Professional practice

Leading Junior 2024

Richard is an experienced litigator and international arbitration counsel, with an advocacy and advisory practice which spans the full range of domestic and international commercial disputes, as well as overlapping issues in areas such as proceeds of crime, public corruption and public international law. He has been recognised as one of the leading practitioners amongst his peer group, featuring three times in the Legal 500’s ‘Top Ten under Eight Years’ Call’ and subsequently as a ‘Rising Star’ for Commercial Litigation, as well as a ‘Rising Star’ in each of the ‘Litigation’ and ‘UK jurisdiction’ categories at the Euromoney Legal Media Group Rising Star Awards (Europe). He also appears in the ‘Expert Guides – Rising Stars’ for ‘Litigation’ for 2021 and 2022.

Richard’s recent matters are substantial, complex, and often involve multiple parties. They regularly require him to be ‘hands on’ and to take a leading case management role, and have involved the conduct of oral advocacy against significantly more experienced senior juniors and KCs. On the client side, his previous experience as Chair of the Young Bar (2018), including convening and participating in discussions with representatives of Government, the Civil Service and other senior stakeholders, means that he is comfortable advising in conference at the highest levels.

Since 2019, Richard has acted as part of a team of counsel, and latterly as lead junior counsel, for the Settlement Parties in SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors (also referred to as Re Gerald Martin Smith / the Orb Litigation), one of the few cases in the Commercial Court of a sufficient size and complexity to require case management by a designated judge (Mr Justice Foxton). That matter, which has generated a large number of reported judgments, is typical of much of Richard’s practice, including a broad range of multi-jurisdictional issues, procedural challenges and the intersection of a wide variety of different substantive practice areas. Other notable recent cases include:

  • Procuritas Partners AB & Anr v Blomfield and Mentzer [2023] EWHC 167 (KB) (KBD – Letter of Request for deposition evidence from investment bankers for use in Danish private equity dispute)
  • Phoenix v Harbour & Ors [2023] EWCA Civ 36 (Court of Appeal – equitable assignment / Loan Notes and Liquidation Inter-Creditor Settlement Agreement)
  • Ticehurst & Ors v Harbour & Ors [2022] EWHC 3053 (Comm) (Commercial Court – litigation funding agreement / operation of commercial trusts)
  • R v Luckhurst [2022] UKSC 33, (Supreme Court – effect of restraint orders under POCA on reasonable legal expenses in parallel civil proceedings, Art 6 and Art 1 Protocol 1 ECHR)
  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd v James Kemball Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 33 (Court of Appeal – corporate reorganisation / inducing breach of contract)
  • Ukraine v Law Debenture Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2026 (Court of Appeal – written submissions only – non-justiciability, foreign act of state, breach of international law, conflict of laws concerning State capacity, authority and Eurobonds)

Richard also has considerable experience of arbitration under a variety of major sets of arbitration rules, including ICC, LCIA, LMAA, LME, UNCITRAL and SIAC, as well as ad hoc arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. He also takes cases via Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) where the subject matter is appropriate.

Richard has delivered a variety of seminars and webinars, and appeared on panels on a wide range of topics, including LIDW 2023 Climate Change Law Conference (Climate Change in Commercial Disputes: Corporate Greenwashing),  Asset Recovery Americas 2022 (I say discovery, you say disclosure (and that’s before we get to 1782 and Norwich Pharmacal), CIArb London Branch’s December 2021 Lunchtime Discussion Webinar (Tribunal Secretaries – a path to arbitral efficiency or an abdication of responsibility?), the Law Society Civil Litigation Autumn Conference 2021 (Impact of PD57AC on Preparing Witness Statements), LIDW 2021 (Career Development in the New Normal (Whatever that is)).

 

What Others Say

The Legal 500 2024, Fraud: Civil & Banking Finance

Tenacious and diligent, and a good fighter in court.”

 

“Pleasant, intelligent and hard working. Always good to work with and will do his best to understand what drives clients and solicitors in particular cases and to tailor his approach, strategy and style of advice accordingly. On my list to recommend to my colleagues.”

“A promising and rising barrister whose grasp of the law is impressive.”

Not afraid to express an opinion (which is always considered) and to think strategically. He also works well as part of a team. One to watch.”

“Very bright, pragmatic, and works well with junior and senior team members.”

