David Rees QC
Queen's counsel

David Rees QC

Call to Bar:1994

Appointment to Silk:2017

Legal 500 2017

“The first choice for complex and high-value matters.”

David was appointed Queen’s Counsel in February 2017. He is recognised as a leading practitioner in Court of Protection work. His practice has developed from a traditional Chancery background, and in addition to his Court of Protection expertise David specialises in the following areas; trusts, wills and probate, family provision, proprietary estoppel, administration of estates, setting aside transactions for example by reason of mental incapacity and undue influence and related professional negligence.

David has a particular interest in issues surrounding elderly clients and incapacity. In Court of Protection cases he is regularly instructed by leading firms of private client solicitors and the Official Solicitor. His practice extends to both property and affairs and welfare cases and he has been instructed in many of the leading cases exploring the international and cross-border elements of the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction. David is the Vice-Chair of the Court of Protection Bar Association. He is also a member of the Court of Protection Rules Committee and a Ministry of Justice Working Group currently reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.

He is the General Editor of Heywood & Massey: Court of Protection Practice.

David’s practice also encompasses all aspects of wills, estates and trusts. On the contentious side he regularly appears before judges of the Chancery Division and is experienced in contentious probate claims, applications for financial provision and applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958. David is also experienced in “undue influence” cases, an area of law which he has argued before the Court of Appeal. His non-contentious practice includes the provision of advice of capital taxation and the drafting of settlements and their ancillary documents.

David was appointed as a Recorder in 2012 and was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018.

5 Stone Buildings - brick wall
Chambers High Net Worth 2020

"precise, a very tough opponent, and good counsel to have on your side."

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2019

"We see him as a leading light for all types of capacity dispute, and a powerful advocate."

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2010

"a great advocate who makes everything seem simple."

Chambers High Net Worth 2019

“He is second to none in terms of his legal skills and user-friendliness."

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019: Court of Protection

"David Rees is essentially Mr Court of Protection." "The king of property and affairs. He's a delight and a great man."

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019: Traditional Chancery

"Everything about him is very impressive. He takes control and makes clear and helpful arguments."

Chambers UK 2017: Court of Protection

"The magnificent David Rees has forgotten more than most will ever know… He is able to look at matters from every conceivable angle and give holistic and pragmatic advice on problems put before him."

About David Rees QC

Professional Reputation

David is recommended in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019 as a Band 1 Silk for Court of Protection (Property and Affairs). He is also recommended in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019 and Chambers High Net Worth 2019 for Traditional Chancery and in the Legal 500 2018 for Court of Protection and Community Care and for Private Client: Trusts and Probate.

“a great advocate who makes everything seem simple”

“… a leading light for all types of capacity dispute, and a powerful advocate,”

“precise, a very tough opponent, and good counsel to have on your side.”

Chambers High Net Worth 2020

 

“David Rees is essentially Mr Court of Protection.”

“The king of property and affairs. He’s a delight and a great man.”

“He writes the books so he knows everything and really understands the issues. He’s just so technically smart.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019: Court of Protection

“Everything about him is very impressive. He takes control and makes clear and helpful arguments.” “His advocacy is very persuasive and he is a real fount of knowledge.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019: Traditional Chancery

“He is second to none in terms of his legal skills and user-friendliness.”
“”In the case, he took control. Even the judges were following him and he performed so well. He makes clear and helpful arguments.”

Chambers High Net Worth 2019

“Really knows his stuff and pays excellent attention to detail.”

Legal 500 2018: Court of Protection and Community Care

 

“Everything about David Rees QC is very impressive”

“He is second to none in terms of his legal skills and user-friendliness”

Chambers High Net Worth 2018

“Experienced, knowledgeable and an expert in his field.”

“An absolutely marvellous advocate, he’s incredibly brainy and incredibly good at focusing on what is the right, sensible outcome.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018: Court of Protection

“Clever, bright, has tons of legal knowledge and is informed on the technical aspects of the law.”

“He is very calm in difficult situations and his client skills are excellent as he is very empathetic and a good listener.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018: Traditional Chancery

“Fiendishly bright.”

