Described by Chambers & Partners as ‘an exceptional barrister’, Aidan Briggs has established himself as a specialist advocate and advisor for trusts, estates and property disputes. His regular trial experience in the High Court gives him the edge in the courtroom and makes him a favourite for factually complex cases where effective cross-examination may be the difference between winning and losing.
Aidan’s practice covers the full range of private client matters: contested probate and 1975 Act claims, partnership disputes and contentious trusts work (both on- and offshore) as well as proprietary estoppel, commercial landlord and tenant disputes and trusts of land. His cases often involve multiple jurisdictions and issues of domicile.
Aidan is fully versed in the tax implications of private client disputes and regularly advises in relation to Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax matters, particularly as they affect farmland and farming families.
Aidan is an Associate Editor of Lewin on Trusts (20th Ed.) and a contributor to Williams, Mortimer & Sunnucks on Executors, Administrators and Probate (21st Ed.). His writing has appeared in Trusts & Trustees, the Wills & Trusts Law Reports and the New Law Journal.
Aidan is sought-after as an accredited mediator and as an arbitrator in his main areas of practice.
Trusts, Wills & Estates
Aidan’s trust work includes some of the leading authorities in developing areas of trust law, such as da Silva v Heselton  EWCA Civ 880 on trustees’ rights to remuneration, and Rokkan v Rokkan  EWHC 481 (Ch) on the interplay between foreign forced heirship rules, the Hague Convention on trusts and UK inheritance law.
Aidan advises in domestic and offshore trust disputes, including applications for the removal of trustees, Beddoe applications and VTA claims. He has particular expertise in the disclosure obligations of trustees under the GDPR. He is instructed for the personal representatives of Israel Perry in relation to claims by Lichtenstein trustees concerning assets in Delaware, the BVI, Cayman and London.
Aidan is often sought out for contested probate actions and claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 for his in-depth legal knowledge and skill as a cross-examiner, particularly where capacity is in issue or there are allegations of undue influence. He has appeared in several of the key decisions in this area: Ashkettle v Gwinnett  EWHC 2125 (Ch) on solicitors’ assessments of capacity, Re Chin  EWHC 523 (Ch) on non-English speaking testators and Gardiner v Tabet  EWHC 563 (Ch) on those with fluctuating capacity. His recent experience has particularly involved estates spanning several jurisdictions with multiple fora of litigation and competing probate jurisdictions.
Aidan is competent to advise on the capital gains and inheritance tax consequences of most onshore trust transactions, particularly where these overlap with variations to estates. He is advising several beneficiaries of ‘home loan’ and reversionary lease schemes.
Aidan stays at the sharp end of legal developments as an Associate Editor of Lewin on Trusts (20th Ed.) and contributes to Williams, Mortimer & Sunnucks on Executors, Administrators and Probate (21st Ed.).
Aidan’s property practice is focussed on trusts of land, proprietary estoppel, property fraud and injunctive relief. The son of farming parents, Aidan brings a familiarity with how farming family partnerships work and is regularly instructed on proprietary estoppel or probate claims involving farmland.
He recently appeared in Saeed & Saeed v Ibrahim & Ors  EWHC 1804 (Ch); a complex warehousing fraud involving forged documents and six different property transactions under scrutiny, with issues of illegality and limitation all at play. He often advises the victims of property fraud regarding rectification or professional negligence claims.
He is also confident preparing and presenting applications for injunctions relating to property. He recently acted against Thames Water in High Court injunction proceedings seeking to stop a major residential development. He acts in all manner of boundary and right-of-way disputes.
Aidan is comfortable in commercial disputes of all shapes and sizes. He acted in the Blacklisting litigation with probably the largest disclosure exercise in history, and successfully defended a £7m claim by former socialite Koo Stark against her ex-partner in Stark v Walker  EWHC 562 (Ch). He is often instructed to defend the spouses or beneficiaries of alleged fraudsters against s.423 applications to recover assets, or in tracing claims.
Aidan is above all a pragmatic and commercially-minded advisor, able to make swift tactical decisions to get disputes resolved. His in-depth knowledge of property, insolvency and trust law allow him to take an holistic view of his clients needs and to advise accordingly. He is happiest in cases with a complex factual matrix against which to cross-examine.
Aidan is much sought-after as a mediator of private client, property and commercial disputes. He was trained by the ADR Group in 2018. His expertise covers a range of disputes including the following:
- Contentious probate
- Claims under the Inheritance Act 1975
- Claims for breach of trust and for removal of trustees / executors
- Professional negligence.
Aidan brings to the mediation room a calm, constructive attitude focused upon understanding the needs and motivations of the parties and seeking creative paths to a compromise. He is willing to be forthright and challenging where necessary and brings the weight of his experience at the bar and his in-depth knowledge of the law to assist in resolving disputes.
Qualifications / Education
2007 - BA (Hons) Durham
2008 - GDL (City University)
2009 - BVC (BPP)
Major Scholar - Inner Temple
- Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (‘ACTAPS’)
- Chancery Bar Association
- Court of Protection Bar Association
- Property Bar Association
- Contentious Trusts Association
Accredited Mediator (ADRg)