M.A. (Cantab.) LL.M. (Cantab.)
Tel: +44 20 7822 2036
Email Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 in the legal Directories in both Professional Negligence and Sports law. Quotes from the Directories include:
“Intelligent and meticulous”; “Very bright”; “Charismatic”; “Very personable”; “Good under pressure”; “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]
“Sharp and extremely thorough”; “He is highly skilled, knows his brief and is not aggressive, but is certainly highly effective”; “Up-and-coming junior”; “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” [Sport]
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.
Rick has been involved in numerous 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 the British Horseracing Authority and the IRB (the International Rugby Board). His cases include acting for an Olympic Gold Medalist in a selection appeal to British Rowing, the National Governing Body for Rowing; a successful high profile doping appeal on behalf of the International Association of Athletics Federations at CAS; advising a professional footballer on a doping appeal to the FA.
He is a member of COMBAR, PNBA, the Chancery Bar Association and the British Association for Sport and Law.
Rick specialises in all fields of professional liability, with particular emphasis upon accountants and auditors, construction professionals, lawyers, and insurance brokers.
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 acts both for and against accountants, auditors and tax advisors. Examples of his wide experience in this field include:
- Junior counsel to Roger Stewart QC in an action by the trustees in bankruptcy of a firm of solicitors against its former practice accountants.
- Retained by a famous singer/songwriter in a claim against his former accountants and tax advisors.
- Acting for a firm of accountants in a claim concerning capital gains tax and income tax advice.
- Acted for a firm of accountants in a claim arising out of advice concerning capital allowances due to the Claimants from their position as owners of a Nursing Home.
- Instructions directly from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Rick has also recently been retained by the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) in respect of the conduct of (i) a major firm of accountants relating to the audits of the Financial Statements of a UK FTSE 250 Company and (ii) the Company’s European Financial Controller.
He has also been engaged in litigation involving tax schemes (Information and Communication Technology): The Innovator Litigation.
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:
- He was junior counsel in a £20 million dispute against project managers and computer consultants jointly advising on the construction of an automated distribution warehouse (Universal Music v E.C. Harris).
- He is currently acting for a number of architects in design and build contracts.
- He has acted for Claimants in claims against the designers and installers of water systems in residential developments.
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:
- Acting on behalf of an independent financial advisor (Part 20 Defendant) in The Innovator Litigation.
- Acting for a financial advisor in a claim relating to pension mis-selling.
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:
- Junior counsel to Roger Stewart QC in a multi-million pound claim against a firm of insurance brokers in relation to their failure to effect suitable and valid insurance for the Claimant construction company.
- Acting for brokers defending a substantial claim for damages. The claimant’s property was severely damaged by fire and Insurers subsequently declined cover. The claimant alleged that, but for the negligent advice given by the brokers, insurers would have provided cover.
- Defending brokers against a claim for alleged negligence in failing to obtain suitable terms or to advise the insured of them in relation to commercial property insurance.
- Acted for brokers sued by a former professional rugby player.
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:
- Acted for Bar Mutual and two QCs in a case described by the Lawyer as “…one of the biggest professional negligence battles of ” [Haskew v Pannone & Ors]
- Junior Counsel for Rylatt Chubb following the decision of Peter Smith J to make a wasted costs order against it. Appeared in the Court of Appeal (led by Graeme McPherson QC) who held that (a) the wasted costs order would need to be set aside on the grounds that the judge should have recused himself from hearing the wasted costs application and (b) any restored stage 1 application would need to be considered by a different judge. [Rylatt Chubb v Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray and others  EWCA Civ 1003]
- Successfully representing a barrister and the BMIF in a High Court strike out application against the claimant.
- Acting for a well-known firm of solicitors in a multi-million pound claim relating to the alleged negligent drafting of a Share Purchase Agreement.
- The TAG Litigation  EWHC 939 (Comm): high-profile case examining the solicitors’ responsibility towards ATE insurers in the wake of the collapse of ‘The Accident Group’ claims management scheme.
- Sweet v Blight Skinnard Solicitors: acted for the firm of solicitors in a 2-day trial in a claim arising from their failure to inform the claimant purchasers prior to purchase that the lane required to access their land was privately owned and that they did not have any right to use the land.
- Acted for a large supermarket chain in a substantial claim against a firm of solicitors arising from the purchase of a plot of land. Junior counsel to Roger Stewart QC.
- Various mortgage fraud cases.
- Advising on various issues relating to lenders’ claims against solicitors.
- Junior counsel to Justin Fenwick QC in defending claims brought against a firm of solicitors relating to alleged undersettlements of claims for Vibration White Finger against British Coal.
