Sam Chandler
Junior counsel

Sam Chandler

Call to Bar:2013

Chambers and Partners HNW 2020 – Traditional Chancery

'An exceptional young barrister'

Sam has a broad chancery practice, with particular emphasis on trusts and probate (both contentious and non-contentious), the work of the Court of Protection, and contentious tax litigation. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s “C” Panel in 2018. He is ranked as an “Up and Coming” junior for Traditional Chancery in Chambers and Partners, HNW 2020 and HNW 2021.

He has particular experience in high value and long running litigation, including, most notably, through his involvement in a number of large scale tax avoidance cases, including the £1 billion Ingenious litigation (led by Malcolm Gammie CBE QC), which resulted in a 44 day trial in the First-tier Tribunal in 2013-2015, 22 days in the Upper Tribunal in 2019, and 6 days in the Court of Appeal in 2021.  He was also involved in the well-known Icebreaker litigation, as well as a recent four-week trial in the First-tier Tribunal (Gala Film Partners LLP v HMRC) regarding an LLP’s claim to loss relief of c. £100 million. He is also involved in litigation surrounding the “Loan Charge” legislation, led by Sir James Eadie QC, as well as a long running capital allowances case (London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP v HMRC) which is listed for a five-day hearing in the Court of Appeal in March 2023.

 

In terms of the trusts and estates and Court of Protection work at the core of his practice, Sam is currently acting in complex High Court litigation involving allegations of self-dealing in connection with a number of property transactions, a claim for rectification in respect of a settlement in respect of assets worth several hundred million pounds, and a multimillion-pound tax appeal in the First-tier Tribunal regarding the IHT treatment of a wedding business. He is also providing ongoing advice to the corporate trustee of two high value Jersey settlements and is instructed in a number of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

 

Recent reported cases include:

  • Mathieson v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 11 (TC). Sam was instructed by HMRC (as sole counsel) in this case involving the operation of the TMA 1970 so far as it applies to LLPs. The decision of the FTT was handed down in favour of HMRC in December 2021.
  • Ingenious Games LLP & Ors v HMRC [2021] EWCA Civ 1180. Sam has acted for HMRC (led by Malcolm Gammie CBE QC) in this high profile and long running tax litigation concerning the investment by various LLPs in films and games. Pending application for permission to the Supreme Court.
  • Penntrust Limited v WBDC & Anor [2020] EWCOP This was a Court of Protection case involving the operation of the fixed costs regime set out at Practice Direction 19B of the Court of Protection Rules 2017. Sam acted for the successful applicant, Penntrust Limited (instructed as sole counsel by Penningtons Manches LLP).
  • Gareth Clark v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 204. This Court of Appeal decision considers the legislative regime relating to registered pension schemes. Sam acted for HMRC (led by Jonathan Davey QC).
  • Gaskin v Chorus Law Limited & Anor [2019] EWHC 616 (Ch). This decision concerned the incidence of costs arising in connection with long running contentious probate and removal proceedings. Sam acted for Chorus Law (sole counsel).
  • The Pensions Regulator v Payae & Ors [2018] EWHC 36 (Ch). This decision followed the trial of a claim by the Pension Regulator for the recovery of £13.7 million lost in a pensions liberation fraud. It was the first time that the Regulator has obtained an order for statutory restitution under s.16 Pensions Act 2004. Sam acted for The Pensions Regulator (led by Jonathan Hilliard QC).

 

Other experience includes:

  • Advising the taxpayer in a domicile dispute against HMRC.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) in multimillion-pound Jersey proceedings against the directors of an offshore company.
  • Regularly instructed in rectification / rescission proceedings concerning trusts and wills, and also in numerous applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958.
  • Acting in numerous contentious probate claims concerning the formal or substantial validity of wills.
  • Acting in numerous claims for the removal of trustees or executors.
  • Numerous cases involving financial abuse, involving both Court of Protection elements (claims for removal of deputies and attorneys) and High Court elements (for recovery of assets, or setting aside vulnerable transactions).
  • Regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and the Office of Public Guardian in Court of Protection proceedings.
  • Three-month secondment with a leading law firm in the Channel Islands.

 

5 Stone Buildings - building sign
Chambers and Partners HNW 2021, Traditional Chancery

'He is an excellent advocate and puts forward the client’s case in a very clear, compelling and well-structured manner'

Chambers and Partners HNW 2021, Traditional Chancery

'Sam is a pleasure to work with, getting properly involved with his cases and is a very valuable team player'

Chambers and Partners, HNW 2020, Traditional Chancery

'An exceptional young barrister'

Chambers and Partners, UK Bar 2022, Traditional Chancery

'Very hard-working, bright and conscientious'

Chambers and Partners HNW 2020 – Traditional Chancery

'An exceptional young barrister'

Chambers and Partners, HNW 2020 – Traditional Chancery

'A reliable junior with an eye for detail. He’s great with clients and highly insightful – a pleasure to work with'

About Sam Chandler

Trusts, Estates and Family Provision

Sam has substantial experience of advice and advocacy in this area, both in litigation and also in non-contentious work such as drafting, and advising on tax questions and other issues arising in the course of trust administration. He has advised and appeared in relation to contentious probate and family provision claims, disputes relating to the administration of trusts and estates, claims by and against trustees and personal representatives, and disputes about ownership of land. He also has experience of professional negligence cases associated with this field of practice.

