Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

1999, Bachelor of Laws (UNSW) 1999

Bachelors of Arts (Hons, English Literature) (UNSW)

Called to the bar 2005

Adrian is a highly experienced barrister with extensive expertise across a broad range of areas of criminal and civil law. He appears regularly in courts and tribunals across New South Wales at trial and appellate level for individuals, the Commonwealth and State Government and the New South Wales Police Force. He has developed a strong reputation in matters concerning government agencies in civil, criminal and regulatory contexts, as well as acting for institutions and conducting proceedings involving unrepresented litigants.

Adrian’s experience extends to appearing in inquests, general criminal law (particularly Commonwealth crime, such as terrorism), regulatory prosecutions, commissions of inquiry, state administrative law matters and proceedings involving intentional torts, care and protection matters, professional disciplinary and insurance disputes. He also possesses experience in bankruptcy proceedings, equity and adoption matters.

Adrian’s expansive advocacy practice sees him appearing in a diverse range of jurisdictions including the NSW Supreme Court, NSW District Court, NSW Court of Appeal and NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. He also possesses experience in the NSW Local Court, NSW Children’s Court, NSW Coroner’s Court, ACT Magistrate’s Court, ACT Supreme Court, Federal Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and formerly the Medical Tribunal.

Adrian largely appears unled, including in appeals and is increasingly and routinely appearing with a junior counsel.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Adrian practiced as a solicitor in reputable mid-tier law firms, mainly in the areas of general medico-legal, torts, criminal law, general commercial litigation and conducted matters on behalf of LawCover. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.

Practice Areas

Administrative and Public Law
Care and Protection
Common Law
Criminal Law
Inquests and Commissions of Inquiry
Intentional Torts
Medical Negligence
Professional Disciplinary
Professional Negligence


2007-Present, Barrister, Wardell Chambers

2005-2007, Barrister, Forbes Chambers

2003-2004, Solicitor, Turtons Lawyers

2002-2003, Solicitor, Colin Biggers & Paisley

2000-2002, Solicitor, TressCox & Maddox Solicitors


2005, Called to the NSW Bar

2001, Admitted as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia

Selected Cases

NSW Court of Criminal Appeal

Kim v R [2018] NSWCCA 68 – unled for the Crown

MI v R [2017] NSWCCA 225 – unled for the Crown

Heath v R [2016] NSWCCA 24 – unled for the Crown

R v Peart and Sorokin [2015] NSWCCA 321 – a Crown appeal against the quashing of an indictment – Led by the then Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Robert Bromwich SC (as he then was)

Elshani v R [2015] NSWCCA 254 – unled for the Crown

Zaky v R [2015] NSWCCA 161 – unled for the Crown

Dui Kol v R [2015] NSWCCA 150 – unled for the Crown

Lay v R [2014] NSWCCA 310 – unled for the Crown

The Application of the Attorney General for New South Wales dated 4 April 2014 [2014] NSWCCA 51– led by Ian Temby QC for the Attorney General

Jacob v R [2014] NSWCCA 65; (2014) 240 ACrimR 239 – led by Tim Game SC for the appellant

Hennessy v R [2012] NSWCCA 241 – unled for the Crown

R v RK and LK [2008] NSWCCA 338(2008) 73 NSWLR 357– junior to Peter Hastings QC following a trial in which Adrian had appeared

RLT v R [2006] NSWCCA 357 – junior to Peter Hamill SC (as he then was) – for the appellant

NSW Court of Appeal

Secretary, Department of Family and Community Services v Hayward [2018] NSWCA 209 – Court of Appeal bench of five granting declarations as to the operation of s 29 Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) arising from the issue of subpoenas in a criminal trial – led by the Crown Advocate, David Kell SC for the Department

Fletcher v State of New South Wales [2019] NSWCA 31 – led for the State by Michael Windsor SC – damages in false arrest

State of NSW v Cuthbertson [2018] NSWCA 320 – led by Michael Windsor SC – bench of 5 overturning existing authority on damages in wrongful arrest cases

Clark v Commissioner for Corrective Services [2016] NSW CA 186 – led – administrative law

NSW Supreme Court

R v Macdonald (No 4) [2016] NSWSC 486 – unled – resisting a Dietrich application for the Crown in criminal proceedings against a former NSW Government Minister

Dixon v Attorney General of NSW [2018] NSWSC 1618 – dealing with interpretation of the savings provisions of the Road Transport Act 2013 – unled for the Attorney General

Beckett v State of New South Wales [2015] NSWSC 1017– led by John Machonachie QC for the State of NSW – malicious prosecution

Wood v State of New South Wales [2018] NSWSC 1247 – led by Peter Neil SC for the State of NSW – malicious prosecution

Watt v State of New South Wales [2018] NSWSC 1926 – leading Andrew Isaacs for the State – prison bashing

ACT Supreme Court

Hollis v Rogers [2016] ACTSC 156 – unled for the Crown – criminal offence against Civil Aviation regulations

NSW District Court

XYZ v State of NSW (No 2) [2019] NSWDC 32 – unled for the State dispute involving numerous causes of action including false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office

Involving Unrepresented Litigants

Edwards v State of New South Wales [2017] NSWSC 459

Clark v State of New South Wales; Clark v Robards [2014] NSWSC 742

PFC v State of New South Wales [2015] NSWSC 1507

Clark v State of New South Wales [2016] NSWSC 808

Professional Disciplinary

Health Care Complaints Commission v Dr Nguyen [2013] NSWMT 18 – led by Philip Boulten SC for the doctor

Lott v Council of the NSW Bar Association [2017] NSWCA 145 – unled for the Council

Council of the NSW Bar Association v Lott [2018] NSWCATOD 99 – unled for the Council

Reported Decisions

Jacob v R [2014] NSWCCA 65; (2014) 240 ACrimR 239 – led by Tim Game SC – weapons offences

R v RK and LK [2008] NSWCCA338,(2008) 73 NSWLR 80 – conspiracy under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) – also argued were issues related to the constitutionality of Crown appeals against acquittal – junior counsel for the Crown

Thomas v State of New South Wales [2008] NSWCA 316, (2008) 74 NSWLR 34 – malicious prosecution – reported principally with respect to the applicability of the business records rule to a transcript of a Royal Commission

Thomas v State of New South Wales [2007] NSWSC 366, (2007) Aust Torts Reports 81-890 – malicious prosecution – junior counsel for State of New South Wale