Richard Wilkins


  • From an original professional indemnity practice, I developed a dispute resolution specialism in professional regulation; discipline; education and training; along with disputes concerning charities and similar organisations.
  • I have acted for professional regulatory bodies, including in the legal profession frequently for the Bar Standards Board; professional practices; universities; schools (both state and private); local authorities; sports, social and other membership organisations.
  • I act on private instructions and extensively for insurers, including under professional indemnity, directors and officers (D&O) and trustee policies. I have advised on a range of policy issues, including on other types of cover. For example, topically on business interruption claims arising from the Covid 19 emergency impacting on whole sectors of business.
  • My practice engages a wide variety of areas of law, including principles of professional liability; judicial review; contractual disputes (including amongst members); governance; discrimination; the boundaries of justiciability; data and related issues.
  • In addition to court proceedings, where as a barrister I hold full rights of audience, I have represented clients in respect of various tribunals, including frequently the employment tribunal in its regulatory body jurisdiction; ombudsman and other governmental enquiries. 
  • I frequently advise on risk avoidance in relation to matters touching my dispute resolution practice, including revising governance arrangements and other policies, and actions to identify the need for improved compliance.
  • Much of my work is highly sensitive and emotionally charged, in which non-pecuniary demands frequently present the greatest challenge to resolution. I have particular experience of finding creative solutions where possible to such disputes, through innovative negotiation, as well as mediation. I have significant experience of engaging with the media and instructing reputation management specialists.  

Interesting, notable or particularly challenging instructions include:

  • advising a major insurer on COVID-19 business interruption cover;
  • defending multi-party litigation arising from well publicised admitted deficiencies in a national regulatory body through to the Court of Appeal;
  • a high profile challenge to the lawfulness of allegedly socially descriminatory school admissions (R (on the application of Drayton Manor High School Governers) v Office of the Schools Adjudicator);
  • alleged systematic discrimination in the bar disciplinary process, including to the Supreme Court (O' Connor v Bar Standards Board);
  • the liability of local authorities for financial advice to children in their care;
  • an unusually difficult residents' association dispute concerning historic covenants, rights of way and trustee obligations;
  • alleged unlawful collusion between London solicitors and "oligarch" clients concerning property transactions;
  • attempts to broaden the principles in White v Jones in a family will dispute.


Contact Details

+44 20 7865 3304


‘Vanessa Latham and Richard Wilkins are quite simply excellent. Their expertise is second to none. Brilliant subject knowledge in their respective fields and what sets them apart from other lawyers is how hard they have worked over the years to understand the culture and values of our organisation and ensure their advice carefully considers our context and the bigger picture. They know us well and what we expect and are, quite simply, a dream to work with’

Legal 500 2022 - Employers (London)

Cerebral with excellent legal knowledge and is particularly good at coming up with creative solutions to procedural and tactical challenges

Legal 500 2017

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