Arbitration

Richard has considerable commercial arbitration experience under a variety of major sets of arbitration rules, including ICC, LCIA, LMAA, LME, UNCITRAL and SIAC, as well as ad hoc commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. The arbitrations in which he has been involved, or given advice in relation to, have been seated in various jurisdictions around the world as well as London, and a number of them have been governed by foreign law (both civilian and common law), in whole or in part, which has given rise to complex jurisdiction and applicable law issues. The underlying subject matter of the arbitrations has been extremely varied, reflecting the diversity of Richard’s general commercial / commercial chancery practice. Examples include:

Advised a company as to its options regarding the continuation of a distributorship agreement and the commencement of an ICC Arbitration (2022), including the application of the emergency arbitrator provisions under the ICC Rules and the availability of injunctive relief in Court under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

Acted (leading Lorraine Aboagye) for the Claimants in a consolidated LCIA Arbitration (2021­-2022) against a State and a State-owned entity in a c.US$250m claim related to the failure to ensure exclusive supply of LPG to the Claimants and their subsequent exclusion from a long­-term project to build an energy terminal. The claim settled after the Claimants’ claim submissions had been provided and two procedural hearings (at the latter of which the Claimants obtained peremptory orders against the Respondents).

Acted as sole counsel in an LCIA Arbitration (2020) concerning the failure to remit payments due in respect of fees and charges incurred in the performance of a Direct Sale, Direct Purchase contract relating to crude and refined petroleum products. The case involved consideration of the principles of agency, as well as legal and equitable set off, and was ultimately settled the evening before the procedural hearing.

Acted (led by Charles Ciumei KC) in an LCIA Arbitration (2019) on behalf of a former partner of a global law firm, involving inter alia the principles governing the interpretation and termination of LLP agreements, as well as the meaning and effect of the employment provisions of the Rome I Regulation and the application of mandatory provisions of foreign law, unfair prejudice and restraint of trade. The case settled at the time that further disclosure was due to be provided by the law firm.

Acted (led by Paul Key KC) in a SIAC Arbitration (2018-2019) concerning software licensing, involving consideration of the impact of non-assignment and transfer clauses on the parties to the arbitration agreement and the substantive agreement, in the context of a corporate reorganisation of one of the parties under foreign law.

Acted (led by Hugh Mercer KC and with Freddie Onslow) in an LMAA Arbitration (2016-2019) resulting from the collapse of a Share Purchase Agreement between two ferry companies and involving counterclaims based on the alleged mismanagement of the target company, involving a 4 week hearing with an amount in dispute of up to €90m.

Acted as sole counsel in an ICC Arbitration (2018) concerning the failure to obtain an export licence and the consequent status of certain prepayments, as well as the effect of a settlement agreement.

Acted (led by Paul Key KC) on jurisdictional aspects of an ICC Arbitration (2018) relating to software licensing, including the circumstances in which there is waiver, estoppel or repudiation of the arbitration agreement.

Acted (led by David Foxton KC) in an LME Arbitration (2017-2018) in a $30m mining / commodities dispute concerning non-delivery and force majeure with counterclaims of inducing breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy and breach of the arbitration agreement, leading to a settlement shortly after a jurisdiction hearing.

Advised (with Toby Landau KC) a party in relation to the termination of a Joint Venture agreement, the proper valuation of the shares in the joint venture company and the arbitration provisions in the agreement.

Instructed to draft a specific aspect of the Statement of Claim in an ICC Arbitration concerning a multi-million dollar agriculture Joint Venture in a CIS state, involving issues of misrepresentation, mismanagement and breaches of a variety of duties.

Acted (led by David Joseph KC and Tom Ford) in an ad hoc Arbitration (2014-2016) under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 concerning a several hundred million euro renewable energy Joint Venture and the resulting shareholder dispute, involving questions of breach of fiduciary duty and constructive trusts.

An UNCITRAL Arbitration (2014) (led by Edmund King) – advised generally and assisted in drafting various documents in relation to resisting set aside/pursuing enforcement of a multi-million dollar arbitration award in a Nigerian Telecoms shareholder pre-emption rights dispute.

An UNCITRAL Arbitration (2014) (led by Edmund King) – advised generally and assisted in drafting various documents for another multi-million dollar Nigerian Telecoms shareholder preemption rights dispute.

Banking & financial services

Richard has been involved in a range of banking & financial services disputes, with a particular focus on issues which arise out of or are related to corporate investment, including: the alleged proprietary effect of certain transaction documents, the rights and duties of funded parties under litigation funding agreements, introducer / broker commissions, investment adviser conduct, bond issues and sales, and FX trading. In addition, Richard’s specialist expertise in obtaining cross-border evidence (detailed separately) is often sought in the context of complex financial disputes where the main proceedings are taking place in the US. Examples of Richard’s work where the main proceedings are taking place in England & Wales include:

Advising an SME in relation to issues concerning events of default and potential acceleration of a suite of commercial loans worth c£3m against the background of business interruption due to COVID-19

Phoenix v Harbour & Ors [2023] EWCA Civ 36 – acted (led by Daniel Saoul KC) for the Settlement Parties on a point arising out of the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation concerning whether a Loan Note and a Liquidation Inter-Creditor Settlement Agreement effected an equitable assignment of the shareholder surplus in several offshore liquidations.

