Call: 1983

Silk: 2009

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For practice areas see below

'remarkably bright, and has an extraordinary breadth of expertise'

'utterly reliable, quick, efficient and supremely client-friendly. A first choice.'

'excellent with difficult cases and has a knack for dealing with difficult
opponents in a calm yet persuasive manner. She is attractively modest in her style.'

'an impressive advocate,'

'very good at keeping the best interests of the party she’s representing in mind'

Chambers UK 2014

'hugely intelligent'

Legal 500 2013


"She is extremely good in terms of her advocacy. She has a hands-on, can-do attitude."

Chambers UK 2013


Greatly praised for her mastery of contentious probate, trusts and capital tax matters.

Peers find her a "redoubtable foe", while clients and solicitors are charmed by her "easy manner, extraordinary breadth of expertise and modesty in presentation".

A "commanding presence" in camera who "pushes very fervently for her client".

Chambers UK 2012

“a tenacious advocate and a real fighter.”

“completely unflappable” “possesses a breadth of comprehension of the law which is truly rare”

“generally excellent”.

“really tackles the most complex problem with great ease and never pontificates”

Chambers UK



Penelope Reed QC has a wide Chancery practice with a special emphasis on:

  • trusts
  • wills
  • contentious probate
  • family provision claims
  • tax

Penelope acts frequently in big money divorce cases involving property and trusts and in trust cases in Hong Kong. She has recently been involved in representing trustees in an application for directions as to the sale of a principal trust asset.

She is a Civil Recorder and Deputy High Court judge.


Professional Reputation

Penelope is recommended for her trusts, estates and personal tax work, and for her work in the Court of Protection in the current editions of The Legal 500, Chambers UK, and Legal Experts.


Notable Cases


Wills and Probate:


  • Loring v Woodland Trust [2014] EWCA Civ 1314; [2014] S.T.I. 3239
  • Simon v Byford [2014] EWCA Civ 280; [2014] WTLR 1097
  • Ilott v Mitson [2014] EWHC 542(Fam) - (appeal on quantum)
  • Berger v Berger [2014] WTLR 35 - (extending time for Inheritance Act Claims)
  • Loring v Woodland Trust -[2013] EWHC 440 (Ch) - (will construction)
  • Re Christou Deceased [2014] EWHC 79 (Ch) - (will forgery and want of knowledge and approval)
  • Burgess v Hawes [2013] WTLR 453 - (capacity and want of knowledge and approval)
  • Green v Astor [2013] WTLR 1489 - (application for directions by administrator and costs)
  • C v D [2012] EWHC 3214 (Ch) - (admissibility of previous conviction in evidence in a probate claim)
  • Perrins v Holland [2010] EWCA Civ 840 (the Court of Appeal held that the principles in Parker v Felgate (1883) L.R. 8 P.D. 171 in relation to testamentary capacity were still good law.)
  • RSPCA v Sharp [2010] WTLR 855, [2010] EWHC 268 (Ch) (the Court of Appeal held that the correct construction of a will was that an amount of money up to the level of the nil-rate band and a property were to pass to named beneficiaries without any Inheritance  Tax being paid on those gifts. The tax was to be borne by the residuary estate, which had been given to the applicant charity.)
  • Man v Blackman [2008] WTLR 389 (testamentary capacity)
  • Re Harding [2007] EWHC 3 (Ch) (construction of a Will)
  • Re Cunliffe [2006] Ch 361 (CA) (family provision claim by the widow of a short marriage)
  • Allardyce v Roebuck [2004] WTLR 779 (testamentary options)
  • Jones v Jones [2006] WTLR 1847 (execution and delivery of a deed/validity of a will)
  • Nathan v Leonard [2003] 1 WLR 827 (forfeiture clauses in wills)




  • Cotton v Earl of Cardigan [2014] EWCA Civ 1312
  • Brudenell-Bruce v Moore and Cotton [2012] WTLR 931 – acted for the trustees of the Savernake estate in their dispute with the Earl of Cardigan concerning the ownership of paintings and the self-dealing rule
  • Jiggens v Low [2010] EWHC 1566 (the High Court held that a deed of appointment made under a discretionary power by trustees of a settlement was void under the rule in Re Hastings Bass [1975] Ch.25 as the trustees had not intended to make an absolute disposal of capital to the defendant beneficiaries, which would have adverse tax consequences.)
  • Alkin v Raymond (two trustees were removed where they had sanctioned the payment of an invoice to a company owned by one of them, but the invoice was not a properly drawn bill for money due to the company.)
  • Hughes v Hughes [2007] EWHC 3133 (constructive trusts)
  • Price v Williams-Wynn [2006] WTLR 1633 (rectification/excess exercise of powers)
  • Hitch v Stone [2001] STC 214 (CA) (tax avoidance and sham)


Proprietary Estoppel:


  • Suggitt v Suggitt [2012] WTLR 931 [2012] EWCA Civ 1140
  • Thorner v Curtis [2009] 1 WLR 776 (HL)
  • Uglow v Uglow [2004] WTLR 1183 (CA)


Court of Protection

  • Re M [2013] WTLR 681




  • Lloyds Bank v Crowborough [2013] EWCA Civ 107 (rectification of Tomlin Order)


Undue Influence:


  • Drew v Daniel [2005] WTLR 807(CA) (actual undue influence)
  • Jennings v Cairns [2004] WTLR 361 (presumed undue influence)
  • Wright v Hodgkinson [2005] WTLR 435 (presumed undue influence)
  • Goodchild v Bradbury [2007] WTLR 463 (presumed undue influence)



Penelope is an accredited mediator, trained through ADR Chambers


Professional Memberships

Penelope is a member of STEP, ACTAPS and the Chancery Bar Association.


Publications and Lecturing

Penelope has published widely and is:

  • co-author of Risk and Negligence in Wills, Estates and Trusts (published OUP)
  • co-author of a Practical Guide to the Trustee Act 2000 (published by Jordans)
  • co-author of the second edition of With the Best will in the World (negligence in the preparation of wills) (published by Legalease)
  • author of the annotated Trusts and Estates Law Handbook (3rd edition) (published by Bloomsbury Professional)
  • contributor to Butterworths' Forms and Precedents (Wills and Trusts)
  • contributor to A Practical Approach to Joint Property (published by Bloomsbury Professional)
  • co-author of Inheritance Act Claims (published by the Law Society)

Penelope lectures widely in the fields of trusts and estates.



King’s College, London, Inns of Court School of Law