“Approachable and capable with good tactical judgement” The Legal 500
Richard’s practice encompasses the core areas detailed below as well as expertise in professional negligence, contract and commercial law and environmental law.
Richard acts for both claimants and defendants across the range of medically-related injury, up to and including very high value birth injury cases (see in particular Romy Smith v East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals NHST, valued in excess of £8m). He is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA), as well as co-author of the annually-updated chapter on Clinical Practitioners in the loose-leaf and online publication "Professional Negligence and Liability".
Richard is recommended for Clinical negligence and healthcare in The Legal 500, 2011.
Richard’s work covers the full range of physical and psychiatric injury arising from e.g. work or sporting activity as well as deliberate physical and sexual abuse. He has a particular interest in Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) cases, having acted in high value matters including obtaining in excess of £3.5m for a young adult severely brain damaged as a result of shaking as a baby (Re X; LTLPI 29/06/2012) and more than £3m in compensation for a victim of childhood sexual abuse (Re XY; LTLPI 15/12/2011). He is instructed as part of a team of counsel acting on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in the Group Litigation arising out of the series of British nuclear tests carried out in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s. Richard is a member of the Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA).
Richard is developing a regulatory practice focussed primarily on medical practitioners and associated professionals. He is particularly skilled at dealing with the logistical challenges posed by cases involving multiple counts, having successfully defended an Occupational Therapist in the Health Professions Council on 94 charges relating to conduct and competence as well as an optometrist before the General Optical Council on (originally) 87 counts of misconduct and deficient professional performance. He also has experience of defending in the Nursing and Midwifery Council on multiple counts involving dishonesty. Richard has appeared on Registration Appeals before both the General Medical Council and General Dental Council, concerning issues of mutual recognition of qualifications under EU law. Richard is a member of the Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL).
Richard frequently acts in a range of health and healthcare-related matters (in addition to matters of clinical negligence, healthcare regulation and hospital closure described elsewhere). He has acted on behalf of a counsellor as an interested party to Crown Court proceedings involving questions of data protection and patient confidentiality. He has also advised one of the major Medical Defence Organisations on policy issues of patient confidentiality during PCT inspections and acted in a number of cases concerning challenges to contractual terms imposed on GPs and dentists and termination of GMS/GDS contracts. Recently, he has appeared on behalf of a healthcare practitioner as an intervener to care proceedings under the Children Act 1989. Richard also has experience of best interests proceedings and other Court of Protection matters.
Employment and Equality
Richard has a range of experience in employment matters, acting for both claimants and respondents in unfair dismissal, sex and race discrimination claims. He successfully represented two (of fifteen) respondents in a £4.45m claim brought by a former hospital consultant involving allegations of aiding sex and race discrimination (Michalak v The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHST & others). Richard is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA).
Public Law / Human Rights
Richard’s court work includes acting on behalf of the Save Eastbourne DGH campaign group in judicial review proceedings concerning reduction in maternity services, successfully obtaining an order for costs against the local PCTs on withdrawal of the application, following reversal of the PCTs' decision by the Secretary of State. He also appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Home Secretary in Secretary of State for the Home Department v Baiai & Ors (concerning marriage and immigration law). Richard is a member of the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) and the Administrative and Constitutional Law Bar Association (ALBA).
Richard has substantial experience of coronial law, having acted on behalf of family members and other interested persons at a large number of inquests. He appeared on behalf of a GP witness at the well-publicised inquest into the deaths of two patients under the care of Dr Ubani, a German medical practitioner contracted to perform out of hours care in East Anglia.
MA (Cantab) Law (1st Class)
LLM (EUI, Florence) Comparative, European and International Legal Studies
Diplôme universitaire d'études juridiques françaises (Université de Poitiers)
Lord Denning Scholar & Sunley Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
Foundation Scholar & Ziegler Prize for Law (Pembroke College, Cambridge)
"Professional Negligence and Liability", Chapter on Clinical Practitioners (Co-Author with Stephen Miller QC, Owain Thomas and Ben Collins, General Editor: Mark Simpson QC annually updated)
"Burnett-Hall on Environmental Law", Chapter on Nature Conservation (Co-Author with Angus McCullough QC, Second Edition, 2008)
UK Human Rights Blog:
- “Court of Protection approves arrangements for safeguarding Article 8 rights of detained man”, 7 January 2013
- “BMJ editorial sparks controversy over right-to-life”, 18 July 2012
- “Judge orders that anorexic woman can be force-fed | Analysis”, 19 June 2012
- “Vulnerable adults still protected by High Court’s “great safety net””, 6 April 2012
- “Former Top Judge hits back at current Top Judge”, 17 February 2012
- “How private are patients’ dental records?” – case commentary on The General Dental Council v Savery and others  EWHC 3011 (Admin), 21 November 2011
- “Another cuts challenge fails: Changes to housing benefit scheme is lawful” – case commentary on Child Poverty Action Group v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions  EWHC 2616 (Admin), 14 October 2011
- “Dismissal of hospital consultant did not breach fair trial rights” – case commentary on Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust  EWHC 2068 (QB), 3 August 2011
- “Admissibility of hearsay evidence at General Medical Council hearing breached right to fair trial” – case commentary on R (Bonhoeffer) v General Medical Council  EWHC 1585 (Admin), 22 June 2011
- “Analysis: High Court upholds 7/7 secrecy ruling” – case commentary on R(SSHD) v Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London  EWHC 3098 (Admin), 1 December 2010
- “Analysis: No secret hearings at 7/7 Inquests”, 8 November 2010
- “Law to change on terrorist asset freezing after critical Supreme Court judgment”, 3 November 2010
Significant cases include the following
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