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 is experienced in contentious probate claims, applications for financial provision, applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 and proprietary estoppel and undue influence claims. David regularly appears before High Court judges of both the Chancery and Family Divisions and has argued cases before the Court of Appeal. He has recently appeared as leading counsel in an Inheritance Tax appeal to the Supreme Court. 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 UK Bar Guide 2020: Court of Protection (Property and Affairs)

"He has an exceptional mind and you know you can fully rely on him to provide the correct solution to the most complex of problems, even in a very short timescale. You are always in safe hands with David." "He is meticulous in his preparation and provides very clear and concise advice. He's also a wonderful performer on his feet and is very agile in his thinking."

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020: Court of Protection (Health and Welfare)

"He provides clear and concise advice, has a keen eye for detail and is excellent on his feet." "He is really accessible, frighteningly bright and able to distil the issues into language that his clients can understand."

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

"He's what you want in a silk. He's smart, articulate and tenacious, and he fights his corner hard. Clients like him because he is the epitome of the proper barrister; he has very good judgement, he makes his points clearly and reasonably, and he doesn't take a backwards step."

Chambers High Net Worth 2020

“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.”

Legal 500 2020: Court of Protection and Community Care

“A superb silk who gives very clear and practical advice”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019: Court of Protection

“David Rees is essentially Mr Court of Protection"

About David Rees QC

Professional Reputation

David is the only Silk to be recommended in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020 in Court of Protection for both Property and Affairs (Band 1) and Health and Welfare (Band 2). He is also recommended in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020 and Chambers High Net Worth 2020 for Traditional Chancery and in the Legal 500 2020 for Court of Protection and Community Care and for Private Client: Trusts and Probate.

“He has an exceptional mind and you know you can fully rely on him to provide the correct solution to the most complex of problems, even in a very short timescale. You are always in safe hands with David.”
“He is meticulous in his preparation and provides very clear and concise advice. He’s also a wonderful performer on his feet and is very agile in his thinking.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020: Court of Protection (Property and Affairs)

“He provides clear and concise advice, has a keen eye for detail and is excellent on his feet.”
“He is really accessible, frighteningly bright and able to distil the issues into language that his clients can understand.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020: Court of Protection (Health and Welfare)

“He’s what you want in a silk. He’s smart, articulate and tenacious, and he fights his corner hard. Clients like him because he is the epitome of the proper barrister; he has very good judgement, he makes his points clearly and reasonably, and he doesn’t take a backwards step.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

“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

“A superb silk who gives very clear and practical advice”

Legal 500 2020: Court of Protection and Community Care

“His strengths are strategic direction, strong advocacy, and a very approachable and genial personality that is so good with clients.”

Legal 500 2020: Private Client: Trusts and Probate

“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

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 the Vice-Chair of the Court of Protection Bar Association. He 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 Ministry of Justice Working Party reviewing the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice 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:

  •  Bagguley v E [2019] EWCOP 49 (Instructed by Official Solicitor as litigation friend for “P”; jurisdiction of Court of Protection to authorise DNA testing of incapacitated adult; guidance on making urgent application to the Court of Protection).
  • FL v MJL [2019] EWCOP 31 (Authorisation of statutory gifts to save inheritance tax).
  • Re Lawson, Mottram and Hopton (Appointment of Personal Welfare Deputies) [2019] EWCOP 22[2019] 1 WLR 5164 (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 [2019] WTLR 995 (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 [2019] Fam 27 (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  [2018] COPLR 428 (Authorisation of gifts in excess of £6M from “P’s” estate)
  • Re AR [2018] EWCOP 8 [2018] COPLR 274 (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, [2018]  COPLR 239 (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] EWCOP 3, [2017] WTLR 1439   (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 Various Applications Concerning Foreign Representative Powers [2019] EWCOP 52 (Instructed by the Official Solicitor as Advocate to the Court in a test case on the powers of the Court of Protection in relation to foreign powers of attorney).
  • 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 also encompasses all aspects of wills, estates and trusts. On the contentious side he is experienced in contentious probate claims, applications for financial provision, applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 and proprietary estoppel and undue influence claims. David regularly appears before High Court judges of both the Chancery and Family Divisions and has argued cases before the Court of Appeal. He has recently appeared as leading counsel in an Inheritance Tax appeal to the Supreme Court. His non-contentious practice includes the provision of advice of capital taxation and the drafting of settlements and their ancillary documents.

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 [2019] 1 WLR 2397 (Court of Appeal); [2017] UKUT 4 (TCC) [2017] STC 574 (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). This case was heard by the Supreme Court in October 2019. Judgment is awaited.
  • 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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