Richard Liddell KC’s practice primarily covers four areas: commercial disputes (including insurance coverage and international arbitration), professional liability claims, construction and engineering litigation and sports law.
Many of his cases have an international dimension and he is frequently instructed in commercial and construction disputes in the Middle East before the DIFC Courts (where he has rights of audience) and in arbitration claims.
In addition to acting as an advocate and adviser, Rick is also regularly appointed as Arbitrator.
Rick took silk in 2020 and is recommended as a leading practitioner in the legal Directories for Professional Negligence, Construction and Sports law. Quotes from the Directories include:
“A superb advocate”; “We received amazing feedback for him from our clients”; “A team player and is excellent on his feet”; “Intelligent and meticulous”; “Very bright”; “Charismatic”; “Very personable”; “Good under pressure”; “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]
“Extremely talented”; “A very able courtroom performer and shrewd tactician”; “has the ability to pick up and analyse complex technical information”; “demonstrates particular strength in cases concerning architects, specialist consultants and civil and structural engineers. He regularly acts as sole counsel in adjudications and arbitration and has appeared as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is becoming steadily more involved in disputes occurring in the Middle East and East Asia”. [Construction]
“He’s a talented performer in the courtroom”; “A welcome addition to the front Bench – a brilliant sports law lawyer with exceptional professional regulatory skills as part of his all-round talent. A vast array of sports-related experience and expertise. Tactical nous. Excellent manner with clients”; “Extremely talented in this field, having acted across a number of sports. A powerful advocate and a joy to work with”; “He is highly skilled, knows his brief and is not aggressive, but is certainly highly effective”; “Proving himself to be a rising star at the Bar for horseracing cases.” “A very competent barrister with a broad sports practice.” [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 also has a very strong arbitration practice and is currently involved in a number of high-value ICC and LCIA Arbitrations with seats in Dubai, Paris, London and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The subject matter of his arbitration practice ranges from construction disputes to insurance coverage disputes to sports law and he is experienced in acting in arbitration claims where the governing law is not English law.
Rick has been involved in numerous other high-profile cases, including Aspect v Higgins (Supreme Court), Mengiste v Endowment Fund (CA), 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 and has acted for numerous other international and domestic governing bodies, including the IAAF, England Netball and England Lacrosse. 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; acting for a Spanish football club in a CAS appeal; advising a professional footballer on a doping appeal to the FA; advising rugby players in doping appeals and disciplinary cases; and acting in FA Rule K Arbitrations.
Rick also regularly sits as an arbitrator and was recently a member of an English Football League Arbitration Panel (together with Sir David Foskett and Andrew Smith) which determined an appeal brought by a League Two Football Club against a decision of a Disciplinary Commission. He is also frequently appointed as a sole arbitrator in FA Rule K Arbitrations.
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Rick’s commercial dispute resolution experience includes freezing injunctions and pre-action disclosure applications.
He undertakes a wide range of commercial work, including general commercial litigation, sale of goods, product liability, partnership disputes and commercial contract claims.
Featured Commercial Dispute Resolution cases
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.
Rick is a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).
Rick has wide experience and expertise in acting as advocate and adviser in domestic and international arbitrations, including:
His experience includes cases seated in London, Paris, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE (Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Global Market), as well as the application of foreign laws including those of UAE and Islamic Sharia, Ukraine, Russia and Monegasque.
He also accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has sat as sole arbitrator and as part of a panel.
Featured International Arbitration cases
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 also been retained in several international reinsurance arbitrations of high value.
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. He has been involved in a number of cases (for both insureds and insurers) where substantial business interruption losses have been claimed. He has recently co-authored an article on event cancellation insurance, which considers various coverage issues arising from the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.4newsquare.com/publications/sporting-event-cancellation-insurance-will-it-play-ball-or-be-kicked-into-touch/
Featured Insurance & Reinsurance cases
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 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 has made the transition to QC seamlessly, building an impressively busy practice. He has a lovely manner in submissions: clear and lacking in rhetoric. He is a pleasure to deal with and clearly very hardworking.” – Legal 500, 2022
“He’s quick, responsive and has a really phenomenal memory. He is very hands-on and friendly.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“He is very able, extremely thorough with great attention to detail, and a pleasure to deal with.” – Legal 500, 2021
“Extremely talented.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“A very able courtroom performer and shrewd tactician.” – Legal 500, 2020
“Very smart and conscientious.” “Bright, highly committed and extremely personable – a pleasure to work with.” – Chambers Global, 2020
A “very good advocate”; ‘quality junior’ who “has the ability to pick up and analyse complex technical information”; “A very consistent performer at a high level”. “Talented junior with a notably broad practice, who demonstrates particular strength in cases concerning architects, specialist consultants and civil and structural engineers. He regularly acts as sole counsel in adjudications and arbitration and has appeared as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is becoming steadily more involved in disputes occurring in the Middle East and East Asia”. – Chambers & Partners, 2019.
