Richard Williams

richRichard Williams, MA (Cantab), TEP, Barrister-at-Law, specialises in wills, estates and trusts.

He appeared as counsel for the applicant in Re Matsis [2012] QSC 349 (statutory codicil authorised for estate planning purposes, including asset protection and tax planning).

He also appeared as counsel for the applicant in ADT v LRT [2014] QSC 169, and on the successful appeal in that case, GAU v GAV [2016] 1 Qd R 1 (statutory codicil authorised for estate planning purposes, in circumstances where son of testator was divorcing; this is one of only two Australian appellate decisions concerning statutory wills)

Other notable cases include:

  • Lawrie v Hwang [2013] QSC 289 (contested statutory will application in circumstances involving serious misconduct by respondent towards proposed testator)
  • Neuendorf v The Public Trustee of Queensland [2013] QSC 156 (principles for the award of compensation where benefit lost through action of an attorney)
  • Re Cardie [2013] QSC 265 (clarification of principles for the admission of a copy of a lost will to probate)
  • Re K [2014] QSC 94 (court-authorised will for a minor)
  • Re JT [2014] QSC 163 (privacy, in connection with statutory will applications)
  • GAU v GAV [2016] 1 Qd R 1; [2014] QCA 308 (statutory codicil authorised in circumstances where it may impact on family law proceedings)
  • Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61 (invalidity of superannuation binding death benefit nomination)
  • Lindsay v McGrath [2016] 2 Qd R 160; [2015] QCA 206 (appeal concerning an informal will)
  • Re MPL [2016] QSC 61 (statutory will application where doubt as to testamentary capacity)
  • VMH v SEL [2016] QSC 148 (contested statutory will application)
  • Frastika v Cosgrove [2016] QSC 312 (family provision – whether time should be extended)
  • A Ltd v J [2017] NSWSC 736 and A Ltd v J (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 896 (statutory will application in urgent circumstances, and superannuation outside the estate)
  • Perry v Nicholson [2017] QSC 163 (validity of change of trustees of self-managed superannuation fund)
  • In the Estate of Rummer [2017] ACTSC 277 (rectification of Will to give effect to testator’s probable intention)
  • Re Nichol [2017] QSC 220 (whether an unsent text message constituted a valid Will)
  • Mr PL v Mrs R [2017] QSC 249 (contested statutory will application, following family law property settlement)
  • A Ltd v J [2017] NSWSC 736; A Ltd v J (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 896 (application for statutory will in urgent circumstances, testamentary trusts)
  • Re K’s Statutory Will [2017] NSWSC 1711 (statutory will application in respect of minor, whether discretionary trusts appropriate)

Richard accepts briefs in statutory will matters from legal practitioners in all States and Territories, including for:

  • Advice on the merits of proposed applications
  • Advice on gathering supporting evidence to meet the statutory requirements
  • Settling the originating process and supporting affidavits
  • Advice on the terms of the proposed will, and settling the draft will
  • Advice on resisting a statutory will application
  • Appearing as Counsel on the hearing of the application
  • Advice on alternative dispute resolution, for contentious cases

Richard studied Law at Cambridge University and the Inns of Court School of Law, London, and was first called to the Bar in England and Wales in 1993.  He is a member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

He subsequently gained broad international commercial experience as in-house counsel for the trustee companies of two leading international financial services groups, including a period as Group Head of Legal and Group Head of Risk and Compliance.  He has also practised at law firms in London and the Cayman Islands.

In 2007, he received an award from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) for outstanding contribution to the profession, for his work in conceiving and acting as general editor of a new practitioners’ text, A Practical Guide to the Transfer of Trusteeships.  This set standards for the transfer of trusteeships in 10 jurisdictions, and is currently reprinted in its 3rd edition.

Since March 2012, Richard has practised as a Barrister at the private Bar in Queensland.

He is past Chair of STEP Queensland branch and past Chair of STEP Australia.  He has formerly served as a member of the STEP Worldwide Council.

He is a regular contributor to law journals, and a former member of the Editorial Board of the Trust Quarterly Review.

Richard teaches as an adjunct lecturer for the College of Law’s LLM (Applied Law) program, in Wills & Estates and is a subject contributor for the program.  He has also lectured in Succession at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

He has presented extensively on topics relating to trusts and estates at conferences and seminars both in Australia and further afield in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Bermuda, the Channel Islands, Mauritius and the United States.


Contact details

Brisbane Chambers
Level 27 Santos Place, 32 Turbot Street
Brisbane  QLD 4000
T: 07 3012 8539

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.