William East - 5 Stone Buildings
Junior counsel / Mediators

William East

Call to Bar:2008

CHAMBERS UK BAR 2024

"He is fiercely intelligent, excellent on strategy, superb in Court. He is also very responsive and a clear communicator. I cannot speak highly enough of him."

William has a general Chancery practice in the following areas: trusts, wills, probate and the administration of estates, Inheritance Act claims, real property (particularly proprietary estoppel), Court of Protection, Chancery issues in family law and professional negligence claims related to those areas of practice.

William regularly appears in the High Court and the Court of Protection, and has appeared in the Court of Appeal. He has also appeared in the Tax Tribunal.

5 Stone Buildings - brick wall
Chambers UK Bar 2024

William is an incredibly intelligent and aware counsel. It is reassuring both to the client and to those instructing him to know that he is on your side.

Chambers UK Bar 2024

He has a very wide skill set; he is knowledgeable, clear with his advice and an exceptionally strong advocate, all while operating in a calm and approachable manner.

Chambers UK Bar 2023

Will ticks all of the boxes. He is forward-thinking, his advice is consistently definitive, he has very strong advocacy skills and he is personable too!

Chambers UK Bar 2022

[He is] going to be a real star of the Chancery Bar. He is extremely knowledgeable, really excellent with clients (including difficult clients), very thoughtful and effective on his feet.

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021

Has a fantastic eye for detail and a clear grasp of strategy

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021

Unflappable in court

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2020

Very good, very clear, responsive, strong, stable and capable.

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide 2019

Fantastic to work with and excellent with clients. He's one of my go-to juniors because he's hands on, and academically very gifted without it getting in the way of client service.

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide 2019

Very calm, level-headed and considered - he's really knowledgeable on the law, and good at tricky situations.

About William East

Professional Reputation

 

In Sangha v The Estate of Diljit Kaur Sangha & Others [2021] EWHC 1599 (Ch), the court praised William’s ‘skilful cross examinations‘, his ‘persuasive advocacy‘ and his ‘careful and detailed submissions‘.

William has received the following recent comments in the legal directories:

 

“He is fiercely intelligent, excellent on strategy, superb in Court. He is also very responsive and a clear communicator. I cannot speak highly enough of him.”

Chambers UK Bar 2024 – Chancery: Traditional

 

William is an incredibly intelligent and aware counsel. It is reassuring both to the client and to those instructing him to know that he is on your side.

 

Chambers UK Bar 2024 – Chancery Traditional

 

William is very clever. He is someone who is able to calmly lead through a difficult complex case.

 

Chambers UK Bar 2024 – Court of Protection: Property and affairs

 

“Will ticks all of the boxes. He is forward-thinking, his advice is consistently definitive, he has very strong advocacy skills and he is personable too!”

Chambers UK Bar 2023 – Chancery: Traditional

“[He is] going to be a real star of the Chancery Bar. He is extremely knowledgeable, really excellent with clients (including difficult clients), very thoughtful and effective on his feet.”

Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2022 – Chancery: Traditional

“He is very good in court, has a calm manner and is loved by clients because of that.”

“Very good, very clear, responsive, strong, stable and capable.”

Chambers UK Bar 2021 – Chancery: Traditional

“Unflappable in court and very responsive. He is always in control and his written work is excellent.”

“Has a fantastic eye for detail and a clear grasp of strategy.”

Chambers UK Bar 2021- Court of Protection: Property  & Affairs

Reported Cases
  • Sangha v Estate of Diljit Kaur Sangha & Others [2023] 4 W.L.R. 60 (Court of Appeal decision which sets out the law on the effect of revocation clauses in foreign wills and on the witnessing requirements under section 9 of the Wills Act 1837; William, led by Alexander Learmonth KC, successfully appealed the decision of the High Court below)
  • Sangha v Estate of Diljit Kaur Sangha & Others [2022] EWHC 2157 (Ch) (High Court appeal of first instance decision regarding the effect of revocation clause in will, whether will duly executed)
  • Morina v Scherbakova [2022] EWHC 609 (Ch) (dispute over validity of copy will, domicile of deceased)
  • Sangha v Estate of Diljit Kaur Sangha & Others [2021] EWHC 1599 (Ch) (Alleged will forgery, proprietary estoppel, construction of will revocation clauses in foreign wills, effect of annulment of bankruptcy on the severance of joint tenancies)
  • Re MJL [2019] EWCOP 31 (Court of Protection, proposed statutory gifts with the purpose of tax planning).
  • Supple v Supple [2016] EWHC 2619 (Ch) (committal application in proceedings concerning the administration of an estate). This case and Wooldridge (see below) generated national press coverage.
  • Wooldridge v Wooldridge [2016] Fam Law 451 (dismissal of surviving spouse’s Inheritance Act claim in £6.8m estate. William successfully acted for the defendants with Penelope Reed QC). See also the costs decision ([2016] 3 Costs LO 531) in which the defendants were awarded indemnity costs.
  • Crossfield v Jackson [2015] WTLR 1519 (alleged undue influence regarding a property purchase) (Court of Appeal)
  • Scott v HMRC [2015] WTLR 1461 (alleged gift of paintings with Inheritance Tax implications) (First-Tier Tax Tribunal). William successfully resisted HMRC’s claim that further tax was due in this case.
Recent Experience

William’s recent experience includes:

  • Successfully appearing in the Court of Appeal in  Sangha v Estate of Diljit Kaur Sangha & Others [2023] 4 W.L.R. 60, a decision which sets out the law on the effect of general revocation clauses in foreign wills, and in relation to section 9 (d) of the Wills Act 1837.
  • Acting for the claimant in a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in relation to the estate of her late husband, where the estate is worth approximately £40m.
  • Successfully appearing for the Claimant at a trial in Manchester of an account claim, where it was established that the Defendant was unable to account at all for the proceeds of sale received by him from a property belonging to his mother
  • Acting for the Applicant in relation to an application in the Court of Protection for a statutory gift of £10m.
Pro Bono Work

William is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and has advised and appeared in a number of matters. He is willing to consider working pro bono through the Unit or on instruction from a solicitor in deserving cases.

William also participates in CLIPS, the Chancery Bar Association’s scheme providing representation for litigants in person in the Applications Court of the Chancery Division.

Mediation

William is a qualified mediator through the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and is happy to accept instructions to act as mediator in cases involving his fields of practice.

Qualifications

Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)

2007 Lincoln’s Inn Lord Denning and Hardwick Scholarships

Runner-up, Times Law Awards

Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation)

2006 Lobbyist and health policy adviser at the Confederation of British Industry

2005 Intern at the US Congress (Office of Congressman Don Young)

2003 HWC Davis Prize for the highest mark in Modern History exams across Oxford University; St John’s College Scholarship

2002-2005: St John’s College, Oxford (Modern History)

William was educated at St John’s College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. Before joining the Bar, he worked for some time in the US Congress and at the Confederation of British Industry, where he acted as a lobbyist on health policy issues on behalf of several FTSE 100 and 250 firms.

In 2009, William was appointed as a judicial assistant to Lord Walker and Lord Dyson in the Supreme Court. He took up this role in September 2009, returning to chambers in August 2010.

Professional Memberships

William is a member of the Chancery Bar Association and a former member of the Main Committee of the Association. He sits on the Chancery Bar Association’s Wellbeing and Chambers Social Responsibility Sub-Committee.

Publications and Lecturing

William regularly speaks both at chambers seminars and externally concerning his practice areas. William also contributes articles to legal journals.

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