William Buck

Call: 2001


Called in 2001, William has developed a strong commercial practice covering a wide spectrum of disputes. He has been consistently recommended in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading commercial practitioner in his field. As well as undertaking high value work in the Court of Appeal and the High Court of England and Wales, he has developed a substantial international practice, undertaking work in other jurisdictions, such as the Isle of Man, Spain, Germany and the USA. He has also successfully acted in a range of arbitrations and adjudications

Commercial – The wide range of commercial work undertaken covers shareholder/director disputes, guarantee claims, agency disputes, trust litigation, sales of goods, contracts for the provisions of services, partnership disputes. William adopts a commercial approach to all instructions, focused on identifying and achieving the goals of the client in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. In urgent cases, instructions can be accepted and dealt with at very short notice, including outside of normal business hours, especially when interim relief is to be sought

Financial Services – A substantial part of William’s practice is acting on behalf of a range of banking and financial services clients, both in the UK and internationally, including in the Isle of Man. He is regularly instructed by financial providers, including banks and life insurance companies on a range of matters, both contentious and non-contentious.

In respect of contentious matters, disputes dealt cover a variety of different types of claims, ranging from debt recoveries, guarantee claims, asset recoveries (often involving a range of jurisdictions) to complex breach of fiduciary claims against directors/third parties and claims relating to trust property. Many claims also involve complex regulatory issues, often with multiple applicable jurisdictions and regulatory regimes, where such issues impact on the proper determination of the underlying dispute. Such regulatory issues include those arising from the distribution of financial products and services (including on a cross border basis), the regulation of agents and representatives and the conflicts which arise from competing regulatory regimes and common law/civil law principles.

Given the nature of the work undertaken, William has developed a specific specialism in dealing with interlocutory matters, often on a without notice basis, including the obtaining of freezing orders, injunctions and orders for delivery up.

Many of his instructions have an international element, with recent cases involving the application of Spanish, German, US, Russian and Turkish law, where parties and/or assets are located in a number of separate jurisdictions and where financial products and services have been provided on a cross-border basis

On a non-contentious basis, albeit frequently in the context of potential litigation, William advises a range of financial providers, both in the UK and internationally, as to regulatory issues. The provision of such advice involves consideration of the various different regulatory and legal regimes which may impact on the clients’ business (both generically and as to specific pieces of business), again often in respect of cross-border business. The advice provided is commercially focused, in that it seeks to provide clients with substantive guidance as to how they may wish to conducts business and manage risks to the business.   By way of illustration, William recently advised a major financial lender as to changes necessary to its UK based business model following regulatory changes introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority

Professional Negligence – Part of William’s practice involves professional negligence disputes, often (but not exclusively) relating to the financial services industry. Recent instructions have concerned the alleged negligence of solicitors, financial advisers and financial lenders

Property – William also undertakes a limited range of property related work, including disputes concerning the sale of land, options to purchase, trust disputes, overage agreements and easement disputes. This work is undertaken predominately for commercial clients involving non-residential premises and land

Qualifications and Appointments:

  • B.A. (Hons) – University of Cambridge
  • LL.M (Commercial Law) – University of Cambridge

What the Directories Say:

William has been recommended in Legal 500 as a leading commercial barrister for every year since 2009

Reported Cases:

The following are recent Reported cases or cases in the Court of Appeal. Due the nature of William’s practice, the majority of matters are confidential and cannot be disclosed

  • James v National Westminster Bank PLC [2014] – Court of Appeal dismissal of allegations of fraud as against the bank made in the context of settlement negotiations
  • BMW Financial Services v Hart [2012] – Court of Appeal decision on the accrual of limitation periods in claims made pursuant to liquidated damages clauses
  • Thewlis v Groupama Insurance [2012] EWHC 3 (TCC) – decision on the validity of Part 36 offers and consequences of such an offer being invalid
  • Kaur v Kaur [2011] – £2m trust dispute before the Court of Appeal
  • Autoweld v Kito Enterprise [2010] EWCA Civ 1469 – US$12million dispute concerning the construction of gas pipelines in the Arabian Sea before the Court of Appeal
  • Westlaw v Boddy, SRA intervening [2010] EWCA Civ 929 – Court of Appeal consideration of illegal fee sharing agreements between solicitors and third parties, and limitation of restitutionary claims
  • Pinfold North v Humberside Fire Authority [2010] LGR 995 – decision concerning the legal status of ‘officers’ in local government and whether contractual relations with a third party was illegal and unenforceable
  • G.E. Capital Bank Limited v Rushton [2006] 1 WLR 899, [2006] 3 All ER 865 (CA) – Court of Appeal decision on a claim for conversion of chattels and the legal concept of good faith.

Articles and Publications:

  • Contributor to ‘Sale and Supply of Goods and Services’, 1st Edition [2007] and 2nd Edition [2010], Sweet & Maxwell
  • William also regularly gives seminars to solicitors and other professionals on a range of commercial topics relating to his practice


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Northern Chancery Bar Association
  • Administrative Bar Association



My Expertise