Our working arrangements and important information during the Covid-19 pandemic

Following Government guidance, members of chambers, clerks and staff are now working remotely. During this period clerks and staff will be available by email, on their direct dial and mobile numbers. Our switchboard will also be in operation during chambers working hours (Monday-Friday, 08.30-18.30).

Paul Bunting
(Senior Clerk)

Paul.Bunting@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9502

07971 843023

Darren Madle
(Senior Clerk)

Darren.Madle@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9504

07769 714399

Oliver Ventura
(First Junior Clerk)

Oliver.Ventura@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9505

07845 079675

Aron Hanks
(Second Junior Clerk)

Aron.Hanks@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9506

07508 032811

Brandy Forrester
(Fees Manager)

Brandy.Forrester@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9507

07702 496628

Charlotte Crane
(Marketing Manager)

Charlotte.Crane@selbornechambers.co.uk

020 7420 9501

07585 445470

Please note that as we are working remotely we will not be able to accept deliveries to chambers, therefore please speak to one of the clerks who will be able to provide an alternative address or solution to this.

For more information please see our response to Covid-19.

Francis Ng

Call: 2013

Francis is a chancery practitioner with interests in the law of trusts, probate, tax, property, and insolvency. He has experience as sole counsel in the County Court and High Court, as well as in the First-Tier Tribunal tax and residential property chambers. He is also available to attend mediations.

Francis has a particular focus in private client work. He is a full member of STEP, a former consultant for the private client department at McDermott Will and Emery UK LLP, and taught trusts law to undergraduates for five years at UCL and Oxford (latterly as a lecturer at St Catherine’s College, Oxford).

Prior to joining chambers, Francis developed his advocacy skills working in HMRC’s insolvency technical team, appearing in bankruptcy petitions and other insolvency-related applications. He also spent three months seconded as the Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice
Arden (as she then was) in the Court of Appeal.

  • Trusts, Probate and Estates

    Contentious and Non-Contentious Probate
    Francis frequently represents parties in probate disputes. Recent matters have included trustee and executor removal, claims for accounts, disputes over will validity, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Cases of note include:

    • Re Cadogan [2019] EWHC 1577 (Ch) – a 3-day trial of a claim and counterclaim for accounts on a footing of wilful default between former administrators of an estate
    • Clarke v Allen and Smith [2019] EWHC 1193 (Ch) and [2019] EWHC 1994 (Ch)– a 3-day trial of claims to rescind a transfer for equitable mistake and for provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
    • Thornton v Woodhouse [2017] All ER (D) 114 (Apr), [2017] EWHC 769 (Ch) (as junior counsel) – a 12-day probate trial in the High Court raising issues of knowledge and approval, probate undue influence, and executor-removal.

    Francis’ advisory work has included the consequences of a testamentary gift to a non-existent NHS trust (raising issues of interpretation, rectification, cy-près, and the interaction of the doctrine of lapse with the legislation relating to foundation NHS trusts); claims under the 1975 Act; the content and timing of estate accounts; the validity of variations for IHT and CGT purposes; and the effect of grants of probate for the use and benefit of a minor.

    Contentious and Non-Contentious Trusts
    Francis advises and represents parties in respect of various issues arising in trusts law. Recent matters have included disputes over the validity of trusts, dispositions of subsisting equitable interests, Public Trustee v Cooper applications, applications under TOLATA, trustee removal and replacement in and out of court, variations of trust, the duty to account, the proper allocation of income and capital to trust expenditure, and the proper interpretation of trusts deeds. He also advises on the tax treatment of trustees and beneficiaries and proposed dispositions of equitable interests.

    Equitable Principles and Remedies
    Francis has advised and represented parties in relation to a range of equitable remedies including subrogation; resulting and constructive trusts; promissory estoppel; rescission for mistake, undue influence, and under the rule in re Hastings-Bass; proprietary estoppel; knowing receipt, and tracing.

    Recent cases include:

    • Clarke v Allen and Smith [2019] EWHC 1993 (Ch), in which Francis acted for the successful claimant in rescinding the voluntary transfer by the deceased of the £1.38m matrimonial home for mistake.
    • Quay 430 Management Ltd v Li (FtT (PC) LON/00BG/LBC/2017/0014) in which Francis successfully argued that no declaration under s 168 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 should be made in respect of breaches of covenant which were unactionable by reason of a promissory estoppel
  • Tax

    Francis completed his pupillage at a leading tax chambers and maintains an advisory and advocacy practice in those areas of taxation affecting his private client work. Recent cases include Yechiel v HMRC [2018] All ER (D) 30 (Dec), [2018] UKFTT 683 (TC), a case raising issues of main residence relief against capital gains tax, enhancement expenditure, and penalties for inaccurate returns.

    Francis’ recent advisory work has covered the capital gains tax treatment of trusts and dispositions of equitable interests; the pre-owned assets tax and the gifts with reservation of benefit provisions; agricultural and business property reliefs; the application of the benefit-inkind rules to non-resident shadow directors; and the authorised surplus payments charge on pension trusts.

