Paul Williams

Year of call:1990
Expertise: Crime, Regulatory

Practice areas

  • Serious crime
  • Regulatory crime
  • Financial crime


Paul Williams is an associate member of Devon Chambers with an extensive leading defence practice. He has more than 20 years’ continuous experience at the Bar and has successfully led in a number of large and complex trials involving organised crime. He regularly appears for the defence in serious fraud, drug conspiracies and murder cases. Paul has a special interest in electoral law and has defended in high-profile electoral fraud and corruption cases. He has a specialist knowledge in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and linked legislation.

Paul has experience of representing persons through the Criminal Cases Review Commission, as well as very many years’ experience of confiscation litigation, which has evolved over the last two decades through Statute and Case Law into the current Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

In addition, Paul has extensive experience of ‘supergrass’ trials, including being involved in the first acquittal in the long-running series of long trials where the chief prosecution witness was the supergrass Michael Michaels at the high-security crown court at Woolwich.

Many of Paul’s cases involve an international element and cross-border frauds. He is a capable advocate with a proven track record of presenting complex evidence to juries in terms that are easily understandable. Paul is known for his commitment to defending those accused of crime and fully understands the impact of allegations on those accused.

Paul is also noted for his ability to represent clients who have special challenges in the form of learning disabilities of infirmities related to mental or psychological impairment.

Paul is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Recent cases

  • R v S. Allegations of complex multi-handed housing benefit fraud carried out over a period of 15 years and involving a sophisticated and professionally planned Department of Social Security (DSS) fraud by several generations of the same family.
  • R v M. Central Criminal Court.A manslaughter case involving complex issues of causation, which required extensive and very technical cross-examination of the Crown’s pathologist at trial.
  • R v B. Southwark Crown Court.A multi-handed fraud involving organised crime by defendants from Ukraine. The case concerned the use of the HMRC online Income Tax self-assessment system to obtain fraudulent repayments of Income Tax. Over £6.9 million in repayments were fraudulently claimed by the conspirators. More than £3 million was paid into 690 bank accounts linked to and controlled by the conspiracy.
  • R v S. Southwark Crown Court.A sophisticated fraud involving the fraudulent selling of over £1 million of airline tickets from within a properly licensed travel agency specifically targeted and purchased by the conspirators to avoid the regulatory regime designed to protect the airlines from such frauds.
  • R v R (2008). Central Criminal Court. A high-profile murder case. It involved a large-scale urban/public disorder where two rival London gangs fought a battle on the streets, which resulted in the death of one leading gang member and the near death of a second. It was one of the very first cases to require the practical application of the House of Lords decision in R v Davis (June 2008), involving witness anonymity. Legislation was passed in consequence of that landmark case. In R v R, there were 34 anonymous prosecution witnesses, some of whom were potentially of assistance to the defence.
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