Des Williams was the chairman of Werksmans Attorneys from 2005 to February 2015. He has been with the firm since 1974 and headed its Litigation Department from 1994 to 2005. He is now the head of the firm’s Arbitration Practice Group. He is experienced in all fields of commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including international litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has been involved in many of the largest and most complex litigation and arbitration matters in South Africa.
Des is named in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business for his expertise in dispute resolution; appearing in the 2016 edition for both dispute resolution and construction. He is named among the world's leading arbitration specialists in The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration, 2016. He is also named as a leading lawyer in arbitration and mediation, construction and litigation by Best Lawyers International; in commercial litigation and in arbitration by the International Who's Who Legal; in dispute resolution by the Legal500 and in dispute resolution by PLC Which Lawyer. Des is the South African member of the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the chairman of the Council of the ICC South Africa, a former co-chair of the Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA), and a former member of the IBA's Legal Practice Division Council. He has authored several articles, is a contributor to books, journals, newsletters and reviews and regularly appears as a sought-after speaker at local and international conferences. Des holds BA LLB and LLM degrees and Higher Diplomas in Company Law and Tax from the University of the Witwatersrand.