Will Harman practises across the range of work in Chambers with a particular focus on commercial litigation, construction, civil fraud, professional liability and sports. His experience includes high-value dispute resolution with an international dimension before both courts and arbitral tribunals.

Will also has a growing offshore practice having recently spent three months on secondment in Jersey following instructions in Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Alongside his busy practice, Will is part of the editorial team working on a new edition of Toulson & Phipps on Confidentiality.

For examples of his recent and ongoing work, please see the individual practice areas below.

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Areas of Expertise

Commercial Dispute Resolution

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Will receives instructions on a range of commercial disputes before courts and arbitral tribunals.  Examples of his current and recent work include:

  • Acting in a counsel team led by Justin Fenwick QC challenging an arbitration award relating to the beneficial ownership of a significant Moscow-based company under section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Acting in a counsel team led by Jamie Smith QC for defendants to a Commercial Court claim for conspiracy pleaded at c. £130m.
  • Acting for an Isle of Man trust in a high-value, multi-jurisdictional dispute involving allegations of fraud by creditors to a personal guaranty.
  • Acting for a Russian distribution business claiming more than £800,000 in the High Court pursuant to a chain of contracts relating to the commission of machinery by the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
  • Acting in a counsel team defending multi-million pound litigation concerning the sale of the share capital of Nottingham Forest Football Club.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the defendants in a substantial dispute relating to the purchase of a high-end residential construction business.
  • Acting in proceedings relating to the breach of an endorsement contract by a Premier League footballer.
  • Instructed by the Government Legal Department in respect of a complex procurement claim against a government department.

Will is a member of COMBAR and the Young International Arbitration Group.  He is also currently editing the Banking and Arbitration chapters in a new edition of Toulson & Phipps on Confidentiality.

Construction

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Will has a range of experience in construction dispute resolution.

Recent and ongoing instructions include:

  • Acting for the claimant employer in substantial proceedings against architects in the Royal Court of Guernsey.
  • Acting for an international engineering firm, led by Hugh Saunders, in respect of an adjudication relating to the legal effect of various payless notices given by a prominent contractor.
  • Acting for the employer in a dispute relating to the termination of a large residential property construction project.
  • Acting for a national sub-contractor in urgent court proceedings relating to the proper effect of the Construction Act.
  • Acting for an employer in a dispute over an interim account under a letter of intent.

Will has also acted as sole counsel in a number of cases involving allegations of negligence against construction professionals, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy engineering.

In late 2017, Will spent time on secondment in the construction insurance team of a leading firm of solicitors, and sat with O’Farrell J in the TCC as part of the TECBAR marshalling scheme.

During pupillage, Will assisted David Turner QC and Clare Dixon in the case of Costain Limited v Tarmac Holdings Limited concerning, amongst other things, the reasonableness of an extensive scheme of remedial works.  He also assisted Clare Dixon in respect of a substantial claim relating to the procurement practices of a high-end interior design and project management firm.

Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery and Injunctive Relief

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Will has particular expertise in claims involving allegations of dishonesty, recent and ongoing examples of which include:

  • Acting as part of a large counsel team in the ground-breaking asset tracing case of CMOC v Persons Unkown.
  • Acting in a counsel team led by Jamie Smith QC for defendants to a Commercial Court claim for conspiracy pleaded at c. £130m.
  • Acting for an Isle of Man trust in a high-value, multi-jurisdictional dispute involving allegations of fraud by creditors to a personal guaranty.
  • Acting in the defence of a claim alleging fraud in the preparation of an application for planning permission.

Will is a member of the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association.

Professional Liability

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Will regularly receives instructions in claims against a range of professionals.

