Richard has expertise in restructuring matters and complex and international dispute resolution. He has significant extra-territorial experience in asset protection, asset tracing and recovery and of representing parties in disputes, both in the High Court and London Court of International Arbitration, as well as numerous overseas courts including the Courts of Appeal of Hong Kong, Singapore and Gibraltar.
Richard has a particular specialism in cases involving tax avoidance, evasion and fraud. He started his career as a Banking and Financial Services Litigator at the international firm of Simmons and Simmons and now has 20 years of complex litigation experience. Since 1999, he’s had extensive experience of conducting heavyweight financial litigation matters on behalf of high net worth individuals, corporate, institutional and officeholder clients as well as government departments.
Amongst those claims regularly conducted by Richard are actions on behalf of clients in contract, equity and tort including claims for unlawful means conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. This is in addition to more commonly encountered claims for professional negligence as well as claims pursued by officeholders pursuant to their powers under the relevant insolvency legislation.
Richard has extensive experience of injunctive relief procedures including multi-jurisdictional freezing orders. He also has particular expertise in recovering the proceeds of fraud on behalf of clients.
Between 2004 and 2012 Richard was responsible for conducting all work undertaken for HMRC’s Specialist Investigations Directorate, tasked with recovering the proceeds of tax evasion from parties (corporate entities and private individuals) in the UK and internationally. Some of the high-profile cases included large scale fraud of over USD 2 billion where Richard played an essential part in the successful investigation working along with other organisations within the British Government. That work, together with some of the current assignments, has afforded Richard with significant multi-jurisdictional experience. Richard has had conduct of cases successfully appealed to the Courts of Appeal of Singapore, Hong Kong and Gibraltar.
In the UK Richard has had conduct of a number of cases which have been successful in the Court of Appeal, as well as a successful Supreme Court case.
Richard has been instructed in several high value offshore matters most recently from the BVI and the Dutch Antilles, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Singapore. Those assignments have included complex negotiations on behalf of UK individuals/ corporates in Curacao and high value property litigation involving a BVI entity.
Richard has, in recent years, been heavily focused on asset tracing assignments deriving from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Ukraine. In particular Richard has been retained in a number of matters involving claims on behalf of ultra-high net worth individuals/ corporations emanating from Russia CIS countries and Ukraine, including most recently, a negligence claim in the High Court in London and a number of disputed matters in the London Court of International Arbitration. Richard led a multi-jurisdictional team retained by an ultra-high net worth individual from the Russia to successfully trace and recover assets into Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Richard has lectured extensively on asset tracing and recovering the proceeds of fraud for organisations such as:
- R3 (the Professional Organisation for Insolvency)
- The Insolvency Service
In addition, Richard has also delivered a number of seminars overseas including for: the St Petersburg International Legal Forum; The EU Advisory Mission in Ukraine; Senior Government Officials in the Republic of Uzbekistan; Sberbank of Russia and other organisations.
Richard also has significant experience and knowledge in advising clients on innovative funding solutions to enable the funding of claims, as well as a detailed knowledge of the litigation funding market and strong relationships with a number of litigation funders who regularly instruct Richard to both pursue claims on their behalf and to advise on the viability of funding potential claims.
Richard is a member of R3, the Insolvency Lawyers Association, The British Russian Chamber of Commerce, The British Russian Law Association, The British Kazakh Association, and The Ukrainian Law Association.
How do you help clients?
I am regularly tasked to pursue claims in which creditors have lost out as a consequence of fraudulent conduct either on the part of former management of a corporate vehicle or dishonest professionals who have assisted the former management to dissipate assets. In such situations I will be tasked either by those who have been the victims of the fraudulent conduct or more often by the appointed receiver/ liquidators to recover the proceeds of the wrongdoing. This may well involve claims in a number of jurisdictions to seek information as to where assets have been secreted and may involve applications for injunctive relief both in the UK and overseas to preserve assets. Given that the corporate entity has been stripped of its assets it may be necessary to design and implement a funding solution which may be a combination of a risk sharing arrangement between Gateley, the client and other stakeholders as well as with ‘after the event insurers’ and, potentially, litigation funders.
I help shareholders in situations in which a dispute has arisen and it is necessary to take steps to protect the interests of one shareholder/ group of shareholders to prevent their interests in the company being prejudiced.
I am regularly tasked to assist corporate entities and ultra high net worth individuals from overseas to pursue claims in England and elsewhere whether these claims are in the High Court, the London Court of International Arbitration and/ or in other overseas jurisdictions including Cyprus, BVI and Switzerland.
I am frequently asked to assist litigation funders to advise them on the efficacy of a proposed investment or to assist them on the enforcement of a judgment they have purchased from a claimant. As such I have strong relationships with litigation funders.
- Successfully acting for claimants in the pursuance of a cross-border claim for unlawful means conspiracy in the courts of England, Denmark, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong; this required the obtaining of freezing orders (or their equivalent) in each of the jurisdictions and then effecting service of them simultaneously.
- Successfully acting for court appointed receiver to recover a valuable piece of real estate from an offshore company seeking to recover the property pursuant to the exercise of its security rights.
- Successful acting for a liquidator in resisting an appeal to the Supreme Court against a decision of the Court of Appeal in connection with the ability of a claimant to pursue a third party in tort in circumstances in which the corporate claimant has itself been implicated in fraudulent conduct.
- Acting for an ultra high net worth individual in successfully leading and coordinating a multi-jurisdictional recovery action on behalf of a Russian national in the High Court of England and in actions brought in both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
- Being successfully engaged as the principal external legal advisor to the UK Tax Authorities' Specialist Investigations Directorate between 2004 and 2013 and having conduct of over 1,000 cases for HMRC resulting in the making of substantial recoveries for the UK Government in the course of so doing, litigating in numerous jurisdictions and applying for multiple forms of injunctive relief and the dissipation of assets.