Ticehurst & Ors v Harbour & Ors [2022] EWHC 3053 (Comm) – acted (led by Elizabeth Jones KC and Daniel Saoul KC, and with Lorraine Aboagye) for the Settlement Parties on one of the enforcement issues arising out of the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation concerning whether the funded parties under a litigation funding agreement had an active role as trustees and were required to take positive steps to get in assets, as well as broader questions about the operation of commercial trusts. The subsequent approved ruling made significant adverse costs orders against the remaining trustee-beneficiaries and disapplied their indemnity in respect of those costs orders.

Acted on behalf of a company seeking a declaration of non-liability resisting a prospective claim from an investment adviser for a transaction fee alleged to have been earned through completion of an asset sale agreement, where the advice was ostensibly sought in relation to raising new debt (settled after provision of the company’s draft statement of case).

Advised a University concerning an ongoing investment made for the purposes of establishing a community retail Bank, including consideration of its status as a corporation incorporated by Royal Charter and also as an exempt charity.

Acting on behalf of an introducer / broker in relation to an entitlement to a six-figure transaction fee alleged to have been earned by a €88m share sale agreement having been closed.

Advised a corporate financier in relation to an entitlement to a six-figure introduction fee alleged to have been earned by introducing a company to an investment fund which led to a €53m investment by the fund.

Scorpio LR2 Pool Ltd v Winson Oil Trading Pte Ltd [2021] EWHC 1305 (Comm) – acted (led by Jern-Fei Ng KC) on behalf of a party asserting temporary financial impossibility as a defence to mandatory injunctive relief under a maritime letter of indemnity.

Leonteq Securities AG v Absolute Return Investment Advisers (ARIA) Ltd – acted as sole counsel in a dispute concerning the non-delivery of €135 million of corporate bonds resulting in a claim for damages in excess of £2.5 million and raising complex issues of agency, including the operation of the undisclosed and unidentified principal doctrines in the context of regulated financial services. The case proceeded under the Shorter Trials Scheme pilot (following a contested application to remove it from the scheme: [2018] 10 WLUK 699) before a settlement was achieved.

Law Debenture Trust v Ukraine [2018] EWCA Civ 2026 and [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm) – acted (led by Bankim Thanki KC, Professor Malcolm Shaw KC and Simon Atrill) on behalf of the Ukraine seeking to resist the Trustee’s summary judgment application in respect of the non-payment of a $3bn Eurobond issue and in preparing Ukraine’s appeal to the Court of Appeal. The case raised a variety of complicated questions concerning the relationship between international law and English commercial law, including conflict of laws questions concerning the capacity of states when operating under domestic law, and the impact of public international law where the defendant is a state in the context of duress and implied terms, particularly regarding the status of unincorporated treaties and customary international law.

(1) Simetra Global Assets Ltd (2) Richcroft Investments Ltd v Ikon Finance Ltd (and 11 others) – acted (led by Paul Stanley KC) in the earlier stages of a claim relating to the alleged misappropriation of the assets of investors by an FX trader, involving issues of dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and conspiracy. This involvement in the case included interlocutory applications in relation to disclosure, for evidence from a third party under the EU Evidence Regulation, and for the release of monies put up to fortify the undertaking on a freezing order based on a change in circumstances.

Acted for an individual defending a claim by Canada Square Operations Limited (which handled the run off of Egg Plc) in unjust enrichment involving questions of the bank-customer relationship under the Direct Debit Guarantee and Indemnity scheme.

Commercial chancery disputes

Richard has a strong commercial chancery practice which covers a broad range of business disputes, for example in relation to: share / asset purchases (including SPA and APA warranties / representations), joint ventures, corporate governance and director conduct, control or entitlements as members or officers of corporate vehicles (including companies, LLPs, LPs, partnerships), unincorporated associations, trusts and offshore structures. Richard’s cases have involved many different equitable doctrines and principles, including: express, constructive and resulting trusts, bona fide purchasers, solicitors’ liens, equitable assignment, trustee and receiver indemnities, security interests, equitable priorities, tracing, various reliefs under the Court’s equitable jurisdiction (including Beddoe, Berkley Applegate, Buckton, Public Trustee v Cooper), accessory liability and the economic torts, conversion and bailment. Examples of litigation-oriented cases (arbitration experience is detailed separately) include:

SMA Investment Holdings Ltd v Harbour & Ors [2023] EWHC 428 (Comm) – acted (led by Daniel Saoul KC and with Lorraine Aboagye) for the Settlement Parties on one of the enforcement issues arising out of the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation and following on from Ticehurst & Ors (see below), concerning a jurisdiction challenge against orders requiring the transfer of assets into the hands of new trustees, a late application for a stay of proceedings and abuse of process.

