Contentious Trusts Handbook, 1st Ed, Published

I am delighted to announce the publication of my seventh book, the ‘Contentious Trusts Handbook’, 1st edition, published by the Law Society.

The details of the book are set out below, along with the Foreword, which was written by Toby Graham of Farrer & Co in London.

My article ‘Judicial-ENE and the New Normal’ (see the Abstract at the foot of this post) has also been accepted for publication by Trusts & Trustees in the forthcoming Issue 9. Trusts & Trustees (Oxford University Press) is a rigorous peer-reviewed journal, which is sold and distributed worldwide.

Book details:


400 pages (including 20 precedents on disc).

Ordering Links:

Law Society Bookshop:

Wildy & Sons Ltd:

Price: £100.

For more information about the book please visit:

I would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions:

• Toby Graham, Head of Farrer & Co’s contentious trusts and estates group, who wrote the Foreword (see below).;

• Pandora Mather-Lees, who is a distinguished Art Historian and contributed a practice note about duties of trustees in relation to art and cultural heritage assets:;

• Hector Robinson QC, who is a partner in the international offshore law firm Mourant, and is Head of the Cayman Islands Practice Group for International Trust and Private Client Litigation, who contributed a practice note about trust litigation in the Cayman Islands.; and

• Anthony Trace QC, 4 Pump Court, Temple, England, who won ‘Mediator of the Year’ in the Innovation & Excellence Awards 2019, who contributed a practice note about mediation in trust and estate disputes.


Sir John Baker explains that the publication in 1837 of “A Practical Treatise on the Law of Trusts” authored by Thomas Lewin signified a shift away from perceiving trusts as principally an adjunct of conveyancing of land towards an institution in their own right. Trusteeship shifted from being a relatively passive office ancillary to landed settlements towards a more general and demanding role. Trusts ceased to be the exclusive preserve of the aristocracy also becoming a vehicle for the wealth of Victorian England’s middle classes. The book is now known as Lewin on Trusts. It continues to dominate the English texts.   

Similar observations might be made of the Contentious Trusts Handbook commissioned by the Law Society and written by Carl Islam (who like Thomas Lewin is a leading barrister practicing in the field). This is because its publication reflects the unfortunate fact that the risk of trustees becoming involved in court proceedings appears to be on the increase. Such proceedings are increasingly hostile and hard fought. This handbook provides the busy practitioner with a practical overview of themes that are commonly encountered.  It will guide them through every stage of proceedings, from pre-action protocols through discovery to settlement and trial. It contains a detailed discussion of mediation and arbitration and it is accompanied by a set of useful precedents and contributions from an art expert (Pandora Mather-Lees), an expert in trust litigation in the Cayman Islands (Hector Robinson QC) and a mediator (Anthony Trace QC).

The handbook will enable practitioners to anticipate and head off problems, thus hopefully reducing the risk of litigation, as well as providing guidance if and when proceedings are necessary. As with its non contentious cousin, authored by Gill Steel, Mr Islam’s handbook will become a well established staple on our bookshelves. The author and the publishers are to be congratulated.  

Toby Graham

Partner and Head of the Contentious Trusts and Estates Group at Farrer & Co LLP

Co-editor of Trust & Trustees (Oxford University Press)

11 Januaury 2020

‘Judicial-ENE and the ‘New Normal’

  • The new normal.
  • Rationale.
  • Benefits.
  • Claims involving minors and unborn beneficiaries.
  • Powers of the court.
  • Procedure.
  • Conduct and ethics.
  • Costs.
  • FDR.
  • Conclusion.

[Abstract: The author’s premise is that JENE is the new normal. He discusses: the rationale; jurisdiction and powers of the court to order JENE; its benefits; and the procedure. He concludes that, except where a claim involves the interests of minors and unborn beneficiaries, use of this case-management tool is likely to become increasingly routine at the first case-management conference where for example, one party has proposed JENE, and another has refused consent because he prefers mediation. Whereas mediation requires consent, JENE does not, and the court has the power at the first CMC to order a stay during which the parties must:

(i)        take stock; and

(ii)       each carry out a reality-check,

before substantial costs are incurred in preparing for trial. Therefore, in an appropriate case, where a binary outcome on liability can open the door to settlement in relation to quantum, relief, and costs, JENE should be considered].