The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Chambers of William McCormick QC

Work 020 7400 9600
Fax 020 7400 9630

William Mccormick QC

Work 020 7400 9603
Ely Place Chambers (Chambers of William McCormick QC)


Commercial work covers a broad range. Disputes arising out of the ownership or sale of business in recent years have included: a successful appeal to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas in relation to the sale of a fund management business; successfully resisting a claim to a share in a multi-million pound business based upon equitable estoppel/constructive trust principles and then a quantum meruit on the same basis; successfully resisting a claim for unfair prejudice relief and the setting aside of a share transaction in a 3 week hearing and in the Court of Appeal; obtained an account from a defaulting director who diverted corporate opportunities to a new company bought by her after she had been dismissed for attempting a similar diversion; resisted claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by the vendor of a company; representing a client sued on the basis that her account had been the conduit for some of the c£6m which her husband and others had allegedly stolen from businesses. He advised the CEO of Bernard Madoff’s London operation when the liquidator commenced (ultimately unsuccessful) litigation against him. Other commercial cases include defending a claim for the return of monies paid under an alleged insider trading agreement (due before the Supreme Court in Feb 2016) and defending a former FD accused of perpetrating a £50m fraud on her employer’s bank. He has appeared in cases in Trinidad (at all levels up to the Privy Council) and the DIFC (CA) as well as advising on the conduct of winding up proceedings in the Bahamas. Regularly involved in disputes arising out of banking and investment advice including: a claim by a software ‘start up’ for losses due to the wrongful termination of an overdraft facility which settled mid-way through trial; claims for mis-selling of investments in AIG; mis-selling of interest rate hedging products, and mis-selling of tax efficient ‘film funding’ schemes. Defamation/Privacy work includes Cooper v Associated Newspapers ( jury award of £65,000 for an individual accused of masterminding the Millbank riots); Tesla Inc v BBC (CA ) suing Top Gear for mis-representing performance of Tesla Roadster; McAlpine v Bercow (twitter libel); Fox v Boulter (action by former defence secretary); McGrath v Prof Dawkins (defending allegation that D liable for allegation on website); MPS & SOCA v TNL (suing to restrain use by TNL of confidential material in defending a libel claim); Ecclestone v Khyami (privacy claim and dispute over ownership Lambourghini). In addition, undertakes serious and difficult personal injury work, in which regard he has obtained substantial awards for: a teenage girl severely brain damaged after she walked out from behind a parked car outside her school; a boy who suffered serious and permanent burns from electricity arcing to his fishing rod when he trespassed across a railway line, and a man who walked into the path of bus in central London.


Called 1985; QC 2010. Publications of note: ‘How difficult is it to gift a share?’ Shah v Shah [2010] EWCA Civ 1408 Trusts & Trustees 2011 17: 438-440; ‘Separate ways (An examination of the need for an independent tribunal in sporting disciplinary proceedings)’ with John Kenneally, Solicitors Journal 6 April 2010.


Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Personal Injury Bar Association, Professional Negligence Bar Association, British Association of Sport and the Law, Bar Sports Law Association.


University College Cardiff (LLB Hons).

London Bar

Company and partnership

Within: Company – Leading silks

William McCormick QC - Ely Place Chambers ‘He is a highly experienced litigator.’

[back to top]

Defamation and privacy

Within: Defamation and privacy – Leading silks

William McCormick QC - Ely Place Chambers ‘Great advocate and a real team player.’

Within: Defamation and privacy

Ely Place Chambers has increased experience in pre-publication, advisory and costs-related work. William McCormick QC was involved in the Miller v Associated Newspapers Limited test case on the recoverability of additional liability in publication cases. In Smith v Skanska & Others, John Samson represented 150 construction workers who were secretly vetted and ‘blacklisted’ by the industry over a 40-year period; claims were brought for breach of the Data Protection Act, defamation and misuse of private information. Meanwhile, David Mitchell deals with a substantial amount of defamation work for government departments and public bodies.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to