Practice

“…The way his brain works is tremendous – he’s extremely commercial, incisive, and really tries to get the client what they want.” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2022)

Richard is a litigation specialist focusing on commercial, capital markets and banking, insolvency, civil fraud and company litigation. Ranked as a leading silk across six different practice areas by Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2022, he has appeared in some of the most important cases in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division in recent years, including as the leading silk in Travelport and Ors v WEX, a landmark case on the interpretation of material adverse change clauses, and (alongside Robert Miles QC) in Autonomy and Ors v Lynch and Anor (widely described in the press as the UK’s biggest ever civil fraud trial).

Richard also has extensive experience of international and commercial arbitration tribunals, including ICSID (acting for both State and investor in arbitrations in 2021), ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA. His work regularly features cross-border issues and large teams (often including lawyers from the US and other jurisdictions).

Richard has gained a reputation in recent years as an exceptional trial advocate, with a particular ability to master the complex and technical.  He handles some of the largest trials, leading extensive teams.  His recent directory entries include:

  • He has an incredible mastery of extraordinarily technical issues and in cross-examinations he is able to trip up the opponent in an incredible way.” (Chambers and Partners 2022, Fraud: Civil)
  • He is a superb advocate. He is charming, calm under pressure, and lightning quick on his feet.” (Legal 500 2022, Banking and Finance (including Consumer Credit))
  • Clinical in his cross-examination, he gets results without resorting to dramatics. His written work is also excellent, as he has a knack for simplifying the complex.” (Chambers and Partners 2022, Commercial Dispute Resolution)
  • An excellent leader on substantial cases with good strategic and tactical judgement.” (Legal 500 2022, Commercial Litigation)
  • Richard displays an incredible mastery of extraordinarily technical issues and is able to wrap his head around the non-legal details. He is really impressive.” (Chambers and Partners 2022, Company)
  • A very, very able and highly technical lawyer.” “He is wonderful, insightful, commercial, pragmatic and solutions-driven.” (Chambers and Partners 2022, Chancery: Commercial)

Richard was awarded Company/Insolvency Silk of the Year at the 2015 Chambers UK Bar Awards and Banking Silk of the Year at the 2018 Chambers UK Bar Awards.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Commercial litigation is the linchpin of Richard’s practice. His caseload revolves around commercial disputes and (in addition to his commercial arbitration practice) he regularly appears in both Commercial Court and Chancery Division. He is regularly praised in the leading directories for his commercial and pragmatic approach to his cases. Examples of particularly significant cases in which Richard has had involvement include:

  • Travelport and Ors v WEX [2020] EWHC 2670: acting for the sellers of a travel payments business in a $1.7bn transaction. Landmark case on the interpretation of material adverse change clauses in an acquisition context.  Lead silk in a 6 member Counsel team, including 3 silks.
  • Autonomy & Ors v Lynch & Anor­ (current): a substantial FSMA, misrepresentation and breach of duty claim brought by Hewlett-Packard against the former management of Autonomy Inc following its acquisition. The trial lasted 10 months and was described as the UK’s largest ever civil fraud trial. Featured in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2019. Richard leads Dr Lynch’s defence and at trial was co-leader (along with Robert Miles QC) in a 7 member Counsel team.
  • Sharp and Ors v Blank & Ors [2019] EWHC 3096 (Ch) (see under Banking below).
  • Pinchuk v Kolomoisky & Bogolyubov: acting as second silk for the Claimant in a very high value High Court claim involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract, pursued successfully to settlement.
  • Constantin Meridien v Ecclestone [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch): acting for Bernie Ecclestone in a substantial trial involving allegations of bribery in connection with the sale of a stake in Formula One.

A number of Richard’s recent commercial cases have involved international arbitral proceedings (see the International Arbitration section below).