Recent and ongoing examples of his work include:

  • Acting for defendant solicitors in a counsel team led by Jamie Smith QC in respect of a claim for conspiracy pleaded at c.£130m in the Commercial Court.
  • Instructed by insurers in relation to a high-profile dispute involving allegations of breach of trust against lawyers practising between the UK and Italy.
  • Acting as part of a large counsel team in a high-value claim against accountant auditors following the administration of a Guernsey investment fund.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the successful claimant in multi-track proceedings against conveyancing solicitors.
  • Advising and drafting on behalf of family law solicitors in a claim following matrimonial proceedings.
  • Representing a number of renewable energy engineers in claims for professional negligence.
  • Advising and drafting for an insurance broker in a dispute over the proper construction of an accident policy.
  • Acting for a well-known chamber of commerce in defence of a claim in negligence and deceit.

Will has also appeared in the SDT in regulatory proceedings following the administration of a well-known law firm.

Sports Law

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Will receives instructions in a range of matters involving the sports industry with a particular focus on anti-corruption and anti-doping charges.  Will is also regularly instructed in commercial disputes with a sports context.  Recent and ongoing examples include:

  • Acting for the Professional Tennis Integrity Officers, led by Kendrah Potts, in respect of corruption charges against a Chilean tennis player under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.  The player received a lifetime ban for attempting to contrive the outcome of an ATP Challenger match by offering another player money to lose a set.  The case also involved the first conviction under the TACP for purchasing and attempting to purchase a wild card.
  • Acting as junior counsel in the successful defence of charges of evading, refusing and/or failing to provide a urine sample for anti-doping testing.  Following a two-day hearing, the NADP found that the athlete, who is a former Olympian, reasonably believed that they had retired and had not deliberately evaded the anti-doping personnel.  This represents a rare instance where no anti-doping rule violation was found despite the athlete knowing that testers were at the door.
  • Acting in a counsel team defending multi-million pound litigation in the Chancery Division concerning the sale of the share capital of Nottingham Forest Football Club.
  • Representing a Scottish Championship footballer at a sanction hearing before a Scottish FA Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of charges of gambling on football.
  • Acting in relation to the breach of an endorsement contract by a Premier League footballer.
  • Acting for a youth football coach facing violent conduct charges by the Football Association.  After hearing evidence from more than ten witnesses, the Disciplinary Commission unanimously dismissed the charges.
  • Acting for the respondent in confidential proceedings brought under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
  • Advising in relation to a substantial claim involving loss of earnings in football.
  • Giving urgent advice to British Shooting in relation to its selection policy and procedure.
  • Acting as independent legal adviser to Table Tennis England at its selection meeting for the Commonwealth Games 2018.

Will is a member of the British Association for Sports Law.

Offshore

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Will recently returned from a three-month secondment with Ogier in Jersey during which he experienced a range of complex offshore litigation.  Much of Will’s work centred on proceedings in the Royal Court relating to the distribution of a trust settled by the former National Bank of Yugoslavia between the existing successor states.  He also assisted with a variety of non-trust matters encompassing construction, share purchase and company disputes.

Will’s previous offshore experience includes:

  • Acting as part of a large counsel team in a high-value claim against accountant auditors following the administration of a Guernsey investment fund.
  • Acting for an Isle of Man trust in a multi-jurisdictional dispute involving allegations of fraud by creditors to a personal guaranty.
  • Advising on limitation in respect of a complex claim by a Guernsey trustee against an English bank.
  • Acting for the claimant employer in substantial proceedings against architects in the Royal Court of Guernsey.
  • Advising on English law for the purposes of a construction dispute in Alderney.

Qualifications & Memberships

Before joining 4 New Square, Will undertook the Bar Professional Training Course (graded Outstanding) and the Graduate Diploma in Law (with Distinction) at City Law School. He was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn as a Lord Denning Scholar, Hardwicke Scholar and Buchanan Prize winner.

Will previously worked as a journalist in Rome covering the 2013 Italian election.  He also holds a first class degree in Modern and Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge, where he received the prize for the best performance in Italian.

Education – BA, Cambridge (First Class Honours); GDL, City (Distinction); BPTC, City (Outstanding)

Memberships – COMBAR; PNBA; TECBAR; CFLA; Government Legal Department Junior Junior Scheme; Young International Arbitration Group; British Association for Sports Law

Publications

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