Our People

William Paynter

Senior Advocate

William Paynter is an experienced in-house Barrister who joined Lansbury Worthington in 2011 after eight successful years as an independent barrister at 1 Gray’s Inn Square.

He has experience in many different areas of criminal law and has practiced at all levels of the criminal courts system.

Notable Cases

  • In February 2015 Mr Paynter obtained an acquittal for a client accused of affray having brandished a knife during a domestic argument. It was successfully argued before a Jury that he was acting in self-defence as he feared he would be attacked if he had not armed himself and so he was found not guilty. The following week he represented a client accused of intending to supply drugs that were found during a raid on a flat he was sleeping in. Careful attention was drawn to the circumstantial nature of the evidence upon which the prosecution relied and the Jury found him not guilty.
  • In December 2014 he represented a client who was linked to a £59m cyber-phishing scam fraud. The evidence was overwhelming but pleas were entered to lesser charges than the Crown originally sought and the amount he was said to have personally gained from it was significantly reduced. This meant a significantly lesser sentence than first anticipated.
  • Also in December 2014 a long running but difficult case came to an end with a suspended sentence for a client who in his police interview had admitted being involved in a residential burglary and was subject to the 'third-strike' automatic three years imprisonment law. A series of medical reports were obtained that helped Mr Paynter to successfully argue that the Court should be merciful because of the client's personal issues and a suspended sentence was passed.
  • In November 2014 he represented a client at trial on charges of intending to supply drugs. The DNA evidence of the Crown was successfully challenged both in cross-examination and by the use of a defence DNA expert. The case was thrown out at the half way point.
  • In June 2014 Mr Paynter was led by Bernard Richmond QC on a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey). Our client was accused of murder and multiple other serious charges resulting from a night-time incident outside a nightclub. The case involved DNA, blood spatter, pathology reports, toxicology reports, CCTV, phone analysis and so on. The case resulted in a not guilty on the murder charge and most of the other charges.
  • In November 2013 he represented a young man at trial accused of knocking a person unconscious during an altercation on a bus. His two friends had already pleaded guilty. As well as carefully examination of the witnesses the CCTV of this incident was carefully analysed at trial and our client was found Not Guilty by the Jury.
  • In July 2013 he represented a female client on two extremely serious charges of arson. She was accused of setting fire to her flat, on two separate occasions within a fortnight, in a large tower block. The London Fire Brigade investigators were insistent that the fires were intentionally lit and a highly qualified independent expert was instructed by Lansbury Worthington who concluded that this was not the case. She maintained her innocence and was found Not Guilty by the Jury at Kingston Crown Court.
  • In January and March 2013 he represented two different clients in separate but linked trials before Southwark Crown Court that were part of a major police investigation called ‘Operation Obsidian’ into police corruption and drug dealing. Both clients represented by Mr Paynter were found Not Guilty. (Daily Mail)
  • In December 2012, following a month long trial before Wood Green Crown Court, he secured an acquittal for a client accused of taking part in the London Riots. The Not Guilty finding was despite the client being arrested at the scene along with many others who were convicted. (Kilburn Times)
  • In September 2012 at Isleworth Crown Court he represented a client who was accused of serious football related violent disorder outside a pub in Shepherd’s Bush. Police officers said that they could recognise him from the CCTV footage of the incident. An application for the charges to be dropped was granted by the trial Judge when it was successfully argued that our client could no longer get a fair trial due to police failures in the disclosure of vital evidence. (Fulham Chronicle)
  • In January 2012 he represented a client in a five week long drug gangland shooting trial before Reading Crown Court, and although the client was convicted of robbery he was acquitted on the more serious firearms charge he faced.
  • In March 2012 he represented one of nine defendants accused of a religiously aggravated attack on a London Mosque. The trial lasted four weeks before Kingston Crown Court - the client was found Not Guilty.
  • In 2011 he defied the odds by obtaining the acquittal of a young man who was accused of class A drug dealing on a housing estate in West London. The defence put forward was duress of circumstance - that although he was not directly threatened by the men who told him to deal the drugs he felt so threatened he had no other choice but to deal them. This is a very difficult defence to mount and the prosecution did all they could ensure a conviction. The defence succeeded and our client walked free. If convicted he would almost certainly have faced a multiple year jail sentence.
  • He has also appeared on many occasions before the Court of Appeal and one of his cases, concerning how much sentencing weight Courts should give offences that a defendant asks to be taken into consideration (TICs), was reported widely in The Times newspaper and beyond. It is considered a guideline case.

Education and Professional Qualifications

William was called to the Bar in 2001