Henry Legge QC - 5 Stone Buildings
King's counsel

Henry Legge KC

Call to Bar:1993

Appointment to Silk:2012

Chambers UK Bar 2020 Traditional Chancery

Bright, personable, and a good tactician. He is phenomenally clever and always on your side. He gets down into the details.

Henry’s practice includes a broad range of Chancery work, but with particular emphasis on cases involving trusts, estates, pension schemes and art. He has appeared in many high profile trust disputes both onshore and offshore (eg the litigation relating to the estate of Boris Berezovsky and the Longleat litigation) as well as appearing in some of the leading pensions cases of the last few years (eg BT, IBM and Nortel as well as numerous other cases not in the public domain). He has extensive experience of acting for claimants and defendants in professional negligence claims in all of these areas. He has an additional area of expertise in disputes involving works of art and chattels. In this area he has particular (and probably unique) experience of claims against auction houses, but has acted in the full range of non-copyright disputes and issues which arise in relation to works of art (eg title, attribution, cultural property legislation, agent’s commission, sale of goods, negligent conduct of sale). In addition to his forensic practice, Henry has acted as an expert witness in foreign courts in all of his areas of expertise.

5 Stone Buildings - brick wall
Chambers and Partners 2021

He has the gravitas and vision to make incredibly complex matters appear straightforward

Chambers and Partners 2021

Has a brilliant mind, which he applies very effectively to the practical concerns surrounding cases. He is always responsive and has an excellent bedside manner with clients. One of the very best."

Chambers and Partners 2019

He is super experienced and super bright, a safe pair of hands. He is a considered silk and there is huge respect for him in the industry. He is very easy to work with and very approachable."

Chambers HNW 2016 – Trad Chancery

One of the brightest stars of the chancery Bar. A brilliant advocate with great technical nous. Fantastically bright."

Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

Highly regarded silk who is recognised as the leading practitioner in this area of law.

Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

A formidable, dogged advocate who knows this area extremely well. He's determined and undoubtedly has a formidable reputation.

Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

Clients like him because he talks the art market language. They know him and trust him.

Chambers Art and Cultural Property 2017

He is very good. He is an expert on the artworks market, and has a real in-depth knowledge of the subject."

Chambers 2017

He is very good. He is an expert on the artworks market, and has a real in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Chambers and Partners 2019

He has an incredible legal brain and a passion for the tactics in litigation. He's passionate about his work, but commercial and pragmatic with it.

About Henry Legge KC

Professional Reputation

Henry is recommended by Chambers and Partners in all of his areas of specialism: Traditional Chancery and Trusts; Pensions; and Art and Cultural Property. Henry has been recommended in the directories for many years and is routinely praised for his advocacy, his analysis and ability to deal with technical matters and his client manner.

“He has the gravitas and vision to make incredibly complex matters appear straightforward” Chambers and Partners 2021

“Has a brilliant mind, which he applies very effectively to the practical concerns surrounding cases. He is always responsive and has an excellent bedside manner with clients. One of the very best.” Chambers and Partners 2021

“Highly regarded silk who is recognised as the leading practitioner in this area of law.” Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

“A formidable, dogged advocate who knows this area extremely well. He’s determined and undoubtedly has a formidable reputation.” Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

“Clients like him because he talks the art market language. They know him and trust him.” Chambers and Partners Art and Cultural Property 2021

“He is super experienced and super bright, a safe pair of hands. He is a considered silk and there is huge respect for him in the industry. He is very easy to work with and very approachable.Chambers and Partners 2019

“Bright, personable, and a good tactician.” “He is phenomenally clever and always on your side. He gets down into the details.” Chambers and Partners 2019

“He has an incredible legal brain and a passion for the tactics in litigation.” “He’s passionate about his work, but commercial and pragmatic with it.” Chambers and Partners 2019

“He is very good. He is an expert on the artworks market, and has a real in-depth knowledge of the subject.” Chambers 2017

“He is very good. He is an expert on the artworks market, and has a real in-depth knowledge of the subject.” Chambers Art and Cultural Property 2017

“One of the brightest stars of the chancery Bar. A brilliant advocate with great technical nous. Fantastically bright.” Chambers HNW 2016 – Trad Chancery

