Call: 2009    
Aidan Briggs  

"Incredibly bright with an approachable down-to-earth manner."

Private Client: Trusts & Probate - Legal 500 2020

+44 (0) 20 7419 8000

Practice Overview


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 and the specialist property tribunals give him the edge in the courtroom and make 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 a mediator and arbitrator in his main areas of practice.

  • Trusts and Estates
    • Since appearing in the leading capacity case of Ashkettle v Gwinnett [2013] EWHC 2125 (Ch), Aidan has been 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, as in Re Chin [2019] EWHC 523 (Ch). His recent experience has particularly involved estates spanning several jurisdictions with multiple fora of litigation and competing probate jurisdictions.

       

      Aidan also advises in domestic and offshore trust disputes, including applications for the removal of trustees, Beddoe applications and VTA claims. He is competent to advise on the capital gains and inheritance tax consequences of most trust transactions, particularly where these overlap with variations to estates under s.144 IHTA. He is advising several beneficiaries of ‘home loan’ schemes.

       

      Aidan has extensive experience in partnership and charity disputes, having advised a number of churches, charities and small partnerships on claims against negligent trustees, Charities Act 2006 proceedings and the ownership of charity or partnership assets.

       

      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.). He has particular expertise in the disclosure obligations of trustees under the GDPR.

  • Property
    • Aidan’s property practice is focussed on trusts of land, property fraud and injunctive relief. He recently appeared in Saeed & Saeed v Ibrahim & Ors [2018] 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.

       

      Aidan is competent to advise on all aspects of rural property law, including agricultural tenancies, proprietary estoppel claims and applications to register Town or Village Greens under the Commons Act 2006, having recently acted for St John’s College, Cambridge in an inquiry.

       

      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.

  • Commercial Litigation
    • 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 former partner in Stark v Walker [2020] 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

  • Mediation
    • 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.

  • Additional Information

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