William Thomas specialises in commercial, construction, insurance and maritime law.

Click here to view Will's CV, which includes a list of selected appearances.

Will is listed in Doyle's Guide:

  • Leading Construction Law Barrister Rankings, Victoria, 2022
  • Leading Transport Barrister Rankings, Australia, 2022

Professional background

Before coming to the Bar, Will was a solicitor at Allens in the commercial litigation group and a judge's associate at the Federal Court of Australia.

Will holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Modern Languages in Japanese.

Will is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), Melbourne TEC Chambers (MTECC) and Young's List Barristers.

In his practice, Will seeks to provide succinct, accurate and commercially-sensible advice to clients. He prides himself on being accessible and easy to deal with, and enjoys forming strong working relationships with instructors and clients. In court, Will puts his clients' position clearly and persuasively, always preparing comprehensively for hearings to ensure the best chance of a successful outcome.

Building and construction

Will regularly acts on behalf of builders, building owners and other professionals, such as architects, engineers and surveyors, in building and construction disputes.

He has particular expertise in claims arising from the use of combustible cladding, having appeared as counsel in the Lacrosse case, the leading decision in Australia on building professionals' liability for cladding, and several other proceedings on behalf of both owners and contractors.

He also has experience with claims arising from structural defects in building elements (such as concrete slabs, waterproofing, footings and beams), claims involving quantification of delay and acceleration costs, and disputes arising under security of payment legislation.

Will is a member of Melbourne TEC Chambers, a collection of leading Australian barristers practising in building and construction matters.

Commercial disputes

Will has appeared as counsel in numerous commercial disputes, ranging from small business and consumer disputes to claims involving significant quantum.

Will's commercial experience includes claims arising under contracts (including standard form agreements), the Australian Consumer Law, the Corporations Act, equity and fiduciary obligations.


Will is regularly briefed to act on behalf of insurers and Lloyd's underwriters, both in subrogated recoveries and in defending claims against insureds.

He also advises on policy interpretation and issues arising under the Insurance Contracts Act, such as non-disclosure, rights of subrogation, contribution between insurers and notification of circumstances giving rise to claims under section 40(3).

Will also acts on behalf of insured parties in claims for indemnity under insurance policies.


Will has acted on behalf of vessel owners, charterers, freight forwarders and shippers in numerous maritime disputes, including cargo claims, collisions and claims for demurrage and trading losses.

He is familiar with sea carriage documents (bills of lading, sea waybills and charterparties) and relevant maritime conventions, such as the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation. The information referred to above has been supplied by the barrister concerned. Neither Victorian Bar Inc nor the barrister's clerk have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information and neither accepts any responsibility in that regard.


PH +61 3 +61 3 9225 6154
Email [email protected]

Chambers: Room 1518
Owen Dixon Chambers West
525 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000

Practice Areas

Commercial Law
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Building Law & Construction Law
Class Actions
Transport Law
Contractual Disputes
Insurance Law & Professional Negligence Law
International Commercial Law


Admitted to the Legal Profession:
12 Nov 2013
Signed Victorian Bar Roll:
05 May 2016


LLB (Hons), BA, Dip Mod Lang (Japanese) (Melb)

Also Entitled to Practise in

All Australian States and Jurisdictions