HON. BASIL WILLIAMS, S.C., M.P
Mr. Williams has 32 years experience as an attorney-at-law, his first position in the profession being Legal Assistant to the Executive President of Guyana (Mr. L.F.S. Burnham – 1983 -1985 and Mr. H.D. Hoyte – 1985-1988). During this time he has had the opportunity to attend conferences of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, represented Guyana at the Caribbean Congress of Labour and served as a City Councillor of the Mayor and Councillors of the city of Georgetown. All of this enabled him to observe the inner workings of government from the highest office in the land.
At the end of that period Mr Williams embarked on his phenomenal path of building his own private practice and has become a well known household name due to his numerous high profile cases and equally successful results. Mr. Williams has emerged as the best trial lawyer of his generation.
He has been a member of the Central Executive Committee of the People’s National Congress since 2001 and he has been involved in matters including Labour and Trade Unions while also serving as the party’s Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee (2001 -2003) where he spearheaded the legal thrust against extra-judicial killings and other breaches of the rule of law including human rights. He was elected Vice-Chairman of the Party in 2004.
In 2003 he was elected as a Member of Parliament and has since been the Shadow Minister for the Public Service Ministry and the Ministry of Labour and Local Government. As a Parliamentarian Mr Williams has and continues to serve on many Committees of Parliament including the Appointments Committee, Disciplined Forces Committee and the recently constituted Parliamentary Standing Committee on Oversight of the Security Sector
Mr Williams served as a Director on the Board of Directors of Demerara Woods Limited and the Guyana National Cooperative Bank. He has been exposed to the National Defense University, Centre for Hemispheric Defense Studies security courses as well as Mediator Skill Training courses. He is a trained mediator in conflict resolution.
Mr Williams’ many successes were foreshadowed by his exploits as an undergraduate in law at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. He won a landslide victory over his Jamaican rival against seemingly overwhelming odds to become the Member of the Guild of Undergraduates, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. He then had the responsibility of coordinating the 13th Inter-Campus Games which included Mona Campus, Jamaica, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago and Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.
Presently, he is the elected Chairman of the PNCR and in the 10th Parliament from 2011 to 2015 he served as APNU and the Opposition's Shadow Attorney General and the Minister of Legal Affairs. He was also the Shadow Minister of Labour and the Public Service Ministry. In 2014 he was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. A hallmark of that gridlocked Parliament was that as Chairman of the Special Select Committee on the Local Government Reform Bills consensus was achieved to enable the bills to be taken to the floor of the National Assembly where they were successfully passed. Mr. Williams also served on the Special Select Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill and represented the Leader of the Opposition in the Budget-Cuts and other cases taken to the Courts by the former Attorney General, Anil Nandlal.
He was also Counsel for the PNCR in the Rodney Commission of Inquiry and prior to that represented numerous victims in the Linden Commission of Inquiry. He was a member of the team which successful brought proceedings against the Minister of Finance, Ashni Singh for unlawfully spending monies that were disapproved by the National Assembly.