Dr William Bull (W.A.)
William is an Assistant Professor in the Private law department. His current research is in the field of sports law, focusing on sports agents and especially the regulation of access to and conduct of the profession of football intermediary. William has tutored on the Introduction to Sport and Law elective course, and presented at conferences and workshops in his field of research. He is also the current coordinator of European Private Law and Skills: Legal Research and Reasoning, as well as a member of both the European Law School Programme Committee and the Library Committee.
EU Optional Instruments
European Private Law, particularly Contract Law
Intellectual Property Law
Legal Theory and Legal Reasoning
Professional career history
William has dual British and Italian nationality. He read English and Italian law at University College London and graduated with Honours in 2004. Subsequently after a period teaching Business English (including Legal English) he obtained his Master’s degree in European law from Maastricht University. During his Master studies William also worked as a student assistant at the METRO Institute for Transnational Legal Research, assisting the Editor of the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative law and the coordinator of the Tort law Ius Commune Europaeum casebook.
William joined the Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) as a Junior Researcher in June 2011. For three years prior to this he performed a similar role for the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers, the Luxembourg Antenna of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). During this time he developed, managed and delivered workshops and seminars on various aspects of institutional, procedural and substantive EU law for officials of EU Institutions and Member State public administrations, as well as civil servants (including judges) from Candidate and Associate Countries, and acted as Director of EIPA Luxembourg’s Master of European Legal Studies, in the context of which he gave lectures on Legal Concepts, Sources and General Principles of EU law, Free Movement of Goods, Competition law and Intellectual Property law.
His PhD research project examined existing and proposed EU ‘Optional Instruments’ (OIs) in different fields of European law, including contract law, company law and intellectual property law (such as the proposed Common European Sales Law, the European Company and the Community trade mark, respectively). In general terms, the principal aims of his research were two-fold: First, to investigate the benefits and disadvantages of creating optional private law at European level as an alternative to harmonisation; and, second, to consider possible explanations for the apparently varied degree of ‘success’ of EU OIs already in existence, and what this could entail for those OIs that are currently being proposed by the EU legislator. Ultimately, William sought to determine whether and in what ways such ‘optional’ EU law provides a viable and desirable alternative to top-down harmonisation in the quest for greater uniformity in European private law.