DES WILLIAMS

Director, Head of Arbitration practice

Bio:

Des is experienced in all fields of commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including international litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has been involved in many of the largest and most complex litigation and arbitration matters in South Africa. He is named in numerous publications for his expertise in litigation and arbitration, construction law and insurance and reinsurance, including Chambers Global, Legal500, International Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers, International Who’s Who of Arbitration, Legal Media Groups Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers and PLC. Des has been the sole South African member of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) since 2011. He is a former co-chair of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA), and a former member of the IBA's Legal Practice Division Council. He is also the chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce South Africa (“ICCSA”). He has acted as a Commissioner of the Small Claims Court since 1991. He has authored several articles, is a contributor to books, journals, newsletters and reviews and regularly appears as a sought-after speaker at local and international conferences. He has presented guest lectures at Harvard Law School, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg.

More about: Des Williams
  • Commercial litigation (domestic & international)
  • Arbitration (domestic & international)
  • Administrative law, including review proceedings
  • Mediation
  • Telecommunications, media and technology law
  • Mining law
  • Dispute Resolution in Africa
  • BA, LLB, LLM (Wits)
  • Higher Diploma in Company Law  (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Higher Diploma in Tax (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • 1979: Director, Werksmans
  • 1994-2005: Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution department
  • 2005-2015: Chairman, Werksmans
  • 2015: Director, Werksmans
  • South African member of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Chairman of Council of the International Chamber of Commerce South Africa (ICCSA) (2016-2018)
  • Former Chairman of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association (2007-2008)
  • Member of Council of the International Bar Association (Legal Practice Division) (2009-2011)
  • Ranked as "leading lawyer" in Dispute Resolution by Legal 500 (2018)