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Doughty Street Chambers

Work 020 7404 1313
Fax 020 7404 2283
Bristol, London, Manchester

Heather Williams QC

Work 020 7404 1313
Doughty Street Chambers (Doughty Street Chambers)


Heather specialises in civil liberties and human rights cases, particularly actions against the police, inquests and other public and private law claims arising from unlawful detention and official misconduct. She also has a substantial discrimination practice involving both employment and non-employment claims. She is currently leading a small team representing a bereaved family at the Hillsborough Inquest. Her recent notable cases include: AJA v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2013] EWCA Civ 1342 (damages claims arising from undercover police officers forming sexual relationships with political activists); Copeland v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWCA Civ 1014 (test for determining who is a 'prosecutor' for tort of malicious prosecution); ZH v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2013] EWCA Civ 69 (police restraint of a severely autistic teenager amounting to disability discrimination, assault and infringement of ECHR Articles 3, 5 and 8); Turner v East Midlands [2012] EWCA Civ 1470 (whether conventional band of reasonable responses test applies to an unfair dismissal claim when rights protected by Article 8 ECHR are engaged); and BBC presenter, Miriam O'Reilly's successful employment tribunal case for age discrimination.


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.


Discrimination Law Association; Police Actions Lawyers Group; Inquest; Liberty; Justice; ALBA; Industrial Law Society.


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


Activities with her teenage children, rock music, yoga.

London Bar

Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

Within: Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – Leading silks

Heather Williams QC - Doughty Street ChambersFiercely intelligent, unfailingly reliable and is effortlessly fast-thinking.

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Within: Employment – Leading silks

Heather Williams QC - Doughty Street ChambersShe has an incredible legal brain and easily has the ear of the court.

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Inquests and inquiries

Within: Inquests and inquiries – Leading silks

Heather Williams QC - Doughty Street ChambersCareful and thorough analysis without being at all showy. Commands a great deal of respect.

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