A large part of Rick’s practice involves construction and engineering disputes. Listed as a leading junior in Construction in the legal directories, 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 construction arbitrations (ICC and LCIA), adjudications, construction professional indemnity issues and contribution disputes.
Rick also has experience of dealing with construction disputes in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe and has a strong international practice.
Featured Construction & Engineering cases
Rick is a member of the Adjudication Society.
“Great on his feet, practical and sensible in his approach – everything goes together well.” “Really down to earth and collaborative.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“He is incredibly diligent, approachable and user friendly.” – Legal 500, 2021
“We received amazing feedback for him from our clients.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“He is a team player and is excellent on his feet.” – Legal 500, 2020
“He presents very well to clients, is able to speak with authority, and comes across as somebody who is credible and knowledgeable.” “He is very good technically, very commercially aware and understands the client’s interests and the need to try to resolve matters in a cost-efficient way.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
“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, barristers and solicitors, construction professionals 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.
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).
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:
Rick regularly acts in claims against construction professionals: most frequently architects and engineers, but also M&E consultants and project managers.
Rick has experience of claims involving financial services professionals and/or which require a consideration of the financial services statutory regime.
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.
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.
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.
Rick has experience of defending claims brought against veterinary surgeons. His 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 also has extensive experience of acting in equine related disputes. Please see the section titled ‘Equine Disputes’ for further information.
Rick has extensive experience of acting in equine related disputes, including ownership disputes and claims against veterinary surgeons and farriers. He has considerable experience of acting in cases involving horses in civil litigation and also in cases before the British Horseracing Authority (acting for the BHA and also acting for trainers and jockeys).
Featured Equine Disputes cases
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).
Rick is also currently acting for a chartered accountant and member of the ICAEW in proceedings before the ICAEW’s Disciplinary Committee relating to various audits.
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 has expertise in the specialist field of costs.
Featured Costs cases
“He understands the football law industry very well and is good with clients including footballers, clubs and agents.” – Legal 500, 2022
“His advocacy style is so engaging, and his closing is also fantastic.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“A welcome addition to the front Bench – a brilliant sports law lawyer with exceptional professional regulatory skills as part of his all-round talent. A vast array of sports-related experience and expertise. Tactical nous. Excellent manner with clients.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He has a great understanding of the world of sports disputes and he is able to draw on a host of past experience to help guide a case.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Excellent at assessing the best strategic options.” – Legal 500, 2020
“Extremely talented in this field, having acted across a number of sports. A powerful advocate and a joy to work with.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
Richard is a highly regarded sports law barrister. He acts for both athletes/players and governing bodies and has appeared in appeals in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Richard’s cases have spanned the following sports: athletics, badminton, boxing, cricket, eventing, football, hockey, horseracing, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby union and shooting.
Richard is instructed in sports commercial disputes, disciplinary matters and sports arbitrations, including anti-doping cases and safeguarding matters. He also advises on sports-regulatory and welfare issues; and has advised on the implications of the Equality Act 2010 (which provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all) in the context of a group of players with a particular disability.
Richard was one of a handful of ‘specialist advocates’ on the pro bono panel for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and acted in a number of matters in the lead up to the London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo (2021) Olympics.
Featured Sports cases
Richard has previously acted for the IAAF in anti-doping appeals; the British Horseracing Authority in cases of corruption and financial impropriety; and has been retained in various sports commercial litigation cases.
Richard also lectures on sports law issues and is a member of the International Bar Association, BASL (the British Association for Sport and Law). He is also on the Editorial Board of LawInSport.
Rick has a strong commercial, insurance, product liability and professional negligence pedigree, which has enabled him to build a strong reputation for dealing with property damage claims; and he has extensive experience of acting in multi-party and high-profile claims arising out of damage to property, particularly caused by fire, explosions, water penetration and subsidence. Rick is regularly instructed to act on behalf of Claimants and Defendants in such claims.
Rick also has a very busy construction practice, which lends itself perfectly to those property damage claims against construction professionals. He is recommended as a leading junior in the legal Directories for Construction and is described as “a quality junior who has the ability to pick up and analyse complex technical information”; and “a very consistent performer at a high level” and “a superb advocate”.
He relishes his role as an advocate and frequently appears in the TCC. In addition to his court work, he has experience of acting in adjudications and arbitrations.
Featured Property Damage cases
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