Banking & finance

Richard is accomplished in advising and litigating on a wide array of banking and financial services issues, including those relating to capital and securities markets and financial regulation matters, such as mis-selling disputes and regulatory tribunal work. He was named Banking Silk of the Year in 2018 at the Chambers UK Bar Awards.  His capital markets work includes litigation involving securitisations and bond issues, and Richard has considerable experience acting for bond and note trustees, bondholders and noteholders, security agents, special servicers and other stakeholders.  Examples of some of this work are as follows:

  • Sharp and Ors v Blank and Ors [2019] EWHC 3096 (Ch), where he acted as lead silk a 12-week trial in the Chancery Division brought by Lloyds’ shareholders against the ex-directors in the context of Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS in 2008.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 v RBS and Ors [2016] EWHC 1570 (Comm): representing the Claimants in a claim against a group of banks based on allegations of EURIBOR rigging.
  • Mis-selling cases have included Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Ltd [2014] DIFC CFI, [2016] DIFC CA, the most substantial bank mis-selling claim tried in the DIFC Courts. Mis-selling allegations under FSMA Schedule 10A are also central to the claims in Autonomy v Lynch (see under commercial litigation above). Richard is also currently acting for a FTSE listed company in substantial litigation under FSMA Schedule 10A, involving allegations by a group of investors of misstatements in published information.
  • Capital markets work includes litigation and advice relating to securitisation and other capital market structures, including contentious restructuring work, acting for a range of stake holders. Richard has particular experience in acting for note and bond trustees.  Reported cases include Re Titan Europe 2007-11 [2014] EWHC 1189 (Ch); Re Golden Key Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 636.
  •  Regulatory work includes appearances in financial regulatory tribunals in the UK. Richard has also recently represented fund managers in regulatory tribunal proceedings brought by the DFSA in the DIFC.
  • Re Lehman Brothers International Europe: Supreme Court determination of the Lehman client money litigation, involving the interpretation of the FCA’s client money rules.
Fraud – civil

Richard’s work frequently involves aspects of civil fraud and asset recovery, including (in the context of banking and financial regulation) claims for financial mis-selling and FSMA Schedule 10 claims for misstatements in published information.  His work includes claims involving allegations of breach of duty and assistance in fraud in a wide range of commercial contexts. He also has substantial experience of interlocutory relief in the context of fraud claims, including freezing and proprietary inunctions. Some significant examples of Richard’s work in these areas include:

  • Autonomy & Ors v Lynch & Anor (see under commercial litigation above).
    MAD Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 3335 (Comm): claim for fraud and breach of contract in a joint venture relationship, brought by a Turkish hospitality group against a Michelin starred chef.
  • Constantin Meridien v Ecclestone [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch) (see under commercial litigation above).
  • Sinclair Investments (UK) Ltd v Versailles Trade Finance Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 347, a landmark case in the law relating to constructive trusts and proprietary tracing.
International arbitration

Richard has extensive experience of acting in international and commercial arbitration tribunals. He has acted for both State and investor parties in ICSID arbitrations. He has appeared in numerous international arbitrations under the ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA rules, as well as the rules of other bodies and ad hoc arbitrations. Examples of recent instructions include:

  • ICSID arbitration (2021): for the investor; involving claims of expropriation of an the claimant’s investment in a bank (CIS state).
  •  ICSID arbitration (2021- current): for the State (Central African state); involving FET claims and claims of expropriation in relation to mining concessions.
  •  UNCITRAL arbitration (2021): representing an African Government owned entity in a dispute in relation to a substantial energy infrastructure project.
Company law

Richard is recommended in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners UK in Company – London (Bar) and in Tier 1 by Legal 500 in Company and Partnership. He has been previously been awarded Chambers and Partners Company Silk of the Year.  He has formidable experience across a range of company law matters, with particular expertise in directors’ duties, and shareholder disputes, having acted in substantial and well publicised cases such as McKillen v Barclay Brothers/Re Coroin Ltd, a high value unfair prejudice petition arising out of a battle for control over flagship London luxury hotels, and Peak Hotels and Resorts Group vs Tarek Investments, a dispute relating to the ownership of the luxury Aman hotel group.  He is currently instructed in substantial shareholder litigation under CA s.994 involving an international media business.  Richard also has extensive experience of litigation arising out of share purchase agreements, including the notable recent case of Travelport and Ors v WEX [2020] EWHC 2670 (interpretation of a MAC clause in a share acquisition; see under commercial litigation above).

Chancery: commercial

Richard regularly appears in the Chancery Division in both trials and interlocutory matters. He has an acute understanding of the complexities commercial chancery work often introduces, including expert evidence and cross-border issues, and has extensive experience in meeting these challenges. Examples of recent instructions in this practice area are listed in the commercial litigation, civil fraud and company sections above.

