William Hooper

Call 2014
BA (Hons), Oxford, GDL (City), BPTC (BPP)

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

Send email

Will has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. He has experience both led and unled in a wide range of commercial matters, including banking and finance, private equity, shipping and international trade, energy, civil and commercial fraud, project finance, offshore litigation, and private international law.

He has acted in the High Court (Commercial Court and Chancery Division) and frequently in arbitration, and recently appeared for the successful appellants in the Supreme Court, led by Steven Gee QC and Tom Whitehead, in The New Flamenco [2017] UKSC 43, the latest Supreme Court decision on mitigation of loss.

Will read History and English Literature at Jesus College, Oxford, finishing with the second highest First in the university. After spending some time in the charity sector, he took the GDL at City Law School (Commendation) and the Bar Course at BPP Law School (Outstanding), ranking second in his year at BPP. He was awarded the top scholarship from the Middle Temple for both years of his legal training.

  • Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

    Recent work includes:

    • Junior counsel, led by Gregory Pipe, in multiple c. £40m proceedings (including derivative proceedings) arising out of an alleged joint-venture to acquire and exploit a golf course.
    • Sole counsel in Commercial Court proceedings concerning alleged unpaid commission to fund managers.
    • Sole counsel in High Court proceedings concerning a sale contract of one of the most valuable cars ever sold.
    • Junior counsel, led by William Buck, on complex £20m+ multiparty offshore dispute concerning allegedly fraudulent sales of structured note investment products to a major insurance institution; as well as secret commissions as part of a complex and sophisticated international fraud. Currently instructed in respect of various successful interlocutory applications (including freezing injunctions) both in the High Court and offshore.
    • Junior counsel, led by William Buck, on USD 1m fraud dispute in the Chancery Division concerning a remarkable set of facts involving a long- running love scam and a cyber-fraud against an Australian billionaire.
    • Drafting submissions and witness statements in c. USD 35m LCIA private equity dispute involving a well-known investment bank and concerning non-payment of carried interest: issues include breach of shareholders’ agreements; fiduciary duties; unjust enrichment; good faith obligations; and the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in Braganza v BP Shipping Limited [2015] UKSC 17.
    • Advising on c. €5m prospective claim by an individual for carried interest against a major private equity house: issues include leaver provisions in the relevant limited partnership and overlapping issues of employment law.
    • Junior counsel to Vasanti Selvaratnam QC in 10-day arbitration concerning the allegedly fraudulent mis-sale of Iranian petroleum products to Pakistan buyers.
      • Issues included: the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42; foreign illegality including Pakistan customs & excise law and US sanctions; unjust enrichment; fraud; and complicated factual issues relating to the chemical makeup of the products and their means of valuation.
      • Ongoing instructions include post-award applications, including under s. 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, and interlocutory matters before the Commercial Court (including appearing unled against a leading commercial silk).
    • Advising on a reorganisation of well-known asset management company (non-contentious).
    • Advising on various issues arising out of a complex project finance arrangement concerning an energy plant in Egypt and non-payment by lenders, including prospective applications for urgent injunctive relief.
    • Advising, as junior counsel to Elizabeth Blackburn QC, in multimillion dollar ship finance dispute in respect of the purchase of five vessels.
    • Drafting opening, closing, and consequential submissions in c. USD 8m dispute concerning the sale between oligarchs of a bank: issues included reflective loss and company valuation.
    • Drafting a RFI in a nine figure s.994 Companies Act 2006 petition.
    • Advising on a dispute arising out of the purported termination of contract for the sale of an aircraft.
    • Advising on the effect of US sanctions on the transfer of property from a Dutch company with a US sister company to a Cuban entity.
    • Advising on the recoverability as damages of losses arising from falls in the commodities market when the claimant had hedged against the risk of market fluctuation.
    • Advising on the recoverability of losses resulting from exchange rate fluctuations.
    • Will has also advised extensively on guarantee and indemnity contracts, as well as settlement agreements.

    During pupillage, Will advised on the enforceability of a personal guarantee with no dispute resolution clause in relation to a sale and purchase contract containing and arbitration clause. He also assisted on a large scale litigation concerning the manufacture and supply of an incinerator system for use in the annual hajj pilgrimage.

    Other experience includes:

    • Advising on the circumstances in which a subsidiary company can be compelled to disclose documents in arbitration in the possession of its parent.
    • Representing the successful defendant in an application for strike out of a claim alleging breach of a settlement agreement.
    • Representing the defendant in proceedings alleging non-payment of fees under a services agreement.
    • Advising on the jurisdiction of arbitrators to determine issues under an alleged compromise of a dispute which had been properly referred to arbitration in circumstances where the alleged compromise agreement does not contain an arbitration clause but the matrix agreement does.
    • Assisting with an application under s. 41 Arbitration Act 1996 to dismiss a claim on account of delay.
  • Shipping and International Trade

    Recent work includes:

