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Richard Waller QC

Year of Call: 1994
Year of Silk: 2012

email: rwaller@7kbw.co.uk

Practice Profile

Richard joined 7KBW in 1994, following the completion of his pupillage, and has been practising as a commercial barrister since then.

Richard specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, acting both as an advocate and in an advisory capacity. His practice covers all areas of commercial law, with an emphasis on insurance, reinsurance, shipping, civil fraud, banking and finance, energy, professional negligence and general commercial disputes. He has acted in a wide spectrum of cases of different types and sizes and has extensive experience of litigating in the commercial court and representing clients in all forms of arbitration, including shipping arbitrations before the LMAA, insurance arbitrations under the ARIAS Arbitration Rules and international arbitration before the LCIA. He has acted in two of the heaviest pieces of litigation seen in the Commercial Court in recent years: in 2012/2013 he acted for the successful defendant in the high value, one billion US$, Excalibur case relating to oil exploration rights in Kurdistan; in 2014/2015, he acted for the defendant in the high profile Republic of Djibouti case involving fraud and alleged misfeasance in public office. The Legal Directories recommend Richard as a leading new silk in his practice areas and is described as "a very powerful advocate", "hard-working, imaginative and polished" and "a master of detailed advice, who provides charming yet focused cross-examination, and spot-on legal analysis."

General Information

1983-1988        Radley College.

1989-1992        Trinity College, Cambridge (History 2.1 MA).

1992-1883        City University (CPE Diploma in law, merit).

1993-1994        Inns of Court School of Law (Grade: outstanding). Macaskie Award.

Areas of Practice

Richard Waller QC specialises in the following areas:

Insurance & Reinsurance

Richard’s insurance and reinsurance practice is wide ranging. He is a key player in political risk insurance and reinsurance arbitrations including disputes involving Egypt, Argentina, Chile, Azerbaijan, Libya, India and Indonesia. He has also recently been involved in cases concerning a property and business interruption claim arising out of a fire at a recycling plant, contingency insurance risks, a reinsurance dispute relating to Hurricane Katrina, a professional indemnity policy relating to a Portuguese construction project, a dispute involving a US coverholder, a dispute relating to a cash in transit policy and an industry loss warranty financial reinsurance product.

Richard has acted in a wide range of cases in this area. Cases in which he had been involved in this area include:

  • Richard has acted in a large number of political risk insurance and reinsurance arbitrations in the last few years involving projects in Egypt, Argentina, Chile, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Venezuela and Dubai.
  • H v Reinsurers [2014]: for reinsurers in an international arbitration under ARIAS Rules concerning a quota share reinsurance treaty
  • Lincoln v LMA [2014]: for LMA in relation to letter of request dispute
  • BL v Insurers [2013]: for insurers relating to a claim arising out of the cancellation of a music festival
  • J v Insurers [2012]: for insured in a complex trade credit insurance dispute
  • M v Insurers [2011]: for insurers in a Bermuda Form arbitration involving manufacturer’s liability for allegedly making and distributing defective pace-makers.
  • N v Insurers [2010-11]: for reinsurers in property and business interruption claim arising out of hurricane Katrina in relation to US shipyards in Gulf Coast.
  • G v G [2010]: for reinsurers in a complex high value ($16 m) reinsurance arbitration under ARIAS Rules arising out of the Witch Creek wildfires in California in 2007.
  • Ace Capital v CMS Energy Corporation [2009] Lloyd's Rep. IR 414. Anti-suit injunction. This case concerned the interplay between arbitration clauses and service of suit clauses in Lloyds’ policies issued to US-based insureds. Richard, acting for various Lloyds’ syndicates, obtained an anti-suit injunction preventing the insured bringing its claim before a jury in the United States.



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Richard has acted in a wide range of cases in this area. Richard has acted and continues to act in a large number of shipping cases both in the commercial court and in arbitration including bill of lading, charterparty, bunker, crane damage, piracy,  cancellation,  ship  sale  and  shipbuilding disputes.

Selected cases:

  • ST Shipping and Transport Inc v Kriti Filoxenia Shipping Co SA [2015] EWHC 997 (Comm) Cancellation; Contract terms; Laytime; Loading; Nomination; Voyage charters
  • The Crudesky [2013] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 415.Detention of oil tanker in Nigeria. Contravention of foreign law and force majeure.
  • Congentra Ag v Sixteen Thirteen Marine SA (The “Nicholas M”) [2008] 2 Lloyd'sRep. 602. Freezing Injunction. Owners obtained a Rule B attachment order in New York. Richard, acting for Charterers, obtained a freezing injunction in aid of wrongful attachment claim in English arbitration.
  • Ravennavi SPA v New Century Shipbuilding Co Ltd [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 24. Shipping. The effect of an entire agreement clause in a shipbuilding contract.
  • The Charlotte C [2005] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 626. Unsafe berth case.
  • The Marseilles [2003] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 503. Recovery of Settlement Loss (Commercial Court).
  • East West Corporation v DKBS 1912 [2002] 2 Lloyds Rep. 182; [2003] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 239 (CA). Shipping. Misdelivery; title to sue under Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992.
  • Cenargo v Astilleros (2002) CLC 1151 (CA). Shipping. Newbuilding RoRo Ferry. Liquidated damages.
  • The River Ngada (2001) LMLN 570. Shipping. Cargo damage. Mitigation.
  • The “Yellow Star” [2000] 2 Lloyds Rep. 637. Application of time-bar in context of failure to supply supporting documents for demurrage claim.
  • The Hai Hing [2000] 1 Lloyds Rep. 300. Incorporation of Hague Rules.
  • The Rio Assu [1999] 1 Lloyds Rep. 115 (CA); [1999] 1 Lloyds 201. The meaning and effect of P&I Club’s letters of undertaking.

