William Hillier

William Hillier

Call 2001 - Inner Temple

“William is a family law barrister specialising in all matters concerning family finance including financial remedies on divorce and cohabitation disputes (TOLATA), private law children work and cases in the court of protection

William also accepts instructions on a public access basis.

He is a member of the FLBA and CoPPA”

Family Finance

“William has a particular interest in financial remedy proceedings and is widely instructed in complex financial disputes.

His cases frequently involve business assets including farms, limited companies and sole traders, inherited money, substantial pension funds, including military pensions, assets out of the jurisdiction, third party interests including family trusts and bankruptcy proceedings.

William also regularly represents parents seeking financial provision for children pursuant to Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 and non-married couples or family members who are involved in property disputes pursuant to the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

As a result of his work in the Court of Protection William is also often instructed to represents vulnerable clients lacking capacity who are represented through the official solicitor or another litigation friend.

Recent cases have included:

B v E [2020]

Representing W in a case where H was the majority shareholder in successful business he established during the marriage. H had assets in his name in excess of £1million which he sort to substantially undervalue during the proceedings. The family home was also subject to a declaration of trust which H sought to reply upon to defeat W claims.

B v B [2020]

Representing H who retired after a lengthy career in the Police Force with a substantial pension fund. W was the sole director of her own company which she sought to establish was worthless due to the Covid-19 crisis and accordingly sought a substantial pension sharing order.

D v D [2020]

Representing H who was the majority shareholder in the profitable family business. Both parties also had substantial private pensions. At the final hearing the Court had to consider expert evidence in relation to the value of the business and also in relation to pensions so as to offset the assets against one another.

E v E [2020]

Representing the second wife in financial proceedings which ran simultaneously to a claim commenced by the first wife. H was a self employed builder and the Court had to consider expert evidence in relation to the value of his business as well as arguments over the priority of each wife’s financial claim.

GH v GH [2020]

Representing H in a short marriage case where both parties married when in their 60’s. The assets in the case exceeded £2 million  and included property outside of the jurisdiction, pension funds in payment and inheritance claims.

H v H [2020]

Represented W in contested proceedings the final issues for determination included the value of H’s importation business, pension funds in excess of £1 million and the parties contribution to an investment property.

M v M [2020]

Representing H who was a farmer in a long marriage case. The farm business including the farm house, which served as the matrimonial home, was the main assets in this case.

T v T [2020]

Representing W in proceedings where H’s mother contributed to the purchase price of the matrimonial home and sought to establish a third party interest in the property.”

Family - Children

William represents parents, children and other relatives in all types of private law claims. The majority of his work involves representing parents in applications for or to vary Child Arrangement Orders but he is also regularly instructed in specific issue and prohibited steps order applications and injunctive orders under the Family Law Act.

William has particular experience in international relocation cases, intractable contact disputes involving allegations of parent alienation and fact finding hearings concerning allegations of domestic abuse (including sexual, physical and emotional abuse) and drug/alcohol misuse.

Recent cases have included applications to restrict and ceasing contact when a parent has failed to address their abusive behaviour, occupation orders regulating a parents attendance at the family home, a fact finding with allegations of sexual abuse and domestic violence in the marital home and a specific issue application to determine which school a child attends.

Many of Williams cases also involve multiple parties including children through their guardian.

Court of Protection

William represents and advises Local Authorities, health authorities, vulnerable adults, family members, the official solicitor and the Office of the Public Guardian in a variety of matters in the Court of Protection.

As well as dealing with best interest decisions his cases concern issues of capacity, medical treatment, DOLS authorisations, replacement of nearest relatives and the removal and appointment of LPA’s for both finance and health and welfare disputes.

“Recent cases of interest have included:

RE A, William was instructed by the Local Authority in proceedings concerning a vulnerable young adult with mild to moderate learning disabilities, generalised idiopathic epileptic syndromes, possible anoxic brain damage and possible pervasive developmental disorder. A’s parents had strong religious views which the Local Authority considered impacted on their ability to care for A. This included the parents no following medical advice and not taking seeking medical attention when A suffered from life threating seizures. The case focused on the medical care A required and whether or not she could be cared for at home by her parents or whether residential care was the only option for her.

