• Alistair Williams has a strong track record in investigations and judicial reviews targeting the audit industry.

    Legal 500 2022

  • Recommended for local government.

    Legal 500 2022

  • Recommended for administrative and public law.

    Legal 500 2022

  • Alistair Williams is an up-and-comer. Diligent and bright, he will go far.

    Legal 500 2021

  • Alistair Williams is calmness and efficiency personified

    Legal 500 2020


I’m an associate in the Public & Regulatory team.  I help with the full range of public law issues that our clients bring to us.  I work with public bodies, regulators, charities and social enterprises, and private sector bodies.

I advise on the powers and duties of public bodies, and on issues of statutory interpretation. I regularly assist with public law litigation, particularly judicial review, and can offer guidance on substantive and procedural issues.  I work with both claimants and defendants, so understand both sides of the argument.

I have a particular interest in local audit law, and work as part of a team advising a number of key organisations in this field.  I have a good knowledge of local government law as a consequence.  I also advise on public rights of way, including rights of way litigation.

I work with regulators, membership organisations and professional disciplinary bodies.  This can involve advice on complaints and the fair conduct of disciplinary procedures.  I also review policies and procedures.

I often advise on information law issues, and worked with a large number of clients to help them prepare for the implementation of GDPR and the new data protection regime.  I also provide advice on rights and obligations under Freedom of Information law.


  • I drafted updates to a public authority’s statutory guidance.

    The updates addressed developments in the sector and law. It helps the audience (who also exercise statutory powers) navigate tricky issues in the sector.

  • I helped an international membership organisation with disciplinary proceedings concerning serious allegations about three of its members.

    The case raised difficult jurisdictional issues about which organisation should deal with the complaints. I advised on procedure, drafted key documents, and instructed lawyers in the jurisdiction where the members were based to run the proceedings.

  • I worked with a charity that wanted to challenge the decision of a public authority it felt was unlawful.

    We asked the authority to acknowledge the point, and issued judicial review proceedings when it did not. The authority then agreed to settle the matter, so the court quashed the decision for it to be taken again.

  • I acted for public bodies in two sets of judicial review proceedings, including preparing advice on procedural matters, such as the admissibility of expert evidence
  • I work with public bodies and auditors involved in the audit of local government bodies, both in connection with the local audit statutory framework and substantive issues arising from local government decision making (such as borrowing and investment powers)
  • I assisted in the preparation and drafting of a section 73 Charities Act 2011 scheme to consolidate and amend five sets of legislation governing a charity, including advice on statutory powers and duties
  • I gave advice to a public body on constitutional law relating to the interaction between the Royal Prerogative and legislation
  • I responded to an interim injunction granted against a professional membership body
  • I advise a number of clients on data protection queries, including in relation to subject access requests, data breaches, and drafting or reviewing data protection policies and privacy notices
  • I advise on Freedom of Information, including whether information is exempt and clauses in contracts
  • I deliver briefings to auditors of local authorities on their statutory powers
  • I provide training on the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders in relation to face to face fundraising
  • I advise a number of clients on the application of the reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • I provide training on judicial review

Qualifications and career

  • University of Cambridge, BA (Erasmus) Law, 2011
  • Intern, South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law, 2011
  • Kaplan Law School, Bar Professional Training Course, 2012
  • Case Officer, Bar Standards Board, 2012
  • Paralegal, Bates Wells, 2012
  • BPP University, Legal Practice Course, 2015
  • Trainee solicitor, Bates Wells, 2015
  • Admitted as a solicitor in 2017
  • Associate, Bates Wells, 2019

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Volunteer Case Worker, Brent Private Tenants’ Rights Group, 2011-12
  • Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (called July 2013)
  • Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association, the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers and the Young Public Lawyers Group
  • Advisor at the South West London Law Centre