    • Junior counsel to Steven Gee QC and Tom Whitehead for the successful appellants in the Supreme Court in The New Flamenco [2017] UKSC 43, the latest Supreme Court decision on mitigation of loss.
    • Junior counsel on c. USD 8m superyacht building dispute.
    • Appearing as sole counsel in an application in the High Court concerning the scope of the House of Lord’s decision in The Rafaela S [2005] UKHL 11.
    • Appearing as sole counsel in admiralty dispute concerning the extension of the tort of wrongful arrest and/or duress of goods in respect of exorbitant security demands for the release of a vessel.
    • Advising on the incorporation of charterparty jurisdiction clauses into bills of lading in the wake of The Channel Ranger [2015] QB 366.
    • Advising on various avenues for recovery of contributions paid in general average in an 8 figure unsafe port claim.
    • Advising on the interplay between Himalaya Clauses and sub-bailment on terms in a complicated factual scenario involving multiple chaterparties and bills of lading; issues also included jurisdiction and choice of law.
    • Application for preliminary issue in a six figure demurrage claim.
    • Advising (led by Vasanti Selvaratnam QC) on the proper measure of damages and quantum in a seven figure breach of charter dispute.
  • Aviation

    Will has a great deal of experience representing the major airlines (including Easyjet and British Airways). In particular he is regularly instructed in matters arising under Regulation 261/2004.

  • Banking & Finance

    Will has a great deal of experience in banking and financial issues including private equity. During pupillage, he assisted on a number of cases involving guarantees and indemnities and now regularly advises in this area. In particular, he is familiar with issues arising out of contracts of suretyship, personal guarantees, demand guarantees, and performance bonds. Other recent banking and financial work includes:

    • Drafting opening and closing submissions in an USD 8m arbitration concerning the sale of a bank. Issues included reflective loss, company valuation and jurisdiction.
    • Advising on issues relating to recoverability of damages when the claimant has hedged against the loss claimed.
    • Regularly appearing for lenders in enforcement proceedings in respect of secured debts.
    • Advising and appearing in various matters relating to bankruptcy and insolvency. Will is familiar with the insolvency legislation and has acted for bankrupts in various applications arising under the Insolvency Rules and Act.
    • Assisting a city law firm with a s. 166 (FSMA) skilled person review in quantifying consequential losses arising from the mis-sale of interest rate hedging products.
    • Junior counsel, led by William Buck, on complex £20m+ multiparty offshore dispute concerning allegedly fraudulent sales of structured note investment products to a major insurance institution; as well as secret commissions as part of a complex and sophisticated international fraud. Currently instructed in respect of various successful interlocutory applications (including freezing injunctions) both in the High Court and offshore.
    • Drafting submissions and providing ad hoc advice on major private equity LCIA dispute concerning claim for carried interest by a well-known investment bank.
  • Jurisdiction & Conflict of Laws

    Most cases Will has been involved in have an international element and give rise to questions concerning jurisdiction and conflicts of law. During pupillage he gained experience in anti-suit injunctions and has advised on issues of res judicata and issue estoppel, and now regularly advises in this area. He has experience of enforcement proceedings and advised on the enforcement in England of a New York Convention award from Russia.

    Recent work includes:

    • Advising on the mechanism of enforcement in this jurisdiction of a Member State judgment against third state parties.
    • Advising on the scope of protective measures under Art. 47 Brussels I and the procedure for obtaining such measures in the jurisdiction.
    • Advising on the application and scope of choice of law and jurisdiction clauses in a complicated case involving sub-sub-bailment on terms.
  • Public International Law

    Advising, as junior counsel to Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, on the interpretation and effect of various international conventions on the law of the sea and their effect on jurisdiction over an off-shore Floating LNG structure.

  • Additional Information


    BA (Hons) History and English Literature, Jesus College, Oxford, First Class (second in year)

    GDL, City Law School, Commendation

    BPTC, BPP Law School, Outstanding (second in year)

    Scholarships and Prizes

    • Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple (the Inn’s top scholarship; awarded for both GDL and BPTC years) (2012-2014)
    • Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize, Middle Temple (for best performing Middle Temple student on the BPTC) (2014)
    • Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple (2014) (for outstanding performance on the BPTC)
    • Hong Kong Scholarship, Middle Temple (2014) (to support three weeks in Hong Kong spent as a judicial assistant and in Des Voeux Chambers)
    • Top mark on International Trade Module, BPP Law School (2014)
    • Excellence Award, BPP Law School (2014)
    • Viscount Sankey Scholarship, Jesus College, University of Oxford (2012-14)
    • College Prize for Achievement in Finals, Jesus College, University of Oxford (2011)
    • Top mark on Brian Friel Extended Essay Module, University of Oxford (2011)
    • Honorary Scholarship, Tonbridge School (2005)
    • Academic Scholarship, Tonbridge School (2002-2007)
  • Other Experience and Interests

    In 2011-12, prior to coming to the Bar, Will worked for a children’s arts education charity, the Shakespeare Schools Festival, as a Development Coordinator. He was responsible for corporate sponsorship and trust fundraising for this c. £1.5m charitable organisation. He retains an interest in education and theatre and is a member of the Middle Temple Revels. He also enjoys distance running.

  • Publications
    • Hooper, “Breach, Benefit, and the Lost Cause” (2016) LQR 132, 547-552
    • Whitehead and Hooper, “Failure of businessman to recognise his company’s distinct legal personality”, (2007) JIBFL May, 317

Add to portfolio View portfolio