David Williams QC is a well-experienced figure in the arbitration market where he receives widespread international plaudits for his deep understanding of complex commercial disputes.
Sir David A R Williams KNZM, QC is a member of the New Zealand, Australian and English bars and an honorary bencher at Lincoln’s Inn London. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland (LLB 1965) and Harvard University (LLM 1966). He is an honorary professor of law at the University of Auckland.
David was a litigation partner in the leading Auckland law firm Russell McVeagh (1969-1985). He practised at the New Zealand Bar as a Queen’s Counsel (1985-1991) and was a judge of the High Court of New Zealand (1992-1994). He has served as a part-time justice in the Cook Islands for 15 years and is the current president of the Court of Appeal of the Cook Islands. He also served part-time as a judge of the Court of the Dubai International Financial Centre (2007-2013).
He has served as a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and the London Court of International Arbitration, and he is an advisory board member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA).
David has developed a global international arbitration practice and has been involved, as either counsel or arbitrator, in over 150 international commercial arbitrations. He has also sat on many sports arbitration panels under the auspices of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Mr Williams is co-author of Williams and Kawharu on Arbitration (second edition, LexisNexis, 2017), New Zealand’s first comprehensive treatise on domestic and international arbitration. The first edition (2011) won the LexisNexis Prize for the best law book published in New Zealand. In the preface to the second edition Justice Stephen Kos, president of the New Zealand Court of Appeal said that "Williams and Kawhuru deservedly stands among the best New Zealand texts".
In 2017 he was awarded a Knighthood by the Queen in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of arbitration law and practice in New Zealand and internationally.