William Harman practises across the range of work in Chambers with a particular focus on commercial litigation, civil fraud, professional liability, construction and sports.  His experience includes high-value dispute resolution with an international dimension before both courts and arbitral tribunals.  He also has a growing offshore practice having recently acted in proceedings in the Isle of Man and Guernsey.

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 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.

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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.
  • Instructed by the Government Legal Department in respect of a complex contractual claim against a government department.

Will is a member of COMBAR and the Young International Arbitration Group.

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 claimant in a multi-track claim against conveyancing solicitors.
  • Advising and drafting on behalf of family law solicitors in a claim following matrimonial proceedings.
  • Acting without a leader for 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.  Recent and ongoing examples include:

  • Acting for the Professional Tennis Integrity Officers, led by Kendrah Potts, in respect of corruption charges under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
  • Acting as junior counsel in the defence of an anti-doping charge brought against a former Olympic athlete.
  • 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.

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 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.

Qualifications & Memberships

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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