Richard has a broad, multi-jurisdictional disputes practice covering high profile commercial litigation, public law, pensions and tax disputes. He has experience advising clients at all stages of a dispute - from how to avoid potential challenges when planning and implementing transactions through to eventual proceedings.
Commercial, public law and pensions litigation
Recent public examples of Richard’s work for major corporates, pension trustees and governmental bodies include:
- Advising Aston Martin on High Court litigation arising from arrangements with a distributor in the MENA region.
- Bupa group companies in connection with various contractual claims brought following a major business and share transfer, including responding to urgent injunction applications and establishing significant counterclaims and cost undertakings.
- Trustees of the BT, Marks and Spencer and Ford pension schemes in relation to their application for a judicial review of the UK Statistics Authority's decision to align RPI with CPIH from 2030.
- The Department of Transport and Government Legal Department in relation to judicial review and procurement claims brought by Eurotunnel and subsequent claims brought by P&O Ferries and their settlement.
- The Ministry of Defence on coordinated commercial and judicial review claims brought by entities ultimately controlled by Terra Firma in relation to service personnel housing.
- UK Asset Resolution Limited, Northern Rock Limited and other group companies on a number of actual and threatened public and private law claims.
- Banco Santander Totta in successful litigation in the High Court and Court of Appeal relating to the validity of interest rate swaps entered into on ISDA terms between the bank and Portuguese public sector companies.
- The Trustees of the BBC Pension Scheme on Part 8 proceedings brought by the BBC in connection with the power to amend future service rights.
- The Trustees of the Railways Pension Scheme on proceedings relating to the interaction of statutory and other rights for critical railway workers.
- Diageo in relation to successful resolution of claims from the liquidators of the Force India F1 team.
- A number of multinational entities on post-completion disputes, including on accounting and funding issues.
- BT Pension Scheme Trustees on the high profile Part 8 Proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal relating to the proper interpretation of trust documentation governing the uprating of pension payments.
Richard is also Co-head of the Tax Disputes practice. He has an invaluable blend of skills having spent a number of years in the Tax department before moving to the Disputes and Investigations group. He regularly advises on work that involves complex technical issues, tactical advice on strategy and broader representational risks and obligations where he has achieved robust and defensible commercial outcomes for clients. A very significant proportion of the work is confidential but recent examples include:
- Advising and acting for companies in the Vitol group in successfully challenging HMRC’s refusal to issue corporation tax closure notices and the subsequent appeals against those closure notices.
- Credit Suisse group companies on proceedings relating to the proper application of the bank payroll tax rules before the First Tier Tax Tribunal and parallel proceedings before the High Court on the compatibility of bank payroll tax and the EU state aid rules.
- A number of multinational groups on contentious tax matters, including in connection with intra-group financing and interest deductibility, transfer pricing, DPT and CFC issues, as well as EC state aid investigations.
- Coca-Cola European Partners on its Court of Appeal hearing on the tax treatment of vehicles provided to employees for work and private use.
- A major international joint venture on a multi-year transfer pricing dispute.
Contentious data privacy
Data (and evidence) is a critical element to almost all disputes. Complementing is broader practice, Richard is also a partner in our Data Protection and Privacy and Cyber hubs. As part of this, Richard advises on all aspects of cyber, data protection and privacy, including in relation to data/cyber breach prevention and response, DPA enforcement or privacy-related litigation.
- A major international insurance group in relation to a breach affecting customers throughout the world. This involved coordinating legal advice across approximately 60 jurisdictions, liaising with relevant regulators and bringing urgent court proceedings against individuals (known and unknown) responsible for the breach. Subsequent advice involved liaising with police and other law enforcement agencies, handling claims from potentially affected data subjects and managing broader reputational issues.
- A number of major UK and international groups on malicious cyber attacks, including immediate and ongoing engagement with employees, customers and regulators, as well as defending subsequent proceedings.
- The trustees of a major UK pension scheme with hundreds of thousands of individual scheme members on data protection and privacy issues arising and in the context of potential regulatory investigation and enforcement proceedings.
- An innovative tech and data analytics organisation on investigations by the ICO and related internal risk mitigation strategies.
Recent directory recognition:
Richard is recognised by Chambers and Partners 2023 as a leading individual for Tax Litigation and Investigations and is also listed in Legal 500 UK 2023 as a Next Generation Partner for Tax Litigation and Investigations and Pensions: Dispute Resolution.
Richard is described as “tremendously clever and has exceptionally good judgement”. “He understands the banking industry and has an extremely commercial approach focused on the practical objectives of the client”. Legal 500 2023, Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail
Sources describe him as “very bright and commercially aware, and highly responsive” and as “a really excellent communicator”. Legal 500 2023, Pensions: Dispute Resolution