The colourful and sometimes controversial former trial lawyer Peter Williams QC – “He had a passion for acquital”…

Peter has a new book out: “The Dwarf who Moved and other stories.”

Peter Williams has been one of this country’s toughest defence lawyers. But today he prefers to be known as an author, poet, sailor and prison reformer.

Peter Williams on his boat with his dogs, Kafka and Ariki, at Westhaven Marina. Photo / Sarah Ivey

“In his time as a criminal defence lawyer in the New Zealand courts, Peter Williams QC has seen it all. From the days when abortion, homosexuality and even telling fortunes could see a person hauled before the courts, to sensational cases of wrongful imprisonment and police corruption, he has witnessed the defining moments in the evolution of our modern judicial and penal systems. In this rich and wise collection of memoir, anecdote and forensic analysis our pre-eminent courtroom advocate recalls the people (including Ronald Jorgensen, Arthur Allen Thomas, “Mr Asia”, James K Baxter, Winston Peters and many more) and the cases (both celebrated and obscure) that have defined his remarkable career, and illuminates the ways in which a legal system mirrors its society, for good and bad. Fearless, astute and compassionate, Peter Williams proves – beyond reasonable doubt – that truth is nearly always stranger than fiction. Author Biography: Peter Williams QC is New Zealand’s preeminent criminal barrister. A practicing lawyer for more than five decades, he has worked on some of the country’s most celebrated cases, including the notorious Bassett Road machine gun murders and the defence and eventual pardon of Arthur Allan Thomas.”

These days Peter is facing his own personal trial – “Prostate Cancer”.

“The Dwarf who Moved, and other true stories”:

The Dwarf Who Moved and Other True Stories from a Life in the Law

Twelve Questions:

Peter Williams QC was one of the country’s leading trial lawyers:



Add yours →

  1. Dear Peter,
    My name is Dejan former Barrister from Macedonia who live in New Zealand now. I heard for your health problem. I can help you. If you like you can give me a call on my mob 0210387422. Trust me I can save your life.
    Kind regards


  2. I am trying to contact Peter Williams re the passing of my uncle an old friend of his are you able to pass my email address onto him. I live in australia. They were friends for sixty years. Many thanks.


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