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.