"an incredibly safe pair of hands” "excellent with clients - they all just adore him, he exudes a lot of confidence,” "technical and well read on the law, and excellent on his feet and on paper."
Toby specialises in succession and trusts litigation including contentious probate; 1975 Act claims; the removal of personal representatives and trustees; the administration of estates and trusts; proprietary estoppel; constructive and resulting trusts; and issues of domicile.
Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2022, Chancery: Traditional
Extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned. He is approachable, great with clients, extremely knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra mile.
Legal 500, Private Client: Trusts and Probate, 2021
Clever, approachable and excellent at finding solutions for complex issues.
Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2021, Chancery: Traditional
very, very clever and he is extremely easy to deal with. He is great with clients and comes up with practical legal solutions to complex legal issues,” ... Bishop "knows what judges want, which is an immensely useful trait in a barrister.”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021, Chancery: Traditional
Excellent with clients - they all just adore him as he exudes a lot of confidence." "Incredibly technical and well read on the law, he is excellent both on his feet and on paper." "His written advice is always excellent.
Legal 500, Private Client: Trusts and Probate, 2020
Brilliant strategically and gets to the heart of the matter – he is great with clients and remains calm and unflappable under pressure." ... "star of the future
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2022, Chancery: Traditional
One of the pre-eminent traditional chancery sets in London and is notable for its strength and depth… This extremely strong group of silks and juniors regularly handles some of the most high-profile and high-value matters in this field, including those involving onshore and offshore trusts and inheritance disputes concerning landed estates.
About Toby Bishop
Toby’s notable cases in this practice area include:
- Re Morris; Morris v Fuirer and ors.  EWHC 3566 (Ch) (judgment 2022) – Toby’s charity clients succeeded in the High Court in a rare example of a reverse summary judgment application to dismiss a probate and proprietary estoppel claim (remote hearing). Read the judgment here.
- Re Goff; Almond v Goff and ors. EWHC 1703 (Ch) – a 5 day remote High Court trial with 11 parties to construe the provisions of a successful London surveyor’s home made will. Toby was instructed by a solicitor appointed pursuant to CPR 19.7 to represent a class whose members could not easily be ascertained. Counsel for the other parties included: Tracy Angus QC, Luke Harris, Mathew Roper and Rose Fetherstonhaugh (remote trial).
- Re Whalley; The British University of Dubai v Kambiz Ebrahimi EWHC 757 (ChD) – a 5 day remote High Court probate trial during which the final witness of the trial confessed to he and the other attesting witness having applied their signatures after the testator’s death. Preceded by a series of hearings as to whether the trial would be conducted remotely. Read the judgment here.
- Re Clarke; Clarke-Sullivan v Clarke-Sullivan  EWHC 4 (Ch);  W.T.L.R. 109 – Toby’s client succeeded in obtaining a direction that his wife’s estate was held on a testamentary trust incorporating the terms of a trust which the couple had purported to wind up by deed during her lifetime. The judgment addresses the scope of section 48 of Administration of Justice Act 1985 and the law applicable to construction. Read the judgment here.
- Re Halim (deceased); Halim v Medsun Food Ltd(unreported, ICC Judge Mullen on 12 November 2020) – T died as the sole director and shareholder of companies incorporated using the Table A articles of association from the Companies Act 1985, leading to the paradox that no person could register the shares or appoint a new director. Toby’s client extracted a limited grant of probate and obtained an order that the Register of Members be rectified striking out the testator’s name and inserting that of his executor. Toby’s article addressing this problem “Death of a director” appeared in the March 2021 issue of Trusts & Estates.
- Bhusate v Patel EWHC 52 (Ch) – the appeal against the Chief Master’s decision to grant permission for a 1975 Act claim 25 years and 9 months out of time was dismissed. It now appears where the estate has not been distributed and the claim is very strong, permission will be granted irrespective of the length and cause of a claimant’s delay in commencing the claim.
- Re Ali; Rehman v Hamid EWHC 3692 (Ch) – this was a domicile and forum non-conveniens The estate consisted principally of English real estate, the testatrix had lived in England for 50 years, but died in Pakistan. Toby’s client succeeded in his application for a stay of the English probate claim, establishing the testatrix had remained domiciled in Pakistan and that the convenient forum was Pakistan, notwithstanding that it would be decided in accordance with English law. Read the judgment here.
- Re Bascoe; Barnaby v Johnson EWHC 3344 (Ch) – In a 3 day High Court trial, Toby’s client overcame challenges as to testamentary capacity; undue influence; fraud and a lack of knowledge and approval to prove his mother’s last will. The judgment includes a useful analysis of the weight to attach to hearsay evidence of attesting witnesses. Read the judgment here.
- Bhusate v Patel EWHC 470 (Ch) – this was an application under s.4 of the 1975 Act brought 26 years and 3 months after the applicant extracted letters of administration. Toby was led by Richard Wilson QC.
- Ninian v Findlay EWHC 297 (Ch) – A retired captain of industry suffering from an incurable degenerative condition committed suicide with the assistance of Dignitas and his wife. His wife instructed Toby and John Critchley in her successful application for relief against the forfeiture rule. Read the judgment here.
