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William Henderson

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Call: 1978 whenderson@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Will Henderson acts for private clients, trustees, trust companies, H.M. Attorney General and HMRC, principally in relation to disputes concerning domestic and international or offshore trusts, probate, the administration of estates, charities, and associated professional negligence.  He is Junior Counsel to the Treasury in Charity Matters.  In that capacity he advises and represents H.M. Attorney General as to and in contentious and non-contentious matters involving charity and charities. He sits for about 3 weeks a year as a Deputy Chancery Master.

Areas of Expertise and Cases


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Trusts and Probate

Lehtimaki v Chlidren’s Investment Fund Foundation [2018] EWCA Civ 1605 (Court of Appeal). The Court of Appeal held that the independent member of a charitable company limited by guarantee owed fiduciary duties to the charity; but that in the circumstances off the case the court could not and would not direct the independent member how to exercise his fiduciary powers.

A v D (also known as ADS v. DSM) [2017] EWCOP 8; [2017] C.O.P.L.R. 231 (Court of Protection – Charles J).  Appeal against an order for a statutory will providing for the division of the estate of the person lacking capacity 25:75 between her two sons (with substitutionary gifts), against the background of a compromise of Chancery proceedings on terms that an application would be made for a statutory will dividing the estate 50:50.  Appeal allowed and order made for a statutory will dividing the estate 50:50.  Important and detailed consideration of the interrelationship of the two sets of proceedings and the duties of the court, the Official Solicitor and the Deputy where there were conflicts of evidence.

Joint Stock Company Aeroflot – Russian Airlines v Berezovsakaya [2014] EWCA Civ 431.  The Appellants were parties to an agreement with the deceased.  The Appellants sought to maintain confidentiality as to that agreement as against the receiver of his potentially insolvent estate, his creditors and others.  The case concerned the interaction of the Appellants’ rights of confidentiality and rights under Article 8 ECHR with the respondents’ rights under Article 6 and otherwise to rely on material evidence on the issue of who should administer the estate.

Pitt v. Holt [2013] UKSC 26.  Will represented Mrs Pitt in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  Some say this is the most important trust case of the 21st century.  The Supreme Court set aside a settlement created by Mrs Pitt as her husband’s Court of Protection by reason of her having been seriously mistaken as to the Inheritance Tax effects or consequences of the transaction.  The Supreme Court also reviewed the so-called rule in re Hastings-Bass and held that it did not apply in a case such as Mrs Pitt’s, where the fiduciary had acted on the basis of apparently competent advice which was in fact incorrect.

Gudavadze v. Kay [2012] EWHC 1683 (Ch) (Sales J).  Summary judgment obtained on the basis that alleged testamentary documents were forgeries.  A combination of consequential orders were made which avoided there being a possible gap in the active representation of the estate in England and Wales.

Berezovsky v. Hine and Ors [2009 – 2012].  Acted for the widow, daughters and mother of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili in the litigation brought against them by the late Boris Berezovsky and in related matters.

Cawdron v. Merchant Taylors’ School [2009] EWHC 1722 ( Ch) (Blackburne J).  Issue as to the nature of trusts created during the First World War and compromise of claim to land; enabling the land to be sold for development and replacement sports facilities to be provided for the benefit of the School and its Old Boys.

Various confidential applications as to executors’ and trustees’ obligations in respect of possible 3rd party claims and as to fiduciaries’ rights of indemnity and retainer.

 

 


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Charities

Recent cases include:

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) v. H.M. Attorney General [2017] EWHC 1379 (Ch) (Sir Geoffrey Vos C) and as Lehtimaki v Chlidren’s Investment Fund Foundation [2018] EWCA Civ 1605 (Court of Appeal).  The Claimant charitable company agreed to make a grant of $360 million to another English charity conditionally on the approval of the court and as part of an arrangement whereby a member and director of the charitable company agreed to retire.  The outgoing member and director was the sole member of the prospective recipient charity. Sir Geoffrey Vos C held: (i) that the payment of the Grant was a “payment for loss of office” within the meaning of s.215 Companies Act 2006 which required approval by the members under s.217 Companies Act 2006; (ii) that the Trustees (directors) of the charity surrendered their discretion to the court; (iii) that the court should exercise the surrendered discretion by directing the trustees; (iv) that the court the independent member owed fiduciary duties to the charity and (v) that the court could and would direct the independent member to vote for the payment of the Grant.  The independent member appealed to the Court of Appeal on points (iv) and (v).  The Court of Appeal upheld Sir Geoffrey Vos C on point (iv), but reversed him on point (v).  Will Henderson acted for the trustees.

Trilogy Management Limited v. YT Charitable Foundation (International) Limited and Ors  [2014] JRC 214 (Royal Court of Jersey). Legal structure with private trust company (‘PTC’) holding the principal assets of the charitable trust through a 99% owned investment company.  The Representor (Claimant) sought the distribution of the trust assets and, additionally, the replacement of the trustee.  After a 3 week trial, the court ordered the replacement of the trustee.  From a charity law perspective the case raised issues as to the extent to which the deceased settlor’s wishes could and should be taken into account by the trustee and by the court and whether and how the court could and should interfere with the charity and its administration.  Will assisted his lay client’s Jersey advocates with pleadings, preparation and trial.

