Richard is a subscribing member of the bar, regulated by the Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board. For GSC, Richard acts across a broad range of complex contentious and non-contentious corporate, property and intellectual property cases.
He recently litigated on behalf of a major internet clothing business whose designs had been emulated by a competitor. The proceedings saw the largest number of designs ever considered by the English High Court in a single case. He has registered more than 30 trademarks in various matters and is an accomplished veteran of numerous successful patent applications. He has recently negotiated a settlement with a leading UK insurer for a construction company and has acted for other commercial clients in various types of proceedings including setting aside a freezing injunction obtained by a UK regulator when the regulator was ordered to pay the client’s costs. Richard assists his clients’ interests internationally as he puts it, “I am an intermediary in dealing with exceptional overseas lawyers, which enables my clients to have a global reach without having to source local legal expertise themselves.”
“Don’t worry – we’ll be able to resolve this”
The relationships Richard has developed in circa 40 years of practice are built on trust and confidence in his ability to solve problems. “I work with a small number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals,” he says. “They trust me to handle their multi-million-pound deals as they rely on me to bring commercial thinking to their legal problems, and they also ask me to handle their road traffic offences!”
“My breadth of knowledge means I know how to do these things. It enables me to say to clients ‘Don’t worry – we’ll be able to resolve this’. Then, through my knowledge or by consulting with my expert connections, we do.”
Richard stresses the importance of being able to think around a problem. “Some of the best lawyers with the best legal brains feel constrained by the tramlines of the law. You need to think outside the box to be able to develop an answer that fits your client’s particular facts. We must not feel constrained by strict interpretation, that’s not how the law in this country evolved.”
Richard first encountered Saleem Sheikh, GSC Solicitors’ senior partner, across the table during a shareholder agreement transaction. “I got on well with him,” Richard says. “I think he liked my no-nonsense style. I was thinking of moving my practice and I asked Saleem whether that might interest him. GSC is a firm of specialists solicitors in specialist areas of the law and that fits with the type of practice I wanted to be with. Happily, Saleem agreed.”
Qualifications & Experience
Richard was called to the Bar in 1983 as a member of Middle Temple and completed his pupillage in New Square, Lincolns Inn before developing his practice. What began with “a lot of landlord and tenant work” broadened to include several years working for mortgage lenders, including the UK’s largest mutual, during “the big days of mortgage fraud”.
In 2004 he left chambers to join “a West End firm of lawyers who had a huge amount of high-quality clients but no litigators.” By the time he left in 2008 the firm had 15 litigation lawyers and Richard had built relationships with several of the ultra-high-net-worth clients who retain his services today.
Richard loves his work and has precious little time for much else. “The fun in life is being successful. What drives me at the Bar and drives me at GSC is succeeding for my clients. I get a buzz from it.”
In his brief moments away from work he admits to, “enjoying going to fine dining restaurants and savouring fine quality wines. And my wife and I enjoy spending quality time with our five grandchildren. That’s real wealth, I would say.”
back to profiles
\"I have known Michael for fifteen years and in which time we have really used Michael\'s flexibility hugely to our advantage. Firstly Michael is very approachable and speaks very much in plain English. He doesn’t hide behind legalese. He is dynamic in his approach to the various problems we have put his way. He is a very focused individual and gets to the heart of the problem very quickly and then provides a very workable solution. When putting the solution into action his litigation skills are excellent and very strong and forceful with the other party. I very much like him on my side.\"
Legal 500: \'The practice is unique in that it provides a personalised service to its clients, and makes each of its clients feel special. The result is a splendid working relationship, one built on confidence and trust. Unlike other firms, the dispute resolution team does not treat clients, big or small, as fee fodder\'.