Phoenix v Harbour & Ors [2023] EWCA Civ 36 – acted (led by Daniel Saoul KC) for the Settlement Parties on a point arising out of the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation (see below) concerning whether a Loan Note and a Liquidation Inter-Creditor Settlement Agreement effected an equitable assignment of the shareholder surplus in several offshore liquidations the Respondents’ Notice which put in issue the conceptual nature of rights and obligations under a trust did not ultimately need to be determined).

Ticehurst & Ors v Harbour & Ors [2022] EWHC 3053 (Comm) – acted (led by Elizabeth Jones KC and Daniel Saoul KC, and with Lorraine Aboagye) for the Settlement Parties on one of the enforcement issues arising out of the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation (see below) concerning whether the funded parties under a litigation funding agreement had an active role as trustees and were required to take positive steps to get in assets, as well as broader questions about the operation of commercial trusts. The case also considered the validity of the purported appointment of a replacement trustee, trustee removal, and the appointment of receivers over trust property. The subsequent approved ruling made significant adverse costs orders against the remaining trustee-beneficiaries and disapplied their indemnity in respect of those costs orders.

Ulrich Pelz v Harbour & Ors – acted (leading Lorraine Aboagye) in proceedings related to the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation (see below) which would determine whether Mr Pelz would outrank certain of the Settlement Parties’ equitable interests at a Phase II Trial. A final settlement was achieved between the PTR and the commencement of the 2 week Commercial Court trial in October 2022.

HPII UK Ltd & Anr v Ruhan and Stevens ­– acted (led by Daniel Saoul KC) in proceedings related to the SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors litigation (see below) which would determine issues of principle affecting HPII’s ability to establish upstream tracing claims with the potential to outrank the Settlement Parties’ equitable interests which were due to be determined at a Phase II Trial to take place at a later date. Issues included the application and interpretation of sections 21 and 32 of the Limitation Act 1980, but a final settlement was achieved between the PTR and the commencement of the 3 week Commercial Court trial in November 2021 (which as between the remaining parties was later reported at [2022] EWHC 383 (Comm)).

SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors (also referred to as Re Gerald Martin Smith / the Orb Litigation) – since 2019, Richard has acted as part of a team of counsel (led variously by Daniel Saoul KC, Nathan Pillow KC, Tim Akkouh KC), and latterly as lead junior counsel (to Lorraine Aboagye), in this case which is one of the few cases in the Commercial Court of a sufficient size and complexity to require case management by a designated judge (Mr Justice Foxton). Richard appears on behalf of the SFO, Enforcement Receivers, the Viscount of the Royal Court of Jersey, Stewarts Law, Harbour and Joint Liquidators of several BVI companies, in a dispute involving 48 parties in a range of jurisdictions, which determined equitable rights in a variety of assets including shares, real property and chattels following a major fraud. The case involved very complicated issues relating to express, constructive and resulting trusts, bona fide purchasers, equitable liens and security interests, equitable priorities and tracing. The trial judgment following a 7 week trial ([2021] EWHC 1272 (Comm)) and the associated strike out judgment (SFO & Anr v HPII UK Ltd & Ors [2021] EWHC 1273 (Comm)) are leading authorities in this area, including in relation to the availability of constructive trusts over real property in Jersey (a point on which Richard was responsible for the oral advocacy) and the principles of backwards tracing. Various interlocutory decisions were also reported, including on technical case management issues arising out of dealing with multi­party trust claims: [2020] EWHC 788 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 1280 (Comm) (advertisement and guillotine orders); [2020] EWHC 2077(Comm); [2020] EWHC 3548 (Comm); [2021] EWHC 2803 (Comm) (costs).

Anglia Maltings (Holdings) Ltd v Hemera Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft MbH – acting for the claimant seeking substantial damages for fraudulent breach of warranty under a share sale agreement, alleged to arise due to undisclosed non-compliance with applicable environmental regulations.

Moyses Stevens Flowers v Flower Station Ltd and Cohen – acting for the claimant seeking an account following a demerger / business separation and including issues of agency, directors’ duties and the position of shadow and de facto directors.

Acting or advised as sole counsel in several different disputes arising out of corporate sales claiming for introduction / broker fees on completion.

Advised a University concerning an ongoing investment made for the purposes of establishing a community retail Bank, including consideration of its status as a corporation incorporated by Royal Charter and also as an exempt charity.

Advised a company about claims for breach of warranty and misrepresentation relating to the content of a customer database purchased as part of an asset purchase agreement.

Advised a majority shareholder in relation to allegations of unfair prejudice and mismanagement of an SME being made by the minority shareholder and former director.

Fighting Fit Sports Limited v Stadium Capital West Limited acted pro bono (via Advocate/the Bar Pro Bono Unit) as sole counsel in long-running proceedings culminating in a 2 day trial. The dispute concerned the disposal of the fencing equipment and other items by a commercial landlord following the termination of the lease of a unit, raising difficult issues of contractual interpretation, conversion, bailment and equity. Pro bono costs orders totalling £26,000 were obtained for the Access to Justice Foundation.

