Constance McDonnell KC


Year of Call: 2000 Year of Silk: 2019

“A master of her field”

Chambers & Partners HNW Guide
Portrait of Constance McDonnell KC

Practice Overview

Constance specialises in trust and probate disputes.  She has appeared in a number of highly publicised cases, including Reeves v Drew (a probate dispute about the £100m estate of an illiterate testator). In 2016-17 she was Junior Counsel for the Respondent in the landmark case of Ilott v The Blue Cross in the UK Supreme Court. Constance acted for the successful respondent in the important case of Hirachand v Hirachand, in which the Court of Appeal determined in October 2021 that a CFA success fee can be recoverable as part of an award under the 1975 Act.  Constance also has an international practice, and in 2022 appeared twice in the Bermuda Court of Appeal, obtaining a personal costs order against PRs who had departed from a position of neutrality.

Prior to taking Silk in 2019, Constance won the Chancery Junior of the Year award at the 2018 Chambers Bar Awards, and was recommended as a Star Individual in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019 and High Net Worth Guide 2018. Constance won the ‘Barrister of the Year Gold Award’ at the 2023 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards.

News & Events

  • News

    #SerleShare: Key Takeaways from Leonard v Leonard [2024] EWHC 321 (ChD)

    In this article, Constance McDonnell KC and George Vare consider the recent case of Leonard v Leonard, in which they... Read More

    News

    Judgment has today been handed down in Leonard v Leonard [2024] EWHC 321(ChD) after a 12-day trial before Mrs Justice Joanna Smith DBE

    Constance McDonnell KC and George Vare, assisted by Anneliese Mondschein, acted on behalf of the successful Claimants in this contested... Read More

  • Events

    ThoughtLeaders4 Private Client Contentious Trusts 2024: The 3rd Annual Summit

    Location: Central London
    Read More

    Events

    The Law Society: Private Client Annual Conference 2024

    Location: The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL
    Read More

  • ‘Constance is at the top of her game – a leader in this field. She is an incredible advocate, clear and concise in court and fights hard for the client.’ 

    The Legal 500, 2023
  • “One of the most intelligent barristers at the Chancery Bar and identifies key points of law and factual issues which would be missed by other counsel.”

    The Legal 500
  • "Brilliant and one of the most measured and erudite junior QCs around.”

    Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide, 2022

Education & Qualifications

MA in Classics, Oriel College, Oxford

Memberships

ACTAPS (Committee member)
STEP
Chancery Bar Association

VAT Number

787919845

In the Press

'MoJ changes to Will executions' BBC Radio London, 21 July 2020

'Derivative claims by beneficiaries and the interplay with Beddoe applications by personal representatives', The New Law Journal, 26 June 2020

'Wills at a Distance', STEP Journal, 19 June 2020

'DIY Danger in COVID's costly battle of wills', Daily Express, 17 June 2020

'Remote mediation: Is it the future?' Litigation Futures, 29 April 2020

'Constance McDonnell QC examines the year’s most notable 1975 Act decisions', The New Law Journal, 25 October 2019

'New rules to stop 'predators' from tricking vulnerable into marriage delayed by Brexit', The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2019

Awards

Citywealth Magic Circle Awards

Barrister of the Year - Gold Award

Legal 500 Awards

Nominated - Private Client: Trusts and Probate Junior of the Year

Chambers UK Bar Awards

Chancery Junior of the Year

News & Events

  • News

    #SerleShare: Key Takeaways from Leonard v Leonard [2024] EWHC 321 (ChD)

    In this article, Constance McDonnell KC and George Vare consider the recent case of Leonard v Leonard, in which they... Read More

    News

    Judgment has today been handed down in Leonard v Leonard [2024] EWHC 321(ChD) after a 12-day trial before Mrs Justice Joanna Smith DBE

    Constance McDonnell KC and George Vare, assisted by Anneliese Mondschein, acted on behalf of the successful Claimants in this contested... Read More

  • Events

    The Law Society: Private Client Annual Conference 2024

    Location: The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL Read More

    Events

    ConTra & Informa Connect: Junior Litigators’ Forum

    Location: The Grand Hotel Birmingham, UK Read More