People

Richard Blakeley

Year of Call: 2007

Email: richard.blakeley@brickcourt.co.uk

Clerk: Luke Carvalho luke.carvalho@brickcourt.co.uk

Richard Blakeley

Year of Call: 2007

Email: richard.blakeley@brickcourt.co.uk

Clerk: Luke Carvalho   luke.carvalho@brickcourt.co.uk

“A junior counsel with a bright future. He is sharp and creative with a commercial perspective beyond his experience. He is not afraid to take a view on a matter independent of other advisers."
- Chambers & Partners 2016

"Incredibly hard-working and very smart, he punches above his weight. On his feet, he is very confident and very effective, and he shows good judgement."
- Chambers & Partners 2015

Overview

Richard has a broad practice that covers all aspects of Chambers’ work but with particular expertise in commercial dispute resolution, civil fraud, banking, competition law and EU law.  In 2015 he was awarded Young Practitioner of the Year by the World Export Controls Review, having been active in some of the highest-profile matters reported by WorldECR, and being instrumental in recently securing the de-listing of numerous key EU sanctions targets.

Recent high-profile cases in which Richard has been instructed include acting on behalf of the claimant Libyan Investment Authority in a multibillion-dollar fraud claim concerning five complex financial transactions which the LIA alleges were procured by corruption; acting for the defendants to claims brought by Chevron in respect of an alleged $18bn conspiracy to obtain a fraudulent judgment in Ecuador; acting for the principal defendants to claims brought by the Arcadia Petroleum group of companies in respect of an alleged fraud worth c.$300m; the trial of the JPMorgan v BVG litigation, involving a CDO transaction worth in excess of $200million; the still on-going Pay TV litigation in which Richard is instructed for the FA Premier League and Ofcom’s recently-opened investigation into the Premier League’s rights sales. Richard has previously been instructed in  a number of cases on behalf of Boris Berezovsky, including the multi-billion dollar litigation against the estate of his former business partner and Vasily Anisimov and a $100m fraud claim brought by the Russian State airline.

Richard is recommended by Chambers and Partners 2015 as "Incredibly hard-working and very smart, he punches above his weight. On his feet, he is very confident and very effective, and he shows good judgement."

Richard also has particular expertise in challenging and advising on EU, UK and EU sanctions measures and is currently instructed by more than a dozen banks, companies and individuals to challenge the sanctions imposed upon them both in the General Court and the Administrative Court. Of Richard’s sanctions cases that have reached final determination, the large majority have resulted in the sanctioned person or entity being de-listed.

Richard has appeared in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division, and various county courts, as well as being led in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the European General Court and the Court of Justice. He has also been involved in numerous arbitrations, including arbitrations under ICC and LCIA rules.

About

Richard has been a member of Chambers since the completion of his pupillage in 2008. Prior to coming to the Bar, Richard received a double first in Law from the University of Cambridge, graduating from Fitzwilliam College with the prize for the best academic performance in the graduating class across all science and arts subjects. He then received his LL.M. at Harvard Law School to which he was awarded a full scholarship (as the Baker & McKenzie scholar). Before commencing his pupillage, Richard spent time working in investment banking for Goldman Sachs. Richard was based in GS’s Operations division, working with credit derivative and interest rate swaps in the documentation team.

Whilst studying for the BVC, on which he was ranked outstanding, Richard was a supervisor in Constitutional law at Gonville and Caius College and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, an examiner in Applied Criminology at the University of Cambridge, and a tutor and examiner in public law at King's College London.

practice areas

Richard’s practice covers all aspects of commercial dispute resolution, civil fraud, banking, competition law and EU law.

Commercial

Richard practices in all aspects of commercial dispute resolution. In recent years, Richard has been instructed on a number of high profile commercial and banking disputes, including:

  • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale and ors: Richard acts for the claimant LIA in respect of multi-billion dollar claims brought against SocGen and a Mr Giahmi alleging that five complex transactions were procured by fraud and corruption. A recent judgment in the on-going litigation (concerning principles applicable to confidentiality clubs where there is an allege risk to life and limb) is found at [2015] EWHC 550 (QB). The case is set for trial in April 2017.
  • Arcadia Petroleum Ltd and ors v Bosworth, Hurley and ors: Richard acts for the first and second of 10 defendants alleged to have been part of a scheme to defraud the Arcadia Petroleum Group out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The first and second defendants have successfully challenged jurisdiction in respect of some but not all the claims brought and the jurisdiction issues will now go to the Court of Appeal.
  • Chevron v DeLeon and Torvia Ltd: Richard acted for the defendants to claims brought by Chevron in Gibraltar alleging their participation in a conspiracy to procure a fraudulent $18 billion judgment in Ecuador by inter alia subverting the Ecuadorean judiciary. The defendants denied the allegations. The related litigation has been on-going for more than 20 years in numerous jurisdictions.
  • Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank and The Bank of New York Mellon: acting for DZ Bank in a c.€35m dispute arising out of a series of tripartite repurchase transactions between LBIE and DZ in respect of which BNYM acted as collateral manager. LBIE and DZ claim against each other for amounts allegedly due under the TPRs and DZ brings an additional claim against BNYM for breach of its duties as collateral manager in particular by placing substantial ineligible collateral in DZ’s custody account.
  • JPMorgan v BVG: a dispute involving a single-tranche CDO transaction worth in excess of $200million and which previously reached both the Supreme Court and the CJEU on issues of jurisdiction. BVG also brought an additional claim against Clifford Chance Germany in respect of alleged negligent advice and breach of duty. The parties settled after 7 weeks of the 3-month Commercial Court trial.
  • Aeroflot v Berezovsky and Glushkov: claim by Aeroflot to enforce a Russian judgment against Berezovsky who successfully applied for summary judgment on the basis that enforcement of the judgment would be contrary to the principle of finality and hence contrary to English public policy ([2012] EWHC 3017 (Ch)).
  • Berezovsky v Hine and (Others); Berezovsky v Anisimov and Ors: multi-billion dollar litigation comprising various cases brought by Mr Berezovsky against (amongst others) the estate of his former business partner and Vasily Anisimov.
  • QOGT Inc v International Oil and Gas Technology Fund: acting for the successful defendant fund in a $15 million contractual dispute relating to alleged breach by an of an investment management agreement ([2014] EWHC 1628 (comm)).
  • Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Forus Holding ors: $120m fraud claim by the Russian state airline against Berezovsky and others arising out of events alleged to have happened in Russia in the mid to late 1990s.
  • Two multi-million dollar LCIA arbitrations acting for the successful insurers seeking to avoid payment under a political risk insurance policy.
  • Tamara Ecclestone v Khyami and others [2014] EWHC 29 (QB): acting for the successful defendants to a claim by Ms Eccelstone for conversion for a Lamborghini and in defending a contempt application brought in the proceedings.

Competition

Richard has a broad EU and competition law practice. Richard is regularly on EU and UK competition law litigation and matters and appeared as junior counsel for the successful claimants in the landmark Purple Parking case. He is recommended as an up-and-coming junior in Competition Law by Chambers and Partners 2013 who "has already attracted attention for his "impressive" competition law work, and is noted for his "responsive and practical" approach."

Competition matters on which Richard has been instructed include:

  • BSKY, Premier League and ors v Ofcom (CAT) [2012] CAT 20 and (Court of Appeal) [2014] EWCA Civ 133; [2014] 4 All E.R. 673: Richard appeared for the Premier League in a successful challenge to Ofcom's Pay TV decision that Sky must wholesale its Sky Sports channels to eligible competitors at a set price; the matter is still on-going and has been remitted to the CAT by the Court of Appeal for consideration of an issue that the CAT was said to have missed.
  • Advising and acting for the FA Premier League in respect of Ofcom’s newly-opened investigation into the Premier League’s sale of its rights, for which it received over £5 billion at auction in February 2015.
  • Purple Parking & Meteor Parking v Heathrow Airport Limited [2011] EWHC 987 (Ch): landmark Article 102 / Chapter II claim, acting for the successful claimant valet parking companies who established that Heathrow Airport's decision to relocate their operations to the car parks from the forecourts was an abuse of Heathrow's dominant position.
  • Federation Luxembourgoise de Boxe, Warren and ors v British Board of Boxing Control: acting for 7 claimants in abuse of dominance claim against the BBBC, alleging that the BBBC's threatened disciplinary action in the wake of the Haye v Chisora fight was contrary to Art.101/Chapter II;
  • CP Plus v Moto Hospitality Limited: acting for the defendant alleging agreements for the provision of HGV parking management services to motorway service station parking services are anti-competitive and unenforceable;

EU Law

Richard practices in all areas of EU law and has appeared in EU law matters in the High Court as well as the General Court and the Court of Justice. Richard has particular expertise in challenging and advising on international and EU sanctions measures. He is currently instructed by more than twenty banks, companies and individuals, in over a dozen cases, to challenge the sanctions imposed upon them both in the General Court and the Administrative Court. Of Richard’s sanctions cases that have reached final determination, the large majority have resulted in the sanctioned person or entity being de-listed.  These include the Iranian banks Bank Mellat (Case T-496/10), Bank Saderat Iran (Case T-494/10), and Bank Tejarat (Case T-176/12), the Chairman of Bank Mellat (Case T-497/10) and senior figures at UK and Dubai banks (Cases T-69/12 and 71/12).

