Mr William Douglas-Jones > Chambers of Elizabeth Isaacs KC > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Elizabeth Isaacs KC
St Ives Chambers
B4 6DH

Work Department

William Douglas-Jones is a Barrister specialising in Criminal law.


Will has a busy criminal practice.  His practice includes, inter alia, matters of fraud, robbery, burglary, sexual offences, drugs and violence. Will has, at an early stage of his career, been instructed in his own name in trials concerning serious sexual offences.

Since joining Chambers as a tenant, Will has been instructed in a number of regulatory trials and hearings, in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. He has also appeared in related Proceeds of Crime hearings.


Year of Call: 2011

Will has a strong criminal practice in the Crown Court and enjoys a practice beyond his level of call. His experience includes, matters of homicide, fraud, robbery, sexual offences, drugs, and violence. Will also has significant experience of POCA and cash forfeiture matters.

His recent cases include:

  • A high profile murder within the prison estate;
  • A murder in which complex issues of causation were in issue;
  • A multi-handed homicide following a road rage incident;
  • An attempted murder trial following injuries in which a knife was used in asserted self-defence;
  • Large scale drugs conspiracies;
  • A wounding trial following a rush hour machete attack;
  • A robbery trial in which the victim’s car brakes were cut before she crashed and was robbed at knife point;
  • A multi-handed rape trial where consent was the issue;
  • A conspiracy to commit arson and fraud;
  • An intra-familial sexual assault of two girls under the age of 13;
  • Committal to prison for breach of a restraint order in POCA proceedings;
  • A firearms trial following the discharge of a gun in the street; and
  • the successful opposition of a cash forfeiture application after over £75,000 cash was found following a search of his client’s home.

Will has experience as a led-junior, and is instructed to appear in a significant trial listed for 3 months in September 2022. The case concerns allegations of a series of connected “Ponzi schemes” based on high-yield investment into European Medium-Term Notes. The total value of the alleged fraud is in excess of £25m.  He has also regularly been instructed as a led-junior in matters of homicide.

In addition to his defence practice, Will enjoys a busy prosecution practice in the Crown Court. Will also welcomes advisory work of all kinds and prides himself on the early consideration of papers on their receipt and the provision of early advice to instructing solicitors. Will is also available to accept instructions on motoring matters.

Notable Cases

Operation Septimus [2021]

Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in a multi-handed homicide concerning a “one-punch” and “one-kick” assault which led to the death of the victim.  The case concerned extensive medical evidence both of causation but also of the Defendant’s state of mind.

Operation Intertwine [2021]

Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in a multi-handed homicide trial.  The case involved complex issues of causation flowing from an attack on the victim in 2006 which left him in a permanent coma until his death in 2019. 

R v HB [2021]

Instructed as junior alone to defend a youth accused of attempted murder.

Operation Ashfall [2021]

Will represented one Defendant in a large-scale drugs conspiracy relating to the supply of class A drugs in Stafford through a “County Lines” operation emanating from Wolverhampton.

Operation Darwin [2020]

Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in the high-profile trial for murder of the man dubbed by the media as “Britain’s Worst Paedophile” whilst both were serving inmates at HMP Full Sutton. The Defendant did not deny torturing and killing the victim but claimed that he had done so because his mind was substantially impaired by his various mental disorders, and therefore relied upon the partial defence of diminished responsibility.

R v AS (2020)

Instructed as a led junior in the successful appeal against conviction in a case concerning an historic indecent assault allegation. Will did not appear in the Crown Court and was instructed as a second-opinion appellate advocate. The case concerned the erroneous admission of multiple hearsay, purported confession evidence. The conviction was quashed, and the Court of Appeal gave important guidance on adherence to the Criminal Procedure Rules.

R v AL (No.2) (2020)

Appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the interpretation of “reasonable living expenses” and “reasonable legal costs” in the context of restraint orders. The appeal is ongoing and has been certified by the Court of Appeal as being of substantial importance to cases of its type. Materially, for the first time, at paragraph 33 of the judgment the Court provided a novel, non-exhaustive list of guideline factors to consider when deciding reasonableness.  This represented a significant departure from the trite test of a “Rolls Royce Lifestyle” which had stood since around 1992.  The case is pending leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Operation Circus 2 (Ongoing, Trial due September 2022)

Instructed to appear as a led junior in a multi-handed fraud trial of an alleged value in excess of £25m. The case concerns high-yield investments into European Medium-Term Notes which the Crown allege were fraudulent in nature.

Operation Joy (2019)

Led Junior in a multi-handed confiscation case following an application by the Crown to reconsider the available amount under section 22 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

R v AI (2018)

Defence Counsel in multi-handed money laundering trial. Will’s client was one of only two defendants acquitted from the nine who stood trial.

R v AL (2018)

Led Junior in an appeal to the Court of Appeal of a decision of the Crown Court not to vary a restraint order.

R (On the Application of Ceredigion CC) v Clarke & Ors (2018)

Appeared for the Respondent in an appeal to the High Court by way of case stated concerning whether there had been an unequivocal representation not to prosecute alleged breaches of a planning enforcement notice such that the subsequent prosecution amounted to an abuse of process.

R v AOG (2018)

Defence Counsel in trial concerning multiple allegations of historic rape and buggery. Secured acquittals on 6 of 9 counts at the first trial, and acquittals on the remaining counts at a re-trial.

HMRC v SP (2017)

Successfully opposed an application by HMRC for the forfeiture of over £70,000 in cash seized after a search of his client’s home: including £15,000 hidden under a cat litter tray.

R v VS & Ors (2017)

Led Junior in alleged large-scale conspiracy to commit fraud: concerning approximately £1.13m and over 120,000 pages of material.

R v DH (2017)

Defence Counsel in two-handed rape case where consent was the issue. Defendant acquitted unanimously.

R v GM (2017)

Represented the wife of the defendant to POCA proceedings. Successfully insulated the wife’s interest in the matrimonial home from the confiscation order.

R v SH-P (2016)

Defence Counsel in cash forfeiture proceedings concerning £90,000 cash found in the Defendant’s drawer.

R v KE (2016)

Defence Counsel in case of alleged intra-familial assault by penetration of child under 13. Required delicate cross-examination of two child complainants. Defendant acquitted unanimously.


Chambers and Partners 2021: “He is a skilled advocate.” “William carries a lot more gravitas than might be expected from his year of call.”

Legal 500 2021: “‘A fiercely intelligent advocate, with wisdom and gravitas beyond his years.”


Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn 2011;
Walter Wigglesworth Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn 2013






The Midland Circuit

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Criminal Bar Association


The Midland Circuit

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Criminal Bar Association

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Crime (general and fraud)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

William Douglas-JonesSt Ives Chambers ‘William is eloquent and has a real art for advocacy. He is exceptionally well prepared and has an excellent manner, especially with professional clients.’ 

St Ives Chambers is a ‘pool of highly talented criminal practitioners’ often involved in complex and lengthy murder trials and large-scale drug, firearm, and fraud conspiracies. The criminal practice group is led by ‘the tremendously diligent and hard-working’ Rebecca Wade who has ‘good judgement and great eye for detail’. Justin Jarmola is known for his ‘exceptional written advocacy’ and secured acquittal for a teenager defendant in a multi-week attempted murder trial. William Douglas-Jones ‘demonstrates the gravitas and demeanour of a highly experienced barrister’ and was led junior for a defendant in this 9-handed conspiracy to murder trial in the Crown Court.