“He is absolutely first-class; he is very informed on the technical aspects of the law. Speaking as a solicitor, he is the perfect counsel, as he is very clever, bright and has tons of legal knowledge.”

Chambers High Net Worth 2017

“He is a polished, effective, and – above all – authoritative figure.’

Legal 500 2017: Court of Protection and community care

“The first choice for complex and high-value matters.”

Legal 500 2017: Private Client – trusts and probate

“The magnificent David Rees has forgotten more than most will ever know… He is able to look at matters from every conceivable angle and give holistic and pragmatic advice on problems put before him.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017: Court of Protection

“He’s outstanding … He delivers very detailed, accurate advice which is understandable to clients.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017: Traditional Chancery

Notable Court of Protection Domestic Cases

David has a particular interest in issues surrounding elderly clients and incapacity. He has established a reputation as a leading practitioner in Court of Protection work, and is regularly instructed by leading firms of private client solicitors and the Official Solicitor in this area. His practice extends both to property and affairs and welfare cases and he has been instructed in many of the leading cases exploring the international and cross-border elements of the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction.

David is a member of the Court of Protection Rules Committee and has assisted in drafting the Court’s rules and practice directions. David is also a member of the Court of Protection Users Group and is the General Editor of Heywood & Massey: Court of Protection Practice. He regularly lectures to audiences around the country on Court of Protection issues.

Court of Protection Notable Domestic Cases

David’s notable cases in this field include:

  • Re Lawson, Mottram and Hopton (Appointment of Personal Welfare Deputies) [2019] EWCOP 22 (Instructed by the Official Solicitor as Advocate to the Court in a test case on the approach that the Court of Protection should apply when appointing personal welfare deputies)
  • PBM v TGT & Another [2019] EWCOP 6 (Instructed by Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”. Capacity of P to enter into pre-nuptial agreement; whether P entitled to be told extent of personal injury award).
  • The Public Guardian v DA & Others [2018] EWCOP 26 (Instructed by the Official Solicitor as Advocate to the Court in test case on the severance of provisions relating to the termination of life in lasting powers of attorney)
  • PBC v JMA & Others [2018] EWCOP 19 (Authorisation of gifts in excess of £6M from “P’s” estate)
  • Re AR [2018] EWCOP 8 (Test case considering the basis upon which property and affairs deputies should be permitted to charge in low value estates)
  • Re Various Incapacitated Persons and the Appointment of Trust Corporations as Deputies [2018] EWCOP 3. (Test case to determine basis upon which Court of Protection should appoint trust corporations to act as property and affairs deputies. Instructed with Alexander Drapkin to represent 11 different solicitor-owned trust corporations).
  • SAD v SED [2017] EWCOP3 (Revocation of lasting power of attorney).
  • Watt v ABC [2016] EWCOP 2532;[2017] 4 WLR 24 (Instructed by the Official Solicitor; use of personal injury trust as alternative to deputyship)
  • Re D [2016] EWCOP 35 [2016] COPLR 432 (Instructed by Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”; Appeal against decision to dispense with service of statutory will application on father of P)
  • Re PJV; PJV v Assistant Director Adult Social Care Newcastle City Council & Another [2015] EWCOP 87 and [2016] EWCOP 7 (Appeal); [2015] EWCOP 22 [2015] COPLR 265 (First Instance) (Instructed by Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”; Interaction between roles of the Court of Protection and Criminal Injury Compensation Authority where award of compensation is to be held on trust for an incapacitated person)
  • Aidiniantz v Riley [2015] EWCOP 65 [2015] COPLR 643 (Instructed for the Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”. Extensive welfare and deputyship dispute)
  • Re XZ; XZ v The Public Guardian [2015] EWCOP 35 [2015] COPLR 630 (Limits to the role of the Public Guardian in regulating restrictions and conditions in a lasting power of attorney)
  • Re Gladys Meek; Jones v Parkin & Others [2014] EWCOP 1 [2014] COPLR 535 (Statutory will in the context of significant financial abuse by deputies having taken place)
  • Re AB [2014] COPLR 381 (Principles upon which the Court of Protection should act where dispensing with service on a party affected by a statutory will application)
  • Re HM [2012] WTLR 281 (appointment of deputy preferable to personal injury trust)
  • Re G (TJ) [2011] WTLR 231 (Application of “best interests” principle in relation to statutory gift applications and role of “substituted judgment” under Mental Capacity Act 2005)
  • Re D [2012] Ch 57 (Extent to which Court of Protection should authorise statutory will to forestall contentious probate proceedings).
  • Baker v H [2009] WTLR 1719 (A test case on the criteria for setting the level of security bonds for deputies).
  • Re P [2009] 2 All ER 1198 (Application of “best interests” principle in relation to statutory will applications).
  • Re J [2010] Ch 33 (Instructed by Public Guardian – registration of EPA appointing successive attorneys)
Notable Court of Protection International Cases
  • Re PD; Health Service Executive of Ireland v CNWL [2015] EWCOP 48 [2015] COPLR 48 (Instructed by Official Solicitor as Advocate to the Court. Recognition and enforcement of order of Irish High Court by Court of Protection which has the effect of depriving P of his liberty in England and Wales. Whether P needs to be joined as a party)
  • Health Service Executive of Ireland v PA & Others [2015] EWCOP 38 [2015] COPLR 447 (Instructed by Official Solicitor as Advocate to the Court; recognition and enforcement of order of Irish High Court by Court of Protection which has the effect of depriving P of his liberty in England and Wales)
  • An English Local Authority v SW & Others [2014] EWCOP 43 [2015] COPLR 29 (Instructed for the Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”. Cross-border jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. Meaning of “habitual residence” in the context of Schedule 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005)
  • Re MN [2010] WTLR 1355 (Leading authority on Court of Protection’s International jurisdiction. Extent to which Court of Protection entitled to have regard to “best interests” on application to recognise and enforce order of foreign court in relation to incapacitated person)
Notable Cases Inheritance, Trusts and Taxation