Recent cases include the following:

  • Re a deceased UK national – acting(with Penelope Reed QC) for the personal representatives of a deceased former businessman with substantial worldwide assets in a claim for an account against his attorney. This included complex cross-border elements
  • Re a deceased Italian national – acting for the personal representatives of a deceased Italian national in a claim to set aside a transfer of property to a third party (with Henry Legge QC)
  • Re removal of executor – acting (as a sole counsel) in a claim to remove a co-executor, including successful appearance at trial
  • Re a discretionary trust – acting (as sole counsel) in an application for directions relating to the exercise of trustees’ dispositive powers
  • Re a solicitor’s firm – acting successfully (as sole counsel) in a claim by a disappointed beneficiary to recover losses from a solicitors firm arising out of a negligently drafted codicil
  • Re a Jersey trust – advising (as sole counsel) new trustees of a Jersey trust in a claim to recover losses from former trustees arising from poor investment strategy and a negligent failure to account to HMRC
  • Re a property – acting for the Defendant in a constructive trust/proprietary estoppel claim relating to a residential property in London
Court of Protection

Sam has substantial experience in Court of Protection work having sat with David Rees QC and Barbara Rich during his pupillage. He appears regularly in the Court of Protection, principally in relating to property and affairs cases, but he also has experience of health and welfare disputes. He has acted for the Official Solicitor on numerous occasions.

Recent experience includes the following:

  • Re H – acting successfully in the Court of Protection in an application arising out of the transfer of property to an attorney
  • Re MD – successfully resisting a challenge to a decision by a health and welfare attorney concerning P’s residence and care
  • Re H – acting for a deputy in the Court of Protection for authorisation to prosecute a civil claim against a third party for rescission of a vulnerable property transfer
Offshore

Sam maintains a busy offshore practice, having spent several months seconded to a Jersey law firm in Summer 2015. He has experience of high value and complex commercial Chancery litigation in offshore jurisdictions, including the following:

  • Re a Guernsey Company – acting a multi-million pound claim against the former directors of a Guernsey company for recovery of losses arising out of a complex lending arrangement on the eve of the 2007 financial crisis
  • Re a Jersey trust – advising new trustees of a Jersey trust in a claim to recover losses from former trustees arising from poor investment strategy and a failure to account to HMRC
  • Crociani v BNP Paribas & Orsassisting in relation to this complex and high-profile litigation concerning alleged breaches of trust by a Jersey trustee
Contentious Tax

Sam has a particular experience in contentious tax work. He is currently instructed by HMRC in two high value, well-publicised, and complex tax cases, the £1 billion Ingenious litigation (led by Malcolm Gammie CBE QC) and the £400m Icebreaker litigation (led by Jonathan Davey QC).

  • Gareth Clark v HMRC [2017] with Jonathan Davey QC – a decision of the FTT on the scope of discovery assessments issued under the Taxes Management Act 1970
  • Ingenious Games LLP & Ors v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 521 (TC) with Malcolm Gammie CBE QC– a decision of the FTT in the Ingenious litigation – a £1bn dispute regarding the proper commercial and tax analysis to apply in respect of partnerships involved in the film and games industries
  • Ingenious Games LLP & Ors v HMRC [2016] UKUT 105 (TCC) with Malcolm Gammie CBE QC– a decision of the UT on the scope of a litigant’s duty to plead allegations of dishonesty, and on the applicable burden of proof in contentious tax cases
  • Acornwood LL & Ors v HMRC [2016] UKUT 361 (TCC) with Jonathan Davey QC et al – multi-day appeal in the UT as part of the £400m Icebreaker litigation, on the question of whether expenditure had been incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the LLPs’ trade and was therefore deductible for tax purposes
  • Martin v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 488 (TC)
  • Seven Individuals v HMRC [2017] STC 874 (led by Jonathan Davey QC) – successfully appeared for HMRC in this multi-day appeal in the UT as part of the £400m Icebreaker litigation, on the availability of sideways loss relief for non-active partners
Education and Qualifications

Sam studied History at Jesus College, Oxford. He was awarded a first class degree, for which he was ranked within the top ten undergraduates in his year. He completed the GDL at City University, London in 2012, receiving a distinction, before completing the BPTC at Kaplan Law School. He was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in July 2013.

Sam is also an accomplished musician, having studied the piano and the organ at Trinity College of Music from 2007-2008, and having acted as Organ Scholar of Jesus College, Oxford alongside his degree.

Prizes and Scholarships

Organ Scholarship, Jesus College, Oxford University (2008-2011)

Finals prize for performance in Finals, Jesus College, Oxford University (2011)

Viscount Sankey Award, Jesus College, Oxford University (2011)

Exhibition, Inner Temple (2011)

Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Award, Inner Temple (2012)

Profumo Scholarship, Inner Temple (2012)

Professional Memberships

Sam is a member of the Chancery Bar Association.

Publications

“The test for litigation capacity following Dunhill v Burgin” Private Client Business2014, 3

“Dunhill v Burgin: Litigation capacity” PI Brief Update Law Journal, 2014

“Contentious Probate: Testamentary capacity” Elder Law Journal2014, 4(1)

“Court of Protection: Statutory Will – Re Gladys Meek” Elder Law Journal2014, 4(2)

“Watts v Watts and Will Forgery cases” The Law Society’s Private Client Magazine, September 2014), with Jordan Holland

Sam writes headnotes for the Wills and Trusts Law Reports and is a contributor to the Solicitors for the Elderly’s monthly newsletter.

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