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.
Head of Chambers at South Square, William sits as a Deputy High Court Judge (Chancery Division) and was a member of the Insolvency Rules Committee for ten years. He contributes to a number of texts and professional publications, and is also a CEDR-trained Mediator.
William was nominated for the Chambers UK Company/Insolvency Silk of the Year Award 2016.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Insolvency and Restructuring
Recent cases include:
- Re Lehman Bros International (Europe)  EWHC 2131 (Ch), foreign currencies, set off and interest
- Re Lehman Bros International (Europe)  Ch 50, statutory interest, application of the contributory rule and surplus assets
- Re Lehman International (Europe)  Bus LR 17, contingent liabilitites
- Re Lehman International (Europe)  EWHC 2270 (Ch), statutory interest and foreign currencies
- Metinvest B.V.  1LPr19, scheme of arrangement
- AI Scheme Ltd  EWHC 1233 (Ch) and  EWHC 2038 (Ch), consumer mis-selling scheme of arrangement
- Re Apcoa Parking Holdings  4 All ER 572, scheme of arrangement for German group where governing law was changed to enable scheme to be promulgated
- Laverty & Ors v British Gas Trading Ltd  2 ALL ER 430, payment for gas and electricity supplies as expenses in an administration
- Re Card Protection Plan Ltd  EWHC 114 (Ch), scheme of arrangement to vary customer rights in respect of misselling claims
- Re Nortel; Re Lehman Brothers International  UKSC 52, treatment of Pensions Act liabilities as expenses in administration
- Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe)  EWHC 1664 (Ch), court to court communication
- Re Bezier Acquisitions  BCLC 322, appointment of administrators out of Court
- BNY Corporate Trustee Services v Eurosail-UK-2007-3BL  EWCA Civ 227, meaning of unable to pay debts in section 123(2) of Insolvency Act 1986
- Re Stanford International Bank  Ch 33 (CA), COMI and application of Proceeds of Crime Act to foreign liquidation
- Goldacre (Offices) v Nortel Networks  Ch 455, rent as expense of administration
- Bloom v Harms Offshore AHT ‘Taurus’ & Co KG  Ch 187 (CA), anti-suit injunction in aid of English administration
- European Directories (DHG) BV  EWHC 3472 (Ch), COMI and administration of foreign company
- Re Hellas Telecommunications (Luxembourg) II SCA  EWHC 2199 (Ch), COMI shift and administration pre-packs
- Four Private Investment Funds v Lomas  1 BCLC 161, administration moratorium and unfair prejudice
- RAB Capital v LBIE  BCC 915, administration moratorium
- Dolphin Quays Developments v Mills  1 WLR 1829, third party costs and receivers
- Re HIH Casualty & General Insurance McGrath v Riddell  1 WLR 852, cross border insolvency and remission of assets to foreign liquidator
- Re Metronet Rail BCV  2 All ER 75, PPP administration and transfer scheme under Schedule 15 of the Greater London Authority Act
- Re Cheyne Finance  2 All ER 987, meaning of unable to pay debts as they fall due
- Re Cheyne Finance  1 BCLC 732, enforcement events under SIV security agreement
- Re T&N (No 3)  1 All ER 851, contingent claims and schemes of arrangement
- Re Trident Fashions (No 4) Exeter City Council v Bairstow (No 2)  4 All ER 437, rates and administration expenses
- Re T&N  1 WLR 1728, contingent claims, schemes of arrangement and provability in a winding up
- Re Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, Re Globe Worsted  2 BCLC 160, administration expenses
- In re Allders Department Stores  ICR 867, administrators’ expenses
- In re British American Racing (Holdings)  2 BCLC 235, abuse of process and administration applications
- AES Barry v TXU Europe Energy Trading  2 BCLC 22, leave to commence proceedings against company in administration
Banking and Finance
Recent cases include:
- US Bank Trustees Ltd v Titan Europe 2007-1 (NHP) Ltd  EWHC 1189 (Ch), construction of financing documentation
- Re Christophorus 3 Ltd  EWHC 1162 (Ch), administration, restructuring and construction of intercreditor releases
- Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3) v Danske Bank  EWHC 3103, application of a liquidity facility in a securitisation structure
- Lomas v JFB Firth Rixson  EWCA 419, construction of section 2(a)(iii) of ISDA Master Agreement and application of anti-deprivation principle
- HHY Luxembourg v Barclays Bank  EWCA Civ 1248, construction and effect of release clause in Intercreditor Agreement
- Cattles v Welcome Financial Serviced  EWCA Civ 599, construction of non-compete clause in guarantee
- Bank of New York v Montana Board of Investment  1 All ER 1081, meaning of SIV Agreement
- OT Computers v First National Tricity Finance  EWHC 1010 (Ch), purpose trusts
Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
Recent cases include:
- Tchenguiz and Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees v Serious Fraud Office  4 All ER 627, litigation privilege
- Isis Investments v Oscatello Investments  EWHC 75 (Ch), stay of proceedings
- Isis Investments v Oscatello Investments  EWHC 745 (Ch), compromise agreements and amendments
- Burmarsh v Walters  EWCA Civ 172, construction of Deed of Assignment, tax avoidance
Recent cases include:
- In re Hibu Finance (UK) Ltd  EWHC 370 (Ch) and  EWHC 1047 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
- Monier Group Services GMBH  EWHC 3406 (Ch) and  EWHC 3919 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
- In Re Cortefiel  EWHC 4192 (Ch), scheme of arrangement
- Re Seat Pagine Gialle Spa  EWHC 3686 (Ch), scheme of arrangement for foreign company
- Re TXU Europe Group  EWHC 2072 (Ch), distributions to members out of a CVA
- Re DX Holdings  EWHC 1513 (Ch), consent fees and schemes of arrangement
- Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe)  1 BCLC 496 (CA), jurisdiction to sanction scheme of arrangement
- Re DAP Holdings NV  BCC 48, jurisdiction to sanction scheme of arrangement in respect of Dutch insurer
AWARDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
|Chambers & Partners||Star individual in Restructuring and Insolvency, Bank 1 in Company and also recommended in Banking and Finance.
"An outstanding advocate"
"He's a very smart guy, who is very thoughtful"
"He is very urbane and relaxed, and always has the ear of the Court"
|Chambers Global||Recommended Star Individual in UK Restructuring and Insolvency.
"His opinions are utterly on the money"
"He is a plausible advocate on any subject"
"He is a real tour de force"
Recommended in Banking & Finance, Company, and Insolvency.
|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.
|2005||Council of Insolvency Lawyers Association|
|2000-2011||Insolvency Rules Committee|
Consultant Editor O’Dea on Schemes of Arrangement: Law and Practice (OUP, 2012)
Consultant Editor Parry on Transaction Avoidance in Insolvencies (OUP, 2011)
Contributor to Montgomery and Ormerod on Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (OUP, 2008)
Co-Author Fletcher, Higham & Trower: Corporate Administrations and Rescue Procedures (second edition, LexisNexis, 2004)
Co-Author Fletcher, Higham & Trower: The Law & Practice of Corporate Administrations (Butterworths, 1994)
Member of Editorial Board of International Corporate Rescue (Kluwer Law)
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
|1981-1982||City University, Graduate Diploma in Law|
|1978-1981||Oxford University, MA|