David’s practice encompasses all aspects of wills, estates and trusts. On the contentious side he regularly appears before judges of the Chancery Division and is experienced in contentious probate claims, applications for financial provision and applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958. David is also experienced in “undue influence” cases, an area of law which he has argued before the Court of Appeal. He undertakes contentious tax cases, recently arguing in an Inheritance Tax appeal before the Court of Appeal.

His non-contentious practice includes the provision of advice on capital taxation and the drafting of settlements and their ancillary documents.

David’s recent cases in this area include:

 

  • Parry & Others v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 2266 (Court of Appeal); [2017] UKUT 4 (TCC) (Upper Tribunal); [2014] UKFTT 419 (First Instance) (Appeal on behalf of executors against Inheritance Tax Assessments levied on transfer between pension schemes; scope of charge to Inheritance Tax under section 3(3) IHTA 1984 arising from omission to take lifetime pension benefits). A further appeal in this case will be heard by the Supreme Court in October 2019.
  • Gee v Gee & Another [2018] EWHC 1393 (Ch). Proprietary estoppel dispute relating to £8M farm and associated business.
  • Re Vindis Deceased (Application by widow for provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in substantial estate)
  • Lloyd v Jones & Others [2016] EWHC 1308 (Ch) (Contentious probate; testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval)
  • Baker Tilly v Makar [2013] EWHC 759 (QB) [2013] COPLR 245 (Instructed by the Official Solicitor. Need for medical evidence when assessing capacity of a litigant in civil proceedings)
Education and Qualifications

BA (Hons) Oxford

Called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) 1994

Appointed Recorder 2012

Appointed Deputy Chancellor, Diocese of Leicester 2014

Appointed Queen’s Counsel 2017

Appointed Deputy High Court Judge 2018

Memberships

David is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP), the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), the Ecclesiastical Law Society, the Court of Protection Bar Association (of which he is Vice-Chair) and the Chancery Bar Association. He is also an Honorary Member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
David is also a member of the Court of Protection ad hoc Rules Committee and a Ministry of Justice Working Group currently reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.

Publications and Lecturing

David is the General Editor of Heywood & Massey: Court of Protection Practice. He regularly lectures to audiences around the country on Court of Protection issues and other matters related to his practice.

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