Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has a broad commercial Chancery practice and an extremely loyal client base. Clients comment especially on her meticulous eye for detail, particularly well-used in cross examination, her clear and robust advocacy in Court and her practical approachable style outside court. She is highly sought after for her incisive legal analysis, the depth of her experience, her ability to present complicated law and facts in a simple and clear way, the energy and zest she brings to the cases with which she deals, her strong court presence and her superb advocacy.
She is recommended in the major legal directories including Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, her entries over the years having described her as a “a formidable litigator”, an “incredibly smooth and extremely pleasant advocate” with “a voracious work appetite” and “a very commercial approach“. She is praised as “a very tenacious advocate; forthright in her advice and very easy to work with”, “superb on complex matters and very good with clients”, “mightily impressive and very composed” and “incredibly incisive and good at drilling down through all the facts: she can unpick a case in an instant”.
She has strength and depth right across the spectrum of commercial chancery matters: her expertise and experience straddles large scale trust and probate litigation, both domestically and internationally, and business based litigation and arbitration including fraud, company, partnership, insolvency and contractual disputes.
Many of her cases have overseas and international elements. She has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean, and has appeared in the British Virgin Islands on a number of occasions. She has also been licensed to appear, and has appeared a number of times, as an advocate in the Courts of the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Additionally she has advised on many cases being fought in Guernsey, Jersey, the USA, the Bahamas, other islands of the Caribbean, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Reported cases include:
- Wong v Grand View  SC (Bda) 1 Com (4 January 2019) – application for preliminary issues in claim challenging multi billion dollar purpose trusts
- Barker v Confiance  EWHC 2965 (Ch) and  EWHC 1401 (Ch) – application by children to set aside order approving on their behalf compromise of claim to set aside trust for mistake
- In the matter of the X Trusts  SC (Bda) 56 (12 July 2018) –application to remove directors of a private trust company as trustee of a number of Bermuda trusts
- Meritus Trst Co Ltd v Butterfield Trust (Bermuda Ltd)  WTLR 545, 21 ITELR 177 – former trustee’s right to retain trust assets as security and to require contractual indemnities from new trustee
- J Toomey Motors Ltd v Chevrolet UK Ltd  EWHC 276 (Comm) – claims for loss arising out of termination of car dealership franchise agreement
- Henchley v Thompson  WTLR 1289 – claim for an account against a former trustee
- Gorbunova v Berezovsky’s Estate  EWHC 1829 (Ch) – strike out of proprietary claims to assets held by trustees in bankruptcy of an insolvent estate
- Butler v Butler  4 W.L.R. 133 – division of chattels between tenants in common under s.188 Law of Property Act 1925
- Trustee L v AG  SC (Bda) 50 Com – costs of a contested Beddoe application
- Coward v Phaestos Ltd
-  EWHC 1292 (Ch) – ownership of intellectual property in a software for a Cayman hedge fund
-  C.P. Rep. 2;  6 Costs L.O. 843 –appeal against the costs order made at trial – whether the result at trial was more advantageous than a Calderbank offer
- Drake v Harvey  1 All E.R. (Comm) 617;  1 B.C.L.C. 724;  W.T.L.R. 1557;  Bus. L.R. D44 – value payable to a deceased partner in respect of his share of a farming partnership
- Gill v Woodall & RSPCA  Ch. 380 – whether a will was invalid due to undue influence, lack of capacity or want of knowledge and approval
- Fattal v Walbrook Trustees (Jersey) Ltd
-  Bus. L.R. D7 – disallowance of re-amendments after expiry of limitation period
-  1 All E.R. (Comm) 647 – powers and duties of trustees holding membership rights in company limited by guarantee
- Harms Offshore AHT Taurus GmbH & Co KG v Bloom  Ch. 187 – anti-suit injunction by administrators of company in respect of proceedings in New York
- In the matter of Bertrand Theodoor Ciebrant, deceased, Van Kwawagen v RNLI & Cancer Research UK  WTLR 69 – proof of a contested, reconstituted will
Elspeth is a much sought after speaker at conferences both in England and abroad, and she sits on many conference advisory boards. She speaks regularly at Legal Week’s Trusts and Estates Litigation Forum in Provence and their International Private Client Forum at Lake Como. She chairs the International Litigation Day at the Transcontinental Trust conference in Geneva and speaks at the Transcontinental Trust conference in Bermuda. She has also spoken at White Paper’s Fraud conferences and many STEP and Law Society conferences.
Elspeth regularly provides workshops and seminars, podcasts and webinars on a variety of subjects, details of which can be obtained from the practice management team (firstname.lastname@example.org). For example, Elspeth and Adam Cloherty produced a podcast available at cpdengage.com (subscription may be required) on Trustees and Mistake and the decision of the Supreme Court in Pitt v Holt . Elspeth and Andrew Holden produced a podcast on Bust Trusts which examines aspects arising when the law of bankruptcy and insolvency clashes with the law of trusts and Elspeth and Edward Cumming produced a podcast on Anti-Suit Injunctions in Insolvency Proceedings. Elspeth’s webinars include a STEP webinar on Bust Trusts (November 2014), a Lexis Nexis webinar on “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” (September 2011) and an LNTV presentation on Insolvent Estates.
Elspeth’s publications include:
- “I’m a Trustee, get me out of here with indemnities and security)” published in Trust and Trustees vol 25 No 2, March 2019.
- “A trustee by any other name – who is a “trustee” for limitation purposes?” (with Andrew Holden) Journal of International Business and Finance Law (2014) 29 JIBFL 438
- “Whose liability is it anyway?” (with Daniel Warents) Journal of Business and International Law (2012) (dealing with whether trustees of personal pension schemes can be liable in respect of undisclosed commissions paid to investment managers or advisors, and if so in what circumstances)
- “He’s Madoff with my Money” (with Bajul Shah) Trust and Trustees (Oxford University Press) (2010) 16 (4): 213-225 (an article examining hedge fund structures, Madoff’s fraud and the resultant clawback claims)
- “Oops, I’ve made a mistake: Will England or Jersey law fix it for me?” the Lawyer website, December 2012
- “Core Distinction” Legal Week, 30th March 2010 – an examination of the rule in Re Hastings Bass and mistake
- Insolvency Issues for Estates and Trust Practitioners (with Edward Cumming and Sarah Bayliss) Insolvency Intelligence Insolv. Int. (2010) Vol.23 No.3 Pages 33-37 and No.4 Pages 49-53.