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.
An important part of Richard’s practice is personal injury litigation with a regular 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 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 has been admitted to the Bar of Gibraltar in order to appear in personal injury and clinical negligence cases in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, instructed by solicitors based in Gibraltar.
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.
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.
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.
Areas of expertise
Cases of interest
- ** v Gibraltar Health Authority [2018, current – Supreme Court of Gibraltar]: Claim in clinical negligence concerning Claimant who developed a rare desmoid tumour in her neck; apparent misdiagnosis by GHA staff; subsequent attempt to remove tumour by surgery failed to follow recognised guidelines for such treatment; Claimant left with recurring tumour and requiring regular and on-going therapy.
- Whittaker v (1) Hancock (2) Parker (3) Davidson  EWHC 3478 (Ch): Claim by daughter of second Defendant as holder of power of attorney for her mother for appointment as substituted personal representative in estate of late step-father. In circumstances of case, appointment would have been made; however by time of judgment, a caveat taken out by third defendant more than two years previously had been ordered to be removed, thereby allowing first defendant as co-executor to finally obtain grant of probate, and appointment of Claimant as substitute personal representative became unnecessary.
- Adepoju v Akinola  EWHC 3160 (Ch): Contentious probate claim in which Claimant daughter of deceased sought declaration and appointment as administrator of estate. Defendant claimed he had a better right to appointment as widower of deceased. Query whether Defendant had been lawfully married to deceased in Nigeria; whether Nigerian marriage under customary law also valid in England; whether Defendant’s evidence to be preferred to that of Claimant. Finding that Claimant had deliberately lied to the Court, so should not be appointed despite Defendant’s Nigerian marriage not being valid in England.
Rated as “Civil Case of the Year 2016” by Gordon Exall, Barrister, Zenith Chambers, Leeds, & Hardwicke, London.
- Northam v Websdale [2016, unreported]: Serious personal injury claim by motorcyclist where defendant car driver claiming defence of automatism.
- Walker v OESCO Ltd [2016, Supreme Court of Gibraltar (Jack J), unreported]: Personal injury claim against employer; claimant fell from height causing very severe injury to ankles; whether employer liable in circumstances; compliance with Health & Safety legislation; assessment of quantum of damages; whether English Judicial College or Northern Ireland Guidelines for assessment of general damages appropriate in relation to personal injury claims in Gibraltar. Court held that Northern Ireland Guidelines more appropriate to economic conditions in Gibraltar.
- 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  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  EWCA Civ 1554 – Financial 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)  EWHC 341 (QB);  2 F.L.R. 1207;  B.P.I.R. 266;  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
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
- Personal Injury Bar Association
- Member Royal Agricultural College
- University of Oxford
- City Law School
- Royal Agricultural College