Hugh Cumber - 5 Stone Buildings
Junior counsel

Hugh Cumber

Call to Bar:2013

Chambers and Partners 2016 Chancery Traditional

5 Stone Buildings is a go-to traditional chancery set with a depth and breadth of talent and experience among both its silks and its junior counsel.

Hugh is developing a busy and diverse chancery practice. He regularly appears in the County Court and High Court, and takes instructions as junior counsel. He has experience across Chambers’ areas of expertise. His notable recent work includes acting for the appellant charities in their successful appeal to the Supreme Court in Ilott v Mitson [2017] UKSC 17, led by Penelope Reed QC

Hugh joined Chambers in 2015 after successfully completing pupillage in chambers from October 2013 to October 2014. He was seconded to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for the 2014/15 legal year to act as Judicial Assistant to Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court.

Hugh accepts instructions in all areas of work undertaken by chambers.

About Hugh Cumber

Inheritance Act Claims

Hugh regularly advises on claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Recent work includes:

  • Acting for the appellant charities in Ilott v Mitson on their successful appeal to the Supreme Court, led by Penelope Reed QC
  • Acting for the successful defendant to a claim by an adult child against her parent’s estate.
  • Acting on behalf of the unborn beneficiaries of a will trust in connection with the settlement of a claim against the estate under the Act
  • Advising on issues of domicile in an adult child’s claim under the Act
  • Advising the residuary beneficiaries of an estate who were defending a claim brought by the deceased’s estranged son
Trusts and Estates

Hugh provides advice in the contentious and non-contentious aspects of the administration of trusts and estates, and regularly appears in proceedings. He advises and appears in connection with contentious probate claims including challenges on the basis of lack of capacity, want of knowledge and approval, or challenges to the formal validity of wills.  Hugh often advises in respect of the proper construction of wills and trusts and rectification as well as advising on Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax issues in estates and trusts.

Recent work includes:

  • Successfully claiming for an account and for the removal of an executor in proceedings in the High Court.
  • Obtaining an order for committal against an executor who failed to provide accounts.
  • Acting for the proponents of a will in ongoing proceedings challenging the validity of the will on the grounds of forgery, fraud and lack of testamentary capacity
  • Acting for trustees in connection with Beddoe relief
  • Advising on the construction of a clause of a will, the proper construction of which is subject to ongoing proceedings in the High Court
  • Advising trustees of a trust on the extent of their powers under the trust to make provision for a disabled beneficiary
Court of Protection

Hugh provides advice and appears in proceedings in the Court of Protection, principally in connection with property and affairs. He sat with David Rees QC and Barbara Rich during his pupillage.

Recent work includes:

  • Appearing on behalf of the Public Guardian in proceedings for the removal of an Attorney for property and affairs
  • Acting on behalf of a Deputy in an application relating to the property of P
  • Acting on behalf of an Attorney in connection with an application by a local authority for the removal of the Attorney
Education and Qualifications

Hugh read English Literature and English Language at Magdalen College, Oxford where he obtained a first class degree. He undertook a master’s degree in English Literature at Somerville College, Oxford and was awarded the Lady Margaret Thatcher scholarship by the University of Oxford.

Hugh achieved the grade of “Outstanding” in the Bar Profession Training Course at City Law School, where he also undertook the Graduate Diploma in Law. He received the Everhard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize from City Law School. He was awarded the Lord Bowen scholarship and the Lord Denning scholarship by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, as well as the Hardwicke Entrance award.

Professional Memberships

Hugh is a member of the Chancery Bar Association.


Hugh acted as case-notes editor for the Elder Law Journal and contributed headnotes to the Wills and Trusts Law Reports. His published articles include:

Donationes mortis causa: a doctrine on its deathbed?” Conveyancer and Property Lawyer, 2016, 1

“IHT and Pensions: Charge ahead?” Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal, 2014

“Where there’s a will there’s a way: Marley v Rawlings” Kings Law Journal, 2014

“Berger v Berger- How Late is Too Late?” Private Client Business, 2014, 1

“Simon v Byford in the Court of Appeal: Banks v Goodfellow revisited” Private Client Business, 2014, 3

His articles have been cited in the Law Commission’s consultation paper as part of its project ‘Making a Will’ (Consultation Paper 231)

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