William Cecil in Law360: ‘Q&A – 6 Questions for Haynes and Boone’s William Cecil’

04/30/2021

William Cecil, managing partner of the London office at Haynes and Boone, LLP, said a teenage visit by helicopter to a ship anchored off the Cornwall coast sparked an interest that led him to pursue a career in shipping law.

Cecil, who took the helm at Haynes and Boone’s London office in January, said that his father’s job as a shipbroker and the visit to the port in southwest England proved crucial to his own professional choices.

“When I was 13, my father had a client whose ship came into Falmouth” Cecil told Law360. “The client took us on a helicopter which landed on his ship, and then we had a tour. I just remember thinking at the time that this is such an adventure”.

Cecil sought out firms specializing in the maritime world, qualifying for the shipping department at Norton Rose in 1996.

He joined Curtis Davis Garrard LLP in 1999 after having the firm on his radar because one of its founding partners had written a leading textbook on shipbuilding law. Cecil – who co-authored the fifth edition of the book, “The Law of Shipbuilding Contracts” – was involved in the talks when CDG merged with Dallas-headquartered Haynes and Boone, LLP in 2016.

“One thing we liked was that, despite Haynes and Boone being sizable at nearly 600 lawyers, it’s a first generation start-up.” Cecil said. “It started 50 years ago, and one of the two founding partners is still coming into the office every day”.

Here, Cecil talks to Law360 about his plans as managing partner, a memorable case from earlier in his career and how the firm has kept in contact with its clients during the pandemic.

What do you have planned for your time as managing partner?

The plan for the London office is to continue to grow internally plus lateral hires. We will continue to expand in number, but also in practice areas, because there are quite a few areas which the U.S. offices have a great reputation in but we don't currently offer, for example intellectual property, private equity and a wider energy practice.

Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, click here. (Subscription only)