William Henderson > Serle Court > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Serle Court


Barrister specialising in domestic and international trust, probate and administration of estate disputes, charities and associated professional negligence. Junior counsel to the Treasury in Charity Matters. Recent cases include: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation v Attorney General [2017] EWHC 1379 (Ch) – as to court approval of $360 million grant and role of members of charitable companies; A v D [2017] EWCOP 8 (Charles J) – as to relationship between compromise in the Chancery Division and Court of Protection’s jurisdiction; JSC Aeroflot v Berezovskaya [2014] EWCA Civ 431 – as to administration of estates, receivers and confidentiality; Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26 – in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court as to setting aside voluntary transactions; Independent Schools Council v Charity Commission [2011] UKUT 421 – as to how much provision for the poor has to be made by independent schools.


Called 1978, Inner Temple; junior counsel to the Treasury in charity matters since 1995. Bencher, Lincoln’s Inn 2015.


Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS); Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); Chancery Bar Association.


St Paul’s School, London; Trinity College, Cambridge (1976 BA).



Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

William HendersonSerle Court ‘William is recognised for his outstanding judgement and top-drawer advice. He is a good advocate and good team player.’

London Bar > Charities

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

William HendersonSerle CourtMassive experience and insight, the best troubleshooter at the Chancery Bar.’

Serle Court offers clients strength in depth in both contentious and non contentious charity work. Instructions in the charity sector form a large part of Jonathan Fowles‘ practice, who is praised for his technical expertise in charity law, recently appeared for the appellant council in Nuffield Health v Merton Borough Council, a case regarding the eligibility for multi-site charities to gain relief from non-domestic rates. William Henderson continues, in his role as junior council to the Treasury, to represent the Attorney General in AG v Zedra Financial Services (UK) Limited, the litigation concerning the fate of the National Fund.