William Mitchell

Called: 2017

Practice Overview

Will has a broad and growing practice spanning all areas of Chambers’ work including:

  • Shipping & Maritime (including fatal accidents at sea)
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Banking & Finance
  • Arbitration
  • Aviation & Carriage by Road
  • Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws
  • Insolvency
  • Gaming law

He appears regularly as sole counsel in the County Court and High Court on a wide range of matters as well as in arbitrations under LMAA and ICC rules. He recently appeared in the High Court (as sole counsel, against leading counsel) for the defendant airline in relation to applications concerning an anonymous witness. He is also regularly instructed as a junior alongside other members of Chambers on complex matters. 

Recent and ongoing cases include:

  • acting (with Nigel Cooper QC and Gemma Morgan) for a designer in relation to claims arising out of the capsize of a high-performance racing multi-hull. The dispute has required familiarity with highly technical aspects of yacht design including finite element analysis;
  • advising and pleading in numerous bill of lading and charterparty disputes, including acting as sole counsel in arbitrations under LMAA rules regarding cargo damage, bunker disputes, salvage matters, claims under the implied indemnity and on and off-hire survey disputes;
  • advising and drafting closing submissions in an LMAA arbitration relating to general average, advising on the exercise of a contractual liens, and advising on issues relating to the establishing admiralty jurisdiction in rem;
  • regularly acting for airlines in claims brought under EU regulation 261/2004 and the Montreal Convention including personal injury claims. Will recently acted at trial for the successful airline in defending a claim made for false imprisonment, assault, and battery during a flight; 
  • regularly acting for online casino and gaming companies including advising in relation to a gaming dispute where the claimant alleged breach of duty and non-payment of a jackpot following an alleged software error, representing a casino at trial following misuse of a bonus, and advising on a e-sports sponsorship contract.  
  • defending a timeshare owner in a case relating to an amendment to the constitution of an unincorporated association. Will achieved a successful settlement of the case for the client.  
  • assisting in drafting two s.994 petitions for unfair prejudice; 
  • advising and providing expert witness evidence in relation to a claim in Greece against an insurer worth $160 million following the loss of the vessel “Alexandros T”;
  • advising on the merits of a claim for relational financial loss of approximately $2 million following a collision and GA event, where there was no physical damage to the cargo;
  • advising an Insurer on coverage under a H&M war risks policy following the capture of a Vessel’s crew by pirates;
  • advising and acting in several yacht matters including advising the mortgagee of a Yacht in relation to enforcing his rights following the disappearance of the mortgagor, and acting in several ongoing LMAA arbitrations under MYBA charters;
  • advising and acting in a claim for the delivery up of goods, including in relation to the right to delivery up where a lien is being wrongfully exercised;
  • advising and pleading in carriage of goods by road disputes;
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Will has a busy general commercial practice both in litigation and arbitration. His recent cases include acting in a claim in the Circuit Commercial Court for the delivery up of a rare Porsche car, including in relation to the right to delivery up where a lien is being wrongfully exercised. Other illustrative examples include:

    • acting in a dispute following the purported repudiation of a house redevelopment contract;
    • acting in a wide range of procedural matters including applications to set aside default judgment, to rely on additional witness evidence, for specific disclosure, and for strike out; 
    • advising a property developer in relation to a potential sale at an undervalue by LPA receivers and other breaches of duty;
    • advising on the merits of an application under Part 11 for the Court to set aside a claim form on grounds that the claim was in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement. 

    During pupillage Will worked with his supervisors on a wide range of commercial matters including applications for interim relief, stakeholder proceedings, and anti-suit injunctions. 

