William Evans

Call date: 1977

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Areas of Practice



BA(Hons) University of Kent at Canterbury
Barrister called in England and Wales and the British Virgin Islands
Recorder sitting in civil and private and public law family cases in the Midland Circuit

Experience & Expertise

Having practised at the Bar for 9 years, Bill Evans re-qualified as a solicitor and was a partner in Irwin Mitchell from 1988 to 1994 and DLA from 1994 to 2002, before returning to the Bar.  He remains on the roll of solicitors as well as practising at the Bar.

As a solicitor he worked exclusively for insurance clients on a wide range of cases including personal injury, professional indemnity, construction claims and policy interpretation.  He developed a particular expertise in disease cases, especially asbestos diseases and asthma, and was named as a Leader in the Field by Chambers’ Directory from 1995.

Since returning to the Bar he has developed a significant commercial practice with cases in the Commercial and Technology and Construction Courts including construction insurance disputes and insurance recovery, particularly fire cases, in addition to substantial general commercial work and commercial property.  Bill’s employment practice is in the field of contractual claims, in particular restraint of trade and misuse of information cases.  He continues to practise in the area of personal injury claims, in particular disease claims, and insurance contracts.

Bill accepts instructions, in appropriate cases, on a CFA basis

Current & Recent Work

Bill’s recent work has included a substantial chancery claim involving numerous defendants, £7,000,000 allegations of fraud, negligence, breach of a solicitor’s undertaking, several freezing injunctions and attempts to trace the proceeds of the frauds. He also continues to be instructed in personal injury cases and in particular those involving asbestos.  Bill has also acted in judicial review proceedings against FSCS challenging the entire basis upon which it operates the Rules of the Compensation Scheme in mesothelioma cases. He has also been instructed separately for an insured in  respect of uninsured losses in a claim against a negligent contractor for the recovery of the cost of remedial work.

Bill has also recently conducted employment contract cases, most particularly in respect of a breach of warrant of authority by a director of a recruitment agency for entering into a contract without authority and contrary to instructions and procedures which gave rise to a claim in America against the agency as if it were the employer of a person placed by the agency which claim was uninsured by reason of the fact that it arose solely from the contractual liability and also because claims in America were excluded.Bill has also recently been instructed in a quantum meruit claim against a director of a company based on services claimed to have been provided to the company as a consultant.

More recently Bill has acted as a consultant to Vannin Capital PCC Limited which provides funding for substantial commercial litigation and arbitration cases internationally.

Reported Cases

Brit Inns Limited (in Liquidation), Vincent Barber, Linda Lawless v BDW Trading Limited and J Reddington Limited [2012]
EWHC 2143 (TCC) and EWHC 2489 (TCC); [2013] 1 Costs LR 72, a subrogated insurance claim against a negligent contractor for the recovery of remedial works involving uninsured losses and a substantial dispute about the reasonableness of the remedial work carried out and its cost, which dispute was despite the original insurer approving the claim on the advice of a loss adjuster.

Global marine Drillships Limited v Landmark Solicitors, [2011]
EWHC 2685 (Ch), a summary judgment application against a solicitor who was in breach of an undertaking resulting in losses in excess of £3,000,000 to the claimant.

Barclays Bank v Guy, [2010]
EWCA Civ 1396; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 681; [2010] 50 E.G. 63 (C.S.); [2010] N.P.C. 122, an unsuccessful attempt to re-open an appeal against a summary judgment. The defendant was unable to rectify the land register against the interests of a mortgagee despite the title having being fraudulently acquired.

Guy v Pannone LLP, [2009]
EWCA Civ 30; [2009] 7 E.G. 90 (C.S.), an appeal against a refusal to set aside a solicitor’s statutory demand on the grounds that the cross claim for negligence did not have realistic prospects of success.

Shepherd Neame v EDF PLC, [2008]
EWHC 123 (TCC); [2008] Bus. L.R. D43, a claim by insurers of several medieval properties in Canterbury arising from a fire that started in one of them.  It settled after 3 days of trial.  It is reported in respect of a judgment on an issue of when and in what circumstances can a party rely upon expert reports served by parties no longer in the proceedings.

Ellis v William Cook, [2007]
EWCA Civ 1232, J.P.I. Law 2008, 1, C7-13, an appeal against liability in an employers’ liability claim.  The Court of Appeal concluded that the facts on which HHJ Langan based his judgment were unsustainable but decided that the employer should be liable on other grounds.  The contributory negligence of 25% was increased to 50%.

Johnson v Warren (2007)
EWCA Civ. 595, an appeal against a decision that (a) C had suffered no disadvantage on the labour market despite having a continuing disability because she was found to have no intention of seeking a job and (b) even if she did do so there were ample opportunities to obtain employment which she could carry out despite her disability.  A majority of the CA found that the judge was entitled to come to conclusion (a) but all 3 judges upheld finding (b) in any event.  Despite the judge on granting permission suggesting in trenchant terms that the parties should mediate and the insurers refusing to do so the CA were satisfied that in this case mediation was not appropriate and awarded costs in full.

Blackwell v Gerling Insurance, [2007]
EWHC 94 (Comm); [2007] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 511 a claim under a CAR policy arising from damage to works on the construction of the M6.  Damage was caused by rainfall which Gerling argued was foreseeable and therefore the damage was not fortuitous, which was required by the policy.  In the alternative Gerling relied upon a standard DE3 exclusion, arguing that the temporary drainage was defective and therefore the damage to the earthworks was excluded.  HHJ Mackie found that the damage was fortuitous, the drainage was not defective and in any event the works that were damaged were a separate part to the temporary drainage so that, even if the drainage was defective, the damage to the works, which was the subject of the claim, was not excluded.  Gerling appealed unsuccessfully, [2007] EWCA Civ 1450; [2008] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 885; [2008] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 529.

Thames Trains v Railtrack and the Health and Safety Executive (2005),
representing Thames Trains in a claim in negligence against both Defendants for the recovery of damages in the total sum of about £90 million paid in respect of personal injury and property damage claims arising from the Paddington rail crash in October 1999, which was settled very shortly before the commencement of the trial, expected to last 3 months.

R v British Broadcasting Corporation, Ex parte Lavelle [1983]
1 WLR 23, an application for judicial review of a decision by the BBC to undertake disciplinary proceedings against an employee pending criminal proceedings relating to the same matter, the court concluding that it is only appropriate to intervene where the employee can show there is a real danger of a miscarriage of justice.

Professional Memberships

Society of Advanced Legal Studies

Professional Negligence Bar Association

Personal Injury Bar Association

Law Society

Additional Information


Bill regularly lectures in public and private forums on law and legal skills topics and is an advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn.  He has published numerous articles in the legal and insurance press and contributed chapters on Employers’ Liability and Personal Accident Insurance in Insurance Disputes, edited by Mance LJ, Professor R Merkin and I Goldrein QC and published by Informa the 3rd edition of which was published in December 2011.