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:
William undertakes a significant amount of work on a pro bono basis, and was recognised for his contribution in helping to secure access to justice for those who cannot afford legal representation and are not eligible for public funding by being awarded the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Award in March 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ancillary Relief and Trusts of Land
Abuse and neglect
Court of Appeal
M (Children: Applications by Email)  EWCA Civ 806
AV (A Child) (Expert Report)  EWCA Civ 346,  2 FLR 203
(Hyperlink here – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2020/346.html)
Tousi v Gaydukova  EWHC 404 (Fam)
A Local Authority v The Mother and Ors  EWHC 3043 (Fam)
C (A Child: Care Proceedings – Inherent Jurisdiction – Deprivation of Liberty)  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)  EWFC 59
(Hyperlink here – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2019/59.html)
J (A Child: Care Proceedings: Apportionment of Experts’ Fees)  EWFC B49
(Hyperlink here – www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2017/B49.html)
Pro Bono Award 2023 – Birmingham Law Society
Lord Justice Holker Scholar 2014 – Gray’s Inn
CPE Scholar 2012 – Gray’s Inn
The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Family Law Bar Association
West Midlands Family Law Bar Association
William is ranked (Tier 3) for Family: Children in the 2024 edition of Chambers and Partners.
William is ranked as a “Rising Star” (Tier 1) for Family and Children Law in the 2024 edition of the Legal 500.
“William is always excellently prepared, he knows the law intricately and applies that to find pragmatic options for the client.” Chambers and Partners, 2024 edition
“William is a calm but powerful advocate.” Chambers and Partners, 2024 edition
“William is always incredibly well-prepared and meticulous in his attention to detail. He has very good client care skills and keeps his instructing solicitors well informed of developments. His attendance notes are always of high quality. He has a very non-confrontational style of advocacy which is very effective.” Legal 500, 2024 edition
William is ranked as a “Rising Star” (Tier 1) for Family and Children Law in the 2023 edition of the Legal 500.“Rising star William Horwood is an ‘incredibly articulate advocate’ and is frequently instructed in difficult cases related to child death and abuse.” Legal 500 2023
“William is a very good counsel who advises the client and puts the client’s case even if the views of the client go against the advice which has been provided. He is very good at meeting the client’s expectations and very good at putting the client’s case across.” Legal 500 2023 edition
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