  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    This is one of Will’s core practice areas, and he has been instructed on a wide range of bill of lading and charterparty disputes both in court proceedings and arbitrations. Illustrative examples include:

    • advising and acting in an arbitration under LMAA rules concerning damage to cargo involving a preliminary issue as to whether claims handlers had authority to accept service of originating process;
    • advising and drafting claim submissions (alongside Stewart Buckingham) in a high-value salvage matter under a BIMCO WRECKSTAGE charterparty; 
    • advising and drafting claim submissions in relation to a demurrage claim for $500k arising from a sanctions clause and withdrawal of a LOI;
    • acting for defendant charterers in relation to the scope of the implied indemnity and costs arising from owners seeking legal advice and surveys;
    • assisting Ben Gardner in drafting defence submissions in a $16M dispute arising from the charter of a jack-up oil rig in the Cook Inlet, Alaska;
    • acting for owners in a LMAA arbitration concerning the scope of owners’ obligations to discharge the cargo;
    • acting in a wide variety of cargo claims, commonly under LMAA rules, concerning cargo damage and shortage issues. 

    Wet Shipping

    Will is regularly instructed on matters concerning general average, arrest, collision and salvage. Recent cases include:

    • acting a sole counsel for owners in relation to a general average claim arising from a main engine breakdown;
    • advising in cargo owners and charterers as to the prospect of recovery following a collision where the parties had suffered relational financial loss of $2M; 
    • assisting John Kimbell QC in a matter concerning a fatal accident that occurred following a yacht collision in Bermuda;
    • advising in relation to jurisdictional issues on an in rem claim against a Vessel for repair costs;
    • advising on an application to contest in rem jurisdiction and the requirements of section 21 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 in relation to a ‘relevant person’. 
  • International Trade & Commodities K View More

    Will is developing a practice covering a variety of international trade cases including sales on FOB, CIF, C&F, FAS or other terms. 

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Having spent time on secondment with a leading London insurer Will is familiar with the Lloyd’s market and the full spectrum of shipping, aviation and space policies including P&I, H&M, FD&D, K&R, and cargo (including cargo throughput policies and Institute Cargo Clauses). 

    Will recently provided urgent Advice to an insurer on policy coverage issues arising from the kidnap (and removal from the vessel) of crew and a ransom demand.

  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Will is developing his practice in this key area of Chambers’ work and is currently being led by Nigel Cooper QC and Gemma Morgan in relation to a dispute relating to the design and construction of a America’s Cup Yacht which engages complex issues of naval architecture and modelling using numerical (FEA) methods. 

    During pupillage Will assisted with preparation for a substantive hearing considering whether Class certification was conclusive evidence of contractual compliance and the proper application of ex turpi causa following Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42. 

  • Energy & Natural Resources K View More

    Will has a developing practice in the field of energy and natural resources and was recently instructed with Ben Gardner in a dispute relating to the hire of a jack-up rig to exploit oil wells in the Cook Inlet, Alaska. 

  • Insolvency & Restructuring K View More

    Will has been instructed on various matters relating to both personal and corporate insolvency including appearing in the winding-up court. During pupillage he assisted with an Advice as to the merits of an application under s.50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to remove and replace an administratrix who was bankrupt. 

    Will has also appeared in applications to restore companies to the Company Register under s.1029.

  • Gaming law and e-sports K View More

    Will has experience of a range of gaming disputes and related matters. He recently appeared for the successful defendant casino operator in defending a claim for monies withheld following improper use of a casino bonus. Other recent cases have included:

    • advising on the scope of a copyright license granted in relation to a e-gaming sponsorship contract;
    • advising on the merits of an application for pre-action disclosure in relation to the non-payment of a jackpot due to software error;

Academic


BSc Mathematics, Imperial College, London (First Class)

MSc (Oxon)

Graduate Diploma in Law, Oxford Brookes University (Distinction, 1st in year)

Bar Professional Training Course, BPP (Outstanding)

Awards


Lord Denning Scholar, The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Buchanan Prize, The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Hardwicke Entrance Award, The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Excellence Award, BPP

Oxford University Press Law Prize (for the highest performance on the GDL)

In-House Experience


Leading Insurer, complex claims team

Personal


Will sits on the London Advisory Board of the national children’s charity Chicks. He has been a long-standing advocate for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and is happy to consider pro bono instructions in related matters. 

Memberships


Young ICCA

LSLC

YMP

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