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Profile: Professional Liability
Experience and Expertise
William acts for both claimants and defendants, with particular experience in claims against solicitors, building contractors, valuers, local authorities, surveyors and architects.
William has expertise in claims of negligence relating to conveyancing transactions, defective construction of buildings and the detection of such defects, valuations of real property and businesses, and the drafting of trusts and wills by solicitors. William has recently given a series of seminars on liability of solicitors to potential beneficiaries in the preparation of wills under the principal in White v Jones.
William is recommended for Traditional Chancery and Real Estate Litigation by Chambers UK and for Commercial Litigation, Professional Negligence and Property Litigation by The Legal 500. Recent directory editorial includes:
- superb attention to detail and a charming manner with clients
- As an advocate he does not get distracted by difficult opponents and focuses on building and presenting
- the best possible case for the client
- head and shoulders above others of his year of call
- popular with clients and really takes the fight to the other side
- 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
- a born problem-solver with a loyal and diverse following
- lauded for being thoughtful and thorough
- an excellent lawyer and a strong and clever advocate
- very reliable and always delivers when he says he will
- a truly outstanding trial advocate.
Cases and Work of Note
- Examples of recent work in this area include:
- Green v Eadie & Ors  PNLR 9: William acted for the successful first and second defendants in the trial of a claim brought by purchasers of land against the vendor (for an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation as to title) and their own solicitors (for failing to protect them against the alleged misrepresentation). It has been reported on the issues it raised on questions of the limitation of actions, and in particular the running of time for the purposes of tortious claims in transactional negligence cases;
- William has acted against architects, surveyors and building contractors in relation to the renovation of listed buildings in Suffolk using ancient construction techniques (in circumstances where there was a structural failure shortly after completion);
- William acted for the successful claimant against the matrimonial litigation solicitors who failed to protect her interests by entry of an appropriate notice and/or seeking injunctive relief to prevent the sale of her co-owned home by her former partner (who then absconded with the proceeds of sale);
- William was led by Keith Rowley QC for the defendants in a long-running dispute relating to alleged misrepresentations in the sale of luxury home to a Middle Eastern Royal Family and consequently William also acted (without leading counsel) in the ensuing professional negligence dispute by the sellers against their solicitors;
- William has advised several successful claimants in claims against conveyancing solicitors for failure to advise them on aspects of their purchase of land, including in respect of the existence of rights of way and rights of entry, failure to carry out searches to reveal a lack of planning permission and building consent in the construction of block of flats, and in respect of the failure to advise on the need to reserve a right of access essential to the operation of plant and machinery in a sale of part of commercial premises;
- William has acted for solicitors in successfully resisting a claim in negligence relating to tax advice given in respect of a series of commercial property transactions;
- William has also acted for and against local authorities in respect of negligent failure to maintain and manage property, including negligence causing damage to neighbouring land;
- William has advised and acted for solicitors in several claims against them in circumstances in which wills were drawn for a testator said to be lacking mental capacity or the victim of undue influence.