Regentford Ltd v. Charity Commission and H.M. Attorney General [2014] UKUT 0364 (TCC) (Upper Tribunal).  The leading case on the nature of the review jurisdiction under the Charities Act 2011 in respect of certain decisions of the Charity Commission.  Will acted for H.M. Attorney General.

Ferguson v. HMRC [2014] UKFTT 433 (TC).  Lead case concerning “Blue Box” tax avoidance scheme purportedly involving “gifts to charity” relief under s.587B ICTA 1988 (now, as subsequently amended,  s.431 Income Tax Act 2007).  Ramsay principle applied.  Will acted for HMRC

Helena Partnerships Ltd v. HMRC [2012] EWCA Civ 569.  The Court of Appeal, upholding the decisions of the Upper and First Tier Tribunals, held that the provision of housing accommodation, otherwise than for those in some relevant charitable need, was not a charitable purpose within the spirit and intendment of the preamble to the Charitable Uses Act 1601, either directly or by analogy with any other recognised purpose. It followed that the objects of a housing association were not exclusively charitable and it was accordingly liable for corporation tax on the rents that it received.  Will acted for HMRC at all levels.

Attorney General v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2012] W.T.L.R. 977 (Upper Tribunal) Attorney General’s reference in respect of trusts for relief of poverty amongst family members or employees).

Independent Schools Council v. Charity Commission and Attorney General’s reference in respect of institutions running fee paying schools [2011] UKUT 421 (TCC) [2011] ELR 529 (Upper Tribunal) (Tax and Chancery Chamber).  Degree of provision for the poor required.

 





All Quotes

"....an outstanding senior junior...." Legal 500
"...it's mind-blowing how impressive he is" Chambers & Partners
"Is a star", "He is very capable, acessible and he doesn't mind rolling up his sleeves to get down to a really difficult matter," "he is an extremely reliable person to work with" Chambers High Net Worth
"...recommneded for trustee disputes and charity-related profesional negligence claims..." Legal 500

Recommendations

Charities (Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners)
Chancery: Traditional (Chambers & Partners and Chambers High Net Worth)
Private Wealth: Trusts (Chambers Global)
Private Client
(Who's Who Legal: UK Bar)
Private Client: Trusts and Probate (Legal 500)
Trusts (Chambers & Partners)

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William Henderson

William Henderson

Year of Call: 1978
Email: whenderson@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Will Henderson acts for private clients, trustees, trust companies, H.M. Attorney General and HMRC, principally in relation to disputes concerning domestic and international or offshore trusts, probate, the administration of estates, charities, and associated professional negligence.  He is Junior Counsel to the Treasury in Charity Matters.  In that capacity he advises and represents H.M. Attorney General as to and in contentious and non-contentious matters involving charity and charities. He sits for about 3 weeks a year as a Deputy Chancery Master.

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Charities (Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners)
Chancery: Traditional (Chambers & Partners and Chambers High Net Worth)
Private Wealth: Trusts (Chambers Global)
Private Client
(Who's Who Legal: UK Bar)
Private Client: Trusts and Probate (Legal 500)
Trusts (Chambers & Partners)

Quotes

"....an outstanding senior junior...." Legal 500
"...it's mind-blowing how impressive he is" Chambers & Partners
"Is a star", "He is very capable, acessible and he doesn't mind rolling up his sleeves to get down to a really difficult matter," "he is an extremely reliable person to work with" Chambers High Net Worth
"...recommneded for trustee disputes and charity-related profesional negligence claims..." Legal 500

Trusts and Probate

Lehtimaki v Chlidren’s Investment Fund Foundation [2018] EWCA Civ 1605 (Court of Appeal). The Court of Appeal held that the independent member of a charitable company limited by guarantee owed fiduciary duties to the charity; but that in the circumstances off the case the court could not and would not direct the independent member how to exercise his fiduciary powers.

A v D (also known as ADS v. DSM) [2017] EWCOP 8; [2017] C.O.P.L.R. 231 (Court of Protection – Charles J).  Appeal against an order for a statutory will providing for the division of the estate of the person lacking capacity 25:75 between her two sons (with substitutionary gifts), against the background of a compromise of Chancery proceedings on terms that an application would be made for a statutory will dividing the estate 50:50.  Appeal allowed and order made for a statutory will dividing the estate 50:50.  Important and detailed consideration of the interrelationship of the two sets of proceedings and the duties of the court, the Official Solicitor and the Deputy where there were conflicts of evidence.

Joint Stock Company Aeroflot – Russian Airlines v Berezovsakaya [2014] EWCA Civ 431.  The Appellants were parties to an agreement with the deceased.  The Appellants sought to maintain confidentiality as to that agreement as against the receiver of his potentially insolvent estate, his creditors and others.  The case concerned the interaction of the Appellants’ rights of confidentiality and rights under Article 8 ECHR with the respondents’ rights under Article 6 and otherwise to rely on material evidence on the issue of who should administer the estate.

