William Douglas-Jones

William Douglas-Jones

William Douglas-Jones


William Douglas-Jones has a strong criminal practice in the Crown Court and enjoys a practice beyond his level of call. His experience includes, matters of homicide, fraud, robbery, sexual offences, drugs and violence. Will also has significant experience of POCA and cash forfeiture matters.

In 2022 Will appeared as Led Junior in the Supreme Court in the landmark case of R v Luckhurst [2022] UKSC 23 concerning the use of restrained funds for legal expenses in civil claims running parallel to criminal fraud investigations.

He is known for his meticulous knowledge of his cases and his persuasive advocacy. He has been commended for the gravitas with which he appears in serious cases.

In addition to his defence practice, Will enjoys a busy prosecution practice in the Crown Court. Will also welcomes advisory work of all kinds and prides himself on the early consideration of papers on their receipt and the provision of early advice to instructing solicitors. Will is also available to accept instructions on motoring matters.

Notable cases

Operation Circus No.2 [2022-23]
Will was led Junior for the principal Defendant in linked Ponzi-scheme frauds, complicated by the Defendant being an accepted victim in one. The matter included 11 defendants across three trials. The allegation was fraud by abuse of position and false representation with a value in excess of £24,000,000. The case involved a leading corporate solicitors’ firm, Independent Financial Advisors, forensically complex trust and investment law and professional duties. Will’s client faced multilateral cutthroat defences complicated by many individuals complaining of being personally defrauded by the Defendant. Will took on a significant amount of advocacy in the case, cross-examining a number of key complainants in respect of fundamental misrepresentations they alleged to have been made by his client.

R v Luckhurst [2022] UKSC 23
Will was led junior in this landmark Supreme Court case confirming that s.41(4) Proceeds of Crime Act 2022 does not preclude a variation to a restraint order to meet reasonable legal expenses relating to civil claims parallel to the criminal proceedings stemming from the same or similar facts or allegations as the offence which gave rise to the restraint order.

Operation Studio [2022]
Led junior for the Crown in a murder trial where self-defence was the issue. The defendant murdered the victim by thrusting a broken bottle into the side of his neck, severing major blood vessels. The evidence showed that the victim’s group had sought out a confrontation with the defendant’s group. The Defendant was convicted unanimously.

R v AR [2022]
Will acted alone for the 15-year-old defendant (who suffered with autism and special educational needs) in his trial for attempted murder. The case was a trial of the act due to the Defendant being found unfit to plead. The Defendant was alleged to have attempted to kill a fellow school pupil by garrotting her with an audio cable after contriving a teacher-led mediation on the pretence of a schoolyard dispute. The Defendant was acquitted unanimously by the jury, despite having accepted and intent to kill the Complainant and the act of placing the cable around her neck, in his police interview.

Operation Didiza [2022]
Will represented a defendant in this five-handed trial concerning conspiracy to supply class A drugs. The investigation flowed from a planned gangland machete attack on a property used by the alleged conspiracy to store and package drugs, in which over 14kg of heroin and crack cocaine were seized. Will’s client was arrested from the property tending to a co-defendant said to be the head of the conspiracy who had been injured in the machete attack. The jury was discharged on 23rd August 2022 due to the onset of the Criminal Bar Action. The matter is listed for re-trial on 17th April 2023.

R v BH [2021]
Will acted alone t represent a 15-year-old boy in a matter of attempted murder in the Crown Court at Birmingham. The defendant was alleged to have stabbed a man, who was chasing him along a residential street, in the temple of his head with a knife. The knife penetrated the skull and brain of the victim, causing expressive aphasia and weakness in the face and limbs. Client convicted of lesser offence of s.20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

Operation Baritone [2021]
Will was led junior for a defendant in this 9-handed conspiracy to murder trial before Soole J in the Crown Court at Wolverhampton. The case concerned a drive-by shooting alleged to have been committed between two warring groups in the Dudley area of the West Midlands. Will’s client was said not to be one of the five suspects in the car when the shooting was carried out, but instead was alleged to have been instrumental in the planning of the murder and in contact with his alleged co-conspirators on the days before and after the shooting.

