Anne Williams

Call: 1980


“She puts lay clients minds at rest with her quick analysis and her explanations of exoteric points of law and procedure.”

Legal 500 [2022]

“Anne is client-friendly, easy to work with and thorough in her preparation.” “She has an excellent advocacy style and is very good at drawing out people’s strengths.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide [2022]

“She is thorough in her preparation and gets to the point politely and without aggression. I believe that she impresses clients with her friendly character and her quick understanding of what they want to achieve.”

Legal 500 [2021]

“Receives praise for her consistently high-quality client service, as well as her keen legal skills. As a barrister, qualified planner and regular inspector at village green inquiries, she is able to apply her extensive experience to high-profile and complex cases of all types. She represents developers and public authorities and has experience in cases which involve sensitive issues surrounding government and local government policy.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide [2020]

“She quickly gains the respect and confidence of clients. She is a consistent barrister who is thorough in her preparation and gets to the nub of issues. Clients are impressed by her personable character and quick understanding of what they want to achieve.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide [2019]

“Thorough in her preparation and gets to the nub of the issues.”

Legal 500 [2019]

“She presented the case in a really effective way and had a great deal of gravitas.” “Thorough, organised and knowledgeable, she has excellent written and oral presentation skills and is widely experienced.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide [2018]


2020: Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL; 2018: Editorial Board of Garner's Environmental Law; 2018: Content Editorial Board Lexis PSL Planning; Enabling Panel of the Design Council (CABE); former Treasurer of PEBA


Anne Williams has been a specialist Planning and Environmental law barrister for over 20 years, having previously practiced at Landmark Chambers.  She is recommended by the Legal 500 (2022) and the Chambers UK Bar Guide (2021) and also ranked in the 2021 Planning Magazine’s Annual Survey‘s list of most admired planning law barristers.

She specialises in advising and appearing for developers and public authorities at Planning Inquiries and in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Anne is regularly instructed by a large number of authorities throughout England. She sits as an Inspector in a number of Village Green inquiries.

Her Planning and Inquiry work includes:

  • Advising developers on pre-application discussions, the content of planning applications and prospects of success on appeal.
  • Representing appellant in Bangor Wharf inquiry – a residential scheme adjacent to Regents Park Canal.
  • Representing Christ’s Hospital School at forthcoming inquiry for proposed major sports facility.
  • Advising on prior approval applications.
  • Advising a chain of pubs on the consequences of ACV listing.
  • DP World – proposed container port. Rail line and commercial and logistics centre containing 10 million sq ft of commercial development, Thames Gateway (this was a six month inquiry, granted planning permission in 2007 and described as a ‘once in a lifetime’ case) and many office, retail and residential proposals involving planning and environmental issues. Click here to access the DP World London Gateway website.
  • Advising Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight on various developments
  • The National Gallery Extension (Trafalgar Square)
  • Stone Bassett New Town
  • Advising on proposals for a major strategic mixed use site in West Ham
  • She has promoted five development plans in inquiries lasting up to 3 months
  • Conducted the first Bar Direct planning case for The Outdoor Advertising Council of Great Britain.
  • Resisted a highly controversial application to register a village green on behalf of the main objector – Hythe Town Council.
  • Various section 288 challenges to Inspector’s decisions.
  • Appears for local authorities when councillors have overturned officers’ recommendations.
  • Appeared in support at a major retail inquiry in Bognor Regis.
  • Regularly acts for local authorities resisting major housing developments, including Basingstoke & Deane District Council, Arun District Council, Hart District Council, Daventry District Council and Maldon District Council.
  • Very experienced in conducting cases relating to conservation and design.
  • Advised Norfolk County Council on potential judicial review challenge.
  • Appears frequently for developers promoting residential and commercial development.
  • Advised London Borough of Islington on affordable housing policy.
  • Appeared in a High Court challenge under the Habitats Regulations.
  • Also appears regularly in enforcement and LDC cases.
  • Advised in relation to the ‘Megamosque’.

Anne accepts public access instructions.

Anne Williams was appointed to the Enabling Panel of the Design Council (CABE). She regularly lectures and speaks at conferences on planning law and has made programmes for Legal Network TV. She was recently appointed a Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL.

Anne regularly delivers lectures to solicitors and planners in both local authorities and planning consultancies on planning law and procedure at appeals, has written articles for Westlaw and contributed to Lexis Nexis Webinars.

Articles and Publications

Anne Williams has written articles for various publications including Planning – most recently on the application of the Habitats Directive to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Areas.

Editorial Board of Garner’s Environmental Law

Editor, Atkins Court Forms, Town and Country Planning

Editor, Protection of the Environment and Public Health

Halsbury’s Laws: Contributor to Town and Country Planning volume and Open Spaces volume

Blundell & Dobry: Planning Applications and Appeals (Sweet and Maxwell). This successful and long-established work comprises a practical guide to all aspects of appeals and inquiries connected with the planning process.

Background and other interests

Anne Williams is Match Manager and Ladies Captain for the Bar Lawn Tennis Society and in January 2017 qualified as a Level 2 LTA Tennis Coach. Anne also sits on the Dons Trust Board at AFC Wimbledon Football Club.

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