About Richard


Richard Williams, MA (Cambridge), TEP, Barrister-at-Law, specialises in wills, estates, trusts and superannuation.

He is listed in Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession, Leading Wills & Estates Barristers – Queensland, as a Leading Junior Counsel (2017, 2016 and 2015), and as a Recommended Junior Counsel – Australia (2017).

Notable cases include:

  • Re Matsis [2012] QSC 349 (statutory will authorised for estate planning purposes, including asset protection and tax planning)
  • Neuendorf v The Public Trustee of Queensland [2013] QSC 156 (principles for the award of compensation where benefit lost through dealing by an attorney)
  • Re Cardie [2013] QSC 265 (clarification of principles for the admission of a copy of a lost will to probate)
  • Lawrie v Hwang [2013] QSC 289 (contested statutory will application in circumstances involving serious misconduct by respondent towards proposed testator)
  • Re K [2014] QSC 94 (court-authorised will for a minor)
  • Re JT [2014] QSC 163 (privacy, in connection with statutory will applications)
  • ADT v LRT [2014] QSC 169 and GAU v GAV [2016] 1 Qd R 1 (statutory codicil authorised in circumstances where it may impact on family law proceedings)
  • Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61 (invalidity of superannuation death benefit nomination)
  • Lindsay v McGrath [2016] 2 Qd R 160 (appeal concerning an informal will)
  • Re MPL [2016] QSC 61 (statutory will application where doubt as to testamentary capacity)
  • VMH v SEL [2016] QSC 148 (contested statutory will application)
  • Frastika v Cosgrove [2016] QSC 312 (family provision – whether time should be extended)
  • A Ltd v J [2017] NSWSC 736 and A Ltd v J (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 896 (statutory will application in urgent circumstances, and superannuation outside the estate)
  • Perry v Nicholson [2017] QSC 163 (validity of change of trustees of self-managed superannuation fund)
  • In the Estate of Rummer [2017] ACTSC 277 (rectification of Will to give effect to testator’s probable intention)
  • Re Nichol [2017] QSC 220 (whether an unsent text message constituted a valid Will)
  • Mr PL v Mrs R [2017] QSC 249 (contested statutory will application, following family law property settlement)
  • Re K’s Statutory Will [2017] NSWSC 1711 (statutory will application in respect of minor, whether discretionary trusts appropriate)

Richard studied Law at Cambridge University and the Inns of Court School of Law, London, and was first called to the Bar in England and Wales in 1993.  He is a member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

He subsequently gained broad international commercial experience as in-house counsel for the trustee companies of two leading international financial services groups, including a period as Group Head of Legal and Group Head of Risk and Compliance.  He has also practised at law firms in London and the Cayman Islands.

In 2007, Richard received an award from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) for outstanding contribution to the profession, for his work in conceiving and acting as general editor of a new practitioners’ text, A Practical Guide to the Transfer of Trusteeships.  This set standards for the transfer of trusteeships in 10 jurisdictions, and is currently in its 3rd edition.

In 2017, he received a STEP Founder’s Award, for exceptional and outstanding long term contribution to the Society.

Richard’s memberships and board and committee positions include:

  • Chair of STEP Queensland branch, 2017.
  • Chair of STEP Australia, 2015-2017.
  • Chair of the STEP Australia Editorial Committee, 2013-2016.
  • Member of the STEP Worldwide Council, 2002-2007.
  • Member of the Succession and Elder Law Committee, Bar Association of Queensland.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Trust Quarterly Review, 2013-2016.
  • Member of the Panel of Experts, STEP Private Client Awards 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
  • Member of The College of Law’s Wills and Estates Advisory Committee.

Richard teaches and gives regular presentations on topics within his specialist areas of practice:

  • Adjunct Lecturer for The College of Law’s LLM (Applied Law) program, in Wills & Estates (2012 -) and a subject contributor for the program.
  • Lecturer in Succession at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), summer semesters 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
  • Presented extensively on topics relating to trusts and estates at conferences and seminars both in Australia and further afield in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Bermuda, the Channel Islands, Mauritius and the United States.

Richard is co-author of Statutory Will Applications: A Practical Guide (LexisNexis Butterworths).