Richard has a busy commercial chancery practice. Directories describe him as having “great powers of persuasion and enormous intelligence” and “a superb grasp of all things property”.
He has extensive experience of large and technically demanding cases, both led and unled. Most of his work falls within the fields of commercial litigation, real estate disputes, civil fraud and company / trust / partnership claims; he also has expertise in insolvency law, wills and probate cases and property-related professional negligence claims.
Recent / current notable cases include:
- Advising a major crypto-currency exchange in relation to claims arising from a substantial alleged fraud by its payment processor
- Successfully defending the UK directors of a boutique international financial consultancy against a fraud claim by a Mauritanian company
- Acting for a financial services company in a claim against a delinquent director for diverting a high-value commercial opportunity arising from a bond issue backed by European real property assets
- Acting for a multinational supermarket chain in a contractual dispute with a property developer over a major proposed development in the Midlands
Important past cases include:
- Acting for the claimants in Holyoake v Candy, a high-value and high-profile conspiracy claim arising from the failure of a prestigious property development in central London, described by The Lawyer as one of its Top 20 cases of 2017 and by EGi as “the property trial of the century (so far)”. The interim stages produced the first reported cases on the “notification injunction”, a variant of the freezing injunction
- Progress Property Co Ltd v Moorgarth Group Ltd: represented the (successful) defendant up to the Supreme Court in an important company law case on ultra vires and breach of directors’ duties
- Instructed by the claimant in a very high-value solicitors’ negligence claim arising out of the development of The Shard at London Bridge
- Achom v Lalic: trial of claims relating to the ownership of a noted Mayfair nightclub
- Acted for the administrators in a series of property / insolvency cases arising from the rescue of the Blacks high-street retail chain
Most of Richard’s cases are in London’s Business and Property Courts (Chancery Division and Commercial Court), but he also appears regularly in other courts in England and Wales and has experience of work from other jurisdictions as well (notably the Channel Islands and the Middle East).
Terms of Business
The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Richard will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Richard accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.
Seminars and articles
Richard regularly gives seminars on topical subjects, both alone and with other members of Maitland Chambers. Recent seminars include:
- Holyoake v Candy: notification injunctions and other lessons to be learned from the interim stages
- Trusts and cyber-currencies (with A.O. Hall (Guernsey); now part of Walkers)
- A property litigator’s guide to insolvency
- Breaches of covenant and injunctions after Coventry v Lawrence
- Professional negligence claims: topical considerations
- An update on Beddoe applications
Roger Stewart QC, Richard Fowler and John Beresford (2017), “Collateral waiver of privilege: notes on Holyoake v Candy  EWHC 378 (Ch)”, LexisNexis PSL
Education and personal
Richard went to King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and then read Classics (“Greats”) at Oxford University, where he secured a Double First and won the Craven Scholarship and the Arnold Ancient Historical Essay Prize. He was also a Casberd Scholar of St John’s College.
Richard remained at Oxford to complete his doctoral thesis in Ancient History, and having been awarded the Craven Fellowship was able to carry out research and travel extensively in Syria, Jordan and Turkey; he also took classes in Aramaic and classical Hebrew. He was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, and Stipendiary Lecturer in Ancient History at Oriel and Jesus Colleges for a number of years. He has subsequently taken classes in Modern Standard Arabic at the SOAS Language Centre.
He completed the CPE (Diploma in Law) at City University and the BVC at the Inns of Court School of Law, before undertaking pupillage at Maitland. His pupil supervisors were Jonathan Russen (now His Honour Judge Russen QC), Amanda Tipples (now Mrs Justice Tipples DBE), and Michael Gibbon, Nicholas Peacock and James Aldridge (all now QC).
Richard has co-edited a volume of essays on ancient kingship and published a number of academic articles on Classical / Ancient Historical topics.
He also enjoys rowing and cricket (mainly now as a spectator), music, and natural history.
He has reasonably good French and some reading competence in Italian, German, Russian and Arabic.