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Joanne Williams

Joanne acts in a wide variety of employment disputes for public bodies and private enterprises. Her public body work has included representing a number of UK government departments, Welsh government departments, a number of local health boards, and a number of local authorities.



Joanne Williams

Joanne is particularly well regarded in discrimination and equality cases. Her work covers a broad spectrum of discrimination law, including sex discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, pregnancy dismissal/detriment. She has also been involved in a number of complicated and lengthy whistleblowing claims.

Joanne’s advisory work includes providing opinions on the merits and the potential value of claims in both a civil and tribunal court context. She regularly drafts pleadings, schedules of loss, and counter-schedules.

In addition to her Tribunal work, Joanne has experience of acting as the legal advisor to panels constituted to hear disciplinary matters involving police officers and civilian police employees. This role has included acting in an advisory capacity to both disciplinary panels and appeal panels. More recently, she has been engaged by Welsh local health boards to sit as the chair to a number of appeal panels in respect of disciplinary action brought against doctors, some of which have resulted in very serious sanctions.

Since the inception of the Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS) Joanne has supported it wholeheartedly in Wales by offering her services free of charge at the Cardiff Employment Tribunal whenever other professional commitments allow.


Joanne's Experience

Called in 1999

Welsh Government's Panel of Counsel

Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Employment Law

Joanne acts in a wide variety of employment disputes for a number of public bodies. These include a number of UK government departments, a number of local health boards and a number of local authorities. On behalf of these public bodies, she has been engaged in defending all kinds of employment related claims but particularly claims for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages, disputes surrounding the transfer of undertakings and discrimination of all kinds. Joanne is fully adept at handling the full range of issues that arise in such cases.

Joanne is particularly well regarded in discrimination cases. Over the lase five years, she has been regularly instructed to defend such claims on behalf of HMRC, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Office for National Statistics, Cardiff & Vale Local Health Board, Cwm Taf Local Health Board, Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board and Public Health Wales. Recently, she has acted for the DVLA in a hotly contested unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim and she is currently instructed in very substantial disability claims on behalf of the Inland Revenue, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Cardiff & Vale Local Health Board and Public Health Wales and a very significant and serious race discrimination case on behalf of HMRC in which the Claimant makes allegations against over thirty fellow employees including very senior officers of HMRC.

Local Authorities

Joanne’s work on behalf of local authorities has included advising upon a wide range of issues such as the legal status of the employment relationship between the local authority and the governing body of schools, disciplinary processes and the correct procedures to follow in cases in which protective disclosures have or may have been made in the particular context of child safeguarding.

Joanne has acted for Local Health Boards across Wales, many of the major insurance companies, a number of government departments and she has also been instructed on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. Over the last few years in particular Joanne has been instructed with much greater frequency on behalf of Claimants through their unions and under conditional fee arrangements in a variety of claims. She has considerable experience in advisory work, settling pleadings, including schedules of special damages and counter schedules and her advocacy experience extends to a high level, including the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Inquests & Inquiries

In recent years Joanne has made frequent appearances at Inquests on behalf of a number of different organisations and clients. She has acted on behalf of the Ministry of Justice in respect of deaths in prisons in Cardiff, Swansea, Exeter and in Kent. She is fully conversant with all the necessary requirement for the conduct of inquests which need to comply with Article 2 of the ECHR. She has acted for a doctor who was potentially at fault in respect of the death of a baby during the course of delivery at hospital. Joanne has also been instructed on behalf of insurers in respect of deaths which have occurred in the workplace and in road traffic accidents.

Personal Injury

Joanne has a substantial personal injury practice acting for both Claimants and Defendants in employers’ liability, public liability, occupiers liability, product liability and road traffic cases. She has experience in disease cases, including HAVS, deafness and stress claims.

Memberships & Advisory
  • Appointed to the Attorney General’s regional panel of Counsel in 2007, 2012 and 2018.
  • Appointed to the Welsh Government A panel of Counsel in 2021.
  • Security Cleared to SC level
  • Appearance rights before Dubai International Finance Centre Courts
Case Profile
  • Roger Amos v Gwent Probation Service(2009/2010) This case involved interesting issues about the existence/extent of the duty of care owed by the Probation Service to prisoners whilst under their supervision in prison.
  • Lewis Watkins v Sheila Howells (2015) This was a serious brain injury case in which Joanne was led and which settled for in excess of 1.2 million.
  • Malcolm Smith v Ministry of Defence (2017) This was an industrial deafness claim in which the Claimant was successful at first instance. Joanne successfully acted for the MOD at the first appeal. She also acted for the MOD at the second appeal in the Court of Appeal.
Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Joanne Williams, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:



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