(1) Timothy Brown (2) Santa Barbara Smokehouse Inc v The Kilworth Foundation (and 16 others) – acted (led by Richard Millett KC and subsequently Vernon Flynn KC) in a dispute between two factions of a family in relation to the failure of a settlement agreement intended to effect the division of a complex set of offshore and other corporate structures, leading to a settlement shortly before trial. At the disclosure stage, the case involved consideration of difficult privilege issues arising out of the corporate structures, including legal professional privilege and legal advice privilege, common interest privilege, without prejudice privilege, and the impact of a partially completed mediation upon those doctrines.

Advised (with Paul McGrath KC) on issues of unfair prejudice, derivative claims and reflective loss under BVI law.

Commercial dispute resolution

Richard’s practice spans the full range of commercial disputes, whether domestic or international. He has advised or represented individuals, companies and other legal entities, international organisations, NGOs, States and Governments in a diverse range of scenarios and legal contexts. Richard’s broad experience across other related practice areas means that he is often able to bring a different perspective to the resolution of the disputed issues. Examples (aside from those more naturally described under a sub-specialism) include:

Attorney General of Trinidad & Tobago ­– advising (led by Kennedy Talbot KC) the Attorney General of Trinidad & Tobago in relation to a set of sealed proceedings.

James Kemball Ltd v “K” Line (Europe) Ltd [2022] EWHC 2239 (Comm) – acted (led by James Collins KC) on behalf of the Defendant to a breach of contract claim arising from the alleged failure to provide the required number of container transport jobs to a road haulage company after the ONE merger between Japanese container line businesses. Issues included the operation of the trigger events within a contractual termination clause, the scope and operation of a “sole and exclusive remedy” clause and the proper quantification of any losses.

R v Luckhurst [2022] UKSC 33 – acted (led by Kennedy Talbot KC) for the CPS in the leading Supreme Court case concerning the effect of the POCA framework for restraint orders on the availability of exceptions permitting reasonable legal expenses to be paid out in parallel civil proceedings, including issues relating to Art 6 and Art 1 Protocol 1 ECHR.

Rodney Leach v (1) Robin Stainer (2) AC Owners Club Ltd (3) Ashley Woodford (4) Melody Woodford acted on behalf of the Defendants in relation to a claim for a declaration as to ownership and a final injunction sought against the Defendants in relation to the contested ownership of a 1964 AC Cobra. The case settled after the PTR.

Scorpio LR2 Pool Ltd v Winson Oil Trading Pte Ltd [2021] EWHC 1305 (Comm) – acted (led by Jern Fei Ng KC) on behalf of the Defendant, raising the defence of financial impossibility as it applies to mandatory injunctive relief under a maritime letter of indemnity.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd v James Kemball Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 33 – acted (led by James Collins KC) on behalf of the Defendant in an appeal concerning a claim for inducing breach of contract said to arise out of the ONE merger between Japanese container line businesses. The Court below found that it had jurisdiction over the claims, but awarded the defendant indemnity costs due to the Claimant’s failure to comply with its duty of full and frank disclosure: [2019] EWHC 3422 (Comm). On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the jurisdiction finding and held in favour of the Defendant that there was no reasonable prospect of success on the Claimant’s inducing breach of contract argument. The case is now one of the leading authorities on the economic tort of inducing breach of contract.

Edward James v DK Engineering Acquisition Consultancy Limited acted on behalf of the Defendant in relation to the Claimant’s attempts to rescind his purchase of a Ferrari 330 GTC and a Maserati Sebring on the basis of misrepresentation, breach of condition and various provisions of consumer protection legislation. The case settled after a successful mediation.

S v R – acted pro bono (via Advocate/the Bar Pro Bono Unit, leading Katherine Ratcliffe) on behalf of a former wife in discharging a without notice freezing injunction obtained by the former husband under section 37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, including on the basis of a failure to respect the procedural safeguards and the principles of full and frank disclosure.

Seatech Commercial Diving Services Ltd v Global Marine Systems Ltd – acted as sole counsel on behalf of the Defendant, seeking to resist having to make payment to the Claimant for the installation of sub-sea cables and tubing at an offshore wind farm, on the basis that the contract was inadequately performed.

Advised a litigation funder (with Charles Ciumei KC) as to the potential for Data Protection class actions to be brought in the courts of England & Wales in relation to data breaches under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 2018 / GDPR, in light of the decision in Lloyd v Google, as well as consequential advice on the extent of the application of those regimes, the extent of the jurisdiction of the courts of England & Wales, the impact of Brexit, the quantum of damages available, and the principles relating to Group Litigation Orders and the designation of representative actions / certification of class.

