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Practice Summary

Richard Mott has a broad practice in commercial litigation and international arbitration (inc. LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL rules). He has a particular focus on cases concerning civil fraud, banking and finance, energy, and general commercial disputes.

Richard is recommended by Chambers and Partners 2020 for Commercial Dispute Resolution (“delightful to work with and a responsive team player, who is always looking to come up with a new angle to assist clients”; “very approachable and provides excellent and sensible advice”) and Banking and Finance (“An excellent junior who gives practical and commercial advice. He is very receptive to working as part of a team and provides high-quality, thoughtful drafting”).

Over the last few years Chambers and Partners has recommended him as “A smooth advocate with a very compelling style”, “very collaborative and fiercely bright”, “really methodical, very clever and offers lots of good tactical input” and "clever, thoughtful and calm under pressure".

Richard is currently acting (with Neil Kitchener Q.C.) for 58 claimants in the Tesco Profit Overstatement group litigation, the market-leading £440 million case against Tesco Plc arising out of its profit overstatement scandal in Autumn 2014, and (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the defendants in Berkeley Square Holdings Ltd v Lancer Property Asset Management Ltd, a significant claim arising out of the management of a c.£6 billion London property portfolio. He has recently defended (with David Wolfson Q.C.) the Shell group from a US$83 million conspiracy claim, and acted (with Benjamin Strong Q.C. and as sole advocate) for the Financial Conduct Authority in FCA v Tinney [2019] UKUT 0227 (TCC), seeking to uphold prohibition and public censure orders made against a senior Barclays banker for lack of integrity.

EXAMPLES OF RECENT CASES

  • Agency

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    • New England Technical Services Ltd v Sanmina-SCI Corporation
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the claimant in relation to a substantial claim under various provisions of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
    • Acting for a German commercial agent in a dispute with its principal, an English fair trade clothing company.
    • Advising (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) an electronics company on its rights under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
    • Advising a Dutch clothing company on liability and quantum under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
  • Arbitration

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    • ICC Arbitration 
      Acting (as sole counsel) for a well-known expert advisory and consultancy firm, claiming a large amount from a leading ratings agency in respect of the provision of expert services in high-value litigation.
    • LCIA Proceedings
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C. and Gideon Cohen) in a dispute between the principal shareholders in one of the world’s largest aluminium companies, relating to two multi-billion dollar transactions. The claim raised numerous issues of contract, company and economic tort law, as well as complex factual and expert issues.
    • LCIA Proceedings
      Acting (with Daniel Toledano Q.C.) for a Dubai-based telecommunications firm in relation to a joint venture for the provision of wireless communications services in the Gulf region, claiming against its joint venture partner for breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy.
    • LCIA Proceedings
      Acting (with Daniel Toledano Q.C.) in respect of a claim arising under a terminated FX derivative contract.
    • UNCITRAL Proceedings
      Acting (with Richard Boulton Q.C.) in respect of an insurance claim by a multi-national commodities group under a fidelity policy.
    • LCIA Proceedings
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C. and Benjamin Strong) in respect of a claim arising under a terminated FX derivative contract arising under a terminated FX derivative contract
  • Banking & Finance

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    Richard frequently advises on various types of derivatives governed by the 1992 and 2002 ISDA Master Agreements, covering issues such as contravention of local law and other potential Events of Default, the calculation of Loss and other consequences of default.

