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Sir William Aldous (17 March 1936 – 17 March 2018) was an English judge and a judge in the Gibraltar Court of Appeal.

Sir William Aldous
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Justice of Appeal for the Crown Protectorate of Gibraltar
In office
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
Preceded byJustice Whitford
Succeeded byJustice Jacob
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
High Court Judge
In office
Personal details
Born(1936-03-17)17 March 1936
United Kingdom
Died17 March 2018(2018-03-17) (aged 82)
Spouse(s)Gill Henson
ResidenceSuffolk, UK



Born in Suffolk, Aldous was the son of barrister Guy Aldous QC and his wife, Gill Henson, daughter of Gino Henson, MFH, Master of the Blankney Hunt. Growing up in East Anglia, Aldous was a keen and eager huntsman from an early age. His father was MFH of the Essex and Suffolks, a responsibility that he passed onto Willie Aldous in 1970. He ceased hunting for real in 1976 to rejoin a serious career as a London barrister. Aldous achieved considerable success in the practice of intellectual property law that took him all the way to the bench of the Patents Court.

William Aldous was head of barristers' chambers at 6 Pump Court, Inner Temple from 1980 to 1988.[1] In 1988 he was appointed to the High Court bench and assigned to the Patents Court of the Chancery Division.[2] In January 1993 his judgment reflected a trend towards the freedom to publish. The Home Office had claimed copyright over tapes of serial killer, Dennis Nilsen in the possession of World In Action. Charles Tremayne of Granada Television, described Aldous's decision to allow broadcast as "welcome and surprising".[3]

He was made a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1995 and was sworn a member of the Privy Council.[4]

He retired from the bench in October 2003[2] and became an arbitrator in intellectual property arbitrations.[5] He was a member of the Gibraltar Court of Appeal.[2] In March 2009 he dissented from other Court of Appeal judges, in giving the opinion that the Gibraltar Government's housing allocation policy discriminated against same-sex couples.[6]

Sir William Aldous died on 17 March 2018, his 82nd birthday.[7]


Judgments of Aldous in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales include:


  • with Thomas Terrell, Guy Aldous and Douglas Falconer, Terrell on the law of patents, 11th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 1965.
  • with Thomas Terrell, Douglas Falconer and David Young, Terrell on the law of patents, 12th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 1971, ISBN 0-421-14650-8.
  • with Thomas Terrell, Terrell on the Law of Patents, 13th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, Ltd (January 1982), ISBN 0-421-24900-5.


  1. ^ "Former members". Three New Square. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Groves, Peter (2011). "Aldous, Lord Justice (Sir William Aldous) (1936–)". A Dictionary of Intellectual Property Law. Edward Elgar Ltd. doi:10.4337/9781849807784. ISBN 978 1 84980 777 7.
  3. ^ Broadcasters welcome 'surprising' decision, Andrew Culf The Guardian, 27 January 1993.
  4. ^ Privy Council Members Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ ADR Chambers UK & Europe web site, Sir William Aldous. Consulted on March 29, 2008.
  6. ^ "JUDGMENT Nadine Rodriguez v (1) Minister of Housing of the Government (2) The Housing Allocation Committee" (PDF). Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  7. ^ Aldous
  8. ^ [1997] EWCA Civ 1174
  9. ^ [1999] 1 WLR 903
  10. ^ British Telecommunications plc v One in a Million Ltd [1999] 1 WLR 903, Aldous LJ at 920.
  11. ^ [2003] EWCA Civ 199, [2003] ICR 688, [2003] IRLR 469
  12. ^ [2002] UKHL 48, [2003] 2 AC 366
  13. ^ [2003] EWCA Civ 1409, [2004] 4 All ER 484