Operation Septimus [2021]
Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in a multi-handed homicide concerning a “one-punch” and “one-kick” assault which led to the death of the victim. The case concerned extensive medical evidence both of causation but also of the Defendant’s state of mind.

Operation Intertwine [2021]
Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in a multi-handed homicide trial. The case involved complex issues of causation flowing from an attack on the victim in 2006 which left him in a permanent coma until his death in 2019.

R v HB [2021]
Instructed as junior alone to defend a youth accused of attempted murder.

Operation Ashfall [2021]
Will represented one Defendant in a large-scale drugs conspiracy relating to the supply of class A drugs in Stafford through a “County Lines” operation emanating from Wolverhampton.

Operation Darwin [2020]
Instructed as led junior for the Defendant in the high-profile trial for murder of the man dubbed by the media as “Britain’s Worst Paedophile” whilst both were serving inmates at HMP Full Sutton. The Defendant did not deny torturing and killing the victim, but claimed that he had done so because his mind was substantially impaired by his various mental disorders, and therefore relied upon the partial defence of diminished responsibility.

R v AS (2020)
Instructed as a led junior in the successful appeal against conviction in a case concerning an historic indecent assault allegations. Will did not appear in the Crown Court and was instructed as a second-opinion appellate advocate. The case concerned the erroneous admission of multiple hearsay, purported confession evidence. The conviction was quashed and the Court of Appeal gave important guidance on adherence to the Criminal Procedure Rules.

R v AL (No.2) (2020)
Appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the interpretation of “reasonable living expenses” and “reasonable legal costs” in the context of restraint orders. The appeal is ongoing and has been certified by the Court of Appeal as being of substantial importance to cases of its type. It is expected that the Court of Appeal will address in its judgment a non-exhaustive list for the test of “reasonableness”.


Chambers and Partners 2024:

“He is incredibly bright, really well prepared, very measured and authoritative.”

“He is the best junior in the region.”

“He has a keen eye for detail and provides meticulous preparation for the case.”

“William is a very much sought after advocate who has proved himself equal to highly demanding cases involving complex historic sexual offending, fraud and serious violence.”

Legal 500 2024:

“William is a diligent and hardworking barrister. His spoken and written advocacy is outstanding. He is passionate about getting results. He can marshal large amounts of material.”

Chambers and Partners 2023:

“William is a brilliant barrister with great attention to detail. He provides excellent client care.”

“He marries an excellent grasp of the law with a warm, reassuring client manner and confident, persuasive advocacy.”

“William is a barrister with a keen attention to detail and an extraordinary work ethic.”

Legal 500 2023:

“William is eloquent and has a real art for advocacy. He is exceptionally well prepared and has an excellent manner, especially with professional clients.”

William Douglas-Jones “demonstrates the gravitas and demeanour of a highly experienced barrister’.

Chambers &Partners 2022:

“Known for his meticulous preparation and fabulous manner with clients.”

Legal 500 2022:

“William is hard working, personable and a pleasure to instruct. He is quick to respond to requests for advice and very much gets himself involved in the defence team. Colleagues at the Birmingham branch rate him for his attention to detail and will to work hard for the client.”

Chambers and Partners 2021:

“He is a skilled advocate.”

“William carries a lot more gravitas than might be expected from his year of call.”

Legal 500 2021:

“A fiercely intelligent advocate, with wisdom and gravitas beyond his years.”


University of Liverpool: BSc. Physiology, 2:1 (Hons) 2008
College of Law, Birmingham: Graduate Diploma in Law,
Distinction 2010
College of Law, Birmingham: BPTC, Outstanding 2011

Appointments and Memberships

The Midland Circuit
Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Criminal Bar Association

Fee Paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, assigned to Health, Education and Social Care (2021)
Recorder Midland Circuit (2023)

William Douglas-Jones

Call 2011
William Douglas-Jones
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