- Junior Counsel to Simon Monty QC in a 2 week solicitors’ negligence trial: Woodfine Leeds Smith (A Firm) v Richard Russell  EWHC 603 (QB).
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:
- Acting for valuers in numerous lenders’ claims.
- Junior Counsel to John Powell QC in a claim against an estate agent for alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
- Structural surveying cases – both residential and commercial.
- Junior counsel to Paul Sutherland in a claim arising from a pre-purchase inspection of a helicopter.
- Defending disciplinary complaints brought against surveyors.
Rick has experience of domestic and international arbitrations, including:
- LCIA Arbitrations
- Reinsurance and insurance arbitrations
- Construction and engineering arbitrations
- Commercial arbitrations
- Sports arbitrations
His cases include:
- Acting for an airline in a LCIA arbitration relating to aircraft leasing.
- Acting in several international reinsurance arbitrations of high value.
- Acting for insurers in defending a claim for a declaration that the avoidance of the contract of insurance was wrongful. The claim arose out of a Trade Contract relating to the construction of a prestigious office in Kent. Led by Roger Stewart QC.
- Various arbitrations relating to professional indemnity coverage disputes led by Justin Fenwick QC.
- Representing Chartered Surveyors in claims brought under the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ‘Surveyors Arbitration’ Scheme.
- Acting for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
Rick is a member of the LCIA’s young arbitration group, YIAG and COMBAR.
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:
- Acting for one of the IFAs (Part 20 Defendant) in The Innovator Litigation.
- Acted for The Attorney General to the Prince of Wales in a multi-million pound claim that arose out of the explosion at the Buncefield oil depot.
- Represented the manufacturer and supplier of chain links in a claim for damages brought against it by a specialist manufacturer of mooring systems (used in fish farms) in respect of substantial losses suffered as a result of the fractures of chain links.
- Represented a partnership P (specialising in licensing sports programming and products to third party broadcasters and DVD distributors) in a commercial contract dispute relating to the distribution of a DVD series previewing the 2006 FIFAWorld Cup.
- Acted as junior counsel (led by Sue Carr QC) for a specialist provider of veterinary services for the commercial poultry industry in a sale of goods and professional liability claim concerning the supply of a vaccine.
- Defending a share warranty claim.
- Represented a large auction house in a claim involving the conversion of a number of drawings of L S Lowry.
- The multi-party litigation that ensued following the collapse of The Accident Group.
Rick is a member of the Commercial Bar Association (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:
- Acted for Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A (Insurers) in a multi-million pound insurance dispute. Rick was junior counsel to Roger Stewart QC. The insurers had refused to indemnify the claimant contractors under a professional indemnity policy in respect of a counterclaim brought against the claimant by the defendant sub-contractor. The issues included breach of notification condition precedent, inadequate scope of notification and reliance on a policy exclusion and on dual insurance.
- Advising professional indemnity underwriters whether a Chartered Surveyor was entitled to an indemnity under his policy of professional indemnity insurance.
- Advising on a policy coverage dispute between a firm of auctioneers and valuers and their professional indemnity insurers.
- Advising an insured whether or not they were entitled to an indemnity from its insurers in respect of its loss of profits arising out of a fire at a factory.
- Advised a very large US company on a number of insurance issues arising out of a fire at a factory. Rick was junior to Roger Stewart QC.
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  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  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’.
Rick is developing an expertise in the specialist field of costs. His experience includes:
- Resisting and obtaining costs capping orders.
- Successfully contesting a very senior Counsel’s CFA uplift in a personal injury claim.
- Junior counsel to Justin Fenwick QC in litigation concerning the alleged under-settlement (by a firm of solicitors) of a number of claimants’ vibration white finger claims; a number of issues (generic and otherwise) in respect of costs required to be considered.
- Advising on appropriate costs orders in the Regulatory field (for the British Horseracing Authority).
- Appearing for both claimants and defendants in respect of applications for conditional (costs) orders and security for costs.
- Lecturing firms of solicitors on the ramifications of the Part 36 costs regime and potential pitfalls for the unwary.
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:
- Prosecuting a major firm of accountants relating to the audits of a UK FTSE 250 Company
- Prosecuting the European Financial Controller of a UK FTSE 250 Company
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.”
Construction & Engineering
A large part of Rick’s practice involves construction and engineering disputes. 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:
- Currently acting for the main contractor in a substantial multi-party dispute brought by the Co-operative Group arising from the construction of a warehouse in Rugby. [Co-operative Group v Birse Developments Ltd.] Led by Fiona Sinclair QC.