  • Insolvency

    Francis regularly appears in bankruptcy and winding-up petitions. From his time with HMRC, he has particular experience in petitions raised by revenue authorities. Francis has also represented the National Crime Agency in numerous tax-related bankruptcy petitions.
    Francis also acts and advises on insolvency-related applications. Recent cases have included applications for rescission; validation orders; claims under s 423 Insolvency Act 1986; and claims against directors for misfeasance under s 212 Insolvency Act 1986.

  • Real Property

    Francis is interested in all areas of real property, having taught the subject as a Teaching Fellow at UCL. He has acted in relation to boundary disputes, adverse possession, and disputes over rights of access and rights to light. He recently appeared in Bhardwaj v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2017] EWHC 340 (Ch), in which he advanced an argument that s 2 Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 rendered void a secured loan facility where the contract would have been void but-for an implied term. The judgment described Francis as having ‘presented it with great skill which I would like to acknowledge.’

  • Landlord and Tenant

    Francis has appeared for and advised landlords and tenants in a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious matters. His experience covers assured and assured shorthold tenancies, secure tenancies, Rent Act 1977 protected tenancies, business and personal retail mortgages, Consumer Credit Act 1974 regulated mortgages, business tenancy renewal, and forfeiture of residential and business leases.

    He has acted in cases raising various unusual issues in this area. These include Mussani v Brisset (2015 QB unrep) on whether a district judge purporting to set aside a High Court writ of possession was within the doctrine of de facto jurisdiction; Walcott v Jones [2018] L&TR  11 on whether the rules in the Deregulation Act 2015 apply to contractual periodic tenancies originally established prior to 2015, and Quay 430 Management Ltd v Li (FtT (PC) LON/00BG/LBC/2017/0013 and 0014) on whether the FtT (PC) has jurisdiction to make a declaration of breach where an action for breach would have been time-barred or subject to a promissory estoppel.

    Francis has also appeared in enfranchisement actions in the County Court and First-tier Tribunal. His cases have included Gregorio v Stacey (FtT (PC) LON/00AF/OCE/2015/0317), a two-day trial in which he successfully argued that one of two joint tenants could not unilaterally serve a valid notice under s 166 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

     

  • Notable Cases

    Probate

    Re Cadogan [2019] EWHC 1577 (Ch) – 3-day trial of a claim and counterclaim for accounts on a footing of wilful default between former administrators of an estate

    Clarke v Allen and Smith [2019] EWHC 1193 (Ch) and [2019] EWHC 1994 (Ch) – 3-day trial of claims to rescind a transfer for equitable mistake and for provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

    Thornton v Woodhouse [2017] All ER (D) 114 (Apr), [2017] EWHC 769 (Ch) (as junior counsel) – 12-day probate trial in the High Court raising issues of knowledge and approval, probate undue influence, and executor-removal.

    Property

    Bhardwaj v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2017] EWHC 340 (Ch) (as junior counsel) –appeal concerning the validity of an agreement to enter into loan facilities secured on residential property. Francis argued that the agreements were void for uncertainty due to lack of a repayment date and that no date could be implied because the contract would then not be ‘made in writing’ within the meaning of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.

    Tax

    Yechiel v HMRC [2018] All ER (D) 30 (Dec), [2018] UKFTT 683 (TC), a case raising issues of main residence relief against capital gains tax, enhancement expenditure, and penalties for inaccurate returns

    Insolvency

    National Crime Agency v Lynch (ChD, unrep 2016) – case concerning whether the National Crime Agency could forfeit criminal property and later present a bankruptcy petition in respect of tax on the income represented by that property.

    Landlord and Tenant

    Walcott v Jones [2018] L&TR 11 – case concerning whether a contractual periodic tenancy starting in 2007 could nevertheless come within the new rules relating to s 21 notices introduced under the Deregulation Act 2015.

    Quay 420 Freehold Ltd v Li (FtT (PC), LON/00BG/LBC/2017/0013 & 0014) – trial of an application for declarations of breach under s 168 CLRA 2002, raising legal issues over the interaction of that provision with the Limitation Act 1980 and the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

    Gregorio v Stacey (FtT (PC), LON/00AF/OCE/2015/0317) –  two-day enfranchisement trial involving expert valuation evidence, and numerous legal issues including whether a single joint tenant could unilaterally serve a valid notice under s.166 CLRA 2002.

  • Publications

    ‘“Common intention” constructive trusts arising from informal agreements to dispose of land’ [2017] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 146 (with Toby Boncey).

    ‘Property Realised after Completion of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement’ (2016) 29(6) Insolvency Intelligence 92 (with Simon Jones).

    ‘Case Comment: re St Andrew’s (Cheam) Lawn Tennis Club Trust’ [2014] Trusts and Trustees 287 (with Toby Boncey).

    ‘The rule in Hastings-Bass, Mistake, and Tax Avoidance: Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter’ [2013] British Tax Review 566.

    ‘HMRC’s Relationship with Business’ (2013) (a report produced by the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation (with Prof Judith Freedman and Dr John Vella)).

     

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