Keith Richards

LawBrief, Mediator and Arbitrator

  • Experience

    Keith Richards has been qualified as a barrister for over 30 years and as an accredited mediator since 2009. He is currently involved in regulatory work in a variety of markets including aviation, rail, construction, renewable energy, the professions and business ethics, advising businesses on compliance with consumer law and with a wide variety of regulatory requirements. Keith has extensive experience of the leisure industry with particular focus on travel, transport, and hospitality. His specialist expertise covers a range of areas, including disability and equality rights and sustainability.

    As a Mediator, Arbitrator and Adjudicator his involvement in dispute resolution stretches back over 25 years. He served as a Senior Lawyer at Which? where he was involved in the early development of UK and EU policy on ADR, and helped the Government to reform the UK civil justice rules to put ADR at the heart of the process. He also worked with the European Commission to develop the practical operation of a European wide extra-judicial network for cross-border disputes. And during his time as Director of Consumer Affairs and Professional Development at ABTA – The Travel Association, he oversaw the development of the most successful consumer arbitration scheme in the UK and scrutinised the outcomes of many thousands of mediated and arbitrated travel disputes.

    He has many year’s experience providing legal advice to both corporates and consumers, and has amassed a large portfolio of casework as a mediator, adjudicator, conciliator and arbitrator in commercial and consumer disputes in a variety of complex sectors. This combination of experience as an ADR practitioner and of being in the forefront of developing ADR policy means that Keith understands the crucial role ADR plays in delivering redress by way of a quick, balanced, efficient and cost-effective process and leaves the parties feeling confident that the outcome is fair.

    His personal dispute resolution style has been described as ‘balanced, practical and thoughtful’ and his key experience is in successfully resolving conflict in emotionally-charged and often seemingly intractable cases ranging across banking, construction, health, communications, funeral services, transport and housing disputes.

    He is also one of 22 Ombudsman Services Business to Business Preferred Mediators.

  • Education

    Keith studied law at the University of Kent at Canterbury and the Inns of Court School of Law and qualified as Barrister in 1985. He completed a post-graduate diploma in Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge in 2003, and qualified as a CEDR accredited Mediator in 2009.

  • Achievements

    He is Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel and Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee at the Department for Transport. He is also Chair of the Renewable Energy Consumer Codes Non-Compliance Panel.

    Keith is an accomplished public speaker and broadcaster. He has written several (rather dry) papers on the regulation of business and professional behaviour, and on self-regulation. He is also the author of several books on consumer law including the best-selling ‘450 Legal Problems Solved’ which has covered 5 editions. He has appeared on TV and radio more times that he can remember but has particularly fond memories of his ten years as Jimmy Young’s ‘Consumer Legal Eagle’ on BBC Radio 2.

  • Other Interests

    In his spare time, Keith enjoys playing the guitar, playing with his children, and apologising to disappointed people for not being the ‘real’ Keith Richards.

  • Languages

    Conversational French. Café Portuguese. Australian.

LawBrief Rebecca Briam
LawBrief

Rebecca Briam

Since qualification in 2005, Rebecca Briam has gained significant experience in leading corporate and general commercial matters having trained and worked at firms in the City of London. She advises on a wide variety of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, group reorganisations, joint ventures, partnerships, shareholders agreements and general commercial agreements.

Rebecca has worked in-house, advising a private equity backed company on multiple acquisitions in the healthcare sector.

In her own words…

I really enjoy working with SMEs because you truly get to understand the client’s business as a whole and can make a real difference to that business. I find it interesting working with and advising the key decision makers and understanding what drives their business strategy so that my legal advice can take this into account.

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Richard Beckwith, LawBrief Solicitor and Mediator Richard Beckwith
Richard Beckwith, LawBrief Solicitor and Mediator

Richard Beckwith

Richard Beckwith is an experienced litigator, having qualified as a solicitor in 2007. He has specialist expertise in construction disputes, commercial law and ADR.

