Rhodri Williams QC specialises in European Union law and local government and administrative law. He is recommended in the areas of local government law (Chambers UK), public procurement (Chambers UK) and public and administrative law (Legal 500).
He specialises in the law of the internal market as it affects the public sector, and, in particular, the EU public procurement regime and State Aid, but also deals with a wide range of local government issues, including judicial review of post office closures, school re-organisation plans and school transport decisions. He deals with cases involving both local and regional government, including advising the Welsh Assembly Government and other Government Departments and local authorities, in England, Wales and in Northern Ireland. In 2000, he was appointed to the Attorney General’s list of approved Counsel and to the list of the Counsel General to the National Assembly for Wales and has represented the United Kingdom Government on several occasions before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxemburg. He was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland in 2009.
European & Public Procurement
Since working with the European Commission in Brussels in the 1990’s, he has long specialised in the law of the internal market as it affects the public sector, and, in particular, the EU public procurement regime, competition and state aid. He has advised on and been involved in litigation concerning all aspects of public procurement, including application of the Teckal exemption, framework agreements, central purchasing bodies, service concessions, the competitive dialogue procedure and remedies. In relation to State aid he has recently advised on such issues as exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy, grants for heritage and culture projects, disposals of land and the application of block exemptions generally.
He has represented the United Kingdom Government and other public bodies on several occasions before the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg, and was involved in the leading authority on time limits for bringing public procurement challenges in case C-406/08 Uniplex (UK) Ltd v NHS Business Services Authority  ECR I-817. Moreover, in 2010, he was instructed to represent the successful appellants in the first ever case concerning public procurement to be heard before the Supreme Court in Brent LBC v Risk Management Partners Ltd & London Authorities Mutual Ltd & Harrow LBC  UKSC 7. More recently he was involved in the successful defence of a local authority on a claim of deceit arising out of the abandonment of a competitive dialogue tender procedure in Montpellier Estates Ltd v Leeds City Council  EWHC 166 (QB).
Representative casesgrid list
SRCL Ltd-v-NHS Commissioning Board  EWHC 1985 (TCC)
Claim for breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 in respect of award of contract by the NHS in England under a framework agreement for the disposal of clinical waste on grounds that there was a breach of the rules governing abnormally low tenders
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust-v-Lancashire CC  EWHC 1589 (TCC)
Claim for breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 in respect of the award of a contract using the “light touch regime” for the provision of care services by a local authority
Damira Dental Services Ltd-v-NHS Commissioning Board  EWHC (TCC)
Claim for breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 in respect of award of an NHS contract for the provision of dental services
Premaitha Ltd v Cardiff & Vale UHB  EWHC (TCC)
Challenge to tender procedure held by Cardiff and Vale UHB for the award of a contract for the implementation of an in-house non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) screening service. The execution of the contract was suspended pursuant to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Successful application to lift automatic suspension under regulation Gill.
Bristol Missing Link Ltd v Bristol City Council  EWHC 876 (TCC)
Blue Water Recoveries Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport  EWHC 2970 (QB)
Montpellier Estates Ltd v Leeds City Council  EWHC 166 (QB)
Successfully defended a local authority of claim for breach of the EU public procurement regime and for deceit.
Brent LBC v Risk Management Partners Ltd & London Authorities Mutual Ltd & Harrow BC  UKSC 7;  LGR 169
Represented the Interested Parties on their successful appeal against the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal in respect of a claim for breach of the EU public procurement regime in relation to the establishment by various London authorities of an insurance mutual to provide insurance services.
Lancashire County Council v EWC Ltd  EWCA Civ 1381;  LGR 350
Successfully prosecuted appeal against finding of breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 in respect of tender for waste management services.
Case C-406/08 Uniplex (UK) Ltd v NHS Business Services Authority  ECR I-000
Reference to the European Court of Justice from the High Court (Leeds District Registry) for a ruling on the interpretation of the compatibility with EC law of procedural time limits under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.
Public, Administrative & Local Government
Rhodri deals with a wide range of local government issues, including judicial review of post office closures, school reorganisation plans and school transport decisions. He deals with cases involving both local and regional government, including advising the Welsh Assembly Government and other Government Departments and local authorities, in England, Wales and in Northern Ireland. In 2000, he was appointed to the Attorney General’s list of approved Counsel and to the list of the Counsel General to the Welsh. He was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland in 2009. He appeared in the leading case on local authority powers in the Court of Appeal in Brent LBC v. Risk Management Partners Ltd & London Authorities Mutual Ltd & Harrow LBC  EWCA Civ 490. He also appeared on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales on the first ever reference to the Supreme Court under the Government of Wales Act 2006 in Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 – Reference by the Attorney General for England and Wales  UKSC 53.
He has represented local authorities in a number of challenges by way of judicial review to decisions in respect of school closure, school reorganisation and school transport. He has also advised local authorities on numerous occasions on their powers in respect of such decisions in the field of education. Finally he often advises the Department of Education in relation to Government programmes and its duties, for example, to provide Institutes of Technology, the provision of Get into Teaching Service (GITIS) and the provision of education services to young offenders in custody.
