Brick Court Chambers

Richard Howell

Richard Howell


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Richard joined Chambers as a tenant in September 2019, following the successful completion of his pupillage under the supervision of Martin Chamberlain QC, Tony Singla and Marie Demetriou QC. He is now developing a broad practice across all of chambers’ main practice areas, including public, EU/international, competition and commercial law.

Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • R (Miller) v Prime Minister – junior counsel for the Prime Minister in the English prorogation litigation before the Divisional Court and Supreme Court.
  • R (Liberty) v Prime Minister – junior counsel for the Prime Minister in English proceedings concerning the EU (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 (‘the Benn Act’).
  • Allianz Global Investors v Barclays Bank – acting in a competition damages claim arising out of allegedly unlawful activity by banks on the foreign exchange market (with Marie Demetriou QC and Colin West QC).
  • Advising in relation to a competition investigation.
  • Advising in relation to an auditor’s negligence claim.

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  • Public Law M

    Examples of current and recent instructions include:

    • Junior counsel for the Government in the English judicial reviews concerning the EU (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 (‘the Benn Act’), including R (Liberty) v Prime Minister [2020] 1 WLR 1193 (prerogative powers, the frustration principle, and judicial comity between UK jurisdictions in public law cases).
    • Junior counsel for the Government in R (Miller) v Prime Minister in the Divisional Court [2019] EWHC 2381 (QB) and Supreme Court [2019] 3 WLR 589 (concerning prorogation, prerogative powers, justiciability, parliamentary sovereignty, and art. IX of the Bill of Rights).
    • Junior counsel (led by Maya Lester QC and Sarah Love) in R (Bluebird Boats) v The Royal Parks Limited and another, a challenge to the decision to break the continuity of boating services on the Serpentine (permission and interim relief judgment: [2020] EWHC 3647 (Admin)).
    • Defending appeals against enforcement orders under the Child Support Act 1991.
    • Resisting non-party costs orders under the Civil Legal Aid (Costs) Regulations 2013.
    • Obtaining an extension of an interim suspension of a paramedic from the Administrative Court.
    • Advising in an employment case concerning the presumption against Crown application, the divisible capacity of the Crown in overseas territories, and the employment status of police officers.
    • Advising in relation to Articles 2, 3, 6, 7 and 14 of the ECHR.

    As a pupil, Richard assisted in a range of public law matters, including:

    • R (British Telecommunications plc) v HM Treasury [2019] Pens LR 2019 (judicial review in the Divisional Court on powers to index public sector pensions, improper purpose and A1P1, with Martin Chamberlain QC and Tim Johnston).
    • R (Privacy International) v IPT [2019] 2 WLR 1219 (an intervention in the Supreme Court on the interpretation and permissibility of clauses ousting judicial review, with Martin Chamberlain QC and David Heaton).
    • R (BF (Eritrea)) v SSHD [2020] 4 WLR 38 (intervention in judicial review of the legality of the Home Office’s age assessment policy, with Martin Chamberlain QC).
    • R (Advanz Pharma Corp) v CMA [2019] EWHC 1605 (Admin) (judicial review on procedural fairness and rationality of CMA investigative decisions, with Marie Demetriou QC).
    • Advice on bodies subject to the public sector equality duty, the amenability of the Attorney General to judicial review, the ambit of public sector pay guidelines and the introduction of new rules for pending applications (with Martin Chamberlain QC).
  • Competition M

    Examples of current and recent instructions include:

    • Richard acts as junior counsel for the Claimants (led by Marie Demetriou QC and Colin West QC) in Allianz Global Investors v Barclays Bank and others, a follow-on and standalone damages claim brought in respect of allegedly unlawful conduct by banks on the foreign exchange market.
    • Junior counsel for the appellant in appeal against a CMA decision to impose the maximum penalty under the Competition Act 1998, including a challenge to the legality of the CMA’s penalty guidance (led by Robert O’Donoghue QC): [2020] CAT 13; [2020] CAT 28.
    • Richard is also instructed in an abuse of dominance claim (led by Robert O’Donoghue QC).

    As a pupil, Richard assisted in a range of competition cases, including:

    • Ping Europe Limited v CMA [2020] 4 AER 276 (restrictions of competition by object, with Marie Demetriou QC).
    • Electro Rent Corp v CMA [2019] CAT 4 (breach of interim order during merger control reference, with Marie Demetriou QC).
    • Personnel Hygiene Services v CMA (judicial review of remedy on merger reference, with Marie Demetriou QC and Tom Pascoe).
  • Commercial M

    Examples of current and recent instructions include:

    • Gazprom Export LLC v DDI Holdings Limited [2020] 4 CMLR 16, led by Neil Calver QC (abuse of process by way of collateral attack on arbitration awards and the effectiveness of EU law).
    • Office Depot v Holdham [2019] 4 WLR 120, led by Marie Demetriou QC (relationship between CPR Part 11 and article 30 of the Brussels Regulation, and whether there is a presumption of a stay under article 30).
    • Richard is currently instructed in an auditor’s negligence claim.
    • Richard acts as junior counsel for three defendants in Skatteforvaltningen v Solo Capital Partners and others, claims brought by the Danish Tax Authority in respect of alleged frauds in respect of dividend withholding tax.

    As a pupil, he assisted in a range of commercial matters, including:

    • Vasant v NHS Commissioning Board [2020] 1 AER (Comm) 799 (uncertain contracts and reference to extrinsic material in interpretation, with Marie Demetriou QC).
    • Harbour Fund III, LP v Kazakhstan Kagazy plc and others (construction of litigation funding agreement and relationship between damages and costs, (with Tony Singla).
    • An arbitration involving a delay claim and alleged economic torts (with Tony Singla).
    • Chu v Borrelli [2019] HKCA 622 (redemption of share mortgages, with Charles Hollander QC).
    • Advice on privilege, jurisdiction against EU and non-EU defendants, applicable law, an application for a freezing injunction and the construction of the Accountancy Scheme (with Tony Singla).
  • International/EU M

    Examples of current and recent instructions include:

    • Junior counsel in a judicial review on whether contractual payments fell within the Altmark criteria or were State aids.
    • Advice on the Refugee Convention.
    • Advice on environmental obligations under customary international law.
    • Advice on the recovery of EU grants and the interpretation of the EU Financial Regulation (2018/1046/EU).
    • Advice EU external relations law and dispute resolution.

    As a pupil, Richard assisted in a range of EU/international law matters, including:

    • Micula v Romania [2020] 1 WLR 1033 (appeal and cross-appeal to Supreme Court on EU law, the Arbitration (International Investment Disputes) Act 1966 and Brexit, with Marie Demetriou QC and Hugo Leith).
    • Gubeladze v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] AC 885 (‘goldplating’ of EU directives, construction of Citizens Rights Directive, derogations under Treaties of Accession, with Martin Chamberlain QC).
    • Advice on the foreign act of state doctrine and the statutory presumption against extraterritoriality (with Marie Demetriou QC).
  • Education and qualifications M

    Education and qualifications

    • 2017-2018: BPTC, City Law School (Outstanding)
    • 2014-2015: GDL, City Law School (Distinction)
    • 2011-2014: BA, History, Wadham College, Oxford (1st class)

    Scholarships and Prizes

    Honourable Society of Middle Temple:

    • Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize

    City Law School:

    • Barstow Scholarship
    • Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Prize

    Wadham College, University of Oxford:

    • Gibbs Book Prize
    • Cheney Prize
    • Undergraduate scholarships

    Other experience

    Before coming to the Bar, Richard worked for a year in politics, providing policy advice and assistance to cabinet ministers, MPs and peers.