Robert Ham QC

Queen's Counsel  |  Wilberforce Chambers


Tax and estate planning
Challenges to trustee decisions
Breach of trust


What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

A common theme running through a number of cases this year has been attacks on proceedings on the basis that they are an abuse of process. I’ve also had a long drawn-out saga in the Bahamas with many procedural complications, which is why I was there on the 19th March 2020 and I was fearful I would never get home!

How did you get into private client?

I told my tutor at Oxford that I wanted to go to Bar. At the time, I did not know there was anything but chancery. My tutor introduced me to a former pupil Michael Patrick Nolan, Baron Nolan, PC, DL, who gave me a number of promising juniors. I ended up going to Donald Ratty who did trust work. The term private client had not been invented at that stage and there was a lot of work in that field when I was starting.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Stick to it for a career that will be rewarding in more senses than one.

What is your favourite quote?

"I was reading a book the other day."
"Reading a book!"
"Yes. It's all about civilization or something, a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?"
"Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about."
Conversation between Marie Dressler and Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight (1933).

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Eating, drinking and watching rugby.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Scott’s, London.