William Hopkin is “very astute and a great orator” (Legal 500, 2019). “His advice is first rate, commercially minded, and pragmatic” (Legal 500, 2020). He is exceptionally skilled at identifying the crux of an issue, finding a sensible and pragmatic resolution to cases" ( Legal 500 2021)
William is particularly known for his charities expertise, which compliments his strong broader commercial chancery practice.
His charity clients include universities, philanthropists, national charities, specialist organisations and ancient foundations. He is the author of the forthcoming practitioner text ‘Charities as Companies’ and is a recent chair of the Charity Law Association annual conference.
William’s litigation practice focuses on commercial and company work, and encompasses a range of specialist lists, including the Commercial Court. He is “extremely able at assimilating complex information quickly” (Legal 500, 2017) and “has an ability to disarm the most aggressive opponents with his frank, considered and calm approach” (Legal 500, 2016).
William has depth of experience at the Bar, to draw upon, which includes his earlier work in international conflict and human rights.
William Hopkin is a leading charity specialist. He has an intimate knowledge of the workings of charities, both as a barrister and also as a trustee of a number of wonderful organisations.
He is the author of the forthcoming practitioner text ‘Charities as Companies’ – expected in 2021/22.
William was co-chair of the Charity Law Association [‘CLA’] Annual Conference in 2017 and 2018. He has sat on the CLA’s Executive Committee and chaired a number of sector working parties.
His clients include universities, philanthropists, national charities, specialist organisations and ancient foundations.
William’s expertise covers:
- Complex registrations;
- Charities operating as companies;
- Construction of governing documents, Wills and historic bequests;
- Dispute resolution;
- Charitable structures and arrangements (including drafting);
- Trustee duties and conflicts;
- Application of property;
- Trading and commercial arrangements.
William has excellent technical knowledge, and is focussed on delivering sensible, practical advice, to enable charities and social purpose organisations to fulfil their objectives.
He is a member of the Charity Law Association.
William Hopkin has a vibrant commercial practice, in particular on the Western Circuit. He is a member of Combar.
William is “very astute and a great orator” (Legal 500, 2019) and “his advice is first rate, commercially minded, and pragmatic” (Legal 500, 2020). He is "exceptionally skilled at identifying the crux of an issue, finding a sensible and pragmatic resolution to cases" (Legal 500 2021)
He takes a practical and constructive approach, which combines attention to detail, technical expertise and business sense.
William’s expertise covers:
- All aspects of serious commercial litigation
- Injunctions and urgent applications
- Asset-tracing and recovery
- Advice and drafting in relation to commercial arrangements
- A broad spectrum of commercial activity, including:
- Joint ventures, partnerships and SPV’s
- Financial services and mortgages
- Public sector contracts
- Associated professional negligence and property matters (separate CV available on request)
William has appeared unled on a number of occasions, in the last few years, in the Commercial Court.
In 2020 he successfully argued, before Marcus Smith J, that a lender had paid a bribe to a broker in relation to a farm mortgage: Pengelly v Business Finance 4 PLC  EWHC 2002 (Ch).
William has also, in the last year or so, concluded a long running and £multi-million dispute between a technology provider and the NHS.
Company & Partnership
William Hopkin has considerable experience and expertise across a broad range of company and insolvency matters. He is technically strong and delivers practical guidance and solutions.
As well as contentious business, William advises in relation to transactions and corporate arrangements, often as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
William’s company expertise covers:
- All aspects of serious company litigation
- Shareholder and director disputes
- Company register and share issues
- Corporate and personal insolvency
- Claims against directors of insolvent companies
- Partnership litigation and advice
He has advised, and litigated, in a number of sectors, including mining, technology, investments, healthcare and railways.
William is available to provide advice at short notice in relation to interim remedies and emergency action.
He is author of the forthcoming practitioner text ‘Companies as Charities’ – expected in 2021/22. This includes detailed analysis of companies and insolvency legislation.
Qualifications / Education
- Bar Vocational Course, College of Law: Very Competent
- Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law: Commendation
- BA Hons, University of Exeter
- Magdalen College School
- Poland Prize Scholar – Inner Temple
- Duke of Edinburgh Exhibitioner – Inner Temple
- Prize for Civil Litigation – Bar Vocational Course, College of Law
- Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association (2016-2019)
- Charity Law Association
- Commercial Bar Association
Extensive mediation experience