William Charlesworth


Will joined Child & Child in April 2019 bringing with him over 10 years’ litigation experience and a specialism in brand and reputation protection. He focusses mainly on defamation claims and the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Will acts for a range of clients including start-ups; SMEs; FTSE 250 and AIM listed companies; private and high-profile individuals in the media.

Will has represented clients in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, Companies Court, High Court, County Courts and at I-CANN under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy.

Will worked in Hong Kong for an electronics company before becoming a lawyer, and so has a valuable insight into how business operates ‘on the ground’, including how technology and IP is developed and exploited; he continues to apply that experience and straightforward approach when working with clients.

Wills brand and intellectual property protection work has included him representing a well-known international luxury cosmetics brand; a French design house; several established media and advertising agencies; an international drinks brand; and a cryptocurrency. He has also advised leading brands on advertising campaign compliance in respect of advertising standards codes and the licensing of third party rights.

Will’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising a specialist technology company in a claim for international infringement of registered designs and design rights.
  • Acting for an international movie production company in passing-off proceedings.
  • Successfully defending a UK company in a trade mark and breach of contract claim made by a leading US fashion brand.
  • Advising a London based, internationally funded technology start-up in respect of its IP rights in the dissolution of a 'blockchain' technology platform venture.
  • Successfully defending an online retailer against claims of defamation, malicious falsehood, passing-off, misrepresentation and cybersquatting, in a dispute with a competitor.
  • Acting for a software company against a leading US bank in a copyright and database rights infringement claim concerning the creation of highly complex financial analytical software.
  • Acting for several licensors and food suppliers in respect of the enforcement of plant variety rights.
  • Acting in defamation claims for individuals outside of the UK in respect of defamatory content published in the UK jurisdiction.
  • Advising clients in respect of online abuse (trolling); breach of privacy and exploitation of confidential content.
  • Acting in high value multi-jurisdictional export licence and fraud claims concerning noted artworks.

In addition to his defamation and intellectual property work, Will has acted in complex breach of contract claims, partnership and shareholder disputes, and for both claimants and defendants in post-employment restrictive covenant claims. In multiple cases Will has also represented both corporate and individual clients in claims against UK banks for the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products and other complex investment products.

Will also presents workshops and seminars on topics including: effective brand protection; the risks of social media use for companies; intellectual property rights arising in employment and post-employment restrictive covenant enforcement.

The Directories

Will is ranked as an associate to watch in Chambers:

Will Charlesworth is a respected associate litigator, particularly knowledgeable in the areas of IP and software disputes. His work frequently includes cross-border elements. A client values his "technical knowledge, practical approach and ability to communicate legalese at our level." Chambers 2019

"Will Charlesworth is a respected intellectual property disputes lawyer. He has a particular specialism in software disputes and handling domain name cybersquatting issues. He is highly prized by clients for his work drafting IT-related agreements, with one noting: "He produced them on time, on budget and went beyond the industry standard in terms of quality." Chambers 2017

Will is also referenced in the Legal 500 as being “Highly Experienced” in the specialist area of Intellectual Property (Legal 500, 2017).

Reported Cases

Will acted in the reported case of Re Lifemarque (2009), a noted minority shareholder unfair prejudice claim.

Will also represented well-known a public figure in the 2012 Levinson Enquiry into phone hacking.

Recent Guides