Richard Liddell


M.A. (Cantab.) LL.M. (Cantab.)

Tel: +44 20 7822 2036
Email Clerk:

Year of Call: 1999



Rick’s practice primarily covers four areas: commercial disputes (including international arbitration), professional liability claims, construction and engineering litigation and sports-related work. 

He is recommended as a leading junior in the legal Directories for Professional Negligence, Construction and Sports law. Quotes from the Directories include:

“A superb advocate”; “Intelligent and meticulous”; “Very bright”; “Charismatic”; “Very personable”; “Good under pressure”; “Impressive work ethic”; “He is very well liked by clients, works hard and has a very amicable manner"; “Extremely user-friendly and proactive”; “Solicitors note his collaborative approach and the ease with which he integrates into a team.  His expertise spans the entire range of professional indemnity work”; “He manages difficult clients well”; “Very good on dispute strategy and tactics” and “Good at cutting through the noise to get at the points that matter.” [Professional Negligence]

“He's a talented performer in the courtroom"; “Sharp and extremely thorough”; “He is highly skilled, knows his brief and is not aggressive, but is certainly highly effective”; “Up-and-coming junior”; “Passionate about sport”; “Well on his way to becoming a leading junior in the field”; “Proving himself to be a rising star at the Bar for horseracing cases.” “A very competent barrister with a broad sports practice.” [Sport]

A 'quality junior' who "has the ability to pick up and analyse complex technical information”; “A very consistent performer at a high level”. [Construction] 

He prides himself on being an incisive and responsive barrister and a user-friendly team player. He places particular emphasis on having a command of the detail but without getting bogged down in trivia and being able to provide the best practical and commercial solution to legal problems.

He has wide advocacy experience and appears before the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, TCC and appellate courts as well as in sports disciplinary tribunals, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Rick relishes his role as an advocate.

In early 2015, Rick (led by Fiona Sinclair QC) acted for the successful respondent in the Supreme Court in Aspect Contracts v Higgins Construction plc, a landmark case in which the Court addressed for the first time the interactions between construction adjudication, limitation, negative declarations and unjust enrichment.

Rick has been involved in numerous other high-profile cases, including Aspect v Higgins (CA, 2013), Mengiste v Endowment Fund (CA, 2013), Elvanite v AMEC (TCC), Linklaters Business Services v How Engineering Services Ltd & Ors (TCC),The Innovator Litigation (substantial multi-party Commercial Court litigation), Amec Group Ltd v Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (multi-million pound construction insurance litigation), Mandrake v Countrywide (Chancery Division and CA), The TAG litigation and the Hillside Girl Inquiry (Horseracing corruption hearing). 

Rick is also recognised and regarded for offering expertise in the fields of sports law and sports disciplinary law. He is regularly instructed by World Rugby (formerly the IRB) and the International Association of Athletics Federations.  His cases include acting for an Olympic Gold Medalist in a selection appeal to British Rowing, the National Governing Body for Rowing; successful high profile doping appeals on behalf of the International Association of Athletics Federations at CAS; advising a professional footballer on a doping appeal to the FA; advising rugby players in doping appeals; and acting in an FA Rule K Arbitration. 

He is a member of COMBAR, PNBA, the Chancery Bar Association and the British Association for Sport and Law.  He is also a member of the IBA and IPBA.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Rick’s commercial dispute resolution experience includes freezing injunctions and pre-action disclosure applications.

He was awarded a first in International Commercial Litigation whilst at Cambridge University and is particularly interested in the finance of international trade and has experience of claims involving conflict of laws.

He undertakes a wide range of commercial work, including general commercial litigation, sale of goods, product liability, partnership disputes and commercial contract claims.

Recent and ongoing cases include:

Rick is a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).

International Arbitration

Rick has experience of domestic and international arbitrations, including:

His cases include:

Rick is a member of the LCIA’s young arbitration group, YIAG and COMBAR.

