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Richard Leedham


Personal Profile

Richard is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution department and head of Mishcon de Reya's Commercial Litigation practice. He advises on commercial disputes, often with international and fraud elements, with a particular specialisation in insurance.

Richard advises individual and institutional funds clients on claims arising from investments in rights issues and other corporate investments under FSMA s90 and s 90A, and is involved in some of the leading cases in this developing area, for example advising Scottish Widows and others in their claims in the RBS rights issue litigation. He also advised Standard Life in its s 90A claim vs certain directors of failed subprime lender Cattles PLC.

He also has a growing practice litigating shareholder disputes, often, but by no means exclusively, in the hedge fund/ private equity arena.  Accordingly, as well as regularly being in the Commercial Court, Richard has current and detailed expertise in the rules and procedures of all the main international trade and arbitration bodies, including  LCIA, ICC, and GAFTA, and of the FIDIC (yellow book and red book) rules.

On the insurance side, he acts predominantly for corporate policyholders on coverage issues across a wide range of industries, and has expertise in most lines of business. This includes business interruption, professional indemnity, D&O, employers' liability, corporate crime, cyber/privacy, political risk, trade credit, and all property and construction related risks. In addition, he acts for insurance and reinsurance companies in disputes, insolvency and run off issues in the reinsurance sector. Richard advised and acted for multiple policyholders (the Hiscox Action Group) in the historic FCA Business Interruption Test case and related actions. He is regularly approached by the mainstream and insurance industry press to comment on matters affecting policyholders and the insurance industry.

He has also been at the forefront of innovation in the litigation funding field, advising on and working with clients on conditional fee arrangements, and maintaining deep links with the main players in the funding and ATE community.

Richard is ranked as a Tier I expert in Chambers and has been listed as an expert in both Chambers and Legal 500 every year since 2007. 

Richard is an accredited (CEDR) mediator.

Richard is Head of Commercial Litigation team; member of Mishcon's Group Action Committee; core member of Mishcon's IBA team.

Richard is also part of MDR Solutions I team, a litigation finance venture offering greater access to funding for claimants.

Key Experience

  • Leading the claim for the Hiscox Action Group both in the FCA test case on Covid related BI claims, and also in parallel arbitration proceedings versus Hiscox.
  • Acting for multinational energy company seeking to recover E500m under its political risk insurance programme as regards expropriation of its assets in Colombia.
  • Acting for a group of over 100 investors in various Ingenious film partnerships in complex Commercial Court Group proceedings and acting for a similar group in claims vs an IFA based in Jersey in proceedings before the Jersey Court.
  • Acting for a group of institutional investors in an early settlement of a claim under FSMA s90 vs a multinational listed entity.
  • Acting for Standard Life vs certain directors of Cattles PLC as regards claims under FSMA s90A.
  • Acting for a number of institutional investors in the Group Litigation Claim vs RBS.  This was part of the £4 billion claim that RBS misled its shareholders when it carried out a rights issue in 2008 to fund the purchase of ABN Amro. Richard's clients settled their claim shortly before trial.
  • Successfully recovering £100m for a FTSE 100 life insurance company against its professional indemnity insurers in relation to liabilities arising to customers from alleged mis-selling of a pension fund;  Standard Life Assurance Ltd v Ace European Group & Ors [2012] EWHC 104 (Comm); Ace European Group & Ors v Standard Life Assurance Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1713.
  • Advising the insolvency committee of a failed Icelandic bank on the recoverability of Euro 5m under its D&O programme.
  • Advising a multinational life sciences company on coverage under D&O and Fidelity policies in respect of regulatory investigations in various jurisdictions.
  • Acting for a Swedish manufacturer of motor cycle components seeking recovery under a product recall policy.
  • Advising a sports governing body in respect of insurance arrangements for their international representative teams.
  • Advising a number of different UK and international banks on separate claims involving frauds on the banks and recoveries under BBB/Corporate Crime policies.
  • Acting for a price comparison website in connection with claims under a privacy policy in respect of claims paid out to customers for inadvertent data protection breaches.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP 2015-
Partner, Addleshaw Goddard 2000-2014
Associate/Partner, Paisner & Co (now BCLP) 1994- 2000 (partner 1999)
Trainee/Associate, Simmons & Simmons 1990-1994
King's College London, Law (LLB Hons)

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