Richard Devereux-Cooke

Call 1999

Richard practises primarily in property based law including all aspects of landlord and tenant work (commercial and residential) as well as other issues relating to  land ownership and occupation.

He has a particular interest in matters involving adverse possession, easements, housing, access to land (including rights of way and highways), licences, boundary disputes, and claims concerning trespass and nuisance especially where these involve environmental issues.

Richard also advises and acts on planning issues and in respect of tree preservation orders.

Another important part of Richard’s practice is personal injury litigation with a particular focus on high-value and complex claims involving motorcyclists. In addition Richard undertakes work involving clinical and other professional negligence claims, often with a strong medical context.

Richard advises and appears in cases relating to Trusts of Land, Inheritance Act claims and other matters linking property and family law such as contentious and non-contentious probate work, and in commercial contract disputes. A significant part of recent years’ practice has also been taken up with work dealing with Consumer Credit Act disputes.

In common with other member of Chambers, Richard also advises and acts in matters dealing with both personal and corporate insolvency and related issues.

Richard is an accredited mediator and is equally happy to appear for parties at mediations as well as act as a mediator. He is also able to accept instructions for work through the Bar’s Direct Public Access scheme.

Background

Richard came to the Bar after a highly successful career in agriculture, covering both practical farm management and two decades running his own agricultural business providing services to farmers and industrial land users. Whilst in that industry, he became a nationally recognised expert in pesticide use and law. He was a member of a number of government and government agency committees dealing with pesticides, environmental, and health and safety issues. He has also had major involvement in the drafting of environmental codes of practice and other industry guidance on the avoidance of pollution.

Seminars

Richard has for many years been a regular contributor to technical seminars and conferences, both as a speaker and as conference chairman. He continues to contribute to seminars on property law matters.

Richard is also a Middle Temple Advocacy Trainer, and an accredited pupil supervisor.

  • Cases of interest

    Northam v Websdale (current)Serious personal injury claim by motorcyclist where defendant car driver claiming defence of automatism.

    Walker v OESCO Ltd [current, Supreme Court of Gibraltar]Personal injury claim against employer; claimant fell from height causing severe injury to ankles; whether employer liable in circumstances; compliance with Health & Safety legislation; assessment of quantum of damages.

    Brackstone v Donovan [2015, unreported, settled prior to trial]Motorcycle claimant suffering severe head and other injuries which affected his chance of engineering career; loss of a chance; assessment of quantum; expert evidence on liability.

    John Ruskin College v Harley  [2013] EWHC 3714 (QB)Personal injury claim; payment of damages; funds wrongly paid out of court; procedural delay; equitable restitutionary claim with successful defence of change of position.

    O’Neil v Gale [2013] EWCA Civ 1554Financial regulation – unlawful collective investment scheme – whether defendant wife party to husband’s scheme – secondary offender – unjust enrichment – change of position defence.

    Burke v Chapman & Chubb (A Firm) [2008] EWHC 341 (QB); [2008] 2 F.L.R. 1207; [2008] B.P.I.R. 266; [2008] Fam. Law 731 – Ancillary relief; Bankruptcy proceedings; Breach of contract; Breach of duty of care; Legal advisers; Professional negligence; Settlements; Solicitors.

  • Qualifications & appointments

    MA (Hons) Oxon

    MRAC

    NDA

  • Memberships

    Professional Negligence Bar Association

    Personal Injury Bar Association

    Member Royal Agricultural College

  • Education

    University of Oxford

    City Law School

    Royal Agricultural College

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