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Civil Fraud

In terms of his civil fraud practice, in 2015, Richard was involved in a high profile and heavy piece of commercial court litigation relating to allegations of bribery and corruption in relation to various high value infrastructure projects in Djibouti.

He is also currently involved in a complex and high-value multi-party commercial fraud dispute, due to come on for a four-month hearing before the Commercial Court in late 2016 or early 2017.

Selected cases:

  • Boreh v Djibouti [2015] EWHC 769 Dishonesty; Equitable principles; Freezing injunctions; Full and frank disclosure; Professional conduct; Solicitors
  • Orb ARL v Ruhan [2015] EWHC 262  Breach of trust; Particulars of claim; Service out of jurisdiction

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Professional Negligence

Richard has acted in a wide range of cases in this area specialising in broker negligence claims.

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International Arbitration

Richard’s international arbitration practice is wide ranging. In recent years, Richard has been engaged in numerous international arbitrations, including (a) a $70 m business interruption arbitration arising out of Hurricane Katrina (b) a $80 million political risk arbitration under the LCIA Rules involving alleged expropriation by the Indonesian Government (c) a $16 m reinsurance arbitration under ARIAS Rules arising out of the Witch Creek wildfires in California and (d) a large value political risk arbitration involving arms sanctions in Libya.

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Energy & Natural Resources

In 2012/2013, Richard spent the majority of his time working on the Excalibur litigation relating to oil exploration in Kurdistan. This US$1.6 billion case was one of the most significant cases to be tried in the Commercial Court in 2012/13.

Selected cases:

  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone [2013] EWHC 2767: energy and banking and finance.

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Banking and Finance

In 2012/2013, Richard spent the majority of his time working on the high value Excalibur litigation. A key aspect of the litigation concerned investment banking and finance.

Selected cases:

  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone [2013] EWHC 2767: energy and banking and finance

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General Commercial Disputes

Richard is experienced in a wide range of commercial law disputes including: agency, conflicts of laws, energy, injunctions, international trade, jurisdiction issues and sale of goods.

In 2012/2013, Richard spent the majority of his time working on the Excalibur litigation relating to oil exploration in Kurdistan. This US$1.6 billion case was one of the most significant cases to be tried in the Commercial Court in 2012/13. Following judgment in the main action, Richard successfully obtained judgment against the third-party litigation funders for indemnity costs.

Richard is currently representing the defendant in a commercial court action brought by the Republic of Djibouti for an alleged abuse of public authority arising out of the development of the Djibouti free zone.

Selected cases:

  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone [2015] EWHC 566 Costs orders; Third Party Litigation funders; Indemnity basis; Interest rates; Interim payments

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In the Directories

  • "He has a ridiculous work ethic and is really incredibly bright." Chambers UK 2016
  • "He has very clear, clever drafting. He gets the points and puts them across neatly." Chambers UK 2016
  • "He is very impressive both in terms of his written submissions and his advocacy." Chambers UK 2016
  • "While a natural leader, he is also very receptive to ideas from the wider team. He is a talented and intellectually robust advocate who is able to distil complex legal argument." Chambers UK 2016
  • Refreshingly unstuffy, always calm and fearless yet charming in court. Legal 500 2015
  • He is lovely to work with and never dismissive or too important to help with the spadework. Legal 500 2015
  • He exerts a complete mastery of the facts Legal 500 2015
  • "He is extremely good on his feet and outshines the opposition." Chambers UK 2015
  • "He is calm under pressure and can come up with persuasive arguments when it looks like we are in a pickle." Chambers UK 2015
  • "He's excellent on his feet," and "he's not afraid to point out the difficulties in a case to his instructing solicitor." Chambers UK 2015
  • “He's excellent on his feet" Chambers Global 2015
  • Richard is noted for “his keen eye for detail” Legal 500 2013
  • Richard is “enjoyable to work with, as he's both patient and capable. He has an excellent grasp of tricky technical issues" Chambers UK 2013
  • “great lawyer and advocate” Legal 500 2010
  •  “displays a very effective rapport with judges in court.” Chambers UK 2010
  • “extremely hard working” Chambers UK 2010
  •  “a standout rising star.” Chambers UK 2010
  • “technically strong, hardworking, easy to work with and responsive.” Legal 500 2010
  • “incisive and clear.” Legal 500 2009
  • “leaves no stone unturned.” Chambers UK 2009
  • “very commercial and shows fine attention to detail.” Chambers UK 2009
  • “A star in the making”, the “brilliant”. “A talented advocate”. “He creates mischief in his clients’ interest.” Chambers UK 2008
  • “extremely bright, hard-working and resilient.” Chambers UK 2008