Nia Williams

Nia Williams

Head of Human Rights

Nia Williams

- Head of Human Rights

Nia is a founding partner of Saunders Law, Head of the Human Rights Team, and managing partner of the Public Inquiries Team.

She has over 12 years’ experience representing clients in challenges against the police and other public authorities, judicial review, public inquiries, inquests, and civil claims. Nia is committed to protecting civil liberties and is not afraid of challenging state authorities, often representing the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of society.

Nia is noted in the Legal 500 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, and Administrative and Public Law, and is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers and Partners in the area of Police Law: Mainly Claimant.

Nia Williams has an impressively broad police law practice that covers inquests, as well as claims of assault, false imprisonment and misfeasance in a public office. She is noted for her leading work on the Hillsborough case and is described by interviewees as "unflappable, calm and considered, with a good tactical awareness.” Chambers and Partners 2020

Practice head Nia Williams ‘truly cares about her clients’, standing out for her work with vulnerable clients in diverse mandates includes breaches to the Human Rights Act. The Legal 500 2018

Head of Department Nia Williams is widely respected for her experience in police law. She regularly acts on claims for discrimination, human rights breaches and false imprisonment. Chambers and Partners 2018

Nia is a member of the Police Action Lawyers Group and the Inquest Lawyers Group.

Recent cases of note

Public Inquiries

Undercover Policing Inquiry – instructed by the only two lawyers granted the status of Interested Persons in the inquiry.

Grenfell Tower Inquiries – instructed by a bereaved family in the 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire.

Actions against the Police and Public Authorities

The Hillsborough Victims’ Misfeasance Litigation – acting as the Lead Solicitor in the Group Litigation against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police forces; instructed individually by over 200 bereaved family members and survivors of the 1989 Hillsborough football tragedy.

Anthony Crook v Chief Constable of Essex Police [2015] EWHC 988 (QB)  – represented Mr Crook in his landmark victory in the High Court for breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act following publication of his personal details in newspapers as “most wanted” for an alleged rape, securing him damages of £70,000.

Inquests

Terry Smith inquest – Represented the family of Terry Smith who tragically died in police custody after exhibiting symptoms of Excited Delirium following prolonged and excessive restraint by the police along with the use of a spit hood. After 13 weeks of evidence (understood to the longest inquest into an individual’s death in England and Wales), the jury concluded that neglect contributed to his death.

Josh Pitt inquest – Represented the girlfriend of Josh Pitt who died following a police shooting.

Brenda Leyland inquest – Represented Sky News in the inquest into the death of Brenda Leyland, who committed suicide after being interviewed by a Sky New journalist.

Amanda Bowles inquest – Representing the son of Amanda Bowles whose death raises vital concerns regarding the treatment of anorexia.

Administrative and Public Law

R (Kevin Nunn) v Chief Constable of Suffolk Police [2012] EWHC 1186 (Admin) - Represented Kevin Nunn who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Dawn Walker in 2006, in is his appeal to the Supreme Court requesting the release of forensic items for DNA testing that could prove his innocence.

R (Metropolitan Police) v NHS England and Nicola Edgington (interested party) – Represented Nicola Edgington who was convicted of murder following a relapse of schizophrenia, challenging an application by the police to suppress the publication of a report by the NHS which revealed failures in her care by the NHS and the police.

Application for Attorney General’s Fiat – Successfully obtained one of the rare AG fiats following an inquest verdict of misadventure despite evidence of failings of the NHS in relation to the contra-indication of drugs.

International Human Rights Law

Sean Daley v Maksim Bakiyev [2016] EWHC 1972 (QB) – Represented a British Businessman who had been the subject of an attempted assassination whilst working in the Kyrgyz Republic, in his claim that the Defendant, the son of the then President of the Republic, had organised and arranged his shooting.

Victims of sexual abuse by a Head of State – Representing a number of women in their claims against a foreign Head of State for sexual abuse suffered whilst in his employment.

Sexual Abuse cases

Residential Institutions Redress Board – Represented over 100 individuals in their claims for compensation for physical and sexual abuse suffered as children at the hands of nuns and monks in institutions in Ireland.

M v Catholic Church – Secured damages for an individual in his claim against the Catholic Church for sexual abuse suffered as a child by a priest.