Perry Brown
    Perry Brown
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    Tommie Drury
    Practice Manager
    +44 (0)20 7419 6203
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    Matthew Evans
    Assistant Practice Manager
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    Head of Chambers

    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, succession and probate litigation, both domestically and internationally, and business-based litigation and arbitration including fraud, company, partnership, insolvency and contractual disputes.  She is particularly well regarded for international trust and succession disputes, Chambers & Partners High Net Worth recording that “It’s a race to get Elspeth when we have any contentious issue,” reports a solicitor. “She is a phenomenal lawyer, I’ve never met anyone harder working. She is extremely efficient with amazingly good judgement, knows when to take a point, tests every angle before going into court so she knows exactly where she stands. She is just so trusted, and she’d never walk past a stone without turning it over,

    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.

    Notable cases include:

    • Wong v Grand View: multi billion dollar litigation in Bermuda challenging the validity of, and transfers, into 5 purpose trusts and the use of powers of addition and exclusion to destroy the substratum of a discretionary trust for the benefit of the family.
    • In the matter of the X Trusts: litigation in Bermuda relating to the trusteeship and administration of a very large number of very valuable family trusts and the role of the protector in relation to them.
    • Morina v Sherbakova: international succession dispute litigating in England and Belgium.
    • Schumacher v Clarke: disputes arising in the administration of the estate of Zaha Hadid.
    • Coward v Ambrosiadou, Coward v Phaestos: various disputes (in England and the BVI) arising out of the ownership of a hedge fund business
    • Meritus Trust Co Ltd v Butterfield Trust (Bermuda Ltd) [2018] WTLR 545, 21 ITELR 177: a claim challenging a 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 [2017] EWHC 276 (Comm): claims for loss arising out of termination of car dealership franchise agreement.

    Elspeth is a much sought after speaker at conferences, webinars and seminars both in England and abroad. She speaks regularly at Legal Week’s Trusts and Estates Litigation Forum and their International Private Client Forum at Lake Como and at the Transcontinental Trust conferences in Geneva and  Bermuda.  She has also spoken at White Paper’s Fraud conferences and IBA, STEP and Law Society conferences.

    Elspeth’s publications include:

    • “The trust supervisory jurisdiction:  how broad is it really?  How far can it be stretched?” (with Andrew Holden) Trusts and Trustees 2019
    • “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.

    Areas of experience

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    • Arbitration

      Elspeth has considerable arbitration experience in a variety of subject areas including:

      • arbitration relating to a challenge to a trustee’s decision to distribute trust assets (trust governed by Bahamian law)
      • arbitration relating to payments due to a partner on his leaving the partnership
      • giving expert evidence in a US arbitration relating to a hedge fund LLP and the powers of its members
      • arbitration in which a franchisee made a successful claim against the franchisor for damages for wrongful repudiation of a franchise agreement
      • arbitration arising out a contract for the supply of oil

       

      She has also been involved in cases in which allegations of negligence have arisen as a result of the conduct of the arbitration.

    • Banking and Financial Services

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has dealt with various cases arising out of the financial services sector.

      Notable cases include:

      • PGI v Liongate: an application in Cayman for a freezing injunction in support of proceedings in England arising out of the sale of a hedge fund business
      • A US Arbitration: giving expert evidence in an arbitration relating to a hedge fund LLP and the power of its members
      • Coward v Phaestos & IKOS [2013] EWHC 1292 (Ch): a claim relating to a Cayman based hedge fund run by algorithm-based software
      • InterRetire Ltd v HSBC Securities Services (Isle of Man) Ltd: a claim arising out of the trusteeship, management and administration of a high value large international retirement benefit scheme
      • Advising directors of a Manx hedge fund in relation to a Manx Financial Services Commission investigation for breaches of regulations
      • Deroo & Ors v Taitnys Management Ltd & Ors: claims, including against financial intermediaries, arising out of the use of a Jersey trust as an investment vehicle.
      • Trident Trust Company (UK) Limited v AACU: included claims against IFAs for breach of duty and pursuant to the FSA
      • FSA v Gladwish: a claim by the FSA that a business involving the purchase and sale of plots of land was a collective investment scheme
      • Russell Cooke Trust Co Ltd v Elliott & 92 others [2001] All ER (D) 300; [2001] LTL 16/5/2001: proceedings to determine whether an investment scheme operated by a solicitor and frozen by the Law Society was a number of separate collective investment schemes or one big collective investment scheme
      • In the matter of Griffin Trading Co Ltd [1999] All ER (D) 1075; [1999] LTL 21/10/1999, Arden J: whether a claim could be made to the client account of a derivatives trading enterprise in liquidation.
    • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has been involved in many fraud and tracing actions, particularly with international elements. She is recommended in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in this area, it being said of her that “for complex fraud matters [she] is hard to beat“, “Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents” and “She is forthright in trials and very straightforward.  Her advocacy is excellent and she’s very, very impressive on her feet”

