Call: 1993

Silk: 2012

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For practice areas see below



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".

Professional Reputation

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.

Traditional Chancery

"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

Art and Cultural Property

"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

Notable Cases

Trusts and estates

  • The Longleat litigation (2016) – disputed application to remove trustees. Acted for the continuing trustees.
  • The Trilogy litigation: (Trilogy Management v YT – principal decisions at [2012] JRC 093, [2012] JCA 152 [2014] JRC 214) Disputed claim by charitable beneficiary to dismantle a very substantial Jersey charitable structure, administered by a Private Trust Company
  • Gorbunova v Berezovksy and Wood v Gorbunova [2013] EWHC 1209 and 1935 (also at (2013) 5 Costs LR 713) Securing a multi-jurisdictional freezing injunction against Boris Berezovsky and entities related to him. Acting for the claimant in the litigation relating to his estate and in ancillary litigation relating to the appointment of receivers.
  • Faircliff v BDO (2012) Advising and acting for the claimant trustees and beneficiaries of a Jersey trust in a complex and valuable multi-party claim for negligent investment and fraud brought by them against the former trustees and advisers to the trust.
  • Page v West (2012) EWHC 4390, [2010] WTLR 1811 and [2006] WTLR 157- long running dispute over the sale of trust property and the appropriate division of the proceeds.
  • Martin v Triggs Turner [2010] PNLR 3 and (on a separate point) [2008] WTLR 509 - negligence claim brought by disappointed beneficiary against solicitor executors in relation to drafting of will and administration of estate. First case in which professional executors found to owe a duty of care in negligence to a beneficiary.
  • Stow v Stow [2008] Ch 461 and related litigation - complex litigation involving family provision and other claims brought by a widow against the estate of her husband and various offshore trusts with which he was connected.
  • Lonsdale v Lowther Trustees (No 1) Limited (2007) advising and acting for trustees in challenge to the re-arrangement of a large landed estate.
  • Re Chilcot (2007) advising claimant in substantial fraud claim arising out of the conviction of members of a firm of Jersey accountants.
  • Numerous probate and family provision claims.
  • Advising and appearing in numerous trust applications offshore and onshore: for trustee directions; under Variations of Trusts Act (and under the Cayman and Jersey equivalents); and in applications to set aside or vary trusts and other documents in rectification; for mistake or under the principle in Re Hastings Bass. (for example, Burrell v Burrell [2005] BTC 8011).
  • Advice and litigation on multi-jurisdictional estates (most not in the public domain but, by way of example, Dellar v Zivy [2008] WTLR 17 - conflicts of law arising on death of French testator with English will where proceedings had been commenced in France.)


  • Re Nortel Networks Canada (2014) Acting as expert witness in the Canadian courts on UK law of pensions and construction of contracts. Instructed on behalf of the court-appointed "monitor" of Nortel Networks Canada, the Nortel group holding company.
  • IBM United Kingdom Holdings Limited v Dalgleish [2014] EWHC 980 Acting for IBM in the lengthy Imperial duty proceedings relating to the closure of the IBM defined benefit schemes.
  • Acting for BT in the litigation relating to the scope of the Crown guarantee and related issues BT Pensions Scheme Trustees Ltd v BT plc [2011] EWHC 3388, [2011] EWHC 2071, and [2010] EWHC 2642 (also at [2010] Pens LR 487)
  • Acting for BT on the pensions aspects of the state aid proceedings and appearing in the European court in European Commission v BT [2013] Pens LR 359 and in the appeal.
  • Advising a group of ports in the PNPF litigation (2010).
  • Re X [2010] - acting for the senior partner in a firm of actuaries in relation to disciplinary proceedings brought by the faculty against him following a referral by the Pensions Regulator.
  • Alexander Forbes v Jackson [2005] PLR 33 – the T&N litigation: pension scheme trustees' application for directions arising out of the multi-jurisdictional (and multi-billion dollar) insolvency of the Federal Mogul group as a result of US asbestos claims. Also acted as pensions junior in parts of the related insolvency proceedings.
  • Extensive advice acting for and against scheme administrators, actuaries and other advisers in claims relating to pension schemes, fund investment and actuarial practice

Offshore structures

  • See Gorbunova v Berezovsky, Trilogy, Faircliff, Stow and Chilcot cases under trusts and estates above.
  • Numerous cases advising Jersey advocates in relation to issues arising in Jersey litigation and administration of trusts.
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman (2011) - Acting for the husband on the trust issues in this well-known case.
  • MT v OT [2008] 2 FLR 1311 - acted as joint expert in this important case on the structuring of orders made under schedule 1 of the Children Act where offshore domiciled parties or offshore money are involved.
  • Advice on extracting money from and protecting assets in offshore structures (eg in the matrimonial context, acting for the wife in F v F [2007] EWHC 3050 - the "flying carpet" case).

Art (many cases not in the public domain)

  • Thwaytes v Sothebys (2014) acting for the Claimant vendor in this case relating to the sale of a painting which was sold by Sothebys as a copy but subsequently attributed to Caravaggio.
    Henry was praised in the judgment for "the exemplary way in which this fascinating case was presented at trial".
  • Avrora Fine Art Investment Limited v Christie Manson and Woods [2012] PNLR 35 (and [2012] EWHC 106 on another point) - successfully suing Christies under its limited warranty, establishing that attribution of the painting was incorrect. Leading case on auctioneers' negligence.
  • Spencer v S Franses Ltd [2011] EWHC 1269 - acting for leading dealer in this action arising out of the purchase and consignment of an important mediaeval embroidery. Leading case on liens.
  • Re Coronation of the Virgin - acting for the Courtauld Gallery in successfully resisting a claim brought before the Spoliation Advisory Panel for restitution of a Rubens sold in Berlin in 1934. Believed to be the first oral hearing before the panel (2010).
  • Various claims for and against dealers and auction houses, including issues relating to attribution, title and spoliation.
  • Various contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the ownership and partition of collections (including the litigation relating to the estate of Francis Bacon).

Some other interesting relatively recent reported cases:

  • Government of Canada v Hertel [2010] EWHC 2305 (Divisional Court) - acting for defendant successfully resisting extradition for alleged tax evasion (one of the very few cases in which the English courts have refused extradition to Canada)
  • Re: Horley Town Football Club [2006] WTLR 1817 - leading case on unincorporated associations.

Publications and Lecturing

Henry's publications include:

  • Pension Schemes in Company Directors: Duties, Liabilities and Remedies (edited by Simon Mortimore QC), Oxford University Press.
  • Subrogation (Law and Practice) by Professor Charles Mitchell and Stephen Watterson (consultant editor), Oxford University Press.
  • 'Jointly-owned chattels - how to sell them and how to value them for tax', Christies Bulletin, 2001. This article was written as a form of memorandum for the Inland Revenue forum on the taxation of jointly-owned chattels and ultimately contributed to Revenue policy.

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.