“He is user-friendly and explains the law in a comprehensive way.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

Will is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. His core practice arises at the interface of public and criminal law. This work often involves areas of technical complexity or where there is an international element, including asset recovery and money laundering, human rights, prison law, indirect tax and law enforcement powers.

Will has recently acted on domestic and international requests for asset recovery, challenges to HMRC powers of seizure, challenges to prisoner detention and repatriation and applications before the European Court of Human Rights. He is regularly instructed to advise City law firms on their money laundering obligations.

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

Chambers & Partners 2019



Recent Cases

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  • Murray v United Kingdom, ECtHR, ongoing (right to fair trial in Northern Ireland).
  • R v Guraj (Supreme Court) [2017] 1 WLR 22 (postponement of confiscation orders).
  • NCA v Khan (QBD) [2017] Lloyd’s Rep FC 153 (civil recovery of organised crime property).
  • MP (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department(Supreme Court) [2017] 2 All ER 155 (reference by Supreme Court to ECJ on immigration/EU issue).
  • R v A Ltd [2016] EWCA Crim 1469; [2016] 4 WLR 176 (attribution principle where director is absent from trial).
  • Emu v Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2016] EWHC 2561 (Admin) (calculation of default term).
  • Peacock v United Kingdom, ECtHR, Application no. 52335/12 (the right to property in confiscation proceedings).
  • R v AIL (A Company) [2016] EWCA Crim 2; [2016] QB 763 (corruption and foreign principals).
  • Amber Services Europe Ltd v Director of Border Revenue [2015] EWHC 3665 (Admin); [2016] 1 WLR 1889 (seizure powers over tobacco).
  • Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd v DPP [2016] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 108 (cross-border restraint).
  • R v GH (Supreme Court) [2015] UKSC 24; [2015] 1 WLR 2126 (money laundering arrangements).
  • R v Ahmad (Shakeel) (Supreme Court) [2014] UKSC 36; [2015] AC 299 (joint benefit in confiscation).


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  • Attorney General’s Panel for Civil Litigation (B)
  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel
  • Crown Prosecution Service Prosecutor


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  • 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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R v Waya

One of the most significant cases to be heard in the Supreme Court in recent years, concerning the confiscation provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The case considered the issue of what...

R v Waya

The most important case on confiscation in the last decade.

R v Varma

A Supreme Court case which decided that a conditional discharge may be coupled with a confiscation order.

Re Peacock

A Supreme Court case which decided that a confiscation order may be increased with reference to assets subsequently and legitimately acquired.

R (Seroka) v Redhill Magistrates' Court

A complex High Court challenge to a speeding conviction concerning the admissibility of evidence produced by the LTI 20-20 Speed Scope (Gatso).

R v Q

Concerning the correct approach to sentencing young persons to detention and training orders.

R (E) v Governor of Hatfield Prison

Concerning whether a default term for non-payment of a confiscation order may be back-dated.

R v Jawad

Concerning whether the combining of a compensation order with a confiscation order amounts to impermissible “double recovery”.

MP (Sri Lanka)

A Country Guidance case in relation to Tamil asylum seekers.

Related news

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28 June

Attorney General's 'B' Panel

Chambers is delighted to announce that William Hays have been appointed to the Attorney General's 'B' Panel of Counsel to the Crown (civil).

17 February

Top 10 set for Supreme Court appearances in 2016

We are delighted to have been recognised by The Lawyer Magazine as one of the top 10 sets in the country in terms of frequency of appearances before the Supreme Court in 2016. Seven of our members...

8 May

Will Hays appointed to Attorney General's C-Panel

Will Hays appointed to Attorney General's C-Panel Chambers is pleased to announce that the Attorney General has appointed Will Hays to the C-Panel for civil and EU work. Four members of chambers...