      Notable cases include:

      • KMG v Chen: worldwide freezing injunction in support of a Dutch law claim against a former director of a Dutch company for allegedly assisting in making the company judgment proof
      • Plant v Pickle: a claim in the BVI against a co-guarantor who contended he was not liable to contribute to the guarantee liability on the basis that his co-guarantor had procured the purchase of the properties which also secured the debt at an undervalue
      • Angel v McBrides: a claim against auditors for assisting or failing to prevent the unlawful extraction of property from a group of companies by the sole director
      • PGI v Liongate: application in Cayman for a freezing injunction against a Cayman company against which no cause of action was alleged, in support of proceedings in England arising out of the sale of a hedge fund business
      • Newmarket v Confiance: a conspiracy claim arising out of a successful property development joint venture and the extraction of shares in Guernsey companies from one of the joint venturers
      • Trident Trust Company (UK) Limited v AACU: claims on behalf of a trustee, including in the USA, to track down and recover funds which had been transferred out of the trust and had bounced in and out of various jurisdictions before they were found in, and recovered from, the USA
      • Centum Investments v Bannon & Ors: a claim on behalf of a shareholder that a transfer of the company’s business made by administrators of a pre-pack administration to the other shareholders was in breach of a shareholders agreement.
      • Glen Marks Corporation Ltd v Black Raven: a claim on behalf of a shareholders to set aside a substantial share allotment on the basis that it had been made for an improper purpose to defeat a majority vote
      • Diva Sports Ltd v Carnegie Group Ltd & Murray International Holdings Ltd: substantial breach of warranty claim arising out of the accuracy of the accounts of a 5 aside football business
    • Commercial Litigation

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has significant experience in inter and intra corporate disputes, security arrangements, breach of warranty, financial services, civil fraud, asset recovery and restitution cases and hedge fund litigation.

      Chambers & Partners has consistently recommended her in Commercial Dispute Resolution, with market commentators having endorsed her in the past for the breadth of her practice, noting “there is little she doesn’t have experience of” and describing her as “a fantastic all-rounder“ and “a formidable advocate who is very direct in her views – she calls a spade a spade and clients love her for it”.  Chambers & Partners also rank her in band 1 for Chancery: Commercial, recording peers as saying that she is “of the highest quality, she is bright, hard-working and a good advocate. “ “Elspeth has a wonderful manner, is committed to her clients and is a really good adviser and advocate”

      Legal 500 also recommends Elspeth in Commercial Litigation and Civil Fraud, having described her as ” always one step ahead of the game, all over the detail, as well as the bigger picture. She is formidable in court but very approachable outside it”, “who, for complex offshore fraud matters is hard to beat“ and “A formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court.  Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents”

      Notable cases include:

      • Kazakhstan Kagazy v Zhunus: issues arising out of disclosure requirements pursuant to a freezing injunction
      • First National Trustco v McQuitty: claims arising out of the management of a timeshare resort in Tenerife
      • Gorbunova v Berezovsky: a proprietary claim by a partner of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky to the entirety of his assets from his insolvent estate
      • Stanford International Bank v Hamilton Smith: claims in England and Antigua against former liquidators for breach of duty and claims over by those liquidators against legal advisors in which an anti-suit injunction application was made in England
      • Angel v McBrides: a claim against auditors for assisting or failing to prevent the unlawful extraction of property from a group of companies by the sole director
      • Butler v Butler: an important decision on s.188 Law of Property Act 1925 arising out of a dispute between siblings over what to do with a culturally important collection of Chinese porcelain
      • Toomey v Chevrolet: a claim arising out of the termination of a Chevrolet franchise agreement
      • KMG v Chen: worldwide freezing injunction in support of Dutch law claim against a former director of a Dutch company for allegedly assisting in making the company judgment proof
      • Ford v Williams: freezing injunction in support of a claim to the traceable substitute of shares alleged to be held on express oral trust for the claimant
      • Chapman v Wilson, Pitts and LawFinance [2010] EWHC 1746 (Ch):Vos J, a claim challenging the validity of security taken over a solicitor’s files under the Bills of Sales Acts
      • Bloom & Ors v Harms Offshore AHT “Taurus” GmbH &Co KG & another [2010] Ch 187 (CA): an expedited appeal on the question of the Court’s jurisdiction to grant an anti-suit injunction to prevent a German creditor from proceeding with an action in New York
      • Slocom Trading Ltd v Tatik & Sibir Energy [2010]: claims arising out of the validity and effect of various loan and security arrangements
      • Scheps v Fine Arts Logistics Ltd [2007] EWHC 541 (QB); [2007] All ER (D) 290: a successful claim against a specialist fine arts storage company for the loss of a unique Anish Kapoor sculpture
    • Company

