Aiden acts for a wide range of private and institutional clients, including major charities, Diocesan Boards of Finance, individual parishes and clergy, Bishops and Cathedral Chapters. His work involves the interaction of different legal disciplines, especially charity law, trust law, property law and ecclesiastical law. Recommended by Legal 500, he is described as “bright, thorough, dogged and wholly reliable”, and has “remarkable knowledge of Church law”.
He has a wide knowledge and experience of the Faculty Jurisdiction and proceedings in the Consistory Court, including contested cases and exhumations. In property matters, Aiden specialises in commercial leases and licences, and has acted for many parishes considering the installation of telecommunications equipment. He also has a specialist interest in the employment status of the clergy and legislation affecting religious organisations.
He is the Registrar of the Diocese in Europe and the Bishop’s Legal Secretary.
- Advising a major City parish in relation to a commercial agreement with its neighbouring landowners and obtaining a substantial settlement for the parish for a scaffolding and crane over sailing licence
- Acting for joint petitioners, including a parish, a local authority and a regeneration company, in connection with a contested major reordering of a Grade I listed church
- Acting for four parishes in the Diocese of London in a contested Faculty case relating to telecoms installations and involving a hearing in Open Court
- Advising in connection with a high-profile dispute in the Orthodox Church involving complex trust, property, charity and ecclesiastical issues as well as formal proceedings with the Charity Commission and in the High Court
Charity Law Association
Ecclesiastical Law Society (General Committee)
The Crown Nominations Commission
The General Synod of the Church of England
Appointments Committee of the Church of England
Governor, Pusey House, Oxford
2007 to present: Partner, Winckworth Sherwood
2000 to 2007: Assistant Solicitor, Winckworth Sherwood
1998 to 2000: Trainee, Winckworth & Pemberton
1993 to 1998: Senior Tutor, St Anselm Hall
1991 to 1993: Tutor, St Anselm Hall
He heads the “smart and creative team…particularly well known for specialist ecclesiastical charity work”.
Aiden Hargreaves-Smith’s “legal understanding is enriched by his sensitivity to the client’s needs”.