"Immensely knowledgeable on the law and the practice of rating. He's a rating lawyer to his fingertips, and has a fast mind that absorbs expert material and assimilates it rapidly to really get under the skin of the legal and expert issues."
Chambers and Partners 2018
"He is incredibly eloquent".
"He's incredibly intelligent."
"He is really sharp-witted and very good strategically".
Chambers and Partners 2018
“He is convincing in his arguments and has an excellent tribunal manner”.
Legal 500 2017
Richard has an experience of rating matters that is unparalleled at the Bar. He has been an editor of Ryde on Rating and the Council Tax since 1990 and its General Editor since 2017. He has been involved in most of the important rating valuation cases, both in this country and elsewhere of the last twenty years. This has involved him appearing in courts at all levels, from the lowest to the highest.
His clients include:
BT, Cable & Wireless, Virgin Media, O2, T Mobile, Orange, EE, Anglian Water, Kelda Water, Northumbrian Water, United Utilities, Welsh Water, Yorkshire Water, RWE Npower, Centrica, British Energy, Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, Intergen, Scottish & Southern, Coventry & Solihull Waste Disposal (in the House of Lords), Network Rail, Mainline Pipeline, Star Energy, Mass Transit Railway (Hong Kong), Babcock (Ascension Island),
Ports & Airports:
Associated British Ports, PD Teesport, Southampton Container Port, Modern Terminals (Hong Kong), HACTL (Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal), Belfast International Airport, Blackbushe, Biggin Hill, Blackpool & Oxford Airports, HAFCO (Heathrow Airport Fuel Company),
Industrial & Warehousing:
Monsanto, Tata Steel (Port Talbot, Llanwern, Redcar, Orb Newport), Novartis, Sem Logistics, Springfield Fuels, Vosper Thorneycroft, Carpetright, Gazeley, Urenco, Makro, B & M Retail, Freemans, Great Bear Distribution, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Next, Wickes.
Harrods, Burberry, Next, Starbucks, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, Post Office, Dixons, MacDonalds, Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, J.D. Wetherspoons, Antique Hypermarket.
BBC, UBS, Canary Wharf, Columbia Pictures, Howard de Walden Estate, British Land, Deloittes, Express Newspapers, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, LaSalle London Office Fund, Nestlé UK, Swinton Group, Greyhound Investing, Morley Fund Management, Matineau, Leicester City Council, Cuddington Worldwide, Telereal Trillium.
Charities, Not for Profit Organisations, Exemptions & Reliefs:
Church of the Latter Day Saints (in the House of Lords), Help for Heroes, Royal Society of Medicine, Canals and Rivers Trust, Emergency Aid, Photographic Angle, Life with Art, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Makro, St. Paul’s College Hong Kong, Partnership in Care, Cambian Healthcare,
Asia World Expo, Wembley Stadium, Everton FC, LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games), Liverpool Everyman, Gala & Mecca Bingo, Covent Garden Market, Crown Estate Paving Commissioners
Hong Kong Electric, Modern Terminals, Mass Transit Railway, HACTL (Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal), Asia World Expo, St. Paul’s College.
His recent rating cases include:
Telereal Trillium v. Hewitt - succeeding for the appellant ratepayer in the Court of Appeal on the approach that the rating hypothesis requires where the evidence shows that, at the AVD, there would have been no demand to occupy at a positive rent a hereditament that was physically capable of occupation and use. The Court of Appeal ordered the valuation officer to insert a rateable value of £1.
SEM Logistic v. Webb – acting for the appellant ratepayer in the most recent contractor's basis case in the Upper Tribunal of the Lands Chamber concerning the 2005 list assessment of a substantial oil storage depot at Milford Haven (decision awaited). The case called on Richard’s experience in the two most important contractor's basis cases of the reformed rating system (Monsanto v. Farris and Eastbourne & Wealden v. Allen) in both of which he acted for the ratepayer.
Belfast International Airport v. Commissioner of Valuation – acting for the successful appellant ratepayer in the most recent contractor's basis case in the Northern Ireland Lands Tribunal. Not only did the case raise important issues about superfluity allowances and the use of a modern equivalent as a tool for assessing allowances, it also raised the fundamental question of law about the date at which demand should be taken in carrying out a revision to the list.
United Utilities v. Zammit-Wilson – acting for the appellant ratepayer in the first substantial case on the valuation of infrastructure (in this case a water supply network) to fight in this country since BT v. Sanderson (CVO) and the subsequent challenge to the EC alleging that the settlement of that appeal resulted in state aid to BT; in both of which Richard acted for BT. There have been appeals in Hong Kong on infrastructure valuation which have either settled or been heard; and many of which involved Richard (including, Modern Terminals (port), MTR (railway) in which he led, and Hong Kong Electric).
Cable & Wireless v. Subacchi – acting for the successful appellant on the valuation of their network in a case that resulted in significant reduction in the assessment of multiple numbers of fibre pairs in the core network.
Harrods v. Dunlevey – acting for the appellant department store in the 2005 list appeal, which settled just before hearing; having previously been the junior in Harrods v. Baker (the 2000 list appeal).
BBC v. Dingle – advising the successful ratepayer in preparation for a LC appeal in relation to the rateable value of the BBC’s Media Village in White City. The valuation officer settled after the exchange of reports.
Makro Self-Service Wholesalers v. Nuneaton & Bedworth BC – appearing for the successful ratepayer in the High Court to quash the decision of magistrates and uphold as lawful a scheme to reduce rates liability in respect of a warehouse no longer used for Makros’ wholesaling business.
Johnson v. H & B Foods – appearing for the successful ratepayer in the Upper Tribunal on the number of hereditaments comprised in a factory.
OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Richard also has an extensive practice in relation to local government law more broadly and council tax. For example, he has advised local authorities on their compulsory purchase and land acquisition powers, budget setting, rates retention and council tax matters. He advised a number of local authorities on the introduction of their council tax reduction schemes – which raised a broad range of issues, including the duty to consult and the public sector equality duty.
He acted for the council in the test case, Harrow LBC v. Ayiku, a test case on the scope of council tax exemptions for spouses of non-British students.
He has also advised various clients, including local authorities, universities and accommodation providers, on liability to and exemptions from council tax.