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is ranked by Legal 500 in Company and Partnership and has conducted a number of company disputes, including shareholders disputes, disputes involving unlawfully paid dividends and breaches of directors’ duties. She has also conducted many auditors’ and accountants’ negligence cases because of her knowledge of company accounts.

      Notable company cases include:

      • Stanford International Bank v Hamilton Smith: a claim against former liquidators for breach of duty and claims over by those liquidators against legal advisors
      • Mindray Medical Ltd, Homeinns Ltd and Bona Films Ltd: claims in the BVI in which dissenting shareholders applied for a fair price to be paid for their shares on an IPO.
      • Bloom v Bailes: a shareholder dispute
      • Metro Baltic Horizons Ltd v James: a claim in the Isle of Man by an AIM listed company set up to invest in Balkan property against directors and investment managers for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, misrepresentation, conspiracy
      • Louis Group: public policy petitions against a number of companies connected to a Manx fund set up to invest in property, in which the directors’ conduct of the companies was impugned by the financial services regulator.
      • Acted for administrators of a car dealership company in claims against directors for breach of fiduciary duties
      • Acted for directors of a Manx fund whom the financial services regulator alleged had acted in breach of the financial services regulations [2012]
      • E&E Transport Ltd: unfair prejudice petition by one director/shareholder against the other director/shareholder with complaints being made that the latter had mismanaged the company
      • Centum Investments v Bannon & Ors: a claim on behalf of a shareholder that a transfer of the company’s business made by administrators of a pre-pack administration to the other shareholders was in breach of a shareholders agreement.
      • Glen Marks Corporation Ltd v Black Raven: a claim on behalf of a shareholders to set aside a substantial share allotment on the basis that it had been made for an improper purpose to defeat a majority vote
      • Diva Sports Ltd v Carnegie Group Ltd & Murray International Holdings Ltd [2007]: substantial breach of warranty claim arising out of the accuracy of the accounts of a 5 aside football business
      • Hale v Waldock [2007] 1 BCLC 520, [2006] EWHC 364 (Ch), LTL 13/3/06: s.459 petition in which it was alleged that a legitimate expectation to receive monthly payments on account of profits was breached
      • Crowe v Hearn [2000] All ER (D) 1119: a s.459 petition in which the respondent was ordered to purchase the petitioner’s shares for a substantial sum notwithstanding the fact that the company was in insolvent liquidation
      • Arab Bank v Mercantile [1994] Ch 71: financial assistance by a foreign subsidiary given to its holding company for the purchase of the holding company’s shares did not contravene s.151 Companies Act 1985
    • Hedge Funds & Structured Investment Vehicles

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has advised on a number of pieces of litigation involving hedge funds.

      Notable cases include:

      • PGI v Liongate: an application in Cayman for a freezing injunction in support of proceedings in England arising out of the sale of a hedge fund business
      • A US Arbitration: giving expert evidence in an arbitration relating to a hedge fund LLP and the power of its members
      • Coward v Phaestos & IKOS [2013] EWHC 1292 (Ch): a claim relating to a Cayman based hedge fund run by algorithm based software
      • Advising directors of a Manx hedge fund in relation to a Manx Financial Services Commission investigation for breaches of regulations
      • Deroo & Ors v Taitnys Management Ltd & Ors: claims arising out of the use of a Jersey trust as an investment vehicle, which invested in various funds.
      • SV Special Solutions Ltd v Headstart Class F Holdings Ltd: application to set aside a substantial statutory demand served by a redeeming shareholder in a multi-million dollar hedge fund.
    • Insolvency

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is well known in this area and has fought numerous cases arising out of insolvent and solvent liquidations, receiverships, administrations and bankruptcies. Chambers & Partners recommended her in this area noting that “She doesn’t take bad points and judges listen to what she says“. Legal 500  recommends her, with peers describing her as “a formidable and powerful advocate with real gravitas in court”.

