019) 25(5) Trusts & Trustees 523 (with Elspeth Talbot Rice QC)
  • Professional memberships
    • Chancery Bar Association
    • Full Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
    • Academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law