Insolvency & restructuring

Richard has significant experience in dealing with cases with an insolvency element. In particular he has been involved in cases arising out of many of the most widely publicised insolvencies, including Lehman, Enron and BCCI.  He has also had extensive involvement in contested restructurings, especially those involving capital markets investors, where he has acted for note/bond trustees, ad hoc groups of note/bond holders and other stakeholders. He is highly experienced with proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986 more generally, and acts for office-holders and defendants alike.

Richard was awarded Company/Insolvency Silk of the Year at the 2015 Chambers UK Bar awards.

Offshore litigation

Richard’s work frequently involves an offshore element, and he is extremely experienced in dealing with litigation involving multi-jurisdictional aspects, and including cross-border and conflict of law issues. Many of his cases have involved teams from other jurisdictions (notably the US).

Richard a registered Part II practitioner in the DIFC, and has appeared frequently in the DIFC Courts as well as in DFSA regulatory proceedings.  His cases in the DIFC include Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Ltd [2014] DIFC CFI, [2016] DIFC CA, the most substantial mis-selling claim tried in the DIFC Courts. They also include very substantial family trust litigation in the DIFC and CA, as well as appearances before both arbitral and DFSA regulatory tribunals in the DIFC.

Richard is also called to the Bar of the BVI.  He has appeared in substantial company litigation in that jurisdiction. He has also appeared in high value trust litigation in Gibraltar.

Richard has also appeared in international arbitral proceedings in a range of other offshore jurisdictions including Singapore, Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain.

Additional info

What the directories and judges say

Chambers and Partners

Richard is ranked as a leading silk in 6 key areas of practice:

Banking & Finance (Band 2)

“Richard Hill QC is an accomplished practitioner with experience in a wide array of banking, company and insolvency issues. He acts in matters relating to mis-selling disputes and damages claims, and also has solid experience in arbitration proceedings.

Strengths: “He is commercial, pragmatic and solutions-driven.” “He works alongside you as part of the team.””

Company (Band 1)

“Richard Hill QC is an established practitioner with an excellent reputation for large and complex disputes, particularly with regard to City-based litigation. He regularly takes instructions in banking, commercial, company and insolvency disputes. Hill possesses additional expertise in the representation of bond trustees and bondholders in securities and other capital markets litigation.

Strengths: “Richard displays an incredible mastery of extraordinarily technical issues and is able to wrap his head around the non-legal details. He is really impressive.””

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)

“Richard Hill QC is highly sought after by an array of clients for his extensive expertise in complex insolvency disputes and for his specialist insight into various forms of ADR. His established restructuring and insolvency practice is further complemented by deep knowledge across civil fraud, commercial and company law. He is frequently instructed by bondholders and bond trustees, and is noted as an authority in contentious restructurings.

Strengths: “A bright, very down-to-earth and sensible barrister.””

Chancery: Commercial (Band 2)

Strengths: “A very, very able and highly technical lawyer.” “He is wonderful, insightful, commercial, pragmatic and solutions-driven.””

Fraud: Civil (Band 3)

“Richard Hill QC provides robust advocacy in civil fraud disputes in the context of a broad commercial practice. His clients include multinational corporations and high net worth individuals.

Strengths: “He is able to cut to the core of the issues and take complex concepts and put them in a clear, understandable way. The way his brain works is tremendous – he’s extremely commercial, incisive, and really tries to get the client what they want.” “He has an incredible mastery of extraordinarily technical issues and in cross-examinations he is able to trip up the opponent in an incredible way.””

Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 2)

Strengths: “Clinical in his cross-examination, he gets results without resorting to dramatics. His written work is also excellent, as he has a knack for simplifying the complex.”

Legal 500

Richard is ranked as a leading silk in 4 areas by Legal 500 2022:

Company (Tier 1)

Commercial Litigation (Tier 3)

“An excellent leader on substantial cases with good strategic and technical judgement.”

Fraud: Civil (Tier 3)

“A very effective advocate. He holds his own against much more senior counsel and has good experience leading large cases for someone of his seniority.”

Banking and Finance (including Consumer Credit) (Tier 5)

“He is a superb advocate. He is charming, calm under pressure, and lightning quick on his feet.”

