Ailsa Williamson

Call: 1997

"A very methodical barrister, with excellent client care skills."

Legal 500 2020: Police Law

"Extremely competent and able to marshal documents effectively in very complex cases."

Chambers UK 2020: Professional Discipline

"Clients like her very well-prepared approach."

Legal 500 2019: Police Law

Instructing Ailsa

To instruct Ailsa please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email clerks@3rblaw.com.

Ailsa Williamson is an experienced and persuasive advocate, having spent over 20 years conducting criminal trials in the Crown Court covering the full range of criminal offences.

Ailsa now divides her time between professional discipline cases, Coroner’s inquests and criminal cases. Her considerable experience questioning witnesses and experts is extremely valuable in all these proceedings. Her thoroughness and attention to detail gives clients confidence that nothing will be overlooked in the preparation and presentation of their case.

Legal Expertise

Professional Discipline

Professional Discipline overview

  • Regularly represents police officers at misconduct hearings in London and throughout the country.
  • Extensive experience of professional discipline hearings relating to a broad range of allegations such as inappropriate relationships, use of excessive force, discreditable conduct, the conduct of pursuits and matters relating to honesty and integrity.
  • Detailed knowledge of PACE, RIPA, Officer Safety Training and pursuit policies.
  • Appeals to Police Appeals Tribunal.
  • Represents Officers at judicial review proceedings arising from misconduct hearings.

Notable Professional Discipline cases

PC S (2019)

Representing an officer who executed a blocking manoeuvre in an attempt to stop a moped rider filtering through stationary traffic. The moped crashed into the police vehicle and suffered injury. Allegations of gross misconduct relating to use of force and duties and responsibilities were found not proved.

PC A (2019)

Successful representation of an officer alleged to have committed gross misconduct by not adequately supervising a detainee in the holding cell at a police station.

PC R (2018)

Representing the officer in judicial review proceedings commenced by the Appropriate Authority following a gross misconduct hearing where the outcome was a Final Written Warning. The judicial review focussed on whether the Panel had correctly followed the Guidance on Outcomes that was introduced in 2018.

DC S (2018)

Representing the officer in judicial review proceedings following a finding by the Panel that the standard of honesty and integrity was not breached and the imposition of a Final Written Warning.

PC S & PC J (2017)

Successful representation of two officers facing allegations of gross misconduct after they transported a suspect who was spitting at them to a police station with a pillow case on his head as West Midlands Police did not issue spit hoods.

Inquests & Inquiries overview

Ailsa is a specialist in inquests into deaths in police custody or following police pursuits having represented police officers at Coroners’ Inquests for a number of years. She has been involved in a number of high-profile inquests following police restraint and is very experienced in questioning pathologists and medical experts.

Ailsa’s extensive experience of inquest work means that she is well placed to advise clients throughout the entire inquest process from identifying evidence a Coroner should consider, issues that may arise when witnesses give evidence, potential conclusions at the inquest and considerations for Preventing Future Deaths Reports.

Ailsa appears in several inquests each year.

Notable Inquests & Inquiries cases

Inquest into the deaths of Rozanne Cooper & Makayah McDermott (2019)

Representing the driver of a police vehicle involved in the pursuit of a stolen car driven by a member of the public. This car collided with the deceased.

Inquest into the death of Onese Power (2019)

Junior Counsel for the two officers involved in the pursuit of Onese Power who died following a road traffic accident on his motorbike. A fresh inquest was ordered by the High Court 20 years after the original inquest concluded.

Inquest into the death of Duncan Tomlin (2019)

Counsel for an off-duty police officer involved in the restraint of Mr Tomlin.

Inquest into the death of Olaseni Lewis (2017)

Led by Michael Borrelli QC. Represented 11 police officers involved in the restraint of Mr Lewis (a patient at the Bethlem Hospital who developed Acute Behavioural Disorder).

Crime overview

  • Predominantly Defence work and regularly instructed to represent Defendants facing serious sexual allegations
  • Frequently represents police officers charged with criminal allegations with recent acquittals representing officers tried in the Crown Court for sexual allegations and allegations of unlawful force
  • Murder, serious violence, large scale conspiracies to import and supply drugs and subsequent confiscation hearings, high value robberies, rape cases and trials involving other sexual offences
  • Experienced in questioning young and vulnerable witnesses
  • Indecent images and associated computer expert evidence
  • Money laundering/mortgage fraud/tax fraud
  • Courts Martial defence work
  • CPS Advocates Panel: Level 3
  • Member of the CPS Rape Specialist Advocates List
  • Member of the Serious Crime Group (Level 4) and Fraud Specialist Advocate Panels
  • Regularly instructed in judicial review proceedings connected to criminal cases
  • Advises on applications for Production Orders and Search Warrants

Notable Crime cases

R v H & Others (2018)

Leading prosecution counsel in multi-handed VAT fraud within the construction industry.

R v B (2017)

Successful defence of a serving police officer charged with sexually assaulting a member of the public on a train and the rape of another women he met on a dating website.

