Professional practice

Richard has a broad commercial practice, and was ranked by Legal 500 in the ‘Commercial litigation – top ten under eight years’ call’ category in both 2017 and 2018. It notes that “He is very bright, pragmatic, and works well with junior and senior team members” and that he is “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.”

With a case mix that is split fairly evenly between commercial litigation and international arbitration, many of Richard’s matters have a cross-border element, often including choice of law and jurisdictional issues. In terms of substantive law, recent cases have involved: a wide range of contractual issues; financial transactions and instruments; joint venture/shareholder disputes; economic torts; and fraud. Some have also included treaty interpretation and other questions of public international law.

Richard has appeared both led and unled in a range of courts, including the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, QBD, Circuit Commercial Court (formerly Mercantile Court) and the County Court. He has experience of arbitration under a variety of major sets of arbitration rules, including ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, LME and LMAA, 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, and recently obtained pro bono costs orders totalling £26,000 for the Access to Justice Foundation upon the conclusion of a long-running case.

In 2018, alongside his full time practice, Richard was the Chair of the Young Bar, representing all barristers in England & Wales who are in their first seven years post-pupillage. As a result, he is comfortable with and has significant experience of leading meetings or discussions which involve a variety of senior stakeholders.

Previously, Richard acted as co-rapporteur for the Report of the COMBAR Sub-Group on Brexit and the Conflict of Laws, and has delivered seminars and appeared on panels on a variety topics, including at the CDR Summer Litigation Symposium 2017 (Recent Cases in the Financial List), the Legal Business Commercial Litigation Summit 2018 (Impact of LawTech on Litigation) and the CDR Autumn Litigation Symposium 2018 (Deal or No Deal: Civil Litigation and Brexit).

 

Arbitration & related court applications

Acting (led by Hugh Mercer QC and with Freddie Onslow) in an LMAA Arbitration 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 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 QC) on jurisdictional aspects of parallel ICC and SIAC Arbitrations relating to software licensing

Acted (led by David Foxton QC) in an LME Arbitration 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 QC) 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 QC and Tom Ford) in an ad hoc Arbitration 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 (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 (led by Edmund King) – advised generally and assisted in drafting various documents for another multi-million dollar Nigerian Telecoms shareholder pre-emption rights dispute

Assisted a Member of Chambers in advice concerning the enforceability of a foreign arbitral award under the New York Convention and the availability of anti-arbitration injunctions

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

Research for a Member of Chambers concerning the public policy exception to the enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention

Commercial dispute resolution

Leonteq Securities AG v Absolute Return Investment Advisers (ARIA) Ltd – acting 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 is proceeding under the Shorter Trials Scheme pilot

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

Law Debenture Trust v Ukraine [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm) – acted (led by Bankim Thanki QC, Professor Malcolm Shaw QC 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 ([2018] EWCA Civ 2026). 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) Timothy Brown (2) Santa Barbara Smokehouse Inc v The Kilworth Foundation (and 16 others) – acted (led by Richard Millett QC and subsequently Vernon Flynn QC) 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

(1) Simetra Global Assets Ltd (2) Richcroft Investments Ltd v Ikon Finance Ltd (and 11 others) – acted (led by Paul Stanley QC) in the earlier stages of a claim relating to the alleged misappropriation of the assets of investors by a forex trader, involving issues of dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and conspiracy

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

Acted for a company defending a debt claim on the basis that substandard services were provided by one of the world’s leading elevator manufacturers, successfully setting aside default judgment against it, later leading to a settlement shortly before trial

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

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

Advised upon numerous issues of contractual construction in a wide variety of different contexts

Conflict of laws & private international law

Advised on numerous occasions in relation to questions of service out of the jurisdiction under English law, jurisdiction under the Brussels Regulation, methods of service under the EU Service Regulation and the Hague Service Convention, service by alternative method, Letters of Request / Letters Rogatory under the Hague Evidence Convention and the EU Evidence Regulation

Farrer & Co v Gonzalez Gomez – acting as sole counsel in a claim for unpaid fees upon which summary judgment was successfully obtained and which is now challenged on appeal on grounds of purported non-compliance with the Hague Service Convention

Law Debenture Trust v Ukraine [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm) – acted (led by Bankim Thanki QC, Professor Malcolm Shaw QC 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 ([2018] EWCA Civ 2026). 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) 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 Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad for an Order compelling a number of medical practitioners to give evidence in relation to their research, for the purposes of defending a high value Multi-District Litigation in the United States of America

Drafted a protective claim for an insurer in a $7m multi-jurisdictional dispute relating to defective manufacturing of electronic components and advised on potential difficulties in relation to subrogation arising out of the Rome I and Rome II Regulations

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 Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad, for the purposes of a multi-million dollar divorce claim in the United States of America

Acted (led by Sara Cockerill QC) in support of a US Attorney taking a deposition following a Letter of Request and application under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad, for the purposes of the lender dispute in the New York Courts which arose out of the sale of Liverpool Football Club

Public international law

Law Debenture Trust v Ukraine [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm) – acted (led by Bankim Thanki QC, Professor Malcolm Shaw QC, 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. 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.

Assisted Professor Malcolm Shaw QC in the preparation of an expert report on the novel questions of treaty interpretation involved in Oschadbank v Russia, 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.

Advised (with Professor Vaughan Lowe QC, Dr Christopher Ward SC and Dr Stephen Tully) the Norfolk Island People for Democracy in an Opinion entitled ‘In the matter of the Status of Norfolk Island as a Non-Self-Governing Territory’ 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

Advised (with Professor Dan Sarooshi) 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

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

Assisted a Member of Chambers (during pupillage) in a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights

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)

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