Representative casesgrid list
NHS Commissioning Board-v-Siddiqui  EWHC (QB)
Claim for repayment of monies paid under an NHS dental services contract to a dentist who had acted in breach of contract in the provision of Units of Dental Activity. Quantum of claim, which was strenuously disputed to be determined by means of stratified sampling. Multiple applications to strike out claim.
Siddiqui & Dalton Care Contracts Ltd Partnership-v-NHS Commissioning Board  EWHC (QB)
Application to strike out a claim brought against NHS Commissioning Board for breach of NHS dental services contract. Application to strike out on grounds of abuse of process and limitation. Application successful.
Deer v Oxford University  EWCA Civ 121
Appeal to Court of Appel in relation to definition of “personal date” for purposes Data Protection Act 1998 and extent of Court’s discretion to order compliance with subject access request.
R (Tilley) v Vale of Glamorgan Council  EWHC 2272 (Admin)
Challenge to decision of local authority to close public library.
R (Jones) v Denbighshire CC  2074 (Admin)
Challenge to decision of local education authority to reorganise Welsh Language education in its area. Judicial Review conducted through the medium of Welsh.
R (Dyer) v Welsh Ministers  EWHC 3712 (Admin)
Challenge to exercise of powers of Welsh Ministers and Local Health Board to organise medium secure mental health accommodation within Wales.
R (Diocese of Menevia) v Swansea City and County Council  EWHC 1436 (Admin)
Represented local education authority on challenge to its decision to remove discretionary school transport to faith schools. Case involved interesting conflict between contrasting provisions of Equality Act 2010 and the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008.
R (Dusza) v Powys Teaching LHB  EWCA Civ 15
Represented local health board in respect of challenge to interpretation of standard NHS Dental contracts and recoupment of monies paid under the contracts.
R (Wiltshire Council) v Hertfordshire CC  EWCA Civ 712
Successfully defended appeal in respect of local authorities’ duties towards patients detained in hospital under a restriction order and identity of responsible local authority.
Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 - Reference by the Attorney General for England and Wales  UKSC 53
First reference to Supreme Court under section 112 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 challenging the validity of the first Bill passed by the National Assembly for Wales.
R (Governors of Brynmawr Foundation School) v Welsh Ministers & Blaenau Gwent CBC  EWHC 519 (Admin)
Successfully defended the local education authority in claim against lawfulness of delegation by the Welsh Ministers of power to reorganise sixth form education in foundation schools and the exercise of that power by the local authority. Case involved argument on power of Welsh Government to delegate its powers under Government of Wales Act 2006.
Brent LBC v Risk Management Partners Ltd & London Authorities Mutual Ltd & Harrow LBC  EWCA Civ 490
Represented the interested parties on appeal to Court of Appeal in respect of a local authority’s powers to enter into arrangements for mutual insurance under section 2 LGA2000 and section 111 LGA 1972.
Regulatory (including Food Safety, Health & Safety)
He practises in the areas of health and safety, safety aspects of food production and planning and environmental regulation. He has defended numerous cases brought by the Health and Safety Executive on behalf of various county councils e.g. fatal accident of a local authority contractor electrocuted on site. He was instructed in the BSE Inquiry on behalf of the Welsh Office and, more recently, by the Welsh Assembly Government in the E-coli Inquiry. He has prosecuted and defended the enforcement of planning regulations for and against local authorities and planning inspectors appointed by ministers and has represented the Environment Agency in both criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement proceedings brought in its regulatory role under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Furthermore, he has also prosecuted various health and safety matters on behalf of local authorities, such as the Crown Court prosecution, on behalf of Herefordshire CC, of Cadbury Ltd under the European Hygiene of Foodstuffs Regulation and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 in respect of an outbreak of salmonella at its factory.
Representative casesgrid list
E-coli Public Inquiry (2005)
Set up by Welsh Government in respect of outbreak of e-coli.
What the directories say
"He is thoughtful, considered and dependable. He supports clients by ensuring that they manage risk well."
Chambers UK 2019
"A heavyweight barrister for procurement disputes."
Legal 500 2019
He offers responsive, practical and robust advice, sticking to the point without over-egging unnecessarily. He knows his subject really well, gives very good written opinions and is good in front of clients."
Chambers UK 2018
"A very tenacious and determined advocate..."
"Rhodri is responsive and practical and provides robust advice that sticks to the point without exaggerating..."
News and articles
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Instructing Rhodri Williams QC
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Call +44 (0)20 7583 9020
- Welsh Government’s QC Panel
- Queen’s Counsel (2010)
- Bencher of Gray’s Inn
- Public Procurement Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell); member of editorial board
- Bar European Group
- Administrative Law Bar Association
- Procurement Law Association
- Co-founder of the Public Law Wales
- Inns of Court School of Law (1987)
- Dip Law PCL (1986)
- BA Exeter College Oxford (1985)
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Bar Council Number: 22134
VAT Registration Number: 524067463
Legal Status: QC
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