Thomas Williams


Year of Call



‘… a first-class barrister. His legal analysis is exceptional, his advocacy is persuasive and he clearly commands the confidence of both judges and juries’ (Legal 500)

‘… an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. Tactically, he’s really sharp, and he always remains calm and collected’ (Chambers and Partners)

Tom is a sought-after practitioner ranked in the Legal 500 and in Chambers and Partners, specialising in criminal litigation, extradition, corporate crime and public law.


Tom is an experienced advocate appearing both for the prosecution and the defence in homicide and other serious criminal cases. His recent experience includes a convicted murderer’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to mislead the Court of Appeal by fabricating an alibi long after his trial (R v Peter Jones & others, Basildon Crown Court, led by Kate Wilkinson); an armed robbery in Upminster which ended with the shooting of an eleven-year-old child (R v Antony Lascelles & others, Snaresbrook Crown Court, led by Alistair Richardson); a sophisticated conspiracy involving a corrupt police officer intercepting money paid to drug-dealers and cash-couriers, whilst he was wearing his police uniform and driving a marked police vehicle (R v Kashif Mahmood & others, Southwark Crown Court, led by Peter Ratliff); and a bomb hoax outside Downing Street during lockdown, shortly before the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, arrived to deliver one of the televised national COVID-19 briefings (R v Toby Champeney, Southwark Crown Court).

Tom has particular experience in terrorism prosecutions at the Central Criminal Court, including: the first police officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence (R v Benjamin Hannam, led by Dan Pawson-Pounds); a teenager in Essex who, immersed in right-wing propaganda during lockdown, became involved in the manufacture of two working guns with a 3D printer and arranging for a consignment of firearms to be sent to the UK in a shipping container (R v Matthew Cronjager, led by Alistair Richardson); and one of the oldest members of National Action, whose involvement in the extreme far-right group was only identified several years later (appearing alone at first instance and on appeal: R v David Musins [2022] EWCA Crim 1625).

Tom has appeared a number of times in the Court of Appeal, both on behalf of the defence and the Crown; in R v Anthony Kirsten [2020] EWCA Crim 1039, a successful appeal against sentence in which Tom was instructed on behalf of the defendant, the Court referred to his submissions as ‘persuasive’ and ‘admirably brief and to the point’.

Finally, Tom is experienced in dealing with driving offences in the magistrates’ court, for instance when the court is considering a discretionary or a totting-up disqualification; in the past he has advanced a number of successful exceptional hardship arguments.

Tom regularly appears for both requesting judicial authorities and requested persons at extradition hearings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and also has experience of applications for permission to appeal in the High Court. He is a Level 2 advocate on the CPS Extradition Panel. In addition to Part 1 cases, he is familiar with Part 2 requests: he is currently instructed on behalf of the government of the United States of America (led by Richard Evans) in relation to a cybercrime request.

Tom has provided advice to individuals and corporates facing charges for offences under the Fraud Act 2006, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and arising out of a number of different regulations. Since 2017, he has been instructed to advise a large corporate in relation to potential criminal liability, led by David Perry KC and Miranda Hill KC. His previous experience includes a ten-week mortgage fraud (R v Darren Goulbourne & others, Hull Crown Court, led by Paul Jarvis) as well as defending prosecutions brought by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Tom has a real interest in public law work, particularly when there is a cross-over with criminal law. His judicial review experience includes acting for the Director of Public Prosecutions (led by Duncan Atkinson KC) in a crowd-funded challenge to what was characterised by the applicant as a decision not to refer the investigation of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser, to the police in relation to his alleged breaches of the Coronavirus Regulations (R (Redston) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2020] EWHC 2962 (Admin), [2021] ACD 50). Tom has been involved in a number of public inquiries, including being instructed in 2017 as second junior counsel acting for the Home Office in the Undercover Policing Inquiry (led by Nicholas Griffin KC and Rosemary Davidson).

Tom has an in-depth knowledge of reporting restrictions in the criminal courts, including orders made under ss. 4(2) and 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and injunctions; he is the author of the ‘Open Justice’ chapter in the most recent edition of Miller on Contempt (4th edn, 2017). He has appeared (led by Alistair Richardson) in an appeal against a finding of contempt in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) (R v Satvinder Singh [2021] EWCA Crim 1531). He has also previously been retained to provide pre-publication advice to two newspapers in relation to defamation, privacy, and contempt of court.

Tom has appeared a number of times before the Parole Board, representing prisoners serving life sentences or IPP sentences, and has advised on whether Parole Board decisions should be challenged by way of judicial review. He is also familiar with prison adjudications dealt with by an independent adjudicator.

Before coming to the Bar, Tom was a paralegal at Kingsley Napley. Most of his year there was spent as part of the team representing Rebekah and Charlie Brooks in the phone-hacking trial at the Central Criminal Court, conducting legal research, drafting submissions, and managing a large volume of evidence. He also worked on a number of extradition cases, and helped compose the European Criminal Bar Association’s response to the draft Directive on the right to silence.

  • 6KBW College Hill Pupillage Committee and Management Committee
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Defence Extradition Lawyers Association
  • Criminal Bar Association

Miller on Contempt of Court (4th edn, 2017), eds C.J. Miller and David Perry KC:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction (co-author with David Perry KC)
  • Chapter 9: Open Justice: Reporting Restrictions

Peer reviewer for:

  • Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod’s Criminal Law
  • Blackstone’s Magistrates’ Court Handbook 
  • Blackstone’s Youth Court Handbook

6KBW College Hill blog posts (with David Perry KC):

  • Ann Goddard Scholarship, Gray’s Inn (2015)
  • Winner, BPP Mooting Cup (2013)
  • Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn (2012)
  • Finalist, Maitland Advocacy Prize (2011)
  • Moule Prize, Manners Scholarship and Corpus-Taylor Prize, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (2009-2011)
  • Kitchener Scholarship (2008)

BA (Hons), English, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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