Michael Williams SC

Areas of Experience:

Common law including major medical neligence claims and major claims for personal injury damages arising from motor accidents, industrial accidents and public liability, criminal law including Jury trials, Appeals, appearances in commercial and contract litigation, defamation, equity but principally common law.

Appearances include High Court of New Zealand and Court of Appeal (now Supreme COurt) of New Zealand, Privy Council UK, and major jurisdictions in New South Wales, ACT and High Court of Australia.

Current Mediation Practice mainly in common law but also workplace relationships, matrimonial and general mediation areas.

Experience in USA personal injury, aviation disaster and commercial litigation without appearance in US Courts.

New Zealand Chambers – Bankside Chambers, Level 22 Lumley Centre, 88 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, PO Box 405 Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand.

Associate Member – 1 Crown Office Row Chambers, London.

Significant cases:

  • 1972: R v Harry M. Miller Ltd. (Crimer act Indecency Trial for production of rock musical “Hair”, Supreme Court Auckland).
  • 1977: R v Jeffs et al (as senior counsel for Chairman of collapsed multi-national conglomerate “J.B.L. Ltd.” through to Privy Council petition 1979).
  • 1977-78: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic (as senior counsel for New Zealand Physiotherapists and Manipulative Physiotherapists).
  • 1984: Woods v Lownes (with D.B. Milne Q.C., first award for “non-patient” against doctor refusing emergency treatment).
  • 1984 to date: Numerous mediated major birth trauma cases and, until abolition of right to jury, major clinical misadventure cases for plaintiffs before Juries and Judge Alone, thereafter before Judge Alone.
  • 2007: Halverson v Dobler (major plaintiffs medical misadventure claim – eventual judgement c. $10m – first misadventure trial in Australia to include conclaves of medical experts ad giving of their evidence concomitantly).
  • 2007: Yun Hee Choi v City of Sydney and 4 Others
  • 2007: Coronial Inquiry into death of Vanessa Anderson (prompting “Garling Inquiry” into NSW Hospital System).

Papers, Seminars, etc.

  • June 2003: Chairman, University of New South Wales – “Civil Liability Act Update”.
  • 2005: 50th Commonwealth Law Conference, London – “Land Rights” (a perspective of the evolution of Australia and N.Z. land rights law).
  • September 2005: The Tilbury Papers – “Trade Practices Act – the Corporate Target”.
  • March 2007: The Tilbury Papers – “Ethics, Courtesy and Civility in the Law and the Profession – Personal Costs Orders”.
  • April 2007: Expert Witness Institute of Australia and University of Sydney Faculty of Law – “The New Rules – A Barrister’s Perspective”.
  • February 2011: “Mediation Some Musings and Meanderings”.
  • March 2012: “Mediation Some Further Musings and Meanderings”.

Curriculum Vitae

Preparatory School:
Southwell School for Boys, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Secondary Education:
The Mount Albert Grammar School House, Auckland, New Zealand.

Tertiary Education:
Auckland University College of Law – LLB 1964.

Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of (then) Supreme Court of New Zealand

Commenced practice at emergent separate Bar and New Zealand’s first structured Chambers with D.S Beattie Q.C. (later Beattie J. and later Sir David Beattie, Governor General of New Zealand), M.F.Chilwell Q.C. (later Sir Muir Chilwell J.) and G.V.Hubble Esq. (now Hubble D.C.J.).

1967 to 1979:
Practice in criminal law, commercial litigation, compensations, clinical misadventure law and defamation. Major cases in Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council.

Migrated to Sydney, Australia

9 November, 1979:
Admitted to the Bar of New South Wales, membership Edmund Barton Chambers, Level 43 (later to become William Deane Chambers).

1979 to date:
Practice predominantly in plaintiffs’ clinical misadventure with defendants’ and plaintiffs’ compensations practice, mediation, medical disciplinary matters, occasional criminal and commercial litigation.

23 July, 1983:
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP applied for and granted.

1 October, 2002:
Appointed Senior Counsel in and for the State of New South Wales.

Head of Chambers, William Deane Chambers, Sydney, Australia (formerly Edmund Barton Chambers, Level 43, MLC). Foundation Board Member of these Chambers since 1981.

Circa 2003:
Associate Membership Bankside Chambers since 1981.

Appointed N.S.W. Supreme Court Panel of Mediators for Supreme Court litigation suits.

2007 – 2008:
Re-appointment as Mediator Supreme Court N.S.W.

14 February, 2008:
Associate Member at One Crown Office Row, Temple, London EC4Y 7HH (Chambers of Philip Havers QC).

14 November, 2008:
Appointment as Mediator to the District Court 2009-2010.

19 November, 2010:
Re-appointment as Mediator to the District Court 2011-2012

25 November, 2011:
Re-appointment as Mediator to the Mediator Supreme Court N.S.W 2012-2013


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