Dr Jessica Henderson
LLB and PhD
Year admitted to practice: 2011
Year elected to WABA: 2014
Jess has an LLB and PhD in history from the University of Western Australia and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to the University of Virginia. She is an experienced advocate, having joined the WA Bar in 2014.
Commencing her legal career at Freehills in mining and construction litigation, Jess moved to the aviation finance division of Clyde & Co in London, where she built expertise in aviation litigation issues. Called to the Bar in 2014, Jess remains an aviation specialist and has branched into succession law and personal injury law by way of specialist aviation issues that have arisen in those fields. She is an expert mediator and resolves a significant proportion of succession law and personal injury law claims through the pre-trial conference process. She has been recognized by Doyle’s Guide for her work as succession counsel.
Jess has acted for multinational energy corporations, international airlines, insurers, high net worth estates, as well as local corporations and individuals. She has acted for government departments at Local, State and Federal levels as well as prominent NGOs.
She appears in each of the WA metropolitan courts, many regional Magistrates Courts and Warden’s Court. She has conducted complex litigation at first instance and on appeal. She welcomes briefs challenging established legal precedent, particularly in the mining and resource sector.
Jess has a particular interest in human rights related issues, appearing for plaintiffs and defendants on disputes where human rights obligations are at issue in the proceedings. Winner of the Richard Kiwanuka Prize in International Humanitarian and Refugee Law in 2010, she was briefed as junior counsel in 2016 for the Australian Human Rights Commission in a matter involving international surrogacy issues which attracted media attention around the world. She accepts briefs to act for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.
Jess’ advocacy is characterized by her thorough preparation, her meticulous approach, her willingness to understand and embrace the commercial realities of her clients, and her enthusiasm for a Speyside scotch on the successful completion of trial.
In addition to her practice as a barrister, Jess is a part-time Member at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and volunteers as a member on a number of boards and committees, including the Brief Editorial Committee. She is a co-author of Civil Litigation: Strategy and Practice (Lexis Nexis: 2022) and a mother of three children (including twins) whom she credits with her advanced mediation skills.