Will Sykes Partner

Will is head of our derivatives and trading practice, and advises investment and hedge funds, banks, pension funds and insurers, high-net-worth individuals and corporates on a wide spectrum of trading, hedging and financing transactions. This covers the full range of derivatives, as well as prime brokerage, repo, commodities and clearing.

Will has a broad experience of trading, custody, brokerage and clearing agreements for derivative products, repos/stock lending and physical commodities. He advises sell- and buy-side clients across a wide range of asset classes, and on the associated regulations and issues of market-practice. He has a particular focus on buy-side trading arrangements for investment managers and has clients in the US, the UK, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia. He advises on global trading issues, and has extensive knowledge of local requirements in markets such as India and China.

Like most of the derivatives and trading practice at Macfarlanes, Will has spent time in-house in leading financial institutions, spending six months at The Royal Bank of Scotland and ten months in the Securities Division of Goldman Sachs International.

He acts for many of the largest pension funds, hedge funds and asset managers in the world, and advises a leading global prime broker on its client documentation.

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What people are saying


"William Sykes – an exceptional lawyer. I have been working with Will for over 10 years and highly value his advice. Will’s strengths are in-dept knowledge of law and regulation combined with a commercial approach, promptness and helpfulness. I find Will’s ability to synthesise and drill through the multitude of rules, subsequently applying them to the commercial objective quite unique – his advice certainly makes the work of an in-house counsel easier. He is very well respected by the buy-side (asset management) community and that is the other valuable element of his counsel – he has helpful insight as to how the industry participants are approaching a certain matter."

The UK Legal 500 2022

"Will Sykes is excellent to deal with. Will is smart and analytical and also sensible and pragmatic. He brings a deep understanding of the market, both from the sell-side and the buy-side. He really know us and our counterparties and what is important to both sides. He helps us target our energies and progress negotiations quickly and efficiently."

The UK Legal 500 2021

"Very smart and analytical and also sensible and pragmatic."

The UK Legal 500 2023