William Hays


Year of Call



“Calm … exceptionally bright … one of the go-to juniors”

Chambers & Partners


“Intelligent… a great eye for detail… a rising star”

Chambers & Partners

Will is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, appearing in a wide range of tribunals at all levels. His expertise in both public and criminal law make him sought-after in a variety of areas.

Recent instructions range from deportation to deferred prosecution agreements; from asset recovery to applications to the Strasbourg Court, and from proscribed organisation litigation to prisoner repatriation. Will is regularly instructed to advise law firms and regulated entities on their obligations to report money laundering.

Appointments include the Attorney General’s panel for civil litigation and the panels maintained by the Serious Fraud Office. Will is an editor of Millington and Sutherland Williams on The Proceeds of Crime, a contributor to Blackstone’s Criminal Practice and has been published in Judicial Review and the Lloyd’s Law Reports.


Proceeds of Crime

Will is instructed on behalf of prosecuting authorities, defendants and third parties in connection with all aspects of proceeds of crime (criminal and civil). He regularly advises law firms and financial institutions on their reporting obligations under Part 7 of POCA. He acts in civil recovery proceedings both in the High Court and Magistrates’ Court. He is an editor of the 5th Edition of Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime. R v Guraj, Supreme Court, [2017] 1 WLR 22 (postponement of confiscation orders) led by Jonathan Hall QC Peacock v United Kingdom, ECtHR, Application no. 52335/12 (the right to property in confiscation proceedings) led by David Perry QC R v GH, Supreme Court, [2015] UKSC 24; [2015] 1 WLR 2126 (money laundering arrangements) led by Kennedy Talbot QC NCA v Khan (QBD) [2017] Lloyd’s Rep FC 153 (civil recovery of organised crime property).

Recent instructions include:

  • Resisting a freezing order over the trading account of the CEO of a multinational oil company.
  • Resisting proceedings for the forfeiture of bank accounts containing £20 million.
  • Restraint proceedings arising from the multi-billion dollar 1MDB financial scandal in Malaysia.
  • Restraint proceedings brought by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Civil recovery proceedings following an acquittal.
  • Representing property solicitor for alleged s.330 offence.

Will has substantial experience acting for corporations, particularly in connection with deferred prosecution agreements and prosecutions for bribery and corruption. He is a regular contributor to the Lloyds Law Reports (financial crime)

Will acts for individuals, corporates and prosecuting authorities. He is a regular contributor to the Lloyds Law Reports (financial crime).

Will acts on behalf of the Law Officers in contempt proceedings, applications for civil restraint orders and related matters. He also accepts instructions on behalf of respondents to such applications.

  • Martin Murray v United Kingdom, ECtHR, Application no. 20391/16 (right to fair trial in Northern Ireland), led by Terence Mooney QC
  • Peacock v United Kingdom, ECtHR, Application no. 52335/12 (the right to property in confiscation proceedings), led by David Perry QC.
  • Latouche v CPS (alleged breach of Article 5 arising from detention on remand)
  • McCarthy v CPS (alleged breach of Article 3 arising from failed prosecution)

Will acts in a range of immigration matters, principally in proceedings for judicial review or before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Will regularly appears in the High Court and Upper Tribunal in applications for judicial review and in analogous jurisdictions such as the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

High Court

Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Special Immigration Appeals Commission/POAC

  • B9 (exclusion of organised crime group member), led by Robert Palmer QC
  • BMB (naturalisation)
  • Re: proscription of LTTE, led by Ben Watson QC
  • Attorney General’s Panel for Civil Litigation (B)
  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel
  • Crown Prosecution Service Prosecutor
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice
  • Lloyd’s Financial Crime Law Reports
  • Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime

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Notable cases

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13 January

Authorised Criminality

David Perry QC and William Hays recently acted for the Respondents in a challenge to the Security Service’s policy whereby its agents may, in certain circumstances, become involved in criminal...