Alumni lecture: 'Trusts Law: Revision and Exam Technique'

26 April 2017, 12.00 PM - 26 April 2017, 1.00 PM

Mark Baxter

Priory Road Lecture Theatre

Mark Baxter is barrister specialising in traditional chancery work, especially contentious trusts, probate, and family provision, and the Court of Protection. Mark practices from the Chambers of Henry Harrod, 5 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn. Mark studied at the University of Bristol from 2002 to 2005 and obtained a first-class degree. While at Bristol, Mark won the Herbert Smith Third Year Mooting Competition, and represented Bristol in the ESU-Essex Court Inter-Varsity Moot Competition. He also won an external essay competition, the Maitland Essay Prize, run by Maitland Chambers.

After graduating, Mark attended BPP Law School in London to study for the Bar Vocational Course (as it was then known). In advance of commencing the BVC, Mark joined Lincoln’s Inn and was awarded a Hardwicke Scholarship and Lord Denning Scholarship, as well as an Accommodation Award, allowing him to live in Lincoln’s Inn while he studied. Mark was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in July 2006. Shortly before commencing Pupillage in October 2006, Lincoln’s Inn awarded Mark a Sunley Scholarship. Mark undertook his pupillage in his present chambers, and was taken on as a tenant at its successful completion in October 2007.

Since becoming a tenant, Mark’s practice has increasing focused on contentious work regarding disputes as to the estates of the deceased (in the Chancery Division of the High Court and in the specialist County Courts) and the estates of the living but mentally incapable (in the Court of Protection).

Notable recent cases include Swetenham v Walkley [2014] WTLR 845, where Mark successfully argued that the Deceased lived in the same household as the Claimant as her husband notwithstanding that he owned and often slept at his own separate house, Randall v Randall [2014] EWHC 3134 (Ch), where Mark successfully argued that the Claimant’s right under a consent order in matrimonial proceedings to share in his ex-wife’s inheritance from her mother was not a sufficient interest in the mother’s estate to give standing to challenge her Will, and Henein v Laffa (unreported), where Mark successfully proved a Will made two days before the Deceased’s death from terminal cancer, under which her husband was excluded entirely (having been the sole beneficiary of the previous Will) in favour of her son (who was present when instructions were given and the Will was executed), and established that the beneficial joint tenancy of the matrimonial home had been severed by notice around the same time. In May this year, Mark is due to appear in the Court of Appeal to respond to an appeal in Randall v Randall, in what will become the leading case on standing to bring contentious probate claims.

Mark also advises on the administration of trusts and estates, including the capital tax aspects, and associated professional negligence. In 2009, Mark co-authored (with Penelope Reed QC and Martin Frost) Risk and Negligence in Wills, Estates, and Trusts, which looked at the liability of solicitors and others engaged in similar fields, such as will draftsmen, trustees, personal representatives, and advisors, to the administrators and beneficiaries of wills, estates, and trusts, as well as how to minimise the associated risks and deal with things going wrong. A second edition was published in 2014.

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