Christopher Tidmarsh QC - 5 Stone Buildings
King's counsel

Christopher Tidmarsh KC

Call to Bar:1985

Appointment to Silk:2002

Legal 500 2020

Is highly intelligent and combines superb analysis of complex legal issues with the ability to explain them very clearly.

Christopher has a wide-ranging Chancery practice. Since taking silk, he has focused on trusts and estates, tax, pension schemes and associated professional negligence. He prides himself on using his detailed knowledge in one area (e.g. of trusts, tax and pensions) in another.

5 Stone Buildings - brick wall
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2022

He is thoughtful and pragmatic while being intellectually rigorous.

Legal 500 2020

Is highly intelligent and combines superb analysis of complex legal issues with the ability to explain them very clearly.

Legal 500 2020

Very capable, organised and flexible.

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2022

A very personable barrister who really knows his stuff when it comes to pensions and trusts.

Chambers & Partners 2018

Provides very incisive and analytical advice and deals well with very complex tax matters.

Chambers & Partners 2018

He gets on well with clients, is very skilled on the technical details of a case and can master complex legal issues.

Chambers & Partners 2018

He is excellent when you have a difficult intellectual issue: he distils it, cuts it down and prevents confusion arising.

About Christopher Tidmarsh KC

Professional Reputation

“He has a very considered in-depth analysis of the law, particularly on very complex technical issues where you’re looking for a practical way through.” “He has a really nice understated manner in court but can be really steely when he needs to be.”

Chambers 2015 Chancery Traditional

“Calm, considered and pleasant” and an “excellent choice” for pensions matters.”

Chambers UK 2013 – Chancery Traditional

“Exceptionally bright … a man to have on your side.”

Chambers 2016 – Pensions

“Extremely clever but also tremendously approachable – he is very versatile and prepared to adapt to the needs of his client.”

 Chambers 2013 – Pensions

Sound practical advice and an incisive, analytical approach” to problems.”

Chambers UK 2012 – Pensions

“Truly gifted,” he delights sources with his creative approach – “he is a barrister who is willing to think outside the box more than most.”

“An effective advocate who commands the confidence of the court and explains complex arguments in an easily comprehensible way.”

Proffers “pragmatic and detailed advice” on fraud cases, trusts, tax and settlement agreements. Clients and instructing solicitors value his “tremendous” drafting skills, as well as his “affable, understated” style.

Chambers UK 2012 – Chancery Traditional

“Can always be relied upon to provide high-quality advice.” “His popularity is furthered by his user-friendly style and excellent client manner.”

Chambers UK 2013 – Offshore

Traditional Chancery / Private Client and Offshore

Christopher has considerable experience of contentious and non-contentious aspects of the administration of trusts both on and offshore. His practice includes: rectification and setting aside for mistake, variation of trusts, removal of trustees/personal representatives, challenging and defending probate (capacity, want of knowledge and approval), proprietary estoppel, breach of trust claims, trust aspects of divorce proceedings, advice on tax issues, advice on administration and drafting. He spent a long time recently litigating in the Cayman Islands in the Ojjeh trust litigation. Interesting cases include

  • Khan v Gany (2016, BVI).   Action in CA of BVI involving application of presumptions where assets transferred to a trustee, factual issues concerning trust assets and setting aside an appointment for mistake. The case is being appealed to the Privy Council
  • Cotton v Brudenell-Bruce [2014] EWCA Civ 1312. The leading case on applications by trustees for directions/blessing a decision. (See also the related case of Cardigan v Moore [2014] EWHC 3679 concerning costs where the Court directed that a trustee should be indemnified for his costs first out of the share of the unsuccessful Claimant)
  • Underwood v HMRC [2008] EWCA Civ 1423. Interesting case concerning the characterisation of the performance of an option agreement and a sale
  • Re Rogers [2006] 1 WLR 1577. Test case establishing that members of a LLP could take probate where the executors were stated to be the partners in a firm
  • Random House UK Ltd v Allason & Ors [2008] EWHC 2854 (Ch). Hard-fought witness action involving a concocted declaration of trust and setting aside an initial payment to a trust
  • Sargeant v Reece [2008] 1 P&CR DG8. Contentious claim for rectification of an agreement

Christopher is noted for his experience and judgment in tax matters. He has extensive experience in tax cases before the special and general commissioners and in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Before taking silk he was a standing Junior Counsel to the Inland Revenue and brings that experience to bear in his private practice. He advises extensively on capital taxes.

Cases include:

  • Boyer Allan v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 558 (TC): discovery assessments, whether return made in accordance with practice generally prevailing
  • Charlton v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 770: discovery assessments and issues of knowledge
  • Greenbank v HMRC [2011] STC 1582: application of schedule 29 FA 2002 to goodwill
  • HSP v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 106: application of schedule 29 FA 2002 to goodwill
  • Johnston Publishing North v HMRC [2008] EWCA Civ 858: question whether s179 TCGA 1992 applied where two associated companies were not associated when an asset was acquired.   (A highlight was that Christopher persuaded Chadwick LJ that his statement in a previous case needed to be “explained”)
  • Underwood v HMRC [2008] EWCA Civ 1423. Interesting case concerning the characterisation of the performance of an option agreement and a sale and whether completion involved one or two disposals for CGT purposes

Christopher has a wide experience in dealing with all aspects of pension schemes both contentious and non-contentious. He was involved in the litigation surrounding the T&N Pension Scheme (concerning the recovery by pension scheme trustees of debts due from an insolvent employer), the KPMG pension scheme (meaning of money purchase scheme) and has advised on various regulatory matters for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He regularly advises public bodies such as the Pension Protection Fund, the Pension Regulator, the Inland Revenue and the Bank of England. He advised the Pension Regulator in connection with regulatory action concerning Visteon and the PPF in connection with several issues. He recently advised in the Lehman Bros pension scheme and the Pilot’s Scheme case. Cases include:

  • Hearn v Dobson [2008] EWHC 108
  • Forbes Trustee v Jackson [2004] EWHC 2448
  • Aon v KPMG [2004] EWHC 1844
Professional Negligence

Christopher is regularly instructed in large professional negligence cases involving claims against solicitors, accountants and actuaries.

He acted as expert witness for Bar Mutual Fund (Hands v Shipwright – largest claim ever against a barrister).

Education and Qualifications

1983 Merton Oxford Physics

1984 Dip Law

1985 Hardwicke Entrance Scholar and Major Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn

1985 Called to the Bar

2002 Silk

Christopher is a trustee of a pension scheme and editor of Tolly’s Pension Law as well as Chair of Brixton Fencing Club.

Professional Memberships

Christopher is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, STEP and APL.

Rotation of quotes at the bottom:

“A sought-after expert for offshore trusts and taxation matters”

“He gets the job done in a quick and clean fashion without any unnecessary grandstanding.”

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