He knows the field inside out, and takes a very sensible and pragmatic approach to get the desired result without going over the top." "The go-to for solicitors' disciplinary work.Chambers UK 2021
Geoffrey Williams QC has a long established practice in the field of professional disciplinary & regulatory work.
Geoffrey was admitted a Solicitor in 1978. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2003 being then one of the few Solicitors to have taken Silk.
Also in 2003 he was granted a Door Tenancy at Farrar’s Building having worked with members of Chambers throughout his career.
Geoffrey was called to the Bar in 2013 and became a Tenant at Farrar’s Building in January 2014.
Geoffrey specialises in defending professionals accused of misconduct by their regulators. He is regularly instructed in complex document intensive matters and in particular, cases involving allegations of dishonesty and those in which mental health issues arise.
He has practised in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for 30 years & has been instructed in many of the leading appeal cases in the High Court.
In addition Geoffrey acts for Barristers, Accountants, Chartered Surveyors & Pharmacists.
An important part of his practice is persuading regulators not to take proceedings against his clients.
Geoffrey has vast experience of both defending and prosecuting professionals before their disciplinary bodies.
Geoffrey regularly appears before the High Court in appeals from first instance decisions of such bodies and in particular has appeared in many of the leading cases in the Solicitors’ jurisdiction.
Geoffrey has particular experience of representing Accountants and Chartered Surveyors and has also appeared in healthcare jurisdictions.
A significant part of Geoffrey’s practice consists of advising regulated professionals being investigated by their professional bodies with a view to avoiding disciplinary proceedings being taken and, in the case of Solicitors, interventions being effected. This involves initial advisory work and the drafting of representations to the investigating body.
Geoffrey has particular expertise in reaching agreed outcomes with the prosecutor if proceedings have been launched.
Geoffrey is public access qualified and accepts instructions on a public access basis.
T. Ballard v SRA (2017)
The leading authority on the question of Solicitors purporting to represent clients as McKenzie Friends and/or Exempt Persons.
A. Sancheti v SRA (2017)
The independence and impartiality of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal re-confirmed and the criteria for voluntary absence of a Respondent.
R. S. F. Scott v SRA (2016)
The leading authority upon the meaning of lack of integrity when alleged against Solicitors.
Emele v Solicitors Regulation Authority (2016)
The proper approach to allegations against Solicitors’ employees under S43 Solicitors Act 1974.
R. S. Bains v SRA (2014)
Dishonesty with respect to clients’ funds justifying a striking off.
G. S. Blakey v SRA (2014)
The fact that a Court Order was not sealed did not justify non-compliance by a Solicitor.
E. W. Ellis-Carr v SRA (2014)
The relevance of an undisturbed conviction many years ago to the refusal to restore a struck off Solicitor. The relevance of non-compliance with procedural Orders in such proceedings.
Giambrone v SRA (2014)
The first disciplinary case involving a Registered European Lawyer.
Ebhogiaye v SRA (2013)
The appropriate test for the imposition of Practising Certificate conditions.
Adeeko v SRA (2012)
The importance of book keeping obligations.
Agyeman v SRA (2012)
The proper approach of SDT when considering costs orders.
Hugh Bryant v SRA (2012)
The relevance of personal circumstances to the imposition of Practising Certificate conditions.
Gurpinar v SRA (2012)
The proper approach of SDT when dealing with absent Respondents.
Iqbal v SRA (2012)
The extension of Bolton principles to the issue of competence. Also the inference to be drawn where a professional person fails to give evidence in disciplinary proceedings.
If you would like to instruct Geoffrey Williams QC or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by Chief Executive, Alan Kilbey MBE. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.
Geoffrey Williams QC is listed as a leading silk for professional discipline in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.
“He knows the field inside out, and takes a very sensible and pragmatic approach to get the desired result without going over the top.” “The go-to for solicitors’ disciplinary work.”
Chambers UK 2021
“One of the best barristers for solicitors disciplinary cases – he knows the field inside out and knows what makes tribunals tick.” Legal 500 2020
“Very knowledgeable.” “Extremely experienced.”
Recent work: Acted for the SRA in a High Court appeal by a solicitor who failed to pay a Legal Ombudsman’s award on the basis that he was acting as a ‘McKenzie friend’.
Chambers UK 2019
Respected silk who is noted for his proficiency in the field of solicitors’ regulation. He regularly acts on behalf of regulators, such as the SRA, and is developing a highly respected defence-side practice. He wins the praise of peers for his first-rate advocacy.
Strengths: “He embodies good judgement and always knows where to draw the line.” “He knows everything there is to know about solicitors’ regulation. His slow, measured, calm delivery can really hold a tribunal’s attention.”
Chambers UK 2017
A highly seasoned practitioner, who is particularly adept at handling disciplinary proceedings affecting solicitors. He is well known for his skill in handling appearances both in the higher courts and before professional bodies, where his “very straightforward, measured and pragmatic” style proves highly effective.
Strengths: “He is very knowledgeable on SRA matters and combines a practical and thorough approach with considerable experience in this field.” “He is very articulate and has a nice manner: a class act.”
Chambers UK 2017
‘Incredibly thorough, incredibly hard working and incredibly knowledgeable.’
‘The Patriarch of Solicitors’ regulation.’
‘A pre-eminent figure, intellectually impressive and authoritative. An out and out advocate with sound judgment.’
‘A prosecutor of choice in many cases and is fair minded yet tenacious.’
‘His no-nonsense, straightforward and professional manner is hugely impressive.’
‘An absolute bruiser – opposing counsel are getting into the ring with a heavyweight’.
Legal 500 2018
Geoffrey enjoys watching cricket, racing and Pontypool RFC.