 

 

 

Notable Cases Trusts
  • The Hinduja litigation – acting for members of the Hinduja family in this long running litigation relating to the family’s affairs
  • Re Druce Settlement [2021] WTLR 597 leading case on the application of the Human Rights Act to the construction of trusts and wills
  • The Longleat litigation (2016) – disputed application to remove trustees. Acted for the continuing trustees
  • The Trilogy litigation: (Trilogy Management v YT – principal decisions at [2012] JRC 093, [2012] JCA 152 [2014] JRC 214) – disputed claim by charitable beneficiary to dismantle a very substantial Jersey charitable structure, administered by a Private Trust Company
  • Faircliff v BDO (2012) – advising and acting for the claimant trustees and beneficiaries of a Jersey trust in a complex and valuable multi-party claim for negligent investment and fraud brought by them against the former trustees and advisers to the trust
  • Page v West (2012) EWHC 4390, [2010] WTLR 1811 and [2006] WTLR 157 – long-running dispute over the sale of trust property and the appropriate division of the proceeds
  • Lonsdale v Lowther Trustees (No 1) Limited (2007) – advising and acting for trustees in challenge to the re-arrangement of a large landed estate
  • Re Chilco(2007) – advising claimant in substantial fraud claim arising out of the conviction of members of a firm of Jersey accountants
  • Advising and appearing in numerous trust applications offshore and onshore: for trustee directions; under Variation of Trusts Act (and under the Cayman and Jersey equivalents); and in applications to set aside or vary trusts and other documents in rectification; for mistake or under the principle in Re Hastings Bass (for example, Burrell v Burrell [2005] BTC 8011).
Notable Cases Estates
  • The Hinduja litigation – acting for members of the Hinduja family in this long running litigation relating to the family’s affairs
  • Gorbunova v Berezovksyand Wood v Gorbunova [2013] EWHC 1209 and 1935 (also at (2013) 5 Costs LR 713) – securing a multi-jurisdictional freezing injunction against Boris Berezovsky and entities related to him. Acting for the claimant in the litigation relating to his estate and in ancillary litigation relating to the appointment of receivers
  • Martin v Triggs Turner [2010] PNLR 3 and (on a separate point) [2008] WTLR 509 – negligence claim brought by disappointed beneficiary against solicitor executors in relation to drafting of will and administration of estate. First case in which professional executors found to owe a duty of care in negligence to a beneficiary
  • Stow v Stow [2008] Ch 461 and related litigation – complex litigation involving family provision and other claims brought by a widow against the estate of her husband and various offshore trusts with which he was connected
  • Advice and litigation on multi-jurisdictional estates (most not in the public domain but, by way of example, Dellar v Zivy [2008] WTLR 17 – conflicts of law arising on death of French testator with English will where proceedings had been commenced in France).
Notable Cases Pensions
  • Punter Southall Governance Services v Hazlitt [2021] leading case on limitation, forfeiture and interest in relation to unpaid arrears of pension.  Acting for the trustee claimant
  • Univar UK v Smith [2020] acting for the representative beneficiary resisting rectification of the increase provisions of a pension scheme
  • Re Nortel Networks Canada (2014) – acting as expert witness in the Canadian courts on UK law of pensions and construction of contracts. Instructed on behalf of the court-appointed “monitor” of Nortel Networks Canada, the Nortel group holding company
  • IBM United Kingdom Holdings Limited v Dalgleish [2014] EWHC 980 – acting for IBM in the lengthy Imperial duty proceedings relating to the closure of the IBM defined benefit schemes
  • Acting for BT in the litigation relating to the scope of the Crown guarantee and related issues BT Pensions Scheme Trustees Ltd v BT plc [2011] EWHC 3388, [2011] EWHC 2071, and [2010] EWHC 2642 (also at [2010] Pens LR 487)
  • Acting for BT on the pensions aspects of the state aid proceedings and appearing in the European court in European Commission v BT [2013] Pens LR 359 and in the appeal
  • Advising a group of ports in the PNPF litigation (2010)
  • Re X [2010] – acting for the senior partner in a firm of actuaries in relation to disciplinary proceedings brought by the faculty against him following a referral by the Pensions Regulator
  • Alexander Forbes v Jackson [2005] PLR 33 – the T&N litigation: pension scheme trustees’ application for directions arising out of the multi-jurisdictional (and multi-billion dollar) insolvency of the Federal Mogul group as a result of US asbestos claims. Also acted as pensions junior in parts of the related insolvency proceedings extensive advice acting for and against scheme administrators, actuaries and other advisers in claims relating to pension schemes, fund investment and actuarial practice.
Notable Cases Offshore structures
  • The Hinduja litigation – acting for members of the Hinduja family in this long running litigation relating to the family’s affairs
  • See Gorbunova v Berezovsky, Trilogy, Faircliff, Stowand Chilcot cases under trusts and estates above
  • Numerous cases advising Jersey advocates in relation to issues arising in Jersey litigation and administration of trusts
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman (2011) – acting for the husband on the trust issues in this well-known case
  • MT v OT [2008] 2 FLR 1311 – acted as joint expert in this important case on the structuring of orders made under schedule 1 of the Children Act where offshore domiciled parties or offshore money are involved
  • advice on extracting money from and protecting assets in offshore structures (e.g. in the matrimonial context, acting for the wife in F v F [2007] EWHC 3050 – the “flying carpet” case)
Notable Cases Art

