Luke Barnes

Call: 1996



Luke is ranked by The Legal 500 UK 2020 as a Leading Junior in the field of Private client: trusts and probate. He is described as extremely knowledgeable.

Luke's practice encompasses competing property interests, the subtle issues surrounding trusts of land, proprietary estoppel, capacity and undue influence, as well as financial provision for spouses, cohabitants, dependants and children – often in the shadow of separation, divorce, bankruptcy or death. Experienced in civil and family litigation and equally at home providing persuasive advocacy or carefully reasoned advice, he frequently gives seminars and contributes articles to legal publications.

Luke is qualified to accept instructions under the Bar Council Public Access scheme.

Luke offers private TOLATA FDRs in family property disputes, both before and after the issue of proceedings. His service includes private Interveners’ FDRs  in the context of family financial remedy proceedings and private (Children Act 1989) Schedule 1 FDRs.



Reported Cases

Springall v Paice E01CL668  Widely reported in the regional and national press in 2019

Complex cohabitants’ property dispute involving the family home and three development properties. Total value over £3m.

Griffiths v Cork [2009] WTLR 955 (Ch)

Capacity to execute disposition of beneficial interest – burden of proof where disponor suffering from mental illness

Babar v Anis [2005] 3 FCR 216 (Ch)

Promissory estoppel as a defence to possession proceedings brought by former 'husband' against former 'wife' following decree of nullity (case cited in Snell's Equity 32nd Ed at 12-015)

Waters Associates International Ltd v Hanover Search & Select Ltd [2004] CLY 664

Contract – dispute between recruitment consultancies over payment of commission

Sam Yorke v Ali Jawad [2003] CLY 2717

Landlord & Tenant – possession claim, disrepair, breach of quiet enjoyment by threatening tenant's wife




“TOLATA update: inference, detriment and illegality” (Article published in Family law Magazine)

"Stack .v. Dowden - the principles in practice" - 2007

(referred to in Williamson .v. Sheikh [2008] EWCA 990

'Defining Detriment' -2009

'Context is Everything' - 2009'

Shouldn't this Joint Tenancy be Severed?' - 2011

Undue Influence in the Family - 01/02/2014


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M.A. Classics (New College, Oxford)

M.A. Law (City University)



Property Bar Association,

Family Law Bar Association,

Franco-British Lawyers' Society,

Lawyers for Liberty


Areas of Practice

Real property and trusts of land

Co-ownership, cohabitants' and family property disputes

Resulting and constructive trusts, proprietary estoppel

Undue influence, capacity

Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Court of Protection

Financial remedies on divorce, especially involving interveners

Financial provision for children



Fluent French

Some Arabic


Outside Interests

Family life, skiing, riverside walks / cycle rides, travel in France

All our barristers have formidable legal skills – which they complement with being approachable and friendly. Our team’s legal strengths, diverse backgrounds and healthy gender balance combine to offer services appreciated by our many different clients.

Barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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