Helene Pines Richman

Called: 1992

Practice Profile

Helene has specialised in private client, property law and related aspects of commercial law for over 25 years. She has been called “a formidable role model for women at the English Bar” (The Independent) and for many years was recommended as a leading Junior in the Legal 500. She is well-known as a tenacious advocate, a careful and analytical tinker, and a polished performer with a passion for her cases and a deep and wide knowledge of the law. She takes on a full range of matters up to large multi-million pound disputes – difficult cases involving considerable tactic, strategy and judgment, as well as technical expertise – often on the most urgent basis.


Her practice has encompassed all aspects of wills, trusts, administration of estates, inheritance act claim, proprietary estoppel claims, tax, Court of Protection, charities, divorce / ancillary relief, professional negligence, property and some aspects of commercial law. She is regularly briefed in matters before the judges in tribunals and of the Chancery Division and Family Division, and has argued countless appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court.



Wills and Probate – advising and drafting, construction, rectification, challenges to validity – formal validity, fraud, forgery, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, want of knowledge and approval, donation mortis causa, commorientes, forfeiture, foreign wills, international wills, domicile, substantial overseas elements, non-contentious practice, professional negligence in the above areas.


  • Moffat v Harber (2018) In Dartford County Court – acted for Claimant in will rectification claim. Deceased told the claimant before she died that she had left him the paddock where he stored his horses. Will failed to bequeath but nots of conferences mentioned paddock.
  • Re Doreen Dawne (Chancery Division) (2012) – challenge to will on grounds of forgery and/or undue influence in circumstances where testatrix who left entire estate to diocese of Westminster. Testatrix was a former well-known actress and beauty queen.


Trusts – settlements, constructive and resulting trusts, special trusts, protective trusts, trustees powers, duties and liabilities, protectors, removing / adding trustees, disclosure disputes, insolvent trusts, foreign / offshore trusts, trust taxation and trusts for disable and vulnerable persons.


  • Downes v Downes (2019) EWHC 491 (Ch) – trial of dispute between 2 brothers over ownership of 3 properties purchased over 40 years ago, and a valuable classic car: trusts, sham, and laches.
  • Acting for elderly mother, through litigation friend, LPA attorney (2019) against daughter for breach of trust as fiduciary and bare trustee where substantial sums were invested in sham financial schemes and lost.
  • Ancillary relief dispute in Family Division (2018). Helene was brought in as trust specialist in case of divorcing foreign couple with multiple residences, numerous UK and off-shore trusts, UK and worldwide assets and property.
  • Tax advice (2018) – acting for Estate concerning tax complications from unexpected death of young middle aged man, recent consent order in Ancillary relief, severance of several properties, liquidation or transfer of substantial family company shareholding’s, and other assets, attempting to reduce tax liability.


Administration of Estates – grants, Beddoes and Benjamin Orders, distribution, tax, claims by and against estates, insolvent estates, disputes between or against executors and trustees, and beneficiaries, proprietary estoppel.


  • Acting for executor/daughter (2019) concerning distribution of estate and whether series of substantial gifts were portions or not; effect of double portion rule, effect of LPA attorney making gifts without Court of Protection approval.
  • Harris v Le Feuvre (Ch Div) (2017) appeal of order for removal of executors.
  • Fernandes v Fernandes (2015) EWHC 814 – acted for administrator who successfully fought off Claimant to Estate property under a resulting trust, illegal activity potentially involved.


Inheritance Act claims – late claims, spouse / partner, ex spouse / partner, co-habitants, adult and young children.


  • Bohoquez and others (2019) acting for Islamic second wife not civilly married, as cohabitant under section 1 (1A), with two children also claiming.
  • Woodward (2019 – acting for adult daughter with mental health issues who was promised by her mother that she would inherit from her but was instead left a letter of wishes specifically disinheriting.
  • Acting for adult son (2019) who successfully brought claim under the Act seeking forgiveness of a loan and avoidance of repossession of his home purpose built for his disable son.
  • Jean Marie v Bernard (Principal Registry) – Claimant was married to someone else; Assets were outside country, enforcement difficult.
  • Doorey v King (Ch Div) (2015) – trial and appeal of claim by cohabitant under section 1 (1A).


Divorce and Ancillary Relief – particularly involving trusts disputes, property, pensions, company and partnership assets, UK and multi-jurisdiction.

