Heather Williams KC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
53-54 DOUGHTY STREET
LONDON
WC1N 2LS
England

Work Department

Position

Heather specialises in civil liberties and human rights cases, including civil actions, judicial review claims and inquests.

She is particularly known for her involvement in actions against the police and other prosecuting and detaining authorities, both civil compensation claims and public law challenges. In recognition of her standing in these areas, she is ranked in the 2019 Chambers & Partners Directory as a “Star Individual” in the Police Law: Mainly Claimant category and as a Band 1 Leading Silk for her Civil Liberties and Human Rights work. She is also a ranked Silk in the Inquests & Inquiries and Employment Law sections and in the equivalent categories in the Legal 500 Directory. Heather led a team acting for a bereaved family at the Hillsborough Inquests and is now lead counsel for the Hillsborough claimants in their misfeasance claims against the police. Heather has a particular speciality in discrimination claims, both in the employment and public law context.

She sits as a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal) and as a Recorder in both Crime and Civil on the Northern Circuit. She has previously sat as a part-time Employment Judge, an Assistant Coroner and as a QC Member of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service’s Disciplinary Pool. She is a former Chair of the Royal Mail’s National Appeals Panel and Chair of the Legal Aid Agency’s Special Controls Review Panel. Heather is a London School of Mediation trained commercial mediator and has experience as a judicial mediator in the Employment Tribunal.

She is the leader of the Doughty Street Chambers’ Actions Against the Police & other Public Authorities Team and the Employment & Discrimination Team.

Career

Called 1985; Gray’s Inn, elected bencher 2011; QC 2006. Additionally, Heather sits as a part-time Employment Judge and chairs the Royal Mail’s National Appeals Panel and the Legal Aid Agency’s Special Controls Review Panel. Former deputy-head of Doughty Street Chambers; she is now head of the Actions Against the Police and the Employment teams. Publications of note: co-author of ‘Police Misconduct: Legal Remedies’ (4th ed.) published by the Legal Action Group.

Memberships

Discrimination Law Association

Police Actions Lawyers Group

Industrial Law Society

Justice

Liberty

INQUEST

Education

Portsmouth High School; Kings College London (1984 LLB First Class Hons).

Leisure

Activities with her teenage children, rock music, yoga.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Employment

Doughty Street Chambers is ‘a very steady set with several renowned barristers.‘ The employment and discrimination team undertakes the full range of employment cases, while clients additionally benefit from its leveraging of expertise in human rights, public law, data protection, professional discipline, immigration, personal injury, crime, and media and reputation management. In  al-Qasimi  v RobinsonHeather Williams KC recently successfully led David Stephenson for the claimant in the Court of Appeal, which restated the test for common law illegality in employment claims.  Junior-end growth saw rising star Beth Grossman join from Ely Place Chambers, which disbanded in 2020.