R v R (2016)

Junior Defence Counsel in historic murder allegation. Legal argument led to ruling that the Court had no jurisdiction to try the case.

R v H (2016)

Successful defence of custody officer charged with assault as a result of restraining a prisoner and also no finding of misconduct in the subsequent disciplinary hearing (2018).

R v W (2016)

Successful defence of police officer charged with historic rape allegations.

R v K (2016)

Junior Defence counsel for a youth charged with attempted murder and rape trial. Led by Orlando Pownall QC.

R (on the application of the DPP) v South Tyneside Youth Court

Instructed by the CPS. High Court provided guidance on whether youths should be tried in the Youth Court or Crown Court following change in the law allowing youths to be committed for sentence after a trial in the Youth Court.

F v R

Instructed by the CPS. First appeal in relation to the Criminal Courts Charge.

R v S & S (2015-2016)

Leading Prosecution Counsel in fraud covering mortgage applications and cheating public revenue.

R v W & Others

Junior Prosecution Counsel in this 12 handed conspiracy to import and supply cocaine involving the largest quantity of crack cocaine ever found at an individual address in the UK.

R v B & others

Kingston Crown Court. Junior Defence Counsel for the main defendant alleged to have organised the £4.5million currency robbery from Heathrow Airport in 2002 and the attempted robbery of £33million gold bullion, diamonds and currency in 2004.

R v G

Old Bailey. Successful defence of police officer charged with assault following an arrest which the prosecution alleged was unlawful and involved excessive force.

R v C & others

Kingston Crown Court. Junior Defence Counsel in this conspiracy to import and supply cocaine focusing on Heathrow Airport. The main prosecution witness was a baggage handler at the airport who had been “ripping off” suitcases full of cocaine for over 10 years.

R v R & another

Southwark Crown Court. Defence Counsel in this conspiracy to defraud/money laundering case where the two defendants were alleged to have defrauded McDonalds of £450,000.

R v S

Cayman Islands Grand Court & Court of Appeal. Defence Counsel for defendant who severed his girlfriend’s right hand with a machete. Sentence reduced from 20 years to 15 years on appeal.

R v E

Cayman Islands Grand Court & Court of Appeal [2007] CILR Note 18. Defence Counsel for defendant serving an indeterminate sentence following his conviction in the Cayman Islands for murder when he was a youth. Hearing to determine whether he should be released.

R v H

Cayman Islands Grand Court [2007] CILR 397 Defence Counsel for serving police officer alleged to have stolen money from school fundraising events. High profile case in the Cayman Islands and abuse of process based on adverse publicity argued.

Regulatory overview

  • Health & safety cases
  • Fire Authority prosecutions
  • Appears before licensing committees and on appeal as well as advising on a wide range of licensing matters
  • Considerable experience in Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licensing cases

Police discipline

PC S
2019
Representing an officer who executed a blocking manoeuvre in an attempt to stop a moped rider filtering through stationary traffic.  The moped crashed into the police vehicle and suffered injury. Allegations of gross misconduct relating to use of force and duties and responsibilities were found not proved.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/08/police-officer-rammedsuspected-moped-thief-bike-car-acted-reasonably/

PC A
2019
Successful representation of an officer alleged to have committed gross misconduct by not adequately supervising a detainee in the holding cell at a police station.

PC R
2018
Representing the officer in judicial review proceedings commenced by the Appropriate Authority following a gross misconduct hearing where the outcome was a Final Written Warning. The judicial review focussed on whether the Panel had correctly followed the Guidance on Outcomes that was introduced in 2018.
[2018] 11 WLUK 822

DC S
2018
Representing the officer in judicial review proceedings following a finding by the Panel that the standard of honesty and integrity was not breached and the imposition of a Final Written Warning.
[2018] EWHC 3533 (Admin)

Six Officers involved in the restraint of Olaseni Lewis
2017
Junior Counsel for the six police officers facing gross misconduct allegations following the restraint of mental health patient at the Bethlem Hospital.  After a 4-week hearing, all allegations against all six officers were found not proved.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-41522864

DI B
2017
Successful representation of a Detective Inspector at a gross misconduct hearing focussing on the allegation that there was insufficient evidence to detain a member of the public
http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-police-inspector-cleared-fanciful-13323913

PC S & PC J
2017
Successful representation of two officers facing allegations of gross misconduct after they transported a suspect who was spitting at them to a police station with a pillow case on his head as West Midlands Police did not issue spit hoods
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/two-officers-cleared-wrongdoing-after-12943800

2017
Two week gross misconduct hearing relating to allegations of gross misconduct based on unlawful surveillance, source handling, bullying, search warrants and recording intelligence

Inquests

Inquest into the deaths of Rozanne Cooper and Makayah McDermott
2019
Representing the driver of a police vehicle involved in the pursuit of a stolen car driven by a member of the public. This car collided with the deceased.