- Acted for the successful appellant in Aspect v Higgins  EWCA Civ 1541. Led by Fiona Sinclair QC. This was a case which raised an “interesting and important issue” as to when in terms of limitation of action a party, which has paid money to another in compliance with an adjudicator’s decision, needs to issue its proceedings to seek to have the dispute determined in its favour and have the money repaid to it.
- Advised and acted for an Employer in adjudication proceedings brought by its Contractor in relation to the construction of a clause in their contract. Led by Roger Stewart QC.
- Acted for the successful defendant planning consultants in a two week TCC trial in front of Coulson J. Led by Anneliese Day QC. [Elvanite v AMEC (2013) EWHC 1191]. This case develops the growing body of case law surrounding planning consultants. The case also raises interesting issues concerning exclusion clauses (including UCTA), limitation of liability, estoppel, waiver, extensions of time and the correct measure of loss.
- Acting for a building services company providing electrical services in a claim relating to the supply of Busbar trunking systems.
- Acting for one of the largest development teams in the UK in respect of an action pursued by home owners arising from flooding to their property said to be caused by the development of a neighbouring housing estate.
- Acting for a company providing a range of civil, building and mechanical engineering services across the rail network in relation to a claim brought by home owners arising from flooding to their properties said to be caused by relining works to a culvert running through a railway embankment.
- Acted for Gratte Brothers Limited, electrical sub-contractors, in a multi-party and multi-million pound dispute arising from damage caused to a landmark London office building (Bankside 2) caused by a diesel oil spill. Led by Graham Eklund QC.
- Acted for a roofing contractor in a three week TCC trial arising from a major fire at a factory. Led by Graham Eklund QC.
- Acted for a Claimant (Managing Agent of the Property) in a TCC claim arising from various escapes of water from pipework in a residential development in London.
- Acted for the mechanical and electrical sub-contractor in a multi-million pound TCC trial (4 weeks) concerning corroded chilled pipework at Linklaters’ offices in London. Junior counsel to David Turner QC.
- Acted for Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A (Insurers) in a multi-million pound construction insurance dispute arising from damage to the surface of a motorway. Rick was junior counsel to Roger Stewart QC.
- Acted for insurers in defending a claim for a declaration that the avoidance of the contract of insurance was wrongful. The claim arose out of a Trade Contract relating to the construction of a prestigious office in Kent. Led by Roger Stewart QC.
Rick has a strong sports practice and is highly regarded for offering expertise in the field of sports law and sports disciplinary law.
Rick is recommended as a leading junior in Sport Law in Chambers & Partners’ Guide to the Legal Profession 2011.
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:
- Advising the International Rugby Board (the world governing and law-making body for the game of Rugby Union) on a number of matters including the proposed introduction of a new Policy and an accompanying amendment to one of its Regulations.
- Rick is regularly instructed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to advise and to appear at Enquiries, disciplinary hearings and appeal hearings. His varied and wide-ranging cases include:
- cases of corruption and financial impropriety;
- allegations of bringing horseracing into disrepute and other improper conduct;
- prohibited substance cases;
- interference disputes;
- ownership disputes.
- High-profile cases in which Rick represented the BHA include:
- 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.
- Instructed by the National Trainers Federation to represent one of its members, Alan Berry (trainer) who was at the centre of a high-profile Jockey Club corruption investigation concerning the running of HILLSIDE GIRL. In light of the evidence that emerged at the Inquiry, the corruption charges against Mr Berry (that included conspiracy and connivance) were withdrawn.
- Instructed by a jockey in respect of a proposed appeal against a decision by the BHA’s Chief Medical Officer that he is not fit to ride on medical grounds.
- Recently asked to represent a BMX rider in an appeal to British Cycling (the governing body of cycling sport in the UK) concerning a ban imposed for abuse of an official.
- Sports related commercial contract disputes: he acted in a High Court commercial contract dispute concerning the distribution of 2006 FIFA World Cup DVDs. Rick was instructed by Bird & Bird Solicitors.
- Instructed in professional liability and insurance cases with a sports element. His cases include:
- 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.
Rick has experience of defending claims brought against veterinary surgeons. His recent cases include:
- Defending a specialist provider of veterinary services for the commercial poultry industry in a multi-million pound claim arising from the sale and supply of a vaccine. Junior Counsel to Sue Carr QC.
- Acting for a veterinary surgeon in a claim arising from the death of a famous event horse.
- Acting for a veterinary surgeon in a claim arising from the treatment of sand cracks.
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.
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.