Cases of interest
  • Autonomy & Ors v Lynch & Anor­ (current): Leading the Counsel team for Dr Mike Lynch in the Hewlett Packard / Autonomy litigation. This has involved a 10 month trial (co-leading a 7 member Counsel team with Robert Miles QC) of a FSMA, misrepresentation and breach of duty claim by Autonomy against its former CEO for in excess of $US 8 billion in relation to an alleged accounting fraud.
  • MAD Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 3335 (Comm): Claim for fraud and breach of contract in a joint venture relationship, brought by a Turkish hospitality group against a Michelin starred chef.
  • Travelport and Ors v WEX [2020] EWHC 2670: Acting for the sellers of a travel payments business in a $1.7bn transaction. Landmark case on the interpretation of material adverse change clauses in an acquisition context. Lead silk in a 6 member Counsel team, including 3 silks.
  • High value FSMA Schedule 10A claim (current): Acting for a FTSE listed company in an ongoing substantial claim from a group of investors alleging misstatements in published information.
  • High value CA s. 994 unfair prejudice claim (current): ongoing high value litigation under CA s.994 involving an international media business.
  • International arbitration work (multiple years to current): Numerous international arbitrations under ICSID, ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and other rules. Include ICSID claims representing both investor and state. See under International Arbitration above.
  • Sharp and Ors v Blank and Ors [2019] EWHC 3096 (Ch): Acting as lead silk a 12-week trial in the Chancery Division brought by a large group of Lloyds’ corporate and individual shareholders against the bank’s former directors in the context of Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS during the 2008 credit crunch.
  • Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Limited and Bank Sarasin Limited (2013 to 2018): Numerous reported decisions between 2014 and 2017. Leading the Counsel team in this multi-million dollar landmark case in the Dubai International Financial Centre. Successfully representing the Claimant at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. Leading case on the application of the DFSA rules in banking in the DIFC.
  • Pinchuk v Kolomoisky & Bogolyubov: Acting as second silk for the Claimant in a very high value High Court claim involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract, pursued successfully to settlement.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 v RBS and Ors [2016] EWHC 1570 (Comm): Representing the Claimants in a claim against a group of banks based on allegations of EURIBOR rigging.
  • Peak Hotels and Resorts Ltd v Tarek Investments Ltd [2016] EWHC 333 (Ch): Representing the Claimant in litigation arising out of the battle for control of the luxury Aman hotel group.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 v RBS and Ors [2016] EWHC 1570 (Comm): Representing the Claimants in a claim against a group of banks based on allegations of EURIBOR rigging.
  •  Capital markets litigation (various years): Various securitisation / bondholder disputes, including in many of the well-publicised contentious restructurings. Acting for bond and note trustees, bondholders and ad hoc committees, servicers and special servicers, security trustees or agents and other stakeholders.  Reported cases include  Re Titan Europe 2007-1 [2014] EWHC 1189 (Ch); Re Golden Key Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 636.
  •  Re Coroin Ltd (McKillen v Misland (Cyprus Investments Ltd [2014] BCC 14. Representing Paddy McKillen in his battle against the Barclay brothers for control of a group of flagship luxury London hotels.
  • Constantin Meridien v Ecclestone [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch): Acting for Bernie Ecclestone in a substantial trial involving allegations of bribery in connection with the sale of a stake in Formula One.
  • Benedetti v Sawiris & Ors [2013] UKSC 50: Successfully representing the Defendant in this high value claim arising out of a joint venture in an Italian Telecoms company.  This has become a leading Supreme Court case on restitution.
  • Re Lehman Brothers International Europe [2012] UKSC 6: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court determinations of the Lehman client money litigation.
  • Sinclair Investments (UK) Ltd v Versailles Trade Finance Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 347 (Court of Appeal): Successfully representing the Claimant in this leading case on proprietary remedies and constructive trusts.
Publications

Contributor to OUP’s Annotated Companies Acts

Career & appointments

Called to the Bar in the DIFC
Formerly Treasury Counsel (A Panel)
Member of the Commercial Bar Association, Chancery Bar Association.

Education & awards

Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge: First Class Honours
Chambers and Partners Banking Silk of the Year 2018
Chambers and Partners Company/Insolvency Silk of the Year 2015
Previously Chambers and Partners Junior of the Year for (variously) Commercial Litigation, Chancery, Insolvency/Corporate Restructuring.