| Call 2000
Experience and Expertise
Much of William’s work involves an international element. He frequently acts for or against parties outside the UK and his work often involves questions of the proper law governing a contract, jurisdiction, and the interpretation and effect of regulations and conventions concerning enforcement of judgments.
This international element spans the entire scope of William’s practice, from commercial litigation to private wealth, estates and trusts (such as estates and settlements including property in more than one jurisdiction) which often involve questions of private international law and the conflict of laws.
Traditional Chancery section, Chambers UK 2012: “…lauded for being ‘thoughtful and thorough’ is all-round traditional chancery practitioner William Moffett. He is a ‘born problem-solver’ with a loyal and diverse following, one of whose key strengths lies in his ability to pitch things well to clients”.
Commercial Litigation section, The Legal 500 2012: “William Moffett is ‘a truly outstanding trial advocate’ who is ‘very reliable and always delivers when he says he will.'”
Property Litigation section, The Legal 500 2012: William Moffett is recommended.
Traditional Chancery section, Chambers UK 2011: “William Moffett has a classic traditional chancery practice and is lauded for the fact that ‘he produces skeleton arguments that are very clear and show good analysis. An advocate with a good, relaxed manner, he is firm but not unduly aggressive in court.'”
Property Litigation section, The Legal 500 2011: William Moffett is recommended.
Cases and Work of Note
Examples of recent work in this area include:
- In Elonex Ltd v Asbis Ltd & Ors (2010) (QB) William acted for the successful claimant company in a multi-party action concerning the import and retail of household electrical goods (televisions and laptop computers, said to be defective) manufactured in China, and involving the Republic of Ireland importer, the UK importer and the UK high street retailer;
- Acting for the claimant in successfully striking out a defence based upon a challenge to jurisdiction in an action with an international element where it was held that the defendant had, by its conduct, submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales;
- In Green v Montagu (Re the Duchy of Manchester Settlements)  EWHC 1856 (Ch),  W.T.L.R. 1341 William represented the successful defendants, children of the Duke of Manchester but the product of a bigamous marriage which raised a question as to their entitlement as beneficiaries under the trusts settled by a previous Duke. William’s clients were US nationals domiciled in California, as was their mother.
- The domicile of their father, the Duke, was less clear, being potentially the UK, Australia (Victoria or New South Wales, where he had spent his early life), or California (his current residence). The court found that the children were entitled under the trust, in doing so considering the rule proposed in Dicey & Morris Rule 104(2) whether the right of inheritance of ‘illegitimate’ children under a trust for ‘issue’ depends upon the status of those children under the law of the country of domicile of the father, mother or both, a point on which there was no previous precedent;
- William acted for the developer of a 350-room luxury hotel resort in Barbuda, in connection with a purported forfeiture of building leases granted by the government. The dispute included questions of jurisdiction of the Antiguan court and construction of an international arbitration agreement;
- William advised professional executors, appointed under an English will, of the estate of a wealthy individual that included property, moveable and immoveable, in several jurisdictions with conflicting wills made in two of those jurisdictions.
William co-wrote, with Tom Dumont (who represented the trustees) an article on this decision in the Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal December 2011, no.132 p.5.