Richard started his career at a regional Norfolk firm qualifying into the commercial litigation department. Richard subsequently worked for the construction practices at Hill Dickinson LLP and Taylor Vinters where he acted in a range of contentious and non contentious construction matters.

Richard subsequently joined the legal department of SThree plc, a multi national recruitment company, where he advised the company on litigation and commercials matter. Since 2015, Richard has combined work as a solicitor with practice as a mediator and mediation advocate.

Richard’s has experience in a range of disputes including commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and construction litigation (including construction adjudication). Combining litigation and mediation skills, Richard is able to advise on a range of solutions to disputes, from how to negotiate a settlement to taking the matter to trial (if necessary).

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Carla Brannan, Lawbrief Carla Brannan
Carla Brannan, Lawbrief

Carla Brannan

Carla Brannan is a dual-qualified (South Africa and England) commercial solicitor with more than 10 years’ experience working in both private practice and in-house settings. Carla has worked across a number of sectors, with the majority of her experience having been gained in hospitality, retail and leisure companies.

Carla has strong skills in contract drafting, vetting and negotiating and providing post-execution contract support and is accustomed to supporting executive decision making by providing commercially pragmatic legal advice.

Carla has worked in-house for both large corporate entities and for SMEs and start-up entities and over the last few years of her career, Carla has taken a preference to working for SMEs.

Why I like working for SMEs…

“From a work perspective, there is nothing more rewarding than feeling part of a small team who value your input and advice. So often, solicitors are put in a box and labelled as people who create more problems and don’t give practical advice. Working for SMEs is a game changer in this regard – solicitors are now trusted and respected to help SMEs grow and flourish.”

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Katy Dissen, LawBrief Katy Dissen
Katy Dissen, LawBrief

Katy Dissen

Katy Dissen qualified as a solicitor in 2012 and has gained experience working in the property department of a large city firm. Prior to that she studied History at The University of Nottingham and Law at Kaplan University London.

She has acted for a number of FTSE100 companies, as well as developers, banks and other corporates. She has experience in a wide variety of real estate transactions, including real estate finance and the disposal and acquisition of commercial property. As well as all aspects of real estate investment, including sales and purchases.

In addition she has a wide range of experience working with SME’s assisting them with all aspects of landlord and tenant matters, lease negotiations, completion, surrenders, wayleaves and general property queries.

In Katy’s own words: “Working with small business owners is so much more rewarding than working with larger corporations as you are able to help people realise their business ambitions in a very tangible way by creating a friendly and efficient working relationship that is tailored to each clients specific needs.”

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LawBriefs Johannes Duminy
LawBriefs

Johannes Duminy

Johannes Duminy started his legal career in South Africa in 1999 before qualifying as a solicitor in England in 2009. Johannes has over 10 years’ experience in both litigation and non-contentious commercial matters. Johannes’ litigation experience includes professional negligence claims, construction claims, financial services claims, property disputes, shareholders and partnership disputes, LIBOR claims and mortgage mis-selling claims. Johannes has litigated in forums such as the High Court, County Court, Small Claims Court, First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), European Small Claims Court and various Ombudsman forums including the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Pensions Ombudsman. Johannes also represented clients successfully in Mediation and adjudication.

On the non-contentious side, Johannes’ experience includes drafting and negotiating various commercial agreements and conducting company share sales and purchases.

Johannes has a very good understanding of the legal challenges faced by small or medium size businesses in the UK and across the world and he is committed to walking a road with his clients, no matter how big or small they are. Johannes believes that legal advice should not only be robust but also commercially viable and must make commercial sense.

In his own words:

‘’I am big fan of alternative ways to settle commercial disputes, whether through mediation, adjudication, ombudsman schemes or old fashion round table talks. I find that if you pick the correct forum and plan around this from the start you give yourself the best possible chance to reach an amicable settlement that also make commercial sense from a financial perspective.’’

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