      • Gorbunova v Berezovsky: acting for trustees in bankruptcy of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s insolvent estate against which proprietary and other claims were made by his former partner
      • Stanford International Bank v Hamilton Smith: claims in England and Antigua against former liquidators for breach of duty and claims over by those liquidators against legal advisors in which an anti-suit injunction application was made in England.
      • Angel v McBrides: a claim against auditors for assisting or failing to prevent the unlawful extraction of property from a group of companies by the sole director.
      • Bloom v Bailes: a claim to half the shares in a company which had purchased a dentistry business in order to save it from insolvency
      • Advised the administrators of a car dealership on claims against the directors of the company to recover excess remuneration and wrongful payments of personal expenditure, and for recoveries in relation to sales at an undervalue and various breaches of fiduciary duties including the manipulation of the company’s accounts by journal entries.
      • Bloom & ors v Harms Offshore AHT “Taurus” GmbH & Co KG & another [2010] Ch 187, CA: Court of Appeal judgment on the courts’ power to grant anti-suit injunctions in support of insolvency proceedings.
      • Centum Investments v Bannon & Ors: a claim that a transfer made by administrators of a pre-pack administration was in breach of a shareholders agreement.
      • SV Special Solutions Ltd v Headstart Class F Holdings Ltd: an application in the BVI to set aside a substantial statutory demand served by a redeeming shareholder in a multi million dollar hedge fund.
      • Re Vos deceased [2005] WTLR 1619: the leading case on the effect of the avoidance of payments out of an insolvent estate
    • International & Offshore

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean and has been involved in many cases in offshore jurisdictions and many more cases with international angles. She is ranked as a star individual for Offshore in Chambers & Partners’ Global, being described as “great to work with, very responsive and proactive.  She has a knack of describing complex legal arguments in terms understandable to lay clients without appearing patronising.” And “She has a calm advocacy style which gives judges comfort”.  “She’s first rate and particularly good in Bermuda cases.  She’s a very effective advocate”.  Legal 500 record her as continuing to be a leading name in offshore litigation and rank her in tier 1 for offshore with peers reporting that “She provides thoughtful, practical, informed advice and at the same time is personable and sensitive to the needs and opinions of the individuals involved in each matter”

      She has appeared in the Privy Council, on appeal from Bermuda in Wong v Grandview [2022] and on appeal from the Bahamas in Geosurvey Holdings Ltd v BSI Overseas Ltd [2007] UKPC; LTL 25/4/2007, Kohlrautz v Diedrichs Shurland [2006] UKPC 58 And Walsh v Deloitte v Touche [2001] UKPC 58, LTL 18/12/2001, PC

      Cases in Bermuda include

      • Wong v Grand View: multi-billion dollar litigation in Bermuda challenging the validity of, and transfers, into 5 purpose trusts and the use of powers of addition and exclusion to destroy the substratum of a discretionary trust for the benefit of the family.
      • In the matter of the X Trusts: litigation in Bermuda relating to the trusteeship and administration of a very large number of very valuable family trusts and the role of the protector in relation to them.
      • Meritus Trust Co Ltd v Butterfield Trust (Bermuda Ltd) [2018] WTLR 545, 21 ITELR 177: a claim challenging a former trustee’s right to retain trust assets as security and to require contractual indemnities from new trustee.

       

      Cases in the Isle of Man include:

      • Kelliher and Horrobin v Clarkson: potential objects of a discretionary power of appointment seeking relief in relation to the trusts including trust information and documentation, the removal of the trustee, a declaration of the trustee’s breach of trust and a direction requiring the trustee to exercise its power of appointment by appointing the petitioners as additional beneficiaries of the trusts
      • Fairall v Stubbins: a claim for an account in the estate of a deceased against an attorney who acted for the deceased before her death
      • Directors’ disqualification proceedings involving claims that the company’s assets had been misappropriated
      • Myp Des v Artola [2001-2003] MLR N 24: a claim by a Spanish company against a Manx unincorporated association for unpaid management fees in relation to a timeshare in Tenerife
      • Paz v Steele [1993-1995] MLR 102: a multi party, multi jurisdiction, multi million pound claim relating to a large Manx trust.

