David is recommended in Doyle’s Guide as one of the Leading Commercial Litigation and Disputes Resolution Senior Counsel – NSW, 2016, 2017 and 2018; and Leading Insurance Barristers – NSW, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He was recently selected by his peers as Insurance Lawyer of the Year in The Best Lawyers in Australia (2020 edition) in the field of Insurance Law; and was also included in the 2019 and 2018 editions.

David has had more than 30 years’ experience at the Bar and been Senior Counsel for the past 15 years. His areas of practice are extensive. The principle areas include: commercial and equity, corporations, insolvency, insurance and reinsurance and professional negligence.

David believes that a capable barrister should be able to and should appear in all jurisdictions and engage in a diverse range of casework. His particular interests are pre trial case strategy and cross-examination across all practice areas.

David regularly advises and appears for insurers, reinsurers and insureds in all classes of insurance and reinsurance business and is frequently engaged in professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability disputes. David has appeared for insurers in the leading appellate cases on statutory charge on insurance monies (Chubb v Moore), on sections 40 and 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (Gosford City Council v GIO) and concerning aggregation (Bank of Queensland v AIG).

David appeared in the leading High Court case on privilege against self-exposure to a penalty (Rich v ASIC) and has appeared for defendant directors in civil penalty proceedings concerning the GIO/AMP takeover (ASIC v Vines), the One.Tel liquidation (ASIC v Rich) and the MFS/Octaviar liquidation (ASIC v Managed Investments; White v ASIC; Anderson v ASIC).

David advises and appears in all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency.  He appeared in the leading High Court and intermediate appellate cases on deeds of company arrangement (Lehman Brothers v City of Swan and BE Australia v Sutton).

David advises and appears in a diverse range of commercial matters and equity matters. He appeared in Garcia v National Australia Bank – one of the leading High Court cases on unconscionability in a husband/wife/guarantee situation, Aid/Watch v Commission of Taxation – a High Court case defining the boundaries of charitable trusts and in Sze Tu v Lowe – an appellate decision on trusts, tracing, partnerships and indefeasibility of title and limitation of actions.

David has appeared and/or is currently appearing in several class action cases including the Brisbane floods securities class actions and the employment class action concerning casual workers at BHP coal mines.

David’s practice has a particular focus on professional negligence. He regularly appears in professional negligence cases involving lawyers, accountants and other professionals. He has been briefed on behalf of LawCover for over 20 years.


David L Williams SC
Need to know more?