Alasdair Henderson has a broad practice with a particular interest in public law and human rights, employment and equality, clinical negligence and environmental law. He appears regularly before a wide variety of courts and tribunals, and also has considerable experience of inquests and public inquiries.
Before coming to the Bar, Alasdair was a research fellow for the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law in Washington DC. Following this, he worked for International Justice Mission in Kigali, Rwanda assisting in cases of land rights violations and sexual violence against children. He also acted as a consultant to the Rwandan Government on the revision of their legislation regulating charities and NGOs.
He retains an interest in both public international law and civil society law, and has advised charities and NGOs on various issues, including cross-border employment matters and the enforcement of human rights obligations.
Alasdair is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and is happy to consider acting pro bono for individuals, campaigning groups or charities.
In addition, Alasdair is a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and recently led the investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party.Public Inquiries
Alasdair has been involved in several of the most high-profile public inquiries of recent years. He was junior counsel to the Metropolitan Police in the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. He represented a large number of soldiers in the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry into allegations of mistreatment and unlawful killing of prisoners in Iraq. He was instructed by AWE plc and the MOD in the Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko.
He is currently acting as junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, working on the Westminster investigation, having previously been junior counsel to the Inquiry on the Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale investigation.
- The Leveson Inquiry.
- The Al-Sweady Inquiry.
- The Litvinenko Inquiry.
- The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Alasdair regularly appears in judicial review proceedings on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants. He has experience in a wide variety of fields, including asylum and immigration, unlawful detention, prisons, social security, defence/national security, education and healthcare.
He was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in 2014.
- R(ota) Mrs A, and Sue Evans v. Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (2020): Challenge to the legality of transgender treatment for children.
- Dulgheriu & Anor v. Ealing LBC  EWHC 1667: Acted for the Claimants challenging a public spaces protection order banning all pro-life or pro-choice activity outside an abortion clinic
- R (Rights of Women) v Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice  1 WLR 2543: Acted for the Lord Chancellor in an appeal concerning the availability of legal aid in family law cases involving domestic violence.
- MM & SI v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKUT 149 (AAC): Acted for the Secretary of State in an appeal dealing with welfare payments to refugee children with disabilities.
- In re K & Another (children) (Lord Chancellor intervening)  1 WLR 3801: Acted for the Lord Chancellor in an appeal considering payments out of public funds to provide limited legal representation in family law cases.
Alasdair has extensive experience of acting for both Claimants and Respondents in a wide variety of employment and discrimination matters.
His recent cases have involved issues as diverse as rolled-up holiday pay, whistleblowing, TUPE compliance, the definition of ’employee’, redundancy/restructuring and constructive dismissal. He is instructed in complex discrimination claims and has particular experience in dealing with workplace problems arising in the education and healthcare sectors.
- Griffiths v Great Places Housing Group Ltd. UKEAT/0097/16/BA: Acted for the appellant in an appeal considering whether new evidence would have had an important influence on the outcome of the case.
- Staph v Norgren Ltd. UKEAT/0211/16/BA: Acted for the appellant in an appeal concerning discriminatory constructive dismissal.
- Swanbridge Hire and Sales Ltd v Butler & others UKEAT/0056/13/BA: Acted for the Claimant trade union in an appeal concerning the meaning of the "single specific event or task of short-term duration" exception to service provision change TUPE transfers.
- Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust v Sesay UKEAT/0004/13/MC: Acted for the Claimant successfully resisting the employer's appeal against the exercise of discretion by an employment judge on time limits, amendment of the claim form and a deposit order application in a complex and lengthy race discrimination and harassment claim.
- Williams v Ystrad Mynach College  EqLR 89: Acted for a Claimant suffering from hydrocephalus in a successful claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
- Schafer v Royal Holloway and Bedford New College  EqLR 429: Acted in a three-week equal pay claim for the Claimant, who was a female university professor claiming 'like work' with male professors. This was a test case in respect of the issue of 'like work' and some elements of the 'genuine material factor' defence in the context of higher education.
Alasdair is regularly instructed by Claimants and Defendants in clinical negligence cases, drafting pleadings and appearing before the County Court and High Court in applications and trials. He has dealt with a broad range of cases including birth injuries, surgical problems, errors in diagnosis and dental negligence.
- False Imprisonment Claim (2019): Represented family in deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) requirements in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) claim.
- FB v Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 334: Junior counsel for the Defendant hospital trust, led by John Whitting QC, in an appeal concerning whether or not the standard of care to be applied in relation to history-taking differs depending on the post of the doctor concerned.
- Wake (A Child) v Johnson  EWHC 276: Acted as junior counsel for the Defendant GP successfully defending a claim arising out of failure to diagnose pneumococcal meningitis in a four-year-old boy.
