Henry's practice includes a broad range of Chancery work, but with particular emphasis on cases involving trusts, estates, pension schemes and art.
In recent years, he has appeared in a number of large and not so large trust disputes both onshore and offshore (for example the Longleat litigation, the Trilogy litigation, Gorbunova v Berezovsky) as well as appearing in some of the most notable pensions cases of the last few years (for BT in the Crown Guarantee litigation and the related proceedings in the European court, for IBM in the proceedings relating to its Imperial duty and for the monitor in the Canadian Nortel litigation). This, together with his practice in art disputes, means that he has considerable experience of heavy and complex litigation, both as a junior and as a silk.
He has acted in numerous trustee and beneficiary disputes, claims in breach of trust and asset recovery claims (examples of which are in the notable cases section below). As well as domestic trust and estate disputes, he has extensive experience in advising and acting in offshore jurisdictions and in cases involving offshore structures (including foundations and other civil law structures). He has appeared and advised in a number of significant cases in which complex offshore structures were under attack (for example, Berezovsky, Trilogy, Stow v Stow, Mubarak and Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman) and is very familiar with the principles of law and tactical issues involved. He has also advised extensively on non-contentious trust issues, both domestic and offshore, including in relation to commercial trusts and securitisation structures as well as private trusts.
Henry spent much of his early years in practice defending solicitors and actuaries in negligence proceedings and he has continued to advise and appear in negligence claims for both claimants and defendants since that time. Over the years he has acted in a broad range of cases and is used to dealing with complex issues of tax, actuarial practice, investment or accounting should they arise.
He has an additional area of expertise in disputes involving works of art and chattels. Henry became interested in the law of chattels early in his career, partly as a result of a lifelong interest in art. In recent years he has appeared in many of the most significant cases in this niche area, including Avrora v Christies, in which he acted for the successful Claimant, and Thwaytes v Sothebys, in which Henry was praised in the judgment for "the exemplary way in which this fascinating case was presented at trial".
Henry is recommended by Chambers and Partners in five areas: in two long-established categories, Traditional Chancery and Pensions (in which he has been recommended for many years), and now also in three newly-introduced categories, Offshore, Trusts and Art and Cultural Property. He is praised for his advocacy as well as for his ability to deal with technical matters.
"One of the brightest stars of the chancery Bar. A brilliant advocate with great technical nous. Fantastically bright." Chambers HNW 2016
"He is very impressive. You would look to bring him into a big trusts dispute" Chambers 2016
"An extremely good advocate who is very personable with clients." "He takes a very analytical approach to things, and judges like him. They will take advice from him and ask his opinion on things. He's a barrister with standing." Chambers 2015
"he is a pleasure to deal with and very user-friendly when it comes to complex trust matters." Chambers 2014
"I cannot rate him highly enough." Chambers 2013
"excellent advocacy …. superlative drafting skills" "something of a guru on Settled Land Act trust settlements" Chambers 2012
"he constantly alights on the best solution to even the most complex of questions" Chambers 2011
"his across-the-board knowledge of private client work, and his deep expertise in trusts and estates." Chambers 2010
"without doubt a leader in the field" Who's Who in the Legal World - private client 2014
"A skilled advocate with a growing reputation in the pensions arena" "He is very charming, fun to deal with and very bright." Chambers 2016
"A well-regarded silk who earns excellent praise for his methodical advocacy style." "He is lovely to work with as he's supremely organised and calm." "He has a good reputation and a growing profile." Chambers 2015
"rapidly building a reputation as an excellent pensions silk and has particular expertise in technical actuarial issues" "Very intelligent and good with clients" Chambers 2014
"the respected Henry Legge QC" Chambers 2013
"the charming Henry Legge dovetails his pensions workload with his excellent general chancery practice and has particular expertise in actuarial matters" Chambers 2012
"friendly, approachable and, above all, immensely thorough" Chambers 2011
"Very user-friendly and good at managing expectations" "Does not lose sight of the strategic imperative of the case" Chambers 2016
"He has an absolutely infallible understanding of trust law so you start from a very strong academic base. He is also very personable and very practical." Chambers 2015
"highly adept at complex trust matters" Chambers 2014
"He is very impressive in court". "He combines a first-class brain with a practical approach to disputes which is very attractive to clients." Chambers 2016
"I don't think you could go to anyone better" Chambers HNW 2016
"A runaway star who enjoys a superb reputation for acting in the most significant cases in the art and cultural property world". "He obviously knows his stuff and is the go-to guy for this sort of work" "..has a very detailed knowledge of art and art history" Chambers 2016
"You want him on your team in an art case." "He is a strong advocate, who has an excellent client manner." Chambers 2015
"his litigation skills are highly sought after in complex chattels disputes"
"very thorough and commercial, he is in the vanguard for this type of work" Chambers 2014
Henry's publications include:
Henry frequently lectures on topics within his areas of expertise. He has lectured to and conducted seminars for the Chancery Bar Association, the Association of Pension Lawyers and the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists as well as giving regular talks on art litigation. He is a member of the Trust Law Committee. In 2013, he was appointed a trustee of the Samuel Courtauld Trust, which holds the paintings and other contents of the Courtauld Gallery.