Richard is an experienced commercial and property litigator. He is ranked by both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK, and specialises in commercial disputes, often involving an international element, and property disputes, frequently when arising as part of a commercial transaction.
Richard is described in recent editions of the guides as “excellent on his feet”, “commercially minded and efficient” and “talented, clever and very good at what he does”. Quotes from clients in the 2021 guides include:
“An excellent commercial junior…a very detailed and fierce advocate, and very tenacious in the courtroom.”
“a strong command of detail and of strategy and works hard relentlessly. He has a sharp and nimble mind.”
Disputes on which Richard acts are frequently in the context of joint ventures, supply and distribution agreements, agreements to provide services, commodities, energy and other resources. He is often instructed when issues of evidential or technical complexity arise, or when creative strategic thinking is required.
He is an author of the Practical Law Company’s guidance in the UK and US on international arbitration and the drafting of arbitration agreements and writes and gives seminars on litigating commercial and property disputes.
A keen interest in motorsport and collector cars has led to a number of related cases, involving driver, engineering and sponsorship contracts and the ownership of a Le Mans winning chassis.
Richard acts as counsel in arbitrations under the major institutional rules, including ICC, LCIA, SIAC and ICSID, as well as ad hoc arbitrations.
Amongst his recent cases, Richard was instructed by a foreign government in a seminal ICSID investment arbitration relating to the construction of a gas pipeline; a case that considered for the first time a number of issues concerned with state expropriation of property, such as adjudicating on the (international) lawfulness of decisions of local courts, and the enforcement of commercial arbitration awards through treaty arbitration.
Other recent or ongoing cases include:
- ICC arbitration in Geneva concerning contracts for the supply of engines for power stations
- ICC arbitration in London concerning a distribution agreement, representing a European manufacturer.
- Ad hoc arbitration in Singapore concerning a commodities contract, representing a South Korean conglomerate.
- LCIA arbitration in London concerning a financial services contract, representing a Jersey company.
- SIAC arbitration in Singapore concerning a ship sale contract and security, representing a Japanese bank.
Arising out of his arbitration work, Richard has developed a particular expertise in the workings and drafting of arbitration agreements and other dispute resolution provisions.
Richard acts regularly on significant commercial and business contract disputes both in court and in arbitration. Those most often arise out of joint ventures, supply and distribution contracts, contracts to provide services, commodities, energy and other resources. As a product of that work, Richard has developed particular expertise in claims for the misuse of confidential information in the commercial context.
Richard’s active participation in motorsport and knowledge of the industry has led to a number of motor and motorsport related cases.
Company & Partnership
Shareholder disputes (including unfair prejudice remedies) and partnership disputes are a regular feature of Richard’s commercial dispute resolution work.
Landlord & Tenant
Richard regularly acts for clients, both longstanding and new, on contested business lease renewals and dilapidations claims in respect of commercial premises.
Richard’s practice includes advising and representing clients in cases of taxation professional negligence.
Richard is regularly instructed on disputes that involve real property, security and land registration, often arising out of joint ventures that have gone awry, and for clients both longstanding and new.
Zarbafi v Zarbafi  EWCA Civ 1267 (CA)
(sham transactions and summary judgment)
ICC arbitration in London over a distribution agreement representing a European manufacturer (2013)
Stickley v Barclays Bank (2013), LTL 9/5/2013, (Registrar Derrett)
(the circumstances in which a lender may incur a direct duty in relation to the sale of security notwithstanding the appointment of Receivers)
Fitzwilliam v Richall Holdings Services  1 P&CR 19 (the effect of the ‘statutory magic’ of registration as proprietor under the Land Registration Act 2002 where the underlying transaction is fraudulent)
LCIA arbitration proceedings in London over a financial services contract representing a Jersey company (2012), and ICC arbitration proceedings in London over a distribution agreement representing a European manufacturer (2012)
Represented a South Korean conglomerate in ad hoc arbitration proceedings in Singapore (2012) (million+ US$ claim over a commodities supply agreement)
Twenty Two Clifton Gardens Ltd v Thayer Investments SA  2 EGLR 56 (the operation of leasehold service charge provisions in respect of legal costs)
Represented a Japanese bank in an arbitration in Singapore under the SIAC rules (2010) (million+ US$ claim and counterclaim concerning the sale and detention of a ship)
Michael Gerson (Leasing) v Greatsunny  3 WLR 1147 (Ch);  EWCA Civ 416 (CA) (equipment leasing and the proper interpretation of s.196 of the Law of Property Act 1925)
Gateshead Talmudical College v HMRC  UKFTT 244 (TC) (expert evidence on land law before a VAT tribunal)
Saipem S.p.a. v The Government of Bangladesh 25 June 2009, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/7 (a multi-million US$ ICSID arbitration concerning the construction of a gas pipeline in Bangladesh)
Rahman v QC Container Line (2008), High Court
(a multi-million US$ claim relating to the financing of a shipping feeder service from Singapore)
Goldengrove Estates v Chancerygate Asset Management (2007) Chancery Division
(a claim for an introduction fee by a BVI company in a multi-million £ property transaction)
Turkey v Awadh  2 P & CR 29;  EWCA Civ 382 (Court of Appeal)
(Leading case on presumed undue influence)
Mehra v Shah  EWCA Civ 632 (Court of Appeal)
(Trusts of land and partnership)
Re Arrows Grand Prix International Ltd  EWHC 1752 (Etherton J)
(Insolvency Proceedings brought by Formula One racing driver Jos Verstappen)
Berg v IML London  1 WLR 3271;  4 All ER 87 Queen’s Bench Division (Stanley Burnton J)
(Recusation for sight of without prejudice material post the Human Rights Act)
“Leading Junior” in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners Client Guides
“Very bright and very talented.” “He is good with clients and somebody who just rolls his sleeves up.” (Chambers and Partners, 2017)
‘An exceptional junior; his advice and legal submissions are of the very highest order.’ (Legal 500, 2016)
“He is very bright and absolutely dogged, but at the same time personable and user-friendly” (Chambers UK 2015)
“An experienced litigator” (Legal 500 2015)