- Orwell v Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 3245 (QB): Acted for the Defendant hospital trust successfully defending a claim arising out of compartment syndrome following abdominal surgery.
Alasdair has a keen interest in environmental matters, particularly the regulation of renewable energy and the protection of consumers in this rapidly growing area. He has experience of matters involving windfarms and solar photovoltaic technology.
He has also advised on planning disputes and appeared in planning inquiries, including those into major projects.
Listen to Alasdair discuss the M4 relief road on episode 85 on our podcast Law Pod UK here.
- M4 Relief Road Inquiry (2017-2019): Acted for the Gwent Wildlife Trust, objecting to the proposal to build an M4 relief road in South Wales which would destroy part of the Gwent Levels, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and an area of wetland which is a crucial habitat for many species of bird, animal and insect.
- R (Bent) v Cambridgeshire County Council (2017): Represented the claimant in a judicial review of the grant of planning permission for a significant extension to a quarry, where there was insufficient consideration of the National Planning Practice Guidance on noise levels.
Alasdair regularly represents families, doctors, public bodies and other properly interested persons at inquests. He has particular experience of inquests arising out of deaths in prisons or mental health institutions.
He wrote the chapters on ‘Police Inquests’ and ‘Deaths in the Workplace’ in The Inquest Book (ed. Cross and Garnham, 2016, Hart, Oxford)
- Inquest into the death of Max Clifford (2019)
- Inquest investigating the Vauxhall helicopter crash (2015).
- GMC v. Saha (2015): successful judicial review of GMC’s decision to extend an interim order.
- NMC v. Hayes (2014): represented a senior nursing manager in a lengthy hearing before the NMC’s Conduct and Competence concerning a decision not to close down a care home where there was poor quality care
- NMC v. Morris (2013): represented a registrant before the NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee in a case involving inadequate supervision of midwifery students, unprofessional behaviour towards patients and incorrect prescription of syntocinon.
Alasdair Henderson has a broad practice with a particular interest in public law and human rights, employment and equality, clinical negligence and environmental law. He appears regularly before a wide variety of courts and tribunals, and also has considerable experience of inquests and public inquiries. He accepts instruction from lay clients in all these areas.
Alasdair is a Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and frequently advises charities and NGOs on civil and public international law.
Law Pod UK Ep. 139: Courts tussle with Uber, Ola and the Gig Economy - Apr 2021
Landmark ruling on whether children can consent to puberty blocker treatment for gender dysphoria - Dec 2020
The Times Lawyer of the Week: Alasdair Henderson - Nov 2020
1COR Quarterly Medical Law Review – Winter 2019/20 – Issue 4 - Mar 2020
Jeremy Hyam QC and Alasdair Henderson in legal challenge to legality of transgender treatment for children - Jan 2020
Alasdair Henderson represents prison healthcare team in Max Clifford inquest - Dec 2019
Is this too sensitive? Dealing with difficult issues in Inquests and Inquiries - Oct 2019
Congratulations to David Manknell, Suzanne Lambert, Alasdair Henderson, Natasha Barnes and Paul Reynolds on their appointments to Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel - Jul 2019
Law Pod UK Ep 85: M4 relief road U-turn - Jun 2019
Alasdair Henderson secures award of damages for false imprisonment in a hospital setting - Jan 2019
1COR proud to announce that Alasdair Henderson has been appointed an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner - May 2018
Law Pod UK Ep. 14: Unlawful detention in immigration cases - Oct 2017
1COR Public Law Seminar – Life, Liberty & Security - Sep 2017
Alasdair Henderson appears in high-profile M4 Relief Road inquiry - Mar 2017
Profits from the sale of the Inquest Book given to the Bar Pro Bono Unit - Nov 2016
Alasdair Henderson stands for Parliament - Apr 2015
Neil Sheldon and Alasdair Henderson appear for the Lord Chancellor in LASPO case: Rights of Women v SSJ - Jan 2015
Four Members of 1COR involved in the Public Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko - Jan 2015
Neil Garnham QC assisted by Alasdair Henderson and Lois Williams appointed by Rochdale Council to lead independent review into historic child abuse allegations - Apr 2014
New appointments to the Attorney General’s A and C Panels - Feb 2014
Alasdair Henderson in inquest into death of Sarah Mulenga and the failure of paramedics attending her - May 2013
Alasdair Henderson represents Claimant in a whistleblowing claim on pay increases for a CEO and other senior managers - May 2013
Nine members of 1COR involved in Al-Sweady Public Inquiry - Mar 2013
Members Appointed to the Legal Services Board External Panel of Legal Advisors - Dec 2012
Members of One Crown Office Row acted in the Leveson Inquiry - Nov 2012
Neil Garnham QC and Alasdair Henderson are acting for the Metropolitan Police in the Leveson Inquiry - May 2012
Alasdair Henderson starts his tenancy at 1COR - Mar 2011