William Trower QC

William Trower QC William Trower QC

William Trower QC

QC 2001, Called to the Bar 1983
+44 (0)20 7696 9900
William Trower QC
QC 2001, Called to the Bar 1983

William has a financial and commercial practice, specialising in Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring, Banking, Company Law and the civil aspects of Commercial Fraud.  He has acted in disputes arising out of many high-profile and high-value insolvencies, both in the UK and abroad.

Frequently described as ‘the go-to man’ for top law firms, William has been instructed in many of the major, precedent-setting insolvencies and restructurings over the past 10 years. He is currently acting for the administrators of Lehman Brothers and Nortel and has acted in many other high profile insolvencies and reconstructions, such as Kaupthing and Landsbanki.

William sits as a Deputy High Court Judge (Chancery Division), accepts appointment as an arbitrator and is a CEDR-trained mediator.  He was a member of the Insolvency Rules Committee for ten years and is now a non-executive Board member of the Insolvency Service. He contributes to a number of texts and professional publications.


Insolvency and Restructuring

Cases in the last 10 years:

  • Re Nortel Networks UK Ltd [2017] EWHC 3299 (Ch) (Administration extension and impact of BREXIT)
  • Re LB Holdings Intermediate 2 Limited [2017] EWHC 2032 (Ch) (approval of settlements)
  • Re Nortel Networks (UK) Limited [2017] BCC 325 (directions for asset distribution)
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe) [2017] UKSC 38 (currency conversion claims, statutory interest, claims against contributories and set off)
  • Re Nortel Networks UK Limited  [2017] Bus LR 590 (approval of global settlement)
  • Re Nortel Networks UK Limited [2015] EWHC 2506 (Ch) (directions for proving)
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe) [2016] EWHC 2131 (Ch), foreign currencies, set off and interest
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe) [2016] Ch 50, statutory interest, application of the contributory rule and surplus assets
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe) [2016] Bus LR 17, contingent liabilitites
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe) [2015] EWHC 2270 (Ch), statutory interest and foreign currencies
  • Laverty & Ors v British Gas Trading Ltd [2015] 2 ALL ER 430, payment for gas and electricity supplies as expenses in an administration 
  • Re Nortel; Re Lehman Brothers International [2013] UKSC 52, treatment of Pensions Act liabilities as expenses in administration
  • Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2013] EWHC 1664 (Ch), court to court communication
  • Re Bezier Acquisitions [2012] BCLC 322, appointment of administrators out of Court
  • BNY Corporate Trustee Services v Eurosail-UK-2007-3BL [2011] EWCA Civ 227, meaning of unable to pay debts in section 123(2) of Insolvency Act 1986
  • Re Stanford International Bank [2011] Ch 33 (CA), COMI and application of Proceeds of Crime Act to foreign liquidation
  • Goldacre (Offices)  v Nortel Networks [2010] Ch 455, rent as expense of administration
  • Bloom v Harms Offshore AHT ‘Taurus’ & Co KG [2010] Ch 187 (CA), anti-suit injunction in aid of English administration
  • European Directories (DHG) BV [2010] EWHC 3472 (Ch), COMI and administration of foreign company
  • Re Hellas Telecommunications (Luxembourg) II SCA [2009] EWHC 2199 (Ch), COMI shift and administration pre-packs
  • Four Private Investment Funds v Lomas [2009] 1 BCLC 161, administration moratorium and unfair prejudice
  • RAB Capital v LBIE [2008] BCC 915, administration moratorium
  • Dolphin Quays Developments  v Mills [2008] 1 WLR 1829, third party costs and receivers
  • Re HIH Casualty & General Insurance  McGrath v Riddell  [2008] 1 WLR 852, cross border insolvency and remission of assets to foreign liquidator
  • Re Metronet Rail BCV  [2008] 2 All ER 75, PPP administration and transfer scheme under Schedule 15 of the Greater London Authority Act
  • Re Cheyne Finance [2008] 2 All ER 987, meaning of unable to pay debts as they fall due
  • Re Cheyne Finance  [2008] 1 BCLC 732, enforcement events under SIV security agreement
  • Re T&N (No 3) [2007] 1 All ER 851, contingent claims and schemes of arrangement
  • Re Trident Fashions (No 4) Exeter City Council v Bairstow (No 2) [2007] 4 All ER 437, rates and administration expenses

Banking and Finance

Cases in the last 10 years:

  • Citibank NA, London Branch v Oceanwood Opportunities Master Fund [2018] EWHC 448 (Ch) (meaning of “control” in provision of indenture disenfranchising noteholders)
  • Citibank NA, London Branch v Oceanwood Opportunities Master Fund [2018] EWHC 305 (Ch) (Competing jurisdiction clause under English law intercreditor agreement and NY law indenture)
  • Re Lehman Bros International (Europe)  [2017] Bus LR 1475 (ISDA master agreements and interest entitlements)
  • US Bank Trustees Ltd v Titan Europe 2007-1 (NHP) Ltd [2014] EWHC 1189 (Ch), construction of financing documentation
  • Re Christophorus 3 Ltd [2014] EWHC 1162 (Ch), administration, restructuring and construction of intercreditor releases
  • Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3) v Danske Bank [2012] EWHC 3103, application of a liquidity facility in a securitisation structure
  • Lomas v JFB Firth Rixson [2012] EWCA 419, construction of section 2(a)(iii) of ISDA Master Agreement and application of anti-deprivation principle
  • HHY Luxembourg v Barclays Bank [2010] EWCA Civ 1248, construction and effect of release clause in Intercreditor Agreement
  • Cattles  v Welcome Financial Serviced [2010] EWCA Civ 599, construction of non-compete clause in guarantee
  • Bank of New York v Montana Board of Investment [2009] 1 All ER 1081, meaning of SIV Agreement

