William Mitchell
Called: 2017

William Mitchell

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)
Memberships
Young ICCA

LSLC

YMP
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.

Will has a broad and busy developing practice encompassing all areas of Chambers’ work including: shipping & shipbuilding (including fatal accidents at sea), insurance and reinsurance, commercial litigation, international arbitration (including investor-state arbitration), aviation & travel, jurisdiction and conflict of laws, insolvency, and banking and finance. Additionally, he has a busy gaming and gambling practice, and is a member of the Attorney General’s junior junior scheme.

Will appears regularly as sole counsel in the High Court and County Court on a wide range of matters as well as arbitrations under LMAA, ICC, LCIA, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and ICC rules. He is also regularly instructed as a junior alongside other members of Chambers on complex matters. In the summer of 2018, he completed a secondment at a leading City insurer.

Will joined Chambers following a successful previous career as a social worker and continues to provide advocacy and support to the Gypsy and Traveller community through his pro bono work.

Recent illustrative highlights include:

  • Acting, led by Nigel Cooper QC and Gemma Morgan, for a world-leading yacht designer in relation to a high value ICC arbitration following a fatality on a yacht. The dispute went to a two-week hearing and required familiarity with highly technical aspects of yacht design including finite element analysis and loadcase development;
  • Hogg v Qatar Airways [2019] QBD – Appearing in the High Court as sole counsel for the defendant airline, against leading counsel, in relation to an application concerning an anonymous witness. The hearing attracted press interest and coverage due to the allegation that the claimant (a barrister) had received a spider bite during the flight;
  • PMI (Hong Kong) Food Services Limited v MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. [2020] QBD – Instructed to appear as sole counsel on an application relating to a claim for cargo damage.
  • Working with Michael McParland QC in a jurisdictional dispute arising from the loss of a superyacht, due to come before the Commercial Court in July 2020.
  • Assisting Robert Jan Temmink QC in drafting two s.994 petitions for unfair prejudice;
  • Defending a timeshare owner as sole counsel 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.
Commercial Dispute Resolution

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

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 under all major arbitral rules. Illustrative examples include:

  • Acting for the successful Owners in a LMAA arbitration turning on novel questions concerning the true effect of the issuance of switch bills prior to surrender of the original bills and a failure to permit discharge;
  • 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’.
  • Advising and acting as sole counsel for owners in relation to an injury sustained to a crew member during a round the world yacht race.
International Arbitration

Will is regularly instructed as sole and junior counsel in arbitrations under various arbitral rules including ICC, LMAA and others. He also developing his practice in investment treaty arbitrations both under the ICSID convention and UNCITRAL rules. Illustrative cases include:

  • Advising with Guy Blackwood QC in relation to a potential ICSID claim worth c. $100m arising from the alleged expropriation of an investors’ assets following state actions.
  • An ICC arbitration led by Nigel Cooper in relation to a professional negligence claim against the designers of a highly technical racing yacht.
  • An ongoing ICC arbitration where Will is instructed as sole counsel representing the Claimants in a matter worth c. $2M concerning alleged force majeure relating to the issuing of a letter of credit.
  • Various arbitrations under LMAA rules relating to cargo damage disputes, bunker disputes, general average claims, demurrage disputes, speed and performance disputes etc.

He also acts in relation to court proceedings in support of arbitration including anti-suit injunctions and other interim measures.

International Trade and Commodities

Will is developing a practice covering a wide range of international trade cases including sales on FOB, CIF, C&F, FAS or other terms. He recently acted for sellers under FOB contract in relation to a $700k dispute over damage to steel billets.

Insurance

Having spent time on secondment with a leading London insurer Will is familiar with the Lloyd’s market and with a wide range 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 is regularly instructed to advise on coverage issues of which a recent selection include:

  • Providing urgent Advice to an insurer on policy coverage issues arising from the kidnap (and removal from the vessel) of crew and a ransom demand;
  • Advising on the scope of ‘add-on’ cover in relation to a H&M policy with an agreed value in excess of US$15m following a superyacht fire;
  • Advising on an exclusion of contractual liability clause in an Employers’ liability policy;
  • Advising on the scope of a legal defence costs clause in a General Liability Insurance policy.
  • Advising on potential exclusion clauses following a damage to 3rd party property due to an unexpected power surge.
Aviation & Travel

Will has experience of a wide range of aviation disputes dealing with the Montreal Convention and Regulation 261/2004, including personal injury claims, both in court and in CEDR adjudications. Recent highlights include:

  • Acting in the High Court representing the defendant airline in preliminary hearing concerning the identification of an anonymous witness. The claimant, represented at the hearing by Leading Counsel, alleged serious personal injury caused by a spider-bite during the flight. The case was widely reported in the media;
  • Acting for the successful defendant airline in striking out a claim made for false imprisonment, torture, assault, and battery during a flight;
  • Acting in matters considering the scope of an ‘accident’ under the Montreal Convention, for example in relation to nut allergies, injury following a chair reclining, and other matters;
  • Acting for the successful Defendant airline in a claim considering the meaning of ‘denied boarding’ where the airline was alleged to have provided incorrect boarding gate information to the passenger.
Shipbuilding

Will is developing his practice in this key area of Chambers’ work and was 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

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

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.

Gaming law & e-sports

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;
  • Representing the Defendant online casino operator in relation to a number of claims alleging breaches of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP”) and, in particular, the social responsibility code;
  • Advising the potential Claimant in respect of a claim against an online casino for in excess of £1m of losses.
Pro Bono

Will has an active pro bono practice and is regularly instructed directly by members of the Gypsy and Traveller Community and by non-governmental organisations representing those communities. His recent and ongoing work includes:

  • Acting for the potential claimant in obtaining the successful delivery up of horses detained by the RSPCA;
  • Advising on the merits of discriminations claims under the Equality Act 2010 in a wide range of denial of services situations;
  • Advising a client in relation the protection of the Withy Patch Gypsy and Traveller site in West Lancing facing relocation following planning permission for the New Monks Farm Development;
  • Appearing for two Irish Traveller families in a successful appeal against a refusal to grant a school place.
  • Acting for five clients in a discrimination claim following the denial of service at a pub.