19 October 2014
Peter Williams is not entirely sure how many murder trials he conducted in his sixty year courtroom career, but estimates it must be somewhere between 100 and 200. These cases include high profile criminals like Mr Asia, Zion King and the Bassett Road machine gun murderers.
A very compassionate person, Peter is also the president of the Prison Reform Society, a prolific author and a dedicated sailor. Peter grew up in the Manawatu where his father was a teacher. He was an avid sports player and excelled in rugby, boxing and tennis. In order to cover the cost of his education, a law degree that started at Victoria University and was finished at Canterbury, Peter worked long, hard and unpleasant hours at a freezing works. After serving his mandatory three months military service with the Air Force in Hobsonville, he began his legal career as a clerk at the Justice Department in Auckland.
In recent years, Peter has faced a difficult battle with prostate cancer. He is thankful for his family’s support, as scans have revealed that the cancer has spread.
Mr Williams lives in central Auckland with his partner, defence lawyer Heeni Phillips. He has three children and five grandchildren.