Barbara Rich - 5 Stone Buildings
Junior counsel / Mediators

Barbara Rich

Call to Bar:1990

Chambers UK Bar 2017 Chancery Traditional

Academically very good and also steely and pragmatic in her approach

Barbara advises on and acts in disputes relating to trusts, wills and inheritance, including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and the duties of trustees and personal representatives and the administration of estates.

Barbara is a “star individual” in the property and affairs jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. She has acted in a number of leading cases in the Court of Protection since the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force.

Barbara also has a busy practice as a mediator in trusts and inheritance disputes and in cases which involve issues of mental capacity or the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. She has experience of multi-party mediations and cases involving extremely sensitive facts and/or very high value estates.

5 Stone Buildings - brick wall
Chambers 100 UK ranking of top barristers practising in England and Wales, and Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Chancery Traditional

She is academically very good and also steely and pragmatic in her approach. Excellent on paper: her drafting is clear and concise."

Chambers 2017 Court of Protection: Property and Affairs

Being against her in court is a challenge for any opponent because judges really trust her. She is compelling and has the ear of the court in a way which is totally deserved."

Chambers 2016 Court of Protection Property & Affairs

She immediately sees the key points in a matter and integrates legal and practical considerations well in order to provide legally robust yet commercial advice."

About Barbara Rich

Professional Reputation

“She is academically very good and also steely and pragmatic in her approach.” “Excellent on paper: her drafting is clear and concise.”

Chambers 100 UK ranking of top barristers practising in England and Wales, and Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Chancery Traditional

“Top-class Court of Protection barrister who has great experience in high-value, complex cases. “

Being against her in court is a challenge for any opponent because judges really trust her. She is compelling and has the ear of the court in a way which is totally deserved.”

Chambers 2017 Court of Protection: Property and Affairs

Solicitors say that “she immediately sees the key points in a matter and integrates legal and practical considerations well in order to provide legally robust yet commercial advice.”

Chambers 2016 Court of Protection Property & Affairs

Traditional Chancery/Private Client

Barbara has acted in, advised on and mediated many cases about the validity of wills and the interpretation and rectification of wills. She also has extensive experience of acting for claimants and defendants (whether individuals or charities) and as a mediator of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. She has acted in some of the leading cases on proprietary estoppel arising from testamentary promises. Contentious issues in the administration of estates, ranging from disputes between beneficiaries to claims against personal representatives and trustees are another element of her practice in this area. She is also experienced in cases involving lifetime trusts and gifts. She has advised on the proposed terms of a large personal injuries damages trust, following the directions for independent advice on the detailed provisions of such trusts given by Norris J in OH v. Craven [2016] EWHC 3146 (QB)

Reported cases include:

Inheritance

  • McIntosh v. McIntosh [2013] WTLR 1565 – successful defence on threshold entitlement to claim under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Public Trustee v. Butler [2012] EWHC 858 (Ch) – construction of provisions in will void for uncertainty
  • Webster v. Ashcroft [2011] EWHC 3848 (Ch) [2012] 1 WLR 1309 – proprietary estoppel
  • Kings v Bultitude [2010] WTLR 1571 – challenge to the validity of charitable gift to defunct Ancient Catholic Church
  • Gorjat v Gorjat [2010] EWHC 1537 (Ch) – challenge on grounds of capacity and undue influence to validity of transfer of Swiss bank accounts into joint names/issues of forum and applicable law
  • Macdonald and Bannigan v Frost [2009] WTLR 1815 – proprietary estoppel post-Thorner
  • Supple v. Pender [2007] WTLR 1461 – probate – forgery of a will
  • Ottey v Grundy High Court, and Court of Appeal [2003] WTLR 1253 – proprietary estoppel – causation and detriment in claim against estate of former cohabitant
  • Gandhi v Patel [2002] 1 FLR 603 – Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – whether claimant a survivor of a void marriage entered into in good faith
  • Fuller v Strum [2001] WTLR 677 – probate – alleged forgery of will
  • Singer v Isaac [2001] WTLR 1045 – Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – surviving spouse – relevance of deceased’s memoranda
  • Jennings v Rice High Court [2001] WTLR 871 and Court of Appeal [2002] WTLR 367 – proprietary estoppel – extent of equity required to do justice