Insurance & Reinsurance

A large amount of Rick’s work has an insurance element.  As an incident of his construction and professional liability work, Rick frequently advises on policy interpretation and coverage issues.  He has been retained in several international reinsurance arbitrations of high value and was instructed in respect of coverage issues relating to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

He has extensive experience of insurance disputes involving the construction of policies, the avoidance of cover and other policy issues generally (including aggregation clauses) and is also regularly instructed by insurers in subrogated recovery actions.

Recent and ongoing cases include:

Rick’s interest in the field of insurance is not just confined to the cases in which he is instructed.  Rick regularly gives talks and seminars to solicitors and insurers including recent seminars on HLB Kidsons v Lloyds and Aspen Insurance v Pectel and talks on “Design and Construct Insurance” and “Limits on Liability in Professional Indemnity Policies”.

He also assisted Lord Justice Rix in his preparation for The Peter Taylor Memorial Lecture: “Should Sprung lose its spring?”    The Court of Appeal in Sprung v Royal Insurance (UK) Ltd [1999] 1 Lloyd’s Rep IR 111 had decided that there can be no claim for consequential loss by an insured for breach of a contract of insurance.  Rick first had to consider the decision in Sprung when he was instructed on behalf of Countrywide Assured Group PLC.  In the case of Mandrake v Countrywide [2005] EWCA Civ 840 (Rick was junior counsel to Michael Soole QC), the Court of Appeal held that it was bound by the present state of the law (Sprung) but Rix LJ stated that it seemed to him that the ‘controversial issues raised…may well interest their Lordships’ House’.

Construction & Engineering

‘Quality junior who has a strong practice in disputes involving civil and structural engineers and geotechnical consultants on a domestic and international level. He is regularly led by prominent silks in forums including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.He's a very consistent performer at a high level." "He's an incredibly hard worker."' - Chambers & Partners, 2016

'He has the ability to pick up and analyse complex technical information' - Legal 500, 2015

A large part of Rick’s practice involves construction and engineering disputes. Listed as a leading junior in Construction by Legal 500, he has extensive experience of advising and acting for employers, contractors and sub-contractors in a range of disputes, typically involving complex technical evidence.  He also has wide experience of dealing with claims against or involving various different construction professionals including architects, engineers, M&E consultants and quantity surveyors.

He regularly appears in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC).

Rick also has experience of arbitrations, adjudications, construction professional indemnity issues and contribution disputes.

Examples of his cases include:


Rick is a member of the Adjudication Society.

Professional Liability

"Has a very impressive work ethic and is extremely user-friendly and proactive." - Chambers & Partners, 2016

'A superb advocate'' - Legal 500, 2015

Rick specialises in all fields of professional liability, with particular emphasis upon accountants and auditors, construction professionals, lawyers, and insurance brokers.

Listed as a leading junior in Professional Liability in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, he prides himself on being an incisive and responsive barrister and a user-friendly team player.  He is meticulous and places particular emphasis on being able to provide the best practical and commercial solution to legal problems. He has wide advocacy experience and relishes his role as an advocate.

Rick is also regularly instructed to appear at mediations and round table conferences.  He approaches all aspects of the mediation process (including drafting position papers and the advocacy element) with a clear understanding of its purpose and difference from adversarial litigation.

Rick’s interest in this field is not just confined to the cases in which he is instructed.  Rick also gives talks and seminars on the subject and is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Rick regularly acts both for and against accountants, auditors and tax advisers in litigation and disciplinary proceedings.  He is familiar with the audit process and applicable accounting and auditing standards. He is also frequently instructed in claims (against IFAS, solicitors, accountants and tax advisers), which require detailed knowledge and understanding of various tax regimes (both in the UK and abroad).

Examples of his extensive experience in this area include:

Rick was also engaged in litigation involving tax schemes (Information & Communication) technology: The Innovator Litigation.