X Ltd v Y – acted (led by Charles Ciumei KC) on behalf of an insurer bringing claims for breach of confidence, inducing or procuring breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy and on the basis of a joint tort against an individual who received confidential information from a former employee of the insurer. A settlement was achieved when service of the Particulars of Claim was imminent and had been supplied in draft.

Brookes (t/a Brookes & Co) v Atlantic Marine & Aviation LLP [2018] EWHC 1168 (Comm) – acted as sole counsel in the trial of preliminary issues as to whether the provision of a fee estimate was, in the circumstances of the case, a condition precedent to liability for solicitors’ fees in respective of certain maritime claims, and also whether an implied retainer had arisen in virtue of the work done.

Farrer & Co v Gonzalez Gomez – acted as sole counsel in a claim for unpaid fees which included consideration of the proper construction of Art 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention (i.e. international service by postal channels), including applications for summary judgment, security for the costs of an appeal and an application for security in the amount of the judgment sum.

Advised (via Advocate/ the Bar Pro Bono Unit) an individual who had been the victim of an alleged fraudulent scheme involving a fictitious educational institution.

Conflict of laws & private international law

The international nature of many of Richard’s cases means that he is familiar with the usual conflict of laws and private international law issues which arise in the course of litigation or arbitration. This includes: State immunity (jurisdictional and enforcement); jurisdiction challenges / questions as to the scope of jurisdiction or arbitration agreements, including competing dispute resolution clauses; service (including the Hague Service Convention and service by alternative methods); cross-border evidence (including the Hague Evidence Convention and bilateral Civil Procedure treaties); determination of applicable law and mandatory / public policy overrides (including the Rome Convention and Rome I Regulation); and foreign governing law (both civil law and common law, including past cases governed in whole or part by Italian, Greek, German, Ukrainian, BVI, Indian, Jersey, and US law).

Employment, Partnership and LLP Disputes

Richard has advised and acted for both employees and employers (and their equivalents in LLPs and other structures) in various business protection disputes, including in particular in relation to issues such as breach of contract, enforceability of PTRs, breach of confidence, and the full range of economic torts. Examples include:

Digital Realty Trust v Coogan – acted as sole counsel on behalf of an employee who had previously been subject to interim orders requiring disclosure / access to devices and accounts to be given to IT professionals for a search for allegedly confidential information. A settlement was achieved after exchange of skeleton arguments prior to a CMC at which the sustainability of the employer’s case in light of those findings was due to be scrutinized.

Advised an company as to the steps which could be taken against a former employee and former contractor who appeared to be in possession of and utilising the employer’s confidential information.

Advised (with Charles Ciumei KC) a partner at a global law firm as to the requirements and restrictions under the firm’s LLP agreement, prior to a negotiated withdrawal from the partnership.

Acted (led by Charles Ciumei KC) in an LCIA Arbitration (2019) on behalf of a former partner of a global law firm, involving inter alia the principles governing the interpretation and termination of LLP agreements, as well as the meaning and effect of the employment provisions of the Rome I Regulation and the application of mandatory provisions of foreign law, unfair prejudice and restraint of trade. The case settled at the time that further disclosure was due to be provided.

X Ltd v Y – acted (led by Charles Ciumei KC) on behalf of an insurer bringing claims for breach of confidence, inducing or procuring breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy and on the basis of a joint tort against an individual who received confidential information from a former employee of the insurer. A settlement was achieved when service of the Particulars of Claim was imminent and had been provided in draft.

Advised on the settlement of a commercial dispute between partners in a limited partnership (LP) structure.

A v B Bank – acted (via the Free Representation Unit) on behalf of the claimant in a two day unfair dismissal hearing before the East London Employment Tribunal concerning contraventions of the bank’s IT and client onboarding policies.

Fraud, Asset Recovery and Proceeds of Crime

Richard’s cases routinely involve allegations of fraud and he has a broad range of experience with the substantive causes of action involved in such cases, and the procedural applications involved in securing assets, establishing claims against them, and taking enforcement steps if required. The majority of his commercial chancery experience (detailed above) involves these types of issues arising across multiple jurisdictions and requires an in-depth understanding of the operation of some of the most complex onshore and offshore legal structures which are encountered when litigating such claims.

This expertise has led to Richard appearing in some of the most difficult, complicated and novel cases in the related (civil) field of proceeds of crime. These are as follows:

Criminal Justice Act 1988:

SFO & Anr v LCL & 45 Ors – acting (led by Daniel Saoul KC) for private parties in proceedings concerned with establishing their pre-existing proprietary rights so as to enjoy priority over the SFO’s c£70m confiscation order, consideration of the interaction of those rights with the operation of orders for management / enforcement receivership, including costs orders and the Piggott condition jurisdiction, variation of restraint orders and the issuance of a certificate of inadequacy.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002:

DPP v Krasniqi – acting for the Defendant in one of the first sets of civil recovery proceedings brought by the DPP under Part 5, where a CRO valued at c£2m is sought based on several separate allegations of foreign criminality said to have been committed by non-parties to the proceedings so as to meet the dual criminality threshold.