       

      Cases in the British Virgin Islands include:

      • O V Q: a claim for trustee directions in the BVI which raised the question of whether a mother according to the US surrogacy arrangements pursuant to which the children were born was the mother of those children for the purposes of representing their interests under a BVI trust
      • A claim for a declaration that the BVI firewall legislation was effective to repel a foreign matrimonial claim
      • Plant v Pickle: a claim for a contribution by one guarantor against his co-guarantor
      • SV Special Solutions Ltd v Headstart Class F Holdings Ltd: application to set aside a substantial statutory demand served by a redeeming shareholder in a multi-million dollar hedge fund
      • Tsentas v Tsentas: dispute between family members in connection with their worldwide business activities

       

      Cases in Gibraltar include

      • Leeds Wood and Hellard (as joint trustees of the insolvent estate of Boris Berezovsky) v Mainstay Trust Ltd [2019] Gib LR 232: proceedings relating to the repayment of an alleged loan and the rights of trustees to indemnities
      • Line Trust Corp Ltd v W and five others [2017] Gib LR 310: claims relating to the validity of deeds of exclusion of beneficiaries of a trust and the jurisdiction of the Gibraltar court, in the light of English divorce proceedings raising the same issue
      • Advising trustees in relation to the administration and potential partition of a Gibraltar trust where beneficiaries had fallen out

       

      Cases in Cayman include

      • PGI v Liongate: application for a free standing freezing injunction in aid of English proceedings where no cause of action was alleged against the respondent
      • Mindray Ltd, Homeinns Ltd and Bona Films Ltd: dissenting shareholders’ claims for a fair price to be paid for their shares on an IPO
      • Advising in relation to the administration of a Cayman estate
      • Advising trustees of a Cayman trust in relation to potential distributions and restructuring of the trust

      In Jersey Elspeth advised in relation to the Z Trusts ([2015] (2) JLR 108), In re C [2012] 1 JLR 204 and the BD and C Settlements [2011] JLR 236) amongst many others and has advised and assisted in relation to many cases in Guernsey, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and elsewhere.

    • Partnership and Joint Ventures

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has advised on many partnership agreements and disputes including in relation to the construction of an automatic accruer clause, the ambit and enforceability of restrictive covenants, partners’ duties of good faith to each other and the proper winding up of partnerships’ affairs.

      Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 have recommended her for Partnership for many years, having described her in the past as a “tough operator” and noting that clients endorse her “pragmatic and responsive” approach, referring to her as “the first point of contact in partnership matters“, as “extremely efficient and user friendly“, “able to grasp difficult concepts quickly, translate pure legal advice into language that clients can easily understand” and a “delight to deal with” with a “very clear vision of the optimum way to handle a technical argument“, as “frequently mentioned by solicitors as favoured counsel” and “an extremely forceful and accomplished advocate.” Legal 500 has noted that she is “‘an absolute favourite’ with many solicitors” and that “Few stand in comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field.  She scares opponents and is loved by clients” whilst Chambers & Partners has described her in this area as “One of the most efficient barristers .. another great cross examiner who has a ‘meticulous eye for detail’. ‘Robust and tenacious in court, she is ‘mustard at both commercial and trust-related matters’“.  “She’s a fiery, passionate advocate who is super birght:  the complete package”.  She is that rare combination of a fine advocate who is good with both clients and instructing solicitors.  Elspeth is insightful when it comes to the legal issues and always comes up with commercial answers.  She’s every instructing solicitor’s dream”

      Partnership cases tend to be sensitive and not aired in open court, but a selection of recent notable partnership cases which were aired in open court are:

      • Martin v Harris [2019] EWHC 1962 (Ch): an appeal against an arbitration award relating to the liability of Strutt & Parker to an outgoing partner.
      • Coward v Phaestos [2013] EWHC 1292 (Ch): a dispute over the ownership of hedge fund algorithm based software following the dissolution of a partnership
      • advice on the question of whether a share of partnership profits could be forefeit
      • McKenna v Staples: the dissolution of a partnership between Paul McKenna and his former girlfriend, Clare Staples
      • Newmarket v Confiance: a dispute as to whether a business relationship between two people through various offshore entities amounted to a partnership
      • a dispute over whether corporate business expenses of one partner were partnership expenses
      • Drake v Harvey [2011] STLR 1557: the construction of a clause in a partnership deed which provided for a dying partner’s share automatically to accrue to the surviving partners subject to them paying for such share by reference to the last annual accounts, the question being whether those last annual accounts should reflect a fair value of the partnership’s assets or only their book value.
    • Professional Negligence

      Elspeth has experience in liability claims against professionals, particularly accountants and lawyers.

