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William Lacey

Call 2022

William accepts instructions across Chambers’ core areas of practice, with an emphasis on insurance and reinsurance, professional liability, commercial disputes,  property damage, inquests and inquiries and personal injury.

Alongside his written practice, William already has considerable advocacy experience. He has been instructed to appear in the County Court in a wide range of small claims, applications, MOJ Stage 3 hearings and infant approval hearings. He has also represented the family of the deceased in a three-day jury inquest; and gained tribunal advocacy experience as a volunteer for IPSEA, a charity which helps people to appeal Local Authority decisions concerning SEND provision.

During pupillage, William had the opportunity to accompany his supervisors to the Masters’ corridor at the Royal Courts of Justice, the King’s Bench Division, the Commercial Court, and the Supreme Court.

William read music at King’s College, Cambridge, taking a First Class degree and being elected Scholar of his college. He later obtained a Distinction on the GDL and an Outstanding on the Bar Course. He was awarded Lord Brougham and Lord Denning Scholarships by Lincoln’s Inn, and a Senior Advocacy Scholarship by the University of Law.

Prior to coming to the Bar, William spent 25 years as an international orchestral conductor. He worked with orchestras from Tromsø to Tel Aviv and from Honolulu to Hong Kong. He conducted almost 60 operas in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Houston, New York, Barcelona, Paris, Leipzig, Stockholm and Moscow. He studied the piano with Alfred Brendel, and still plays to concert level.

William speaks German to a high standard, having spent ten years living and working in Germany and Austria. He also speaks conversational Italian and French.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Writing an Advice for a major insurance company concerning a complex and long-running subsidence claim, which raised some novel points of law.
• Attending numerous credit hire trials on behalf of defendant insurers, in most of which he achieved substantial reductions in the damages payable by his clients.
• Drafting a Defence for an insurer in relation to a claim for losses arising from the allegedly defective installation of cavity wall insulation in a domestic property (as a pupil).
• Drafting a Defence and Advice for a major insurance company defending a claim arising from a large warehouse fire, which engaged several issues in relation to the Insurance Act 2015 (as a pupil).
• Writing an Advice concerning a restrictive covenant insurance policy taken out by a major house builder (as a pupil).
• Carrying out research for Daniel Shapiro KC on the legal meaning of “material adverse change” clauses in M&A contracts, in the context of a major warranty & indemnity insurance claim (as a pupil).
• Drafting documents, attending conferences and a mediation, and researching the law in relation to two substantial Covid-related business interruption insurance claims (as a pupil).

Professional Liability

Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Drafting a Defence for a company that produces 3D Building Information Modelling of architectural designs, and has been accused of negligence and breach of contract by a former client.
• Advising a firm of conveyancing solicitors accused of negligent delays which allegedly caused a client’s mortgage offer to lapse, causing financial loss.
• Writing an Advice for a firm of solicitors accused of negligently conducting a client’s claim against their insurance company following a substantial fire (as a pupil).
• Drafting a Defence for an allegedly negligent firm of accountants (as a pupil).
• Drafting a Defence for a barrister accused of negligently under-settling a personal injury claim many years ago (as a pupil).


Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Writing a research note for James Sharpe concerning the correct limitation periods to be applied to Sections 170 to 177 of the Companies Act 2006 (as a pupil).
• Writing a skeleton argument for the hearing of a substantial claim concerning the correct interpretation of a dispute resolution clause in a commercial lease agreement (as a pupil).


Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

  • Writing an Advice for a major insurance company regarding subsidence damage alleged to have been caused by the negligent construction of a building’s foundations.
  • Writing a Defence regarding the allegedly negligent installation of cavity wall insulation (as a pupil).
  • Writing a Defence for a provider of Building Information Modelling who is alleged to have derailed the progress of a major construction project by providing insufficient architectural and technical detail.
  • Carrying out legal research for James Sharpe concerning a claim by an engineering contractor for losses in the hundreds of millions, allegedly caused by the claimant’s participation in certain “energy from waste” projects (as a pupil).


Property Damage

Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Drafting a Defence for a major water utility accused of causing damage to property as a consequence of negligent repair work.
• Drafting a Particulars of Claim in respect of a six-figure claim for water damage to an industrial property.
• Carrying out research for Daniel Shapiro KC and James Sharpe on the law concerning damage to chattels and its application in the context of road traffic accidents (as a pupil).

Product Liability

During his pupillage seat with David Myhill, William gained exposure to current issues in product liability, and wrote a Defence concerning a medical device which raised many of the themes explored in Mr Myhill’s own cases such as Wilkes v DePuy [2016] EWHC 3096 and Hastings v Finsbury Orthopaedics [2022] UKSC 19. He was also instructed to attend the High Court on a noting brief relating to a high-profile product liability group action.

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Acting as the representative for the family at a three-day jury inquest concerning the accidental death of an elderly person in a care home.
• Being instructed to attend and report upon an inquest arising from a fatal road traffic accident, on behalf of the deceased’s family.

Personal Injury

Examples of William’s current and recent work include:

• Successfully defending a claim against a well-known chain of pharmacies for psychiatric injuries alleged to have been caused by a delay in providing medicine to the claimant.
• Writing an Advice on an employers’ liability claim for personal injuries allegedly arising from a window-cleaning accident.
• Carrying out legal research for Catherine Foster on an unusual claim brought by the estate of a deceased person (as a pupil).
• Striking out an RTA small claim and obtaining a costs order of almost £1,700 in favour of the defendant on the grounds of unreasonable conduct.
• Attending the Supreme Court hearing of Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB [2023] UKSC 15, in which Catherine Foster acted for the successful appellant in an important vicarious liability case.
• Accompanying his pupil supervisor David Myhill to the Supreme Court for the hearing of McCulloch v Forth Valley Health Board [2023] UKSC 26. Mr Myhill appeared for the successful respondent.




• Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2021)
• Senior Advocacy Scholarship (The University of Law, 2021)
• Lord Brougham Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2020)




• Bar Practice Course (Outstanding); The University of Law
• GDL (Distinction); The University of Law
• MA Music (First Class); King’s College, Cambridge


  • PNBA
  • PIBA

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