    • World First UK Ltd v Newstar Garments Ltd
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant financial company, seeking to enforce a close out amount of c.£1.8 million and resist a counterclaim for £4.4 million arising out of the alleged misselling of FX derivatives throughout a four year period.
    • Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd v Andrew Gèczy
      Acting (with Thomas Linden Q.C.) for the claimant private equity firm, enforcing a loan agreement against its former CEO in the context of the latter’s dismissal for gross misconduct. The legal team secured a rapid conclusion to the dispute.
    • Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) v ExxonMobil Financial Services BV [2016] EWHC 2699 (Comm)
      Acting (with Rhodri Davies Q.C.) for the claimant company in administration, claiming significant sums from its counterparty to a securities repo. The judgment of Blair J is now the leading authority on the Global Master Repurchase Agreement (a market standard agreement which governs repo contracts worth many trillions of dollars at any given time), and in particular on the correct interpretation and application of its default valuation provisions.
    • Lamerdo Shipping Co Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland
      Acting (as sole counsel) for RBS, defending a claim for breach of a facility agreement in the context of a sub-participation and subsequent elevation.
    • Mercuria Energy Trading Pte Ltd & Anr v Citigroup Global Markets Ltd and Citibank N.A. [2015] 1 CLC 999
      Acting (with Daniel Toledano Q.C. and Oliver Butler) for the defendants, resisting a claim for declaratory relief and counterclaiming for c.$270 million under a series of repo transactions. The proceedings arose out of a substantial metals fraud alleged to have taken place in China, and raised numerous issues of banking law and sale of goods law.
    • Barclays Bank Plc v Svizera Holdings BV & Anr
      Acting (as sole counsel) for Barclays Bank Plc in a $38 million claim against an Indian pharmaceuticals group under a Facility Agreement. As a result of developments during proceedings, obtained a worldwide freezing order against the defendants.
    • Advising (with Lord Grabiner Q.C.) on the effect of various provisions in a subordinated loan facility agreement relating to a permitted restructuring.
    • Acting for the FCA (with Rory Phillips Q.C.) in relation to The Prudential Assurance Company Ltd’s domestication of its long-term insurance business carried on in Hong Kong.
    • Advising the FSA (with Ian Glick Q.C.) on the rights and interests of with-profits policyholders in the with-profits fund of proprietary and mutual insurance companies.
  • Civil Fraud

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    • The Tesco Profit Overstatement litigation [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch) 
      Acting (with Neil Kitchener Q.C. and Simon Gilson) for 58 institutional investors claiming over £440 million from Tesco Plc in respect of its profit overstatement revealed in Autumn 2014. The claim is made under s.90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (a statutory provision in respect of which there is no decided authority), and alleges fraudulent misrepresentations by Tesco senior management and their subordinates.
    • Arcadia Petroleum Ltd & Ors v Bosworth & Ors [2017] EWHC 3160 (Comm)
      Acting (with Steven Thompson Q.C.) for the Sixth Defendant to high-profile, c.$330 million fraud proceedings arising out of West African oil trading. The litigation has already generated several reported judgments.
    • Berkeley Square Holdings Ltd v Lancer Property Asset Management Ltd
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the Defendants to fraud and bribery claims arising out of the management of a c.£6 billion London property portfolio ultimately owed by the President of the United Arab Emirates.
    • Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority v Azima
      Acting (with Daniel Toledano Q.C.) for a high-profile individual, resisting allegations of bad faith arising out of the sale of the Sheraton Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia, and a proposed joint venture for the provision of reconnaissance and surveillance services.
    • Ivanbridge Company Corporation v Dessi & Anr
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the defendants/respondents to a claim for misappropriation of substantial trust assets and an accompanying freezing order. Applied to discharge the freezing order; the claim settled before that application was heard.
    • Prestige Carriages Ltd v Elite Sports Cars Ltd & Anr
      Acting for the claimant, obtaining ex parte delivery up, preservation and information orders in relation to a fleet of luxury cars.
    • Tidewater Marine International Inc v PhoenixTide Offshore Nigeria Ltd & Ors [2015] EWHC 2748 (Comm)
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the individuals behind a Nigerian oil and gas services company, defending equitable and economic tort claims against them alleging that they had dishonestly assisted their company’s breach of trust and procured its breach of a mandatory English court order.
    • Sloane House Ltd v Fleury & Ors
      Acting for the claimant, seeking to recover losses from fraud and the receipt of secret commissions in the context of a substantial construction project. Richard made multiple ex parte applications for freezing, asset disclosure, computer imaging, evidence preservation and passport delivery up orders. Richard then (with David Cavender Q.C.) defended an application to discharge the freezing injunction; obtained summary judgment; and committed the defendant to prison for 9 months.
    • Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) v Peterson & Ors [2013] EWCA Civ 71
      Appearing in the Court of Appeal (as sole Counsel) for one of claimant hedge fund’s former directors, challenging the trial Judge’s findings of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence arising out of the high-profile collapse of Weavering Capital due to the fraud of its CEO.
    • Jeremy D Stone Consultants Ltd & Anr v National Westminster Bank Plc & Ors [2013] EWHC 208 (Ch)
      Acting (with Stephen Auld Q.C.) for the victims of a very substantial Ponzi scheme, claiming against the defendants in dishonest assistance, conspiracy, deceit and unjust enrichment. The case concluded in a 4-week trial.
    • As a result of his expertise in the civil fraud sector, Richard has been appointed to the Serious Fraud Office’s Proceeds of Crime counsel panel.
  • Commercial Litigation