      Cases include:

      • Angel v McBrides: auditors’ negligence action arising out of the payment of a dividend
      • Aviss v Pridie Brewster: accountants’ negligence action relating to an alleged failure to advise on a substantial element of non-recurring income in a target company’s turnover.
      • Moore v McEvoy: a claim against a barrister for an alleged negligent failure to advise in connection with an arbitration arising out of the dissolution of a partnership of surveyors.
      • Rich & Allan v Numerica: accountants’ negligence action relating to an alleged negligent valuation of shares in a private company.
      • CF Parkinson -v- Dawes & Co: Professional negligence claim against auditors for failure to identify fraud.
      • Advising in respect of potential claim against Guernsey advocates arising out of their conduct of trust litigation.
    • Real Estate Litigation

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC frequently deals with property related disputes, proprietary claims to property, questions relating to the beneficial interest in property, claims arising out of mortgages and charges, their assignment, priority and subrogation, boundary disputes, contentious conveyancing problems and the appointment and duties and powers of LPA Receivers.

      Recent cases include:

      • Walbrook v Fattal [2010] EWCA Civ 408, [2009] EWCA Civ 297, [2008] All ER (D) 109; Fattal v Walbrook [2008] All ER (D) 72: long running litigation concerning a claim by one of four trusts to be entitled to exercise a right of pre-emption in relation to another of the trust’s interest in companies owning a substantial London property.
      • Gill v RSPCA [2009] EWHC 834 (Ch): a claim in proprietary estoppel to a Yorkshire farm.
      • Gurtata v Gurtata [2008]: a constructive trust claim by a mother to a beneficial interest in her son’s house.
      • Quinn v Tomlinson [2006]: claim to a half share of a property on the basis of express trust, constructive trust, resulting trust or to repayment of money used to repay a building society mortgage by way of subrogation.
      • Henniger v Robinson [2005]: a claim in Guernsey that the lessor did not have sufficient capacity to execute a lease and that the lease is also invalid on other grounds.
      • Westbond International Bank v Flagdean & ors [2004]: a claim by an Antiguan bank in liquidation to a proprietary interest in a commercial property in the City of London.
      • Barclays Bank v Caplan [1998] 1 FLR 532 Ch, Times 12 December 1997: mortgage possession proceedings in which the wife contended that the mortgage was procured by undue influence of which the bank had constructive notice.
    • Trusts, Probate & Estates

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is very well known and very highly regarded in this field.  She is a Chambers & Partners’ star individual in Chancery: Traditional and in Offshore and is in band 1 for trusts, with peers recording that “She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law, and is a strong strategic thinker who really fights for the client”.  As Chambers & Partners records, she is frequently sought after for the most complex, high profile and high-value matters.  Chambers & Partners High Net Worth also ranks her as a star individual, with an interviewee reporting “ It’s a race to get Elspeth when we have any contentious issue,” reports a solicitor. “She is a phenomenal lawyer, I’ve never met anyone harder working. She is extremely efficient with amazingly good judgement, knows when to take a point, tests every angle before going into court so she knows exactly where she stands. She is just so trusted, and she’d never walk past a stone without turning it overIn the past, Chambers & Partners have noted peers’ remarks “You know she will fight every point and fight it well” and descriptions of “a fantastic litigator“, “the toast of clients” with her being “commercial, forthright and knowledgeable“.  Legal 500, having described her in the past as being “enormously talented, very bright and formidable in court“, also rank her in tier 1 for Trusts and Probate and record “Elspeth is high regarded as at the pinnacle of the Chancery Bar:  tough while gracious with clients, opponents and judges;  very good-humoured; always to the point, a model of conciseness – not a word wasted”

      Notable cases in this field include:

