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About Richard

Richard handles major incidents and disputes for marine, liability, war, kidnap & ransom, art/specie, cyber and special risks underwriters and their assureds. He heads HFW’s global Complex Environments team and led the team to win various international awards and accolades from prominent organisations, including commendation and recognition by the United Nations Security Council for pro bono work securing the release of “forgotten hostages.

He has particular expertise in managing and resolving incidents in complex and hostile environments. He has played a central role in coordinating and resolving over 150 hijacking, kidnapping, extortion and detention cases worldwide over the last 15 years, dealing with the initial incident through to managing the recovery and post-recovery phases. He is generally recognised as the leading lawyer globally in this field. He also regularly deals with unlawful detentions, drug seizures, fraud and similar complex problems that companies which operate globally can become exposed to. A lot of his work involves mitigating the potential liabilities arising from major incidents.

Richard is also a recognised specialist in handling major marine casualties and acts for a range of shipowners, charterers and insurers, in wet and dry shipping disputes. He has been involved in many of the recent high profile incidents. He has particular experience of collisions, fires/explosions, salvage, piracy, capture/seizure, groundings, unsafe port claims and war risks – often involving complex multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration.

Richard is also a popular choice for handling urgent interim remedies in the London High Court, such as freezing injunctions and anti-suit injunctions.

He has addressed various governments, law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations on industry’s response to incidents in complex environments, and has developed a network of contacts in government, the military, private military, financial institutions and intelligence agencies

Richard lectures regularly in the UK and internationally on crisis response, shipping, and insurance topics, and has contributed articles to various publications.

Richard has been recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for many years. The publications highlighted Richard as receiving “substantial praise from the market” and reported that clients said he “has a vast wealth of knowledge” and “readily adapts to the ever-changing challenges” that his work throws up and that “he is quick to respond to requests and proactive in anticipating potential problems and solutions.” Most recently in 2022, Chambers reported that Richard “is the number one choice in difficult cases involving detainment of vessel, piracy and war insurance matters. He is extremely pleasant to work with and always well prepared.” and “He is one of the foremost experts on hijacking situations and also an expert maritime lawyer”. Richard is a former winner of the prestigious Lloyd’s List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year Award.