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    • The Tesco Profit Overstatement litigation [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch)
      Acting (with Neil Kitchener Q.C. and Simon Gilson) for 58 institutional investors claiming over £440 million from Tesco PLC in respect of its profit overstatement revealed in Autumn 2014. The claim is made under s.90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (a statutory provision in respect of which there is no decided authority), and alleges fraudulent misrepresentations by Tesco senior management and their subordinates.
    • Go Science Ltd (in liquidation) v Shell International Exploration and Production BV & Ors
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the Defendant multinational group, defending a claim for US$87 million. The claimants allege a long-running conspiracy by the Shell Group and other related parties to harm the claimant through repeated breaches of financing and investment agreements and wrongful refusals to purchase shares and loan notes.
    • World First UK Ltd v Newstar Garments Ltd
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant financial company, seeking to enforce a close out amount of c.£1.8 million and resist a counterclaim for c.£4.4 million arising out of the alleged misselling of FX derivatives.
    • Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings Ltd v Unitech Ltd & Ors
      Acting (with Simon Colton Q.C.) for the claimant in relation to various international enforcement proceedings. Intervened on behalf of the claimant to ensure that assets susceptible to enforcement were not dissipated in English litigation, and advised on steps to be taken in the Isle of Man, Cyprus and India.
    • Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd v Andrew Gèczy
      Acting (with Thomas Linden Q.C.) for the claimant private equity firm, enforcing a loan agreement against its former CEO in the context of the latter’s dismissal for gross misconduct. The legal team secured a rapid conclusion to the dispute.
    • Blackstar Advisors Ltd v Cheyne Capital International Ltd & Anr
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the claimant in proceedings for recovery of substantial historic and ongoing fees arising out of the introduction of financial investors to fund managers.
    • ICC Arbitration 
      Acting (as sole counsel) for a well-known expert advisory and consultancy firm, claiming a large amount from a leading ratings agency in respect of the provision of expert services in high-value litigation.
    • Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) v ExxonMobil Financial Services BV [2016] EWHC 2699 (Comm)
      Acting (with Rhodri Davies Q.C.) for the claimant company in administration, claiming significant sums from its counterparty to a securities repo. The judgment of Blair J is now the leading authority on the Global Master Repurchase Agreement (a market standard agreement which governs repo contracts worth many trillions of dollars at any given time), and in particular on the correct interpretation and application of its default valuation provisions.
    • Mercuria Energy Trading Pte Ltd & Anr v Citigroup Global Markets Ltd and Citibank N.A. [2015] 1 CLC 999
      Acting (with Daniel Toledano Q.C. and Oliver Butler) for the defendants, resisting a claim for declaratory relief and counterclaiming for c.$270 million under a series of repo transactions. The proceedings arose out of a substantial metals fraud alleged to have taken place in China, and raised numerous issues of banking law and sale of goods law.
  • Company and Insolvency