Many are not within the public domain

  • Fielding v Simon C Dickinson Limited[2022] EWHC 3091 successfully defending a claim brought against a leading art dealer in relation to a painting consigned to him for sale and sold as Chardin and Studio
  • Jeddi v Sotheby’s [2018] EWHC 1491 – acting for the Claimant establishing outright ownership of a valuable medieval Islamic crystal jar
  • Thwaytes v Sothebys (2014) – acting for the Claimant vendor in this case relating to the sale of a painting which was sold by Sothebys as a copy but subsequently attributed to Caravaggio.
    Henry was praised in the judgment for “the exemplary way in which this fascinating case was presented at trial
  • Avrora Fine Art Investment Limited v Christie Manson and Woods [2012] PNLR 35 (and [2012] EWHC 106 on another point) – successfully suing Christies under its limited warranty, establishing that attribution of the painting was incorrect. Leading case on auctioneers’ negligence
  • Spencer v S Franses Ltd [2011] EWHC 1269 – acting for leading dealer in this action arising out of the purchase and consignment of an important mediaeval embroidery. Leading case on liens
  • Re Coronation of the Virgin– acting for the Courtauld Gallery in successfully resisting a claim brought before the Spoliation Advisory Panel for restitution of a Rubens sold in Berlin in 1934. Believed to be the first oral hearing before the panel (2010)
  • Various claims for and against dealers and auction houses, including issues relating to attribution, title and spoliation.
  • Various contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the ownership and partition of collections (including the litigation relating to the estate of Francis Bacon)
Some other interesting relatively recent reported cases
  • Government of Canada v Hertel [2010] EWHC 2305 (Divisional Court) – acting for defendant successfully resisting extradition for alleged tax evasion (one of the very few cases in which the English courts have refused extradition to Canada)
  • Re: Horley Town Football Club [2006] WTLR 1817 – leading case on unincorporated associations
Publications and Lecturing

Henry’s publications include:

  • Pension Schemes in Company Directors: Duties, Liabilities and Remedies (edited by Simon Mortimore QC), Oxford University Press
  • Subrogation(Law and Practice) by Professor Charles Mitchell and Stephen Watterson (consultant editor), Oxford University Press
  • Jointly-owned chattels– how to sell them and how to value them for tax‘, Christies Bulletin, 2001. This article was written as a form of memorandum for the Inland Revenue forum on the taxation of jointly-owned chattels and ultimately contributed to Revenue policy

Henry frequently lectures on topics within his areas of expertise. He has lectured to and conducted seminars for the Chancery Bar Association, the Association of Pension Lawyers and the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists as well as giving regular talks on art litigation. He is a member of the Trust Law Committee. In 2013, he was appointed a trustee of the Samuel Courtauld Trust, which holds the paintings and other contents of the Courtauld Gallery.

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