Rick has also acted for and against the then Accountancy Investigation & Discipline Board (AADB) and the FRC (as Junior Counsel to Ben Hubble QC) in a number of high-profile matters:

Construction Professionals

Rick regularly acts in claims against construction professionals: most frequently architects and engineers, but also M&E consultants and project managers.

By way of example of Rick’s experience in this field:

Financial Services Professionals

Rick has experience of claims involving financial services professionals and/or which require a consideration of the financial services statutory regime.

Examples of his recent work include:

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Rick is frequently instructed in claims involving insurance brokers and agents.  He regularly acts in multiparty actions where both insurers and insurance intermediaries are parties.

Examples of Rick’s recent work include:


Rick has extensive experience of acting for both claimants and defendants in claims against lawyers – both solicitors and barristers.  His experience includes wasted costs litigation and claims relating to Share Purchase Agreements, commercial disputes, property transactions and mortgage fraud.

He also has very considerable experience of claims arising from lost and mishandled litigation.  Rick’s experience in his first few years of practice of defending clinical negligence and personal injury claims (including being regularly instructed by the Metropolitan Police) has proved invaluable in dealing with professional liability claims arising out of an original dispute in the clinical negligence and personal injury fields.

His cases include:

Surveyors & Valuers

Rick has extensive experience in respect of claims against valuers and surveyors, both those brought by lenders and those brought by property owners.

Rick also acted for Christie & Co (valuers) in a five day trial in the first known decision (according to Simpson on Professional Negligence) in which a party has recovered damages against an independent expert appointed jointly by the parties to carry out a valuation of a freehold licensed premises pursuant to an option in a lease.

He is currently acting for valuers in a claim brought by a short term finance company relating to the alleged overvaluation of an equestrian property in Newmarket.

He has wide advocacy experience and relishes his role as an advocate.  Amongst other things, he has experience of and expertise in cross-examining expert witnesses, including valuers.

His experience includes:

Veterinary Surgeons

Rick has experience of defending claims brought against veterinary surgeons.  His recent cases include:

Rick has also given talks on the liability of veterinary surgeons generally and more specifically in the context of pre-purchase examinations and the increasing number of claims relating to the buying and selling of horses.


Rick has wide experience of disciplinary work and this part of his practice is split between Professional Disciplinary Work and Sports Disciplinary Work. 

In relation to the former, he has a strong track record in the financial disciplinary arena and his cases include being retained by the then Accountancy Investigation & Discipline Board AADB).  He acted for the AADB (as Junior Counsel to Ben Hubble QC) in:

He has also acted for Respondents and is currently retained by an accountant to defend allegations of Misconduct brought by the Financial Reporting Council (led by Ben Hubble QC).

In addition to prosecuting and defending accountants, Rick also has experience of defending disciplinary complaints brought against surveyors.  He has been instructed to defend complaints brought against a Chartered Surveyor under the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Arbitration Scheme (administered by the Chartered Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

On the sports law front, he is regularly instructed by the British Horseracing Authority to appear at Inquiries, disciplinary hearings and appeal hearings involving cases of corruption and financial impropriety and allegations of bringing racing into disrepute and other improper conduct.  He has also acted for jockeys and trainers in disciplinary matters instructed by the National Trainers Federation.  He has also acted in doping cases both for the prosecuting body (the International Association of Athletics Federations) and the athlete (a professional football player).

Rick has been described in the legal directories as “highly skilled, knows his brief and is not aggressive, but is highly effective”, “proving himself to be a rising star at the Bar for horseracing cases” and “good at cutting through the noise to get at the points that matter.”


Rick is developing an expertise in the specialist field of costs.  His experience includes:

Sports Law

‘Noted for his expertise of athletics, horse racing and rugby. He receives instructions in a wide range of sports-related work, including regulatory, disciplinary, commercial and doping matters.’  - Chambers & Partners, 2016

'A very competent barrister with a broad sports practice' - Legal 500, 2015

Listed as a leading junior in Sports Law by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, Rick has a strong sports practice and is highly regarded for offering expertise in the field of sports law and sports disciplinary law. 