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    • Confidential Arbitration
      Acting (as sole counsel) for a major sports club, alleging that one of its directors was guilty of leaking confidential information and otherwise breaching his fiduciary duties. The case settled the evening before a 4-day hearing.
    • LCIA Arbitration 
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C. and Gideon Cohen) in a dispute between the principal shareholders in one of the world’s largest aluminium companies, relating to two multi-billion dollar transactions (LCIA Rules). The claim raised numerous issues of contract, company and economic tort law, as well as complex factual and expert issues.
    • Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) v Peterson & Ors [2013] EWCA Civ 71
      Appearing in the Court of Appeal (as sole Counsel) for one of claimant hedge fund’s former directors, challenging the trial Judge’s findings of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence arising out of the high-profile collapse of Weavering Capital due to the fraud of its CEO.
    • Japan Lifestyle Ltd & Ors v Yip Fai Liu & Ors
      Acting (as sole counsel) for a member of an unincorporated association in an action against trustees for an account, in the context of allegedly wrongful diversion of trust funds.
    • James C Penny (Estate Agents) Ltd v James Penny & Ors
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant company against its former managers who were alleged to have deprived it of substantially the whole of its business. Claims included breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, passing off and conversion. Obtained substantial pre-action injunctive relief.
  • Energy and Natural Resources

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    • Go Science Ltd (in liquidation) v Shell International Exploration and Production BV & Ors
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the Defendant multinational oil and gas companies, defending a claim for US$87 million.
    • Clermont Energy Partners LLP v SDP Services Ltd
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for an oilfield services company in respect of dealings with two Nigerian oil blocks.
    • Tullow Uganda Ltd v Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd & Anr [2013] EWHC 1656 (Comm); [2014] EWCA Civ 1048
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for the claimant in a $313m claim concerning various petroleum exploration and development rights. The claim resulted in a 3-week Commercial Court trial and a two day Court of Appeal hearing.
    • Advising an oil company on its rights under a sale and purchase agreement.
    • Tidewater Marine International Inc v PhoenixTide Offshore Nigeria Ltd & Ors
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the individuals behind a Nigerian oil and gas services company.
    • Rockover Energy Ltd & Ors v Les Etablissements Maurel et Prom S.A.
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimants, which had sold their rights in two petroleum exploration areas in Gabon to the defendant oil company.
    • ICC Arbitration 
      Advising (as sole counsel) one of the world’s largest engineering and electronics companies in an arbitral claim against one of the world’s largest natural gas companies.
  • Injunctions (including freezing orders and search orders, and orders for disclosure of information)

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    • Arcadia Petroleum Ltd & Ors v Bosworth & Ors [2017] EWHC 3160 (Comm)
      Acting (with Steven Thompson Q.C.) for the Sixth Defendant to high-profile, c.$330 million fraud proceedings arising out of West African oil trading. Applied to discharge the freezing order on a variety of grounds.
    • Barclays Bank Plc v Svizera Holdings BV & Anr
      Obtaining (as sole counsel) a worldwide freezing order in the sum of $38 million, during the course of ongoing proceedings.
    • Terre Neuve SARL v HSBC Bank Plc
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant. Obtained an urgent Norwich Pharmacal / Bankers Trust order so that those responsible for misappropriation of c.€9 million could be identified.
    • GIA v Law and Anr
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the applicant, obtaining search and computer imaging orders in a misuse of confidential information and misappropriation of assets case.
    • Ivanbridge Company Corporation v Dessi & Anr
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the defendants/respondents to a claim for misappropriation of substantial trust assets and an accompanying freezing order. Applied to discharge the freezing order; the claim settled before that application was heard.
    • Sloane House Ltd v Fleury & Ors
      Obtaining (as sole counsel) on multiple occasions freezing, asset disclosure, computer imaging, evidence preservation and passport delivery up orders.
    • Tidewater Marine International Inc v PhoenixTide Offshore Nigeria Ltd & Ors
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the individual respondents to a worldwide freezing order in respect of their application to vary the order and permit access to substantial sums held in Switzerland (reported at [2015] EWHC 2748 (Comm)), and in respect of their applications challenging jurisdiction and seeking the discharge of the freezing order.
    • Prestige Carriages Ltd v Elite Sports Cars Ltd & Anr
      Obtaining (as sole counsel) urgent delivery up, preservation and information orders in relation to a fleet of luxury cars.
    • Clermont Energy Partners LLP v SDP Services Ltd
      Acting (with David Wolfson Q.C.) for an oilfield services company, the respondent to a pre-action disclosure application arising out of dealings in respect of two Nigerian oil blocks.
    • National Grid Gas Plc v National Westminster Bank Plc
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant. Obtained an urgent Norwich Pharmacal order to allow the recipients of c.£1.2 million to be identified following a phishing scam.
    • Jackson Lifts v Billingsley
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant. Obtained an urgent Norwich Pharmacal order against a senior employee
  • Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws

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    • Tidewater Marine International Inc v PhoenixTide Offshore Nigeria Ltd & Ors [2015] EWHC 2748 (Comm)
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the individual defendants in respect of their applications challenging jurisdiction on the basis of foreign governing law.
    • Bullimore v Northern and Western Insurance Company
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the Caribbean-domiciled defendant contesting English jurisdiction. The application involved numerous conflict of laws and jurisdiction issues and culminated in a 1-day hearing.
    • New England Technical Services Ltd v Sanmina-SCI Corporation
      Acting (with Sa’ad Hossain Q.C.) for the claimant in relation to permission to serve out of the jurisdiction, relying on the mandatory application of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
    • Advising (with David Wolfson Q.C.) foreign introducing agents in respect of jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues arising in respect of their tortious and contractual claims against a number of European financial institutions and individuals.
    • Advising (with Neil Kitchener Q.C.) potential foreign claimants in respect of complex jurisdictional and governing law issues arising out of allegedly negligent financial advice.
  • Financial Services and Regulatory Law

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    • Financial Conduct Authority v Tinney [2019] UKUT 0227 (TCC) 
      Acting (with Benjamin Strong Q.C. and as sole advocate) for the Financial Conduct Authority in high-profile Upper Tribunal proceedings seeking to uphold and extend the prohibition and public censure orders made by the Authority against a former senior Barclays banker for lack of integrity.
    • Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd v Andrew Gèczy
      Acting (with Thomas Linden Q.C.) for the claimant private equity firm against its former CEO in the context of the latter’s dismissal for gross misconduct. The case raised issues of regulatory, banking and employment law. The legal team secured a rapid conclusion to the dispute.
    • World First UK Limited v Newstar Garments Ltd
      Acting (as sole counsel) for the claimant financial company, seeking to enforce a close out amount of c.£1.8 million and resist a counterclaim for c.£4.4 million arising out of the alleged misselling of FX derivatives in breach of various COBS obligations.
    • Acting for the FCA (with Rory Phillips Q.C.) in relation to The Prudential Assurance Company Ltd’s domestication of its long-term insurance business carried on in Hong Kong.
    • Advising the FSA (with Ian Glick Q.C.) on the rights and interests of with-profits policyholders in the with-profits fund of proprietary and mutual insurance companies.
    • Advising the FSA (with Ian Glick Q.C.) on the FSA’s rule-making powers in relation to the with-profits fund of a proprietary life insurance company.
    • Advising two structured product issuers (with Daniel Toledano Q.C.) on their compliance with the FSA’s rules on financial promotion.

Academic Achievements

Levy Plumb prize for the Humanities, Christ’s College [2000]
Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple [2004/5]
Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple [2005/6]

Education

[2000 - 2003] Christ's College, Cambridge: BA, History (First Class)
[2004 - 2005] City University: CPE (Commendation)
[2005 - 2006] Inns of Court School of Law: BVC (Outstanding)