Paul Williams

  • Year of Call 1990


Paul has an extensive leading junior practice with over 20 years' continuous experience at the Bar. He has successfully led in a number of large and complex trials involving organised crime. He regularly appears for the defence in serious fraud, drug conspiracies and murder cases. His ability to present complex financial evidence and issues to a jury in readily understandable terms ensures that he is always in demand. He is skilled in appearing in the Court of Appeal taking on matters relating to both sentence and conviction if it appears a case has gone wrong at trial level.   

He has experience in representing clients through the intricacies of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He leaves no stone unturned on behalf of clients.  

Paul has many years’ experience of confiscation litigation which has evolved over the last two decades through statute and case law into the current Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Paul has extensive experience of "super grass" trials, including being involved in the first acquittal in the long-running series of long trials where the chief prosecution witness was the super grass Michael Michaels at the high security Crown Court at Woolwich. 

Many of Paul's cases involve an international element and cross-border frauds, for example, R v B, a multi-handed fraud involving organised crime by defendants from Ukraine and involving over £6.9 million in repayments and R v H, a mas­sive inter­na­tional iden­tity fraud involv­ing Eastern Euro­pean defen­dants. 

Paul is a capable advocate with a proven track record of presenting complex evidence to juries in terms that are easily understandable. He is known for commitment to defending those accused of crime and fully understands the impact of allegations on those accused.  

Paul is noted for his ability to represent clients who have special challenges in the form of learning disabilities or infirmities related to mental or psychological impairment.  


Paul is a dedicated and committed defence advocate with over 20 years of experience in the criminal justice system. He is committed to access to justice for each client irrespective of the offence or allegation. He has an enviable record of acquittals and always goes the extra mile for those he represents. He is known for his cross-examination of complex evidence, including expert evidence and his ability to assimilate the large body of evidence and his perseverance in ensuring that full and proper disclosure is made in each case.  

Notable Cases

Paul has a long and distinguished history of defending individuals accused of a whole range of criminal offences. Notable examples include: 

R v S P

Allegations of complex multi-handed hous­ing benefit fraud car­ried out over a period of 15 years and involving a sophisticated and professionally planned DSS fraud by sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily).

R v M  Central Criminal Court 

A manslaughter case involving complex issues of causation, which required extensive and very technical cross-examination of the Crown's pathologist at trial.

R v B  Southwark Crown Court 

A multi-handed fraud involving organised crime by defendants from Ukraine. The case concerned the use of HMRC online income tax self-assessment system to obtain fraudulent repayments of income tax. Over £6.9 million in repayments were fraudulently claimed by the conspirators. Over £3 million was paid into 690 bank accounts linked to and controlled by the conspiracy.

R v A_K  Birmingham Crown Court 

A retrial of a high-profile murder trial that had resulted in the conviction of the defendant in 2006 arising out of the notorious Aston riots in Birmingham. The Court of Appeal had ordered a retrial as a result of fundamental flaws in the prosecution disclosure process, which failed to reveal to the defence at the original trial the existence of exculpatory covertly recorded police cell conversations between the defendant and his cell mate. The jury acquitted the defendant at the retrial.

R v B  Basil­don Crown Court 

A large multi-handed drugs con­spir­acy involv­ing the impor­ta­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of nearly four tons of cannabis: the case was a SOCA pros­e­cu­tion. Due to the size of the case and num­ber of defen­dants the case man­age­ment required two linked trials.

R v S  South­wark Crown Court 

A sophis­ti­cated fraud involv­ing the fraud­u­lent sell­ing of over £1 million worth of air­line tick­ets from within a prop­erly licensed travel agency specif­i­cally tar­geted and pur­chased by the con­spir­a­tors to avoid the reg­u­la­tory regime designed to pro­tect the air­lines from such frauds.

R v H  Wood­ Green Crown Court 

A mas­sive inter­na­tional iden­tity fraud involv­ing East Euro­pean defen­dants which, accord­ing to the Judge, was at least on a scale equiv­a­lent to the lead­ing sen­tenc­ing author­ity on iden­tity fraud: R v Velev.

R v R   Central Criminal Court (2008)

A high-profile murder case. It involved a large-scale urban/public disorder where two rival London gangs fought a battle on the streets, which resulted in the death of one leading gang member and the near death of a second. It was one of the very first cases to require the practical application of the House of Lords decision in R v Davis (June 2008) involving witness anonymity. Legislation is passed in consequence of that landmark case. In Rookwood, there were 34 anonymous prosecution witnesses some of whom were potentially of assistance to the defence.

R v N and Oth­ers South­wark Crown Court (2008)

A large multi-handed trial in which the defen­dants were alleged to be involved in interna­tional organ­ised crime. The defen­dants were a gang of Sri Lankans with alleged links to the Tamil Tigers who were engaged in a multi-mil­lion pound global credit card con­spir­acy to defraud the clear­ing banks of the United King­dom. When a fel­low Sri Lankan refused to join the con­spir­acy he was allegedly kid­napped and held to ran­som. Over the course of sev­eral days he was allegedly tor­tured and threat­ened with death. The hostage was even­tu­ally released in a sting oper­a­tion by armed police who recov­ered guns from the gang’s strong­hold. At trial, the indict­ment was stayed after a voir dire last­ing six weeks, and involv­ing live evi­dence from senior CPS lawyers, when the trial judge ruled that a fair trial was impos­si­ble because the prosecution’s dis­clo­sure process was flawed.


LLB (Hons)

Direct Access

Paul is accredited to accept work under Direct access, also known as Public access, in suitable cases. In order to instruct Paul on a Direct access basis, contact the clerks on +44 (0) 20 7242 6476 or at