Neil Williams

"an incredibly thorough, very bright litigator”

Chambers & Partners 

Neil Williams

Dispute Resolution Partner

Neil heads up George Green's Litigation and Dispute Resolution team and has been practising as a commercial litigator for over 27 years.  He joined the firm in 2003 after training with a London firm and then spending 13 years as a commercial litigator at national law firm, Pinsent Masons, where he was a partner from 1996 to 2002.

Neil handles a wide range of commercial disputes and litigation including breach of contract claims, corporate warranty claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, public procurement disputes, franchising disputes, commercial agency disputes, professional negligence claims, intellectual property disputes, retention of title claims and contentious insolvency.

Neil has considerable experience in supervising and on advising on search orders and has acted as a supervisor on search orders or delivery up and disclosure orders on 9 occasions at both domestic and commercial premises.

Neil is also an accredited ADR Group mediator and regards mediation as a very valuable tool for clients, in the right circumstances, in seeking settlement of their disputes.

Neil has been recommended by the independent legal directories, Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, for many years as a leading litigator in the Midlands. Clients have been impressed with him for his "no-nonsense and diligent manner", for being "tactically astute" and for being "an incredibly thorough, very bright litigator" , whose approach is best described as "tenacious" . He has also been praised for his "client-focused" disposition, his ability to keep parties calm in volatile situations, his "consistently accurate and insightful advice", his "pragmatic, sensible and constructive approach" and as a "calm and talented negotiator".

Neil is married with a son and a daughter and enjoys playing squash, racketball and tennis, watching all kinds of sport and the theatre.

Examples of cases handled by Neil

  • Represented the claimant, in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal in its successful claim for damages for breach of contract against its customer, for failure to place orders for commercial fine art pursuant to the supply agreement entered into between them.
  • Represented the defendant in High Court proceedings brought against it by the claimant for alleged breach of contract of 29 franchise agreements after the sale by the defendant of its retail stores to a third party.  The trial on liability was decided in the defendant’s favour.
  • Defended the partners of a law firm in High Court proceedings brought against them by a former partner, who was alleging breach of the partnership agreement, including successfully resisting an application by the claimant for strike out and obtaining a substantial costs order relating to that application.
  • Defended a claim by a franchisee against a franchisor concerning an alleged agreement over commission on a specific account and seeking declarations as to the franchisees’ entitlements to commission generally. Successful with defence at an expedited trial on preliminary issues, with resolution of all issues secured at a without prejudice meeting the following week.
  • Represented the claimant in High Court proceedings brought against the defendant claiming damages arising from defective construction work in respect of which there is a reported decision dealing with whether an assignor is entitled to recover damages for diminution in a property’s value.
  • Represented a claimant in successfully recovering tax from various third parties, which was paid to them by mistake of law.
  • Acted for a claimant in High Court proceedings against a defendant seeking damages for breach by the defendant, as seller, of various warranties in a share sale agreement, which was settled at mediation.
  • Successfully resisting a claim on behalf of a client for circa £1 million pursuant to an alleged indemnity in a share sale agreement relating to a deficit in a pension scheme.
  • Acted for a claimant in bringing proceedings for passing off and/or breach of copyright in relation to copying of paintings.
  • Obtaining of urgent injunctive relief on behalf of a franchisor preventing a competitor of the franchisor inducing breach of the franchisor’s franchise agreements by its franchisees and of the franchisor’s employment contracts by its employees.  This case involved the management by Neil of a team of litigation, property, employment and competition lawyers, as well as counsel and a computer expert.
  • Defended substantial product liability claim for alleged supply of defective products, involving consequential damage to property and possible product recall.
  • Defended a client in proceedings issued against it by the claimant, following the termination of their trading contract, which related to the supply of software and support and maintenance services to customers.
  • Defended a supplier of case management software in High Court proceedings brought against it by a law firm.
  • Successfully making a claim for professional negligence against a shipping broker on behalf of a client arising out of a fraud perpetrated in a chain of shipping brokers relating to the chartering of a vessel.
  • Represented an insurance broker in defending an alleged claim against it for professional negligence (and against others) arising from a fire at some premises.
  • Handled a professional negligence claim for a bank against a negligent valuer of commercial premises successfully recovering a large six figure sum pursuant to a settlement prior to trial.
  • Successfully defended a claim brought against a building society in which it was alleged that it had sold a property pursuant to its power of sale at an undervalue in breach of its duty under the Building Societies Act 1986 “to take reasonable care to ensure that the price at which the property is sold is the best price that can reasonably be obtained”.
  • Acted for 2 banks in cases involving fraud in relation to which proceedings were issued and freezing orders were obtained.
  • Acted for the claimant in a sizeable claim against a council for abortive costs arising from the council’s unilateral termination of a building project.
  • Represented a director and 2 of his companies in resisting substantial claims against them including alleged breach of fiduciary duty by the director and directing of business to competing companies.
  • Acted for a company in dealing with a noise abatement notice served on it by a council.
  • Represented a client accused of being a shadow director and of wrongful trading, misfeasance and making preferential payments, successfully bringing about discontinuance of the director disqualification proceedings against him.
  • Represented a client operating an airport in threatening a claim in nuisance and the seeking of injunctive relief against an adjoining landowner whose land was being used for car boot sales; the rubbish left on site was attracting birds, which was threatening both the airport’s operations and aircraft safety.