Court of Protection – financial, residential, health care and personal welfare decisions, LPAs and EPAs, deputies, and Statutory wills.


  • In re Croft (2015) – statutory will
  • In re R (2015) – provision re adult with profound learning disability.
  • In re Gupta (2012) – statutory will, Indian Successions Laws.
  • In re Kenneth Hurst (2011) – order for removal of attorney and account.


Charities – information, administration, dealing with the Charity Commission, bequests to charities, disputes.



Real Property – options, conveyancing, land registration, restrictive covenants, easements, right of way, rights of light, other appurtenances and hereditaments, nuisance and trespass, boundary disputes and professional negligence.


Landlord and Tenant – residential, including enfranchisement and lease extensions, service charges, forteiture and determination of leases, and tenancies.

Co Ownership – trusts of land, beneficial interests, equitable accounting, occupation rent, proprietary estoppel, Pallant and Morgan equity.

Planning, local and national schemes, regeneration, 106 conditions, community infrastructure levy, Assets of Community Value, and local government law.

Riparian rights, Water rights, harbours, foreshore and seashore.



Personal insolvency, including bankruptcy, mortgages, charges and securities, insurance, financial products, partnerships, joint ventures, and closely held companies.


  • Qureshi v Qureshi (2016) (Ch Div) long running dispute between 4 brothers over partnership and trust assets and breaches.
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)


Helene regularly presents half and full day seminars for MBL, and other law course providers. She is also on the Lexis Nexis Private Panel, continues to write for law journals and has appeared on BBC and Radio 4 on legal issues.

  • McCabe v McCabe – Standard for Proving Testamentary Capacity; the Golden Rule (LexisNexis) July 2015
  • Instructing Counsel – for Litigants in Person (LIPS article) Atkins Court Forms 2014
  • Atkins Court Forms, Practice and Forms, MORTGAGES (2003)
  • Atkins Court Forms, Practice and Forms, PARTNERSHIPS (1999)
  • Chancery Practice and Procedure (Jordans) – Inheritance Act Chapter
  • Butterworths Older Client Law Service (contributing editor in financial areas)
  • “Advising on Trusts for Disabled Persons” Trust Quarterly Review Vol 6 Issue 4 November 2008
  • “Beware of CRAG (Estate planning and charging for residential accommodation guide) – Breakdown of Complex Rules” Law Society’s PS Journal (Probate) March 2008.
  • “Assessing Mental Capacity: a Legal Perspective” Law Society’s PS Journal (Probate Section) Special Issue on the new Mental Capacity Act February 2007.
  • “Undue Influence: Legal Requirements for a Successful Claim” Law Society’s PS Journal (Probate Section) November 2006.
  • “Miller v Miller and claims under the Inheritance Act” (2 part article) Law Society’s PS Journal (Probate Section) September and October 2006.
  • “Constructive Trusts” Trusts and Estates Law Journal May 2004
  • Steady Eddy” Property in Practice, June 2008 (The limited rights of the public in privately owned foreshore are set to change with the new enactment of the Marine Bill)
  • “Legal Developments – Etridge Mortgage Cases” Legal Week 1st November 2001.
  • “The Etridge Mortgage Cases: A Review ” The New Law Journal 19th October 2001.
  • “Using the Human Rights Act to save the Family Home” The New Law Journal 21st July 2000.

This set comes recommended for its members' expertise in children and matrimonial finance matters. The children cases range across both public and private law work, and include those concerning non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and fabricated illness. On the financial side, the set's barristers demonstrate the ability to act in substantial financial remedies cases as well as Schedule 1 and TOLATA matters.

~ Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

Stour Chambers has 'a range of barristers at different levels suited for different cases'. Members continue to be instructed in complex multi-day cases in the public law space, where it provides 'expert counsel' across Kent and further afield involving non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and extreme neglect. On the family finance front, Elizabeth Spence is a go-to barrister for high-value cases with issues of minority shareholdings and opponents deploying hostile litigation tactics.

~ Legal 500 Bar Guide 2021

Latest News

  • 21 Oct 2021
    We are delighted to be ranked in Chambers and Partners The Bar Guide 2022 edition
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  • 04 Oct 2021
    We welcome two new pupils Nida Ali and Albert Gibbon
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  • 04 Oct 2021
    We are delighted to welcome James Hankinson to the team.
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