R v A – acting (led by Kennedy Talbot KC) for the CPS in restraint proceedings where a restraint order over assets worth c£75m has been secured by consent pending an ongoing criminal investigation.

R (Private Prosecutor) v B – acting (led by Kennedy Talbot KC) for a private prosecutor in restraint proceedings where a restraint order over assets exceeding £2m has been secured pending the resolution of the private prosecution.

R v Luckhurst [2022] UKSC 33 – acted (led by Kennedy Talbot KC) for the CPS in the leading Supreme Court case concerning the effect of the POCA framework for restraint orders on the availability of exceptions permitting reasonable legal expenses to be paid out in parallel civil proceedings, including issues relating to Art 6 and Art 1 Protocol 1 ECHR.

Public international law

Richard has a long-standing academic interest in public international law, which includes a master’s thesis on State Succession to Treaties (as part of his BCL) and past participation in the Directed Studies programme of the world-renowned Summer Course at the Hague Academy of International Law. In the course of his practice, Richard regularly deals with the treaties concluded under the auspices of the Hague Conference concerning aspects of international civil procedure. Further, Richard has been involved in a number of cases which have raised technical or controversial PIL issues, including:

A consolidated LCIA Arbitration (2021-­2022) ­– advised the Claimant as to certain State immunity issues (both jurisdictional and enforcement) which were likely to arise in its commercial claim against a State and State-owned entity.

Law Debenture Trust v Ukraine [2018] EWCA Civ 2026 and [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm) – acted (led by Bankim Thanki KC, Professor Malcolm Shaw KC, and Simon Atrill) on behalf of the Ukraine seeking to resist the Trustee’s summary judgment application in respect of the non-payment of a $3bn Eurobond issue and in preparing Ukraine’s appeal to the Court of Appeal. The case raised a variety of complicated questions concerning the relationship between international law and English commercial law, including conflict of laws questions concerning the capacity of states when operating under domestic law, and the impact of public international law upon English law in the context of duress and implied terms, particularly regarding the status of unincorporated treaties and customary international law.

Oschadbank v Russia – assisted Professor Malcolm Shaw KC in the preparation of an expert report on the novel questions of treaty interpretation involved in the arbitration, the first Bilateral Investment Treaty claim in relation to Russia’s conduct during the annexation of Crimea to have had an Award rendered. In particular, the report examined the treatment, for jurisdictional purposes, of investments which were once on domestic territory where that territory has subsequently been subject to a forcible change of control by another sovereign state.

In the matter of the Status of Norfolk Island as a Non-Self-Governing Territory– advised (with Professor Vaughan Lowe KC, Dr Christopher Ward SC and Dr Stephen Tully) the Norfolk Island People for Democracy in an opinion addressing the legal aspects of whether Norfolk Island can be considered a Non-Self-Governing territory within the meaning of Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations as part of the ongoing high profile dispute between Norfolk Island and Australia.

‘In the matter of an International Organisation’ – advised (with Professor Dan Sarooshi KC) an international organisation in relation to complex issues of the international law of the civil service, including the potential liability of an international organisation for third party torts committed against members of staff on mission.

Shipping & admiralty

Richard’s experience is focused on issues which arise at the intersection of the shipping and transportation industries (which therefore requires an understanding of relevant operational aspects) with broader corporate or commercial disputes. Examples include:

James Kemball Ltd v (1) K Line (Europe) Ltd (2) Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 33 – acted (led by James Collins KC) on behalf of the second Defendant in an appeal concerning a claim for inducing breach of contract said to arise out of the ONE merger between Japanese container line businesses. The Court below found that it had jurisdiction over the claims, but awarded the second Defendant indemnity costs due to the Claimant’s failure to comply with its duty of full and frank disclosure: [2019] EWHC 3422 (Comm). On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the jurisdiction finding and held in favour of the second Defendant that there was no reasonable prospect of success on the Claimant’s inducing breach of contract argument. The claim against the first Defendant on the basis of breach of contract now continues.

Advised owners as to the governing law and limitations of certain contractual claims relating to replacement parts for a vessel ordered under the ORGALIME General Conditions, as well as jurisdiction and governing law over potential tort claims relating to the original parts.

Acted (led by Hugh Mercer KC and with Freddie Onslow) in an LMAA Arbitration (2016-2019) resulting from the collapse of a Share Purchase Agreement between two ferry companies and involving counterclaims based on the alleged mismanagement of the target company, involving a 4 week hearing with an amount in dispute of up to €90m.