Pitt v. Holt [2013] UKSC 26.  Will represented Mrs Pitt in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  Some say this is the most important trust case of the 21st century.  The Supreme Court set aside a settlement created by Mrs Pitt as her husband’s Court of Protection by reason of her having been seriously mistaken as to the Inheritance Tax effects or consequences of the transaction.  The Supreme Court also reviewed the so-called rule in re Hastings-Bass and held that it did not apply in a case such as Mrs Pitt’s, where the fiduciary had acted on the basis of apparently competent advice which was in fact incorrect.

Gudavadze v. Kay [2012] EWHC 1683 (Ch) (Sales J).  Summary judgment obtained on the basis that alleged testamentary documents were forgeries.  A combination of consequential orders were made which avoided there being a possible gap in the active representation of the estate in England and Wales.

Berezovsky v. Hine and Ors [2009 – 2012].  Acted for the widow, daughters and mother of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili in the litigation brought against them by the late Boris Berezovsky and in related matters.

Cawdron v. Merchant Taylors’ School [2009] EWHC 1722 ( Ch) (Blackburne J).  Issue as to the nature of trusts created during the First World War and compromise of claim to land; enabling the land to be sold for development and replacement sports facilities to be provided for the benefit of the School and its Old Boys.

Various confidential applications as to executors’ and trustees’ obligations in respect of possible 3rd party claims and as to fiduciaries’ rights of indemnity and retainer.

 

 

Charities

Recent cases include:

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) v. H.M. Attorney General [2017] EWHC 1379 (Ch) (Sir Geoffrey Vos C) and as Lehtimaki v Chlidren’s Investment Fund Foundation [2018] EWCA Civ 1605 (Court of Appeal).  The Claimant charitable company agreed to make a grant of $360 million to another English charity conditionally on the approval of the court and as part of an arrangement whereby a member and director of the charitable company agreed to retire.  The outgoing member and director was the sole member of the prospective recipient charity. Sir Geoffrey Vos C held: (i) that the payment of the Grant was a “payment for loss of office” within the meaning of s.215 Companies Act 2006 which required approval by the members under s.217 Companies Act 2006; (ii) that the Trustees (directors) of the charity surrendered their discretion to the court; (iii) that the court should exercise the surrendered discretion by directing the trustees; (iv) that the court the independent member owed fiduciary duties to the charity and (v) that the court could and would direct the independent member to vote for the payment of the Grant.  The independent member appealed to the Court of Appeal on points (iv) and (v).  The Court of Appeal upheld Sir Geoffrey Vos C on point (iv), but reversed him on point (v).  Will Henderson acted for the trustees.

Trilogy Management Limited v. YT Charitable Foundation (International) Limited and Ors  [2014] JRC 214 (Royal Court of Jersey). Legal structure with private trust company (‘PTC’) holding the principal assets of the charitable trust through a 99% owned investment company.  The Representor (Claimant) sought the distribution of the trust assets and, additionally, the replacement of the trustee.  After a 3 week trial, the court ordered the replacement of the trustee.  From a charity law perspective the case raised issues as to the extent to which the deceased settlor’s wishes could and should be taken into account by the trustee and by the court and whether and how the court could and should interfere with the charity and its administration.  Will assisted his lay client’s Jersey advocates with pleadings, preparation and trial.

Regentford Ltd v. Charity Commission and H.M. Attorney General [2014] UKUT 0364 (TCC) (Upper Tribunal).  The leading case on the nature of the review jurisdiction under the Charities Act 2011 in respect of certain decisions of the Charity Commission.  Will acted for H.M. Attorney General.

Ferguson v. HMRC [2014] UKFTT 433 (TC).  Lead case concerning “Blue Box” tax avoidance scheme purportedly involving “gifts to charity” relief under s.587B ICTA 1988 (now, as subsequently amended,  s.431 Income Tax Act 2007).  Ramsay principle applied.  Will acted for HMRC

Helena Partnerships Ltd v. HMRC [2012] EWCA Civ 569.  The Court of Appeal, upholding the decisions of the Upper and First Tier Tribunals, held that the provision of housing accommodation, otherwise than for those in some relevant charitable need, was not a charitable purpose within the spirit and intendment of the preamble to the Charitable Uses Act 1601, either directly or by analogy with any other recognised purpose. It followed that the objects of a housing association were not exclusively charitable and it was accordingly liable for corporation tax on the rents that it received.  Will acted for HMRC at all levels.

Attorney General v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2012] W.T.L.R. 977 (Upper Tribunal) Attorney General’s reference in respect of trusts for relief of poverty amongst family members or employees).

Independent Schools Council v. Charity Commission and Attorney General’s reference in respect of institutions running fee paying schools [2011] UKUT 421 (TCC) [2011] ELR 529 (Upper Tribunal) (Tax and Chancery Chamber).  Degree of provision for the poor required.

 

Qualifications

Trinity College, Cambridge - BA

Appointments

Junior Counsel to the Treasury (Charities)

Bencher of Lincoln's Inn

Memberships

Chancery Bar Association

Society of Trust and estate Practitioners (“STEP”)

Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists

Publications

Co-author of Tudor on Charities (10th ed)


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