      • Wong v Grand View: multi billion dollar litigation in Bermuda challenging the validity of, and transfers, into 5 purpose trusts and the use of powers of addition and exclusion to destroy the substratum of a discretionary trust for the benefit of the family.
      • In the matter of the X Trusts: litigation in Bermuda relating to the trusteeship and administration of a very large number of very valuable family trusts and the role of the protector in relation to them.
      • Morina v Sherbakova: international succession dispute litigating in England and Belgium.
      • Schumacher v Clarke: disputes arising in the administration of the estate of Zaha Hadid.
      • O v Q: a claim for trustee directions in the BVI which raised the question of whether a mother according to the US surrogacy arrangements pursuant to which the children were born was the mother of those children for the purposes of representing their interests under a BVI trust
      • Appearing in an arbitration in which a challenge was made to the distribution of trust assets from a Bahamian Trust
      • Advising in relation to the administration of two Settled Land Act settlements
      • Advising the trustees of a Gibraltar law governed trust as to the administration of the trust where beneficiaries had fallen out
      • Advising beneficiaries of a Guernsey law governed trust in relation to a proposed restructuring of the trust following the breakdown in relations between beneficiaries
      • Advising the trustees of Cayman and a Jersey Trusts in relation to the administration of the trusts in the light of potential third party claims being made to the assets of the trusts
      • Advising in the administration of a Manx estate
      • Walbrook v Fattal [2010] EWCA Civ 408: directions to two trustees of a trust of the membership rights in a company limited by guarantee, held on trust four beneficiaries to procure the increase in the membership of the company so that there was one member for each beneficiary. Also [2009] EWHC Civ 297, [2008] All ER (D) 72[2008] All ER (D) 109: a claim by one of four trusts to be entitled to exercise a right of pre-emption in relation to another of the trust’s interest in companies owning a substantial London property; also a claim by the trustees for directions as to the sale of the property.
      • Neville v Astor [2009]: application for letters of administration with the will annexed to be granted to a third party against the wishes of the executor.
      • Gill v RSPCA [2009] EWHC 834: a high profile claim by an only child that her mother did not know and approve of her will in which she left her estate to the RSPCA and was unduly influenced into making it and an alternative proprietary estoppel claim.
      • In the matter of Ciebrant: Van Kwagagen v RNLI & Cancer Research UK [2008] All ER (D) 76; [2008] EWHC 2246 (Ch): a successful, contested claim to prove a reconstituted will.

    Other information

    • Recommendations

      Company & Partnership

      Chambers & Partners

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is noted for combining a formidable courtroom presence with widely admired clarity of thought when dealing with especially complex and highly contentious partnership matters. Her experience covers the full range of partnership types, and she has particular familiarity with issues affecting commercial, financial services or family-owned structures. Strengths: “She’s a fiery, passionate advocate who is super bright: the complete package.” “She is that rare combination of  a fine advocate who is good with both clients and instructing solicitors. Elspeth is insightful when it comes to the legal issues and always comes up with commercial answers. She is every instructing solicitor’s dream.” (2022)

      Strengths: “Very effective in negotiations and has a powerful presence.” “She comes straight to the point and sticks to it. Her sense of confidence comes across forcefully in court.” (2021)

      Legal 500

      ‘Few stand comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field. She scares opponents and is loved by clients.’ (2022)

      ‘Quite simply a superb lawyer and a great person to have on your team.’ (2021)

      Chancery: Commercial

      Chambers & Partners

      “Of the highest quality, she is bright, hard-working and a good advocate.” “Elspeth has a wonderful manner, is committed to her clients and is a really good adviser and advocate.” (2022 – UK and Global)

      “She has an extraordinary commitment to her cases and inspires people who work with her.” “She is formidable – razor-sharp in her analysis, really good on strategy and an excellent advocate. She is one of the best out there.” (2021 – UK and Global)

      Fraud: Civil

      Chambers & Partners

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is effective at dealing with large, multimillion-pound fraud and asset-tracing claims. Her practice also encompasses general commercial dispute resolution and traditional chancery. Many of her instructions have an international aspect. Strengths: “She is forthright in trials and very straightforward. Her advocacy is excellent and she’s very, very impressive on her feet.” (2022)

      Strengths: “She is very well regarded, has a good courtroom manner and good litigation instincts.” “A ruthlessly good performer who is able to deal with difficult situations and make the absolute best of it.” (2021)

      Legal 500

      ‘Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.’ (2022)

      ‘A great, robust advocate and definitely one to have on your side.’ (2021)

      Chancery: Traditional

      Chambers & Partners

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has an exceptional reputation at the traditional Chancery Bar and is also noted for her skilful handling of large offshore matters. She is frequently sought after for the most complex, high-profile and high-value matters. Strengths: “Very responsive and very proactive, she has a knack of describing complex legal arguments in terms understandable to lay clients without appearing patronising.” “Thoroughly excellent in all things, she really does know her stuff and is very impressive.” (2022)

