Dr Alex Williams

Call: 2017

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Alex is a seasoned public lawyer with years of high-level academic experience to underpin his growing High Court practice, which focuses mostly on planning law but also takes in licensing and social housing matters with a significant public-law dimension.

As a planning lawyer Alex represents the full range of clients but boasts a particularly enviable list of developer clients, regularly receiving instructions from some of the UK’s foremost planning and property consultancies.

Clients value Alex’s analytical ability and forensic approach to the issues. He is often instructed to appear unled against far more experienced barristers including King’s Counsel. His work with senior members of Chambers has given him invaluable experience of appellate litigation at Court of Appeal and Supreme Court level.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Alex was a Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre at Durham University, where he specialised in public law and human rights. He has published widely in high-profile academic and practitioner journals and has lectured to expert audiences both in the UK and abroad. He is a contributor to the recent edition of Cornerstone on the Planning Court (2nd edn, Bloomsbury, 2021) and to the forthcoming edition of Supperstone, Goudie & Walker on Judicial Review (7th edn, LexisNexis, 2023). He is also a contributor to LexisPSL on human rights issues and co-author of a major public-law textbook, Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights (4th edn, Routledge, 2016), which remains core reading on many undergraduate law courses across England and Wales.

Alex’s academic research and PhD concerned the applicability of judicial review and human rights obligations to non-state actors. His research is particularly relevant to hybrid bodies such as housing associations who are facing public-law challenge, whether as defendants to a claim or as claimants on the receiving end of a public-law defence. He has advised on the matter both as an academic and as a barrister. He also acted as a consultant to the Law Commission on its misconduct in public office project. More recently, he was invited to contribute to the response of the Cambridge University Centre for Public Law to the Government’s proposals to reform the Human Rights Act 1998.

Alex studied at Cambridge (BA, MA) and Durham (MJur, PhD), receiving several awards for academic and mooting achievement. In addition to his tenured post at Durham University he has held visiting fellowships at Cambridge University, University College London and UNSW, Sydney.