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Serle Court announces top chancery hires


Leading commercial and chancery set Serle Court announces today the imminent arrival of Richard Wilson QC and Constance McDonnell, who will be joining chambers from 3 Stone Buildings on 29 February 2016.  Both new members are top-ranked for chancery work and their arrival underpins Serle Court’s continuing market lead in this area; it has long been regarded as the go-to set for the most complicated big-ticket corporate and commercial disputes.

Richard was called to the Bar in 1996 and takes Silk this year. With 17 years of practice encompassing litigation and a wide range of traditional and commercial chancery, and with a strong emphasis on trusts and probate, his chancery and commercial practice dovetails perfectly with Serle Court’s.

As well as having appeared in numerous leading cases in England, Richard is regularly instructed in offshore matters or issues involving private international law. He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He has also given expert evidence of English Law in the Royal Courts of Jersey and Guernsey.

Richard is highly recommended in the legal directories; having previously been in the “Chambers 100” list of the top 100 juniors at the English Bar, he is now ranked in Band 1 of the Chambers UK Guide, in which he is described as “thinking outside the box and coming up with really clever ideas”

Serle Court also welcomes Constance McDonnell, who possesses high-level expertise in contentious probate, trust disputes, administration of estates and removal of personal representatives.  Constance has appeared recently in several highly publicised High Court cases, including: a successful probate claim based on undue influence; another successful probate claim by charities concerning a schizophrenic testator; and defending a professional trustee against allegations of breach of trust.

Constance is recommended as a Leading Junior (Band 1) in the field of Traditional Chancery by Chambers & Partners (2016), calling her “excellent and extremely bright” elaborating that she is “a superior junior who concentrates her practice on complex contentious probate and trust matters”.

Commenting on the moves, John Petrie, Chief Executive of Serle Court, said: “Richard and Constance will make an excellent addition to Serle Court. Their strong reputations in delivering excellence, both in terms of clever legal thinking and client service, chimes completely with our philosophy at Serle Court.  The appointment of these two leaders in their fields underlines our continuing market lead."

Richard said: “Constance and I are delighted to be joining Serle Court. We were both particularly attracted by the set’s pre-eminent reputation in our fields of practice. As a new silk, I believe Serle Court to be the perfect place to start this new chapter of my career.”

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