Inquest into the death of Onese Power
2019
Junior Counsel for the two officers involved in the pursuit of Onese Power who died following a road traffic accident on his motorbike. A fresh inquest was ordered by the High Court 20 years after the original inquest concluded.
[2017] EWHC 3117 (Admin)

Inquest into the death of Duncan Tomlin
2019
Counsel for an off-duty police officer involved in the restraint of Mr Tomlin
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47867422

Inquest into the death of Olaseni Lewis
2017
Led by Michael Borrelli QC.  Represented 11 police officers who restrained Mr Lewis (a patient at the Bethlem Hospital who developed Acute Behavioural Disorder)

Criminal cases

R v H & others
2018
Leading prosecution counsel in multi-handed VAT fraud within the construction industry

R v B
2017
Successful defence of a serving police officer charged with sexually assaulting a member of the public on a train and the rape of another women he met on a dating website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-41610543

R v R
2016
Junior Defence Counsel in historic murder allegation
Legal argument led to ruling that the Court had no jurisdiction to try the case
(see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3126831/Man-appears-court-charged-murdering-father-34-years-ago.html)

R v H
2016
Successful defence of custody officer charged with assault as a result of restraining a prisoner (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-37423983) and also no finding of misconduct in the subsequent disciplinary hearing (2018)

R v W
2016
Successful defence of police officer charged with historic rape allegations

R v K
2016
Junior Defence counsel for a youth charged with attempted murder and rape trial.  Led by Orlando Pownall QC

R (on the application of the DPP) v South Tyneside Youth Court
[2015] EWHC 1455 (Admin)
Instructed by the CPS.  High Court provided guidance on whether youths should be tried in the Youth Court or Crown Court following change in the law allowing youths to be committed for sentence after a trial in the Youth Court

F v R
[2015] EWCA Crim 1933
Instructed by the CPS. First appeal in relation to the Criminal Courts Charge

R v S and S
2015-2016
Isleworth Crown Court
Leading Prosecution Counsel in fraud covering mortgage applications and cheating public revenue  (see https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/uxbridge-couple-defrauded-mortgage-lenders-and-taxman-while-earning-rent-from-property-empire-court-a3124851.html)

R v W & others
Kingston Crown Court
Junior Prosecution Counsel in this 12 handed conspiracy to import and supply cocaine involving the largest quantity of crack cocaine ever found at an individual address in the UK
(see https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/apr/29/drugsandalcohol.drugstrade)

R v B & others
Kingston Crown Court
Junior Defence Counsel for the main defendant alleged to have organised the £4.5million currency robbery from Heathrow Airport in 2002 and the attempted robbery of £33million gold bullion, diamonds and currency in 2004

R v G
Old Bailey
Successful defence of police officer charged with assault following an arrest which the prosecution alleged was unlawful and involved excessive force

R v C & others
Kingston Crown Court
Junior Defence Counsel in this conspiracy to import and supply cocaine focusing on Heathrow Airport.  The main prosecution witness was a baggage handler at the airport who had been “ripping off” suitcases full of cocaine for over 10 years

R v R & another
Southwark Crown Court
Defence Counsel in this conspiracy to defraud/money laundering case where the two defendants were alleged to have defrauded McDonalds of £450,000

R v S
Cayman Islands Grand Court & Court of Appeal
Defence Counsel for defendant who severed his girlfriend’s right hand with a machete.  Sentence reduced from 20 years to 15 years on appeal

R v E
Cayman Islands Grand Court & Court of Appeal
[2007] CILR Note 18
Defence Counsel for defendant serving an indeterminate sentence following his conviction in the Cayman Islands for murder when he was a youth.
Hearing to determine whether he should be released

R v H
Cayman Islands Grand Court
[2007] CILR 397
Defence Counsel for serving police officer alleged to have stolen money from school fundraising events.  High profile case in the Cayman Islands and abuse of process based on adverse publicity argued

Instructing Ailsa

To instruct Ailsa please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email clerks@3rblaw.com.

“A very methodical barrister, with excellent client care skills.” Legal 500 2020: Police Law

“Extremely competent and able to marshal documents effectively in very complex cases.” Chambers UK 2020: Professional Discipline

“Clients like her very well-prepared approach.” Legal 500 2019: Police Law

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • MA (Cantab) – History
  • Dip. Law (City)
  • Called to the Bar 1997

Member of the CBA Working Party on the draft Corruption Bill (2003)

Founding member of the Cayman Islands Criminal Defence Bar Association (CICDBA) (2007)

Drafted the CICDBA response to the Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2007

From 2006-2008 Ailsa was employed as a Defence Attorney by Stuarts Walker Hersant in the Cayman Islands and regularly appeared before the Summary Court, Grand Court and Cayman Islands Court of Appeal.  She also prepared cases for appeal to the Privy Council.

I, Ailsa Williamson, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at ailsa.williamson@3rblaw.com. My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not be obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I normally retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law. In cases where custodial sentences longer than 7 years have been passed, records will be kept until the end of the sentence.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ico.org.uk).

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Rev 1.0 – 18.05.2018

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

Ailsa 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.