Re B, William was again instructed by a Local Authority in proceedings concerning the use of restraint techniques, (both physical and medical) on a vulnerable adult with a diagnosis of severe Autism, a moderate learning disability and Bipolar Affective Disorder. At times of distress B exhibited extremely challenging behaviour including verbal and physical aggression, self-harm, sexualised behaviour, inappropriate urination and absconding. These proceedings arose as a result of a s.21A application brought by B’s parents as they believed B’s care providers were unable to meet his needs and that prevention techniques employed by carers were too restrictive.

Re C, William acted for the CCG in proceedings concerning C, who came to the attention of the Local Authority when he was abandoned by his family with no money, food, clothing or medication at a GP surgery. Solicitor’s holding a financial power of attorney declined to proceed with a sale of C’s home due to concerns as to the family’s financial impropriety. These proceedings focused on the family’s financial misconduct and ensuring that appropriate financial decisions were made on C’s behalf to ensure his care needs were met.”

Re D, William acted for the OPG in proceedings concerning the removal of an appointed LPA for financial affairs due to concerns of reported financial mismanagement and abuse.

Property & Chancery

William is regularly instructed in cohabitee and family trust claims pursuant to the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA). Recent cases have included:

  • A client seeking a life interest in a property following multiple house sales and purchases over a 25 year period in which his client was alleged to have acted fraudulently.
  • Defending a claim of undue influence whereby the other party was seeking to have the whole conveyance set aside.
  • Equitable accounting; where he represented a client in prison for arson following a fire at the family home.
  • Representing a property developer whose partner was seeking an interest in the family home based on a contribution to the mortgage payments following a lengthy relationship.
  • Representing parents as interveners in financial remedy proceedings who sought to establish a beneficial interest in the matrimonial home by virtue of their contribution to the purchase price of the property. This was defended by their son in law on the basis that money was simply gifted to him.

William’s practice also incorporates inheritance disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 where he frequently represents parties wishing to challenge the terms of their relatives estates.

Recent Articles

“Financial Remedies update: Short Marriage cases – a departure from the principle of equal sharing”
Magdalen Chambers June 2017

“Tenancy deposits, where are we now”
Magdalen Chambers August 2014

“A guide to ex-parte non-molestation applications under part IV of the Family Law Act 1996”
Magdalen Chambers August 2014

“Qualifying nuptial agreements: A quick look at the current law and future developments”
Magdalen Chambers March 2014

“Freezing orders in financial remedy proceedings”
Magdalen Chambers January 2014

“CRU: Recovery of Benefits. Practical tips regarding appeals from Compensation Recovery Unit decisions.”
Personal Injury Law Journal April 2011

Professional Memberships

FLBA

CoPPA

Personal

In 2008 William spent a year out working as a law clerk for the Death Row Division of the Office of the Public Defender in Ohio, USA.

The Public Defender’s office represents all death-row inmates in Ohio in their state and federal post-conviction appeals. In 2008 there were 180 people on Death Row in Ohio.

William had the opportunity to provide legal research and case work support for all 14 attorneys in the division. His work included:

Clemency application for Jeffrey Hill. – He assisted trial Counsel in preparing for this application. This work involved reviewing past proceedings throughout Hill’s 18 years on death row, interviewing family members, examining similar death penalty cases and clemency hearings, researching medical and psychological reports and writing legal argument. Jeffrey Hill was granted clemency with the possibility of parole.

Richard Cooey’s lethal injection lawsuit. – He reviewed all of his medical records and carried out research into this client’s health for a challenge on the States execution protocol. Sadly this challenge was ruled to be time-barred and Mr Cooey was executed in October 2008.

He conducted a comparative study of the different lethal injection protocols as used by different states in the US. – This included examining expert medical testimony on the effects of each of the three drugs used in lethal injection executions. This issue formed part of a number of different lawsuits.

He was part of the research study group that wrote Ohio’s first death row report.

Outside of work William is a keen cyclist and enjoys competing in sportives in this County and in France.