- Re Dora Wright: Elton-Campbell v Wright, unreported – a ToLATA claim, an executrix recovered possession of the estate’s property from the testatrix’ son together with mesne profits for 7 years use and resisting counter-claims of a constructive trust, proprietary estoppel and a debt.
- Bhusate v Patel and others EWHC 2362 (Ch) – this was an application to strike out particulars of claim. The case offers guidance from the Chief Master on four issues: (1) whether the inferred and imputed common intention constructive trust analysis (Jones v Kernott) extends beyond the domestic consumer context into an intestacy; (2) the limitation period which applies to a spouse’s claim to a statutory legacy and capitalised life interest; and (3) the way in which the court approaches a strike out and summary judgment application in Part 8 proceedings; and (4) the extent to which a party may plead incompatible cases in the alternative. Toby was led by Richard Wilson QC. Read the judgment here.
- RG v SG(unreported) – this case concerned financial abuse of a vulnerable adult. Toby was instructed by a professional deputy who had been appointed by the Court of Protection and authorised to institute proceedings to reconstitute P’s estate. Toby’s client obtained a freezing injunction and disclosure orders together with non-party disclosure orders. Toby’s client then succeeded in a summary judgement application obtaining a declaration and directions which restored that which remained of P’s estate.
- Ramsey v Ramsey All ER (D) 32 – Toby’s client established the testatrix’ testamentary capacity and knowledge and approval of the contents of her will, notwithstanding a finding (supported by both parties’ experts) that the testatrix was suffering from moderate to severe vascular dementia.
Toby’s notable cases in this practice area include:
- Karunanandan v Nagaratnam (unreported, 6 July 2021, HHJ Parfitt) – Following a 3 day trial, Toby’s client succeeded in his claim to a declaration he was the sole beneficial owner of a London property and to recover a debt, resisting defences of fraud and non-est factum.
- Brothers v New WorldHospitality  EWHC 2455 (Ch) – this decision of Roth J concerned the duties owed to the Court when applying for ex-parte injunctive relief. In dismissing an application to restore an interim injunction Roth J offered guidance on the circumstances in which it is appropriate to apply ex-parte without notice and the discharge of the duty to give full and frank disclosure. Toby was led by John McLinden QC. Read the judgment here.
- Pembury v Panzer and Ors(unreported) – Toby successfully sought the striking out of particulars of claim on the basis that they contradicted and were inconsistent with an earlier version, and the Claim Form was struck out as disclosing no reasonable grounds for bringing a claim. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- EBS Self Administered Pension Plan Trustees Ltd v Gungor  11 WLUK 243 – Toby acted for the successful appellant in this case which concerned very late amendments. In allowing Toby’s client’s appeal, Newey J identified that the following were not good reasons for a recorder to have allowed an application to amend on the first morning of trial: (1) English was not D’s first language (a legally represented party relies on its advisers); (2) the case was about money (most cases are about money); (3) The generosity of the 2-day trial listing; (4) the Cs not having complained about the subject matter of the claim for some time; (5) that D’s solicitors may or may not have been negligent; (6) that D’s proposed defence might have a real prospect of success and that C might obtain a windfall if D was not permitted to amend (this will almost universally be true, if it were not the party would not seek to amend).
- Bar Vocational Course: Outstanding, 3rd in order of merit.
- Advanced International Advocacy Course, Keble, College, Oxford
- Harmsworth Scholar of Middle Temple
- Middle Temple Prize for Outstanding Achievement on the BVC
- Chancery Bar Association
- ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists)
- ConTrA (the Contentious Trusts Association)
Toby writes about and delivers lectures and seminars on many aspects of his practice.
Recently this has included:
Testamentary capacity at home and abroad – January 2022 – webinar delivered to ILM together with Dan Harris and Luke Watson of Stone King
Departing from uncontroverted expert opinion / “The people of this country have had enough of experts” – October 2021 – Trusts & Estates – an article exploring the limitations of expert evidence.
Death of a director – March 2021 – Trusts & Estates – an article addressing the difficulties arising upon the death of a sole director and shareholder of a company which incorporates the articles of association found in Table A of the Companies Act 1985.
Replacing custodians of estates and trusts – November 2020 – a copy of the recording is available to view at your convenience by clicking here.
Gilding the lily: The Witness Evidence Working Group’s Recommendations – August 2020 – a copy of the recording is available to view at your convenience by clicking here.
Domicile and Jurisdictions Disputes – June 2020 – a copy of this recording is available to view at your convenience by clicking here.
- Out of time 1975 Act claims– 5 Stone Buildings’ Trusts and Estates conference 2020.
- Time to call the Police – trusts and estates issues – ConTrA March 2020 – speaking about the Forfeiture Rule which precludes a person from taking a benefit from an unlawful killing.
- Contested Probate: Cases of Interest– at conferences held in spring 2020 in Oxford and Nottingham
- The traditional concept of domicile – Simon Gore Legal Conferences, webinar in 2019, Elderly Client Conference 2019, together with James Ward and Joseph Austin of Kingsley Napley
- Limitation periods for claims against constructive trustees – Simon Gore Legal Conferences, webinar in 2018, together with Roman Kubiak of Hugh James.