Serle Court

Chancery: Traditional Department

London (Bar)
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Serle Court is an extremely well-known and much-respected chancery set, with a formidable group of silks and juniors handling complex private client disputes. "They are my favourite set to work with - they have expertise in this field, but what we love is that they are so pragmatic and commercial, real team players," says a source.

Client service: The set's administrative operation is  praised by sources. "They are very easy to work with," observes a commentator, adding: "It's such a slick operation - they always provide a safe pair of hands." John Petrie is the set's chief executive and Steven Whitaker is head clerk.

Alan Boyle QC

Deeply respected silk with an exceptional depth of experience of handling complex and high-value matters. He is frequently instructed by high net worth individuals in a wide range of matters, including trusts and estates work.
Strengths: "He is quite extraordinary." "I can't use enough superlatives. He is the super silk. He is incredibly smart, so brilliant on the detail, even though he is so senior, and the most lovely man. He handles the clients so well, and is so approachable."

Constance McDonnell QC

Highly respected in the traditional chancery market for her handling of the most high-profile matters, including the notable Ilott case. She focuses on probate and contentious trusts, and also handles the administration of estates.
Strengths: She has a "professional approach" and "a wealth of experience and knowledge. She is excellent at putting forward tactical solutions to resolve problems." "She works fantastically hard, is very calm and is very pleasant to deal with."

Dakis Hagen QC

Exceptionally well-respected silk who is regularly instructed in the largest and most complex matters, particularly those with international or matrimonial finance aspects.
Strengths: "Just fantastic to work with - he's highly responsive, clear, and an amazing advocate." "Friendly, bright and good with clients." "One of the finest barristers, who "understands and empathises with clients."

Elizabeth Jones QC

A distinguished silk whose traditional chancery practice includes a substantial amount of international work. Due to her experience in commercial chancery, she is highly sought after for trust matters with a commercial aspect.
Strengths:"Has an astonishing control of every room she's in and adopts an exceptional academic approach." "She's phenomenal and has an extraordinary ability to get on top of material." "She's so impressive tactically as well, and has an absolute grasp of her cases."

Emma Hargreaves

A rising star whose respected chancery practice includes trusts, wills and estates. She has a particular expertise in unfair prejudice matters.
Strengths: "Every time you see her, she's surrounded by people who desperately need her help - she is just that outstanding."  "Emma is outstandingly intelligent. She is very, very responsive and she puts her heart and soul into everything she does."

Frank Hinks QC

Highly respected silk with a well-established traditional chancery practice which is focused on offshore and extremely high-value matters. He is a particularly fine choice of counsel for cases with a US-UK cross-border aspect.
Strengths: "He's absolutely brilliant, just the cleverest man. Someone with a very, very fine mind," "At the top end of any list of silks. He's very able and conscientious, and has good judgement."

Giles Richardson

An exceptionally well-respected junior who is frequently trusted with complex multi-jurisdictional matters. He is also noted for his experience in matrimonial finance and other matters falling in the crossover between family law and traditional chancery.
Strengths: "Has a very good sense of humour, and is utterly unflappable. He's incredibly diligent and bright, and is always on top of the most recent law."

James Brightwell

Strong junior with a practice which encompasses both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a noted expertise in cases with complex trusts. He handles cases both domestically and offshore, and is respected for his highly technical knowledge.
Strengths: "Very, very impressive." "He's exceptional in court and exceptionally polite."

James Weale

Focuses his practice on contentious matters and is frequently sought after for complex Inheritance Act cases. He is also experienced in cross-border matters.
Strengths: "A brilliant lawyer who is good with clients and gives spot-on advice." "He's absolutely fantastic - a complete hit with the clients. He's on top of the detail, is incredibly responsive and has great judgement."

John Machell QC

A respected silk with a broad chancery practice, who often appears in trusts and estates cases as well as more commercial matters. He is also frequently sought after for offshore matters, particularly those concerning trusts.
Strengths: "He is a go-to silk for Cayman matters. He's excellent to work with, very thorough, approachable and flexible." "In court, he makes his point very eloquently and can explain difficult issues in a clear way." "He's measured in his approach, and gives clear, balanced, well-reasoned advice. He's hard-working and personable."

Oliver Jones

Represents clients in contentious probate, trusts and estate administration matters. He has recently had a role in the high-profile case of Sir Owen Glenn & Kea Investments Limited v Watson & Others. 
Strengths: "The standout thing is his drafting skill. He's amazing at turning around documents at high speed - really clever and such a nice man."

Richard Wilson QC

Has a particularly strong advisory practice. He is often instructed in cases concerning real property or landed estates. He is also noted for his handling of offshore trusts and other overseas matters.
Strengths: "Very commercial, practical and responsive." "He's just fantastically user-friendly - always at the end of the phone if you need him. He's also so good strategically."

William Henderson

An exceptionally well-respected junior who is instructed in the most complex matters, including wills, probate, and trusts, both domestically and overseas. He is highly sought after by high net worth individuals.
Strengths: "Unbelievably clever" and "just a fabulous advocate."