Call: 1990

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For practice areas see below


Chambers UK Bar 100

Barbara is listed in Chambers and Partners inaugural Chambers 100 UK Bar ranking of the top barristers practising in England and Wales

Solicitors say that "she immediately sees the key points in a matter and integrates legal and practical considerations well in order to provide legally robust yet commercial advice."

Chambers UK 2014: Chancery – Traditional (Band 1) "She gives very practical advice, is extremely approachable and client-focused." "Her advice is thorough, and she carefully guides you through what can be extremely complex areas."

Chambers UK 2014: Court of Protection Property and Affairs (Star Individual) “She knows the property and affairs area inside out, and is frighteningly intelligent.” “She provides sound, comprehensive advice.”

Legal 500 2014: Private client: trusts and probate Leading junior who “gives consistent, wise advice”



Barbara Rich has practised as a barrister at 5 Stone Buildings since 1991. She specialises in succession, trusts and Court of Protection cases, often of substantial value and/or legal complexity and importance, concerning

  • The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the property and affairs jurisdiction of the Court of Protection
  • Validity of wills, disputes about entitlement to probate and the administration of estates and trusts
  • Interpretation and rectification of wills and trusts
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Proprietary estoppel claims arising from alleged testamentary promises
  • All aspects of contentious trust claims involving family, charitable and pensions trusts
  • Applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958
  • Professional negligence related to the above


Professional reputation

Barbara is recommended as a leading junior for traditional Chancery work in both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 204 guides, and has been highly ranked in both guides for several years. Previous directory entries have described her in the following terms: "a swift intelligent advocate", " a strong player...with a manner that is... charmingly traditional", "highly regarded for her straightforward manner and understated approach", ”distinguishes herself by offering a service that goes beyond what is normally expected”, “When instructing her, ‘top-notch legal analysis always comes as standard.’  Beyond this, observers note that her "incredible patience, great people skills and reconciliatory manner" set her apart from other barristers”, “a pleasant, sensitive and effective mediator”, “an impressive performer” and “very erudite”.

Barbara was shortlisted for the Elder Client Law Professional of the Year award at the STEP Private Client Awards in October 2009 and for the Chancery junior of the year award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2010 and again in 2011.  She is shortlisted for the ACTAPS Contentious Barrister of the year 2014.



Barbara is an enthusiastic and effective mediator with substantial mediation experience (20 mediations conducted in 2012-13), particularly in contentious probate and Inheritance Act claims.  Many of these have been large claims involving complex issues and several parties.  Mediation clients have praised her persistence, patience and ability to help the parties focus on the issues in dispute. Recent feedback includes "patient and kind and very intelligent... she handled questions of fact and law very sensitively"; "Barbara's expertise and understanding of  the law, as well as her personal, yet pragmatic, touch resulted in a very quick and positive settlement for all involved"; "very grateful for the sensitive and diplomatic way a potentially volatile situation was handled" and "very able, knowledgeable and with a very good manner".

Barbara's Mediation CV can be found here

Publications and lecturing

Barbara is the consultant editor of Jordans' Elder Law Journal (first issue published January 2011) and assistant editor of Heywood & Massey: Court of Protection Practice and has written articles for a range of other professional journals. She is regularly in demand for speaking engagements within her field of expertise.



Barbara reads and speaks French well and is happy to accept instructions which have a French element or require reading French documents.


Notable Cases

Notable cases in which Barbara has appeared include:


Court of Protection

  • Re NT v. FS [2013] WTLR 867 – statutory will
  • Re JC, D v. JC [2012] WTLR 1211 – statutory will
  • Re G(TJ) [2010] EWHC 3005 (COP) - important case on best interests under Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to lifetime gifts made by P
  • ITW v Z [2009] WTLR 1781 - statutory will under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Baker v H [2010] 1 WLR 1103 - principles relating to fixing security for a property and affairs deputy
  • Re P [2010] Ch 33 - landmark case on court's approach to making a statutory will under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Re S and S [2010] 1 WLR 1082 - court's approach to P's own wishes when determining best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Re F [2004] WTLR 657 - statutory will - court's approach to specific devise in previous will


Together with a number of other cases of which the facts and law remain private, but which have involved substantial assets, highly contentious allegations and multi jurisdictional issues.



  • McIntosh v. McIntosh [2013] WTLR 1565 Successful defence on threshold entitlement to claim under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Public Trustee v. Butler [2012] EWHC 858 (Ch) Construction of provisions in will void for uncertainty
  • Webster v. Ashcroft [2011] EWHC 3848 (Ch) [2012] 1 WLR 1309 – proprietary estoppel
  • Wahab v. Khan [2011] EWHC 908 (Ch) Successful appeal against striking out of probate action
  • Kings v Bultitude [2010] WTLR 1571 - challenge to the validity of charitable gift to defunct Ancient Catholic Church
  • Gorjat v Gorjat [2010] EWHC 1537 (Ch) - challenge on grounds of capacity and undue influence to validity of transfer of Swiss bank accounts into joint names/issues of forum and applicable law
  • Macdonald and Bannigan v Frost [2009] WTLR 1815 - proprietary estoppel post-Thorner
  • Supple v. Pender [2007] WTLR 1461 - probate - forgery of a will
  • Ottey v Grundy High Court, and Court of Appeal [2003] WTLR 1253 - proprietary estoppel - causation and detriment in claim against estate of former co-habitee
  • Gandhi v Patel [2002] 1 FLR 603 - Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 - whether claimant a survivor of a void marriage entered into in good faith
  • Fuller v Strum [2001] WTLR 677 - probate - alleged forgery of will
  • Singer v Isaac [2001] WTLR 1045 - Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 - surviving spouse - relevance of deceased's memoranda
  • Jennings v Rice High Court [2001] WTLR 871 and Court of Appeal [2002] WTLR 367 - proprietary estoppel - extent of equity required to do justice


Trusts and Trustees

  • Sutton v England [2010] WTLR 335, [2009] EWHC 3270 (Ch) - application under section 57 of the Trustee Act 1925
  • Painter v Hutchison [2007] EWHC 758 (Ch) - sham trusts
  • Thomas v Kent [2006] EWCA Civ 1485 - construction of residuary trusts of will made in 1944
  • Iliffe v Trafford & Fitzgerald [2002] WTLR 507 - defence to trustees' liability to account on footing of wilful default



  • Lewis v Pensions Ombudsman [2005] PLR 195 - interpretation of agreement for pension enhancement
  • Stevens v Bell [2001] PLR 99 - British Airways pension scheme litigation
  • Bestrustees v Stuart [2001] PLR 283 - interpretation of documents effecting equalisation in pension scheme



  • Braymist v Wise Finance Co Ltd High Court and Court of Appeal [2002] 2 All ER 333 - enforceability of  company's pre-incorporation contract for sale of land


Recent and forthcoming speaking engagements:

2013 5 Stone Buildings Court of Protection and Mental Capacity Act seminar

Solicitors for the Elderly 2013 National Conference: Legal Update

TLT/Lyons Davidson seminar on the role of the Court of Protection in preventing financial abuse

Farrers seminar on Court of Protection issues

STEP Newcastle seminar on trusts disputes

CPDcast on assessment of legal capacity in the Court of Protection


Recent and forthcoming articles:

Elder Law Overview for 2013 – parts 1 and 2 Eld. L.J. 2013, 3(3), 258-265, Eld. L.J. 2013 3(4) 367

Adult Incapacity and Liability for Professional Negligence Eld. L.J. 2012, 2(4), 343-347


Professional Memberships

Barbara is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), and an honorary member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).