William Horwood

Call 2016

My Expertise
William Horwood

Introduction

William undertook pupillage in chambers in 2016/17, and joined chambers on completion of pupillage in 2017. His practice encompasses the following areas of law:

  • Family Law (public law care cases, acting for Guardians appointed in private law children cases, ancillary relief and trusts of land cases)
  • Abuse and neglect (claims against public authorities and private institutions in relation to abuse or neglect suffered whilst in the care of those authorities/institutions)

In his spare time, William is a confirmed “cricket tragic” and cinephile. He has combined these two interests as one of the executive producers of 501 Not Out, a documentary about the cricketer Brian Lara.

Family Law

William has developed a substantial practice across the spectrum of family law, appearing in proceedings under Parts II and IV of the Children Act 1989, as well as proceedings under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the Family Law Act 1996 and the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

Care

William regularly appears on behalf of Local Authorities, parents, children and intervenors in the Family Court and the High Court. He has appeared alone in the Court of Appeal, and has also appeared alone against QCs in the High Court and the Family Court.

William is developing a significant practice in cases involving placement of children outside of England and Wales, and has recently been instructed in two such cases where the court has received expert evidence on the law of the country where placement is proposed. He is regularly instructed in cases of the most serious nature, including cases involving child deaths and serious physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse.

Private Law

William’s private law practice focuses on cases where the court has appointed a Guardian pursuant to Rule 16.4 of the Family Procedure Rules. He has significant experience of “high conflict” cases involving allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental alienation, and potential child criminal or sexual exploitation.

Ancillary Relief and Trusts of Land

William regularly advises clients on matters concerning ancillary relief and trusts of land, and has appeared in both the Family Court and the County Court in such cases. In common with his child law practice, William has acted in cases with an international element and involving issues of jurisdiction and recognition of orders made in England and Wales in foreign courts.

Abuse and Neglect

William continues to develop his practice in this highly specialised area. He acts for Claimants and Defendants in the County Court and the High Court. He has a particular interest in claims arising out of care proceedings, where his significant experience of acting in care proceedings gives him an invaluable insight into the subject-matter giving rise to the abuse and neglect claim.

Recent Experience

Family law

Care

  • Currently instructed as junior counsel for the Guardian in a case involving serious allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
  • Currently instructed alone for the mother in a case where findings of serious physical abuse have been made.
  • Currently instructed alone for the Guardian in a case raising questions as to how Local Authorities should work with parents with significant cognitive difficulties.
  • Currently instructed alone for the father in a case where the children have made allegations of serious physical abuse against their parents, all of whom have significant cognitive difficulties.
  • Recently instructed as junior counsel for the Local Authority in a case involving multiple child deaths.
  • Recently instructed alone for the father in a case involving a very complex family unit and in which questions were raised as to the appropriateness of the Local Authority’s approach to the family.

Private Law

  • Recently instructed alone for the Guardian in a case in which significant findings of fact have been made against both parents.
  • Recently instructed alone by a Children’s Guardian in a case in which the children had made serious allegations of sexual abuse against one of the parents.

Ancillary Relief and Trusts of Land

  • Currently instructed alone in an ancillary relief case involving non-engagement from a party, where an application to commit that party for contempt of court has been made.
  • Currently instructed alone in a cohabitee dispute involving significant refurbishment of home, which raises questions of proprietary estoppel.
  • Recently instructed alone to advise in an ancillary relief case where the parties had divorced several years ago but had never received the Decree, raising questions of delay and how the assets acquired subsequent to the Decree should be treated.

Abuse and neglect

  • Currently instructed alone on behalf of a care leaver in a claim against a Local Authority relating to their time in the care of that Local Authority.
  • Recently instructed alone for a Local Authority and succeeded in securing summary judgment in the High Court on claims arising out of care proceedings for misfeasance in public office, negligence and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Reported Cases

Court of Appeal

M (Children: Applications by Email) [2021] EWCA Civ 806

(Hyperlink here – M (Children: Applications By Email) [2021] EWCA Civ 806 (28 May 2021) (bailii.org))

AV (A Child) (Expert Report) [2020] EWCA Civ 346, [2020] 2 FLR 203

(Hyperlink here – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2020/346.html)

 

High Court

C (A Child: Care Proceedings – Inherent Jurisdiction – Deprivation of Liberty) [2019] EWFC B72 (Comm)

(Hyperlink here – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2019/B72.html)

 K, T and U (Placement of Children with Kinship Carers Abroad) [2019] EWFC 59

(Hyperlink here – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2019/59.html)

J (A Child: Care Proceedings: Apportionment of Experts’ Fees) [2017] EWFC B49

(Hyperlink here – www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2017/B49.html)

Education

BA (Hons) Russian Studies – First Class (University of Birmingham)
MA Russian and East European Literature and Culture (University College London)
Graduate Diploma in Law – Commendation (BPP Law School)
Bar Professional Training Course – Very Competent (University of Law)

Appointments and Memberships

Lord Justice Holker Scholar 2014 – Gray’s Inn

CPE Scholar 2012 – Gray’s Inn

Professional Associations

The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Family Law Bar Association

West Midlands Family Law Bar Association

Testimonials

William is ranked as a “Rising Star” (Tier 1) for Family and Children Law in the 2022 edition of the Legal 500. Legal 500 2022
William is ranked as a “Rising Star” (Tier 1) for Family and Children Law in the 2021 edition of the Legal 500. Legal 500 2021
"Grasp of key issues in complex proceedings are excellent." Ranked: Tier 1 Rising Star Legal 500 2022