Portrait of Christopher Wagstaffe KC

Christopher Wagstaffe KC

Year of Call 1992 Silk 2011

Professional Practice

Christopher has been described as “the go-to silk for financial cases with trust elements.” He has appeared in many of the leading cases in this area, such as Charalambous v Charalambous, Ben Hashem v Shayif, A v A & St George Trustees and Prest v Petrodel. He has spoken on this subject, and on wider issues concerning assets held in the names of third parties nationally and internationally, and has written or co-written numerous publications on the topic. His non-contentious work substantially comprises providing trustees with advice on adopting policies to avoid becoming embroiled in matrimonial litigation, including the use of pre- and post-nuptial agreements. More generally, Christopher is often instructed in high net worth cases with international elements and/or complex asset holding structures, in particular where valuation, disclosure or enforcement issues are to the fore or where pre-post nuptial agreements are featured. He frequently receives instructions from related overseas jurisdictions including Hong Kong and the Caribbean in relation to both English and overseas proceedings and has appeared in the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man on a number of occasions. Christopher also has particular knowledge and experience of cohabitation cases and related Schedule 1 issues. He appeared in a number of important Court of Appeal cases in this field such as Oxley v Hiscock and Prazic v Prazic. Christopher accepts instructions to act as a private FDR judge both in England.
  • Recommendations

    "He is good at unravelling trust issues in complex matrimonial cases." "Christopher is clear, precise, responsive, and good at explaining issues to clients." "He holds the client at the centre of cases and focuses on what they need."
    Chambers and Partner 2021
    "A shrewd tactician and a force to be reckoned with in court."
    Legal 500 2022
    "Incredibly skilled advocate with a great courtroom presence." "Technically astute and excellent at dealing with complex matters."
    Chambers & Partners 2021
    "Excellent client skills - makes impenetrable legal constructs accessible and understandable."
    Legal 500 2021
    ‘Is an accomplished and charismatic advocate who has an easy rapport with clients.’
    Legal 500 (2020)
    'His oral advocacy is thoughtful yet robust and firm, and he is highly intelligent.’
    Legal 500 2016
    "Highly intelligent and an absolute expert in his field when handling very high net worth trust work and company issues. He is down to earth, which endears him to the clients. He gives clients full advice, and is a calm and considered advocate whose written work is incredibly detailed.”
    Chambers & Partners 2016
    The go-to silk for financial cases with trust elements, and the king of detail
    The Legal 500
    Involved in numerous international financial disputes pertaining to complex trust and offshore asset holdings. Expertise: "Christopher is extremely approachable and good to work with. His client care skills are second to none and I have never had anything less than an excellent experience with him and glowing feedback from clients." "The go-to person for company and trust aspects."
    Chambers & Partners 2015
    ‘Has the rare gift of being able to explain staggeringly complex issues with clarity.'
    Legal 500 2015
  • Notable Cases

    • Giggs v Giggs
      [2017] EWHC 822
    • Chai v Peng & Others
      [2017] EWHC 792
    • Seagrove v Sullivan
      [2015] 2 FLR 602
    • Gohil v Gohil
      [2014] EWCA Civ 274
    • Shield v Shield
      [2014] EWHC 23 (Fam)
    • Shield v Shield
      [2013] EWHC 3525 (Fam)
    • SK v TK
      [2013] EWHC 834 (Fam)
    • M v M & Others
      [2013] EWHC 2534 (Fam)
    • Hamilton v Hamilton
      [2013] EWCA Civ 13
    • Musa & Others v Holliday & Others
      [2012] EWCA Civ 1268
    • Prest v Prest & Petrodel Resources Ltd
      [2011] EWHC (Fam) 2956
    • D v D & M Ltd
      (21 September 2011) High Court of the Isle of Man
    • Vaughan v Vaughan
      [2010] EWCA Civ 349
    • B v R
      [2010] 1 FLR 563
    • Ben Hashem v Shayif
      [2008] EWHC 2380
    • A v A & St George Trustees Ltd
      [2007] 2 FLR 467
    • Prazic v Prazic
      [2006] EWCA Civ 497
    • Oxley v Hiscock
      [2005] Fam 211
    • Charalambous v Charalambous
      [2005] Fam 250
    • Ahmed v Gould
      [2005] EWCA Civ 1829
    • C v C (Variation of Post-Nuptial Settlement: Company Shares)
      [2003] 2 FLR 493
    • B v B (Financial Provision: Welfare of Child and Conduct)
      [2002] 1 FLR 555
    • Rampal v Rampal (No 2)
      [2001] 2 FLR 1179
    • Purba v Purba
      [2000] 1 FLR 444
  • Publications and Lecturing

    • Christopher is a co-author of Cohabitation and Trusts of Land (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edn published 2009).
    • He also contributed a section on dealing with trusts in ancillary relief proceedings to Peter Duckworth’s standard work Matrimonial Property and Finance.
    • He has provided evidence of English law for use in overseas proceedings, has written numerous articles for a range of professional journals (including Family Law, Family Affairs and Trusts and Trustees) and has lectured nationally and internationally to the profession and the judiciary on a range of issues relating to matrimonial finance.
  • Personal Information

    Married, with children. Occasional footballer/cricketer/golfer. Enthusiastic follower of Manchester City FC and the England Rugby team. Education: Glossop School, University of Essex.


  • FLBA
  • SE Circuit