Alisdair Williamson

Alisdair Williamson

Call: 1994
3 Raymond Buildings
Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5BH
+44 (0)20 7400 6400

Williamson, Alisdair

Details of practice

Nominated for Junior of the Year in 2014 Alisdair practises in serious crime.  He is well-known as specialist counsel in rape and other difficult and complex sexual offences.  He primarily defends, often as leading junior and is recognised for his expertise in both financial crime and homicide.  He also practises in professional disciplinary tribunals, inquests and licensing. 

He has extensive experience in fraud having defended as leading junior in a variety of VAT, missing trader, income tax and regulatory frauds.  His background degree in economics enables him to master the financial details and nuances.  Solicitors and lay clients value his approachable style and analytic ability.

Alisdair has an enviable record in representing police officers in disciplinary hearings and before the Crown Courts and he well understands the unique pressures of these situations for his client. 

He has a successful appellate practice in both the Court of Appeal, where he is asked to take over cases in which he was not previously instructed, and in the form of judicial review.

He is ranked as a leading crime junior in Chambers UK.

He was recently an elected member of the South Eastern Circuit Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Alisdair undertakes work for the Bar Council Pro Bono Unit, is a supervisor for The Innocence Project and carries out pro bono Privy Council work.

Alisdair acts for operators and residents at all levels.  He recently acted on appeal for a well-known South London nightclub against which review proceedings had been brought following crime and disorder.  He was successful.  Clients value his tenacity and diplomacy.

General Medical Council/General Dental Council
Alisdair acts for doctors and dental professionals before the disciplinary panels of the GMC and GDC.

Directory recommendations

‘He is a brilliant cross-examiner and an excellent jury advocate.’ ‘He’s very understated, but he’s an experienced tactician and very good at making clients feel comfortable.’ ‘He is very good with all aspects of the process. He grasps what the client needs and what the strong points of the defence are, and liaises with the police well.’ Chambers UK 2015: Crime

“He is a brilliant cross-examiner and a compelling advocate.”  “He is energetic, highly effective and a pleasure to deal with.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Crime

 "very tough and knows what he is talking about" … "plays well to the jury and has that bearing that juries expect of a senior advocate".  Chambers UK 2013:  Crime

"a great presence at the Criminal Bar, with a strong reputation for handling murders and sexual offences." Chambers UK 2012:  Crime

"A highly expert cross-examiner who has dealt with a number of cases of great seriousness." Chambers UK 2011:  Crime

Education/professional qualifications

MA (Oxon) - Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Open Exhibitioner)
Dip Law (City) with Commendation
Called to the Bar 1994 (Astbury Scholar)

Direct access

Alisdair Williamson is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme.  This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him.  In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.

Notable cases

R v GC (2014)

Successful defence of serving DS against allegations of child rape going back to the  1970s.

R v WH (2014)

Secured acquittal of man accused of gang rape during the 1970s.

R v GJ (2014)

Defended an allegation of child sex abuse dating back 30 years.  The defendant was acquitted. 

R v Michael Turner (Michael Le Vell) (2013)

The successful defence of actor Michael Le Vell in his prosecution for child rape and other serious sexual offences.

R v D and Y (2013)

Successful defence of a 14 year old boy accused of, when 13, raping his co-defendant's 15 year old girlfriend.

R v C (2013)

Secured the acquittal of a police firearms officer accused of attempting to anally rape, and digitally penetrating, his partner.

R v Ezekiel and another (2013)

Counsel for the Crown in the successful prosesution of the former leader of Thanet Council for Misconduct in Public Office

R v G (2012)

Secured the acquittal of defendant accused by well-known author of rape and GBH during their marriage

R v Hamper (2012)

Leading junior counsel in the successful defence of a woman accused of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of cocaine supply

R v Studholme (2012)

Leading junior counsel for the only defendant acquitted of conspiracy to supply London's largest ever seizure of cocaine

R v John and others (2012)

Leading junior for 3rd defendant in largest DEFRA prosecution for fraud relating to animal medicines.

R v Omolewa (2011)

Having taken the brief for appeal against conviction and won, Alisdair conducted the retrial.  He secured the acquittal of the first defendant accused of the kidnap and torture of the defendant's alleged lieutenant in a South London drug gang

R v S (2011)

Secured the acquittal of a serving police officer accused of raping his pregnant wife

R v Asare-Ofusu (2011)

Leading junior counsel for the defendant.  Acquitted on a submission of no case to answer on an indictment alleging murder and assisting an offender, following which the Crown offered no evidence on a similar indictment

R v Bouman and others (2010)

Leading junior for acquitted defendant in multi-million pound missing trader VAT fraud

R v Coysh and others (2008)

Leading junior in the defence of the largest ever UK importation of amphetamine, prosecuted by SOCA

R v Christie (2008)

Led by Jane Humphryes QC and subsequently Rebecca Poulet QC at the Old Bailey in the trial and re-trial of a man accused with others of luring the deceased to a stairwell and stabbing him to death over a stolen phone.  The defendant was acquitted

R v Boyce and others (2008)

Led the defence for one of the accused in this multi-handed trial dealing with a violent disorder between football hooligans where a man died, His defendant was one of only two acquitted out of 8 tried

R v Ahmed and others (2007)

Southwark Crown Court.  Leading junior for the first defendant in a corruption and multi-million pound fraud trial concerning the allocation of regeneration funds for IT training in Tower Hamlets

R v Fields and others (2006)

Middlesex Guildhall.  Leading junior for the Crown in the kidnap of a 10 year old boy by an American gang