Areas of Expertise
Richard combines a public law practice, acting on behalf of the Government Legal Department (formerly T Sol) and the Welsh Government; with a regulatory practice encompassing litigation on behalf of the police and other public authorities. He also advises senior police officers in respect of police misconduct hearings. He has just been appointed by the various Welsh Police Forces to sit as a legal chair at such hearings from 2016. Richard sits as a Legal Chair in disciplinary and administrative hearings for the Welsh Rugby Union. Richard is a pupil supervisor and external examiner for the Judicial Review course at BPP Law School (BPTC). He is a member of Chambers’ management board. Richard is well known for his thoroughness in preparing his cases and for his attention to detail. Richard was recommended by the Editors of The Legal 500 in both 2014 and 2015 for his work on behalf the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills in directors’ disqualification proceedings.
Richard qualified as a mediator with the ADR Group. His experience as a mediator has been in the commercial field usually involving construction and contractual disputes. However, he is happy to mediate in all types of dispute. Interestingly, his last mediation involved a contested probate dispute which had been ongoing for some eight years. The matter reached agreement after just eight hours of mediation, with all parties content with the outcome. Richard is also keen to mediate in disputes arising in the sporting sphere. He currently sits in a judicial role for the WRU deciding administrative, regulatory and disciplinary matters. He is also a Judicial Officer for the Six Nations Championships, the European Championships, and PRO 12 League. Richard would bring his judicial experience to any mediation in which he is involved.
Richard was appointed to the Regional Panel of Crown Counsel in 2010 and was re-appointed in 2015. Since his appointment he has represented a number of Government Departments on a regular basis in a variety of cases. The departments include HMRC, the Home Department, the Department of Transport, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Defence. Cases have ranged from defending officials at the Inland Revenue in a libel/slander claim; representing the Department of Transport in a noise pollution/trespass claim; advising and representing the Home Department in appeals brought by employers against the imposition of civil penalties for employing illegal foreign nationals; and representing the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills in numerous director disqualification proceedings. Richard was recommended by the Legal 500 2014 and 2015 editions for his work on behalf of SSBIS.
In 2012 Richard was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Welsh Government and has advised the Welsh Ministers in several matters since his appointment (claims emanating from road flooding and the construction of a railway upon the highway in North Wales). He also has experience of advising Welsh Water PLC in relation to claims emanating from flooding.
Richard was Junior Counsel to the Pennington Inquiry (engaged 2007-2009) into the E Coli O157 outbreak in South Wales in 2005, which led to widespread illness and a fatality. He was led by James Eadie QC (First Treasury Counsel). Richard was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor Public Inquiries Team. In the foreward to his report, Professor Pennington thanked Richard for his help and for his “visible contribution to the elicitation of evidence at the oral hearings”.
Richard has recently been instructed in a number of high profile inquests on behalf of HM Prison Cardiff and South Wales Police. He was also instructed by the family of a lady who died within a week or so of being assaulted by a patient in a care home.
Richard undertakes all aspects of personal injury work. He advises, drafts pleadings (including schedules of loss) and appears for both Claimants and Defendants in fast track and multi track cases, including applications, case management conferences and trials. He has experience in a wide variety of personal injury actions, including highway tripping, road traffic accidents, occupiers’ and employers’ liability. He particularly enjoys cases with complicated medical issues. Interesting cases have involved the successful defence of a multi track claim brought by a rugby player who suffered a double fracture of the jaw in an amateur match; low velocity impact road traffic accidents where causation of injury is denied and cases where fraud is alleged; drafting of questions to and holding conferences with medical experts in a variety of cases; advising in a claim where there was a dispute as to whether a road traffic accident had caused the Claimant’s death; advising the mother of a child patient who died following medical negligence in relation to psychiatric injuries suffered as well as novel areas of special damages; advising in a high value dentistry claim; successful defence in a multi track claim brought against a nightclub chain involving indemnity issues as against a sub contracting door security firm. He recently advised South Wales Police in relation to a well publicised claim against the force, following the death of a person who had taken a vehicle without consent and was pursued by police officers. Richard regularly advises Government Departments (usually the Prison Service) in relation to personal injury claims.
Richard is instructed by the Force solicitors of the police forces across Wales in general litigation arising from operational policing such as cash seizures; firearms/shotgun appeals; inquests; and various civil orders such as sexual offender and sexual risk orders and football banning orders. However, his main interest in this field is acting at police disciplinary hearings. Richard has sat as legal advisor to misconduct panels in numerous cases since 2009 involving allegations of corruption, abuse of power, assaults, thefts, sexual assaults, bullying of junior officers, sexual, homophobic and racial discrimination. In 2015 he acted as legal advisor in the first hearings to be held in public in Wales following a change in legislation. Several of the cases he has been involved in have received national media coverage. In October 2015 he was appointed as a Legal Chair for such hearings commencing in 2016, following a change in legislation.
Richard is on a small panel of counsel who are regularly instructed by Royal Mail Legal Services concerning allegations of fraud against Royal Mail and Post Office Limited, both by members of the public and employees. Richard advises and appears on behalf of the Royal Mail across Wales, the South West and the Midlands. Most cases concern dishonest practices involving large sums. Richard has appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Royal Mail.
Richard was on the Attorney General’s panel of prosecuting counsel from 2005 until 2012 and gained much experience representing the full range of Government Departments but particularly the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and DEFRA. Richard has acted on behalf of Companies House. A memorable case involved consideration of the issues by a UK Government cabinet member. However, he has greater experience defending directors of companies charged with offences brought by Companies House.