Brookes (t/a Brookes & Co) v Atlantic Marine & Aviation LLP [2018] EWHC 1168 (Comm) – acted as sole counsel in the trial of preliminary issues as to whether the provision of a fee estimate was, in the circumstances of the case, a condition precedent to liability for solicitors’ fees in respective of certain maritime claims, and also whether an implied retainer had arisen in virtue of the work done.

Assisted a Member of Chambers in advice concerning an LMAA arbitration claim against an African State arising out of a Joint Venture.

Taking of Evidence Abroad/Letters of Request

Richard has a sought-after specialist practice in relation to all matters involved in obtaining cross-border evidence. This includes obtaining evidence in support of foreign proceedings / obtaining foreign evidence in support of domestic proceedings, dealing with all aspects of inbound and outbound Letters of Request / Letters Rogatory, the Hague Evidence Convention and bilateral Civil Procedure treaties, as well as issues relating to the availability in the cross-border context of Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust relief, third party disclosure and pre-action disclosure. Richard’s advice on such matters is most often sought on a free standing basis, but is equally available in the course of existing proceedings or as specialist counsel brought in to deal with those aspects of a case. He is also available to be nominated as an examiner for the purposes of taking depositions where the subject matter is appropriate.

In addition to ad hoc advice provided on many occasions, examples include:

Procuritas Partners AB & Anr v Blomfield and Mentzer [2023] EWHC 167 (KB)  represented the applicants (a private equity fund and one of its officers) seeking deposition evidence from senior officers of an investment Bank pursuant to a Letter of Request from the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court, for the purposes of their defence of proceedings in Denmark alleging liability for misrepresentations in the conduct of a corporate sale.

Health Plans Health Inc v American National Insurance ­representing the witness / depone in relation to a Letter of Request obtained by the applicant from the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas relating to reinsurance claims arising out of a ‘bloodless’ heart transplant.

The Burlington Insurance Company v Young – represented the witness / deponee in relation to a Letter of Request obtained by the applicant from the Superior Court of the State of California relating to proceedings in which it is defending an insurance claim. The case involves issues of English law privilege which have required special arrangements to be made for the Senior Master to sit as judicial examiner.

Advised the applicants for a Letter of Request seeking documents and oral examination from representatives of an asset manager for the purposes of defending investor claims in a US securities litigation.

Starman Hotel Holdings LLC v Travelodge Hotels Limited & Ors – advised Travelodge as to how to respond to and challenge an order for documents and oral examination made pursuant to a Letter of Request issued by a US District Court in US proceedings brought to enforce an arbitral award. A consensual variation to the order was achieved which limited it to the production of a much narrower selection of specific documents.

(1) Simetra Global Assets Ltd (2) Richcroft Investments Ltd v Ikon Finance Ltd (and 11 others) – drafted an (ultimately uncontested) application for evidence from a third party in another EU member state under the EU Evidence Regulation.

(1) 3M Company (2) Arizant Healthcare Inc v Leaper et al – acted as sole counsel for the applicants at the hearing of their contested application under the Hague Evidence Convention compelling a number of medical practitioners to give evidence in relation to their research, for the purposes of defending a high value mass personal injury claim brought as a Multi-District Litigation in the US.

Drafted a Letter of Request and supporting application to the English Court for an Order compelling a third party to give evidence in England under the Hague Evidence Convention, for the purposes of a multi-million dollar divorce claim in the United States of America.

Acted (led by Sara Cockerill KC) in support of a US Attorney taking a deposition following a Letter of Request and application under the Hague Evidence Convention, for the purposes of the inter-creditor dispute in the New York Courts which arose out of the sale of Liverpool Football Club.

Career

2018 Chair of the Young Bar of England & Wales

2017 Vice Chair of the Young Bar of England & Wales

2013-14 Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers (with Edmund King KC)

2013 Called to the Bar, Lincoln’s Inn

2012-13 Research Assistant to Prof Ben McFarlane, focusing on Proprietary Estoppel

2010 Research Assistant to Prof Johannes Köndgen, focusing on European Banking Regulation

2009 Research Intern, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, as part of the ADR Project Team

Education

2012-13 BPTC, City Law School (Very Competent)

2011-2012 BCL, Brasenose College, Oxford (Distinction)

2011 Directed Studies in Public International Law, Hague Academy of International Law

2009-10 ERASMUS Programme, University of Bonn

2007-11 BA in Jurisprudence with Law Studies in Europe, Brasenose College, Oxford (1st Class Hons)

Awards

2013 Eastham Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

2012 Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn

2011 Barry Nicholas Studentship for the BCL, Brasenose College

International Law Fund Scholarship, Hague Academy of International Law

All Souls Prize for Public International Law (1st Place in Final Honour School)

College Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Final Honour School

2010 Targetjobs Law Undergraduate of the Year (UK-wide competition)

Honourable Mention for Best Oral Advocate in the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

2009 John Marks Prize for Best Oral Advocate in the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot

2008 Open Exhibition, Brasenose College