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Cases in the last 10 years:

  • Tchenguiz and Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees  v Serious Fraud Office [2014] 4 All ER 627, litigation privilege
  • Isis Investments  v Oscatello Investments [2013] EWHC 75 (Ch), stay of proceedings
  • Isis Investments v Oscatello Investments [2012] EWHC 745 (Ch), compromise agreements and amendments
  • Burmarsh v Walters [2007] EWCA Civ 172, construction of Deed of Assignment, tax avoidance 


Cases in the last 10 years:

  • Re Far East Capital Ltd SA [2017] EWHC 2878 (Ch) (Sanction of scheme of arrangement proposed by Luxembourg-incorporated group carrying on business in Russia)
  • Metinvest B.V. [2016] ILPr19, scheme of arrangement
  • Re Celsa Huta Ostrowiec SP 200 [2015] EWHC 3227 (Ch) (scheme of arrangement)
  • AI Scheme Ltd [2015] EWHC 1233 (Ch) and [2015] EWHC 2038 (Ch), consumer mis-selling scheme of arrangement
  • Re Apcoa Parking Holdings [2015] 4 All ER 572, scheme of arrangement for German group where governing law was changed to enable scheme to be promulgated  
  • Re Card Protection Plan Ltd [2014] EWHC 114 (Ch), scheme of arrangement to vary customer rights in respect of misselling claims
  • In re Hibu Finance (UK) Ltd [2014] EWHC 370 (Ch) and [2014] EWHC 1047 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
  • Monier Group Services GMBH [2013] EWHC 3406 (Ch) and [2013] EWHC 3919 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
  • In Re Cortefiel [2012] EWHC 4192 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
  • Re Seat Pagine Gialle Spa [2012] EWHC 3686 (Ch), scheme of arrangement for foreign company
  • Re TXU Europe Group  [2011] EWHC 2072 (Ch), distributions to members out of a CVA
  • Re DX Holdings  [2010] EWHC 1513 (Ch), consent fees and schemes of arrangement
  • Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2010] 1 BCLC 496 (CA), jurisdiction to sanction scheme of arrangement


Chambers & Partners 
Recommended in Restructuring/Insolvency, Company, Banking and Finance
“brilliantly clear and calm advocate”
“He’s got very significant gravitas, he’s a very significant advocate and he commands respect from the judiciary”
“He’s very measured and always has the court’s ear.  He’s just superb”
“He has a razor sharp mind and is a delight to work with”
“inspires confidence from the outset as an adviser and as an advocate. He has the ability to break down and explain the legal effect of complex transactions in a very lucid fashion.”
Chambers Global 
Recommended in Restructuring/Insolvency
“He is a first choice for the most difficult intellectual assignments in the restructuring and insolvency arena”
“He’s super friendly, helps out at short notice and fully understands clients’ needs”
Legal 500

Recommended in Banking and Finance, Company and Partnership, Insolvency
“one of the top choices for work of this type”
“an excellent leading silk”
“absolutely excellent”

Who's Who Legal 
UK Bar Restructuring and Insolvency 2017
“William Trower QC ranks among the elite silks. Solicitors regularly state that he is one of the top five most popular to instruct, citing his “sensible approach” and “excellent judgement”


2017 Non-executive director, Insolvency Service Board
2000-2011 Barrister member of Insolvency Rules Commitee
2009 Bencher, Lincoln’s Inn
2007 Deputy High Court Judge (Chancery Division)
2001-2005 Reviewer of Complaints for Insolvency Practitioners Association
2001 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
1983 Called to the Bar of England & Wales


Called to the Bars of Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong for specific cases.

CEDR-trained Mediator. 


Insolvency Lawyers Association (Member of Council 2005 - 2018)
Chancery Bar Association


Co-Author Trower, Goodison, Abraham & Shaw: Corporate Administrations and Rescue Procedures (3rd edn, Bloomsbury, 2017)
Co-Author Fletcher, Higham & Trower: Corporate Administrations and Rescue Procedures (2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004)
Co-Author Fletcher, Higham & Trower: The Law & Practice of Corporate Administrations (Butterworths, 1994)

Contributor Montgomery and Ormerod on Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (OUP Looseleaf)

Consultant Editor Parry, Ayliffe & Shivji: Transaction Avoidance in Insolvencies (2nd edn, OUP, 2011)
Consultant Editor Parry, Ayliffe & Shivji:Transaction Avoidance in Insolvencies (3rd edn, OUP, 2018)

Consultant Editor O’Dea, Long & Smyth Schemes of Arrangement: Law and Practice (OUP, 2012)


1981-1982 City University, Graduate Diploma in Law
1978-1981 Oxford University, MA

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