Heather Williams QC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile
Doughty Street Chambers Offices
Doughty Street Chambers
53-54 DOUGHTY STREET
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Heather Williams QC
London Bar > Inquests and inquiriesWithin: Leading Silks -
Considered ‘one of the very best’ Doughty Street Chambers is an ‘excellent set for inquest work‘, acting on behalf of bereaved families in cases including deaths in clinical and custody settings such as immigration detention, secure hospitals and prison. As an example, Alison Gerry acted at an inquest on behalf of the sister of Kirsty Walker, a prisoner at Sodexo-run HMP Bronzefield who after engaging in over two hundred acts of self harm took her own life in the prison. Heather Williams QC represents the families of three of the deceased in the resumed inquests into the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings, which killed 21 and led to six men (“The Birmingham Six”) being wrongfully convicted. Members are involved in all the major ongoing public inquiries, with Henrietta Hill QC acting as deputy counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
London Bar > EmploymentWithin: Leading Silks -
London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)Within: Leading Silks -
Doughty Street Chambers is known for its ‘excellence in bringing claims against the police and in the inquest field’ and has vast expertise in immigration, extradition, and claims against the state. Recent instructions of note for members include Heather Williams QC representing clients in McGlone & Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, which concerns the role of the police in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster. She has also been instrumental in the Undercover Police Inquiry, undertaking considerable advisory work for the core participants which include Neville Lawrence and six victims of deceptive sexual relationships initiated by undercover officers. Edward Fitzgerald QC is acting for Maha El Gizouli, the mother of one of the ‘IS Beatles’, El Shafee Elsheikh, in her application for a judicial review into the Home Secretary’s decision to cooperate with the US authorities and assurances that her son won’t be subject to the death penalty. Others members of note include Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, who acted for Just for Kids Law in a test case concerning the use of children as ‘covert human intelligence sources’ by the police in R (Just for Kids Law) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Stephen Cragg QC who acted in Miah v Independent Police Complaint Commission challenging the use of illegal stops at Heathrow airport under the Terrorism Act 2010; and ‘standout junior’ Adam Wagner who acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in AB, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Justice regarding the prolonged detention of a minor in solitary confinement.