Other EU matters on which Richard has been instructed include:

  • Case C‐585/13 P Europäisch­Iranische Handelsbank AG v Council: the leading CJEU authority on the relationship between licensing decisions of national competent authorities and subsequent decisions by the EU Council to impose restrictive measures on the licensed entity.
  • Joined Cases Case C‐176/13 P and C-200/13 P Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat Iran v Council: after the two large banks succeeded before the General Court in obtaining the annulment of the sanctions imposed on them, the Council appealed to the CJEU. Advocate General Sharpston has opined in favour of the banks and judgment is awaited.
  •  IAG and British Airways v SEPLA and IFALPA [2013] EWHC 1657 (Comm): appearing for the Spanish defendant SEPLA in a successful jurisdiction challenge to claims by IAG and BA. In a ground-breaking case, SEPLA successfully argued that IAG and BA’s claims based on an alleged violation of their free movement rights were not civil or commercial matters within the Jurisdiction Regulation 44/2001.
  • Case C-110/12 P(R) Akhras v Council: important interim relief decision in which the Presidents of the Union Courts clarified the standard to be applied on hearing such applications and rejected the applicant's claim for interim relief notwithstanding evidence that the imposition of sanctions had put his life in real danger.
  • Case C-380/09P Melli Bank plc v Council of the European Union - acting for the appellant bank (a UK subsidiary of an Iranian bank) challenging the Council's decision to freeze its funds as part of measures to counter Iranian nuclear proliferation.
  • Case C-343/09 R.(Afton Chemical Limited) v Secretary of State for Transport - acting for Afton Chemical in a challenge to the validity of Article 1(8) of the Fuel Quality Directive (Directive 2009/30/EC) which seeks to limit the use of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl. The European Court of Justice will hear the case in April 2010.

Public Law

In addition to Richard’s EU practice, Richard is regularly instructed to advise on public law matters and matters in the Administrative Court.

Richard has recently been instructed on a number of judicial review cases regarding the application of sanctions on individual and entities alleged to support Iranian nuclear proliferation and regularly advises on the applicability and meaning of UK sanctions. Of particular note, Richard was instructed to seek an injunction restraining the Foreign Secretary from voting to re-impose sanctions on an Iranian individual at a meeting of the EU Council in Brussels: NITC and Golparvar v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2015] EWHC 282 (Admin). Richard has also recently advised the FSA and HM Treasury on a number of issues concerning the payment of compensation under guaranteed investment and deposit schemes.

Arbitration

Richard is regularly engaged in commercial arbitrations including arbitrations under the ICC and LCIA rules.

Most recently, Richard was instructed on a series of multi-million dollar LCIA arbitrations acting for successful insurers seeking to avoid payment under a political risk insurance policy. Richard also recently acted unled in a $10 million LCIA arbitration for respondent Charterers alleged to have committed a repudiatory breach of a Charterparty by refusing to perform.

Publications

  • The New Tribunals Handbook (Bloomsbury Professional, 2011) - a procedural guide to the Tribunals under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
  • Competition Litigation - UK Practice and Procedure (Green QC and Brealey QC eds.) (OUP, 2010), contributing author.
  • Purple Parking Limited and Meteor Parking Limited v Heathrow Airport Limited [2011] Comp Law 288
  • Prolonged Mental Harm: The Torturous Reasoning Behind a New Standard for Psychological Abuse' (2007) 20 Harvard Human Rights Journal 263

Qualifications

Education

BPP School of Law (2006-2007)

Harvard Law School (2005-2006)

Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge (2002-2005)

Qualifications

Bar Vocational Course (2007) (Outstanding)

LL.M. (2006)

MA Law (2005) (First Class)

Scholarships & Prizes

Lincoln's Inn

Buchanan Prize

Lord Denning Scholarship

Hardwicke Entrance Award

University of Cambridge

Baker & McKenzie Scholarship (full scholarship for LL.M. at Harvard Law School)

ECS Wade Prize for administrative law

Squire scholarship

Fitzwilliam College

Scholar of the Year (best academic performance across all subjects and years in Fitzwilliam College graduating class of 2005)

Reddaway Prize (for contribution to the prestige of the College)

Mary Luck Prize (for achievement across a Cambridge career)

Other

Winner, the Weekly Law Reports mooting competition (2004)

Directory Quotes

  • "A junior counsel with a bright future. He is sharp and creative with a commercial perspective beyond his experience. He is not afraid to take a view on a matter independent of other advisers." (Chambers & Partners 2016)
  • "Very efficient, hard-working and very user-friendly. He's always able to help, and his work product is invariably excellent." (Chambers & Partners 2016)
  • “A well-regarded junior with an enviable and high-profile recent caseload.” (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "Incredibly hard-working and very smart, he punches above his weight. On his feet, he is very confident and very effective, and he shows good judgement." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "Very confident and very effective. He shows good judgement on the legal issues, and is very succinct in his advice." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • “This rising star of commercial law and competition and EU law is noted for his handling of a series of high-profile cases, including a number of the recent oligarch cases.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • "An intelligent and hard-working junior." "He has a great 'can-do' attitude." (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “Developing a reputation as an emerging talent in the EU field.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • "He has a wonderful ability to circumnavigate a mountain of facts and issues in order to focus on the key points in a case." (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • Recommended for Competition/EU law by Chambers & Partners 2013 as an "up and coming" junior who "has already attracted attention for his "impressive" competition law work, and is noted for his "responsive and practical" approach."

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