William Cecil is the managing partner of the London office and head of the dispute resolution team in London. He has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration matters for clients in the shipping, offshore oil and gas and energy industries.
William has represented clients in arbitrations conducted under many of the commonly used rules, including the ICC, LCIA and LMAA and in proceedings before the English Courts (the Commercial Court, the TCC and the Court of Appeal).
William is a co-author of the fifth edition of the Law of Shipbuilding Contracts, published May 2020 (Informa Law from Routledge). The other co-authors of this edition are Simon Curtis and Ian Gaunt, the President of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (2017-2020).
William is a co-author of a chapter on Offshore Vessel Construction Disputes within Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to Energy Arbitrations (Fourth Edition). He is also a co-author of the chapter on shipbuilding contracts governed by the law of England and Wales in Getting The Deal Through- Shipbuilding 2021: England and Wales.
Alongside his litigation and arbitration practice, William also assists clients in drafting and negotiating shipbuilding contracts and various forms of offshore contracts.Chambers UK, Chambers and Partners, 2023 ranks William in the shipping section UK-Wide section, and clients have commented "William is extremely capable. He is able to drill down to the crux of an issue and advise in a useful manner," Chambers UK 2022. "He is very knowledgeable, both in his field and in his technical understanding of our business." The Legal 500 UK 2022, Legalease, the international directory of law firms also recommends William in the Shipping and the Construction: Contentious categories, and he has been highlighted in The Legal 500 UK, Legalese, for 2023.
Selected Publications and Speeches
- “Trends in Commercial Arbitration and Litigation in Mexico and England,” speaker, 8th Edition - LexMex 2020 virtual event, November 5, 2020.
- Acted for a drilling contractor in High Court proceedings relating to a dispute concerning a shareholder’s agreement for the operation of drilling rigs in the Middle East.
- Acted for a drilling contractor in two arbitrations relating to the cancellation of a long-term drilling contract for a drillship. One arbitration was between the drilling contractor and its client. The second arbitration was between the drilling contractor and the shipyard that constructed the drillship.
- Acted for the buyer in an LMAA arbitration relating to the termination of a construction contract for a semi-submersible drilling rig in the Far East.
- Acted for a Far Eastern shipyard in an arbitration and related court proceedings in connection with claims arising out of contracts for the construction of two semi-submersible drilling rigs: CIMC Raffles Offshore (Singapore) Ltd v Schahin Holding SA  EWHC 1758 (Comm); CIMC Raffles Offshore (Singapore) Ltd v Schahin Holding SA  EWCA Civ 644); CIMC Raffles Offshore (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Ltd v Schahin Holding SA, Salim Taufic Schahin, Fernando Schahin  EWHC 1742 (Comm).
- Acted for the buyers in two concurrent LMAA arbitrations relating to delay and cost overruns arising out of the construction of two semi-submersible drilling rigs in the Far East.
- Acted for a drilling contractor in an SCMA arbitration seated in Singapore relating to a dispute arising out of the upgrade of a semi-submersible drilling rig at a European yard.
- Acted for the main contractor for a power and desalination plant project in the Middle East in an ICC arbitration seated in Geneva. The dispute was between the main contractor and the insolvency administrator of the subcontractor for the turbines and boilers for the plant. The subcontractor had filed for insolvency during the project. The contractor had terminated the subcontract and both sides had claimed against the other arising out of the termination.
- "Conversion Contracts - Commercial Benefits but not Without Challenges," co-author, Haynes Boone brochure, January 5, 2023.
- "Law of Shipbuilding Contracts Update 2022," co-author, Haynes Boone brochure, January 5, 2023.
B.S.C. (Hons), Psychology, Bristol University, 1990
England and Wales
Solicitor Advocate, Higher Rights of Audience (Civil)
Welcome to the latest edition of our Shipping and Offshore Energy newsletter. Hot off the press this month is the publication of the Lexology's Getting the Deal Through – Shipbuilding 2023 guide. The chapter on shipbuilding contracts governed by the law of England and Wales is written by William Cecil, Mark Johnson, Mette Duffy and myself, Fiona Cain. This is not the only publication we cover in t [...]