Commercial/ Business law
Richard’s practice is in commercial law, with a focus on litigation and arbitration of boardroom and M&A disputes. It therefore covers contract, fiduciary duties, company law, negligence, employment law and defamation. It often involves pursuing or defending allegations of fraud.
His commercial work includes a substantial international element, with claims in the oil, shipping, financial services, automotive, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and licensed betting sectors in the Commercial Court and under the LCIA rules of arbitration. Examples of recent work include:
- Acting in International arbitrations listed in the section below.
- Acting in M&A disputes in the pharmaceutical, gaming and travel sectors.
- Advising a multinational in relation to restrictive covenants and competition issues involved in a UK expansion.
- Advising in relation to a dispute over a collective investment scheme.
Richard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has a Diploma in International Arbitration through the Institute. His practice encompasses a significant element of work in this field.
Richard has acted in substantial arbitrations in the energy sector and has recently been instructed in a DIFC-LCIA international arbitration, acting in a fraud dispute over a contract for the sale of steel from China to Dubai.
Richard’s company and insolvency work includes unfair prejudice petitions and derivative claims in respect of minority shareholdings, reorganisation of international corporate groups, disputes around charges and challenging the conduct of insolvency practitioners.
Recent examples of relevant cases include:
- Complex claim over ownership of an SPV used for property development. Issues involved include breach of trust, fiduciary duty, unfair prejudice and rectification of the register. Value £7m.
- Acting for Claimant bondsmen against various banks in test claim about who bears the liability on the failure of agents trading with the benefit of a bonding scheme. Value estimated at £200m.
Richard’s employment work often overlaps with his commercial dispute resolution work. It has included pursuing directors for breach of fiduciary duties and breach of their contracts of employment and post-termination restrictive covenants. Recent examples of his work spanning employment and commercial include:
- Claiming injunctive relief for companies with the benefit of restrictive covenants in employment contracts and business sale agreements.
- Acting for a city broker in a £1.25m bonus dispute.
- Defending a High Court claim of £500k brought by a disqualified director on a management agreement.
- Acting for a CEO of a software engineering company in a claim for wrongful and unfair dismissal. Issues involved include a bad leaver clause and share options with a value of more than £250k.
- Dispute over M&A transaction involving earn out, share options and service contract. Issues include unfair prejudice in relation to the constitution of the company.
- Representing a senior creative in advertising involved in a dismissal claim, includes share options, bonus and salary to the value of £750k.
He also acts in pure employment matters, including substantial whistle-blowing cases and long-running sex, race and disability discrimination claims before Employment Tribunals. He has taken such cases to the EAT and the Court of Appeal. Examples include:
- Defending a sex, religious and pregnancy discrimination case in a small firm.
- A procedural appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), through the Employment Lawyers Appeals Advice Scheme (ELAAS) involving a major electronics company and then subsequently at the FH.
- Bringing a disability & religious discrimination and harassment case involving a major transport provider.
Richard’s professional negligence work overlaps with aspects of commercial dispute resolution as well as insolvency, recent examples include:
- An application against a liquidator under s.212 Insolvency Act 1986 for misconduct by refusing to recognise the applicant creditor’s security in winding up. Value £330k.
- Acting in a claim against solicitors acting on land transactions aimed at developing a football club’s stadium and grounds. Complex issues around insolvency and causation. Value £3m.
- A claim for auditors’ negligence in the sum of £6m.
Defamation / Privacy
His defamation experience includes acting for several high-profile celebrities, for employees defamed in references and for businessmen in commercial contexts.
He is a member of the ELAAS pro bono employment appeal representation scheme in the EAT. Richard has appeared pro bono in criminal appeals to the Privy Council.
Publications and Lectures:
Richard provides lectures to solicitors on his main areas of practice and has written articles for the Employment Lawyers Association Briefing as well as New Law Journal. Richard is Editor of the Employment Law Bulletin produced by Chambers.
He is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences, recent examples include:
Chancery Bar Association
Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
Employment Lawyers Association
Employment Law Bar Association
British Italian Law Association
LLB City University, London
MA (Classics) Edinburgh University
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
Diploma in International Arbitration (CIArb)
French, German and Italian