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)
  • Telecommunications, media and technology law
  • Mining law
  • Building and Construction law
  • 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 and Head of Arbitration, Werksmans
  • Chairman of Werksmans 2005 - 2015;
  • Co-Chairman of International Bar Association Litigation Committee 2007-2008;
  • Member of Council of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division Council 2009-2011;
  • South African member of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce 2011-2018;
  • Chairman of Council of the International Chamber of Commerce South Africa (ICCSA) 2016-2018;
  • Vice-chairman of AFSA International (a division of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa);
  • Ranked as:
    • a leading lawyer in:
    Dispute Resolution and Construction by Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (2014 – 2018); Commercial Litigation and in Arbitration by the International Who's Who Legal; Insurance & Reinsurance by the International Who's Who Legal;
  • A highly recommended lawyer for Dispute Resolution by Legal500 in 2018;
  • A leading lawyer in Commercial Arbitration by Expert Guides;
  • A leading commercial litigator in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers;
  • One of the world's leading arbitration specialists in The International Who's Who of Arbitration;
  • A leading commercial litigator in The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigators;
  • A highly regarded individual in Litigation Lawyers Around The World by Who's Who Litigation Guide; and
  • Inclusion in the inaugural edition of Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders (2017).