Angus is an experienced specialist Chancery barrister currently practising at No5 Barristers’ Chambers in Fountain Court Birmingham. He was educated at Exeter University graduating with First Class honours.
He was called to the Bar in 1994 and undertook pupillage at 7 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn (now Maitland Chambers) and 24 Old Buildings, moving to the Midlands in 1995 where he has practised ever since.
In addition to his undergraduate qualifications he has post graduate certificates (forming part of the LLM course awarded by Bristol University) in Insolvency Law, Restitution and Company Law, and a Diploma in the Taxation of Trusts and Estates (through STEP).
He is a member of the Midland Chancery Bar Association and sat on the STEP technical committee for 2 years.
He regularly lectures on trusts and estate matters, and recently gave a lecture for the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialist (ACTAPS) on the court’s control of the exercise of trustees’ discretions.
The types of cases in which Angus is regularly instructed in the High Court and the Court of Appeal include:
- Claims for financial provision pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
- Disputes as to the substantial and procedural validity of wills
- Applications for the removal of executors and trustees
- Applications for the rectification of wills
- Breach of trust/breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Administration actions in particular disputes as to the construction of wills or directions from the court
- Proprietary estoppel, undue influence and constructive trust claims
- Disputes concerning charitable trusts
- Professional negligence actions relating to wills and trusts work
- General advisory work as to inheritance tax, the exercise of trustees’ discretions, the drafting of settlements
During the course of his practice Angus has acted in upwards of 100 mediations as advocate and in January 2017 qualified as a mediator with the London School of Mediation. He has been recommended to act and has acted in a number of mediations this year and is rapidly developing this area of his practice as something to which he is well suited. This year he has been instructed by Freeths Solicitors, Sydney Mitchell, HCB Solicitors and Kerwoods.
Whilst sympathetic to the high emotions that are often generated in probate and trust disputes, his approach is to encourage participants to look for their own practical solutions to issues, and to move away from positions and personalities. Further, his thorough and detailed knowledge of the law and understanding of the approach of Judges enables him to assist participants in focusing on solutions that are anchored in the realities of the claims being considered.
Angus is married with three children and in his spare time inflicts his love of tennis on his children.
“His knowledge of the area is first-rate and he is quite methodical and measured in terms of the way he deals with things.” “He is very detailed and considered and leaves no stone unturned, and he’s a scary barrister in court.”
Chambers UK 2020
“An outstanding and tenacious advocate.”
Legal 500 2020
“Absolutely excellent. He is a real gent and a very, very able lawyer. What makes him so dangerous is that his style is so attractive to judges - it’s understated, not dramatic.” “One of the best outside of London. His main strength is his attention to detail. He is academically rigorous and is appealing to judges. On his feet he is able to make his points in a way that is helpful and compelling.”
Chambers UK 2019
“His calm manner belies his fierce intellect and competitive spirit.”
Legal 500 2019
A pure traditional chancery barrister whose practise focuses on contentious trusts and probate. He has an excellent reputation for his technical skill and advocacy, as well as approachability and client care.
Chambers UK 2017
“Really persuasive and highly regarded by the judiciary. Utterly brilliant. For difficult contentious probate he is the only barrister I’d use. He lives and breathes this. He is extremely responsive and knows the law better than anybody else I deal with”
In the Legal 500 in which he is ranked in tier 1, he is referred to as calm considered and exceptionally thorough and as having a particularly good manner in mediations.
Hill v Haines  Ch. 412 CA
An insolvency case which considered the relationship between insolvency law and matrimonial property adjustment order
Perrins v Holland  WTLR 95 and  2 Ch. 270 CA
A leading case on the validity of wills in particular the requirement for knowledge and approval
Hope v Knight  WTLR 583
An Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claim
Breslin v Bromley  WTLR 219
A claim concerning the procedural requirements for execution of a will
McGuinness v Preece  EWHC 1518 (Ch)McGuinness v Preece  EWHC 1518 (Ch)
A substantial proprietary estoppel claim