60-second interview with Richard Williams

Richard Williams, 26/7/2017

Richard Williams TEP is chair of STEP Queensland and a board member of STEP Australia.

Tell us about yourself, and your role within STEP

I am a barrister at the Queensland Bar, specialising in wills, estates, trusts and superannuation. In my 20 years as a STEP member, I have been a Council member, chair of the Student Liaison Committee, a member of the Disciplinary Panel, chair of STEP Queensland and, until recently, chair of STEP Australia.

I also collaborated with members from ten jurisdictions in producing the publication, A Practical Guide to the Transfer of Trusteeships (see STEP books). The third edition is out later this year.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

Taking part in STEP committees and other projects has brought me into contact with leading practitioners from many other jurisdictions. It is always a privilege to meet other members, and to hear different perspectives and exchange ideas.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

The unique thing about STEP is that it brings together practitioners from different professions, who share a common interest in learning more about trusts and estates. Members have access to superb educational and professional networking opportunities.

You will be speaking at the STEP Australia Conference in August. What will you be speaking on and what are the main issues in this area?

I will be speaking about developments in statutory will applications, which is a developing area of practice in Australia. Issues are emerging in relation to the two-stage process, heavily contested applications, and costs.

What do you most like about your job?

Every week is different, and challenging. Some of the cases that I work on, especially in the area of statutory wills, involve new questions of principle or procedure, and lead to judgments that clarify the law.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Keep calm and keep on learning! There are always new developments in trusts and estates, which we all need to keep on top of.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

The ageing population in Australia poses new challenges, particularly in the areas of undue influence and litigation involving enduring attorneys.

 

Richard Williams TEP is a barrister at the Queensland Bar. He studied law at Cambridge University and was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1993. He has worked in London and various offshore jurisdictions, before moving to Australia in 2008. He is co-author of Statutory Will Applications: A Practical Guide (LexisNexis, 2014) and a regular speaker at conferences on topics relating to trusts and estates.