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is universally respected by interviewees for her work on trusts disputes, many of which have cross-border elements or are litigated offshore. “It’s a race to get Elspeth when we have any contentious issue,” reports a solicitor. “She is a phenomenal lawyer, I’ve never met anyone harder working. She is extremely efficient with amazingly good judgement, knows when to take a point, tests every angle before going into court so she knows exactly where she stands. She is just so trusted, and she’d never walk past a stone without turning it over” (2021 – High Net Worth)

      Strengths: “Outstanding.” “She is the doyenne of the trusts Bar.” “Not a single word is wasted.”  “She writes the most extraordinary papers and is a terrific cross-examiner. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and is also a lot of fun. A real star, and brilliant at handling clients.” (2021)

      The “outstanding” Elspeth Talbot Rice QC maintains her exceptionally strong reputation in the field. “She is the doyenne of the trusts Bar,” says one source. “Not a single word is wasted,” remarks an interviewee, adding: “She writes the most extraordinary papers and is a terrific cross-examiner. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and is also a lot of fun. A real star, and brilliant at handling clients.” Talbot Rice regularly tackles some of the most complex cases and is well known for acting in offshore matters. (2020 – High Net Worth)

      Offshore

      Chambers & Partners

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is a highly regarded and much sought-after expert who handles a full spectrum of commercial and traditional chancery work. She has experience of acting in jurisdictions spanning the BVI, Bermuda and the UK Crown Dependencies, and acts for both claimants and defendants in significant trust and estates disputes. She has particular experience in cases concerning asset transfers and restructuring. Strengths: “Elspeth is great to work with, very responsive and very proactive. She has a knack of describing complex legal arguments in terms understandable to lay clients without appearing patronising.” “She has a calm advocacy style which gives judges comfort.” “She’s first-rate and particulary good in Bermuda cases. She’s a very effective advocate.” (2022 – UK and Global)

      Strengths: “Commercial and good on her feet.” “Very strategic, no-nonsense and instils a lot of confidence.” “Very good at understanding the clients needs.” (2021 – UK and Global)

      Legal 500

      ‘She provides thoughtful. practical, informed advice and at the same time is personable and sensitive to the need and opinions of the individuals involved in each matter.’ (2022)

      ‘In a world of waffle, she gives clear advice.’ (2021)

      Commercial Dispute Resolution

      Chambers & Partners

      “A formidable advocate who is very direct in her views – she calls a spade a spade and clients love her for it.” (2022 – UK and Global)

      “She is incredibly successful, has razor-sharp analysis and is really good at strategy.” “You can’t throw a situation at Elspeth that she hasn’t seen before, and she is always able to predict how strategies will play out.” (2021 – UK and Global)

      Legal 500

      ‘A formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court. Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.’ (2022)

      ‘Superb QC to work with – extremely responsive and empathetic whilst setting a clear path forwards’ (2021)

      Trusts

      Chambers & Partners

      Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is a widely admired barrister with a very strong track record in trusts litigation. She is frequently instructed by many leading solicitors in this field and often acts in very significant and high-value disputes, both onshore and offshore. Peers recognise her as a leading silk who deals with the most high-profile cases in the trusts world. Strengths: “She has an encyclopedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law, and is a strong strategic thinker who really fights for the client.” (2022 – UK and Global)

      Strengths: “Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has an unquestionable knowledge of the law and the strength of character to inspire confidence in even the most demanding clients.” “She is a formidable advocate with a very bright mind, who never gives up – you really feel that she is fighting for you in court.” (2021 – UK and Global)

      Legal 500

      ‘Elspeth is highly regarded as at the pinnacle of the Chancery Bar: tough while gracious, with clients, opponents and judges; very good-humoured; always to the point, a model of conciseness – not a word wasted.’ (2022)

      ‘Is technically exceptional, a great strategic thinker and has excellent client communication skills. One of the leading silks in her field.’ (2021)

      Charities

      Legal 500

      ‘Elspeth is a very strong and hardworking advocate.’ (2022)

      ‘Is fiercely bright, commercial and user friendly. She is tenacious and is certainly someone you would rather have in your corner than your opponent’s.’ (2021)

      Insolvency

      Legal 500

      ‘Elspeth is a formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court.’ (2022)

      ‘Fiercely bright, commercial and user friendly.’ (2021)

    • Academic history
      • BA (Hons) Durham University
      • Wigglesworth Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn
      • Elected Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn
    • Professional memberships
      • ACTAPS
      • Chancery Bar Association member  (committee member 1994-1996, Hon Sec, 2008-2012)
      • Denning Society of Lincoln’s Inn (committee member since foundation)
      • Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court