William Bull (W.A.)
- EU Optional Instruments
- European Private Law, particularly Contract Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Common Law
- Legal Theory
Professional career history
William 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 research project examines 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 the research are 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 will seek 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.