Richard Leedham, Partner, Dispute Resolution

Richard Leedham


Personal Profile

Richard is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution department, who 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 led the team defending a Kazakh businessman against claims of $5billion brought by a state owned Bank, including defending various alleged breaches of world-wide freezing and receivership orders. The litigation was amongst the most complex ever seen in the UK and involved over 40 hearings and multiple jurisdictions.

Richard also advises international clients on shipping disputes over charter parties and letters of credit. He is also involved in international construction disputes, and 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 policy holders on coverage issues across a wide range of industries, and has expertise in most lines of business. This includes 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 is ranked as a Tier I expert in Chambers 2017 and has been listed as an expert in both Chambers and Legal 500 since 2007. He was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™ in the United Kingdom 2017 in the field of Insurance Law. 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 an accredited (CEDR) mediator.

Key Experience

  • Acting for a number of institutional investors in the Group Litigation Claim vs RBS.  This is 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 misselling of a pension fund
  • 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
  • Advising a pharmaceutical multinational on improvements to its global insurance programme

Articles and Publications

Leedham's Way

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner, Addleshaw Goddard
Associate, Paisner & Co (now BLP)
Trainee/Associate, Simmons & Simmons
King's College London, Law (LLB Hons)


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