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Contact details

Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD
United Kingdom

Telephone icon+44 20 3088 3734
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  Richard Smith



Richard is a Solicitor Advocate specialising in international arbitration and insurance coverage arbitrations, particularly those conducted under the Bermuda Form insurance policy.  He is Head of the Allen & Overy London arbitration practice.

Richard has acted in a wide range of commercial arbitrations, including those from the pharmaceutical, insurance, financial, manufacturing, shipping, energy, construction and hospitality sectors.

He has successfully represented clients in arbitrations under all the key arbitration rules, including those of the ICC, LCIA and the UNCITRAL Rules and currently sits as an LCIA Arbitrator.

Uniquely among his peers, Richard also has significant experience of arbitration-related litigation before the English Courts.  He successfully represented the ICC, as an intervener, before the UK Supreme Court in the case of Jivraj v Hashwani, a significant case concerning arbitrator nationality, with serious implications for the future of arbitration in London.  Richard also led the team, which successfully acted for our client AES, before the UK Supreme Court.  Our work on that case, relating to injunctive relief in support of arbitration, was rated as "Standout" in the Financial Times' Innovative Lawyers Report, 2014. 

He speaks regularly on arbitration issues and is frequently interviewed by the broadsheet, legal and insurance press on developments in arbitration.

Market insiders say:

"He is very much hands on, keeps calm, has a good sense of humour and very good judgement."  Chambers UK 2018

"Richard Smith is noted for his "excellent judgment"" Legal 500 2016 (International Arbitration)

"Richard Smith is "calm, with sound judgement and considerable experience"" Legal 500 2015 (Insurance litigation: for policyholders)

"Richard Smith has considerable expertise in insurance coverage issues, particularly those concerning Bermuda Form policies. He has recently worked on product liability claims and shareholder disputes. Clients report: 'He is a great presenter of cases and a great speaker. He has great knowledge of precedents, and is very attentive to clients' needs'." Chambers UK 2014 (International Arbitration)

Richard Smith is "deeply respected" Legal 500 2014 (International Arbitration)

"Richard Smith is popular with clients as he doesn't 'stand on ceremony but really listens to your concerns'. Sources further praise his ability to 'communicate complex ideas and concepts in a manner a lay person will understand'." Chambers UK 2012 (International Arbitration)

Professional qualifications

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 1994

Academic qualifications

LLB (Hons), The University of Manchester

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