Drawing on his experience, expertise and advocacy skills fostered in commercial litigation and professional disciplinary matters, Rick is to be found regularly appearing in sports disciplinary tribunals and investigative inquiries (for both the regulatory authority and participants) and is frequently instructed in high-profile matters in the sporting arena.

Rick is particularly pleased to be able to combine his legal work with his love of sport (both watching and playing).  He also enjoys collecting sports memorabilia and is an avid supporter of Sunderland AFC!

His cases include:

       -   cases of corruption and financial impropriety;

       -   allegations of bringing horseracing into disrepute and other improper conduct;

       -   prohibited substance cases;

       -   non-triers;

       -   interference disputes;

       -   ownership disputes.

 -   BHA v Jeff Pearce, Geoff Huffer, Jerry O’Dwyer & others: Disciplinary enquiry concerning (i) the running of SABRE LIGHT (ii) the identity of the horse’s owner (iii) suspicious betting.  Rick was led by Graeme McPherson QC.

 -   BHA v Neil Leach & others: Disciplinary enquiry concerning (i) the provision of Inside Information by the travelling Head Lad of Nicky Richards (licensed trainer) to a Betfair punter (ii) the fraudulent practice of placing lay bets (on Betfair) against a number of horses using Inside Information.

 -   BHA v Phelans: Disciplinary enquiry concerning (lay) bets placed by the Phelans on a horse, which they owned, to lose.

 -   Appeared before both the Discplinary Panel and the Appeal Board in the MOSSMANN GORGE Inquiry – the Inquiry centred on the conduct of David Flood (trainer) and Hugh Taylor (assistant).  The gelding had been found to have been given an intravenous injection on racecourse premises contrary to the Rules of Racing.  The Panel’s decision (upheld on appeal) was that Mr Flood (with the assistance of Mr Taylor) had administered an injection of Bute, a prohibited substance, on the day of the race.

 -   Junior Counsel to Graeme McPherson QC before the Disciplinary Panel in Seamus Heffernan’s appeal against a 14-day ban for deliberately impeding LIBBRETIST (ridden by Frankie Dettori) in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

       -   acting for insurance brokers that were being sued by a former professional rugby union player;

       -   advising on insurance issues relating to a dispute involving a (UK sport) National Governing Body.

Rick is a member of the British Association for Sport and Law.

Property Damage

Members of chambers regularly act for companies, individuals and their respective insurers in relation to claims arising out of damage to property caused by fire, flood, explosion, storm, impact, subsidence, heave or water penetration.  We act for insurers in subrogated recovery claims, and for defendants (and their insurers) in defending claims and/or passing liability on to other parties.  Many of us were involved in the litigation arising out of the Buncefield explosion.

Members are experts in the issues of negligence, nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher, ignis suus and vicarious liability which typically need to be considered and applied in property damage claims.

The combination of specialisms found at 4 New Square makes us perfectly suited to property damage work.  The claims commonly raise insurance questions, they frequently occur in the construction or product liability context, and they often involve claims against construction and other professionals. We have expertise in each of the fields of insurance, construction, product liability and professional liability.

Property damage claims typically require the involvement of expert witnesses in relation to liability (forensic scientists like Burgoynes and Hawkins, as well as experts on the standards to be expected of professionals and contractors).  The claims also usually require the involvement of experts to deal with quantum (forensic accountants to assess financial losses, quantity surveyors and valuers to assess the cause and extent of property damage losses).  Our leading expertise in the field of professional liability means that we are experienced in managing teams of experts, understanding and presenting the evidence of those experts, and undermining the evidence the opposing sides experts through skilled cross-examination.

Members of chambers are recommended in Chambers & Partners in the field of Property Damage.