Trusts and Trustees

  • Sutton v England [2010] WTLR 335, [2009] EWHC 3270 (Ch) – application under section 57 of the Trustee Act 1925
  • Thomas v Kent [2006] EWCA Civ 1485 – construction of residuary trusts of will made in 1944
  • Iliffe v Trafford & Fitzgerald [2002] WTLR 507 – defence to trustees’ liability to account on footing of wilful default
Court of Protection

Barbara is the only junior barrister currently listed as a “star individual” in Chambers UK Bar guide for Court of Protection Property and Affairs work. She has acted in some of the leading cases on statutory wills and gifts following the coming into force of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in 2007. A current focus of her practice is advising and acting for professional deputies in complex questions of property administration and prospective litigation against third parties.

  • Watt v. ABC [2016] EWCOP 2352 – trusteeship or deputyship for personal injury damages award of adult lacking capacity
  • Re D [2016] EWCOP 35 – principles for dispensing with service of a statutory will
  • Re X, Y & Z (minors) [2014] EWCOP 87 – whether in P’s best interests to use damages award to pay for care for children subject to local authority’s care application
  • Re NT v. FS [2013] WTLR 867 – statutory will
  • Re JC, D v. JC [2012] WTLR 1211 – statutory will
  • Re G(TJ) [2010] EWHC 3005 (COP) – important case on best interests under Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to lifetime gifts made by P
  • ITW v Z [2009] WTLR 1781 – statutory will under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Baker v H [2010] 1 WLR 1103 – principles relating to fixing security for a property and affairs deputy
  • Re P [2010] Ch 33 – landmark case on court’s approach to making a statutory will under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Re S and S [2010] 1 WLR 1082 – court’s approach to P’s own wishes when determining best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Re F [2004] WTLR 657 – statutory will – court’s approach to specific devise in previous will
Mediation

Barbara combines a calm, respectful manner with serious intellectual backbone and a steely determination to find a compromise if it is possible to do so, making her a ‘go to’ mediator for me and my team.”

Partner, Will & Trusts Disputes, leading firm

“Barbara Rich is a first class mediator.  She is particularly gifted in knowing how to manage the intricacies of difficult and emotional family relationships. We would have no hesitation in using or recommending her”

Partner, national head of contentious probate, leading firm

Barbara has conducted 70 mediations, most of them successfully leading to a compromise between the parties. The majority have been disputes about wills and inheritance, with many involving multiple parties and claims, sensitive facts and intimate histories, and estate assets of significant value and complexity. Barbara has also mediated disputes about issues which are within the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection, and where agreements reached between parties in dispute are subject to the Court being satisfied that the agreement is in the incapacitated person’s best interests. As an experienced mediator and Court of Protection practitioner, Barbara has particularly suitable expertise for mediations of this type.

Please click to download Barbara’s Mediation CV as a PDF document. 

Education and Qualifications

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London

Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge BA (English Literature)

Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster) Graduate Diploma in Law

Inns of Court School of Law Bar Vocational Course

ADR chambers UK mediation training course

Professional Memberships

Barbara is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), and an honorary member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Publications and Lecturing

Barbara is the assistant editor of Heywood & Massey: Court of Protection Practice, consultant editor of the Elder Law Journal and a regular speaker and writer on subjects within her fields of practice. She is also a committee member of and regular contributor to the Transparency Project, a charity which works towards improving the quality, range and accessibility of information to the public about family law and courts in England and Wales. Barbara’s writing on legal affairs, in particular on the reporting of cases in the Court of Protection, has been quoted by Full Fact, and in articles in the Guardian and in professional journals